Penn vs UVA

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UVA or UPenn

UVA (45/year)
34
36%
UPenn (30/year)
61
64%
 
Total votes: 95

stumped
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Penn vs UVA

Postby stumped » Mon Jun 10, 2013 2:56 pm

Hi TLS. Have looked around for this, but was having a hard time finding what the correct answer is. I got off the wait list at one of the schools and was given significant merit aid. Penn has given me 30k/year and UVA has offered me 45k/year. My parents will be paying for everything now, but I am expected to pay back later (this saves me on interest). I am personally not debt-averse due to my circumstance/merit aid but I realize the difference in money.

Career goals-wise, I would like to do big law first. I want to work in New York first, but I eventually want to head back to the California/Texas where I am from. I have no WE.

I have been to Philadelphia, but not to Penn and enjoyed the city. Have never been to Virginia so dont know the atmosphere. I also have to make my choice soon so will not be able to visit UVA or Penn before then.If Penn were to match, would this make a difference/How much less scholly would you take Penn at over UVA?

Any help would be great. Thank you beforehand

Huey Freeman
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Re: Penn vs UVA

Postby Huey Freeman » Mon Jun 10, 2013 2:58 pm

Have you tried to negotiate up the Penn scholarship with the UVA offer? For your goals, the conventional wisdom is that Penn >> UVA for NYC Biglaw (which is what you want to do immediately).

muskies970
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Re: Penn vs UVA

Postby muskies970 » Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:10 pm

It's hard to tell if Penn will continue for the next three years to place substantially better than UVA, that being said they currently are, so I think the decision comes down to whether or not the 45k+ interest difference matters to you.

I don't think there's a definite right choice, do you really not have a personal preference between the schools?

stumped
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Re: Penn vs UVA

Postby stumped » Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:18 pm

I have asked Penn to reconsider their offer. Still waiting to hear back what they say. Since the poll is in favor of Penn right now, I am guessing it is because of my preference for NYC. Does UVA not place as easily into NYC? I have seen the difference in numbers, but I thought that the actual difference would be closer due to self selection.

Regarding personal preference, I am adaptable and never really being to either area, I don't know which one is better. I have lived in a city and have lived in isolated areas and can do with both. I realize that thats not much help, but it is what I feel.

Thank you everyone

Also, there will be no interest on my part. Parents are well off (no fin. aid) and will front the cost. I am expected to pay back the amount they pay and thankfully no interest will be included.

Another
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.

Postby Another » Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:27 pm

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Last edited by Another on Fri Nov 29, 2013 5:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: Penn vs UVA

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:41 pm

Disclaimer: Biased towards UVA.

Penn has a clear advantage in NYC and Philly, UVA has a slight advantage in DC, and I think they're basically tied everywhere else.

Even if you're shooting for NYC, I don't think Penn is worth $50-60k more than UVA, unless you really don't care about debt at all.

Real Madrid
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Re: Penn vs UVA

Postby Real Madrid » Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:48 pm

Penn has been a big law powerhouse as of late, placing (on average) like 15-20% more of its class into big law than UVA. If that's your goal, I really think Penn is the right choice here.

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LeeAdama
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Re: Penn vs UVA

Postby LeeAdama » Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:53 pm

stumped wrote:I have asked Penn to reconsider their offer. Still waiting to hear back what they say. Since the poll is in favor of Penn right now, I am guessing it is because of my preference for NYC. Does UVA not place as easily into NYC? I have seen the difference in numbers, but I thought that the actual difference would be closer due to self selection.


Voted Penn for their higher Big Law + Clerkships score:

Penn 66.7 + 10.4 = 77.1%
UVA 14.3 + 47.8 = 62.1%

Penn also has a much lower percentage of students going into school-funded jobs than UVA (3.3% vs. 19.8%). I think these stats suggest Penn is a safer choice.

Source:
http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=penn
http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=uva

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: Penn vs UVA

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:06 pm

The difference in placement ability between Penn and UVA is probably non-zero, but it isn't 10-15% because UVA has more government/DC-area PI self-selection that anyone else besides GULC, and Penn probably has more people who are laser-focused on Biglaw than any other T14. Penn does better in NYC, so it will probably do a little better overall because that's where the plurality of the jerbs are. But in CA/Texas, there won't be a difference.

