Michigan ($) or Berkeley?

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J_stack
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Michigan ($) or Berkeley?

Postby J_stack » Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:40 pm

I'm deposited at Michigan with a scholarship of 12k/year, but got in off the waitlist at Berkeley this morning. I'm a California resident, and my goal is to end up in the Bay Area after law school. Thanks to savings, I'd be in debt at about 60k out of Michigan and about 100k out of Berkeley due to the COL and lack of scholly. Berkeley mentioned in an email that they don't give out merit aid to waitlist applicants, so I don't think there's any point in trying with them. Considering my goals, I realize this is very much a judgement call based on debt aversion. Would the chance to go to Berkeley be worth the extra debt for you?

FloridaCoastalorbust
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Re: Michigan ($) or Berkeley?

Postby FloridaCoastalorbust » Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:45 pm

J_stack wrote:I'm deposited at Michigan with a scholarship of 12k/year, but got in off the waitlist at Berkeley this morning. I'm a California resident, and my goal is to end up in the Bay Area after law school. Thanks to savings, I'd be in debt at about 60k out of Michigan and about 100k out of Berkeley due to the COL and lack of scholly. Berkeley mentioned in an email that they don't give out merit aid to waitlist applicants, so I don't think there's any point in trying with them. Considering my goals, I realize this is very much a judgement call based on debt aversion. Would the chance to go to Berkeley be worth the extra debt for you?


only you can determine whether, after identifying mich and berkeley's placement in the bay area, the additional 40k in debt is worth the increased placement berkeley offers in the bay area. it does for me, but for others it wouldn't. and of course there may be non-economic factors berkeley brings to the table for you (quality of life, etc.) and only you that influence that decision

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jbagelboy
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Re: Michigan ($) or Berkeley?

Postby jbagelboy » Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:46 pm

J_stack wrote: my goal is to end up in the Bay Area after law school.


Berkeley is worth $40K extra in debt if this is your most important goal. Cal or SLS are the surest bets at that market. Michigan will provide more flexibility elsewhere in the country, but not in the bay. $12K/year from Michigan is no game changer.

It's sad to see you spending so much of your families money on law school though. GPA/LSAT?

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J_stack
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Re: Michigan ($) or Berkeley?

Postby J_stack » Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:02 pm

jbagelboy wrote:It's sad to see you spending so much of your families money on law school though. GPA/LSAT?


Jeez, way to pass judgement. My family is thrilled to contribute. This was money slated away for law school because I had a full scholarship plus stipend to undergrad.

And yeah, I realize this is a total judgement call since $50k or so isn't necessarily a gamechanger. I am pretty debt averse though. I'm just wondering what other people would do if they were in this situation. Also, while the Bay Area is my number 1, I'm open to other California markets.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: Michigan ($) or Berkeley?

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:06 pm

As long as you never leave the West Coast, Berkeley is your friend here and is well worth the extra debt.

y2zipper
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Re: Michigan ($) or Berkeley?

Postby y2zipper » Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:10 pm

You have 2 options that are very good based on your financial situation and debt. I'd take
Berkley in your shoes for CA with those 2 options.

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The Brainalist
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Re: Michigan ($) or Berkeley?

Postby The Brainalist » Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:12 pm

I wouldn't take what bagelboy said personally. I do think he has a point about the wisdom of paying sticker (even in-state, which isn't a huge discount, esp. considering Berkeley's COL), whether it is through loans or savings. However, if the money is in one of those tax-free education accounts where you get penalized if you don't spend it on education, it may as well be spent.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Michigan ($) or Berkeley?

Postby jbagelboy » Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:19 pm

J_stack wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:It's sad to see you spending so much of your families money on law school though. GPA/LSAT?


Jeez, way to pass judgement. My family is thrilled to contribute. This was money slated away for law school because I had a full scholarship plus stipend to undergrad.

And yeah, I realize this is a total judgement call since $50k or so isn't necessarily a gamechanger. I am pretty debt averse though. I'm just wondering what other people would do if they were in this situation. Also, while the Bay Area is my number 1, I'm open to other California markets.


Paying sticker for anything outside HYS ITE is to be avoided if possible. I'm not judging your family. When I see people's parents spending hundreds of thousands on law school and they don't provide a GPA/LSAT in their thread, I wonder how much money could be saved. Then again, Cal is a crapshoot, but you could definitely submit a matching scholarship in another year. If your parents will pay, no matter. It's a great school.

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NoodleyOne
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Re: Michigan ($) or Berkeley?

Postby NoodleyOne » Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:26 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
J_stack wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:It's sad to see you spending so much of your families money on law school though. GPA/LSAT?


Jeez, way to pass judgement. My family is thrilled to contribute. This was money slated away for law school because I had a full scholarship plus stipend to undergrad.

