Help!!!!!!!!!

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

UPenn (Sticker) vs. UCONN (Free)

UPenn (Sticker)
36
64%
UCONN (Free)
11
20%
Choose a New Career
3
5%
Join the Marines
6
11%
 
Total votes: 56

bcuc9191
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:26 am

Help!!!!!!!!!

Postby bcuc9191 » Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:48 am

-The schools you are considering: UPenn vs. UCONN
-The total Cost of Attendance (COA) of each: UPenn COA = $76,000 per year (Recently off of waitlist, so would pay sticker) vs. UCONN COA = Full ride (free; stip = maintain 3.0 cumulative)
-How you will be financing your COA, i.e. loans, family, or savings: UPenn = LOANS, LOANS, LOANS (I, like my family, am broke; both of us together paid through the roof for undergrad) vs. UCONN = All scholarship
-Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties (if any): I have significant ties only to Connecticut; Would prefer to work in (in this order): CT, MA, NY
-Your general career goals: Not BigLaw; But would prefer Govt. work, clerkship, prosecutor, D.A., judge/magistrate
-Your LSAT/GPA numbers: LSAT = 164; GPA = 3.95 (@ a top 30 natl. univ.)
-How many times you have taken the LSAT: Twice

Comments: I am not debt adverse, but rather enslavement to BigLaw for a decade adverse. (On second thought, this sounds like circular logic. The necessity of working for BigLaw may presuppose an unmanageable amount of debt. Anyway, the point is, I don't want to live the miserable (by my perception) BigLaw life out of mere dire financial necessity.

NB: Of course I have reconsidered the retake path. And the the logic to picking this option is solid, if not irrefutable. I won't sit here and whine like every other "reverse splitter" and say that I was fated to sucking at standardized tests. I didn't study as hard as I could/should have and could possibly go up 7 points in the next 2-3 years. (Although I am not fated to "sucking," I am fated to having to work much, much harder than even the average person for improving at standardized tests). As I have said though, my family and I are virtually broke and it would be impracticable to take a shitty job and study as hard as I'd like to. (For me its really, Yale, Harvard, Columbia, NYU or bust & $50,000 in undergrad loans would start to kick in as well--meaning I would have to hold down some type of semi-serious job that made some semi-serious amount of $$). But notwithstanding all of this, for the sake of argument, let's pretend this is a case problem/hypothetical that does not allow for this third retake option, only the UPenn vs. UCONN decision.


UPDATE: I erroneously calculated my undergrad debt; it is actually half of what I initially said. ~$50,000
Last edited by bcuc9191 on Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:35 am, edited 3 times in total.

Ti Malice
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Re: Help!!!!!!!!!

Postby Ti Malice » Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:04 am

bcuc9191 wrote:$100,000+ in undergrad loans


You need to include this information at the beginning -- maybe even in the title of your post. This is far more important than any of the other information you've posted.

NYstate
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Re: Help!!!!!!!!!

Postby NYstate » Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:08 am

How did you end up with only these two choices?

How much undergrad debt do you have? With $100,000 in debt you can't consider UConn. You have to understand that government hiring is very difficult.

I would go with Penn over UConn any day but you don't want to be forced into big law and I understand that attitude.

You are wasting your GPA. You should retake.
Find a basic job and make minimum payments.

Neither of these options make sense for you.
Last edited by NYstate on Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:18 am, edited 2 times in total.

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hephaestus
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Re: Help!!!!!!!!!

Postby hephaestus » Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:09 am

That amount of undergrad debt basically means you'll need big law to pay it off. This makes UConn a non start. At the same time, you'd be looking at an insane amount of debt from Penn. I'd choose Penn but I don't think it's a good decision.

fluffythepenguin
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Re: Help!!!!!!!!!

Postby fluffythepenguin » Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:09 am

You need to retake, go to somewhere in the MVP range (or lower) on the cheap, and get BigLaw to pay off your loans from there. If you had no debt from UG, UConn might make sense, but working in government with 100k+ in loans simply does not make sense.

Going to Penn right now I don't think makes sense either, since you'd be looking at 350k+ in debt upon graduation, which is unfathomable.

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Ramius
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Re: Help!!!!!!!!!

Postby Ramius » Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:09 am

I think you know that the answer you're going to get is retake, retake, retake. I know you're trying to avoid that barrage of suggestions, but honestly it's your best call. I understand your undergrad debt is a concern, but think about this: you improve your LSAT by 7+ points. This will put you into solid HYS range. You'll still be as broke as you are now. If you can nail one of HYS, your situation will be drastically improved because of the amount of financial aid you'll get from HYS because you're broke. They have by far the most generous need-based aid out there (it's all they give). Is it really better to take massive debt now hoping for LRAP-eligible jobs after graduation, or mire in debt for a couple years now, grab a much better outcome and not be saddled by that huge debt in the future?

