American university sticker vs CUA w/scholly?

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bergdd
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American university sticker vs CUA w/scholly?

Postby bergdd » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:00 pm

I got into American university and catholic university of america. Catholic is giving me $18,500/yr for my scholarship. Which option is better?

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Postby Myself » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:01 pm

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Last edited by Myself on Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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cinephile
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Re: American university sticker vs CUA w/scholly?

Postby cinephile » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:05 pm

ajax adonis wrote:Sorry man, neither one is very good at all. I wouldn't go to either one.

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potterpirate04
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Re: American university sticker vs CUA w/scholly?

Postby potterpirate04 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:11 pm

I can't emphasize this more: do NOT go to American at sticker. Do not. Do not. Do not.

bergdd
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Re: American university sticker vs CUA w/scholly?

Postby bergdd » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:23 pm

Thanks for the quick responses! What makes them such bad choices? Also is there any harm in going to one of them for a year and transfering to a higher ranked school in the area?

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potterpirate04
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Re: American university sticker vs CUA w/scholly?

Postby potterpirate04 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:27 pm

bergdd wrote:Thanks for the quick responses! What makes them such bad choices? Also is there any harm in going to one of them for a year and transfering to a higher ranked school in the area?


Never go to a school with the intention of transferring out because you have no idea how you're gonna do in law school.

American is not worth it at sticker (in my opinion not worth it under any circumstances). See for yourself: http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=american

I'm not too sure about CUA with that scholly because I don't know much about it, but you can take a look at its employment prospects as well: http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=catholic

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rinkrat19
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Re: American university sticker vs CUA w/scholly?

Postby rinkrat19 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:28 pm

You'll have like a 30% of a long-term, full-time legal job, an excellent chance of no job at all, have huge debt and probably not be making enough money to comfortably cover your $3000/month loan payment, and be competing with graduates of the very best schools in the country in the most competitive market in the country.

Do not go to any school with the intention of transferring. Lots of people want to; very few people actually can. To transfer anywhere useful from schools as bad as that, you'd need to be at the very tippy top of your class. Everyone thinks they're going to be in the top 10% but 90% of people are wrong.

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North
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Re: American university sticker vs CUA w/scholly?

Postby North » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:28 pm

Would you bet $250,000 on a 43% chance of becoming a lawyer that makes the same aalary you can earn with your B.A.?

How about on a 35% chance?

Similarly, would you be willing to go into a casino, roll up to the roulette table, and put a quarter-million dollars on red?

If the answer to any of these questions is "fuck no, because I'm not insane" then you should either (1) retake the LSAT for a score that will get you into a good school (consult TLS to find out what that means in your case) or (2) don't go to law school.

Before you think it, this isn't about 'elitism' or anything else people usually think when they get this news.

Sorry dude, going to either of these schools would be, more likely than not, financial suicide.

ETA: Scooped because phone typing is hard.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: American university sticker vs CUA w/scholly?

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:09 pm

potterpirate04 wrote:I can't emphasize this more: do NOT go to American at sticker. Do not. Do not. Do not.

bergdd
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Re: American university sticker vs CUA w/scholly?

Postby bergdd » Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:24 pm

I appreciate your responses. Would they still be the same if you heard my situation? I live right outside of DC in Alexandria VA. I just want to get a law degree here so that I could be a lawyer. I have a lot of family and friends that have helped me assemble an extensive network of lawyers in the area. I am good friends with the managing partner of a large law firm and have many friends who promise me I already have a foot in the door when the time comes that I need to find a job. The 34% employment rate in 2011 doesnt scare me as much for that reason...

Knowing this, which school should I try for? My application to George Mason is held for additional review, I was waitlisted at GW, and havent heard anything from GULC.

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rickgrimes69
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Re: American university sticker vs CUA w/scholly?

Postby rickgrimes69 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:36 pm

bergdd wrote:I appreciate your responses. Would they still be the same if you heard my situation? I live right outside of DC in Alexandria VA. I just want to get a law degree here so that I could be a lawyer. I have a lot of family and friends that have helped me assemble an extensive network of lawyers in the area. I am good friends with the managing partner of a large law firm and have many friends who promise me I already have a foot in the door when the time comes that I need to find a job. The 34% employment rate in 2011 doesnt scare me as much for that reason...

Knowing this, which school should I try for? My application to George Mason is held for additional review, I was waitlisted at GW, and havent heard anything from GULC.


First of all, never count on a job that you don't have an offer for in writing. Anything can happen between now and the time you graduate.

Secondly, even if you are one of the lucky minority who lands a LT, FT legal job, you'll be making $60k max at graduation. Take a look at your monthly loan payments and your monthly expected salary. You'll see really quickly why the math doesn't make sense.

bergdd
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Re: American university sticker vs CUA w/scholly?

