Attn Cynics: Is Rutgers-C worth it even w/ full scholarship?

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graduatingat31
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Attn Cynics: Is Rutgers-C worth it even w/ full scholarship?

Postby graduatingat31 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:43 pm

The fact that I'm even asking this will rub some people the wrong way, but I want to hear from the Cynic crowd, ie the people who would say it's NEVER worth it to take loans out for anything but Top 14 and who mostly scoff at the idea of law school except in perfect circumstances.

I'm currently 28 years old and have put off Law School for years because of the state of the job market and the warnings everywhere. On a whim I took the LSAT a third time in June and got a 172. I applied to RU-Camden because they're close to me and because they sent an early July email saying there were still scholarships. I applied, and they just responded with an offer of a full tuition+fees scholarship plus $8k stipend for "books".

Question is, is this even worth my three years? I could live with my parents so don't need a dime of loans for even cost of living, but I'd be 28 living with my parents.

LSAT
Oct 2008, 165
Oct 2012, 167
Jun 2013, 172

GPA
3.004 calculated by my alma mater, 2.75 calculated by LSAC
My transcripts a mess, it took me 9 years to graduate (with a 3.5 year break in the middle) and I have 7 W's

I currently work full time as a teacher for a test prep company making $40k, I have some management experience but it's been hard to leverage it; I've been applying to new jobs for a year and a half with little luck.

Possible options:
1. Go to RU-Camden for free, no loans, but possibly waste my time and end up where I started at 31 years old
2. Wait a year and apply earlier to get into a low Top25-30 school, but pay full tuition
3. Wait a year and go to Business School
4. Take my chances on a job as a car dealership Finance Manager that I probably have 70% odds of getting. Starts at $45k, but very likely to be making six figures within a year. If I get the job.

I have the passion for law (philosophy/history major) and all, but at my age I don't have a decade to putz around making $35k. When all is said and done I'd prefer to be in law, but I'd be willing to drop that dream pretty quickly if it meant homelessness or living with my parents at 35. I really don't have 3 years (+5-10 of struggling as a new lawyer) to waste.

I also know very little about advantages/disadvantages of non-traditionally aged graduates in the job market. Would my age hurt me, or my 6 years working full time (with steady promotions) help me?

Mount Elbrus
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Re: Attn Cynics: Is Rutgers-C worth it even w/ full scholarship?

Postby Mount Elbrus » Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:52 pm

I think you should go for it. Try to kill it 1L, you will likely do well since your LSAT is much higher than most of your incoming classmates. If you do well 1L, it is likely that you will continue to do well for the next years. If you do not end up doing well, drop out, you will have lost very little. I followed a pretty similar path at a Chicago T2. Ended up graduating 2nd in my class with no debt. I had a lot of good job opportunities and am now glad I did not go to GULC at full freight.

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UVAIce
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Re: Attn Cynics: Is Rutgers-C worth it even w/ full scholarship?

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

I will only comment on the non-traditional student situation. I am a non-trad with about 7 years of work experience and it has been looked upon very favorably. Admittedly this was all time in the military, and I'm not certain what the experience has been for others that don't have w/e that is in "high demand" such as being a CPA or engineer.

Every person I've interviewed with has really grabbed onto the fact that I'm not a k-JD. So, I think that part of your game will be fine.

However, I would apply for law school admissions for the next cycle, you might even look into potentially trying ED somewhere. Yes, you are below a lot of GPA thresholds, but you shoul dbe able to make an interested admissions packet. I think you can do better than Camden.

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UVAIce
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Re: Attn Cynics: Is Rutgers-C worth it even w/ full scholarship?

Postby UVAIce » Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:56 pm

Mount Elbrus wrote:I think you should go for it. Try to kill it 1L, you will likely do well since your LSAT is much higher than most of your incoming classmates. If you do well 1L, it is likely that you will continue to do well for the next years. If you do not end up doing well, drop out, you will have lost very little. I followed a pretty similar path at a Chicago T2. Ended up graduating 2nd in my class with no debt. I had a lot of good job opportunities and am now glad I did not go to GULC at full freight.


