Duke ($) v Northwestern ($) v Minnesota ($$$)

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cassif
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Duke ($) v Northwestern ($) v Minnesota ($$$)

Postby cassif » Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:28 am

Applied very late in the cycle (literally at deadline) all over the place. Admitted at Duke, Northwestern, GW, and with free tuition at Minnesota. Waitlisted at Penn and UVA. Still waiting on financial aid decisions from D/N/GW (and any decision from a half-dozen other schools, but given the waitlists at P/V I'm assuming anything higher up the list is a no and anything lower I probably don't care about).

Stats are in profile, goals are vague and uncertain at present. Federal clerkship appeals, but I waffle between biglaw or government/PI. The latter sounds a lot more interesting, but obviously biglaw has serious financial advantages and there's a prestige aspect that's hard to ignore, too. Ties are in NY, I've worked at a firm here for 4 years and would probably like to come back ideally, but am somewhat flexible about market. I have some savings but not a ton, I'm looking at loans to pay for anything they don't hand me free. Parental assistance possible in an emergency but barring some disaster I should be handling this on my own.

Obviously I can't really make a decision until I know what if anything Duke and Northwestern might be offering aid-wise (which fingers crossed I'll know soon), so I guess this is a general question: what would I need to get from them to make turning down $140k from Minnesota the smarter choice? Lots? Nothing? Between Duke and Northwestern is there any serious difference I should be considering besides CoL?

ETA: I've finally heard back from Duke and Northwestern. $18k/y at Duke and $15k/y from NU. With the higher tuition and cost of living at NU I think that probably drops them out, but if this changes anybody's mind I'd be curious to hear it.
Last edited by cassif on Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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untar614
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Re: Duke/Northwestern (?) v Minnesota (free tuition)

Postby untar614 » Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:54 am

Really comes down to CoA differences. Your still paying CoL at Minn, correct? So that'll still be a decent amount of debt - can you tell us how much? I have no idea what things cost there. Given your goals, NW/Duke seem to be better even if they will cost more. Wouldn't pay sticker unless you are dead set on those harder-to-get outcomes. Between the two, the difference is minimal, so go with the cheaper one. If they are exactly the same cost, I guess if you want NYC biglaw, I'd lean Duke.

But yeah, wait til finaid offers come,

cassif
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Re: Duke/Northwestern (?) v Minnesota (free tuition)

Postby cassif » Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:01 am

Yeah, I'd still have to pay CoL. I think Minn's estimate was that I'd still be taking out around $60k in loans.

So assuming I get $0 from NW and Duke (I'm hopeful that won't be the case, but since I don't know yet sticker's what I have to go on) I'm looking at:

Northwestern: $291,900
Duke: $252,727
Minnesota: ~$60,000

GMGP
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Re: Duke/Northwestern (?) v Minnesota (free tuition)

Postby GMGP » Wed Apr 10, 2013 5:41 pm

In all these conversations about T-14 at sticker v. T-30 at full, I always recommend thinking about it this way: your difference in tuition is one full year of biglaw salary. Are you willing to spend one year of salary for a better chance at future earning? For me the answer was yes. For people going into PI/gov or who know with certainty they can make it in the top 20% of their T-30 school (or probably 10% more realistically), that year of salary isn't worth it. For the rest of us, we need that security.

Duke or NW. I'd lean towards Duke for CoA and QoL, but employment numbers are similar from both (although PI from Duke is better)

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Rahviveh
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Re: Duke/Northwestern (?) v Minnesota (free tuition)

Postby Rahviveh » Wed Apr 10, 2013 5:49 pm

GMGP wrote:In all these conversations about T-14 at sticker v. T-30 at full, I always recommend thinking about it this way: your difference in tuition is one full year of biglaw salary. Are you willing to spend one year of salary for a better chance at future earning? For me the answer was yes. For people going into PI/gov or who know with certainty they can make it in the top 20% of their T-30 school (or probably 10% more realistically), that year of salary isn't worth it. For the rest of us, we need that security.

Duke or NW. I'd lean towards Duke for CoA and QoL, but employment numbers are similar from both (although PI from Duke is better)


That's a misleading way to look at it. The difference is 3-4 years of repayment working in a high-stress, long-hours environment.

Of course I agree you double (perhaps triple) your chances at increased earning power, but its important to be honest with yourself about the consequences.

Having said that I would choose NW

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Nelson
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Re: Duke/Northwestern (?) v Minnesota (free tuition)

Postby Nelson » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:06 pm

Why did you apply so late? With your GPA, probably better to retake, wait until next year, and if you must pay sticker, do so at NYU or Columbia.

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UVAIce
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Re: Duke/Northwestern (?) v Minnesota (free tuition)

Postby UVAIce » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:15 pm

cassif wrote:Applied very late in the cycle (literally at deadline) all over the place. Admitted at Duke, Northwestern, GW, and with free tuition at Minnesota. Waitlisted at Penn and UVA. Still waiting on financial aid decisions from D/N/GW (and any decision from a half-dozen other schools, but given the waitlists at P/V I'm assuming anything higher up the list is a no and anything lower I probably don't care about).

