USC vs COLUMBIA- help me decide please

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

Which would you choose in my situation?

Poll ended at Fri Aug 02, 2013 8:16 am

USC
7
14%
Columbia
42
86%
 
Total votes: 49

ConfusedApplicant
Posts: 3
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Re: USC vs COLUMBIA- help me decide please

Postby ConfusedApplicant » Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:44 pm

I didn't realize the one point about money would trigger so much hateful conversation about rich kids. I just meant to say that the cost would be equal enough to attend either school that I don't want money to be the reason I pick one school over the other.

Thank you all for the advice so far. I'd really appreciate any info from current students about the school's reputation and what the atmosphere is. I have read lots of articles about students being uniquely competitive at CLS so if anyone can discuss the validity of that, I'd appreciate it.

Paul Campos
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Re: USC vs COLUMBIA- help me decide please

Postby Paul Campos » Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:56 pm

20% of the 2012 CLS class graduated with no law school debt. The figure for the 2011 class was 23%. Keep in mind those figures don't include people who, for example, took out subsidized Staffords (now eliminated), banked the money in interest bearing accounts, and paid the loans off with cash when interest would have begun to accrue on the loans after graduation (I know several people who did this at other schools, so I imagine at least a few CLS students did it). It also doesn't include people who took out fairly minimal loans to for example cover summer living expenses or the like. The median law school debt for CLS grads who incur debt is probably north of $200K when you include interest.

timbs4339
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Re: USC vs COLUMBIA- help me decide please

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:57 pm

ConfusedApplicant wrote:I didn't realize the one point about money would trigger so much hateful conversation about rich kids. I just meant to say that the cost would be equal enough to attend either school that I don't want money to be the reason I pick one school over the other.

Thank you all for the advice so far. I'd really appreciate any info from current students about the school's reputation and what the atmosphere is. I have read lots of articles about students being uniquely competitive at CLS so if anyone can discuss the validity of that, I'd appreciate it.


For the love of god. I went to CLS, so I'm just going to repeat what I've already said on:

I've said this before, and I'll say it again, the idea of Columbia's "culture" being cutthroat is complete bullshit. It's a top 14 and the student body is essentially the same as any other top 14. I have no idea why that myth still persists- NYU trolls at the ASWs, the fact it's an Ivy, it still has letter grades, it's in NYC, alot of people work biglaw, but that wasn't my experience at all. And believe me, for all the time I spent bitching on this site about law school and Columbia in particular, if the student body at all gave me cause to complain it would be obvious.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: USC vs COLUMBIA- help me decide please

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:04 pm

ConfusedApplicant wrote:I didn't realize the one point about money would trigger so much hateful conversation about rich kids. I just meant to say that the cost would be equal enough to attend either school that I don't want money to be the reason I pick one school over the other.

Thank you all for the advice so far. I'd really appreciate any info from current students about the school's reputation and what the atmosphere is. I have read lots of articles about students being uniquely competitive at CLS so if anyone can discuss the validity of that, I'd appreciate it.

Part of the only way to justify USC over Columbia is for you to incur far less debt coming out of USC. It's all about cost and job prospects. Given Columbia's large advantage in job prospects there really shouldn't be much discussion if the cost is relatively close.

As for competitiveness I haven't seen it. Columbia is as relaxed and chill as you want it to be, and having grown up in Southern California myself I know relaxed and chill. I'm happy to answer other questions if you want either through here or PM but yeah definitely don't worry about competitiveness. It's just school. If you're smart enough to get in, you'll be fine.

EDIT: Scooped and stomped by timbs.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: USC vs COLUMBIA- help me decide please

Postby Doorkeeper » Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:42 pm

If the tuition doesn't matter for your decision, then for the love of god go to Columbia. There is basically no advantage that you get from USC once you remove cost from the equation (assuming you got a scholarship from USC).

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: USC vs COLUMBIA- help me decide please

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Sat Jul 27, 2013 5:32 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
zman wrote:Columbia obviously because of the jobs.

almost one quarter of students at columbia have parents who pay full tution for their kids meanwhile USC law is LOADED with poor UC kids who will graduate with huge debt. You will have your type of people :D


Hey, just curious where you got this data on the monied class at CLS. I know the people exist anecdotally, but I still think 25% is high for parents covering ALL expenses. Is that a real figure (plz link) or a random guess? What kind of incestuous wealthfest am I getting into? It will determine how preppy my new winter shoes should be.


Honestly that figure strikes me as low for percentage of students whose parents are covering everything (myself included). The average law school student is still quite likely to be upper middle class, and good schools have more than their fair share of the 1%.

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untar614
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Re: USC vs COLUMBIA- help me decide please

Postby untar614 » Sat Jul 27, 2013 5:40 pm

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:
zman wrote:Columbia obviously because of the jobs.

almost one quarter of students at columbia have parents who pay full tution for their kids meanwhile USC law is LOADED with poor UC kids who will graduate with huge debt. You will have your type of people :D


Hey, just curious where you got this data on the monied class at CLS. I know the people exist anecdotally, but I still think 25% is high for parents covering ALL expenses. Is that a real figure (plz link) or a random guess? What kind of incestuous wealthfest am I getting into? It will determine how preppy my new winter shoes should be.