What would you say to the guy in your class with a similar story who graduated #10 in your class and didn't hit it big? Or was just in the top 20% of the class and struck out? i think if you're going to law school you should go because you DO want to be a lawyer, not just for the economic returns. If you really want to be a lawyer then you want to go to a school that will let you do that at a high level.

timbs4339
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Re: Attn Cynics: Is Rutgers-C worth it even w/ full scholarship?

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:57 pm

I mean, what do you really want to do in law?

If you want to work in Jersey, making between 40-60K a year starting, and doing certain kinds of law, then yes, RUC w/ full-scholly is absolutely a fine choice.

If you want to work for the DOJ or do biglaw, then no.

dstars823
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Re: Attn Cynics: Is Rutgers-C worth it even w/ full scholarship?

Postby dstars823 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:59 pm

depends on your career goals, thought i feel you could get a full scholly or close to it at a much more reputable school in your area with that kind of LSAT

Mount Elbrus
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Re: Attn Cynics: Is Rutgers-C worth it even w/ full scholarship?

Postby Mount Elbrus » Fri Jul 19, 2013 3:02 pm

UVAIce wrote:
Mount Elbrus wrote:I think you should go for it. Try to kill it 1L, you will likely do well since your LSAT is much higher than most of your incoming classmates. If you do well 1L, it is likely that you will continue to do well for the next years. If you do not end up doing well, drop out, you will have lost very little. I followed a pretty similar path at a Chicago T2. Ended up graduating 2nd in my class with no debt. I had a lot of good job opportunities and am now glad I did not go to GULC at full freight.


What would you say to the guy in your class with a similar story who graduated #10 in your class and didn't hit it big? Or was just in the top 20% of the class and struck out? i think if you're going to law school you should go because you DO want to be a lawyer, not just for the economic returns. If you really want to be a lawyer then you want to go to a school that will let you do that at a high level.


The guy in the top 20% should have dropped out. Here's the thing, outside of the very top law schools you are not guaranteed a job. The guy who graduates #10 is likely top 10%, most likely higher. Who knows what his outcome would have been if he went to a higher ranked school. At the very least, he is graduating with little to no debt.

graduatingat31
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Re: Attn Cynics: Is Rutgers-C worth it even w/ full scholarship?

Postby graduatingat31 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 3:04 pm

dstars823 wrote:depends on your career goals, thought i feel you could get a full scholly or close to it at a much more reputable school in your area with that kind of LSAT


Even with my GPA and horrible messy transcript?

Regarding the other posters asking about my career goals, I'd like to be in Big Law. But I feel that's even close to a sure thing with Top 14, and I'm not getting in there no matter what. Isn't big law, for all intents and purposes, close to the same odds in a T2 as it is in a low T1?

Not sure where I want to end up, maybe IP.

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ManoftheHour
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Re: Attn Cynics: Is Rutgers-C worth it even w/ full scholarship?

Postby ManoftheHour » Fri Jul 19, 2013 3:06 pm

timbs4339 wrote:I mean, what do you really want to do in law?

If you want to work in Jersey, making between 40-60K a year starting, and doing certain kinds of law, then yes, RUC w/ full-scholly is absolutely a fine choice.

If you want to work for the DOJ or do biglaw, then no.


Edit: Actually, I would:

4. Take my chances on a job as a car dealership Finance Manager that I probably have 70% odds of getting. Starts at $45k, but very likely to be making six figures within a year. If I get the job.

and I would reapply next cycle if you didn't get the job. It looks like you applied late this year. If you apply earlier, I'm sure you'd be able to nab a full ride at a more reputable institution.

