UCLA (100k) vs Columbia (sticker)

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MeekOne
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UCLA (100k) vs Columbia (sticker)

Postby MeekOne » Sat Jun 15, 2013 3:24 pm

Hi all,

These are the choices. I don't have an overwhelming preference of where to live between the two (I mean it's LA vs NYC).

I am not necessarily averse to biglaw either.

How is the social scene at Columbia? Because at UCLA I already know some individuals and have friends who live in the area. I've heard the social scene there is great and I've from my times out there I've gotten a good vibe about the whole thing. Columbia is a recent development so I have absolutely no feel or bearing for how the social life is... I have no friends out there, so I would be starting from scratch, essentially, and I'm worried that I may find that difficult in the super academic world of Columbia (which is of course is not a bad thing... the academic rigor of Columbia vs UCLA is actually a pro in favor of Columbia in my book... I just like a balance).

Of course my primary focus the next three years will be doing well in my classes and securing a job, but having an enjoyable time, making memories, and meeting and making great friends is also a high priority of mine.

Can anyone speak from experience or firsthand knowledge?

Naturally debt and $$ considerations play a factor as well.

Thanks and love for any and all advice.
Last edited by MeekOne on Sat Jun 15, 2013 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: UCLA (100k) vs Columbia (sticker)

Postby Doorkeeper » Sat Jun 15, 2013 3:28 pm

Columbia at sticker isn't great, but you're still looking at over $150k in loans from UCLA, which would require biglaw. I would take Columbia for the much better job prospects.

MeekOne
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Re: UCLA (100k) vs Columbia (sticker)

Postby MeekOne » Sat Jun 15, 2013 3:33 pm

Doorkeeper wrote:Columbia at sticker isn't great, but you're still looking at over $150k in loans from UCLA, which would require biglaw. I would take Columbia for the much better job prospects.


Thanks for such a prompt response. I have a couple days to decide. I honestly think my Columbia trepidation is more due to the social aspect rather than the (much) larger debt incurrence... which is entirely the result of the unknown and may be completely irrational.


Edit: Though, for the record, I believe my UCLA debt would be closer to the $90k range, due to in state, rather than out of state, tuition.

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chuckbass
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Re: UCLA (100k) vs Columbia (sticker)

Postby chuckbass » Sat Jun 15, 2013 3:37 pm

You'll make friends just like you did in undergrad. If that's your major concern, Columbia and it's not even close.

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rickgrimes69
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Re: UCLA (100k) vs Columbia (sticker)

Postby rickgrimes69 » Sat Jun 15, 2013 3:46 pm

MeekOne wrote: Though, for the record, I believe my UCLA debt would be closer to the $90k range, due to in state, rather than out of state, tuition.


If that COA figure is accurate, that's not a bad price for UCLA. I would look at it like this:

If NYC > CA, Columbia.
If Biglaw > Non-biglaw, Columbia.
If CA Non-Biglaw > Biglaw, UCLA.

bruin91
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Re: UCLA (100k) vs Columbia (sticker)

Postby bruin91 » Sat Jun 15, 2013 5:45 pm

rickgrimes69 wrote:
MeekOne wrote: Though, for the record, I believe my UCLA debt would be closer to the $90k range, due to in state, rather than out of state, tuition.


If that COA figure is accurate, that's not a bad price for UCLA. I would look at it like this:

If NYC > CA, Columbia.
If Biglaw > Non-biglaw, Columbia.
If CA Non-Biglaw > Biglaw, UCLA.


+1

NYstate
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Re: UCLA (100k) vs Columbia (sticker)

Postby NYstate » Sat Jun 15, 2013 5:48 pm

How much debt will you be in from each school?

If you are going to need biglaw to pay it back, go to Columbia.

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jbagelboy
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Re: UCLA (100k) vs Columbia (sticker)

Postby jbagelboy » Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:47 pm

Chose Columbia w/ 60K (24/24/12) over UCLA full ride (although I would have gone to Boalt over UCLA anyway). Similar idea to yours.

The flexibility offered by the Columbia JD was ultimately more important than the finances. 93% of the time, either via LRAP or biglaw, you will be able to service the debt. UCLA has way, way too many underemployed grads.

I agree the social aspect is toughest. UCLA would be a shitload more fun for me. I could stay with my friends, keep my car -- I fucking love my car and I have to sell it for CLS -- and never have to leave SoCal. 3 years later though, Id realize Id fucked myself for the next 30. The trade off is a few years of bullshit, public transportation, loneliness, and growing apart from your closest friends while freezing/sweating in morningside heights for a far more lucrative and prestigious career.

