UT vs. UCLA vs. Berkeley

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katch
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UT vs. UCLA vs. Berkeley

Postby katch » Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:49 pm

I'm in a tough situation here. I had planned on UT being the most cost effective option, but now thats not necessarily true so I'm reevaluating. UCLA offered me $120k and UT did not increase its offer of $45k (I'm also in-state) in response. I'm planning to ask Berkeley to match Michigan's offer of $60k but I don't really know the chances of that happening.

I'd like to shoot for BigLaw and I'm not opposed to Texas; it's home and I like it just fine. I really love the West Coast, but I understand the real estate market would make my potential house in LA or SF look like a hobo shack compared to what I could get in Dallas or Austin. NYC doesn't really interest me in the long term. I would love to go to Europe (lived in Switzerland for two years unrelated to school and am fluent in French) but I know that's a long shot.

I visited UCLA and I loved it. Not only is it a beautiful area with beautiful weather, but the students I talked to (I actually slept on someone's couch for two nights) seemed genuinely happy (even the ones that didn't get BigLaw!). I got mixed reviews from current students at Texas. The main person I talked to actually just dropped out, so that might be skewing my perception. I visit Berkeley in two weeks and I imagine I'll like it.

By my calculations UCLA is roughly $10k cheaper than UT even with CoL, and lets be honest, living in LA is worth a little extra money. Berkeley and UCLA end up with nearly the same sticker price (planning on CA residency after first year) so it would be $60k more (assuming they match Michigan) to go to Berkeley.

For what it's worth, my application has been "held for further review" at Harvard and I sent in an updated resume. Haven't heard a single peep from Stanford or NYU either, but I haven't been rejected yet. I don't think I should plan on any of those coming through and if they do, they will probably be at sticker price.

Edit: This seems to be what people wanted:
Berkeley-158,000
UT-105,000 (111,000)
UCLA-90,000
Used their own estimates. The extra on UT is because they don't include medical insurance and instead ask you to request a larger budget if you need it. I do.
Last edited by katch on Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: UT vs. UCLA vs. Berkeley

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:10 pm

I think a lot of this comes down to whether you want to work in Texas or on the west coast after graduation.

Also, I'm a happy UT student--feel free to PM (or just ask me questions in this thread) and I'll try to be as open as honest about UT as possible. (A quick overall view of UT and Austin: Austin is an amazing place to live; I think most UT law students are nice and are easy to get along with; there is definitely an anti-gunner culture, which is nice; and I've really enjoyed my classes and the past 3 years (though, I do know plenty of other 3Ls who may have liked law school but are very ready for it to be over with).)

katch
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Re: UT vs. UCLA vs. Berkeley

Postby katch » Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:14 pm

Richie Tenenbaum wrote:I think a lot of this comes down to whether you want to work in Texas or on the west coast after graduation.

Also, I'm a happy UT student--feel free to PM (or just ask me questions in this thread) and I'll try to be as open as honest about UT as possible. (A quick overall view of UT and Austin: Austin is an amazing place to live; I think most UT law students are nice and are easy to get along with; there is definitely an anti-gunner culture, which is nice; and I've really enjoyed my classes and the past 3 years (though, I do know plenty of other 3Ls who may have liked law school but are very ready for it to be over with).)


What I was trying to say was that I'm completely open to either location. I prefer California, but I like my quality of life in Texas. Its a draw.

I'm familiar with Austin: working in Round Rock right now and I have visited the campus a number of times over the years. I'm as proud as the next Texan to say that Austin is a great city and completely bucks any negative stereotypes someone may believe about Texas. That being said, LA and SF are still out in front as far as the incredibly subjective criteria that make a great city. I guess Im just trying to gauge cost/benefit here. Is there a substantial difference between my chances at biglaw between UT and UCLA? Are Berkeley's chances worth the added debt?

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Dr. Dre
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Re: UT vs. UCLA vs. Berkeley

Postby Dr. Dre » Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:03 am

go to UT.

California sucks. Texas' economy is booming.

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ManOfTheMinute
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Re: UT vs. UCLA vs. Berkeley

Postby ManOfTheMinute » Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:08 am

Dr. Dre wrote:go to UT.

California sucks. Texas' economy is booming.


This is an incorrect representation. UCI is not representative of the rest of California.

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Dr. Dre
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Re: UT vs. UCLA vs. Berkeley

Postby Dr. Dre » Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:12 am

The legal market in all of california is terrible.