If you don't want to do that, I don't think going to school for free is a bad idea if your goals and expectations are realistic.
Last edited by ManoftheHour on Fri Jul 19, 2013 3:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

dstars823
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Re: Attn Cynics: Is Rutgers-C worth it even w/ full scholarship?

Postby dstars823 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 3:09 pm

i mean T14 is possible bc of that LSAT but youll be looking at sticker for sure, but top regional schools in the northeast and mid atlantic would probably hand you close to a full ride for that LSAT

timbs4339
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Re: Attn Cynics: Is Rutgers-C worth it even w/ full scholarship?

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 3:12 pm

graduatingat31 wrote:
dstars823 wrote:depends on your career goals, thought i feel you could get a full scholly or close to it at a much more reputable school in your area with that kind of LSAT


Even with my GPA and horrible messy transcript?

Regarding the other posters asking about my career goals, I'd like to be in Big Law. But I feel that's even close to a sure thing with Top 14, and I'm not getting in there no matter what. Isn't big law, for all intents and purposes, close to the same odds in a T2 as it is in a low T1?

Not sure where I want to end up, maybe IP.


Yes. Both the T2 and T1 will offer shit odds of biglaw- RUC is about 7.5%. Do you have a STEM degree?

You're not getting biglaw out of RUC. You could reapply and hope NW takes you. Or you could readjust your goals. Either way, you won't be totally fucked coming out of RUC, but if the only job as a lawyer you want to do is biglaw, then you should think about another career.

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Re: Attn Cynics: Is Rutgers-C worth it even w/ full scholarship?

Postby jbagelboy » Fri Jul 19, 2013 3:19 pm

I don't think Rutgers is that bad of a school if you are OK with local work in a DA office, state clerkship, or small regional firms. Definitely drop out if you lose the scholarship/aren't top quarter.

Honestly, if you just got that June 172, I would reapply. Rutgers full ride will be waiting for you next year. I know you're getting into your late twenties, but the applications cycles are so random and unpredictable these days that top schools that would never admit you in the past now might be handing you near full rides. I'd take the chance at a full ride at a school like UMN or Fordham over Rutgers, just because I wouldn't want to stay in Jersey my entire life. A 172 is an extremely powerful weapon.. better than 99% of test takers. You haven't given that weapon a chance to deploy in a real cycle. I'd apply Sept 1 with your score and a damn good addendum for your GPA and hope for the best, with the knowledge that a rutgers full ride will always be there.

timbs4339
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Re: Attn Cynics: Is Rutgers-C worth it even w/ full scholarship?

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 3:54 pm

jbagelboy wrote:I don't think Rutgers is that bad of a school if you are OK with local work in a DA office, state clerkship, or small regional firms. Definitely drop out if you lose the scholarship/aren't top quarter.

Honestly, if you just got that June 172, I would reapply. Rutgers full ride will be waiting for you next year. I know you're getting into your late twenties, but the applications cycles are so random and unpredictable these days that top schools that would never admit you in the past now might be handing you near full rides. I'd take the chance at a full ride at a school like UMN or Fordham over Rutgers, just because I wouldn't want to stay in Jersey my entire life. A 172 is an extremely powerful weapon.. better than 99% of test takers. You haven't given that weapon a chance to deploy in a real cycle. I'd apply Sept 1 with your score and a damn good addendum for your GPA and hope for the best, with the knowledge that a rutgers full ride will always be there.


I think retake is the best option here. Try to get that car dealership job.

Really ask yourself this question "do I want to be real lawyer?" If the answer is an honest to goodness no, and biglaw is your only goal, then what you should do is take that 45K job, apply next year, and see if you can swing NW or a T25 with significant $$$.

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UVAIce
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Re: Attn Cynics: Is Rutgers-C worth it even w/ full scholarship?

Postby UVAIce » Fri Jul 19, 2013 4:16 pm

timbs4339 wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:I don't think Rutgers is that bad of a school if you are OK with local work in a DA office, state clerkship, or small regional firms. Definitely drop out if you lose the scholarship/aren't top quarter.