Honestly that figure strikes me as low for percentage of students whose parents are covering everything (myself included). The average law school student is still quite likely to be upper middle class, and good schools have more than their fair share of the 1%.


If we're being totally honest, this is a big reason to go to schools with a super prestigious name to them. Not even just for law school, but other stuff a well. You're gonna be wit ha much greater population of people with money and connections, and there's some good networking opportunities there. This is likely even more the case for business school.

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John_rizzy_rawls
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Re: USC vs COLUMBIA- help me decide please

Postby John_rizzy_rawls » Sat Jul 27, 2013 5:42 pm

Just curious, how is cost not an issue? OP hasn't said his folks are footing the bill, just that cost isn't one of his considerations.

Is it Columbia at sticker and USC at half-scholly? A big part of this decision is cost and what you want to do.

If you only want to work SoCal law and USC is giving you money, enjoy being a Trojan.

But if you want non-Los Angeles BigLaw, clerkship, academia, or anything that isn't SoCal law/BigLaw, then Columbia is the right decision, even if you're paying a bit more.

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jbagelboy
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Re: USC vs COLUMBIA- help me decide please

Postby jbagelboy » Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:10 pm

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:
zman wrote:Columbia obviously because of the jobs.

almost one quarter of students at columbia have parents who pay full tution for their kids meanwhile USC law is LOADED with poor UC kids who will graduate with huge debt. You will have your type of people :D


Hey, just curious where you got this data on the monied class at CLS. I know the people exist anecdotally, but I still think 25% is high for parents covering ALL expenses. Is that a real figure (plz link) or a random guess? What kind of incestuous wealthfest am I getting into? It will determine how preppy my new winter shoes should be.


Honestly that figure strikes me as low for percentage of students whose parents are covering everything (myself included). The average law school student is still quite likely to be upper middle class, and good schools have more than their fair share of the 1%.


Sure, and Id anticipate those families to pay for undergrad, but not law school, like my family (upper middle class). You have to admit, your situation is somewhat unique. You saved your parents hundreds of thousands on undergrad.

Just because parents have the money doesnt mean they always want to spend it. Most people I know (even wealthy ones) are taking out at least some loans for professional school, even if they didnt have to for UG and their family could afford it. Sociologically its interesting to me that these students not only hail from money, but have such unlimited access to it. I think its really cool when peoples' parents are willing to invest in their childrens education/pay for law school, its great for them and I would never judge since my parents are professionals too with similar background (even if my TLS posts are on the snarky side -- my UG training was marxist crit theory-heavy). Its just always been an assumption that I would fend for myself more or less after UG regardless

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twenty
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Re: USC vs COLUMBIA- help me decide please

Postby twenty » Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:01 pm

banked the money in interest bearing accounts, and paid the loans off with cash when interest would have begun to accrue on the loans after graduation (I know several people who did this at other schools, so I imagine at least a few CLS students did it).


This is a brilliant idea. Too bad you can't do it anymore.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: USC vs COLUMBIA- help me decide please

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:41 am

jbagelboy wrote:
Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:
zman wrote:Columbia obviously because of the jobs.

almost one quarter of students at columbia have parents who pay full tution for their kids meanwhile USC law is LOADED with poor UC kids who will graduate with huge debt. You will have your type of people :D


Hey, just curious where you got this data on the monied class at CLS. I know the people exist anecdotally, but I still think 25% is high for parents covering ALL expenses. Is that a real figure (plz link) or a random guess? What kind of incestuous wealthfest am I getting into? It will determine how preppy my new winter shoes should be.


Honestly that figure strikes me as low for percentage of students whose parents are covering everything (myself included). The average law school student is still quite likely to be upper middle class, and good schools have more than their fair share of the 1%.


Sure, and Id anticipate those families to pay for undergrad, but not law school, like my family (upper middle class). You have to admit, your situation is somewhat unique. You saved your parents hundreds of thousands on undergrad.

Just because parents have the money doesnt mean they always want to spend it. Most people I know (even wealthy ones) are taking out at least some loans for professional school, even if they didnt have to for UG and their family could afford it. Sociologically its interesting to me that these students not only hail from money, but have such unlimited access to it. I think its really cool when peoples' parents are willing to invest in their childrens education/pay for law school, its great for them and I would never judge since my parents are professionals too with similar background (even if my TLS posts are on the snarky side -- my UG training was marxist crit theory-heavy). Its just always been an assumption that I would fend for myself more or less after UG regardless


Yeah, my situation is certainly unique in that I essentially ended up at a public school by accident (well, not by accident, but I wasn't thinking that I should go to a cheaper school because undergraduate reputation would be effectively meaningless in admissions, which is the advice I'd give to any high school student planning on going to law school now). Undoubtedly I wouldn't be able to go debt-free at sticker if that hadn't happen (though as it turns out, I still would've gone to a T14 for zero debt, and that would've been great regardless). As I've mentioned before, my family's income is about the 85th percentile (low six figures) and there are extenuating circumstances as to why it's easier for them to spend $300k on my education that an average family at that level. The very best law schools are still primarily the domain of the upper middle class, however. Willing to bet that T14 students have an average family income of $100k or very close. But I'd never recommend the average applicant make the decision I did, even as I suppose there are a lot of Boomer parents like mine who respond to a slightly lower-ranked school for significantly less debt with "BUT FOURTH-RANKED, AND YOLO."




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