UVA ($$) vs. Vandy ($$$)

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

If you were in my shoes, where would you go?

Vandy ($115k)
9
36%
UVA ($180k)
10
40%
Retake/Reapply
6
24%
 
Total votes: 25

godores
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UVA ($$) vs. Vandy ($$$)

Postby godores » Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:17 am

First time poster, so be gentle.

The Choices
I've narrowed my decision down to UVA and Vanderbilt. Recently, I've been leaning towards Vandy because: (1) Vandy has a substantially lower COA, (2) Vandy and UVAs clerkship numbers are remarkably similar, (3) I know a lot of rising 2Ls and 3Ls at Vandy (hello, outlines), and (4) I have a solid community built up in Nashville that I'm in no rush to leave. However, the reason I'm posting in here is because I'd love to hear any opinions you'd care to share.

Cost of Attendance
The COA (less scholarships and savings) at graduation is $115k at Vandy and $180k at UVA and will be financed exclusively via loans. For what it's worth I'm pretty debt-averse. (Edited to correct COA figures to Debt at Repayment)

Regional Preferences/Ties
I went to Vandy for undergrad and stuck around Nashville post-grad. I've been here for 6 years all told and I love this city. My ultimate goal is to be here long-term, but if Nashville is not an option then I'd like to stay in the South more broadly. However, I would also like to have the flexibility to take a detour through DC for a few years to do some government work while I'm young.

Career Goals
Long-Term: Interested in serving as a judge at either the state or federal level
Medium-Term: Practice law in Nashville (likely some sort of litigation; possible healthcare focus, given my professional experience); would love to trek out to DC to do some agency work if the opportunity arose
Post-Grad: Clerkship

DISCLAIMER - I know these are big goals

Numbers
168 (first & only score) / 3.9
Last edited by godores on Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:22 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: UVA ($$) vs. Vandy ($$$)

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:23 am

Consider retaking in June, even if it is only to try and use a higher score for leverage in trying to get more scholarship money.

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WokeUpInACar
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Re: UVA ($$) vs. Vandy ($$$)

Postby WokeUpInACar » Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:23 am

You really really really need to retake the LSAT... Just 2 more points would get you significantly more money at Vandy and UVA. Stay in Nashville for a year, work, study your ass off for the LSAT, and reapply next cycle. You are just so close to MUCH better options, don't waste that shiny beautiful GPA!

rad lulz
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Re: UVA ($$) vs. Vandy ($$$)

Postby rad lulz » Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:30 am

If you're committed to Nashville, know that the firms here are very competitive. However, Vanderbilt's the place to go if you want to stick around. That said, $175k is more than I'd go into debt by about $50k-$75k. I'd retake and see if you can get more money, especially since you have a job.

Big Dog
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Re: UVA ($$) vs. Vandy ($$$)

Postby Big Dog » Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:43 am

retake....2+ points will mean bigger money at both (and others) next fall.

godores
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Re: UVA ($$) vs. Vandy ($$$)

Postby godores » Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:39 am

Really appreciate all of the advice offered so far. I guess I should have included Retake/Re-apply in the survey. It's frustrating to think about going through this whole process again, but I certainly understand the arguments in favor.

rad lulz wrote: That said, $175k is more than I'd go into debt by about $50k-$75k. I'd retake and see if you can get more money, especially since you have a job.


rad, since you're the only one who has addressed the possibility of going this year, I wanted to clarify what you meant above. The $175k figure above comes from the Georgetown calculator, so it's not what I'd take out in loans, it's what I'd end up paying over 10 years. That figure also accounts for a 30k/year merit award and a significant chunk of cash from my savings - in that light, it sounds like you're saying you'd only take Vandy with a full tuition scholarship, is that right?

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Winston1984
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Re: UVA ($$) vs. Vandy ($$$)

Postby Winston1984 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:10 pm

Retake.

rad lulz
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Re: UVA ($$) vs. Vandy ($$$)

Postby rad lulz » Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:13 pm

godores wrote:Really appreciate all of the advice offered so far. I guess I should have included Retake/Re-apply in the survey. It's frustrating to think about going through this whole process again, but I certainly understand the arguments in favor.

rad lulz wrote: That said, $175k is more than I'd go into debt by about $50k-$75k. I'd retake and see if you can get more money, especially since you have a job.


rad, since you're the only one who has addressed the possibility of going this year, I wanted to clarify what you meant above. The $175k figure above comes from the Georgetown calculator, so it's not what I'd take out in loans, it's what I'd end up paying over 10 years. That figure also accounts for a 30k/year merit award and a significant chunk of cash from my savings - in that light, it sounds like you're saying you'd only take Vandy with a full tuition scholarship, is that right?

How much debt will you graduate with at graduation?

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jbagelboy
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Re: UVA ($$) vs. Vandy ($$$)

Postby jbagelboy » Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:19 pm

rad lulz wrote:
godores wrote:Really appreciate all of the advice offered so far. I guess I should have included Retake/Re-apply in the survey. It's frustrating to think about going through this whole process again, but I certainly understand the arguments in favor.

rad lulz wrote: That said, $175k is more than I'd go into debt by about $50k-$75k. I'd retake and see if you can get more money, especially since you have a job.


rad, since you're the only one who has addressed the possibility of going this year, I wanted to clarify what you meant above. The $175k figure above comes from the Georgetown calculator, so it's not what I'd take out in loans, it's what I'd end up paying over 10 years. That figure also accounts for a 30k/year merit award and a significant chunk of cash from my savings - in that light, it sounds like you're saying you'd only take Vandy with a full tuition scholarship, is that right?