Postby bergdd » Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:52 pm

$60k max? Really? Where did you get that figure from?

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justonemoregame
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Re: American university sticker vs CUA w/scholly?

Postby justonemoregame » Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:59 pm

bergdd wrote:$60k max? Really? Where did you get that figure from?


Law School Transparency, which also shows your debt balance at graduation: $253,621

Actually, American doesn't publicly share salary data, which isn't a good sign

rad lulz
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Re: American university sticker vs CUA w/scholly?

Postby rad lulz » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:01 pm

bergdd wrote:$60k max? Really? Where did you get that figure from?

Bimodal salary distribution curve.

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Dmini7
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Re: American university sticker vs CUA w/scholly?

Postby Dmini7 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:06 pm

I think what needs to be noted here is that at American, only 106 people out of a class size of 467 have a law firm job. thats barely over 20%. Of that, 31 are in firms of 2-10 attorneys. Its a real risk you would be taking to attend there. With that said, I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume your friends really will get you those jobs. If that is really the case, and they do not care where you get it from, go to the cheapest school you can find. If you are going to risk wasting 3 years of your life, at least don't spend money doing it. Most of the advice you will get will assume that you do not have a job lined up, and they will assume any connections are not strong enough to legitimately secure you a job. That is why they are bad decisions. Well, American is a bad decision no matter what due to its cost and terrible prospects, but you get the point.

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cahwc12
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Re: American university sticker vs CUA w/scholly?

Postby cahwc12 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:21 pm

bergdd wrote:I got into American university and catholic university of america. Catholic is giving me $18,500/yr for my scholarship. Which option is better?



cahwc12 wrote:I realize this is slightly off topic, but have any of you seen this thread in the 'Choosing a Law School' subforum? And have any of you seen this website? Or this one?

I'm sure you've all seen this one by now though.
This pdf from the school's website boasts a 91% employment rate for its 2010 graduates 9 months out of graduation. But it's 2012, and that means that the data for c/0 2011 is and has been available for months. So why haven't they updated their pdf?

If you go to this website for ABA employment data, you can select Catholic University and 2010 to generate a report. Go ahead and do it. (Here's an image link of the report if you are having trouble.)

That data doesn't look too bad, right? If you had a calculator nearby or decided to do the math yourself, you'll notice that 244 "Employed" divided by 286 total graduates comes out to 85.3%, not 91% as is touted on the school's website. They actually don't count graduates pursuing graduate degrees full-time, graduates who neglected to offer any information about their employment, and graduates who responded as unemployed, but "not seeking". That doesn't seem too unreasonable though, right?

But have a closer look at that data. 53 graduates are in business & industry. What does that mean? Are they general counsel of a business, or are they customer service employees at a call center? These are very different job outcomes, but are reported in the same category.

And how about government jobs? Do they work for the CIA or the post office? What about academia? Does this mean that 8 graduates went on to be law professors or work as law school admissions officers or work as secretaries in a university administrative office? These are a lot of questions and the data doesn't help very much. Maybe if we look at the newest data, we can see a clearer picture.

Now, take a look at the data from 2011, which Catholic neglected to post on its website (go here, select Catholic University and 2011 then click 'generate report'--again, here's an image link just in case). Probably just an oversight, right? It's tough to go through admissions applications and determine tuition increases and something as minor as updated employment information for the previous year's graduates isn't the highest priority in the world. After all, you guys can look this up yourself!

But the 2011 ABA data paints a much different picture. Instead of lumping all jobs into a category labeled as "employed," the 2011 report does a better job of showing how many graduates got jobs as lawyers--you know, presumably the reason all of you want to go to law school and all of them went to law school to become.

In fact, just 114 out of 261 graduates found full-time, long-term work requiring bar passage--that means just 43% of law school graduates in 2011 actually went on to presumably become lawyers. Now, compare that to what's on the school's website--91% employment. While that 91% employment is technically true, depending how you crop the data, it does nothing to dissociate those employed from those employed as lawyers. (The presumably is because 44 of those 114 jobs were in private practices consisting of 10 or fewer attorneys, including 7 who identified as "solo practitioners.")


Now, here's a hypothetical question for you, and stay with me--what if I told you that you could spend just three years of your life and $260,000 (LinkRemoved) of your future earnings(well, possible future earnings) for a 43% chance at getting any job at all in the profession you are investing your time and (hopefully) future money to get, would you do it?

I guess that doesn't sound like a great deal, does it? But wait, there's more!

I'll give you $12,250 per year if you maintain good academic standing. That brings the cost of attendance down to just around $223,000! And remember, that's not even real money, yet. It's coming out of your future earnings! You don't have to pay a dime until six months after you graduate!

Still not good enough? How about $13,000 per year? (COA ~$221,000)

Still no? You drive a hard bargain! I'll up it to the best scholarship I can.

What do you say? How about $18,500 per year? That's $55,000!