And yeah, I realize this is a total judgement call since $50k or so isn't necessarily a gamechanger. I am pretty debt averse though. I'm just wondering what other people would do if they were in this situation. Also, while the Bay Area is my number 1, I'm open to other California markets.


Paying sticker for anything outside HYS ITE is to be avoided if possible. I'm not judging your family. When I see people's parents spending hundreds of thousands on law school and they don't provide a GPA/LSAT in their thread, I wonder how much money could be saved. Then again, Cal is a crapshoot, but you could definitely submit a matching scholarship in another year. If your parents will pay, no matter. It's a great school.

You've changed.

For the better.

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sinfiery
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Re: Michigan ($) or Berkeley?

Postby sinfiery » Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:29 pm

There is very little data about what it takes for t14 schools to place in geographic markets that are not only not their feeder market, but also the main market for 2 other strong t14s. Michigan could get you back to Cali, but the added risk for your geographic goals is not worth the COA difference. I'd take Berkeley.


As for paying sticker, imagine if you could spend that cash on your first house, etc. Money is great in that you can use it for many things!

Though the one argument for you is that UCB doesn't care that much about numbers for scholly money and you want cali. Even with matching scholarships, there is no guarantee.
Last edited by sinfiery on Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Big Dog
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Re: Michigan ($) or Berkeley?

Postby Big Dog » Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:30 pm

I'm a California resident, and my goal is to end up in the Bay Area after law school.


A no-brainer. Go Bears!

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J_stack
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Re: Michigan ($) or Berkeley?

Postby J_stack » Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:38 pm

Yeah, I agree that sticker should be avoided. It's also old hat for TLS, and I've seen plenty of threads where people argue whether sticker is worth it for T14. However, sticker from savings is a hell of a lot better than sticker from loans. I also think it's beside the point here, and I'd rather discuss my debt out of school as the primary factor for consideration. 60k debt out of Michigan was sort of my upper limit for debt, and Berkeley's acceptance is really making me reconsider it.

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J_stack
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Re: Michigan ($) or Berkeley?

Postby J_stack » Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:43 pm

sinfiery wrote:There is very little data about what it takes for t14 schools to place in geographic markets that are not only not their feeder market, but also the main market for 2 other strong t14s. Michigan could get you back to Cali, but the added risk for your geographic goals is not worth the COA difference. I'd take Berkeley.


As for paying sticker, imagine if you could spend that cash on your first house, etc. Money is great in that you can use it for many things!

Though the one argument for you is that UCB doesn't care that much about numbers for scholly money and you want cali. Even with matching scholarships, there is no guarantee.



Yeah, Berkeley is so weird about scholly money that I don't think I could turn down an acceptance and reapply with the hope that scholly gods will make it rain. It's too risky.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Michigan ($) or Berkeley?

Postby jbagelboy » Wed Jun 05, 2013 2:30 pm

J_stack wrote:Yeah, I agree that sticker should be avoided. It's also old hat for TLS, and I've seen plenty of threads where people argue whether sticker is worth it for T14. However, sticker from savings is a hell of a lot better than sticker from loans. I also think it's beside the point here, and I'd rather discuss my debt out of school as the primary factor for consideration. 60k debt out of Michigan was sort of my upper limit for debt, and Berkeley's acceptance is really making me reconsider it.


I agree with the bolded. My initial response was more of a gut reaction against sticker -- my apologies.

Berkeley is the stronger choice for you. Congrats on getting off the WL; again, its a great school.

Ti Malice
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Re: Michigan ($) or Berkeley?

Postby Ti Malice » Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:09 pm

Berkeley beats Michigan for your goals.

BigZuck
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Re: Michigan ($) or Berkeley?

Postby BigZuck » Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:21 pm

I had the same reaction as jbagelboy. Saving money is better than spending it IMO.

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DaRascal
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Re: Michigan ($) or Berkeley?

Postby DaRascal » Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:25 pm

Come on, dude, how could you get into these amazing schools and not know the answer to this one? Normally it's MVPB and not BVPM but in your case it'll be all about Da B!! 8)

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worldtraveler
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Re: Michigan ($) or Berkeley?

Postby worldtraveler » Wed Jun 05, 2013 6:02 pm

For what you want, Berkeley is well worth the extra money. Keep in mind though that the bay area is competitive to get, even from Berkeley.

BigZuck
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Re: Michigan ($) or Berkeley?

Postby BigZuck » Wed Jun 05, 2013 6:06 pm

worldtraveler wrote:For what you want, Berkeley is well worth the extra money. Keep in mind though that the bay area is competitive to get, even from Berkeley.


"Big law regardless of grades" is what I've heard from Berkeley grads. Seemed fishy to me but I'm a 0L so what do I know?