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WokeUpInACar
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Re: UT vs. UCLA vs. Berkeley

Postby WokeUpInACar » Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:26 am

What are your numbers? UT appears pretty stingy on scholly negotiations so far this cycle.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: UT vs. UCLA vs. Berkeley

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:49 am

katch wrote:
Richie Tenenbaum wrote:I think a lot of this comes down to whether you want to work in Texas or on the west coast after graduation.

Also, I'm a happy UT student--feel free to PM (or just ask me questions in this thread) and I'll try to be as open as honest about UT as possible. (A quick overall view of UT and Austin: Austin is an amazing place to live; I think most UT law students are nice and are easy to get along with; there is definitely an anti-gunner culture, which is nice; and I've really enjoyed my classes and the past 3 years (though, I do know plenty of other 3Ls who may have liked law school but are very ready for it to be over with).)


What I was trying to say was that I'm completely open to either location. I prefer California, but I like my quality of life in Texas. Its a draw.

I'm familiar with Austin: working in Round Rock right now and I have visited the campus a number of times over the years. I'm as proud as the next Texan to say that Austin is a great city and completely bucks any negative stereotypes someone may believe about Texas. That being said, LA and SF are still out in front as far as the incredibly subjective criteria that make a great city. I guess Im just trying to gauge cost/benefit here. Is there a substantial difference between my chances at biglaw between UT and UCLA? Are Berkeley's chances worth the added debt?


I don't really know how UCLA does with CA biglaw, so I can't help too much. Based on most recent NLJ 250 numbers for class of 2012, UCLA had higher placement on that front (29.13% v. 25.81%)* but UT has been consistently better with having higher clerkship numbers.** I really think it's a wash between the two, unless the CA legal market is struggling--then UT gets an edge because the Texas legal market has been doing pretty good relative to the rest of the country.

*http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1202589189668&interactive=true & viewtopic.php?f=1&t=204877
**http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=150004

Berkeley has better placement than both UT and UCLA, but if the question is whether Berkeley is worth it at sticker, especially consider the other two cheaper options, I say no.

katch
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Re: UT vs. UCLA vs. Berkeley

Postby katch » Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:10 am

3.85/169

I'm planning on getting $60k at Berkeley. they specifically state that their matching program includes Michigan. even if they don't do a full match, there is a ton of outside scholarships administered by the school that they make you write another essay for (working on it).

Another consideration that I've gathered anecdotal evidence on: need-based grants. The financial aid person at UT told me that nearly everyone gets one at UT since they ignore your parents information, but since everyone gets one, they are small: $2k-ish per year. At UCLA I hear numbers more along the lines of $8k per year. My dad is retiring this year (he has no intention of helping me out either way) so I think I'll be eligible for quite a bit in 2L and 3L. This would make UCLA essentially tuition-free.... I don't know about Berkeley, but I think they may be even more generous than UCLA.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: UT vs. UCLA vs. Berkeley

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:19 am

katch wrote:3.85/169

I'm planning on getting $60k at Berkeley. they specifically state that their matching program includes Michigan. even if they don't do a full match, there is a ton of outside scholarships administered by the school that they make you write another essay for (working on it).

Another consideration that I've gathered anecdotal evidence on: need-based grants. The financial aid person at UT told me that nearly everyone gets one at UT since they ignore your parents information, but since everyone gets one, they are small: $2k-ish per year. At UCLA I hear numbers more along the lines of $8k per year. My dad is retiring this year (he has no intention of helping me out either way) so I think I'll be eligible for quite a bit in 2L and 3L. This would make UCLA essentially tuition-free.... I don't know about Berkeley, but I think they may be even more generous than UCLA.


I would be careful about putting too much stock into need-based grants that need to be renewed each year. Even if you get a grant as a 1L, there is no guarantee there will be grant money for you as a 2L or a 3L. But that said, try to figure out what each school will give you.

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cahwc12
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Re: UT vs. UCLA vs. Berkeley

Postby cahwc12 » Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:03 am

katch wrote:I'm in a tough situation here. I had planned on UT being the most cost effective option, but now thats not necessarily true so I'm reevaluating. UCLA offered me $120k and UT did not increase its offer of $45k (I'm also in-state) in response. I'm planning to ask Berkeley to match Michigan's offer of $60k but I don't really know the chances of that happening.


That's because the UT offer is already better, and UT is a better school in a much better market. You should take this offer. Sticker and $45k at Texas is a solid offer and while there aren't a lot of sound investments to law school, I think this qualifies as one of them.

