Duke ($$) v. Northwestern ($) Updated!

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toddly76
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Duke ($$) v. Northwestern ($) Updated!

Postby toddly76 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:11 pm

I've been planning all summer on attending Duke with an unconditioned 1/3 COA scholarship. Last week I get into Northwestern (my top choice this cycle) but am told that they are out of scholarship funds.

I want to live and practice in Chicago after graduation, I live outside of the city now. I'm near 30 years old as I was pursuing a PhD before departing for law school and would really like to settle down in the city and start making friends, building a social network rather than putting it off for three years. Also, I'm gay and really like the quality of life in Chicago on that front.

However, owing to my misadventures in academia, I already have a sizable amount of loan debt (around $100K, not gradPLUS thankfully). With the scholarship and cost of attendance difference, Duke would cost me around $90K less.

Law school has been something of my last resort, as I'm older, have not had any significant experience in any industry (owing to my academic pursuits) and fear that getting any sort of a reasonable job would be well nigh impossible. I'm assuming that, if I can do reasonably well at a good school, it will make up for my past wanderlust and I can find a job, pay off debt, and be happy-ish.

Gut tells me, go with the money at Duke. But I'm very perplexed...ugh.

UPDATE: Northwestern has countered with $45,000 over 3 years. Not much, but something.
Last edited by toddly76 on Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Bosque
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Re: Duke ($$) v. Northwestern Sticker

Postby Bosque » Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:32 pm

I'd stay at Duke, but then again I also hate debt with the fiery passion of a thousand suns. Seeing as you are getting into this older with less time to pay it off and build savings before retirement, maybe you do too.

mr.hands
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Re: Duke ($$) v. Northwestern Sticker

Postby mr.hands » Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:35 pm

Go with your gut. The COL dofferemce between duke and NU is significant, 30-40k I think. You're looking at a 100k differential
Last edited by mr.hands on Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Duke ($$) v. Northwestern Sticker

Postby Doorkeeper » Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:40 pm

With 100k of debt already, Duke and Northwestern being peers, and Duke giving you a 1/3 scholarship, Duke is TCR.

If you have ties to Chicago, I'm sure you can get back there provided above median grades.

TLSwag
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Re: Duke ($$) v. Northwestern Sticker

Postby TLSwag » Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:26 pm

Doorkeeper wrote:With 100k of debt already, Duke and Northwestern being peers, and Duke giving you a 1/3 scholarship, Duke is TCR.

If you have ties to Chicago, I'm sure you can get back there provided above median grades.


This

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rickgrimes69
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Re: Duke ($$) v. Northwestern Sticker

Postby rickgrimes69 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:43 pm

I faced this exact decision and was also super stoked to go to NU, but it's not $90k better than Duke. It's just not. The fact that you are also sitting on $100k in undergrad debt makes this choice an obvious one: graduating from law school with nearly $400,000 in debt (!!!) is fucking insane. Go Duke.

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bjsesq
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Re: Duke ($$) v. Northwestern Sticker

Postby bjsesq » Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:58 pm

Duke.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Duke ($$) v. Northwestern Sticker

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:04 pm

Ask Northwestern if scholarship money will be offered to you if you defer for a year.

With a 169/3.8, have you considered retaking the LSAT as a few extra points would open even more doors with buckets of cash ?

As is, Duke with $72,000 is the safer option, in my opinion.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Bosque
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Re: Duke ($$) v. Northwestern Sticker

Postby Bosque » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:08 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Ask Northwestern if scholarship money will be offered to you if you defer for a year.


Wait, LOLWUT?

EDIT: Ah, you got in the edit. Makes WAY more sense now.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Duke ($$) v. Northwestern Sticker

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:10 pm

Thought that it was pretty clear. You think faster than I type. :D

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toddly76
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Re: Duke ($$) v. Northwestern Sticker

Postby toddly76 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:13 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Ask Northwestern if scholarship money will be offered to you if you defer for a year.

With a 169/3.8, have you considered retaking the LSAT as a few extra points would open even more doors with buckets of cash ?

As is, Duke with $72,000 is the safer option, in my opinion.



Quite frankly, I'm 29 years old and I feel like I've meandered around too long already living in small college towns, etc. I don't really have any chance of an income if I defer a year and have no desire to retake the LSAT (I bombed it with a 160 first time around, studied for 5 months solid while a full time grad student/instructor). I really just want to move on now.

Well done on nailing my undisclosed scholarship amount btw.
Last edited by toddly76 on Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Duke ($$) v. Northwestern Sticker

Postby Doorkeeper » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:16 pm

toddly76 wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:Ask Northwestern if scholarship money will be offered to you if you defer for a year.

With a 169/3.8, have you considered retaking the LSAT as a few extra points would open even more doors with buckets of cash ?

As is, Duke with $72,000 is the safer option, in my opinion.



Quite frankly, I'm 29 years old and I feel like I've meandered around too long already living in small college towns, etc. I don't really have any chance of an income if I defer a year and have no desire to retake the LSAT (I bombed it with a 160 first time around, studied for 5 months solid while a full time grad student/instructor). I really just want to move on now.

Then go Duke.

mr.hands
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Re: Duke ($$) v. Northwestern Sticker

Postby mr.hands » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:18 pm

Doorkeeper wrote:
toddly76 wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:Ask Northwestern if scholarship money will be offered to you if you defer for a year.

