SMU (63k COA) vs. University of Colorado (35k COA)

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tripn324
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SMU (63k COA) vs. University of Colorado (35k COA)

Postby tripn324 » Tue May 07, 2013 9:17 pm

I am from Texas, but I have friends that live in Colorado. My scholarship to SMU is 23k/yr, and my scholarship to Colorado is full ride my first year with 12k/yr for my 2L and 3L years. My main worry with Colorado is that the job market is worse in Colorado than it is in Texas. Is there much truth to that?

grandmastafunkz
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Re: SMU (63k COA) vs. University of Colorado (35k COA)

Postby grandmastafunkz » Tue May 07, 2013 9:23 pm

I can't completely answer your question, but hopefully it helps aid this discussion. I have a friend who is a 1L at Colorado and he was able to secure a summer job for this summer. Obviously it doesn't go much to talk about the state of the market within Colorado, but it does help to know that he does have something for this summer. I believe that he will be working in Boulder and I am not sure what exactly he is doing.

I know that it didn't answer the question, but I figured it would be worth posting.

I also feel like it is like any other school with similar stature. It has good stats and rep throughout the state, but doesn't extend too far outside of its borders. If you're ok with living in Colorado, then in my opinion it is not a bad choice. If you're more set on Texas and the Dallas area, then go with SMU. If those are the true COA numbers, ie (tuition with interest, COL, and other expenses) then I'd say it's really a matter of preference.

tripn324
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Re: SMU (63k COA) vs. University of Colorado (35k COA)

Postby tripn324 » Tue May 07, 2013 9:41 pm

Thanks for your reply. To clarify a few things, the COA that I put is actually the cost of tuition over 3 years. I do not know my true COA because I do not know living costs yet and there are a few things that are still unsure. Colorado offered me this scholarship last week after I had paid my initial deposit to SMU about a month ago. I have been to Colorado about 3-4 times, and my girlfriend's family is from there (she can move back if I go there) and I have a couple of good friends that will be living there. I could see myself living there, but I do not want to be prevented from ever coming back to live in Texas. I do not think this will be a huge problem for me though, since I have pretty decent legal connections in Houston. Like I said though, the main hurdle that I am having trouble getting over with Colorado in my mind is that I do not see the employment statistics really reflecting its top 50 rating like I do with SMU. I would love to go save $30-$35k in Colorado, but not if it means making $20k less/yr in starting salary or even worse, not being able to find a decent job.

grandmastafunkz
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Re: SMU (63k COA) vs. University of Colorado (35k COA)

Postby grandmastafunkz » Tue May 07, 2013 9:46 pm

That's definitely a tough predicament to be in. Less debt vs better job prospects. Perhaps the best thing to do would be to reach out to some Colorado students and gage their thoughts on job prospects and the ability to work in a different market (though somewhat nearby). I would be willing to ask my friend their thoughts on the situation if you'd like. It obviously doesn't go to show much, but he actually chose Colorado over SMU, so perhaps it would be worth asking...?

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sinfiery
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Re: SMU (63k COA) vs. University of Colorado (35k COA)

Postby sinfiery » Tue May 07, 2013 9:50 pm

Where do you want to work/ what in law do you want to do?

tripn324
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Re: SMU (63k COA) vs. University of Colorado (35k COA)

Postby tripn324 » Tue May 07, 2013 9:50 pm

Yes, that would definitely be helpful. Thank you!

tripn324
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Re: SMU (63k COA) vs. University of Colorado (35k COA)

Postby tripn324 » Tue May 07, 2013 9:54 pm

I could see myself being happy in Denver or Dallas/Houston, with a slight edge towards Texas simply because I have never lived out of the state. My dad is a founding partner of a medium sized law firm in Houston though, so I am pretty sure I have a safety net if I really want to get back to Texas in the future. I want to practice civil litigation of some sort or perhaps intellectual property, contracts, or something along those lines.

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untar614
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Re: SMU (63k COA) vs. University of Colorado (35k COA)

Postby untar614 » Tue May 07, 2013 9:55 pm

Unless you have someone to live with for free at either place and are borrowing money without interest, I think your COAs are off.

PRgradBYU
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Re: SMU (63k COA) vs. University of Colorado (35k COA)

Postby PRgradBYU » Tue May 07, 2013 10:03 pm

untar614 wrote:Unless you have someone to live with for free at either place and are borrowing money without interest, I think your COAs are off.


Agreed. Would you mind walking us through your COA process and telling us how you arrived at those numbers?

tripn324 wrote:I am from Texas, but I have friends that live in Colorado. My scholarship to SMU is 23k/yr, and my scholarship to Colorado is full ride my first year with 12k/yr for my 2L and 3L years. My main worry with Colorado is that the job market is worse in Colorado than it is in Texas. Is there much truth to that?


