Retake, CC, or GULC?

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txdude45
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Retake, CC, or GULC?

Postby txdude45 » Sun Apr 14, 2013 4:53 pm

TL;DR: 3.2, 167, AAm. Columbia, Chicago w/ $, GULC w/$$$, or retake?

So the game changed a little bit. My parents are almost sold on contributing $20k/yr towards school and GULC upped my offer to $93k. This would make my total debt for CoA (using GULCs calculator):

Columbia-$224,470
Chicago-$171,190 (~$153,000 assuming I stay at a family member's apartment and they charge me ~half rent: $500/m)
Georgetown-$75k

At these prices, its hard not to think "take GULC", even though I'm not stoked about it. I could still get pulled of Harvard's wait list, in which case, I'd just go. If I don't, I'm at GULC and maybe I do well enough to transfer to where I'd rather be (HYS), maybe I don't, but I graduate with under $100k debt. What would you guys do in this situation?
Last edited by txdude45 on Fri Apr 19, 2013 5:21 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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WokeUpInACar
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Re: Retake, CC, or GULC?

Postby WokeUpInACar » Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:00 pm

I don't think you really got lucky this cycle as these options are pretty much what I'd expect from someone with your credentials. Also that is honestly VERY minimal LSAT prep compared to many people here have done. You should EASILY be able to break 170, and attend either HYS or CCN with way more money. Breaking 170 begins to put you around or above these schools' LSAT medians, which is huge for a URM.

BigZuck
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Re: Retake, CC, or GULC?

Postby BigZuck » Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:13 pm

I would deposit at Chicago, retake June and see what happens. Although I really have no idea how much 170+ helps at HYS with your URM status/credentials.

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sinfiery
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Re: Retake, CC, or GULC?

Postby sinfiery » Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:18 pm

If you can break median for LSAT, I think you see a substantial increase in scholarship/acceptance chance from that school so a 170+ would have a substantial effect.*


*I don't really know much about URM cycles



Based on the way you studied the first time around, you should have no trouble breaking a 170 if you prep much more intently this time around.

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WokeUpInACar
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Re: Retake, CC, or GULC?

Postby WokeUpInACar » Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:20 pm

I actually just assumed given how well reverse splitters tend to do, that he'd be in a great spot as a high LSAT splitter, but I just looked at the last few splitter cycles for URMs (there really are VERY few data points for this btw) and was shocked at how poorly the people generally did. I'd bet OP has better softs than almost all of them though, and drawing conclusions from the results of ~15-20 people over a few years is pretty dangerous.

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txdude45
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Re: Retake, CC, or GULC?

Postby txdude45 » Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:00 pm

WokeUpInACar wrote:I actually just assumed given how well reverse splitters tend to do, that he'd be in a great spot as a high LSAT splitter, but I just looked at the last few splitter cycles for URMs (there really are VERY few data points for this btw) and was shocked at how poorly the people generally did. I'd bet OP has better softs than almost all of them though, and drawing conclusions from the results of ~15-20 people over a few years is pretty dangerous.


This is what I'm afraid of. I'm not very debt averse, but I'm very risk averse and my nightmare case scenario is take some NYC paralegal job, retake, get lower, reapply with an upswing in apps and end up at a worse school than I have now. I have some things going for me which seem to provide a floor of sorts, but the uncertainty of the retake angle scares the hell out of me. Harvard is where I wanna be for a host of reasons, but the bird in hand is tempting.

BigZuck
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Re: Retake, CC, or GULC?

Postby BigZuck » Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:11 pm

txdude45 wrote:
WokeUpInACar wrote:I actually just assumed given how well reverse splitters tend to do, that he'd be in a great spot as a high LSAT splitter, but I just looked at the last few splitter cycles for URMs (there really are VERY few data points for this btw) and was shocked at how poorly the people generally did. I'd bet OP has better softs than almost all of them though, and drawing conclusions from the results of ~15-20 people over a few years is pretty dangerous.