With a 169/3.8, have you considered retaking the LSAT as a few extra points would open even more doors with buckets of cash ?

As is, Duke with $72,000 is the safer option, in my opinion.



Quite frankly, I'm 29 years old and I feel like I've meandered around too long already living in small college towns, etc. I don't really have any chance of an income if I defer a year and have no desire to retake the LSAT (I bombed it with a 160 first time around, studied for 5 months solid while a full time grad student/instructor). I really just want to move on now.

Then go Duke.


+1. Easily

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Duke ($$) v. Northwestern Sticker

Postby JamMasterJ » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:23 pm

bjsesq wrote:Duke.

^^ a Northwestern student

Unless you can get NU to match the scholarship offer. They may be willing to give you money if you show them an actual offer at a school they consider a peer.

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toddly76
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Re: Duke ($$) v. Northwestern Sticker

Postby toddly76 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:34 pm

I'll email them the scholarship letter from Duke and ask if there's any chance. Their notice was pretty unequivocal that they had already awarded all scholarships, but I suppose it is worth a try. I'm supposed to respond by noon tomorrow though haha.

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toddly76
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Re: Duke ($$) v. Northwestern Sticker

Postby toddly76 » Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:51 pm

toddly76 wrote:I'll email them the scholarship letter from Duke and ask if there's any chance. Their notice was pretty unequivocal that they had already awarded all scholarships, but I suppose it is worth a try. I'm supposed to respond by noon tomorrow though haha.



Well, I dragged a scholarship out of them with my Duke offer. About 1/3 tuition. I was pretty resigned to Duke last night...ugh

mr.hands
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Re: Duke ($$) v. Northwestern Sticker

Postby mr.hands » Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:02 pm

toddly76 wrote:
toddly76 wrote:I'll email them the scholarship letter from Duke and ask if there's any chance. Their notice was pretty unequivocal that they had already awarded all scholarships, but I suppose it is worth a try. I'm supposed to respond by noon tomorrow though haha.



Well, I dragged a scholarship out of them with my Duke offer. About 1/3 tuition. I was pretty resigned to Duke last night...ugh


It sounds like you're looking at a ~55k differential before interest. That's still a ton of money.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Duke ($$) v. Northwestern ($) Updated!

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:10 pm

Northwestern with a smaller scholarship is the better choice for you due to your desire to be in Chicago.

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rayiner
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Re: Duke ($$) v. Northwestern ($) Updated!

Postby rayiner » Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:15 pm

How much do you want to be in Chicago? $55k is still a lot of money.

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toddly76
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Re: Duke ($$) v. Northwestern ($) Updated!

Postby toddly76 » Wed Aug 08, 2012 4:06 pm

So I spend all day convincing myself on Northwestern, and Duke emails me out of the blue to say their increasing their scholarship offer...AAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!1111!

mr.hands
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Re: Duke ($$) v. Northwestern ($) Updated!

Postby mr.hands » Wed Aug 08, 2012 4:08 pm

toddly76 wrote:So I spend all day convincing myself on Northwestern, and Duke emails me out of the blue to say their increasing their scholarship offer...AAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!1111!


To what?

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toddly76
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Re: Duke ($$) v. Northwestern ($) Updated!

Postby toddly76 » Wed Aug 08, 2012 4:10 pm

mr.hands wrote:
toddly76 wrote:So I spend all day convincing myself on Northwestern, and Duke emails me out of the blue to say their increasing their scholarship offer...AAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!1111!


To what?



From 72K to 90K. Not huge, but now its like a 70K difference (plus interest) between Duke and NU.

mr.hands
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Re: Duke ($$) v. Northwestern ($) Updated!

Postby mr.hands » Wed Aug 08, 2012 4:10 pm

toddly76 wrote:
mr.hands wrote:
toddly76 wrote:So I spend all day convincing myself on Northwestern, and Duke emails me out of the blue to say their increasing their scholarship offer...AAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!1111!


To what?



From 72K to 90K. Not huge, but now its like a 70K difference (plus interest) between Duke and NU.


You'd be an idiot to choose northwestern here.

chasgoose
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Re: Duke ($$) v. Northwestern ($) Updated!

Postby chasgoose » Wed Aug 08, 2012 4:15 pm

If Duke is giving you $72k and NU is giving you $45k, I would definitely take NU given your interests. You are still going to be paying a lot either way, but NU is going to make it easier to get a job in Chicago after graduation than Duke will. Not many Chicago firms are going to go to Duke's OCI, so you are going to have to mass mail most firms, which is a lot more hit or miss. Furthermore, as an LGBT person, you probably will be happier in Chicago than in North Carolina, even in the liberal stronghold of the Research Triangle. I don't think $30k over three years is too much to pay to be in the location you want and have easier access to Chicago firms. People on TLS totally underestimate the value of being in a place that makes you happy, all other important details considered. Of course if I did the math wrong and the differential is more like $50k, then I would probably take Duke.

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Samara
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Re: Duke ($$) v. Northwestern ($) Updated!

Postby Samara » Wed Aug 08, 2012 4:18 pm

If OP already has $100k of debt coming in, isn't the prudent decision to take the school that maximizes biglaw placement, regardless of cost differential?




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