Chicago $$$ vs NYU (Need to decide soon!)

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Chicago $$$ vs NYU

Chicago
65
93%
NYU
5
7%
 
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Confused 0L
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Chicago $$$ vs NYU (Need to decide soon!)

Postby Confused 0L » Fri Jul 19, 2013 12:57 pm

I’ve been here before, but I’ve recently been admitted to NYU off the waitlist and have another difficult decision to make by the end of the weekend. Here we go:

I want to do Biglaw in NYC when I graduate. After agonizing over my options a while back, I decided on Chicago, which has offered me a substantial scholarship.

While I settled on Chicago, I still have some concerns about my ability to succeed there because I'm a very slow reader (and have a diagnosed learning disability). Although I'm prepared to attend, I'm not completely comfortable with the schedule and intensity of the academic program at Chicago (the quarter system, a very tight reading period/exam schedule, graded LRW, etc.)

Now I’ve been admitted to NYU, which definitely feels like a better fit for me and has a somewhat more manageable schedule.

I would prefer to be in New York but NYU would be at sticker. My family has offered to help so I would graduate Chicago with debt of about $60,000 plus interest, while attending NYU would leave me with about twice that amount. One option that’s been offered to further reduce the cost of NYU is for me to live with family (in Manhattan but not in the Village) for all or part of law school. I’m not sure I’m prepared to do that, but I’m considering it because the resulting debt would be about the same as at Chicago.

Does NYU ‘s greater New York presence make it a better option than Chicago, given my career goals? Should I take on more debt or live with family in order to attend NYU, or would I be better off at Chicago?

I'd appreciate any thoughts you may have.

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bk1
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Re: Chicago $$$ vs NYU (Need to decide soon!)

Postby bk1 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 12:59 pm

Chicago and it's not even close.

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paglababa
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Re: Chicago $$$ vs NYU (Need to decide soon!)

Postby paglababa » Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:01 pm

bk1 wrote:Chicago and it's not even close.


you dont pay 100k for a better 'fit.' Do you know how much $100k is in terms of how many hours of your life you will have to work to earn?
Last edited by paglababa on Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jyrkchicken
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Re: Chicago $$$ vs NYU (Need to decide soon!)

Postby jyrkchicken » Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:01 pm

bk1 wrote:Chicago and it's not even close.

kaiser
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Re: Chicago $$$ vs NYU (Need to decide soon!)

Postby kaiser » Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:04 pm

Thats a lot of savings. Go to Chicago. You will still end up with NYC biglaw anyway. I go (I guess I have to say "went" at this point) to NYU, and I still think Chicago is the right answer with that savings.
Last edited by kaiser on Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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you'rethemannowdawg
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Re: Chicago $$$ vs NYU (Need to decide soon!)

Postby you'rethemannowdawg » Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:08 pm

jyrkchicken wrote:
bk1 wrote:Chicago and it's not even close.


+1

Both of these schools will get you back to NYC biglaw. Don't pass up that great scholarship opportunity.

RodneyRuxin
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Re: Chicago $$$ vs NYU (Need to decide soon!)

Postby RodneyRuxin » Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:17 pm

I agree that Chicago's clearly the better option here for the money. But if you really think you can make the cost equal through living with family, here are some considerations/info that may help:




Personal Reasons:

The things you say about Chicago are true, but it only really sucks Spring Quarter. Fall and Winter are very laid-back (minus law students stressing out and doing much more work than they need to be doing). If you consider yourself a slow starter, the quarter system is for you. If you consider yourself to be someone who loves going hard from the get-go, semesters may be a better bet. It basically evens out to around 1/2 your grades (almost equivalent of 1 semester) being in the fall/winter, and 1/2 in spring. Yes spring sucks, but fall/winter are cake in comparison. Graded LRW isn't too bad--it's a very tight curve and most people fall around median (those I know that did poorly were only 1 point below median).

Professional reasons.

NYU has an advantage in NYC biglaw, but not a huge one.. Most Chicago students self-select the Chicago market, leaving less people at your school to compete with for NY (couple that with small class size of Chicago). But, if you're one that loves networking, being in NY is amazing--lunch/coffee is a much better way to establish a personal connection than a phone call. There's also firm receptions that people use to network--Chicago has had a few NY receptions, but I'm sure NYU/Columbia have more. I'm also sure that career services at NYU knows more about the NY market than career services in Chicago. Chicago also doesn't have some great NYC firms come to OCI (White & Case, Cahill, for example)--but that can be partially solved through targeted mailing and showing interest in an office by contacting attorneys there.

tl;dr Chicago/NYU are pretty even in terms of getting a job, and your personal reasons probably aren't worth 60k. Go Chicago.