This is what I'm afraid of. I'm not very debt averse, but I'm very risk averse and my nightmare case scenario is take some NYC paralegal job, retake, get lower, reapply with an upswing in apps and end up at a worse school than I have now. I have some things going for me which seem to provide a floor of sorts, but the uncertainty of the retake angle scares the hell out of me. Harvard is where I wanna be for a host of reasons, but the bird in hand is tempting.


Chicago with 30K plus COL savings is pretty great especially of you're not debt averse. I don't see any downside to depositing there and retaking June and seeing what happens.

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WokeUpInACar
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Re: Retake, CC, or GULC?

Postby WokeUpInACar » Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:17 pm

BigZuck wrote:
txdude45 wrote:
WokeUpInACar wrote:I actually just assumed given how well reverse splitters tend to do, that he'd be in a great spot as a high LSAT splitter, but I just looked at the last few splitter cycles for URMs (there really are VERY few data points for this btw) and was shocked at how poorly the people generally did. I'd bet OP has better softs than almost all of them though, and drawing conclusions from the results of ~15-20 people over a few years is pretty dangerous.


This is what I'm afraid of. I'm not very debt averse, but I'm very risk averse and my nightmare case scenario is take some NYC paralegal job, retake, get lower, reapply with an upswing in apps and end up at a worse school than I have now. I have some things going for me which seem to provide a floor of sorts, but the uncertainty of the retake angle scares the hell out of me. Harvard is where I wanna be for a host of reasons, but the bird in hand is tempting.


Chicago with 30K plus COL savings is pretty great especially of you're not debt averse. I don't see any downside to depositing there and retaking June and seeing what happens.

Yeah I agree with this. You could get off the Harvard WL after an improvement on the June test as well.

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thelawyler
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Re: Retake, CC, or GULC?

Postby thelawyler » Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:27 pm

BigZuck wrote:I would deposit at Chicago, retake June and see what happens. Although I really have no idea how much 170+ helps at HYS with your URM status/credentials.


If you do well, reapply/renegotiate and enjoy huge scholarships.

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dawyzest1
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Re: Retake, CC, or GULC?

Postby dawyzest1 » Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:35 pm

I'd deposit at Chicago and ride that Harvard WL. I don't think a retake is key, because your LSAT is not keeping you out of your choice schools. That 167 for an AAm is a solid score (H/S range and possibly Y) and I know you know that even .3 more on your GPA would have you in at a number of other places.

That said, if you retest above anyone's median, then that might, just might, change the conversation.

As it stands, I think you have a good shot of getting in at H from the WL. If you went to P your chances are REALLY good (a 3.2 at P has to be equal to a 3.5 at least at H/Y). Did JS/KB tip their hand at all in their questioning about what they might see as a weak spot in your app?

Either way, 30k at Chicago (which maybe you can negotiate up a little bit?) with limited COL is not a bad outcome at all.

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sinfiery
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Re: Retake, CC, or GULC?

Postby sinfiery » Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:37 pm

dawyzest1 wrote:That said, if you retest above anyone's median, then that might, just might, change the conversation.


Considering how OP studied, this seems to be a real possibility. At the very least, deposit and retake in June.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Retake, CC, or GULC?

Postby jbagelboy » Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:56 pm

txdude45 wrote:
WokeUpInACar wrote:I actually just assumed given how well reverse splitters tend to do, that he'd be in a great spot as a high LSAT splitter, but I just looked at the last few splitter cycles for URMs (there really are VERY few data points for this btw) and was shocked at how poorly the people generally did. I'd bet OP has better softs than almost all of them though, and drawing conclusions from the results of ~15-20 people over a few years is pretty dangerous.


This is what I'm afraid of. I'm not very debt averse, but I'm very risk averse and my nightmare case scenario is take some NYC paralegal job, retake, get lower, reapply with an upswing in apps and end up at a worse school than I have now. I have some things going for me which seem to provide a floor of sorts, but the uncertainty of the retake angle scares the hell out of me. Harvard is where I wanna be for a host of reasons, but the bird in hand is tempting.


My theory on URM splitter cycles is the following: Affirmative action functions on the often accurate and occasionally flawed assumption that certain structural inequities have prevented/obstructed URMs ability to make a 99th percentile lsat (since at those percentiles the exam is about access to prep resources/time to kill and not intellect). If OP studies and goes from 167 - 170+, that may not help since it would only show he/she had access to said resources.

