[Urgent] UCLA $$$ vs. UVA $

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

Where should I go?

UVA
27
43%
UCLA
36
57%
 
Total votes: 63

hobojarpen
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[Urgent] UCLA $$$ vs. UVA $

Postby hobojarpen » Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:51 am

Hey guys,

I'm in a bit of a dilemma, so I'd appreciate your thoughts. Basically, I've been committing to UVA for the past few months (found an apartment, put down the seat deposits, etc). Recently however, I was admitted into UCLA with a scholarship that nearly triples UVA's scholarship. As for general background, I was born and raised in SoCal and have been out of college for a few years. Other than that, here are the relevant factors to consider -

My goals:
1) End up with as little debt as possible
2) Work in CA big law after graduation

Pros & Cons of both schools:
1) Going to UVA would saddle me with a greater debt, but it seems their employment statistics significantly outpace UCLA's***. Plus, I could still end up back in CA (with more legwork) WHILE enjoying a better gateway into the DC/NY markets.
2) Going to UCLA would save me money (around 65-80K) and offer me a better network/gateway into the CA market, but I'd be losing out on multiple opportunities by forgoing all the doors that UVA would open in the East Coast (This would only be a real concern if I somehow end up deciding I don't want to work in CA for some reason that's unforeseeable at the moment).

Essentially, UCLA's offer makes a LOT of sense to me. Nevertheless, I have a few days to make a decision, so perhaps by posting about my situation here, you guys can point out a consideration or question that I've missed all along that could greatly aid me in my decision making process. I'll be following this thread so I can definitely clarify anything that might better inform your responses.

Thanks!

Edit #1: My debt at UCLA would be ~120K and my debt at UVA would be ~180K.

Edit #2: I'll be contacting UVA soon to discuss this situation with them.

Edit #3: UVA said the terms of my offer will remain as is.

Final Edit: I've decided to stick with UVA.

*** Stats
A. Of the 2011 graduates that ended up in firms, 60% of UCLA's graduates ended up at medium-to-large sized firms while that figure was 89% for UVA's graduates (numbers taken from each school's website along with a grain of salt)
B. 61% of UCLA's 2011 graduates were employed in jobs requiring a law degree while the same figure was 94.69% for UVA's graduates (numbers taken from this [in]famous WSJ article)
Last edited by hobojarpen on Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:46 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: [Urgent] UCLA $$$ vs. UVA $

Postby JamMasterJ » Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:56 am

What's your expected debt load from each school and what are the schools respective policies with regard to LRAP?

ahnhub
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Re: [Urgent] UCLA $$$ vs. UVA $

Postby ahnhub » Sun Jul 01, 2012 3:37 am

You should look over the stats more carefully. UVA does have a big advantage in sending people into large law firms (and the advantage has probably widened since 2011, because the uptick in Biglaw recruiting seems to be have been much more pronouncd in the T-14). But the % you quote for jobs requiring bar passage (which is actually long-term, full-time jobs requiring bar passage) was actually more like 78% for UVA vs. 61% for UCLA, because UVA employd 17% of its own graduates and counted those as full-time, bar-passage required jobs. I mean, if you were actually talking about a 95%-to-61% disparity in people working as lawyers, then there would be absolutely no reason to pick UCLA even if it were totally free.

I'm an 0L so mostly I'm just regurgitating stuff, but if I were you and willing to work someplace else other than LA in the event you can't find a good job in LA, I would go to UVA. If you are dead-set on staying in Cali I would go to UCLA.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: [Urgent] UCLA $$$ vs. UVA $

Postby Doorkeeper » Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:33 am

You should immediately send an email to UVA stating that although UVA is your favorite school and you want to attend, UCLA has provided a scholarship that is nearly triple the amount of UVA's scholarship and that because of your worry about student loan debt, it will be difficult to turn down UVA unless they provide more scholarship money.

Also, what is the COA for both?

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Teflon_Jeff
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Re: [Urgent] UCLA $$$ vs. UVA $

Postby Teflon_Jeff » Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:31 pm

Step 1: Determine COA for both schools with current numbers

Step 2: Call the costlier school, and explain situation. Have a number in mind that will change your decision (i.e. I need $X from UVa to go there instead of UCLA)

Step 3: reevaluate step 1 with any changes. Possibly repeat step 2 as necessary.

Step 4: Make final decision, weighting long-term goals and other non-financial measurements.

CanadianWolf
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Re: [Urgent] UCLA $$$ vs. UVA $

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:43 pm

Tough call. If you are absolutely certain that California is your target market, then you have two great options. Do you want to stay in California & build contacts from your first day of law school ? Or do you prefer some time in a new environment & want a geographically broader array of employment options ?

Although increased scholarship aid is unlikely at this time, it won't hurt to ask both law schools for more money.

