CO2016YEAH wrote:First of all, and I can't believe it hasn't been mentioned, you have to put in an effort to get them to offer you some form of aid to equalize COA. Even if they have said or you have read they don't offer merit aid to the waitlist there may be a possibility for some form of need grant etc. The point is you have to attempt to get then to match Michigan. Use your best negotiating skills and your most dazzling charm. They won't rescind your offer; you stand to lose nothing so trying will cost you.virtually nothing more than the short amount of time invested.
Aside from that, I have a great deal of respect for the wisdom and encouragement from folks on TLS to avoid debt and to tread carefully into law school. However, I do not there is any reason to avoid sticker at a place like Boalt, especially if you will have the total debt burden around $100k. Literally thousands of 0Ls this cycle alone would be more than thrilled to switch places with you.
To be fair, Michigan will stand a good chance of setting up to launch your career back in the Bay. I would much prefer to start there in ls, though, as existing ties and proximity and an established network are sure to aid in finding a job at graduation. Also, while Michigan is a great school with an outstanding reputation, you have a choice of spending the next three years in the Bay area or Ann Arbor. Some people would say Michigan is beautiful, but I'm not one of them.
A compelling factor leading to Michigan would be substantial savings, bit considering the difference is only 60k I don't think going for savings alone would be justified. You should feel zero guilt about using your college savings for LS, as an aside.
A compelling argument for either would be proximity to where you want to be based and to start building a local network. Boalt wins there.
Lastly, where would you rather live your life for the next three years? I think Boalt wins here again.
If you can think of any other compelling reasons to go to Michigan then give them due weight and consideration, but I'm not seeing any in this thread.
Good luck OP, and congrats on Berkeley! (And Michigan too, sure.)
Ultimately as Ive stated in briefer terms, I agree with all of this. While its worth asking, however, Berkeley has an incredibly bizarre and rigid financial aid policy. You are unlikely to get need based due to lack of UG debt and parental assets, the matching program ended months ago, and other scholarship opportunities are few and far between even for pre-WL admissions. There is no aid mechanism in place by which OP could expect to receive aid. Conversely, as has been mentioned, this implies many students attend at sticker and are thrilled to do so. Its still an amazing position to be in.
I would reach out to Kristin Alvarez (kpalvarez) who runs the matching scholarship program and see if any funds remain for recently admitted candidates. Scan and submit your Michigan award along with a 1pg essay about your decision and how the award would help you, why you want to go to Cal, what you could contribute to the university ect. I used a Michigan award to match and Cal offered more than the Michigan amount, although I had to hound her for it.
Next, if applicable, Berkeley has a wide range of "minority" scholarships for 1Ls, in addition to scholarships you can apply for as a rising 2L/3L. It sucks they lack a more traditional route, but just because this year doesnt come thru doesnt preclude you from other grants in the future.
Best of luck and feel free to PM for any details about harranging Cal for $$