Agreed that if I wanted northern CA big law and I couldn't land HYS I would gun hard for Berkeley. Congrats OP.

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worldtraveler
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Re: Michigan ($) or Berkeley?

Postby worldtraveler » Wed Jun 05, 2013 6:07 pm

BigZuck wrote:
worldtraveler wrote:For what you want, Berkeley is well worth the extra money. Keep in mind though that the bay area is competitive to get, even from Berkeley.


"Big law regardless of grades" is what I've heard from Berkeley grads. Seemed fishy to me but I'm a 0L so what do I know?

Agreed that if I wanted northern CA big law and I couldn't land HYS I would gun hard for Berkeley. Congrats OP.


Big law anywhere and big law in the bay area are not the same thing. Your odds are better for Berkeley but I wouldn't call it a guarantee by any means.

BigZuck
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Re: Michigan ($) or Berkeley?

Postby BigZuck » Wed Jun 05, 2013 6:10 pm

worldtraveler wrote:
BigZuck wrote:
worldtraveler wrote:For what you want, Berkeley is well worth the extra money. Keep in mind though that the bay area is competitive to get, even from Berkeley.


"Big law regardless of grades" is what I've heard from Berkeley grads. Seemed fishy to me but I'm a 0L so what do I know?

Agreed that if I wanted northern CA big law and I couldn't land HYS I would gun hard for Berkeley. Congrats OP.


Big law anywhere and big law in the bay area are not the same thing. Your odds are better for Berkeley but I wouldn't call it a guarantee by any means.


They meant CA big law regardless of grades. Might have meant Northern CA specifically but maybe they were including Southern CA in that, I can't remember. I did not believe them. But again, I am a know-nothing 0L

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Winston1984
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Re: Michigan ($) or Berkeley?

Postby Winston1984 » Wed Jun 05, 2013 6:10 pm

DaRascal has forever ruined Sonic for me.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Michigan ($) or Berkeley?

Postby jbagelboy » Wed Jun 05, 2013 6:35 pm

worldtraveler wrote:
BigZuck wrote:
worldtraveler wrote:For what you want, Berkeley is well worth the extra money. Keep in mind though that the bay area is competitive to get, even from Berkeley.


"Big law regardless of grades" is what I've heard from Berkeley grads. Seemed fishy to me but I'm a 0L so what do I know?

Agreed that if I wanted northern CA big law and I couldn't land HYS I would gun hard for Berkeley. Congrats OP.


Big law anywhere and big law in the bay area are not the same thing. Your odds are better for Berkeley but I wouldn't call it a guarantee by any means.


I know TLS might trash on me for this, but Berkeley does have a sizeable contingent of students who are not interested in gunning for work at large firms. They (like Michigan) have a very strong PI base on the west coast and in the bay area in particular, but also state government jobs and state clerkships. I actually put more stock in Cal's "self-selection" in this regard than Mich. OP may not be interested in NLJ250 (just "end up in the bay area"), so we shouldn't necessarily jump to this as the only conclusive measure

BigZuck
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Re: Michigan ($) or Berkeley?

Postby BigZuck » Wed Jun 05, 2013 6:40 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
worldtraveler wrote:
BigZuck wrote:
worldtraveler wrote:For what you want, Berkeley is well worth the extra money. Keep in mind though that the bay area is competitive to get, even from Berkeley.


"Big law regardless of grades" is what I've heard from Berkeley grads. Seemed fishy to me but I'm a 0L so what do I know?

Agreed that if I wanted northern CA big law and I couldn't land HYS I would gun hard for Berkeley. Congrats OP.


Big law anywhere and big law in the bay area are not the same thing. Your odds are better for Berkeley but I wouldn't call it a guarantee by any means.


I know TLS might trash on me for this, but Berkeley does have a sizeable contingent of students who are not interested in gunning for work at large firms. They (like Michigan) have a very strong PI base on the west coast and in the bay area in particular, but also state government jobs and state clerkships. I actually put more stock in Cal's "self-selection" in this regard than Mich. OP may not be interested in NLJ250 (just "end up in the bay area"), so we shouldn't necessarily jump to this as the only conclusive measure


Yeah, this is part of why I think Michigan has truly fallen a step behind. If Berkeley is full of a bunch of unwashed hippies opting out of big law yet they still wipe the floor with Michigan when it comes to big law numbers then I have a hard time believing that all the dirty hippies at Michigan are turning away from big law jobs that they could have had if only they were willing to sell out.

But this is a dangerous thing to discuss here bro. Butts WILL be hurt.

nebula666
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Re: Michigan ($) or Berkeley?

Postby nebula666 » Wed Jun 05, 2013 6:41 pm

If it was sticker vs free I'd say UM all the way but only a 40k difference still makes Berkeley the better choice




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