Honestly, if you just got that June 172, I would reapply. Rutgers full ride will be waiting for you next year. I know you're getting into your late twenties, but the applications cycles are so random and unpredictable these days that top schools that would never admit you in the past now might be handing you near full rides. I'd take the chance at a full ride at a school like UMN or Fordham over Rutgers, just because I wouldn't want to stay in Jersey my entire life. A 172 is an extremely powerful weapon.. better than 99% of test takers. You haven't given that weapon a chance to deploy in a real cycle. I'd apply Sept 1 with your score and a damn good addendum for your GPA and hope for the best, with the knowledge that a rutgers full ride will always be there.


I think retake is the best option here. Try to get that car dealership job.

Really ask yourself this question "do I want to be real lawyer?" If the answer is an honest to goodness no, and biglaw is your only goal, then what you should do is take that 45K job, apply next year, and see if you can swing NW or a T25 with significant $$$.


I love how working at a car dealership has somhow become a viable option for OP. I only say this because I'm not exactly certain how certain you are of making six figures at that position. If that is a reality then I would go for it. But make sure that you aren't being schilled by the dealership.

graduatingat31
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Re: Attn Cynics: Is Rutgers-C worth it even w/ full scholarship?

Postby graduatingat31 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 4:28 pm

I love how working at a car dealership has somhow become a viable option for OP. I only say this because I'm not exactly certain how certain you are of making six figures at that position. If that is a reality then I would go for it. But make sure that you aren't being schilled by the dealership.


I have a friend who does the same job at a different place, she's making 8-10k a month, she doesn't even have a degree at all. It's commission based though, so if I fail I fail hard.

timbs4339
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Re: Attn Cynics: Is Rutgers-C worth it even w/ full scholarship?

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 4:52 pm

UVAIce wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:I don't think Rutgers is that bad of a school if you are OK with local work in a DA office, state clerkship, or small regional firms. Definitely drop out if you lose the scholarship/aren't top quarter.

Honestly, if you just got that June 172, I would reapply. Rutgers full ride will be waiting for you next year. I know you're getting into your late twenties, but the applications cycles are so random and unpredictable these days that top schools that would never admit you in the past now might be handing you near full rides. I'd take the chance at a full ride at a school like UMN or Fordham over Rutgers, just because I wouldn't want to stay in Jersey my entire life. A 172 is an extremely powerful weapon.. better than 99% of test takers. You haven't given that weapon a chance to deploy in a real cycle. I'd apply Sept 1 with your score and a damn good addendum for your GPA and hope for the best, with the knowledge that a rutgers full ride will always be there.


I think retake is the best option here. Try to get that car dealership job.

Really ask yourself this question "do I want to be real lawyer?" If the answer is an honest to goodness no, and biglaw is your only goal, then what you should do is take that 45K job, apply next year, and see if you can swing NW or a T25 with significant $$$.


I love how working at a car dealership has somhow become a viable option for OP. I only say this because I'm not exactly certain how certain you are of making six figures at that position. If that is a reality then I would go for it. But make sure that you aren't being schilled by the dealership.


That you said this in the context of a discussion about law school job prospects is hilarious.

Even the 45K base salary would be more than enough to make waiting a year and reapplying a good option. I'd be surprised if more than 50% of RUCs c/o 2013 is making 45K. In fact, the best data we have (for 2011) shows that RUC could only confirm 26%! of its class making 43K or more. http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school= ... class=2011

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Re: Attn Cynics: Is Rutgers-C worth it even w/ full scholarship?

Postby jbagelboy » Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:12 pm

timbs4339 wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:I don't think Rutgers is that bad of a school if you are OK with local work in a DA office, state clerkship, or small regional firms. Definitely drop out if you lose the scholarship/aren't top quarter.

