Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

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

Michigan($30,000/year) vs. Harvard

Michigan ($30,000 per year)
32
20%
Harvard (full price)
129
80%
 
Total votes: 161

ColbyBryant
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Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby ColbyBryant » Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:56 pm

Year-long lurker here! Finally coming out of the shadows to ask for perspective. In return I promise to contribute as a law student!

Reading through TLS I see a lot of Darrow vs. Harvard threads, but I may have missed those with less money from Michigan.

Financial situation: My husband runs his own stable internet business and makes enough that we could skate by without me taking out many loans for living expenses, especially in Ann Arbor.

Michigan offered me $30,000 per year. My estimated total cost of attendance would be about $75,000, which is the difference between the scholarship and the remainder of tuition and fees. They are not willing to increase this reward.

At Harvard, my parents' income eliminates any chance of grants. Total COA would be about $175,000 for tuition and feeds, plus a safety of $15,000 to supplement my husband's income for living expenses in the higher price area. Estimated total COA = $190,000. Assuming my husband continues to have a lucrative business, my loan would not be covered by LIPP even if I take a very low income job.

In conclusion, Harvard will cost $115,000 more than Michigan and will not be LIPP eligible.

EDIT (Feb 10): learning from this thread, the difference in cost over 10 years with interest will be considerably greater than $115,000. Perhaps closer to $200,000. Eek!


The only other schools that I was interested in are no longer in play. I was rejected by Chicago and waitlisted at Penn.

Career goals: My dream would be to first clerk and/or receive a competitive graduate fellowship. I know this is tough from any school, with Harvard giving a much better chance. But really, if I need to do big law for a few years and move laterally, so be it, but it sure would be nice to have financial freedom and not have to make that choice. I am fascinated by law, but absolutely need a 1L year to have a better idea of my precise focus. My mind is open.

Location goals: No geographic preferences at the moment

Anybody gone through a similar decision? What made you choose one over the other? Thank y'all.
Last edited by ColbyBryant on Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Winston1984
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby Winston1984 » Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:59 pm

Harvard, and I don't think it's that close.

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jk148706
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby jk148706 » Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:09 pm

Michigan with $30k is nice.

Harvard is clearly better.

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worldtraveler
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby worldtraveler » Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:19 pm

What do you mean by competitive fellowship?

ColbyBryant
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby ColbyBryant » Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:34 pm

Oh wow. I went downstairs to make lunch and came back to a Harvard landslide. It may be worth noting that we are debt averse. My brother took out almost $200,000 in loans for his MD. Even on a >$150,000 salary the loans with interest are brutal. The difference of $115,000 over 10-20 years is staggering. This is the only reason I give Harvard pause...

jk148706 wrote:Michigan with $30k is nice.

Harvard is clearly better.



worldtraveler wrote:What do you mean by competitive fellowship?


If I decide to go into anything public interest, the best way is through a fellowship. If I had my way? Honestly I'd shoot for a Skadden or EJW fellowship, just because that seems to be a way to have an edge in the field. However, if like most 0L's I enter law school and find a totally different interest, this pre-law dream is largely irrelevant.

Thanks for the input thus far.

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star fox
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby star fox » Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:36 pm

Did you apply CCN?

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DildaMan
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby DildaMan » Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:37 pm

Take H and profit.

ColbyBryant
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby ColbyBryant » Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:46 pm

john7234797 wrote:Did you apply CCN?


I applied to Chicago but not to any NY schools for family reasons. Either way I am not the kind of numbers who gets money from CCNP.

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worldtraveler
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby worldtraveler » Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:50 pm

I'm confused by the not LIPP eligible part. If you want to do PI work AND pay back tons of loans, that is insane.

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jingosaur
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby jingosaur » Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:54 pm

With your goals and life situation, definitely Harvard. It's not even close.

rad lulz
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby rad lulz » Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:54 pm

worldtraveler wrote:I'm confused by the not LIPP eligible part. If you want to do PI work AND pay back tons of loans, that is insane.