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bk1
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Re: Chicago $$$ vs NYU (Need to decide soon!)

Postby bk1 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:20 pm

RodneyRuxin wrote:I agree that Chicago's clearly the better option here for the money. But if you really think you can make the cost equal through living with family

That's a fair point. I misread the OP (I thought OP said it would be the double UChi even living with family).

NYU is clearly not worth 60k more. But at equal cost it is definitely a tossup. The question then is whether your dislike of the UChi environment is greater or lesser than your dislike of living with your family.

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Re: Chicago $$$ vs NYU (Need to decide soon!)

Postby bubba » Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:51 pm

I just graduated from NYU, and I would advise you to go to Chicago given the cost differential. You don't really want to live at home. And you certainly don't want to incur an extra 60k of debt. With 60k of debt you can do whatever you want. With 120k you will feel like a slave. Trust me. Ask NYU to match. If they don't come close, it's off to Hyde Park for you.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Chicago $$$ vs NYU (Need to decide soon!)

Postby jbagelboy » Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:42 pm

What makes you think NYU would be a more compatible school for your disability/learning style? More students, larger sections, more alienating, less individualized attention and faculty contact. Money aside, I fail to see how its objectively the better choice, unless living at home/accessing that support network is valuable to you.

Id stick with Chicago. Its a better school all things considered IMO and it will offer you both NYC biglaw and increased flexibility with clerkships, gov jobs, academia, ect (although its not HYS).

RodneyRuxin
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Re: Chicago $$$ vs NYU (Need to decide soon!)

Postby RodneyRuxin » Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:54 pm

jbagelboy wrote:What makes you think NYU would be a more compatible school for your disability/learning style? More students, larger sections, more alienating, less individualized attention and faculty contact. Money aside, I fail to see how its objectively the better choice, unless living at home/accessing that support network is valuable to you.

Id stick with Chicago. Its a better school all things considered IMO and it will offer you both NYC biglaw and increased flexibility with clerkships, gov jobs, academia, ect (although its not HYS).



Though I agree Chicago's the best choice, Chicago is very, very competitive and spring quarter causes a lot of people to snap. I think NYU would better suit my learning style and I don't have a learning disability :lol:

Size can be both a curse and a blessing. Individualized attention can suck when you're getting cold-called for 45 minutes Plus, everyone knows how much everyone's studying and everyone loves to talk about themselves up. There's a lot of "I wish X was in my section," etc.

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koalatriste
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Re: Chicago $$$ vs NYU (Need to decide soon!)

Postby koalatriste » Fri Jul 19, 2013 5:45 pm

Chicago, UNLESS you can get NYU to match! Have you tried calling and asking?

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Toby Ziegler
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Re: Chicago $$$ vs NYU (Need to decide soon!)

Postby Toby Ziegler » Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:28 pm

koalatriste wrote:Chicago, UNLESS you can get NYU to match! Have you tried calling and asking?

This.

kaiser
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Re: Chicago $$$ vs NYU (Need to decide soon!)

Postby kaiser » Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:32 pm

+1 to the negotiation request. If you explicitly tell NYU that you will go if they match the offer, they may be more willing to do so. But only make promises you intend to stick to.

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sinfiery
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Re: Chicago $$$ vs NYU (Need to decide soon!)

Postby sinfiery » Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:03 pm

Am I crazy to think how competitive a school is comes more (99.99999%/.000001 split, not 51/49) from how indebted the students are * how important grades are to getting out of said debt versus some silly differences in grading median/class structures?


Go to UChii

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untar614
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Re: Chicago $$$ vs NYU (Need to decide soon!)

Postby untar614 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:21 pm

sinfiery wrote:Am I crazy to think how competitive a school is comes more (99.99999%/.000001 split, not 51/49) from how indebted the students are * how important grades are to getting out of said debt versus some silly differences in grading median/class structures?

I'm curious as to what you were saying here, because I couldn't quite make sense of it

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sinfiery
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Re: Chicago $$$ vs NYU (Need to decide soon!)

Postby sinfiery » Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:53 pm

When I think of reasons why I would put in that extra hour studying, it's generally a combination of remembering how much I am paying for this opportunity factored in a formula by how important the grade I receive in said class is towards me being able to get a job that will allow me to pay off the cost of said opportunity.

I don't really see how the things that people claim make UChi rigorous, IE: quarter system and 120-180 grading or something actually matter in any way, at all.

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paglababa
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Re: Chicago $$$ vs NYU (Need to decide soon!)