You have an opportunity to drastically improve the next 5-10-20-30+ years of your life by letting the next 2 years at most suck. If you take a look at your life as a whole, does that really make sense?

That being said, between these two options, I'd say PENN unless UCONN will drop that stip. 3.0 to maintain sounds way too dangerous (don't know UCONN's median, but guessing it hovers in that vicinity).

ETA: Not saying they are a shoe-in for HYS, but it would be possible with the retake.

blsingindisguise
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Re: Help!!!!!!!!!

Postby blsingindisguise » Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:25 am

Does "free" mean "free everything" or just "free tuition"? Like is U.Conn really zero or near zero COA for you?

bcuc9191
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Re: Help!!!!!!!!!

Postby bcuc9191 » Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:27 am

blsingindisguise wrote:Does "free" mean "free everything" or just "free tuition"? Like is U.Conn really zero or near zero COA for you?



Near zero COA for me. I could live with any of my many realtives for free.

blsingindisguise
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Re: Help!!!!!!!!!

Postby blsingindisguise » Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:28 am

FWIW, while I agree that neither of these options are very good, I disagree with others in this thread and think U.Conn free is still better. You would leave U.Penn with nearly $328,000 in debt -- that's a life-shattering amount of debt even if you DO biglaw (which will only last a few years and certainly not long enough to pay the bulk of it off).

bcuc9191
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Re: Help!!!!!!!!!

Postby bcuc9191 » Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:31 am

Ti Malice wrote:
bcuc9191 wrote:$100,000+ in undergrad loans


You need to include this information at the beginning -- maybe even in the title of your post. This is far more important than any of the other information you've posted.


Fair enough. Didn't even realize this. But actually I'm so bad at math I DOUBLE-CALCULATED my undergrad loans. It's actually closer to $50,000 (principal) for undergrad. What effect (if any) does this have on my considerations?

bcuc9191
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Re: Help!!!!!!!!!

Postby bcuc9191 » Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:39 am

I'm an idiot (should be no surprise to you all now considering the situation I've gotten myself into) and miscalculated what I actually owe for undergrad. It is actually closer $50,000. Please let me know if this changes anything you guys (and gals) have said thus far.

And before everyone says it, it obviously does not change the retake suggestion.

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ronanOgara
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Re: Help!!!!!!!!!

Postby ronanOgara » Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:41 am

I'd say retake OP, you have a fantastic GPA. But, I don't think UConn for free is a bad decision. It would just be a shame to have undergraduate debt hanging over your head

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ronanOgara
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Re: Help!!!!!!!!!

Postby ronanOgara » Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:44 am

Also, if you retook and got a better score, you could get UConn to remove the stips on your scholly. If you got into Penn, you should have already tried to get UConn's stip removed.

blsingindisguise
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Re: Help!!!!!!!!!

Postby blsingindisguise » Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:52 am

$50K debt is not terrible (although you should probably try to make some payments while in law school to avoid it sitting around accumulating interest for three years). But U.Conn's employment numbers are somewhat disconcerting -- 31% employed in JD-required positions on graduation for class of 2011, for example.

If you choose Penn, just remember that it pretty much locks you into biglaw.

bcuc9191
Posts: 8
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Re: Help!!!!!!!!!

Postby bcuc9191 » Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:04 am

blsingindisguise wrote:$50K debt is not terrible (although you should probably try to make some payments while in law school to avoid it sitting around accumulating interest for three years). But U.Conn's employment numbers are somewhat disconcerting -- 31% employed in JD-required positions on graduation for class of 2011, for example.

If you choose Penn, just remember that it pretty much locks you into biglaw.


Thank you for your response.

Your last sentence is the one that really matters the most to me. I wouldn't call myself lazy, but the idea of the BigLaw lifestyle (even with the promise of huge salaries) never appealed to me. Thus, being forced into it by the debt I would take on at Penn almost sounds nightmarish to me. I always envisioned myself wanting to work as an attorney in the court system/criminal justice system somehow, whether it was clerking, state attorney, public defender, etc.

So my two concerns are: 1.) To achieve these goals, is it really worth $300,000 of debt and several years of BigLaw life? 2.) But at the same time, does UCONN have TOO LOW of a ranking and consequently shut me out from any realistic employment opportunities (particularly those I defined as my goals)?

bcuc9191
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Re: Help!!!!!!!!!

Postby bcuc9191 » Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:13 am

matthewsean85 wrote:I think you know that the answer you're going to get is retake, retake, retake. I know you're trying to avoid that barrage of suggestions, but honestly it's your best call. I understand your undergrad debt is a concern, but think about this: you improve your LSAT by 7+ points. This will put you into solid HYS range. You'll still be as broke as you are now. If you can nail one of HYS, your situation will be drastically improved because of the amount of financial aid you'll get from HYS because you're broke. They have by far the most generous need-based aid out there (it's all they give). Is it really better to take massive debt now hoping for LRAP-eligible jobs after graduation, or mire in debt for a couple years now, grab a much better outcome and not be saddled by that huge debt in the future?

