Help!!! Cornell (sticker) vs BU ($$) vs maybe Northwestern

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Confusedfuturejd
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Help!!! Cornell (sticker) vs BU ($$) vs maybe Northwestern

Postby Confusedfuturejd » Fri Jun 28, 2013 7:44 am

Help! I just got off Cornell's waitlist and am having major anxiety trying to figure this out. Here are the details:

I am not picky on where I want to practice and am leaning toward international law.

I went to BU for undergrad as well.

BU has given me money and I am from Boston so my total cost of attending will be roughly 25 k a year. I will be able to swing that and graduate with very little to no debt. This will allow me to be ok if I graduate and get a crap job and be very ok if I manage a great job. Also will allow me to do study aboard programs with the money I'd be saving.

Cornell just accepted me off its waitlist. My major concerns are location of the school and money. I would be graduating from an Ivy League school, but with nearly 200 k in debt. Not sure if its worth it with all the horror stories I've been reading. Also I'm not sure if the location poses problems to people who want to interview in dc NYC or Boston for positions. Is networking an issue? Also I am a city girl born and raised and hate the cold. Not sure if the small town feel of ithaca and the harsh winters are as bad as they seem? ( haven't had a chance to visit the campus yet)



Lastly, I am still on the waitlist for Northwestern. I like its location a lot because it's in the city. Also it is ranked one higher than cornell and tuition is less. Not sure which school has more national and international appeal. If I end up getting in should I go for it over Cornell or choose BU over either for a debt free law degree?




Help!??!



Edited-

I took the LSAT twice and ended up with a 164. Don't think retaking is gonna bring it up any more because I studied as hard as I could and kept topping around that score. I graduated BU with a 3.72
Last edited by Confusedfuturejd on Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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hephaestus
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Re: Help!!! Cornell (sticker) vs BU ($$) vs maybe Northwestern

Postby hephaestus » Fri Jun 28, 2013 7:56 am

1. Do this: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=206299
2. International law really isn't a thing. What do you mean by that?
3. I think Cornell is easily the better choice than BU. if you target Boston during OCI you have a great shot with your ties.
4. Regardless, retaking is probably the right answer because cornell is really expensive at sticker.

amitty1019
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Re: Help!!! Cornell (sticker) vs BU ($$) vs maybe Northwestern

Postby amitty1019 » Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:54 am

I can't pretend I am wholly unbiased or objective, but that said, if I was in your position, here are the factors I would weigh:

1. Which school will allow you to achieve your career goals more easily? Do you want a school that has a lot of resources/cred in big law, PI, etc?
2. Where do you ultimately want to end up? There is a lot to be said about being in/near the city in which you want to practice-easier networking opportunities, internships/externships, etc.
3. Debt load-are you willing to take on heavy debt? Even with a 160 K first year associate position, full-sticker debt is a heavy burden to bear. Conversely, you could take on very little/no debt, but there may be fewer guarantees about the kind of job you could land at graduation. What kinds of risks are you willing to take?
4. Finally, where do you think you will be happiest to spend three years? I firmly believe there is a strong correlation between personal happiness and success in school. Wherever you end up, law school will be very stressful, and it is in your best interest to be in the place where you will be the most relaxed and able to focus.

Congratulations on Cornell! And good luck with your decision :)

jcdjgd
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Re: Help!!! Cornell (sticker) vs BU ($$) vs maybe Northwestern

Postby jcdjgd » Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:21 am

NO to Cornell. you should either:

- Go to Northwestern (MUCH closer to being worth sticker than Cornell)
- Go to BU. the cost of attendance is great, after factoring in your scholarships.
- Retake

I'd seriously consider retaking, but I'd your deadest on going this year, however, I'd definitely take BU over Cornell. Something also to keep in mind regarding price is that BU is cheaper by a few 1,000 to begin with… which further makes BU a better option than going close to 300,000 in debt at Cornell. Check some of the estimates people have done for paying back that much debt. It's going to take many years and budgeting to knock down a significant amount.