UVA does fine in NYC. It's more frequently a fallback option for students here because UVA attracts more people who want to work in DC and therefore the top third (most of whom could get any city they wanted) is mostly picking DC. Then there's a whole bunch taking NYC because they don't have secondary ties and it's the only market left. The middle third (who are overwhelmingly going to NYC) has recently been hit-or-miss. I get the sense that Penn's median kids are doing a little better than hit-or-miss for NYC, but I don't know for sure.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Penn vs UVA

Postby jbagelboy » Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:37 pm

Penn for free is too good a deal to pass up. Definitely Penn here. UVA is a good school, but if you can get a private education with stronger numbers for free over a public one, do it.

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MyNameIsFlynn!
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Re: Penn vs UVA

Postby MyNameIsFlynn! » Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:50 pm

Clearly in the minority but I don't think Penn is worth 45k more than UVA (actually more like 55k when you account for the higher COL in Philly). P and V are peer schools, and the employment numbers for V are good enough to make V at COL a great deal.

jbagelboy wrote:Penn for free is too good a deal to pass up. Definitely Penn here. UVA is a good school, but if you can get a private education with stronger numbers for free over a public one, do it.


lol. Gotta be wary of those TTT public institutions like UVA, Berk, and Mich.

eta: jk about MichiTTan. Stay away from that one

stumped
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Re: Penn vs UVA

Postby stumped » Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:52 pm

Sorry about the confusion, but those numbers are scholarship amounts and not the coa. Coa will be around 120 for Penn (roughly 60k left in tuition and 60k for living) and 75k for uva (21k for tuition and saying 50 for living). Remember that i will not have to pay interest. Sorry about spelling or wrong estimates. On my phone.
jbagelboy wrote:Penn for free is too good a deal to pass up. Definitely Penn here. UVA is a good school, but if you can get a private education with stronger numbers for free over a public one, do it.

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sinfiery
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Re: Penn vs UVA

Postby sinfiery » Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:56 pm

jbagelboy wrote:Penn for free is too good a deal to pass up. Definitely Penn here. UVA is a good school, but if you can get a private education with stronger numbers for free over a public one, do it.

I never knew that was a distinction people made til TLS lol.



I think its a tossup. 50k is probably a year of biglaw. You will likely get the exact same job but if you are at the margins, Penn would definitely pay dividends.



Are you a gambling man, fellow Texan bro? FWIW, you can bid NYC and have Texas biglaw as what seems to be a very reliable safety net from a t14 if you have the ties

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: Penn vs UVA

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:07 pm

Yeah, the voting in Penn's favor doesn't make much sense. It's pretty inconsistent with how TLS usually looks at this stuff. Not saying you can never pick a school that's $55k more expensive than a peer, just that you need a pretty darn good reason to do so, and even then it wouldn't be better than a toss-up.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Penn vs UVA

Postby jbagelboy » Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:46 pm

sinfiery wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:Penn for free is too good a deal to pass up. Definitely Penn here. UVA is a good school, but if you can get a private education with stronger numbers for free over a public one, do it.

I never knew that was a distinction people made til TLS lol.



I think its a tossup. 50k is probably a year of biglaw. You will likely get the exact same job but if you are at the margins, Penn would definitely pay dividends.



Are you a gambling man, fellow Texan bro? FWIW, you can bid NYC and have Texas biglaw as what seems to be a very reliable safety net from a t14 if you have the ties


Sinf, normally I agree, but OP's parents are footing the bill. There's nothing to be said here for debt, extra time in biglaw, a gamble, ect. He's going to be debt free either way. Here's the catch: there's a reason UVA, Berkeley, and Michigan were cheaper schools up until 2009. They provide an excellent education at a lower cost. In another tier, the same is to be said for UT, UCLA, UMinnesota, ect. But in an exact side by side cost comparison, just literally in terms of perks and the closeness and strength of the network, you aren't reaping the "public" benefit of lower the cost of attendance by attending your states' school. That's why paying $53,000 for a UCLA degree is pretty ridiculous these days.

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:Yeah, the voting in Penn's favor doesn't make much sense. It's pretty inconsistent with how TLS usually looks at this stuff. Not saying you can never pick a school that's $55k more expensive than a peer, just that you need a pretty darn good reason to do so, and even then it wouldn't be better than a toss-up.