FWIW, if you have ties to Texas (and it sounds like you do), SMU has surprisingly good employment rates for a school of its ranking.

tripn324
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Re: SMU (63k COT) vs. University of Colorado (35k COT)

Postby tripn324 » Tue May 07, 2013 10:09 pm

Yes, sorry about that. Those are my estimated costs of 3 year tuition based on 23k/yr scholarship from SMU and full scholarship 1L and 12k/yr scholarship 2L and 3L from Colorado. My 3-year tuition plus est. living expenses for SMU is ~$109,500 and for Colorado is ~$71,000.

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smustang
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Re: SMU (63k COA) vs. University of Colorado (35k COA)

Postby smustang » Tue May 07, 2013 10:14 pm

The Georgetown calculator http://www.law.georgetown.edu/admissions-financial-aid/office-of-financial-aid/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&pageid=61621 puts your COA at SMU at $163,760 including your scholarship. You said that some things are still unsure, so even assuming that those things become sure and mitigate some of your cost, you're still looking at an astronomically high price for SMU, and this is coming from someone who went there for undergrad and is going back for law school. SMU, in my opinion, is only worth if you're dead set on staying in the DFW area/North Texas and have an extremely discounted price. Assuming those two things, it's a fantastic choice. Not assuming those two things, I would be much more cautious. The COA at Colorado is, once again in my humble 0L opinion, much more manageable at $71,745 http://www.law.georgetown.edu/admissions-financial-aid/office-of-financial-aid/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&pageid=61621 (I used each school's respective cost estimates coupled with your scholly offers). That being said, without ties to Colorado aside from friends it could prove to be rather challenging for job prospects. In short, I think that if you'd like to stay around Dallas, SMU is awesome and probably the better option in general, but that's really expensive. Colorado is substantially cheaper, but there's a not an unsubstantial chance that you end up with the same career prospects/less debt if you just moved to Breckinridge and worked at a ski resort. I despise the TLS chorus of retake and sit out a cycle, but there's a large possible downside to both of your options that warrants serious thought. Sorry if that was Debby Downer-ish :?

tripn324
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Re: SMU (63k COA) vs. University of Colorado (35k COA)

Postby tripn324 » Tue May 07, 2013 10:24 pm

smustang wrote:The Georgetown calculator http://www.law.georgetown.edu/admissions-financial-aid/office-of-financial-aid/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&pageid=61621 puts your COA at SMU at $163,760 including your scholarship. You said that some things are still unsure, so even assuming that those things become sure and mitigate some of your cost, you're still looking at an astronomically high price for SMU, and this is coming from someone who went there for undergrad and is going back for law school. SMU, in my opinion, is only worth if you're dead set on staying in the DFW area/North Texas and have an extremely discounted price. Assuming those two things, it's a fantastic choice. Not assuming those two things, I would be much more cautious. The COA at Colorado is, once again in my humble 0L opinion, much more manageable at $71,745 http://www.law.georgetown.edu/admissions-financial-aid/office-of-financial-aid/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&pageid=61621 (I used each school's respective cost estimates coupled with your scholly offers). That being said, without ties to Colorado aside from friends it could prove to be rather challenging for job prospects. In short, I think that if you'd like to stay around Dallas, SMU is awesome and probably the better option in general, but that's really expensive. Colorado is substantially cheaper, but there's a not an unsubstantial chance that you end up with the same career prospects/less debt if you just moved to Breckinridge and worked at a ski resort. I despise the TLS chorus of retake and sit out a cycle, but there's a large possible downside to both of your options that warrants serious thought. Sorry if that was Debby Downer-ish :?


Can you explain how only a $30k-$35k difference in tuition over 3 years amounts to a $92k difference in COA? I know Dallas is expensive, but I thought the cost of living was pretty comparable there to Boulder.

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smustang
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Re: SMU (63k COA) vs. University of Colorado (35k COA)

Postby smustang » Tue May 07, 2013 10:34 pm

tripn324 wrote:
smustang wrote:The Georgetown calculator http://www.law.georgetown.edu/admissions-financial-aid/office-of-financial-aid/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&pageid=61621 puts your COA at SMU at $163,760 including your scholarship. You said that some things are still unsure, so even assuming that those things become sure and mitigate some of your cost, you're still looking at an astronomically high price for SMU, and this is coming from someone who went there for undergrad and is going back for law school. SMU, in my opinion, is only worth if you're dead set on staying in the DFW area/North Texas and have an extremely discounted price. Assuming those two things, it's a fantastic choice. Not assuming those two things, I would be much more cautious. The COA at Colorado is, once again in my humble 0L opinion, much more manageable at $71,745 http://www.law.georgetown.edu/admissions-financial-aid/office-of-financial-aid/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&pageid=61621 (I used each school's respective cost estimates coupled with your scholly offers). That being said, without ties to Colorado aside from friends it could prove to be rather challenging for job prospects. In short, I think that if you'd like to stay around Dallas, SMU is awesome and probably the better option in general, but that's really expensive. Colorado is substantially cheaper, but there's a not an unsubstantial chance that you end up with the same career prospects/less debt if you just moved to Breckinridge and worked at a ski resort. I despise the TLS chorus of retake and sit out a cycle, but there's a large possible downside to both of your options that warrants serious thought. Sorry if that was Debby Downer-ish :?