Postby paglababa » Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:01 pm

untar614 wrote:
sinfiery wrote:Am I crazy to think how competitive a school is comes more (99.99999%/.000001 split, not 51/49) from how indebted the students are * how important grades are to getting out of said debt versus some silly differences in grading median/class structures?

I'm curious as to what you were saying here, because I couldn't quite make sense of it


I think hes saying that how competitive a school is, 99% of the time, boils down to: (how indebted students are)*(importance grades play in relieving that debt), as opposed to the other factors listed. But by that logic, TTTT would be the most competitive lol.

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sinfiery
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Re: Chicago $$$ vs NYU (Need to decide soon!)

Postby sinfiery » Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:14 pm

paglababa wrote:I think hes saying that how competitive a school is, 99% of the time, boils down to: (how indebted students are)*(importance grades play in relieving that debt), as opposed to the other factors listed. But by that logic, TTTT would be the most competitive lol.

damn TTTTs ruin everything

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Chicago $$$ vs NYU (Need to decide soon!)

Postby Doorkeeper » Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:47 pm

Did you try to negotiate a scholarship from NYU using the Chicago money?

RodneyRuxin
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Re: Chicago $$$ vs NYU (Need to decide soon!)

Postby RodneyRuxin » Sat Jul 20, 2013 10:15 am

sinfiery wrote:Am I crazy to think how competitive a school is comes more (99.99999%/.000001 split, not 51/49) from how indebted the students are * how important grades are to getting out of said debt versus some silly differences in grading median/class structures?


Go to UChii


This is a fair point and probably more or less accurate (competitiveness is everywhere). Let me explain my side:
1) Chicago students self-select for the "rigor" which creates a higher number of what most call "gunners" than usual.
2) Chicago is smaller, so everyone is naturally into each other's business (think high school) and people in law school naturally tend to have nothing to talk about except grades. This leads to an environment where many people study away from the law school to stay away from people trying to stress them out, and even then the friends you bring with you will let comments about grades or how hard they are studying slip. This can be very alienating.
3) Most students fall within three points of B(176-178) which leads to a more-stressful-than-usual curve. Everyone is trying to find any way to differentiate themselves, and (because the curve is so tight) there are people who refuse to help out a friend in an attempt to get ahead. There are study groups that refuse to have friends join in because it will lead to another person soaking up their "secrets." :roll:
4) The quarter system starts out extremely slow. This means that most people overstudy during the first two quarters, and since it's a "blind leading the blind" sort of thing, most everyone does this because they are neurotic about falling behind. This also makes those tests "harder" because most people know everything there is to know about everything and have taken all the practice tests for each class. When it comes to spring quarter, everyone tries to keep this up and many people get burnt out and snap. It takes a huge amount of self-restraint to not study 24/7 when you see others doing it, but falling into this trap can be devastating to someone's grades because 55% of them are decided during spring quarter (brief+first two quarter's worth of credits).


ETA this doesn't mean people shouldn't go to Chicago (it's not all that bad), but it does mean that someone with a learning disability that is afraid of competitiveness may value a more laid-back experience at a different school.

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Emma.
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Re: Chicago $$$ vs NYU (Need to decide soon!)

Postby Emma. » Sat Jul 20, 2013 10:43 am

RodneyRuxin wrote:
sinfiery wrote:Am I crazy to think how competitive a school is comes more (99.99999%/.000001 split, not 51/49) from how indebted the students are * how important grades are to getting out of said debt versus some silly differences in grading median/class structures?


Go to UChii


This is a fair point and probably more or less accurate (competitiveness is everywhere). Let me explain my side:
1) Chicago students self-select for the "rigor" which creates a higher number of what most call "gunners" than usual.
2) Chicago is smaller, so everyone is naturally into each other's business (think high school) and people in law school naturally tend to have nothing to talk about except grades. This leads to an environment where many people study away from the law school to stay away from people trying to stress them out, and even then the friends you bring with you will let comments about grades or how hard they are studying slip. This can be very alienating.
3) Most students fall within three points of B(176-178) which leads to a more-stressful-than-usual curve. Everyone is trying to find any way to differentiate themselves, and (because the curve is so tight) there are people who refuse to help out a friend in an attempt to get ahead. There are study groups that refuse to have friends join in because it will lead to another person soaking up their "secrets." :roll:
4) The quarter system starts out extremely slow. This means that most people overstudy during the first two quarters, and since it's a "blind leading the blind" sort of thing, most everyone does this because they are neurotic about falling behind. This also makes those tests "harder" because most people know everything there is to know about everything and have taken all the practice tests for each class. When it comes to spring quarter, everyone tries to keep this up and many people get burnt out and snap. It takes a huge amount of self-restraint to not study 24/7 when you see others doing it, but falling into this trap can be devastating to someone's grades because 55% of them are decided during spring quarter (brief+first two quarter's worth of credits).