Yeah this is a big red flag

ColbyBryant
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby ColbyBryant » Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:57 pm

worldtraveler wrote:I'm confused by the not LIPP eligible part. If you want to do PI work AND pay back tons of loans, that is insane.


That is true. It sounds insane to me as well. LIPP clearly states that they take your spouse income + your own income and divide it by 2. If my husband continues to produce additional income each year, it is likely that our combined income would make me receive little LIPP benefit.

Michigan would give me the freedom to pursue PI with less financial burden. However, as I mentioned in my post, my mind is open. Of course PI sounds most likely to me now, but doesn't it for most 0L's who have never taken a law school class? Still, the 200k of debt is terrifying. Terrifying. See my above post about my brother MD.

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worldtraveler
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby worldtraveler » Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:06 pm

ColbyBryant wrote:
worldtraveler wrote:I'm confused by the not LIPP eligible part. If you want to do PI work AND pay back tons of loans, that is insane.


That is true. It sounds insane to me as well. LIPP clearly states that they take your spouse income + your own income and divide it by 2. If my husband continues to produce additional income each year, it is likely that our combined income would make me receive little LIPP benefit.

Michigan would give me the freedom to pursue PI with less financial burden. However, as I mentioned in my post, my mind is open. Of course PI sounds most likely to me now, but doesn't it for most 0L's who have never taken a law school class? Still, the 200k of debt is terrifying. Terrifying. See my above post about my brother MD.


Yeah if you have a high earning spouse that could be a problem, unless you file taxes individually. I'm not incredibly familar with LIPP to know if that would work.

I would vote Michigan, because I think the risk of paying back that debt with no LRAP cushion is terrifying. At the very least, do more research on it.

And Skadden is really the only PI fellowship that is that prestige obsessed. EJW is much less so, and same with many others.

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calle_25
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby calle_25 » Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:07 pm

Most people on TLS will tell you Harvard well...because it's Harvard. I suggest you do you HW and ask Michigan to put you in contact with an alumn who has been successful in obtaining the kind of fellowships you're after. See what's feasible with a Mich degree and what it takes to get there before making your decision. Most people here are biglaw or bust (not saying everyone is) so make sure you make an informed decision that's not just based on TLS. Like you I am very debt-averse and will likely be struggling with the same decisions because of my interest in PI. I would likely choose Michigan if I were in your shoes.

ColbyBryant
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby ColbyBryant » Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:29 pm

calle_25 wrote:Most people on TLS will tell you Harvard well...because it's Harvard. I suggest you do you HW and ask Michigan to put you in contact with an alumn who has been successful in obtaining the kind of fellowships you're after. See what's feasible with a Mich degree and what it takes to get there before making your decision. Most people here are biglaw or bust (not saying everyone is) so make sure you make an informed decision that's not just based on TLS. Like you I am very debt-averse and will likely be struggling with the same decisions because of my interest in PI. I would likely choose Michigan if I were in your shoes.


Thanks for your input. I do have a Skype meeting set up in a week for this exact purpose.

And my goodness, I have been lurking on TLS like a fiend this cycle and still did not expect such a landslide of a vote. Especially when talking about >100k difference of debt.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:36 pm

ColbyBryant wrote:
john7234797 wrote:Did you apply CCN?


I applied to Chicago but not to any NY schools for family reasons. Either way I am not the kind of numbers who gets money from CCNP.


...the kind of numbers that get into H are the kind of numbers that get money from CCNP. HTH

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Otunga
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby Otunga » Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:38 pm

0L here but I'd probably go to Michigan in your case. If you change your mind and don't want PI, then sure, biglaw from H should be doable. But you'd also have a lot more debt and as many grads will say on here, it can be a miserable existence. If it were guaranteed that you'd stay interested and involved with PI, then I'd say H, but without that confidence I'd take Michigan. Again, the LS debt terrifies me too. So much so that I've considered applying to non-T1s with on the cusp t14 numbers and have been looking into possibilities of stipends at such schools. Figured I'd put that out there as another disclaimer.