Can you explain how only a $30k-$35k difference in tuition over 3 years amounts to a $92k difference in COA? I know Dallas is expensive, but I thought the cost of living was pretty comparable there to Boulder.


So, like I said, I used each school's expected cost of attendance which in UC Boulder's case was only the COL, and there could be some discrepancy between what they are predicting and what you will actually encounter that should be taken into account. I'm not familiar with Boulder, so I honestly have no idea. Aside from that, the majority of your expenses at Colorado will be covered by Stafford Loans, whereas you'll have to take out a substantial amount of Grad PLUS loans at SMU which is less than ideal. I think the COL difference (if actually accurate estimates) and differences in loan type and interest rate are what generates the cost discrepancy

tripn324
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Re: SMU (63k COA) vs. University of Colorado (35k COA)

Postby tripn324 » Tue May 07, 2013 10:44 pm

Sorry for the misunderstanding. My scholarship at Colorado is a little hard to follow. This is it:

First Year: Colorado is giving me a full scholarship
Second Year: They are giving me a $12,000 scholarship. I can claim in-state tuition in Colorado after the first year so I will pay $18,000 ($30,000-12,000)
Third Year: Same as second year

All-in-all, my calculated tuition (barring a tuition increase) for all three years at Colorado will be $35,436

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smustang
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Re: SMU (63k COA) vs. University of Colorado (35k COA)

Postby smustang » Tue May 07, 2013 11:03 pm

tripn324 wrote:Sorry for the misunderstanding. My scholarship at Colorado is a little hard to follow. This is it:

First Year: Colorado is giving me a full scholarship
Second Year: They are giving me a $12,000 scholarship. I can claim in-state tuition in Colorado after the first year so I will pay $18,000 ($30,000-12,000)
Third Year: Same as second year

All-in-all, my calculated tuition (barring a tuition increase) for all three years at Colorado will be $35,436


Goootcha. I was doing $12k tuition+living expenses, so that explains the larger than expected difference. Taking that, and the fact that your dad is a founding partner of a firm in Houston into account, I think that if you had to pick between these two SMU is the clear winner. I, personally, would be leery to attend at that price point because I don't have the possibility of a safety net legal job and hate debt.

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Re: SMU (63k COA) vs. University of Colorado (35k COA)

Postby BigZuck » Wed May 08, 2013 7:59 am

I don't understand why you're considering these schools and why the midlaw job is a fallback. I think you should go to whatever Houston school gives you a full ride (South Texas/Texas Southern), live at home, take the midlaw job and enjoy life. 80K job plus no debt would put you in a better position than the majority of T14 grads.

What am I missing here?

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sinfiery
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Re: SMU (63k COA) vs. University of Colorado (35k COA)

Postby sinfiery » Wed May 08, 2013 9:33 am

SMU is the correct response here if you are indifferent as to Texas vs Colorado.
They have a sizeable job advantage over Colorado.

http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=smu
http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=colorado

You can live in Dallas cheaply if you want, yes.

Coupled.with the fact that TX actually provides you with a safety net that there is a chance you will need to rely on, SMU is the clear winner between these two.


That said, that is very expensive for the job outcomes coming from SMU and if you didn't have the backup job, I would not recommend you taking such a risk.

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Re: SMU (63k COA) vs. University of Colorado (35k COA)

Postby BigZuck » Wed May 08, 2013 9:53 am

sinfiery wrote:SMU is the correct response here if you are indifferent as to Texas vs Colorado.
They have a sizeable job advantage over Colorado.

http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=smu
http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=colorado

You can live in Dallas cheaply if you want, yes.

Coupled.with the fact that TX actually provides you with a safety net that there is a chance you will need to rely on, SMU is the clear winner between these two.


That said, that is very expensive for the job outcomes coming from SMU and if you didn't have the backup job, I would not recommend you taking such a risk.


From what I understand, Texas midlaw is a 80-100K gig. Why is that the backup and not the goal? I mean, big law is more money (and probably only for a couple years until getting pushed out) but spending a ton to go to a school like SMU that gives you a slim chance of snatching that doesn't make sense to me. I don't think SMU should even be a consideration here, STCL should be the focus IMO.