Attorney at Play
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Re: [Urgent] UCLA $$$ vs. UVA $

Postby Attorney at Play » Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:57 pm

I´m just a 0L, but from research I´ve done here´s my opinion: go to UVA.

1) If you want to work anywhere outside of (Southern) California, UVA may open more doors.
2) If you want to work in California, employment prospects may be roughly equal. UCLA´s lacking in prestige in comparison with UVA may be made up for by your being situated where you´d want to work, and having the time to network there.

Personally speaking, UVA could be a cool opportunity for you to go to an awesome school on the East Coast without losing employment prospects for wherever you´d want to end up working, considering UCLA as your other best option. In any case, it would leave you with as much as if not more employment opportunities post-grad. If we were talking Georgetown or George Washington vs. UCLA, that would be a different story. But with UVA on your resume, you shouldn´t have any qualms about paying off that difference in debt, especially if you plan on going into biglaw.

Now, if you´re interested in public service work then a smaller debtload would be more of a reason to attend UCLA. But even then, schools have loan forgiveness programs for that type of work. Look into it.

And remember, some experiences are invaluable. And going to a school like UVA in a place you may not have experienced living before may have a pricetag that´s worth more than that debt difference.

But ABOSLUTELY tell UVA about your UCLA scholarship and ask for more money, at least a little. If you are from SoCal, then the additional cost of living expenses you´d incur by moving to VA is also a valid reason for you to be asking UVA for more money.

Best of luck!

hobojarpen
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Re: [Urgent] UCLA $$$ vs. UVA $

Postby hobojarpen » Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:14 pm

Thanks guys. I still need to do more research on UCLA's LRAP, but it seems like UVA's LRAP is pretty strong based on what I've heard/read. I will definitely contact both sides as necessary to see if I can't negotiate my way into a clear, easy choice. As for the COA difference, my debt/load would be $120K at UCLA and $180K at UVA.

jdhonest
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Re: [Urgent] UCLA $$$ vs. UVA $

Postby jdhonest » Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:24 pm

hobojarpen wrote:Thanks guys. I still need to do more research on UCLA's LRAP, but it seems like UVA's LRAP is pretty strong based on what I've heard/read. I will definitely contact both sides as necessary to see if I can't negotiate my way into a clear, easy choice. As for the COA difference, my debt/load would be $120K at UCLA and $180K at UVA.


Don't forget to factor in the interest when comparing paying back the extra 60k from UVA.

shmoo597
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Re: [Urgent] UCLA $$$ vs. UVA $

Postby shmoo597 » Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:30 pm

take UVA. 60k is worth the MUCH better job prospects. think of the 60k as an insurance premium you're paying to basically ensure you'll get some form of biglaw.

Fark-o-vision
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Re: [Urgent] UCLA $$$ vs. UVA $

Postby Fark-o-vision » Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:48 pm

Attorney at Play wrote:I´m just a 0L, but from research I´ve done here´s my opinion: go to UVA.

1) If you want to work anywhere outside of (Southern) California, UVA may open more doors.
2) If you want to work in California, employment prospects may be roughly equal. UCLA´s lacking in prestige in comparison with UVA may be made up for by your being situated where you´d want to work, and having the time to network there.

Personally speaking, UVA could be a cool opportunity for you to go to an awesome school on the East Coast without losing employment prospects for wherever you´d want to end up working, considering UCLA as your other best option. In any case, it would leave you with as much as if not more employment opportunities post-grad. If we were talking Georgetown or George Washington vs. UCLA, that would be a different story. But with UVA on your resume, you shouldn´t have any qualms about paying off that difference in debt, especially if you plan on going into biglaw.

Now, if you´re interested in public service work then a smaller debtload would be more of a reason to attend UCLA. But even then, schools have loan forgiveness programs for that type of work. Look into it.

And remember, some experiences are invaluable. And going to a school like UVA in a place you may not have experienced living before may have a pricetag that´s worth more than that debt difference.

But ABOSLUTELY tell UVA about your UCLA scholarship and ask for more money, at least a little. If you are from SoCal, then the additional cost of living expenses you´d incur by moving to VA is also a valid reason for you to be asking UVA for more money.

Best of luck!


This may actually be false. The only stat we have is how many grads return to Cali, not how many wanted to. Also, we forget that a large reason the "t14" are the "t14" is that they have a huge reputation in 1) New York 2) Chicago and 3) D.C. Other parts of the country are--to more or less degrees--insulated and many prefer their students.

I can't say without knowing the specific market OP is looking at if they would have a problem. And, in reality, I don't know enough to say either way. If I had to guess, OP has a better chance of getting a job in Los Angeles out of UCLA. San Francisco might be closer to tied, though.

Fark-o-vision
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Re: [Urgent] UCLA $$$ vs. UVA $

Postby Fark-o-vision » Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:58 pm

Just wanted to be clear that I know UVA is the objectively better option if OP is happy working anywhere, but prefers Cali. However, if OP is Los Angeles or bust, I think UCLA is actually the better school.