UT Resident Tuition:
$30k/yr - $15k/yr = $15k/yr
COL: $15k/yr

UCLA Tuition:
$54k/yr - $40k/yr = $14k/yr
COL: $20k/yr

edit: as katch points out below, 120/3 = 40, not 30. Still, the decision is the same.
Last edited by cahwc12 on Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:05 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Dr. Dre
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Re: UT vs. UCLA vs. Berkeley

Postby Dr. Dre » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:24 am

cahwc12 wrote:That's because the UT offer is already better, and UT is a better school in a much better market. You should take this offer. Sticker and $45k at Texas is a solid offer and while there aren't a lot of sound investments to law school, I think this qualifies as one of them.

UT Resident Tuition:
$30k/yr - $15k/yr = $15k/yr
COL: $15k/yr

UCLA Tuition:
$54k/yr - $30k/yr = $24k/yr
COL: $20k/yr

katch
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Re: UT vs. UCLA vs. Berkeley

Postby katch » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:01 am

cahwc12 wrote:
katch wrote:I'm in a tough situation here. I had planned on UT being the most cost effective option, but now thats not necessarily true so I'm reevaluating. UCLA offered me $120k and UT did not increase its offer of $45k (I'm also in-state) in response. I'm planning to ask Berkeley to match Michigan's offer of $60k but I don't really know the chances of that happening.


That's because the UT offer is already better, and UT is a better school in a much better market. You should take this offer. Sticker and $45k at Texas is a solid offer and while there aren't a lot of sound investments to law school, I think this qualifies as one of them.

UT Resident Tuition:
$30k/yr - $15k/yr = $15k/yr
COL: $15k/yr

UCLA Tuition:
$54k/yr - $30k/yr = $24k/yr
COL: $20k/yr


lol except that $120k at UCLA isnt $30k a year, its $40k. And you get in-state after the first year so it goes down to $48k. And Texas is $33k. Also I find that the CoLs arent quite as different as they seem... not only because of rent, but because Texas doesn't include some things like medical insurance (like almost every other school) and instead says you can apply to have insurance added and your loan amount raised.

katch
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Re: UT vs. UCLA vs. Berkeley

Postby katch » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:06 am

Also the listed CoL at UT is $16,700. This is sort of descriptive of why I'm kind of pissed off at UT. I feel like there's a lot of attempts to play up its relative cheapness without giving more details. And when you search the details, it doesn't end up being true. They make a huge deal to Texas residents about what a great break they give for in-state tuition, but they just deduct that discount from your scholarship offer. Texas is not the least expensive despite their great pride in that title.

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cahwc12
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Re: UT vs. UCLA vs. Berkeley

Postby cahwc12 » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:09 am

katch wrote:lol except that $120k at UCLA isnt $30k a year, its $40k. And you get in-state after the first year so it goes down to $48k. And Texas is $33k. Also I find that the CoLs arent quite as different as they seem... not only because of rent, but because Texas doesn't include some things like medical insurance (like almost every other school) and instead says you can apply to have insurance added and your loan amount raised.


Thanks, I fixed the numbers above. That said, it doesn't change anything else in the post. Compare UT area rent to UCLA area rent. Apartments are about twice as expensive and are also smaller. Also, COL expenses like groceries, bars, movie theaters, etc in westwood and east LA are substantially higher than in Austin. To be completely honest, I think the COL estimate that LST has for UCLA is on the low end, and at TUT it's closer to the high end.

It also sounds like based on your double post that you have some personal animus against the university that clouds your judgment when evaluating an objectively superior offer. Even giving credit to your accusations, it doesn't change that both UT's employment numbers are better, and the markets in Texas are much healthier than in SoCal. All other costs equal, I think attending UT would be worth paying a little bit more, and the fact that he's paying less makes it an easy decision.

katch
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Re: UT vs. UCLA vs. Berkeley

Postby katch » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:18 am

cahwc12 wrote:
katch wrote:lol except that $120k at UCLA isnt $30k a year, its $40k. And you get in-state after the first year so it goes down to $48k. And Texas is $33k. Also I find that the CoLs arent quite as different as they seem... not only because of rent, but because Texas doesn't include some things like medical insurance (like almost every other school) and instead says you can apply to have insurance added and your loan amount raised.