That's just $204,000 of your possible future earnings (and three years of your life) and then you, too, can have a 43% chance of presumably becoming a lawyer. 43% is better than 0%!

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Re: American university sticker vs CUA w/scholly?

Postby jstr00az » Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:19 am

bergdd wrote:I appreciate your responses. Would they still be the same if you heard my situation? I live right outside of DC in Alexandria VA. I just want to get a law degree here so that I could be a lawyer. I have a lot of family and friends that have helped me assemble an extensive network of lawyers in the area. I am good friends with the managing partner of a large law firm and have many friends who promise me I already have a foot in the door when the time comes that I need to find a job. The 34% employment rate in 2011 doesnt scare me as much for that reason...

Knowing this, which school should I try for? My application to George Mason is held for additional review, I was waitlisted at GW, and havent heard anything from GULC.


You shouldn't go to any of those schools at sticker. GULC is not bad with some scholarship. But what you've said is true of a lot more students - they have family who are lawyers, they have friends who promise them a foot in the door. Employment rates are going to be worse in 2012 given the way the legal market has developed.

Do not go at that price. Get a job, re-take the LSAT, and if you get into GULC with a scholarship, go to GULC.

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Re: American university sticker vs CUA w/scholly?

Postby jstr00az » Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:23 am

bergdd wrote:$60k max? Really? Where did you get that figure from?


It's clear you need to do a lot more research before you take on $250k in costs associated with an AU degree (or any DC law degree, really). If you haven't heard of bimodal distribution of salaries, then you are really not prepared to go to law school because you can't make an informed judgment. There are two peaks - one at $160k (which virtually NO American students get) and one at about $50k. ($40 to $60).

If you get a job, and you only have about a 1/3rd of a chance to get a legal job out of American, then you will almost certainly fall into the bottom group. Note, that the JD is not versatile, and is a turnoff to potential employers in other fields should you strike out in the legal market.

timbs4339
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Re: American university sticker vs CUA w/scholly?

Postby timbs4339 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:33 am

bergdd wrote:I appreciate your responses. Would they still be the same if you heard my situation? I live right outside of DC in Alexandria VA. I just want to get a law degree here so that I could be a lawyer. I have a lot of family and friends that have helped me assemble an extensive network of lawyers in the area. I am good friends with the managing partner of a large law firm and have many friends who promise me I already have a foot in the door when the time comes that I need to find a job. The 34% employment rate in 2011 doesnt scare me as much for that reason...

Knowing this, which school should I try for? My application to George Mason is held for additional review, I was waitlisted at GW, and havent heard anything from GULC.


Most people get law degrees to become lawyers. At American, most will not actually become lawyers since they wont get lawyer jobs.

A promise is just that, a promise. I've met many a former paralegal who went off to law school with a wink and a nod from powerful people at large firms, only to find that those firms are uninterested in hiring them as an associate because of their school/grades. Every partner at that firm has some kid or relative who wants an SA position. Especially in DC, they'll be inundated with HYS and T14 resumes.

I guess the only bright side is if your connections can come through for you, it won't really matter whether you go to Catholic or American since they aren't hiring you on "prestige". So go to whichever is cheapest. But if they can't, you don't want to be stuck in debt you can't pay off, so I would only go to one of those schools for free or close to it. Negotiate and then come back when you have a lower expected COA.

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cahwc12
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Re: American university sticker vs CUA w/scholly?

Postby cahwc12 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:55 am

timbs4339 wrote:
bergdd wrote:I appreciate your responses. Would they still be the same if you heard my situation? I live right outside of DC in Alexandria VA. I just want to get a law degree here so that I could be a lawyer. I have a lot of family and friends that have helped me assemble an extensive network of lawyers in the area. I am good friends with the managing partner of a large law firm and have many friends who promise me I already have a foot in the door when the time comes that I need to find a job. The 34% employment rate in 2011 doesnt scare me as much for that reason...

Knowing this, which school should I try for? My application to George Mason is held for additional review, I was waitlisted at GW, and havent heard anything from GULC.


Most people get law degrees to become lawyers. At American, most will not actually become lawyers since they wont get lawyer jobs.

A promise is just that, a promise. I've met many a former paralegal who went off to law school with a wink and a nod from powerful people at large firms, only to find that those firms are uninterested in hiring them as an associate because of their school/grades. Every partner at that firm has some kid or relative who wants an SA position. Especially in DC, they'll be inundated with HYS and T14 resumes.

I guess the only bright side is if your connections can come through for you, it won't really matter whether you go to Catholic or American since they aren't hiring you on "prestige". So go to whichever is cheapest. But if they can't, you don't want to be stuck in debt you can't pay off, so I would only go to one of those schools for free or close to it. Negotiate and then come back when you have a lower expected COA.


