Should I switch to WashU over SMU?

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sandlot
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Should I switch to WashU over SMU?

Postby sandlot » Fri Jun 15, 2012 7:26 pm

I didn't think to ever post one of these threads, but I need the therapeutic release. What do they say about our generation? We need constant validation?

I've accepted enrollment into SMU this fall already. My first (and pretty much only) choice was to go to UT-Austin. I live in Austin, love Austin, and don't want to leave Austin. I went to UT for undergrad, got a job here, and stayed. However, I didn't get in - GPA too low to compete with other UT grads. That's fine. I've moved on.

I got accepted to a number of schools, but my highest scholarship offers were to SMU and Emory. (I ruled out the schools that weren't in big cities.)

I chose SMU over Emory, because my family lives in Austin and St Louis. SMU is a lot closer and cheaper to travel to for both. I grew up in Dallas and am comfortable enough living there. I also didn't see a big difference academically between SMU and Emory.

Now, I've been offered a 2/3 scholarship to WashU.

My family reason is out the window. If I went to WashU, I'd be in the same city as my mom and sister w/niece and brand new nephew.

However, my other sister w/nephew I'm very close to and new niece will be in Austin. Also, my boyfriend is moving to Dallas. We haven't been together long, but I'd be lying to say that isn't on my mind.

Obviously, these are all the wrong reasons to pick a school. I need some honest, objective advice. SMU or WashU? Same 2/3 scholarship.

Is WashU really that much more academically superior? Does it truly expand my prospects if I wanted to do big law outside of Texas? I don't want to lock myself into one state or one career path. I don't know what law I'd like to practice. My background is land use planning, so real estate / environmental / land use law makes sense - but I might want or like something different.

Help?!

My gut still says SMU, but I need a good reason why.

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pinkcamellia
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Re: Should I switch to WashU over SMU?

Postby pinkcamellia » Fri Jun 15, 2012 7:30 pm

Just a general question that might help you get better advice - could you tell us not how much scholly you got from each, but the 3 year cost overall?

sandlot
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Re: Should I switch to WashU over SMU?

Postby sandlot » Fri Jun 15, 2012 7:44 pm

pinkcamellia wrote:Just a general question that might help you get better advice - could you tell us not how much scholly you got from each, but the 3 year cost overall?


WashU is slightly more expensive after the scholarships but it's negligible. Also, cuz I could live with my mom for a bit until I got settled, WashU might actually be a cheaper option. I've decided to put cost aside since it's debatable.

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stratocophic
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Re: Should I switch to WashU over SMU?

Postby stratocophic » Fri Jun 15, 2012 7:52 pm

sandlot wrote:
pinkcamellia wrote:Just a general question that might help you get better advice - could you tell us not how much scholly you got from each, but the 3 year cost overall?


WashU is slightly more expensive after the scholarships but it's negligible. Also, cuz I could live with my mom for a bit until I got settled, WashU might actually be a cheaper option. I've decided to put cost aside since it's debatable.
Then do the WUSTL IMO. Decent grades'll get you back to Texas Biglaw if that's what you want, it's one of the better markets to be aiming for from WUSTL at this point. If that's not what you want, well, hard to defend SMU as an option.

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Nova
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Re: Should I switch to WashU over SMU?

Postby Nova » Fri Jun 15, 2012 8:11 pm

FWIW, many of their employment stats are basically even.

LST; SMU C/O 2011 wrote:•63.2% of graduates were known to be employed in long-term, full-time legal jobs. This figure includes an unknown number school-funded jobs.
•75.7% graduates were employed in long-term jobs.
•76.5% graduates were employed in full-time jobs.
•22% graduates were employed in firms with 50+ attorneys.


LST; WUSTL C/O 2011 wrote:•59.3% of graduates were known to be employed in long-term, full-time legal jobs. This figure includes an unknown number school-funded jobs.
•76% graduates were employed in long-term jobs.
•71.3% graduates were employed in full-time jobs.
•20% graduates were employed in firms with 50+ attorneys.