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Law Sauce
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Re: [Urgent] UCLA $$$ vs. UVA $

Postby Law Sauce » Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:03 pm

I voted UCLA, but only because you are talking about returning to SoCal. For SoCal, I'd guess the two schools are comparable. UVA on your resume will get people to look at you, but thats about it, you have to impress people just like you would have to from UCLA. Either way you are going to have to get good grades to get back to SoCal. UVA gives you a better shot at NYC, or other markets, as a backup or if you aren't sure. I would say that at the price the gamble is similar, but only go to UCLA if you would be okay with a smaller non-market firm if you don't end up in the top third or so. (The same is true of UVA as well, I just think that the wider range of markets available give you a better shot at landing something somewhere even from the middle of the class. At UCLA, everyone is heading to the same region, so naturally the best students usually do the best).

crossingforHYS
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Re: [Urgent] UCLA $$$ vs. UVA $

Postby crossingforHYS » Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:09 pm

Look--I cannot keep hammering how false this is.

Everyone wants LA from UCLA, if you are willing to do the legwork from UVa you will get better opportunities, because you can bring diversity to the firm and work with UVa alums (one being the head of general council at WB)

Make your choice--but unless you call up CSO and ask them yourself, all of these students are merely speculating.

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Law Sauce
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Re: [Urgent] UCLA $$$ vs. UVA $

Postby Law Sauce » Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:10 pm

crossingforHYS wrote:Look--I cannot keep hammering how false this is.

Everyone wants LA from UCLA, if you are willing to do the legwork from UVa you will get better opportunities, because you can bring diversity to the firm and work with UVa alums (one being the head of general council at WB)

Make your choice--but unless you call up CSO and ask them yourself, all of these students are merely speculating.


How false what is?

crossingforHYS
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Re: [Urgent] UCLA $$$ vs. UVA $

Postby crossingforHYS » Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:12 pm

Law Sauce wrote:
crossingforHYS wrote:Look--I cannot keep hammering how false this is.

Everyone wants LA from UCLA, if you are willing to do the legwork from UVa you will get better opportunities, because you can bring diversity to the firm and work with UVa alums (one being the head of general council at WB)

Make your choice--but unless you call up CSO and ask them yourself, all of these students are merely speculating.


How false what is?


The whole "If you want LA the better choice is UCLA"

I just don't think it is that black and white. I think UVa might actually place better in LA (for example I have heard from some that GDC has gone as low as a 3.5 for UVa students before--whereas they will only go down to a 3.7 at UCLA)

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Law Sauce
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Re: [Urgent] UCLA $$$ vs. UVA $

Postby Law Sauce » Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:21 pm

crossingforHYS wrote:
Law Sauce wrote:
crossingforHYS wrote:Look--I cannot keep hammering how false this is.

Everyone wants LA from UCLA, if you are willing to do the legwork from UVa you will get better opportunities, because you can bring diversity to the firm and work with UVa alums (one being the head of general council at WB)

Make your choice--but unless you call up CSO and ask them yourself, all of these students are merely speculating.


How false what is?


The whole "If you want LA the better choice is UCLA"

I just don't think it is that black and white. I think UVa might actually place better in LA (for example I have heard from some that GDC has gone as low as a 3.5 for UVa students before--whereas they will only go down to a 3.7 at UCLA)


Agreed, but I think that the two schools are probably fairly comparable for LA, meaning you got to do well at either. Thus, I voted for the cheaper option. Going to a national school set on only one tough, tough market is also a tricky spot. The 3.5 student at UVa or 3.7 at UCLA both did well.

Edit: I think that backup jobs in LA, mid law and other non-Biglaw jobs, is where UCLA would have the advantage. But, you could be right that big national firms like GDC would prefer the more national school. But GDC is not where most people end up.

crossingforHYS
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Re: [Urgent] UCLA $$$ vs. UVA $

Postby crossingforHYS » Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:27 pm

Law Sauce wrote:
crossingforHYS wrote:
Law Sauce wrote:
crossingforHYS wrote:Look--I cannot keep hammering how false this is.

Everyone wants LA from UCLA, if you are willing to do the legwork from UVa you will get better opportunities, because you can bring diversity to the firm and work with UVa alums (one being the head of general council at WB)

Make your choice--but unless you call up CSO and ask them yourself, all of these students are merely speculating.


How false what is?


The whole "If you want LA the better choice is UCLA"

I just don't think it is that black and white. I think UVa might actually place better in LA (for example I have heard from some that GDC has gone as low as a 3.5 for UVa students before--whereas they will only go down to a 3.7 at UCLA)


Agreed, but I think that the two schools are probably fairly comparable for LA, meaning you got to do well at either. Thus, I voted for the cheaper option. Going to a national school set on only one tough, tough market is also a tricky spot. The 3.5 student at UVa or 3.7 at UCLA both did well.

very fair point.