How much debt will you graduate with at graduation?


Yea -- rarely on this site do people quote the "10 year" figure. Obviously interest blows that up. What will you owe when you graduate? I wouldn't look at that Gtown calculator 10 year total repayment when assessing your options.

You could retake. Alternatively, your Vanderbilt offer doesn't seem bad, especially since you want to remain in the area and you have ties. I'm guessing if you have $175K over 10 years, you're actually way under $100K COA.

Hutz_and_Goodman
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Re: UVA ($$) vs. Vandy ($$$)

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:21 pm

I would do neither. Either retake or T1 with full ride. These options are begging for a future where you are drowning in debt.

dixon02
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Re: UVA ($$) vs. Vandy ($$$)

Postby dixon02 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:42 pm

Re-take is even more obvious here than usual. Consider:

1) you're debt averse. I know the process of studying and taking the test and putting school off for a year seems daunting, but would you do it for a hundred thousand dollars? Because that's basically what it means. Quite possibly (maybe even likely) more.
2) You already have a job. Don't have to fret about scrambling to find something. Your resume also won't take a hit by being a Starbucks barista for a year.
3) You've only taken the LSAT once, implying you've got plenty of room for improvement.

Hit the books now, take the test again in June (or October if you don't think you can get ready in time). Be prepared to send your apps out on the first day possible (either when apps open up or when you get the October score back). You hit 171+ and apply in the first week, and you'll have some dynamite options.

godores
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Re: UVA ($$) vs. Vandy ($$$)

Postby godores » Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:18 pm

rad lulz wrote: How much debt will you graduate with at graduation?


$115k in debt at graduation. Wasn't sure which figure to reference - sorry for the confusion.

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MyNameIsFlynn!
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Re: UVA ($$) vs. Vandy ($$$)

Postby MyNameIsFlynn! » Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:37 pm

How much is your scholarship at Vandy?

For all the posters who are suggesting retake for more Vandy $, keep in mind that Vandy doesn't offer schollies above $110 unless you get an (endowed) full ride, which I bet are all awarded at this point

godores
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Re: UVA ($$) vs. Vandy ($$$)

Postby godores » Thu Apr 25, 2013 5:51 pm

MyNameIsFlynn! wrote:How much is your scholarship at Vandy?


I think that's an important point. My offer right now is $90k in total. I asked FinAid if they could reconsider in light of my $60k award from UVA, but they told me that they won't be able to help me out.

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JamesDean1955
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Re: UVA ($$) vs. Vandy ($$$)

Postby JamesDean1955 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:05 pm

TCR whenever you have a 3.9+ GPA and didn't get a sub-160 LSAT your first try is to retake that bitch until you get HYS or a full ride at any non-GeorgeTTTown T14, depending on your career goals and debt aversion.

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FKASunny
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Re: UVA ($$) vs. Vandy ($$$)

Postby FKASunny » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:09 pm

While a 168 isn't anything to be ashamed of, I'm going to echo the sentiments here and urge you to retake. A 3.9 GPA is something you shouldn't waste. Retake and either go to UVA for close to free or HYS.

ETA: How much did you study for your one and only LSAT administration? Do you feel like you could have done better? If you think you'll be able to bring it up into the 170+ range by June, seriously consider retaking it then so that you can make a fully informed decision before August.

godores
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Re: UVA ($$) vs. Vandy ($$$)

Postby godores » Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:08 pm

ლ(ಠ益ಠლ) wrote:While a 168 isn't anything to be ashamed of, I'm going to echo the sentiments here and urge you to retake. A 3.9 GPA is something you shouldn't waste. Retake and either go to UVA for close to free or HYS.


JamesDean1955 wrote:TCR whenever you have a 3.9+ GPA and didn't get a sub-160 LSAT your first try is to retake that bitch until you get HYS or a full ride at any non-GeorgeTTTown T14, depending on your career goals and debt aversion.


I think I've always felt I could / should have done better on the test and this thread has been super helpful in helping me to see retaking as a viable option. The wise Leo McGarry once said: "you've gotta reject the premise of the question." Thanks for helping me do that.

ლ(ಠ益ಠლ) wrote: ETA: How much did you study for your one and only LSAT administration? Do you feel like you could have done better? If you think you'll be able to bring it up into the 170+ range by June, seriously consider retaking it then so that you can make a fully informed decision before August.


I'm in consulting and studied for the test while working, so between the travel and the late nights I didn't study nearly as much or as effectively as I could have. June administration is not an option due to some huge work obligations the week of the test. However, I'm now considering taking a leave of absence from July-October to dedicate more time and energy to studying for the test in October and reapplying. Suffice it to say, y'all have caught my attention.

rad lulz
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Re: UVA ($$) vs. Vandy ($$$)

Postby rad lulz » Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:22 pm

If you're 100% set on Nashville, going to Vanderbilt now wouldn't be a terrible idea. That award is I think the most they give out without getting a full ride, and those are really competitive.

However, if you have major market aspirations, I'd retake. Law school ain't going anywhere




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