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DoveBodyWash
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Re: Help!!! Cornell (sticker) vs BU ($$) vs maybe Northwestern

Postby DoveBodyWash » Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:32 am

jcdjgd wrote:Go to Northwestern (MUCH closer to being worth sticker than Cornell)

Eh I dunno if I agree that Northwestern offers significantly more sticker-worth than Cornell. It'll depend on OP's market preferences.

amitty1019 wrote:I can't pretend I am wholly unbiased or objective, but that said, if I was in your position, here are the factors I would weigh:

1. Which school will allow you to achieve your career goals more easily? Do you want a school that has a lot of resources/cred in big law, PI, etc?
2. Where do you ultimately want to end up? There is a lot to be said about being in/near the city in which you want to practice-easier networking opportunities, internships/externships, etc.
3. Debt load-are you willing to take on heavy debt? Even with a 160 K first year associate position, full-sticker debt is a heavy burden to bear. Conversely, you could take on very little/no debt, but there may be fewer guarantees about the kind of job you could land at graduation. What kinds of risks are you willing to take?
4. Finally, where do you think you will be happiest to spend three years? I firmly believe there is a strong correlation between personal happiness and success in school. Wherever you end up, law school will be very stressful, and it is in your best interest to be in the place where you will be the most relaxed and able to focus.

Congratulations on Cornell! And good luck with your decision :)

^Credited. Especially the bolded

Personally I'd go with BU here if your debt will be as low as i'm thinking. Can you offer more concrete numbers on that front? FWIW I'm not sure a re-take makes much sense for you if you've already taken it twice and you're dead set on going to a T14. There's a chance you won't improve enough for bring in T14 options next cycle...and there's no guarantee you'll get into Cornell again. But if you're goal is to minimize debt then I'd go to BU or re-take.

I went to UG half an hour north of Ithaca and have been to Cornell several times. Yes the winters are that bad. Whatever you're imagining, subtract like 10 degrees and add another 5-7 inches of snow and then you'll have an accurate mental image.

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hephaestus
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Re: Help!!! Cornell (sticker) vs BU ($$) vs maybe Northwestern

Postby hephaestus » Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:37 am

jcdjgd wrote:NO to Cornell. you should either:

- Go to Northwestern (MUCH closer to being worth sticker than Cornell)
.

This is really dubious. The lower T14 are essentially peers when you look at multiple years of data. That being said, neither is the best call at sticker.

Confusedfuturejd
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Re: Help!!! Cornell (sticker) vs BU ($$) vs maybe Northwestern

Postby Confusedfuturejd » Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:55 am

cusenation wrote:
jcdjgd wrote:Go to Northwestern (MUCH closer to being worth sticker than Cornell)

Eh I dunno if I agree that Northwestern offers significantly more sticker-worth than Cornell. It'll depend on OP's market preferences.

amitty1019 wrote:I can't pretend I am wholly unbiased or objective, but that said, if I was in your position, here are the factors I would weigh:

1. Which school will allow you to achieve your career goals more easily? Do you want a school that has a lot of resources/cred in big law, PI, etc?
2. Where do you ultimately want to end up? There is a lot to be said about being in/near the city in which you want to practice-easier networking opportunities, internships/externships, etc.
3. Debt load-are you willing to take on heavy debt? Even with a 160 K first year associate position, full-sticker debt is a heavy burden to bear. Conversely, you could take on very little/no debt, but there may be fewer guarantees about the kind of job you could land at graduation. What kinds of risks are you willing to take?
4. Finally, where do you think you will be happiest to spend three years? I firmly believe there is a strong correlation between personal happiness and success in school. Wherever you end up, law school will be very stressful, and it is in your best interest to be in the place where you will be the most relaxed and able to focus.