I think you do stand a non-negligible chance at Harvard. Also chicago seems like an amazing choice for you right now that might not present itself in another cycle. I say go for it but dont give up on Harvard. Unless columbia gives you huge money it wont make up for the CoL difference. And you dont seem really syked up to work next year and reapply..

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txdude45
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Re: Retake, CC, or GULC?

Postby txdude45 » Sun Apr 14, 2013 9:33 pm

I really prefer Columbia to Chicago. I'm pretty bias against their reputation for being really throat-cutty and super academic. I feel Columbia would be more laid back, but that may be a pretty dumb distinction given the difference in debt load.

Also, I'm not against working. I have a couple contacts in V15 firms I may be able to do paralegal work with, I'm just worried my results could change for the worse.

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WokeUpInACar
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Re: Retake, CC, or GULC?

Postby WokeUpInACar » Sun Apr 14, 2013 9:43 pm

txdude45 wrote:I really prefer Columbia to Chicago. I'm pretty bias against their reputation for being really throat-cutty and super academic. I feel Columbia would be more laid back, but that may be a pretty dumb distinction given the difference in debt load.

Also, I'm not against working. I have a couple contacts in V15 firms I may be able to do paralegal work with, I'm just worried my results could change for the worse.

I just cannot fathom that occurring man. You undoubtedly have the potential to do much better on the LSAT, and good work experience will improve your application even more. PLUS you can actually work in one of these offices to make sure this is what you want to do with your life while making yourself more attractive to future employers. AND you will appreciate the relative freedom of law school so much more after a year or two in the workplace. Almost everyone on these boards that has done K-JD advises people to get out and work before law school.

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Re: Retake, CC, or GULC?

Postby PRgradBYU » Sun Apr 14, 2013 9:53 pm

dawyzest1 wrote:Either way, 30k at Chicago (which maybe you can negotiate up a little bit?) with limited COL is not a bad outcome at all.


Ditto, although it sounds like you're not too fond of UChi's vibe... I know how frustrating retaking can be (and to be honest, you've already got a pretty impressive LSAT score), so I'm hesitant to say "RETAKE!" but it could only help you.

That being said... if it were me, I'd take UChi and run, while riding out H's WL. Either way, you've got some great choices, bro.

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sinfiery
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Re: Retake, CC, or GULC?

Postby sinfiery » Sun Apr 14, 2013 9:54 pm

Deposit and ride WLs, retake in June, reassess if you will attend this year or next with new score.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Retake, CC, or GULC?

Postby Doorkeeper » Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:00 pm

It's your GPA, not your LSAT, that's holding you back from HYS. You can't really change that unless you're still in school and you expect your GPA to really increase during your senior year from the time that you applied.

This being said, Chicago + $30k Scholarship + $0 COL doesn't sound too bad to me. What is that, like $130-150k COA? That sounds great to me.

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txdude45
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Re: Retake, CC, or GULC?

Postby txdude45 » Fri Apr 19, 2013 5:22 pm

Bump.

Changed the OP to reflect new info.

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Tekrul
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Re: Retake, CC, or GULC?

Postby Tekrul » Fri Apr 19, 2013 5:30 pm

Is the only reason you prefer Columbia to Chicago the student body characteristic? There will be all types at all schools. Unless you have more substantive reasons involving a particular clinic, faculty member, use of NYU's PI career fair, etc. there really shouldn't be anything that splits the two schools except money.

Chicago seems like the best deal you have going on. The huge discount on GULC still doesn't justify the school, imo. Staying with family in the area, too. It seems like the stars have aligned a certain way but you are resisting it. I'm curious to know why you have such a gut instinct towards Columbia? You should make it known here if you want complete and relevant feedback from the community.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Retake, CC, or GULC?

Postby Doorkeeper » Fri Apr 19, 2013 5:41 pm

I would do Chicago here.

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txdude45
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Re: Retake, CC, or GULC?