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sinfiery
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Re: SMU (63k COA) vs. University of Colorado (35k COA)

Postby sinfiery » Wed May 08, 2013 9:57 am

My assumption is relying on family for a job is the last resort but I could be wrong. Little debt + 90-100k job is definitely the best outcome.

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Re: SMU (63k COA) vs. University of Colorado (35k COA)

Postby untar614 » Wed May 08, 2013 10:03 am

tripn, what's ur lsac gpa and current lsac? if ur gpa isn't super low, just hitting a 165 on the lsat should be able to get you a nice scholarship at U of Houston. Do that and live at home to graduate with minimal debt. Or if ur gpa is high enough, there may be even better options with a retake.

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Re: SMU (63k COA) vs. University of Colorado (35k COA)

Postby kalvano » Wed May 08, 2013 10:21 am

Don't go to Colorado. You have no ties, and it may be the most insular market there is. Ask all the Harvard kids who want to work there and can't get a job. You'll have basically zero chance. Even if you ended up top 10%, you'd probably struggle to get a job. Also, Coloradoans are not fond of Texans, so double blow.

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Re: SMU (63k COA) vs. University of Colorado (35k COA)

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Thu May 09, 2013 12:47 pm

kalvano wrote:Don't go to Colorado. You have no ties, and it may be the most insular market there is. Ask all the Harvard kids who want to work there and can't get a job. You'll have basically zero chance. Even if you ended up top 10%, you'd probably struggle to get a job. Also, Coloradoans are not fond of Texans, so double blow.


This is 100% untrue. Colorado is probably the least "insular" state in the country. Hardly anyone here in actually from here. Over half the law school is out of state. Kalvano is only correct in terms of big law ( which barely exists in this state ). Big law, in Colorado or anywhere, is very tie conscious. Some Harvard kid who has only vacationed in Colorado has little chance. Though, someone that has been three years at CU Law developing a tie will certainly have a crack. You probably won't get it though-- again, the large firm market is minuscule, especially compared to Texas.

Finally, the schools are peers, they just have different students. SMU will have far more students who want private side work. In fact, I perused that ATL ranking everyone's been talking about and the student questionare at CU Law showed that only 33% of students wanted private work when they showed up. As a student here, I can personally back that up. The point is these job placement stats are helpful, but they do not make apples to apples comparisons across the board. The real credited response is CU for Colorado, SMU for Texas.

-3L at CU, no ties beyond school, average grades, job in Texas lined up when I graduate.

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Re: SMU (63k COA) vs. University of Colorado (35k COA)

Postby BigZuck » Thu May 09, 2013 1:19 pm

Lord Randolph McDuff wrote:
kalvano wrote:Don't go to Colorado. You have no ties, and it may be the most insular market there is. Ask all the Harvard kids who want to work there and can't get a job. You'll have basically zero chance. Even if you ended up top 10%, you'd probably struggle to get a job. Also, Coloradoans are not fond of Texans, so double blow.


This is 100% untrue. Colorado is probably the least "insular" state in the country. Hardly anyone here in actually from here. Over half the law school is out of state. Kalvano is only correct in terms of big law ( which barely exists in this state ). Big law, in Colorado or anywhere, is very tie conscious. Some Harvard kid who has only vacationed in Colorado has little chance. Though, someone that has been three years at CU Law developing a tie will certainly have a crack. You probably won't get it though-- again, the large firm market is minuscule, especially compared to Texas.

Finally, the schools are peers, they just have different students. SMU will have far more students who want private side work. In fact, I perused that ATL ranking everyone's been talking about and the student questionare at CU Law showed that only 33% of students wanted private work when they showed up. As a student here, I can personally back that up. The point is these job placement stats are helpful, but they do not make apples to apples comparisons across the board. The real credited response is CU for Colorado, SMU for Texas.

-3L at CU, no ties beyond school, average grades, job in Texas lined up when I graduate.


These schools are not peers. SMU is pretty solid when it comes to employment outcomes. Colorado is mediocre at very best.

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Re: SMU (63k COA) vs. University of Colorado (35k COA)

Postby TheNextAmendment » Thu May 09, 2013 1:25 pm

Out of curiosity- how come SMU is rated so poorly by USNWR compared to their employment numbers? It seems like everybody that talks about SMU mentions its "underrated". Were they caught inflating their numbers? Speaking of which, what school was it that got caught recently inflating their numbers? Was it Illinois?

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Re: SMU (63k COA) vs. University of Colorado (35k COA)

Postby BigZuck » Thu May 09, 2013 1:29 pm

TheNextAmendment wrote:Out of curiosity- how come SMU is rated so poorly by USNWR compared to their employment numbers? It seems like everybody that talks about SMU mentions its "underrated". Were they caught inflating their numbers? Speaking of which, what school was it that got caught recently inflating their numbers? Was it Illinois?


Because USNWR cares about some stuff that isn't nearly as important as employment stats.




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