ETA this doesn't mean people shouldn't go to Chicago (it's not all that bad), but it does mean that someone with a learning disability that is afraid of competitiveness may value a more laid-back experience at a different school.


Do you really think NYU is that much different? Personally, I never experienced any of the things you list here, so your comments don't really resonate with me. Thats especially true about you said about people not helping each other out. I found exactly the opposite. Our class had a "we're all stuck in this together" mentality, and people were really good to one another. Also, my friends basically NEVER talked about grades.

Can you really say with confidence that there are more gunners or more high school-ish behavior at UChi than its peer schools? The one thing I agree with is that everyone is pretty burned out by the end of spring quarter, but I imagine that is true at NYU too. From talking to friends at Boalt, it sounds like things there were just as stressful, and they are supposed to be one of the most laid back of the top schools. As to the curve being so tight, that I think is just plain wrong. Sure in many classes the majority of grades are clustered around the median, but with 6 different levels of each of the A, B, and C grades, it allows for much greater differentiation than an A, B, C system.

I'm not saying you are wrong, I guess you just had a very different experience than I did. But I wanted to add a different perspective, since I think it is completely possible that OP would experience some of the things you mentioned at any school, and could also avoid most of them at Chicago.

RodneyRuxin
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Re: Chicago $$$ vs NYU (Need to decide soon!)

Postby RodneyRuxin » Sat Jul 20, 2013 10:56 am

Emma. wrote:I'm not saying you are wrong, I guess you just had a very different experience than I did. But I wanted to add a different perspective, since I think it is completely possible that OP would experience some of the things you mentioned at any school, and could also avoid most of them at Chicago.


I think you're right. I think everything can apply to every peer school. These are mostly elements I've found to sometimes exacerbate the 1L struggle--I don't think they're necessarily unique to our school, but they perhaps may be more prevalent (I have no way of knowing this, so take it with a grain of salt). It's just, for me at least, I didn't find what was pushing me was the debt, I found it was my classmates--and hell, maybe that's a good thing.

FWIW I had a great experience and I love it here, but I did have some moments where I struggled, and I can't imagine going through them with a disability (though, I'm sure some do).

ETA: The things on my list are by no means representative of the entire school. They're just things I've noticed, and you can generally stay away from most of the people doing them. But even then, if you have a friend that stays in to study on a weekend, it's hard not to feel like you should be doing the same thing.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Chicago $$$ vs NYU (Need to decide soon!)

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sat Jul 20, 2013 5:15 pm

I think that Chicago and NYU are close enough in admissions standards, and far enough part in terms of how they sell themselves, that they probably do attract pretty different types of people on average just through self-selection. I've known people at a bunch of other top schools and it seems to me that NYU really does have a much bigger proportion of public-interest oriented people, and maybe people who are less concerned with the traditional prestigious things that come with getting excellent grades in law school, especially vis a vis CLS.

Wouldn't be surprised if the Chicago "rigor" thing results in more people ending up there who, if they don't find it appealing, at least are okay with it.

But honestly this is all whatever. Go to Chicago if NYU doesn't match or come damn close. No "fit" difference is worth this much money.

Confused 0L
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Re: Chicago $$$ vs NYU (Need to decide soon!)

Postby Confused 0L » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:14 am

Thank you all for your comments and suggestions.

I did present my Chicago offer to NYU and got pretty much nowhere—I was told that all of their merit aid is gone. And I don’t qualify for need-based aid either, other than loans. So I’m left with deciding to take on more debt or to live with family in order to attend NYU, or to go to Chicago.

I guess my question is if I can make the debt about the same at both schools, which is the better option? I know that this is a personal decision, but your input on that has definitely been helpful.

From some of your responses, I do wonder if I’m crazy to focus on the differences in the academic schedule between the two. For example, is there really no difference between having three graded classes (plus the ungraded LRW) and having five graded classes each term, even if you’re not taking finals in all five classes each quarter? I recognize that some of my concern may be particular to me, given my learning disabilities, but does no one else see the differences that I see?

I also wanted to gauge whether NYU would have a significant advantage over Chicago in terms of opportunities for Biglaw in NYC, and you all have pretty much answered that with a resounding “No,” so I appreciate your guidance on that, too.




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