Help me Choose - BU staying close to gf or Northwestern

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

BU with gf + $$$ or NU $

BU
12
21%
Northwestern
46
79%
 
Total votes: 58

Starboy
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Help me Choose - BU staying close to gf or Northwestern

Postby Starboy » Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:27 pm

Please help me decide. Have ~$90k scholly from BU and $45k from NU. I moved to Boston 18 months ago to be closer to my girlfriend, we have been living together for a year and get along extremely well. We have talked seriously about marriage after law school. If I go to NU, she can't follow me until I graduate and with the stress of law school, I do not forsee long distance going well.

I am not overly concerned about prestige of jobs, I just want a job that will help pay off that debt and do some public good. I'm pretty set on PI/govt, so biglaw is not a concern at all. I do not particularly like living in Boston (although it is not bad), and I know that I would in all likelihood be stuck there if I went to BU, but I can't really bear the thought of leaving my girlfriend for 3 years. Help!

I am guessing that most people on TLS would pick Northwestern in a heartbeat, but at what point does it become okay to choose a lesser school and close doors in favor of staying with your significant other?

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Samara
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Re: Help me Choose - BU staying close to gf or Northwestern

Postby Samara » Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:29 pm

Why can't she come to Chicago? Do you have a strong PI background? Where do you want to work after graduation?

Starboy
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Re: Help me Choose - BU staying close to gf or Northwestern

Postby Starboy » Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:33 pm

She is in her 4th year of a 5 year program. She has a great scholarship that she can't turn down.

I have a very strong PI background. I have heard that the jobs for PI are extremely rough though and am very concerned about the differences in job placement for PI between BU and NU.

I've lived all over the country and I could see myself living happily in a lot of places (Chicago included). California would be great, too. I would be okay in Boston but would probably always wish a little bit that I lived somewhere else.

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Icculus
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Re: Help me Choose - BU staying close to gf or Northwestern

Postby Icculus » Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:37 pm

Starboy wrote:but at what point does it become okay to choose a lesser school and close doors in favor of staying with your significant other?


I would argue you should not make a decision like this based on your significant other, ever. Go where you think you would be best off. If you were actually married it would be different, but you are investing three years of your life and $100K+ into school, you need to to what's best for your future. For what it's worth I know plenty of people who maintained long distance relationships 1L and plenty who didn't. If the relationship is strong enough you'll make it. If you think BU will get you where you want to be, then go there, if NU would be better, then go there.

Edit: Also, if she's in a five year program then she can always move with you 3L year.

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Samara
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Re: Help me Choose - BU staying close to gf or Northwestern

Postby Samara » Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:41 pm

So can she come out to Chicago after her program? That would be 18 months, minus the summer spent together. Long distance is hard, I know that, but it can be done.

I don't know what BU's LRAP is like, but NU's is very strong and pays both interest and principle. I would be more concerned about getting a job if PI doesn't pan out. NU is going to put you in a much better position to pay down your debt.

All in all, you have to do what is right for you. But you have to look at the long-term picture and not get too clouded by short-term emotions.

Starboy
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Re: Help me Choose - BU staying close to gf or Northwestern

Postby Starboy » Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:47 pm

yes, she has said she would be willing to move during the start of 3L. However, I don't think I can count on this 100% as she is probably going to have good job prospects near Boston that would be hard to turn down.

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Icculus
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Re: Help me Choose - BU staying close to gf or Northwestern

Postby Icculus » Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:53 pm

Starboy wrote:yes, she has said she would be willing to move during the start of 3L. However, I don't think I can count on this 100% as she is probably going to have good job prospects near Boston that would be hard to turn down.


Are you willing to commit yourself to Boston, essentially forever, and take your chances at a school with lower employment prospects that only really offers opportunities in Boston for someone you might be with forever?

Even if she doesn't come out 3L it's only an extra 9 months apart. This is a big decision and you should base it off of practical reasons not emotional reasons.

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Samara
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Re: Help me Choose - BU staying close to gf or Northwestern

Postby Samara » Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:01 pm

Icculus wrote:
Starboy wrote:yes, she has said she would be willing to move during the start of 3L. However, I don't think I can count on this 100% as she is probably going to have good job prospects near Boston that would be hard to turn down.


Are you willing to commit yourself to Boston, essentially forever, and take your chances at a school with lower employment prospects that only really offers opportunities in Boston for someone you might be with forever?

Even if she doesn't come out 3L it's only an extra 9 months apart. This is a big decision and you should base it off of practical reasons not emotional reasons.

This. You both have to be willing to make sacrifices if you want to get married. That may mean you going to a riskier school. It may mean her taking her chances in the Chicago job market. It may mean living apart for four or six semesters. Are you both willing to make those sacrifices, because someone is going to have to if you're going to stay together. Whichever decision you make, make peace with it. You don't want to go to BU because of her, be un- or underemployed and feel bitter about it and/or blame her. I think you have to make the decision that is best for yourself until you two are ready to commit to each other.

badaboom61
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Re: Help me Choose - BU staying close to gf or Northwestern

Postby badaboom61 » Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:14 pm

Samara wrote:
Icculus wrote:
Starboy wrote:yes, she has said she would be willing to move during the start of 3L. However, I don't think I can count on this 100% as she is probably going to have good job prospects near Boston that would be hard to turn down.