I would still pick UVa though. Even if its for such convenience's as P/F LRW, Cville, or getting to pick when you take your exams.

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Law Sauce
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Re: [Urgent] UCLA $$$ vs. UVA $

Postby Law Sauce » Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:32 pm

crossingforHYS wrote:I would still pick UVa though. Even if its for such convenience's as P/F LRW, Cville, or getting to pick when you take your exams.


O for sure. Personally, I am not going anywhere but UVA :D

crossingforHYS
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Re: [Urgent] UCLA $$$ vs. UVA $

Postby crossingforHYS » Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:33 pm

Law Sauce wrote:
crossingforHYS wrote:I would still pick UVa though. Even if its for such convenience's as P/F LRW, Cville, or getting to pick when you take your exams.


O for sure. Personally, I am not going anywhere but UVA :D


I just think you are a bit more objective then me :).

$$$$$$
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Re: [Urgent] UCLA $$$ vs. UVA $

Postby $$$$$$ » Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:44 pm

Whoever said you are "ensured" biglaw from UVA is wrong, tons of people struck out this year, including people with very high grades. Bottom line is that in order to get LA Biglaw from UVA you need good grades. Everyone I know working in LA biglaw from UVA had good grades. I'm saying this as a UVA Law student, you should probably take UCLA if you want SoCal. The opportunity to network and meet people while you go to school is invaluable. Plus, you'll need good grades from either school to get SoCal Biglaw, but having people to go to bat for you will help you out in a huge way if you network while at UCLA. 60K is a lot of money, and while UVA is great and has better options for students around the median, if you are set on California after you graduate, you should stay at UCLA.

This changes if you don't care and just want biglaw wherever, because then if you are around median you can hit up tons of NYC firms that would be happy to hire a median kid from UVA, or firms in small markets in the south that don't get a ton of applicants from T-14 schools.

Fark-o-vision
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Re: [Urgent] UCLA $$$ vs. UVA $

Postby Fark-o-vision » Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:08 pm

crossingforHYS wrote:
Law Sauce wrote:
crossingforHYS wrote:Look--I cannot keep hammering how false this is.

Everyone wants LA from UCLA, if you are willing to do the legwork from UVa you will get better opportunities, because you can bring diversity to the firm and work with UVa alums (one being the head of general council at WB)

Make your choice--but unless you call up CSO and ask them yourself, all of these students are merely speculating.


How false what is?


The whole "If you want LA the better choice is UCLA"

I just don't think it is that black and white. I think UVa might actually place better in LA (for example I have heard from some that GDC has gone as low as a 3.5 for UVa students before--whereas they will only go down to a 3.7 at UCLA)


I don't think you're necessarily wrong. It worries me that you're relying on anecdote and speculation, though. Let me put the question to you this way; would you rather be at median at UCLA or UVA and compete for biglaw in Los Angeles (and only Los Angeles)?

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: [Urgent] UCLA $$$ vs. UVA $

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:12 pm

It's a ton of money either way. You're substantially more likely to owe a ton of money and have no way to pay it back at UCLA. Go to UVA. This doesn't even seem close to me. Call them and try to strong-arm them into giving you more money, if you care to.

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splitsplat
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Re: [Urgent] UCLA $$$ vs. UVA $

Postby splitsplat » Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:39 pm

hobojarpen wrote:*** Stats
A. Of the 2011 graduates that ended up in firms, 60% of UCLA's graduates ended up at medium-to-large sized firms while that figure was 89% for UVA's graduates (numbers taken from each school's website along with a grain of salt)
B. 61% of UCLA's 2011 graduates were employed in jobs requiring a law degree while the same figure was 94.69% for UVA's graduates (numbers taken from this [in]famous WSJ article)


Those stats are OFFFFFFFFFFFF. You should know better than to take stats from a school's webpage.
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=181415&start=225

crossingforHYS
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Re: [Urgent] UCLA $$$ vs. UVA $

Postby crossingforHYS » Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:51 pm

splitsplat wrote:
hobojarpen wrote:*** Stats
A. Of the 2011 graduates that ended up in firms, 60% of UCLA's graduates ended up at medium-to-large sized firms while that figure was 89% for UVA's graduates (numbers taken from each school's website along with a grain of salt)
B. 61% of UCLA's 2011 graduates were employed in jobs requiring a law degree while the same figure was 94.69% for UVA's graduates (numbers taken from this [in]famous WSJ article)


Those stats are OFFFFFFFFFFFF. You should know better than to take stats from a school's webpage.
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=181415&start=225


GREAT CHART!

( I truly mean its great, I did not see it before--and do not mean for this to be taken as a sarcastic reply)




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