You have an opportunity to drastically improve the next 5-10-20-30+ years of your life by letting the next 2 years at most suck. If you take a look at your life as a whole, does that really make sense?

That being said, between these two options, I'd say PENN unless UCONN will drop that stip. 3.0 to maintain sounds way too dangerous (don't know UCONN's median, but guessing it hovers in that vicinity).

ETA: Not saying they are a shoe-in for HYS, but it would be possible with the retake.





Thanks for the response. My only question is how realistic is it to get into HYS even with an amazing retake with a gain of 7+ points. (I know it's impossible to quantify). I am mainly concerned that they would average (I don't know how three LSAT scores are treated by these schools) my LSAT which would be taken from 157, 164, and then X (Let's say it's even 174). Even that's only an average of 164.

blsingindisguise
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Re: Help!!!!!!!!!

Postby blsingindisguise » Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:21 am

bcuc9191 wrote:
blsingindisguise wrote:$50K debt is not terrible (although you should probably try to make some payments while in law school to avoid it sitting around accumulating interest for three years). But U.Conn's employment numbers are somewhat disconcerting -- 31% employed in JD-required positions on graduation for class of 2011, for example.

If you choose Penn, just remember that it pretty much locks you into biglaw.


Thank you for your response.

Your last sentence is the one that really matters the most to me. I wouldn't call myself lazy, but the idea of the BigLaw lifestyle (even with the promise of huge salaries) never appealed to me. Thus, being forced into it by the debt I would take on at Penn almost sounds nightmarish to me. I always envisioned myself wanting to work as an attorney in the court system/criminal justice system somehow, whether it was clerking, state attorney, public defender, etc.

So my two concerns are: 1.) To achieve these goals, is it really worth $300,000 of debt and several years of BigLaw life? 2.) But at the same time, does UCONN have TOO LOW of a ranking and consequently shut me out from any realistic employment opportunities (particularly those I defined as my goals)?


Do you have any actual experience with the criminal justice system? You can definitely work in it without ever going the T6/Biglaw route, but you need to gun for it a little coming from U.Conn. Do mock trial team and intern for the kinds of offices you want to work for while in school. Be prepared to not have a job immediately on graduation and wait 3-9 months before finding one.

My only concern, though, is how much you really want to do this. If you really want to work in criminal law, I don't think U.Conn is a bad way to go. But if it's just a vague "the drug war is fucked up and I want to help people" kind of thing, I'd consider it carefully.

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Ramius
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Re: Help!!!!!!!!!

Postby Ramius » Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:23 am

bcuc9191 wrote:
matthewsean85 wrote:I think you know that the answer you're going to get is retake, retake, retake. I know you're trying to avoid that barrage of suggestions, but honestly it's your best call. I understand your undergrad debt is a concern, but think about this: you improve your LSAT by 7+ points. This will put you into solid HYS range. You'll still be as broke as you are now. If you can nail one of HYS, your situation will be drastically improved because of the amount of financial aid you'll get from HYS because you're broke. They have by far the most generous need-based aid out there (it's all they give). Is it really better to take massive debt now hoping for LRAP-eligible jobs after graduation, or mire in debt for a couple years now, grab a much better outcome and not be saddled by that huge debt in the future?

You have an opportunity to drastically improve the next 5-10-20-30+ years of your life by letting the next 2 years at most suck. If you take a look at your life as a whole, does that really make sense?

That being said, between these two options, I'd say PENN unless UCONN will drop that stip. 3.0 to maintain sounds way too dangerous (don't know UCONN's median, but guessing it hovers in that vicinity).

ETA: Not saying they are a shoe-in for HYS, but it would be possible with the retake.





Thanks for the response. My only question is how realistic is it to get into HYS even with an amazing retake with a gain of 7+ points. (I know it's impossible to quantify). I am mainly concerned that they would average (I don't know how three LSAT scores are treated by these schools) my LSAT which would be taken from 157, 164, and then X (Let's say it's even 174). Even that's only an average of 164.


The jury is somewhat out on whether HYS exclusively average LSATs or just take the average into consideration when looking at the highest score. I think the third LSAT shows your perseverence, but maybe that's just me. Even if you did get locked out of HYS due to averaging LSATs, you'd be looking at NYU or PENN with a substantial scholly after that retake. NYU is renowned for exactly the type of work you want to do. I understand your reticence with your current debt and delaying law school to live an extremely frugal life while studying for a retake, but doing so could be worth way more than your current debt and how much the retake will end up costing for you. Given your goals, I still think this is the best play.

bcuc9191
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:26 am

Re: Help!!!!!!!!!