Honestly, if you just got that June 172, I would reapply. Rutgers full ride will be waiting for you next year. I know you're getting into your late twenties, but the applications cycles are so random and unpredictable these days that top schools that would never admit you in the past now might be handing you near full rides. I'd take the chance at a full ride at a school like UMN or Fordham over Rutgers, just because I wouldn't want to stay in Jersey my entire life. A 172 is an extremely powerful weapon.. better than 99% of test takers. You haven't given that weapon a chance to deploy in a real cycle. I'd apply Sept 1 with your score and a damn good addendum for your GPA and hope for the best, with the knowledge that a rutgers full ride will always be there.


I think retake is the best option here. Try to get that car dealership job.

Really ask yourself this question "do I want to be real lawyer?" If the answer is an honest to goodness no, and biglaw is your only goal, then what you should do is take that 45K job, apply next year, and see if you can swing NW or a T25 with significant $$$.


I think you mean "reapply" not retake. OP has sat for the lsat 3x & retaking that score would be pointless w/ a 2.75.

Randomnumbers
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Re: Attn Cynics: Is Rutgers-C worth it even w/ full scholarship?

Postby Randomnumbers » Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:16 pm

Taking that 172 to Rutgers is a complete waste. This cycle that's a full ride at WUSTL easy.

timbs4339
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Re: Attn Cynics: Is Rutgers-C worth it even w/ full scholarship?

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:23 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:I don't think Rutgers is that bad of a school if you are OK with local work in a DA office, state clerkship, or small regional firms. Definitely drop out if you lose the scholarship/aren't top quarter.

Honestly, if you just got that June 172, I would reapply. Rutgers full ride will be waiting for you next year. I know you're getting into your late twenties, but the applications cycles are so random and unpredictable these days that top schools that would never admit you in the past now might be handing you near full rides. I'd take the chance at a full ride at a school like UMN or Fordham over Rutgers, just because I wouldn't want to stay in Jersey my entire life. A 172 is an extremely powerful weapon.. better than 99% of test takers. You haven't given that weapon a chance to deploy in a real cycle. I'd apply Sept 1 with your score and a damn good addendum for your GPA and hope for the best, with the knowledge that a rutgers full ride will always be there.


I think retake is the best option here. Try to get that car dealership job.

Really ask yourself this question "do I want to be real lawyer?" If the answer is an honest to goodness no, and biglaw is your only goal, then what you should do is take that 45K job, apply next year, and see if you can swing NW or a T25 with significant $$$.


I think you mean "reapply" not retake. OP has sat for the lsat 3x & retaking that score would be pointless w/ a 2.75.


Right, my mistake.

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Typhoon24
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Re: Attn Cynics: Is Rutgers-C worth it even w/ full scholarship?

Postby Typhoon24 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:29 pm

Randomnumbers wrote:Taking that 172 to Rutgers is a complete waste. This cycle that's a full ride at WUSTL easy.


This. Reapplying could nab you a full scholarship to a more respectable school.

graduatingat31
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Re: Attn Cynics: Is Rutgers-C worth it even w/ full scholarship?

Postby graduatingat31 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:40 pm

Randomnumbers wrote:Taking that 172 to Rutgers is a complete waste. This cycle that's a full ride at WUSTL easy.

It's pretty funny that you mention WUSTL. Out of all the ~20 schools why'd you mention them? I literally just applied to them, realizing they sent me a recent solicitation and their ranking. Maybe the fact that you picked them is a good sign for me.

Not holding out a lot of hopes though considering the late app, especially because I wrote my Personal Statement in about an hour and it reads more like an Addendum, explaining away all the funny business with my transcript. All the while I'm an LSAT teacher who tells his students to spend MONTHS on the Personal Statement, lol. But we'll see, maybe they'll be desperate for a high LSAT and not care too much about my GPA...