All that said, my SO moving to new york was what finally tipped the scales in favor of CLS/NYU and leaving the best coast. God willing it will only be temporary!

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jbagelboy
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Re: UCLA (100k) vs Columbia (sticker)

Postby jbagelboy » Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:51 pm

scotth724 wrote:You'll make friends just like you did in undergrad. If that's your major concern, Columbia and it's not even close.


This is a blatant misrepresentation from what Ive been told by everyone going to law school. The social life is nothing like UG. Kids at CLS typically only make a few friends, and even fewer close ones, whereas in college you make hundreds and many close friends. The CLS competitive atmosphere precludes the ability to bond closely for much of the class. People atthat level are also generally pretty weird, nerdy, uptight, introverted ect. Its an uptight place. Especially coming from LA area. You cant compare the social life.

Nevertheless, this consideration is insignificant relative to employment prospects and the value of your degree. Go to CLS

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: UCLA (100k) vs Columbia (sticker)

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sat Jun 15, 2013 11:42 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
scotth724 wrote:You'll make friends just like you did in undergrad. If that's your major concern, Columbia and it's not even close.


This is a blatant misrepresentation from what Ive been told by everyone going to law school. The social life is nothing like UG. Kids at CLS typically only make a few friends, and even fewer close ones, whereas in college you make hundreds and many close friends. The CLS competitive atmosphere precludes the ability to bond closely for much of the class. People atthat level are also generally pretty weird, nerdy, uptight, introverted ect. Its an uptight place. Especially coming from LA area. You cant compare the social life.

Nevertheless, this consideration is insignificant relative to employment prospects and the value of your degree. Go to CLS

I made more close friends in one year of law school than I did in four years of undergrad, and I went to undergrad in Southern California. Columbia is not competitive because no one is worried about not getting a job.

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jbagelboy
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Re: UCLA (100k) vs Columbia (sticker)

Postby jbagelboy » Sat Jun 15, 2013 11:53 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:
scotth724 wrote:You'll make friends just like you did in undergrad. If that's your major concern, Columbia and it's not even close.


This is a blatant misrepresentation from what Ive been told by everyone going to law school. The social life is nothing like UG. Kids at CLS typically only make a few friends, and even fewer close ones, whereas in college you make hundreds and many close friends. The CLS competitive atmosphere precludes the ability to bond closely for much of the class. People atthat level are also generally pretty weird, nerdy, uptight, introverted ect. Its an uptight place. Especially coming from LA area. You cant compare the social life.

Nevertheless, this consideration is insignificant relative to employment prospects and the value of your degree. Go to CLS

I made more close friends in one year of law school than I did in four years of undergrad, and I went to undergrad in Southern California. Columbia is not competitive because no one is worried about not getting a job.


Well I certainly hope thats true and Im happy to hear that was your experience. It's not what was conveyed to me by my friends in law school currently, including those at CLS. This is not to say people I met were unfriendly. However, I will retract my assumptions in light of your testimony and see what comes.

Moreover, whether you'll make a lot of friends or not shouldnt determine where you go to school

Ti Malice
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Re: UCLA (100k) vs Columbia (sticker)

Postby Ti Malice » Sun Jun 16, 2013 12:08 am

MeekOne wrote:
Doorkeeper wrote:Columbia at sticker isn't great, but you're still looking at over $150k in loans from UCLA, which would require biglaw. I would take Columbia for the much better job prospects.


Thanks for such a prompt response. I have a couple days to decide. I honestly think my Columbia trepidation is more due to the social aspect rather than the (much) larger debt incurrence... which is entirely the result of the unknown and may be completely irrational.


Edit: Though, for the record, I believe my UCLA debt would be closer to the $90k range, due to in state, rather than out of state, tuition.


Just to be clear, is the $100K figure originally posted the scholarship amount from UCLA (as opposed to an estimate of COA)? If so, your debt at repayment from UCLA would still be a little over $135K. In-state tuition saves you a little, but tuition is still $47K+, and it will increase yearly. Remember also that interest will accumulate on your loans while you're in school.

Columbia at sticker entails a scary amount of debt, but I would take it over UCLA at $135K+. CLS obliterates UCLA in job placement. I can't speak to the social scene at either school, but CLS has the reputation of having a large number of students with already-established social lives in NYC. (I defer to the CLS posters here on how pervasive/noticeable this is.) Regardless, as jbagelboy related in making a similar choice, this should rank pretty far down your list of concerns when you're taking on these levels of debt and when the job placement differences are so significant. This is professional school, after all.