Mono, for one, I would pride myself on not ALWAYS going by the raw TLS logic, which has some rough edges. Second, it's not an easy choice and both options are justifiable, but one is a clear winner IMO. Third, we all know you have a hard-on for Charlottesville. Don't lie bro. Penn has a solid 10%+ higher for OP's goals, and thats not even counting the ridiculous UVA school-funded positions. This would be a tough call if OP was paying $60K more to attend Penn, but thats not really the consideration being made here since his parents are footing the bill and its not a huge one.

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sinfiery
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Re: Penn vs UVA

Postby sinfiery » Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:59 pm

I'm still not sure how to think about having no debt but still owing your parents the 50k. Truly equal costs, I would agree Penn here for sure but although the downside of getting your life ruined by debt is gone, you still have to pay back your parents the money and that is a significant cost.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Penn vs UVA

Postby jbagelboy » Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:05 pm

sinfiery wrote:I'm still not sure how to think about having no debt but still owing your parents the 50k. Truly equal costs, I would agree Penn here for sure but although the downside of getting your life ruined by debt is gone, you still have to pay back your parents the money and that is a significant cost.


Okay. Fair, but rather opaque IMO. Parents aren't like the feds. you can pay them when you have the cash over a more extended period of time since you don't need to worry about interest capitalizing. It might just be helping them out in retirement, which most kids do anyway. You're right that it could go either way, and my jump to Penn was motivated largely by OP's NYC/biglaw centric goals and "well off" family.

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sinfiery
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Re: Penn vs UVA

Postby sinfiery » Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:12 pm

Yeah, I think the whole family as the bank dynamic can be viewed at in so many different ways. Something that is really personal and hard to really give advice around. If it were 50k to the feds, I'd say toss up so I guess I'm leaning Penn too but really do see it as very close. Especially considering the Texas ties is seemingly a strong counter towards missing the biglaw boat completely.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: Penn vs UVA

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:46 pm

jbagelboy wrote: Mono, for one, I would pride myself on not ALWAYS going by the raw TLS logic, which has some rough edges. Second, it's not an easy choice and both options are justifiable, but one is a clear winner IMO. Third, we all know you have a hard-on for Charlottesville. Don't lie bro. Penn has a solid 10%+ higher for OP's goals, and thats not even counting the ridiculous UVA school-funded positions. This would be a tough call if OP was paying $60K more to attend Penn, but thats not really the consideration being made here since his parents are footing the bill and its not a huge one.


Of course I have a hard-on for Charlottesville, but it's more about the idea that I wouldn't want to pay $55k more than a peer. I wouldn't pay $55k more for Columbia than Chicago or Cornell than Northwestern just because I was gunning for NYC.

NB I said Penn was the better school for him (UVA is a little better for clerkships and DC work, Penn is better by a decent margin in NYC and Philly, and they're about even everywhere else), just not sure it's worth $55k more even if he's well-off. It's still another $55k, even on the Mom and Dad Payment Schedule, though I suppose it doesn't really matter if it's just $55k OP would put up anyway for his folks' retirement. Everyone in a position this fortunate (myself included) sort of has to put their own value on their parents' money as compared to their whims. You have to be way, way richer than my family before $55k doesn't matter. If he really liked Penn in particular, they might be a reason when the risk is quite low, but it seems like he just wants NYC. That's why I'm saying UVA does well enough to justify pocketing the $55k. For example, people were still getting hired to the end of the middle third (although below-median was hit-or-miss for Biglaw), and Cravath was still making offers to top 10%-ish.

Real Madrid
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Re: Penn vs UVA

Postby Real Madrid » Tue Jun 11, 2013 4:02 am

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:The difference in placement ability between Penn and UVA is probably non-zero, but it isn't 10-15% because UVA has more government/DC-area PI self-selection that anyone else besides GULC, and Penn probably has more people who are laser-focused on Biglaw than any other T14. Penn does better in NYC, so it will probably do a little better overall because that's where the plurality of the jerbs are. But in CA/Texas, there won't be a difference.