Are you willing to commit yourself to Boston, essentially forever, and take your chances at a school with lower employment prospects that only really offers opportunities in Boston for someone you might be with forever?

Even if she doesn't come out 3L it's only an extra 9 months apart. This is a big decision and you should base it off of practical reasons not emotional reasons.

This. You both have to be willing to make sacrifices if you want to get married. That may mean you going to a riskier school. It may mean her taking her chances in the Chicago job market. It may mean living apart for four or six semesters. Are you both willing to make those sacrifices, because someone is going to have to if you're going to stay together. Whichever decision you make, make peace with it. You don't want to go to BU because of her, be un- or underemployed and feel bitter about it and/or blame her. I think you have to make the decision that is best for yourself until you two are ready to commit to each other.


This. Long distance sucks and isn't a permanent solution. You will have to compromise, and one person will probably have to sacrifice career prospects in some way. Also, if you all are seriously talking marriage "after graduation", what does that even mean? Are you guys going to spend the rest of your lives together? Now would be a great time to figure that out. Put a ring on brah.

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2014
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Re: Help me Choose - BU staying close to gf or Northwestern

Postby 2014 » Sat Aug 11, 2012 12:52 am

What about waiting a year so you only have to do distance for 1L? Little reason to think your options now won't be as good or better next year and if your relationship is important to you it might enable you to get the best of both worlds in terms of T14 + stay with her.

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Funkycrime
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Re: Help me Choose - BU staying close to gf or Northwestern

Postby Funkycrime » Sat Aug 11, 2012 12:56 am

Image

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cinephile
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Re: Help me Choose - BU staying close to gf or Northwestern

Postby cinephile » Sat Aug 11, 2012 1:00 am

Go to northwestern. It's not even close. You have no idea where you'll rank in your class and if you're not in the top you could have trouble landing non-school-funded employment.

Also, as a personal note, I'm at BU and know a number of people who came out here for their SO despite getting into lower t14s. All of those people are now broken up and I know of at least one 1L divorce. The difference in job prospects is really too great to take this kind of risk.

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thelawyler
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Re: Help me Choose - BU staying close to gf or Northwestern

Postby thelawyler » Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:54 am

cinephile wrote:Go to northwestern. It's not even close. You have no idea where you'll rank in your class and if you're not in the top you could have trouble landing non-school-funded employment.

Also, as a personal note, I'm at BU and know a number of people who came out here for their SO despite getting into lower t14s. All of those people are now broken up and I know of at least one 1L divorce. The difference in job prospects is really too great to take this kind of risk.


Damn that has to suck... I wonder how they feel about it :(

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rickgrimes69
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Re: Help me Choose - BU staying close to gf or Northwestern

Postby rickgrimes69 » Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:11 am

Long distance sucks. But you know the right choice is NU here. It's not even close.

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Pete Venkman
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Re: Help me Choose - BU staying close to gf or Northwestern

Postby Pete Venkman » Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:33 am

Law-school wise, the decision isn't close, though I've heard BU has a pretty solid PI program. Also, just because other relationships haven't survived 1L doesn't mean that yours won't if you stay in Boston. I will hazard the prediction, though, that it will be really hard to manage a long-distance relationship your first year if you go to NU.

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cinephile
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Re: Help me Choose - BU staying close to gf or Northwestern

Postby cinephile » Sat Aug 11, 2012 11:54 am

thelawyler wrote:
cinephile wrote:Go to northwestern. It's not even close. You have no idea where you'll rank in your class and if you're not in the top you could have trouble landing non-school-funded employment.

Also, as a personal note, I'm at BU and know a number of people who came out here for their SO despite getting into lower t14s. All of those people are now broken up and I know of at least one 1L divorce. The difference in job prospects is really too great to take this kind of risk.


Damn that has to suck... I wonder how they feel about it :(


They really love Boston and our school ... But you have to wonder if there's any regret. I just think 1L breakups are so common it'd be too risky to plan your career around a relationship that may not survive law school.

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Ozymandias
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Re: Help me Choose - BU staying close to gf or Northwestern

Postby Ozymandias » Sat Aug 11, 2012 12:48 pm

Keep in mind that total debt (not including interest or tuition increases) for NU will be $195k, and BU will be $96k. NU is so much more expensive that the difference isn't just the $45k scholarship difference.

OP, have you negotiated your scholarship with BU?

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Ozymandias
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Re: Help me Choose - BU staying close to gf or Northwestern

Postby Ozymandias » Sat Aug 11, 2012 12:52 pm

Also I'm about 90% sure if you go to NU you'll be doing OCI this time next year.