Unfortunately for that last part, American has shown this year that they will not offer significant merit aid even to people far above their medians. And Catholic's maximum aid package seems to cap out at $55,000, which is what OP already has.

This is the final deal he's looking at, and it's pretty raw.

BigZuck
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Re: American university sticker vs CUA w/scholly?

Postby BigZuck » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:45 am

Everytime someone posts about the same bad schools and posts the same pushback that we have seen over and over I suspect flame. So, I'll say it: you trollin' brobro?

If serious, retake the LSAT and don't go unless you can get GW for super cheap (doubtful this is possible at GULC, they seem really stingy).

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suralin
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Re: American university sticker vs CUA w/scholly?

Postby suralin » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:29 pm

cahwc12 wrote:
bergdd wrote:I got into American university and catholic university of america. Catholic is giving me $18,500/yr for my scholarship. Which option is better?



cahwc12 wrote:I realize this is slightly off topic, but have any of you seen this thread in the 'Choosing a Law School' subforum? And have any of you seen this website? Or this one?

I'm sure you've all seen this one by now though.
This pdf from the school's website boasts a 91% employment rate for its 2010 graduates 9 months out of graduation. But it's 2012, and that means that the data for c/0 2011 is and has been available for months. So why haven't they updated their pdf?

If you go to this website for ABA employment data, you can select Catholic University and 2010 to generate a report. Go ahead and do it. (Here's an image link of the report if you are having trouble.)

That data doesn't look too bad, right? If you had a calculator nearby or decided to do the math yourself, you'll notice that 244 "Employed" divided by 286 total graduates comes out to 85.3%, not 91% as is touted on the school's website. They actually don't count graduates pursuing graduate degrees full-time, graduates who neglected to offer any information about their employment, and graduates who responded as unemployed, but "not seeking". That doesn't seem too unreasonable though, right?

But have a closer look at that data. 53 graduates are in business & industry. What does that mean? Are they general counsel of a business, or are they customer service employees at a call center? These are very different job outcomes, but are reported in the same category.

And how about government jobs? Do they work for the CIA or the post office? What about academia? Does this mean that 8 graduates went on to be law professors or work as law school admissions officers or work as secretaries in a university administrative office? These are a lot of questions and the data doesn't help very much. Maybe if we look at the newest data, we can see a clearer picture.

Now, take a look at the data from 2011, which Catholic neglected to post on its website (go here, select Catholic University and 2011 then click 'generate report'--again, here's an image link just in case). Probably just an oversight, right? It's tough to go through admissions applications and determine tuition increases and something as minor as updated employment information for the previous year's graduates isn't the highest priority in the world. After all, you guys can look this up yourself!

But the 2011 ABA data paints a much different picture. Instead of lumping all jobs into a category labeled as "employed," the 2011 report does a better job of showing how many graduates got jobs as lawyers--you know, presumably the reason all of you want to go to law school and all of them went to law school to become.

In fact, just 114 out of 261 graduates found full-time, long-term work requiring bar passage--that means just 43% of law school graduates in 2011 actually went on to presumably become lawyers. Now, compare that to what's on the school's website--91% employment. While that 91% employment is technically true, depending how you crop the data, it does nothing to dissociate those employed from those employed as lawyers. (The presumably is because 44 of those 114 jobs were in private practices consisting of 10 or fewer attorneys, including 7 who identified as "solo practitioners.")


Now, here's a hypothetical question for you, and stay with me--what if I told you that you could spend just three years of your life and $260,000 (LinkRemoved) of your future earnings(well, possible future earnings) for a 43% chance at getting any job at all in the profession you are investing your time and (hopefully) future money to get, would you do it?

I guess that doesn't sound like a great deal, does it? But wait, there's more!

I'll give you $12,250 per year if you maintain good academic standing. That brings the cost of attendance down to just around $223,000! And remember, that's not even real money, yet. It's coming out of your future earnings! You don't have to pay a dime until six months after you graduate!

Still not good enough? How about $13,000 per year? (COA ~$221,000)

Still no? You drive a hard bargain! I'll up it to the best scholarship I can.

What do you say? How about $18,500 per year? That's $55,000!

That's just $204,000 of your possible future earnings (and three years of your life) and then you, too, can have a 43% chance of presumably becoming a lawyer. 43% is better than 0%!


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manofjustice
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Re: American university sticker vs CUA w/scholly?

Postby manofjustice » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:37 pm

ajax adonis wrote:Sorry man, neither one is very good at all. I wouldn't go to either one.

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stillwater
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Re: American university sticker vs CUA w/scholly?

Postby stillwater » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:37 pm

Isn't CUA the famous backdoor to biglaw?

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manofjustice
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Re: American university sticker vs CUA w/scholly?

Postby manofjustice » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:44 pm

stillwater wrote:Isn't CUA the famous backdoor to biglaw?


Serious or lolz?




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