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bowser
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Re: UCLA (100k) vs Columbia (sticker)

Postby bowser » Sun Jun 16, 2013 12:37 am

In response to the social thing:

I think it has more to do with you than the school. Some people want to make tons of new friends and form new networks and just recreate the experience of UG. Others are already fairly set and don't have great interest in starting a new social life, and end up befriending a handful of people. Some people are just slightly awkward and it takes time for them, no matter where they're at. From my experience the people who build strong new groups are somewhat in the minority, but a sizeable one (but I'm at CLS where people tend to have other options, if they're not that interested in totally investing into the law school social scene).

I highly doubt anything about the people at CLS is very different from the people at UCLA, in a social sense.

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kwais
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Re: UCLA (100k) vs Columbia (sticker)

Postby kwais » Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:30 am

jbagelboy wrote: This is a blatant misrepresentation from what Ive been told by everyone going to law school. The social life is nothing like UG. Kids at CLS typically only make a few friends, and even fewer close ones, whereas in college you make hundreds and many close friends. The CLS competitive atmosphere precludes the ability to bond closely for much of the class. People at that level are also generally pretty weird, nerdy, uptight, introverted ect. Its an uptight place. Especially coming from LA area. You cant compare the social life.


i love the confidence with which you spewed this garbage. OP, CLS is a big diverse place. avoid useless generalizations when making your choice.

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Rahviveh
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Re: UCLA (100k) vs Columbia (sticker)

Postby Rahviveh » Sun Jun 16, 2013 2:01 am

jbagelboy wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:
scotth724 wrote:You'll make friends just like you did in undergrad. If that's your major concern, Columbia and it's not even close.


This is a blatant misrepresentation from what Ive been told by everyone going to law school. The social life is nothing like UG. Kids at CLS typically only make a few friends, and even fewer close ones, whereas in college you make hundreds and many close friends. The CLS competitive atmosphere precludes the ability to bond closely for much of the class. People atthat level are also generally pretty weird, nerdy, uptight, introverted ect. Its an uptight place. Especially coming from LA area. You cant compare the social life.

Nevertheless, this consideration is insignificant relative to employment prospects and the value of your degree. Go to CLS

I made more close friends in one year of law school than I did in four years of undergrad, and I went to undergrad in Southern California. Columbia is not competitive because no one is worried about not getting a job.


Well I certainly hope thats true and Im happy to hear that was your experience. It's not what was conveyed to me by my friends in law school currently, including those at CLS. This is not to say people I met were unfriendly. However, I will retract my assumptions in light of your testimony and see what comes.

Moreover, whether you'll make a lot of friends or not shouldnt determine where you go to school


OP keep in mind this guy is a 0L and not a CLS student and is generally a terrible poster.

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Bronck
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Re: UCLA (100k) vs Columbia (sticker)

Postby Bronck » Sun Jun 16, 2013 3:20 am

jbagelboy wrote:This is a blatant misrepresentation from what Ive been told by everyone going to law school. The social life is nothing like UG. Kids at CLS typically only make a few friends, and even fewer close ones, whereas in college you make hundreds and many close friends. The CLS competitive atmosphere precludes the ability to bond closely for much of the class. People atthat level are also generally pretty weird, nerdy, uptight, introverted ect. Its an uptight place. Especially coming from LA area. You cant compare the social life.

Nevertheless, this consideration is insignificant relative to employment prospects and the value of your degree. Go to CLS


LOL. What is this, I don't even. What an absolute garbage post.

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sinfiery
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Re: UCLA (100k) vs Columbia (sticker)

Postby sinfiery » Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:15 am

Damn the CLS non 0L TLS community is strong

BigZuck
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Re: UCLA (100k) vs Columbia (sticker)

Postby BigZuck » Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:09 am

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=206299

OP, I declare that this thread cannot continue until you do all of that

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jbagelboy
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Re: UCLA (100k) vs Columbia (sticker)

Postby jbagelboy » Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:27 pm

I can sympathize with a kid from LA who is nervous about moving to NYC for 3 yrs, because Im about to do it. Being an 0L is precisely what qualifies me to relate to OPs thoughts

I think he/she should do it despite the reservations because CLS is an amazing school, Columbia is a great community and the city is fun once you get the hang of it and if you avoid being dirt poor.

What many of you seem to believe is that 1) people not yet in law school have never spoken to law school students and everything they say is made up; and
2) that going to new york is the same experience for everyone. Both of these are quite wrong.

When I give a commentary like the above -- admittedly controversial and one sided -- i am trying to demonstrate the worst fears that entered my own thought process, and how I rationalized through them. TLS and the legal community boast an east coast bias. People are often trashing with no reference on CA and might not appreciate the challenges OP feels about the transition. My two friends at CLS and some of the more normal people I spoke with when I visited, twice, said its important to maintain some life off campus, making friends and socializing is different from UG, and made certain observations that I have tried to relay, albeit badly. Maybe some of my own prejudices have conflated with accounts from people that share my priorities and beliefs. Yet I feel like a number of you simply see us 0Ls as entirely useless since we haven't started law school. We face ridicule when trying to relate to the decisions and experiences of other posters. I should take these comments with a grain of salt, just as I would anything read on TLS. OP should too.