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sparty99
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Re: Should I switch to WashU over SMU?

Postby sparty99 » Fri Jun 15, 2012 8:24 pm

Ask for more money from BOTH schools until July 31st, when, you make your final decision. Deposit down at both schools.

SMU is a good school, but you will be limited to Texas. WashU is a good school, but St. Louis legal market probably not as good as Dallas. You would have to get good grades at WashU to get other jobs in the midwest. If you have scholarship stipulations where you have to be a certain rank, I would not go to that school....The only stipulation should be a 2.0 or higher.....

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TrojanHopeful
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Re: Should I switch to WashU over SMU?

Postby TrojanHopeful » Fri Jun 15, 2012 8:29 pm

From what I have heard....if you want to stay in Texas, go to SMU (I hear SMU has an awesome alumni base within Texas; a southern clique if you will). If you want to practice anywhere else, go to WUSTL.

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Should I switch to WashU over SMU?

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Fri Jun 15, 2012 8:40 pm

OP, it's essentially a wash for you. Both schools are good and your scholarships make them relatively affordable. Neither school places particularly better than the other.

Personally, I would choose SMU solely because Dallas is so much larger than St. Louis. While SMU has to compete with UT for the Dallas market, UT grads spread out over the state (and some go out of state) - and that leaves many opportunities for SMU grads. WashU, on the hand, has less competition (St. Louis University?) but has a much smaller legal market, and this means that academic year internships and post-graduation jobs in St. Louis will be pretty competitive. If you add to that that the market pay is higher in Texas (with a scale down from that number for mid law) than in St. Louis (with a similar scale down, but from a lower number), I think SMU could easily be chosen here.

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2014
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Re: Should I switch to WashU over SMU?

Postby 2014 » Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:55 am

2/3 scholly at WUSTL is what? like 105k?

What is your GPA? Typically to get anything over about 90k from them you have to be in the 3.5-3.7 range which is absolutely not too low for UT. I think the answer here for your goals is probably to retake the LSAT in October and go to UT. SMU and WUSTL have a very real risk of leaving you with nothing.

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kalvano
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Re: Should I switch to WashU over SMU?

Postby kalvano » Sat Jun 16, 2012 12:11 pm

SMU buys LSAT scores, not GPA, so I think the OP has a pretty good one. 2/3's would be upper 160's or better. But UT has a pretty hard floor around 3.5.

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2014
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Re: Should I switch to WashU over SMU?

Postby 2014 » Sat Jun 16, 2012 12:49 pm

They took non-URMs this year with: 3.46, 3.44, 3.31, 3.3, 3.23, 3.2, 3.2, 3.2, and 3.15, presumably all from Texas of course, but OP has residency already.

I have no idea about SMU's scholarship practices but I know WUSTLs well, and unless you are close or above a 3.5, they offer you 28k/year which can be negotiated up to 30 with ease. Regardless though, if the OP can push their LSAT to 170+ and has anywhere over a 3.2, I'd consider it a fighting chance being in state, and given their goals waiting for UT makes a lot more sense than SMU or WUSTL.

dudeimsocool
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Re: Should I switch to WashU over SMU?

Postby dudeimsocool » Sun Jun 17, 2012 5:14 pm

do it bro, im on the waitlist

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swilson215
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Re: Should I switch to WashU over SMU?

Postby swilson215 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:35 pm

One thing to consider would be the stips on the scholarships. I know it's pretty difficult to lose your $ at SMU (they only have a "good standing" req for most of their offers)...so what's the stip on the WUSTL?

Also, someone suggested asking for more at both schools -- SMU has a pretty hard rule against scholarship negotiating...what you're offered is what you get.

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Kabuo
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Re: Should I switch to WashU over SMU?