Stats are in profile, goals are vague and uncertain at present. Federal clerkship appeals, but I waffle between biglaw or government/PI. The latter sounds a lot more interesting, but obviously biglaw has serious financial advantages and there's a prestige aspect that's hard to ignore, too. Ties are in NY, I've worked at a firm here for 4 years and would probably like to come back ideally, but am somewhat flexible about market. I have some savings but not a ton, I'm looking at loans to pay for anything they don't hand me free. Parental assistance possible in an emergency but barring some disaster I should be handling this on my own.

Obviously I can't really make a decision until I know what if anything Duke and Northwestern might be offering aid-wise (which fingers crossed I'll know soon), so I guess this is a general question: what would I need to get from them to make turning down $147k from Minnesota the smarter choice? Lots? Nothing? Between Duke and Northwestern is there any serious difference I should be considering besides CoL?


You will struggle to get back to NY from the University of Minnesota. Even if you go to the University of Minnesota you might have a tough time getting jobs in the state without any kind of ties. Free is great, but do you want to live in Minnesota or not? I say this all as a Minnesotan who went to school out of state.

I would take a hard look between Northwestern and Duke and probably pick Duke. You can certainly get back to NY from there, they have some kind of an LRAP program (I hope), but sticker is still a lot to swallow.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Duke/Northwestern (?) v Minnesota (free tuition)

Postby Doorkeeper » Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:56 pm

I'd take any T14 with 50-60k or more in your shoes imo.

Otherwise retake and reapply next year.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Duke/Northwestern (?) v Minnesota (free tuition)

Postby jbagelboy » Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:13 pm

Minnesota is a fantastic deal if you want to practice in the twin cities. They are the big fish in that pond and you will do great and be close to debt free.

They send about 10-15 people to new york each year, and my bet is those are a few of the top people in the class or those that have strong ties. You seem to have strong ties so its not impossible. Here's what I'd do. Talk to people at the firm you're at now and ask them whether they or peers they are connected to would hire you with your JD from minnesota. if yes, go to minnesota and enjoy being nearly debt free. If your own ties in NY are pessimistic about hiring a minnesota grad, than you can bet people you have no contact with won't be leaping for it either

Hutz_and_Goodman
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Re: Duke/Northwestern (?) v Minnesota (free tuition)

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:18 pm

I would ask UMN for employment data for full ride recipients and decide based on that. I wouldn't go to either Duke/northwestern with that insane debt load. TCR is UMN or retake.

Edit: if either gives you $75k or more it might be worth considering.

GMGP
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Re: Duke/Northwestern (?) v Minnesota (free tuition)

Postby GMGP » Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:45 pm

Duke gave me money and I was below both medians. If you can get COA under 180k might be worth it (that averages out to maybe 2 years of paying off debt if you live frugally). Honestly, the advice I give is do everything short of knocking on the dean of admissions door to ask for more $$.

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rickgrimes69
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Re: Duke/Northwestern (?) v Minnesota (free tuition)

Postby rickgrimes69 » Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:45 am

Duke and NU aren't worth sticker, so if they don't offer you anything, do UMN. However, their placement stats have been really suffering recently, and I'm skeptical that you could bring it back to NYC (although your ties will go a long way). Ask yourself which is a bigger risk to you: striking out of Biglaw and getting debtpwned from Duke / NU, or getting stuck in MN?

cassif
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Re: Duke ($) v Northwestern ($) v Minnesota ($$$)

Postby cassif » Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:57 am

So I've finally heard back from Duke and Northwestern: Duke is offering $54k and Northwestern $45k (both total, not per year). Any other votes based on that?

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untar614
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Re: Duke ($) v Northwestern ($) v Minnesota ($$$)

Postby untar614 » Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:08 pm

cassif wrote:So I've finally heard back from Duke and Northwestern: Duke is offering $54k and Northwestern $45k (both total, not per year). Any other votes based on that?

See if NW will come over the top of that Duke offer. If not, go to Duke, but only if ur cool knowing u'll need that biglaw salary to pay off the debt.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Duke ($) v Northwestern ($) v Minnesota ($$$)

Postby Doorkeeper » Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:09 pm

cassif wrote:So I've finally heard back from Duke and Northwestern: Duke is offering $54k and Northwestern $45k (both total, not per year). Any other votes based on that?

Have a good time at Duke!

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jbagelboy
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Re: Duke ($) v Northwestern ($) v Minnesota ($$$)

Postby jbagelboy » Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:14 pm

cassif wrote:So I've finally heard back from Duke and Northwestern: Duke is offering $54k and Northwestern $45k (both total, not per year). Any other votes based on that?


Duke.

good game & major congrats!

dissonance1848
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Re: Duke ($) v Northwestern ($) v Minnesota ($$$)

Postby dissonance1848 » Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:20 pm

I am not so sure if OP should just take Duke or NU for around 50k, since they applied so late...

Hmmm...., any thoughts on OP retaking and reapplying? What their scholly might go up to?

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Cobretti
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Re: Duke ($) v Northwestern ($) v Minnesota ($$$)

Postby Cobretti » Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:42 pm

untar614 wrote:
cassif wrote:So I've finally heard back from Duke and Northwestern: Duke is offering $54k and Northwestern $45k (both total, not per year). Any other votes based on that?

See if NW will come over the top of that Duke offer. If not, go to Duke, but only if ur cool knowing u'll need that biglaw salary to pay off the debt.




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