Congratulations on Cornell! And good luck with your decision :)

^Credited. Especially the bolded

Personally I'd go with BU here if your debt will be as low as i'm thinking. Can you offer more concrete numbers on that front? FWIW I'm not sure a re-take makes much sense for you if you've already taken it twice and you're dead set on going to a T14. There's a chance you won't improve enough for bring in T14 options next cycle...and there's no guarantee you'll get into Cornell again. But if you're goal is to minimize debt then I'd go to BU or re-take.

I went to UG half an hour north of Ithaca and have been to Cornell several times. Yes the winters are that bad. Whatever you're imagining, subtract like 10 degrees and add another 5-7 inches of snow and then you'll have an accurate mental image.




Have you ever been to Boston in the Winter? Would you say it is comparable?


Also- with parental contributions at both schools these would be the range of end debt coming out of law school from both schools


BU: 0-20,000
Cornell: 100,000

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DoveBodyWash
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Re: Help!!! Cornell (sticker) vs BU ($$) vs maybe Northwestern

Postby DoveBodyWash » Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:59 am

Confusedfuturejd wrote:Have you ever been to Boston in the Winter? Would you say it is comparable?


Also- with parental contributions at both schools these would be the range of end debt coming out of law school from both schools


BU: 0-20,000
Cornell: 100,000

Lived in Greater Boston for 17 years...and here now. I would say that the winters in Central New York are worse. More snow, more wind, more cold. But the winter weather isn't as inconvenient because there's almost no road congestion and they're better prepared for it up there in terms of plowing and stuff.

Ehhh i mean I think i'd still be more comfortable with BU...but 100k for Cornell isn't actually what we consider sticker, which is closer to 250k. I think either would be okay as long as you're prepared for the trade off between debt and job placement

Confusedfuturejd
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Re: Help!!! Cornell (sticker) vs BU ($$) vs maybe Northwestern

Postby Confusedfuturejd » Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:07 pm

ImNoScar wrote:
jcdjgd wrote:NO to Cornell. you should either:

- Go to Northwestern (MUCH closer to being worth sticker than Cornell)
.

This is really dubious. The lower T14 are essentially peers when you look at multiple years of data. That being said, neither is the best call at sticker.



So are you saying that BU is the best option out of these 3 schools?

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Lavitz
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Re: Help!!! Cornell (sticker) vs BU ($$) vs maybe Northwestern

Postby Lavitz » Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:09 pm

Confusedfuturejd wrote:Also- with parental contributions at both schools these would be the range of end debt coming out of law school from both schools


BU: 0-20,000
Cornell: 100,000

I was going to say BU because you wouldn't need biglaw to pay off the debt but these numbers look much better. If you don't mind having your parents spend the extra money, then I think Cornell will be worth it here.

0L speaking:

Most firms won't interview in Ithaca; you travel to NYC for AJF. From what I hear, they also have a jobs fair in Boston. I'm pretty sure Boston firms will dig deeper into the class at Cornell than BU. If you wouldn't mind working in NYC as a backup, it's an even stronger case for Cornell.

No, you can't really network in Ithaca. A few firms will have receptions at the school, but aside from that, you won't be in close proximity to potential employers. Still, since networking is meant to get you a job, and we have the actual employment figures showing Cornell with double the biglaw + fed. clerkship placement, I don't think it'll matter much unless you're aiming for a small firm in Boston.

Not sure what you mean by international law, but Cornell supposedly has a good international law program.

The only cons I can see for Cornell would be that you're a city person and you don't like the cold.

The fact that NU is ranked one spot higher than Cornell in USNWR is irrelevant. They're peers in placement power. Maybe go there instead because it's in a city and you'd be happier there, but I doubt it would make a difference in employment outcomes unless you were gunning for Chicago.

But if you'd be content with small firm work in Boston, I think BU would be a fine choice too. It depends on what your goals are. I wouldn't bank on biglaw out of BU, let alone international law.

amitty1019
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Re: Help!!! Cornell (sticker) vs BU ($$) vs maybe Northwestern

Postby amitty1019 » Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:12 pm

Confusedfuturejd wrote:
ImNoScar wrote:
jcdjgd wrote:NO to Cornell. you should either:

- Go to Northwestern (MUCH closer to being worth sticker than Cornell)
.