Thanks, I fixed the numbers above. That said, it doesn't change anything else in the post. Compare UT area rent to UCLA area rent. Apartments are about twice as expensive and are also smaller. Also, COL expenses like groceries, bars, movie theaters, etc in westwood and east LA are substantially higher than in Austin. To be completely honest, I think the COL estimate that LST has for UCLA is on the low end, and at TUT it's closer to the high end.

It also sounds like based on your double post that you have some personal animus against the university that clouds your judgment when evaluating an objectively superior offer. Even giving credit to your accusations, it doesn't change that both UT's employment numbers are better, and the markets in Texas are much healthier than in SoCal.


Exactly the opposite. I live in the Austin area now and know exactly what CoL is. You just gave another completely dishonest representation! I searched Westwood for rents, and even the on-campus housing isn't even close to double for a comparable
apartment! You can get an apartment for $900 a month in LA that is of comparable quality to $700 in Austin. The most expensive option is the on-campus housing at $1200 (all charges included), but its freaking beautiful and brand new. You'd pay somewhere over $1000 for something of equal quality at UT.

You also ignored the rest of the numbers I provided in my post lol. UT tuition is higher than you stated and CA resident tuition is a guarantee for the second two years.

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Re: UT vs. UCLA vs. Berkeley

Postby BigZuck » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:19 am

1. LA sucks. Santa Monica does not but LA does. While I like to think that is an objectively true statement your results may vary.

2. I have just one parent who is retired and has not supported me for years and years and UCLA offered me less than 2K need based. Wouldn't count that chicken until it hatches.

3. I voted Duke. Maybe Cornell or NU if they offer you enough money.

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Re: UT vs. UCLA vs. Berkeley

Postby BigZuck » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:21 am

There are $900 a month apartments in LA? Where in LA?

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romothesavior
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Re: UT vs. UCLA vs. Berkeley

Postby romothesavior » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:26 am

This would be much easier if you would provide the estimated total cost of attendance for each school instead of making people do the math for you.

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romothesavior
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Re: UT vs. UCLA vs. Berkeley

Postby romothesavior » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:27 am

BigZuck wrote:There are $900 a month apartments in LA? Where in LA?

Yeah I also chuckled at this.

katch
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Re: UT vs. UCLA vs. Berkeley

Postby katch » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:40 am

Maybe it will help if I write out the numbers like you did:

UT Resident Tuition:
$33k/yr - $15k/yr = $18k/yr x 3 = $54k
Listed CoL: $16,700 (plus $2k for medical insurance which I will need = $18,700)

UCLA Tuition:
$54k - $40k = $14k, $48k/yr - $40k/yr = $8k x 2 = $16k + $14k = $30k
Listed CoL: $20,500

I would plan on living under that CoL at either place but even at the stated difference, $1800 x 3 = $5400 while the tuition differences amount $24k. $24k - $5400 = $18,600 in UCLA's favor.

Also, while weather/city are not factors on which you should totally base your law school decision, you could bring it in to CoL and simply say that it is very much worth it to pay higher prices in Westwood/Santa Monica/ Beverly Hills (West LA) because it DOES have better weather and location (Beach!, second largest city in America, extremely high end area). And further on my point about need-based grants: while I suppose he is right that you can't depend on them because anything can happen, the available data seem to suggest my amounts were well within the ballpark and that they've been fairly consistent.

And finally for those skeptical of the rent: http://www.zillow.com/homes/for_rent/We ... ect/13_zm/
I too used to think that it would be crazy expensive to live in LA. Until I actually went there myself and researched it.

BigZuck
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Re: UT vs. UCLA vs. Berkeley

Postby BigZuck » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:41 am

romothesavior wrote:This would be much easier if you would provide the estimated total cost of attendance for each school instead of making people do the math for you.

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jselson
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Re: UT vs. UCLA vs. Berkeley

Postby jselson » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:43 am

BigZuck wrote:There are $900 a month apartments in LA? Where in LA?


East of LA Brea, or south of Wilshire, it's easy. Not impossible in other places.

BigZuck
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Re: UT vs. UCLA vs. Berkeley

Postby BigZuck » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:47 am

WTF is that site? Have you actually clicked on any links? The third one down that says its a 2 bed/2 bath for 795 a month is actually a shared bedroom with a female. Meaning more than three people in a two bedroom. Total rent at that place is probably 2400 a month or thereabouts.

Rent in LA and Austin isn't close at all.

BigZuck
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Re: UT vs. UCLA vs. Berkeley

Postby BigZuck » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:49 am

Bottom one- 875 a month to share a two bedroom apartment with three roommates.

Dude.




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