Starboy
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Re: Help me Choose - BU staying close to gf or Northwestern

Postby Starboy » Sat Aug 11, 2012 1:21 pm

Ozymandias wrote:Keep in mind that total debt (not including interest or tuition increases) for NU will be $195k, and BU will be $96k. NU is so much more expensive that the difference isn't just the $45k scholarship difference.

OP, have you negotiated your scholarship with BU?


Thanks for all the feedback so far guys! REALLY appreciate it!

Yup, I have negotiated my scholarship with BU, got it raised a bit. I am well aware of the differences in tuition. FWIW, I am extremely debt-averse. If it were a difference of only $45k, I would take Northwestern. The fact is, though, that it is closer to $100k more debt.

Are the job prospects really that bad for PI/govt that I need to take a very real risk in losing my potential wife AND take on $100k more debt AND incur tons more stress for the next 2-3 yrs to put myself in a better spot to compete for these jobs? I know this is conventional wisdom and all of you are generously trying to give me free advice to that effect, but I'm just not 100% sold on this school of thought yet.

Also, Ozzy, definitely not doing law school for the money. At one point in my life, I was making more $$ doing evil work than I probably would as a lawyer, got burned out, and decided I didn't want to work just for the money any more. I've done years of nonprofit work ever since and while I depleted most of my savings in the process, I am much happier now.

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SaintsTheMetal
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Re: Help me Choose - BU staying close to gf or Northwestern

Postby SaintsTheMetal » Sat Aug 11, 2012 4:01 pm

I don't see how anyone can tell you what your girlfriend is worth to you :P

If its the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, I'd stay in Boston. If it were me and my girlfriend, I'd say fck that and be at NU tomorrow

Also, BU for <100k total is not a bad deal at all

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Icculus
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Re: Help me Choose - BU staying close to gf or Northwestern

Postby Icculus » Sat Aug 11, 2012 4:10 pm

Starboy wrote: I just want a job that will help pay off that debt and do some public good. I'm pretty set on PI/govt


Starboy wrote: I've done years of nonprofit work ever since and while I depleted most of my savings in the process, I am much happier now.


Just out of curiosity, why do you think you need a law degree? If you're already working in non-profit and have experience, why the need for a JD?

Starboy
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Re: Help me Choose - BU staying close to gf or Northwestern

Postby Starboy » Sat Aug 11, 2012 4:19 pm

Icculus wrote:
Just out of curiosity, why do you think you need a law degree? If you're already working in non-profit and have experience, why the need for a JD?


The nonprofit positions I've had have not been enough to live on and have been kind of grunt work-y. It would be nice to do some nonprofit work where I could utilize my natural talents combined with professional training to do a lot of public good. From talking to family and friends who are lawyers, it seems like I have the interest in law and skill set to be a really good lawyer, and I think I could make a larger impact in social good as a lawyer than in other positions in nonprofit that do not require a JD.

otnemem
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Re: Help me Choose - BU staying close to gf or Northwestern

Postby otnemem » Sun Aug 12, 2012 3:41 am

Something to consider;

Northwestern Non-Discounted Cost
Class of 2015: $284,270

That assumes full cost with the interest running, so I'd guess a 45k scholarship would bring that down to 225k or so? I'm not arguing that NW is never worth it for that much, but it should at least give you serious pause. On the flip side, BU had a 38.5% underemployment score on LST. I guess what I'm getting at is both of these options are fairly risky. Have you thought about taking another year off? It might make it easier for you to decide how serious the relationship is, you might end up with a slightly better deal next year if this coming cycle is easier, and if you did decide to go to school outside of Boston, it would only be 9 months before your GF finished and she could then move out to be with you.

If you don't feel confident about either option, waiting a year is likely better than making a potentially bad call now.

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romothesavior
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Re: Help me Choose - BU staying close to gf or Northwestern

Postby romothesavior » Sun Aug 12, 2012 6:11 am

f7 wrote:If you're dead set against long distance (not sure this is a great sign if you're planning on marrying the girl), just put off law school for a year and get some more work experience until you guys are in a better position to work out your geographic issues. BU over NU is a terrible idea, though.

This and what cinephile said. Doesnt even sound like youre that committed to this girl if you are against long distance. 1L breakups are common and NU is such a better school. Maybe if BU was free or something this would be an okay call, but you're still looking at 100k+ of debt easy. Either wait until she's in a better position to move, or go to NU and try to make it work.

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dingbat
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Re: Help me Choose - BU staying close to gf or Northwestern

Postby dingbat » Sun Aug 12, 2012 7:35 am

SaintsTheMetal wrote:I don't see how anyone can tell you what your girlfriend is worth to you :P

If its the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, I'd stay in Boston.

However - there's a difference between thinking you want to spend the rest of your life with her and actually wanting to spend the rest of your life with her.
Don't choose a lesser option just because you've been dating forever and feel really comfortable around her.

And make sure she feels the same way




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