This is really dubious. The lower T14 are essentially peers when you look at multiple years of data. That being said, neither is the best call at sticker.



So are you saying that BU is the best option out of these 3 schools?


Given your very low debt load at BU, it is a very attractive option. But, of course, there are other things to consider (see my earlier post :D)

Confusedfuturejd
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Re: Help!!! Cornell (sticker) vs BU ($$) vs maybe Northwestern

Postby Confusedfuturejd » Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:24 pm

Bleh! I'mmma have an anxiety attack. I'm going to try to visit soon (within the next week) and I also emailed the financial aid office for a rough projection of repayment after law school, including the doubled interest on student loans we most likely will be seeing from the gov.



I also dono if it matters, but I don't have any leftover debt from undergrad either since I went to BU, so my debt would solely be from law school.

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Lavitz
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Re: Help!!! Cornell (sticker) vs BU ($$) vs maybe Northwestern

Postby Lavitz » Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:31 pm

Confusedfuturejd wrote:Bleh! I'mmma have an anxiety attack. I'm going to try to visit soon (within the next week) and I also emailed the financial aid office for a rough projection of repayment after law school, including the doubled interest on student loans we most likely will be seeing from the gov.

I thought that was just for the subsidized Stafford loans available only to undergrads. I haven't heard anything about unsubsidized or Grad Plus loan rates increasing.

You can estimate how much debt you'll have with the GULC calculator. Cornell's estimated budget for this year is $77,106.

kaiser
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Re: Help!!! Cornell (sticker) vs BU ($$) vs maybe Northwestern

Postby kaiser » Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:36 pm

I was in similar situation, with 30K/year from BU and something like 10K per year from Cornell. I was scared off by the debt load from Cornell, so I choose BU. At the time, I was open to either Boston or NYC, but if I were deadset on NYC, I may very well have picked Cornell.

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hephaestus
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Re: Help!!! Cornell (sticker) vs BU ($$) vs maybe Northwestern

Postby hephaestus » Fri Jun 28, 2013 5:43 pm

Confusedfuturejd wrote:
ImNoScar wrote:
jcdjgd wrote:NO to Cornell. you should either:

- Go to Northwestern (MUCH closer to being worth sticker than Cornell)
.

This is really dubious. The lower T14 are essentially peers when you look at multiple years of data. That being said, neither is the best call at sticker.



So are you saying that BU is the best option out of these 3 schools?

Id go cornell if you have to. I'd actually reccommend a retake.

Confusedfuturejd
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Re: Help!!! Cornell (sticker) vs BU ($$) vs maybe Northwestern

Postby Confusedfuturejd » Fri Jun 28, 2013 5:50 pm

ImNoScar wrote:
Confusedfuturejd wrote:
ImNoScar wrote:
jcdjgd wrote:NO to Cornell. you should either:

- Go to Northwestern (MUCH closer to being worth sticker than Cornell)
.

This is really dubious. The lower T14 are essentially peers when you look at multiple years of data. That being said, neither is the best call at sticker.



So are you saying that BU is the best option out of these 3 schools?

Id go cornell if you have to. I'd actually reccommend a retake.



retake a third time? I honestly don't think I would do much better

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jbagelboy
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Re: Help!!! Cornell (sticker) vs BU ($$) vs maybe Northwestern

Postby jbagelboy » Fri Jun 28, 2013 5:50 pm

Lavitz wrote:Not sure what you mean by international law, but Cornell supposedly has a good international law program.