Postby Kabuo » Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:53 pm

swilson215 wrote:One thing to consider would be the stips on the scholarships. I know it's pretty difficult to lose your $ at SMU (they only have a "good standing" req for most of their offers)...so what's the stip on the WUSTL?

Also, someone suggested asking for more at both schools -- SMU has a pretty hard rule against scholarship negotiating...what you're offered is what you get.


Pretty near impossible to lose it at WUSTL. I think you have to average below a 79 or something, and a few of my professors this year didn't even give out grades that low.

sparty99
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Re: Should I switch to WashU over SMU?

Postby sparty99 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:32 pm

Don't listen to anyone who tells you not to negotiate.

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kalvano
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Re: Should I switch to WashU over SMU?

Postby kalvano » Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:53 pm

sparty99 wrote:Don't listen to anyone who tells you not to negotiate.


Except for the fact that SMU doesn't negotiate.

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swilson215
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Re: Should I switch to WashU over SMU?

Postby swilson215 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:21 am

kalvano wrote:
sparty99 wrote:Don't listen to anyone who tells you not to negotiate.


Except for the fact that SMU doesn't negotiate.


Truth. We know of what we speak.

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crossarmant
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Re: Should I switch to WashU over SMU?

Postby crossarmant » Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:35 am

Is a retake possible for UT? I don't know how bad your GPA is or how concrete their GPA floor is but if it's your absolute first choice, it may be worth taking the year off.

sparty99
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Re: Should I switch to WashU over SMU?

Postby sparty99 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:52 pm

sparty99 wrote:Don't listen to anyone who tells you not to negotiate.


Don't listen to anyone who tells you not to negotiate. SMU might say no, oh well. But you won't know until you ask. And ask multiple times.

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kalvano
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Re: Should I switch to WashU over SMU?

Postby kalvano » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:29 am

You can ask all you want, SMU doesn't negotiate. Besides, 2/3 at SMU is about the highest they offer to non-Sumners people.

After attempting to deal with the disaster that is SMU's Financial Aid department, plus SMU still being stuck in the 1960's, you should go to WUSTL.

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swilson215
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Re: Should I switch to WashU over SMU?

Postby swilson215 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:36 am

kalvano wrote:You can ask all you want, SMU doesn't negotiate. Besides, 2/3 at SMU is about the highest they offer to non-Sumners people.

After attempting to deal with the disaster that is SMU's Financial Aid department, plus SMU still being stuck in the 1960's, you should go to WUSTL.


I think you and I have had different experiences. I don't necessarily agree with that. But there are pros and cons to both schools.

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kalvano
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Re: Should I switch to WashU over SMU?

Postby kalvano » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:42 am

I can't think of anyone in my class (or my wife, who is in another program at SMU) who has anything good to say about the FA department. If you've had good experiences, count your blessings.

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Unagi
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Re: Should I switch to WashU over SMU?

Postby Unagi » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:46 am

sparty99 wrote:
sparty99 wrote:Don't listen to anyone who tells you not to negotiate.


Don't listen to anyone who tells you not to negotiate. SMU might say no, oh well. But you won't know until you ask. And ask multiple times.


I agree.
I asked money to some schools that didn't negotiate, didn't have more money, didn't offer institutional loans... and I was successful many times.
You have nothing to lose!

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swilson215
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Re: Should I switch to WashU over SMU?

Postby swilson215 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:41 am

kalvano wrote:I can't think of anyone in my class (or my wife, who is in another program at SMU) who has anything good to say about the FA department. If you've had good experiences, count your blessings.


No, FA is pretty much a blackhole of phone messages and emails, but thankfully dealing with them twice a year isn't THAT bad.

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kalvano
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Re: Should I switch to WashU over SMU?

Postby kalvano » Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:51 am

It's kind of a hard choice for the OP. SMU has a much, much bigger market that it serves, and therefore more opportunities. But WUSTL is a better school, just with a smaller market.




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