If it comes down to paying full sticker for them (+40k/year tuition) versus RUC for free, I may have to go with Rutgers, but I don't know...you guys might've convinced me to stay away from Rutgers (which I think I already knew, I just needed to hear it...my whole family is like "they're letting you go for FREE and you're DOUBTING whether you'll go? WHY?!?!" They just don't understand the state of the legal world)

Thanks for all who replied. If anyone else has thoughts I'm all ears.

Randomnumbers
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Re: Attn Cynics: Is Rutgers-C worth it even w/ full scholarship?

Postby Randomnumbers » Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:42 pm

graduatingat31 wrote:
Randomnumbers wrote:Taking that 172 to Rutgers is a complete waste. This cycle that's a full ride at WUSTL easy.

It's pretty funny that you mention WUSTL. Out of all the ~20 schools why'd you mention them? I literally just applied to them, realizing they sent me a recent solicitation and their ranking. Maybe the fact that you picked them is a good sign for me.

Not holding out a lot of hopes though considering the late app, especially because I wrote my Personal Statement in about an hour and it reads more like an Addendum, explaining away all the funny business with my transcript. All the while I'm an LSAT teacher who tells his students to spend MONTHS on the Personal Statement, lol. But we'll see, maybe they'll be desperate for a high LSAT and not care too much about my GPA...

If it comes down to paying full sticker for them (+40k/year tuition) versus RUC for free, I may have to go with Rutgers, but I don't know...you guys might've convinced me to stay away from Rutgers (which I think I already knew, I just needed to hear it...my whole family is like "they're letting you go for FREE and you're DOUBTING whether you'll go? WHY?!?!" They just don't understand the state of the legal world)

Thanks for all who replied. If anyone else has thoughts I'm all ears.


I honestly think you have a good shot at getting admitted, with a full ride, at WUSTL this year. They are buying numbers like crazy.

timbs4339
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Re: Attn Cynics: Is Rutgers-C worth it even w/ full scholarship?

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:05 pm

graduatingat31 wrote:
Randomnumbers wrote:Taking that 172 to Rutgers is a complete waste. This cycle that's a full ride at WUSTL easy.

It's pretty funny that you mention WUSTL. Out of all the ~20 schools why'd you mention them? I literally just applied to them, realizing they sent me a recent solicitation and their ranking. Maybe the fact that you picked them is a good sign for me.

Not holding out a lot of hopes though considering the late app, especially because I wrote my Personal Statement in about an hour and it reads more like an Addendum, explaining away all the funny business with my transcript. All the while I'm an LSAT teacher who tells his students to spend MONTHS on the Personal Statement, lol. But we'll see, maybe they'll be desperate for a high LSAT and not care too much about my GPA...

If it comes down to paying full sticker for them (+40k/year tuition) versus RUC for free, I may have to go with Rutgers, but I don't know...you guys might've convinced me to stay away from Rutgers (which I think I already knew, I just needed to hear it...my whole family is like "they're letting you go for FREE and you're DOUBTING whether you'll go? WHY?!?!" They just don't understand the state of the legal world)
Thanks for all who replied. If anyone else has thoughts I'm all ears.


If it comes down to RUC at full vs WUSTL with $0, go to RUC or wait a year before going to WUSTL. WUSTL's employment numbers do not justify its full price attendance.

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Postby jtype01 » Sat Jul 20, 2013 11:27 am

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Last edited by jtype01 on Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:44 am, edited 2 times in total.

graduatingat31
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Re: Attn Cynics: Is Rutgers-C worth it even w/ full scholarship?

Postby graduatingat31 » Sat Jul 27, 2013 11:38 am

Welp, holy crap...got a full ride to WUSTL.

Is it crazy that I'm still hesitant? I have no money saved, so I'd have to take out what, like 60k cover cost of living? Is that worth it for WUSTL?

Also had another meeting with the car dealership guy, that seems like a pretty sure thing but I'd be probably making closer to 60-80k after the training period, not six figures.

What do I do?




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