Employment aside, this is the point I was going to make but I scanned to see if I was scooped. Cornell will definitely open up more doors for international "stuff" (summer gigs, research, journals, centers, ect.) than BU. They have a noted program. They do send a few kids into niche international PI positions, but those are magna cum laude/law review ppl, and they are just as hard to get as fed clerkships. Either way, don't go into law school thinking that you will "practice" international law.. you will most likely be practicing at a large firm in downtown NYC, or at a smaller firm in a secondary market where you have ties, but you can have fun studying international affairs as a student.

amitty1019
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Re: Help!!! Cornell (sticker) vs BU ($$) vs maybe Northwestern

Postby amitty1019 » Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:49 pm

A lot of people on this forum have talked about the opportunities cornell will open for you, and while that is true, you will have very little debt leaving BU (which is certainly no TTT), and that also affords you a certain freedom. Keep that in mind, and visit and see where you would be happiest.

BigZuck
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Re: Help!!! Cornell (sticker) vs BU ($$) vs maybe Northwestern

Postby BigZuck » Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:26 am

I would take Cornell at 100K over BU for freesies all day and twice on Sundays (unless maybe I was deadset on working at a small firm in Boston).

elm84dr
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Re: Help!!! Cornell (sticker) vs BU ($$) vs maybe Northwestern

Postby elm84dr » Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:02 pm

BigZuck wrote:I would take Cornell at 100K over BU for freesies all day and twice on Sundays (unless maybe I was deadset on working at a small firm in Boston).


Not sure about choosing BU for a small firm in Boston, the alumni network really isn't entrenched in Boston as BC is, thus most small firms in the area are run by loyal BC alum.

To the OP's point though, I made the same exact decision. I had a pretty much full ride to BU, and 100K at Cornell (leaving me with about $115K in debt). I chose BU. The reasons were:
(1) I wanted to practice in Boston;
(2) I wanted to be in or near a city;
(3) I wanted to have opportunities to intern/get hands on practice;
(4) I wanted flexibility to live after law school, be it big law or something else;
(5) I did not want to be big law or nothing---having virtually no debt opens a lot of doors and opportunities;
(6) If I did get big law, I wanted to use the money I made to build (start a family, invest, own a home)---and not spend the first 5-10 years paying off student loans; and
(7) If I got big law and stayed, I wanted to be able to change career trajectory without having to suffer too much because of crushing debt.

That being said, if your parents have no problem paying for all of the tuition at Cornell, go there. If you are dead set on being in New York, go to Cornell. If you are okay being in a more isolated setting + the stresses of law school and money is not an issue, go to Cornell.

I chose BU, I am very happy, and I am a SA at a NLJ 250/Am Law 100 firm this summer in Boston, hoping on an offer.

See my post on this when I was deciding here:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=151158

Confusedfuturejd
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Re: Help!!! Cornell (sticker) vs BU ($$) vs maybe Northwestern

Postby Confusedfuturejd » Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:09 pm

Ok- new scenario.



If I get into Northwestern at sticker what would you guys say? Would BU still be a better choice?

If I got into Northwestern my concerns about location would be gone and I think I would be a happier person in the city.


Any and all advice is appreciated :)

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Lavitz
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Re: Help!!! Cornell (sticker) vs BU ($$) vs maybe Northwestern

Postby Lavitz » Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:40 pm

Confusedfuturejd wrote:Ok- new scenario.



If I get into Northwestern at sticker what would you guys say? Would BU still be a better choice?

If I got into Northwestern my concerns about location would be gone and I think I would be a happier person in the city.


Any and all advice is appreciated :)

I would pick NU based on your personal preferences, but that's because I was already leaning Cornell to start with. And again, I'm basing this on the 100K debt vs. 0 debt figures.

I don't know if anyone voting BU would change their opinion. It really comes down to whether you prefer the flexibility of having no debt and being able to take a lower paying job or the ability to be more competitive for certain jobs and in different markets.

Informative
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Re: Help!!! Cornell (sticker) vs BU ($$) vs maybe Northwestern

Postby Informative » Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:07 pm

Go with Cornell or Northwestern. These are both worth the extra money in the long run.

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MischiefMayhemSoap
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Re: Help!!! Cornell (sticker) vs BU ($$) vs maybe Northwestern

Postby MischiefMayhemSoap » Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:37 pm

Informative wrote:Go with Cornell or Northwestern. These are both worth the extra money in the long run.


^ this.




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