UVA does fine in NYC. It's more frequently a fallback option for students here because UVA attracts more people who want to work in DC and therefore the top third (most of whom could get any city they wanted) is mostly picking DC. Then there's a whole bunch taking NYC because they don't have secondary ties and it's the only market left. The middle third (who are overwhelmingly going to NYC) has recently been hit-or-miss. I get the sense that Penn's median kids are doing a little better than hit-or-miss for NYC, but I don't know for sure.


Not trying to start an argument, but what's your basis for saying NYC is a fallback option and only for students not in the top third of the class? UVA does better than most for DC, but I don't think you can just assume students that matriculate there necessarily want it, especially since UVA's admissions policies mean it's the only T14 a lot of splitters and reverse-splitters have a chance to attend.

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Re: Penn vs UVA

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:09 am

Real Madrid wrote:
Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:The difference in placement ability between Penn and UVA is probably non-zero, but it isn't 10-15% because UVA has more government/DC-area PI self-selection that anyone else besides GULC, and Penn probably has more people who are laser-focused on Biglaw than any other T14. Penn does better in NYC, so it will probably do a little better overall because that's where the plurality of the jerbs are. But in CA/Texas, there won't be a difference.

UVA does fine in NYC. It's more frequently a fallback option for students here because UVA attracts more people who want to work in DC and therefore the top third (most of whom could get any city they wanted) is mostly picking DC. Then there's a whole bunch taking NYC because they don't have secondary ties and it's the only market left. The middle third (who are overwhelmingly going to NYC) has recently been hit-or-miss. I get the sense that Penn's median kids are doing a little better than hit-or-miss for NYC, but I don't know for sure.


Not trying to start an argument, but what's your basis for saying NYC is a fallback option and only for students not in the top third of the class? UVA does better than most for DC, but I don't think you can just assume students that matriculate there necessarily want it, especially since UVA's admissions policies mean it's the only T14 a lot of splitters and reverse-splitters have a chance to attend.


To clarify, NYC is not "only for students not in the top third." Those who want NYC in the top third nearly always get something good--lots of V100. NYC becomes a fallback option for those in the middle third, because most of them won't get DC and don't have ties to a secondary market. They're basically forced to take whatever Biglaw job there is, and more jobs are in NYC than anywhere else. My basis for saying a lot of middle-third kids use it as a fallback is talking to a bunch of students, digging through the OGI threads, and hearing from UVA posters that this is basically the case.

As for wanting DC, first you have 20ish percent of the class from the DC area, an overwhelming percentage of whom want to go back. Then you have another 25ish percent from elsewhere in VA, who pick DC at a pretty high clip too. The rest don't pick DC at a significantly higher clip than probably other T14 students (though maybe a little higher). Average it all out and maybe 30 percent will end up there in some capacity.

Also, the majority of the splitters and reverse-splitters are Virginians, so it's basically already accounted for.

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Re: Penn vs UVA

Postby rickgrimes69 » Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:17 am

OP wants NYC Biglaw and isn't taking out insane debt either way. Penn is easily worth $45k + interest in this situation.

stumped
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Re: Penn vs UVA

Postby stumped » Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:43 pm

Thanks for the responses in poll and thread. So I have read TLS for a while now and there is a thought that you should always imagine yourself being at the median. However, I came from a non prestigious undergrad and got a little lucky on my LSAT and I like to imagine a more pessimistic scenario (under median). Does this make Penn my safer choice? I saw UVA's argument about being middle third getting NYC still.

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Re: Penn vs UVA

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:28 pm

The quality of your undergraduate institution doesn't have much correlation with how well you'll do in law school, and plenty of people get "lucky" on the LSAT--lots submit a score above their PT average. So don't worry, you're still probably equally likely to finish in any given position in the class. Although pessimism in this process is never a bad thing.

To clarify, being middle third at UVA doesn't mean you WILL get NYC. It means you might, and factors like your previous WE and general likeability come into play more heavily. At UVA, if you are more than slightly below median, your odds of getting Biglaw are not good. I would imagine that particularly for NYC, Penn is a little more secure in that respect. I think nearly everyone agrees Penn is the better school for you at face value--the question is whether it's worth $55k more. I wouldn't say so, but it seems most would disagree in your situation.

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Re: Penn vs UVA

Postby Br3v » Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:39 pm

jbagelboy wrote:but if you can get a private education with stronger numbers for free over a public one, do it.


Both good choices, but if you do decide Penn definitely don't do so for the above asinine reason.




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