Postby txdude45 » Fri Apr 19, 2013 5:54 pm

Tekrul wrote:Is the only reason you prefer Columbia to Chicago the student body characteristic? There will be all types at all schools. Unless you have more substantive reasons involving a particular clinic, faculty member, use of NYU's PI career fair, etc. there really shouldn't be anything that splits the two schools except money.

Chicago seems like the best deal you have going on. The huge discount on GULC still doesn't justify the school, imo. Staying with family in the area, too. It seems like the stars have aligned a certain way but you are resisting it. I'm curious to know why you have such a gut instinct towards Columbia? You should make it known here if you want complete and relevant feedback from the community.


There are 3 other factors I guess:
1) My gf has 2 years left at our UG and I'd rather stay close to NY/NE
2) I love my extended family in Chicago, but they're very... involved. I'm concerned that living walking/driving distance from them may just be too much.
3) Most of my college friends will be in Manhattan. This includes my best friend since high school who goes will be starting a MPH at Columbia in the fall.

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Tekrul
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Re: Retake, CC, or GULC?

Postby Tekrul » Fri Apr 19, 2013 6:09 pm

Considering the emotional value of staying in NYC, I am beginning to come around on the idea of Columbia.

If you think that staying with your close family in Chicago, as they are 'involved', will have a negative impact on your mental condition, then you can consider COL back up to Chicago premium. If it ends up being the case that you cannot cultivate an appropriate student lifestyle around them, you are going to have to find your own place.

On top of a possibility that you might, in fact, by paying full COL at Chicago, if you find the relationship between your gf and yourself something you want to continue, it is emotionally obvious that Columbia will make your life easier. Going through messy long distance, a possible crisis, discontent, etc. will negatively affect your performance. I think you should have a serious conversation with your gf about the challenges of you moving to Chicago and if you guys are ready for that. Then you have to make your own choice, in full.

I don't consider your third point all that important. You will not have much time for your college friends and I can see their proximity becoming a problem, even. You need to make new friends who are taking the same classes as you. By being so close to my hometown at my UG, I can truthfully say that I graduated with less than 5 UG friends. I was always hanging out with my 'boys' that I never branched out. I became a fringe student and I have almost no memories of my alma mater at all. I just found out they do this yearly thing called Bachannal. I graduated a year ago, never been to one, never knew about it, and now will never have one.

Pending the conversation with your gf and the analysis of how life will be living with your relatives in Chicago (which only you can properly estimate), I am still tentatively leaning towards Chicago. If however, either of those 2 points are not favorable towards you going to Chicago, I would accept the higher $$$ cost at Columbia and enjoy the lower cost of 'everything else'.

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twenty
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Re: Retake, CC, or GULC?

Postby twenty » Fri Apr 19, 2013 6:22 pm

Columbia. You're royally screwed if you miss the Chicago boat, and you're totally, irreparably royally screwed if you miss the Columbia boat.

GULC is basically a glorified regional -- if you don't have ties to DC, or have an "in" with an organization there, only go for COA expenses (i.e, 150k scholarship)

The good news is, if you decide to go for the PI route, both Columbia and Chicago's LRAPs are pretty solid. There is a distinct possibility you end up paying a significantly smaller amount of your loans.

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Clearly
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Re: Retake, CC, or GULC?

Postby Clearly » Fri Apr 19, 2013 6:36 pm

I would scratch GULC off right now, savings is great, but not worth it when you look at the job data. Chi/Columbia or Retake.

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dawyzest1
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Re: Retake, CC, or GULC?

Postby dawyzest1 » Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:55 am

I'm still 100% on Chicago. From a NPV perspective, the 3% increase in chance of an optimal outcome (biglaw/fed clerkship) is not worth the $50k price premium you'd pay to go to Columbia. If you can swing living with your people, the choice becomes even clearer.

I don't think GULC should be dismissed out of hand because you are basically only paying the COL there, with your parents' support. The only way GULC is easily tossed aside is if you are biglaw or bust.

In other news, I think you've got to make the best choice for you, independent of GF. If your relationship is meant to be, it can survive the distance for a period of time while you set yourself up for your life/career. If you want to double-down on it and stay near her, just be aware that you're paying quite a bit for it.

Either way, Chicago.

or H off the waitlist, don't lose hope.




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