Tiaggo, as I said, I would be happy to hear/discuss more about CLS with you.
Papi, Im surprised by your vitriol but c'est la vie.
To anyone else I insulted or confused, before the thread derails any further, try to understand my point: Go to Columbia, and put your fears, which others have shared at times and resolved, to rest. Congratulations and hope to see you there

NYstate
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Re: UCLA (100k) vs Columbia (sticker)

Postby NYstate » Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:46 pm

So COA at Columbia including the health insurance is just under 80,000. So would OP have at least $240,000 of debt? I guess some of the total may be lowered by jobs but I didn't add in interest.

OP may have to get used to NYC if he expects to pay off that much debt. And OP better not be below median either.

Why aren't there other options here?

Edit to add: there are so many options of activities to be involved in the city. I don't think OP will have trouble making friends if he puts effort into it. I meet new people all the time doing different stuff. It isn't hard to develop a social circle here if you know how to make friends or have hobbies.

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chuckbass
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Re: UCLA (100k) vs Columbia (sticker)

Postby chuckbass » Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:51 pm

I'd say the social aspect depends on you not the school. It may be harder to make friends in law school, but if you're a social type and you want a lot of friends you'll make them and it shouldn't be a consideration.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: UCLA (100k) vs Columbia (sticker)

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Jun 16, 2013 3:05 pm

NYstate wrote:And OP better not be below median either.

Don't fear-monger. You've seen the data.

OP at UCLA you could easily fall back on your existing network and not meet as many new people as you will at a new place like CLS. Leaving your friends and your comfort zone is always tough but it's worth it.

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sanjola
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Re: UCLA (100k) vs Columbia (sticker)

Postby sanjola » Sun Jun 16, 2013 4:10 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
This is a blatant misrepresentation from what Ive been told by everyone going to law school. The social life is nothing like UG. Kids at CLS typically only make a few friends, and even fewer close ones, whereas in college you make hundreds and many close friends. The CLS competitive atmosphere precludes the ability to bond closely for much of the class. People atthat level are also generally pretty weird, nerdy, uptight, introverted ect. Its an uptight place. Especially coming from LA area. You cant compare the social life.

Nevertheless, this consideration is insignificant relative to employment prospects and the value of your degree. Go to CLS



You're not in UG anymore. Social settings will not be the same as those in UG ever again. Accept that fact and enjoy NYC and being an adult.

I don't understand why anyone would want to make "hundreds of friends" anyway.

MeekOne
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Re: UCLA (100k) vs Columbia (sticker)

Postby MeekOne » Sun Jun 16, 2013 5:25 pm

Thanks so much to everybody for the large amount of responses. I'll try and get to what everyone's asked!

First off, these are the only two options ^^.

Second off, I am not from California.. but I have an out of state tuition waiver for my first semester and will have achieved in state for years two or three. So i will be moving and leaving home regardless.. sorry if that was unclear. However I already know people both at UCLA and in LA in general.

Someone asked if I'm below the medians? .. I'm a splitter. Above the 75th LSAT and below the 25th GPA. Sharing my exact numbers at this point isn't really relevant because these are my only two options at this point and I'm not interested in waiting a year, for various personal and pragmatic reasons, but that should provide you with an idea of where I'm at.

I'll edit this as I find more specific questions to respond to. Thanks x infinity to everyone.

For those of you questioning the weight of social fulfillment when choosing a graduate, quasi-trade school... well let's just say it's a Maslow heirarchy of needs type thing. Everyone is different in what makes them happy and what keeps them motivated. For me, I've learned the times when I've been the most successful in my academic, work and personal pursuits are when I've been surrounded by friends and haven't felt isolated.

Ok look... I know how to make friends and I have hobbies... lol. And there are a lot of kids at Columbia. It has just happened so quickly and it is such an unknown (I've been to NY... once? but am stoked to live there) that I'm playing through doomsday scenarios in my head. And because of the timing of my offer I haven't had a chance go out for any ASPs and get my foot in the door / feel it out.

I will say I am definitely leaning heavy Columbia.
Last edited by MeekOne on Sun Jun 16, 2013 5:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

kiyoku
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Re: UCLA (100k) vs Columbia (sticker)

Postby kiyoku » Sun Jun 16, 2013 5:46 pm

Columbia.




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