Postby bcuc9191 » Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:31 am

matthewsean85 wrote:
bcuc9191 wrote:
matthewsean85 wrote:I think you know that the answer you're going to get is retake, retake, retake. I know you're trying to avoid that barrage of suggestions, but honestly it's your best call. I understand your undergrad debt is a concern, but think about this: you improve your LSAT by 7+ points. This will put you into solid HYS range. You'll still be as broke as you are now. If you can nail one of HYS, your situation will be drastically improved because of the amount of financial aid you'll get from HYS because you're broke. They have by far the most generous need-based aid out there (it's all they give). Is it really better to take massive debt now hoping for LRAP-eligible jobs after graduation, or mire in debt for a couple years now, grab a much better outcome and not be saddled by that huge debt in the future?

You have an opportunity to drastically improve the next 5-10-20-30+ years of your life by letting the next 2 years at most suck. If you take a look at your life as a whole, does that really make sense?

That being said, between these two options, I'd say PENN unless UCONN will drop that stip. 3.0 to maintain sounds way too dangerous (don't know UCONN's median, but guessing it hovers in that vicinity).

ETA: Not saying they are a shoe-in for HYS, but it would be possible with the retake.





Thanks for the response. My only question is how realistic is it to get into HYS even with an amazing retake with a gain of 7+ points. (I know it's impossible to quantify). I am mainly concerned that they would average (I don't know how three LSAT scores are treated by these schools) my LSAT which would be taken from 157, 164, and then X (Let's say it's even 174). Even that's only an average of 164.


The jury is somewhat out on whether HYS exclusively average LSATs or just take the average into consideration when looking at the highest score. I think the third LSAT shows your perseverence, but maybe that's just me. Even if you did get locked out of HYS due to averaging LSATs, you'd be looking at NYU or PENN with a substantial scholly after that retake. NYU is renowned for exactly the type of work you want to do. I understand your reticence with your current debt and delaying law school to live an extremely frugal life while studying for a retake, but doing so could be worth way more than your current debt and how much the retake will end up costing for you. Given your goals, I still think this is the best play.



Thanks again for all your advice. It really is putting things into perspective. When you say "substantial scholly," I'm curious to what you mean by this--wondering if you could try to quantify it. I just don't want to end up in this exact situation I am in now. I know I will get MORE money with a good retake at places in the T-14, but how much is MORE?

Also, if I turn down UPenn now, say I do retake with a fantastic score, will any bias (in the form of scholarship, or even just mere acceptance) be held against me in future application cycles?

Thanks.

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Ramius
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Re: Help!!!!!!!!!

Postby Ramius » Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:36 am

They won't hold it against you for withdrawing. You'll have to explain on your next application why you withdrew (any decent excuse will satisfy that), but they understand that some people decide law school isn't right yet.

As for schollies, check out mylsn.info and play around with various LSAT/GPA combinations and it'll give you the average scholly amount for those numbers. It's a seriously helpful tool.

Whatever you decide, good luck!

Informative
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Re: Help!!!!!!!!!

Postby Informative » Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:25 pm

Penn, even at sticker, is probably your best bet so long as you're okay with working a few years in Biglaw to pay down your loans.

Informative
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Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 6:10 pm

Re: Help!!!!!!!!!

Postby Informative » Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:26 pm

Penn, even at sticker, is probably your best bet so long as you're okay with working a few years in Biglaw to pay down your loans.

timbs4339
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Re: Help!!!!!!!!!

Postby timbs4339 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:48 pm

How dire is your imminent financial situation? Is there no possible way you could pay the bills living at home and working a crappy job? Try to put the loans into deferment for a year and pay off the interest.

If you got into one of HYS, you'd have a significantly higher chance of a federal district clerkship, an extremely prestigious and interesting position. Even if you end up at a T10 with money, you'll have a good shot at federal government jobs if you demonstrate an interest in that kind of work, and you'll always have the option of working a few years at a firm to get experience, pay off debt or help out your family, and then go into government work. Not everyone who works biglaw is either a lifer or doing it to pay back loans. Many people do it to support their family or as a stepping stone to something else.

Think long-term here. I've been broke before and it sucks, but unless you are going to be starving unless you get GRADPLUS loans it makes sense to work.

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ThetaX
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Re: Help!!!!!!!!!

Postby ThetaX » Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:58 pm

Paying of sticker on anything other than a BigLaw salary would be very difficult, so it would really constrain your options.

BigZuck
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Re: Help!!!!!!!!!

Postby BigZuck » Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:44 am

Retake and work for a couple of years to pay down the debt if you can swing a decent paying job (or a crappy paying job with free COL)




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