NYstate
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby NYstate » Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:42 pm

ColbyBryant wrote:Year-long lurker here! Finally coming out of the shadows to ask for perspective. In return I promise to contribute as a law student!

Reading through TLS I see a lot of Darrow vs. Harvard threads, but I may have missed those with less money from Michigan.

Financial situation: My husband runs his own stable internet business and makes enough that we could skate by without me taking out many loans for living expenses, especially in Ann Arbor.

Michigan offered me $30,000 per year. My estimated total cost of attendance would be about $75,000, which is the difference between the scholarship and the remainder of tuition and fees. They are not willing to increase this reward.

At Harvard, my parents' income eliminates any chance of grants. Total COA would be about $175,000 for tuition and feeds, plus a safety of $15,000 to supplement my husband's income for living expenses in the higher price area. Estimated total COA = $190,000. Assuming my husband continues to have a lucrative business, my loan would not be covered by LIPP even if I take a very low income job.

In conclusion, Harvard will cost $115,000 more than Michigan and will not be LIPP eligible.

The only other schools that I was interested in are no longer in play. I was rejected by Chicago and waitlisted at Penn.

Career goals: My dream would be to first clerk and/or receive a competitive graduate fellowship. I know this is tough from any school, with Harvard giving a much better chance. But really, if I need to do big law for a few years and move laterally, so be it, but it sure would be nice to have financial freedom and not have to make that choice. I am fascinated by law, but absolutely need a 1L year to have a better idea of my precise focus. My mind is open.

Location goals: No geographic preferences at the moment

Anybody gone through a similar decision? What made you choose one over the other? Thank y'all.


How much does your husband make? You might have the luxury of being able to go to the best school and not worry about repaying the debt and do whatever job you want. The debt worries are for people who don't have high earning family members paying their bills.

I am very debt averse but I equally feel that Michigan is extremely over rated. I am not a fan and have seen them slipping over the past few years. You should go to Harvard. If you do PI you can still PSLF based on your job after 10 years and you can apply for PAYE so your payments will be low. PAYE is easy to qualify for as long as you didn't have loans before October 1, 2007.

I'm surprised that you wouldn't consider Columbia or NYU at all. Just seems very short-sighted.

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Nelson
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby Nelson » Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:50 pm

You don't have to do LIPP. Harvard also has a PLSF linked LRAP like most other T14s. If these are your only options, Harvard is the better choice.

ColbyBryant
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby ColbyBryant » Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:54 pm

NYstate wrote:How much does your husband make? You might have the luxury of being able to go to the best school and not worry about repaying the debt and do whatever job you want. The debt worries are for people who don't have high earning family members paying their bills.

I am very debt averse but I equally feel that Michigan is extremely over rated. You should go to Harvard. If you do PI you can still PSLF based on your job after 10 years and you can apply for PAYE so your payments will be low. PAYE is easy to qualify for as long as you didn't have loans before October 1, 2007.

I'm surprised that you wouldn't consider Columbia or NYU at all. Just seems very short-sighted.


Right now my husband made about 70k this year. But, 4 years ago he was barely scraping 30k and working twice as hard. His unique skill set + perseverance = rapidly increasing his income.

Short-sighted or not, I applied to every top law school except for New York schools. It really just came down to my husband and I just not wanting to live in the city. We don't like it there, and we have no ties or friends in the area. And, either way, I would get 10k/year max at one of those schools. We never expected to get in to a T6...My GPA is 3.7 and my LSAT is below 75%ile at every one.

However, I do appreciate your input. Most people facing this decision would surely have $$ options at CCNP. But not me!

Edit: fixed my grammar and #
Last edited by ColbyBryant on Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ColbyBryant
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby ColbyBryant » Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:55 pm

Nelson wrote:You don't have to do LIPP. Harvard also has a PLSF linked LRAP like most other T14s. If these are your only options, Harvard is the better choice.


Holy cow! I had no idea. Do you have a link to this information?

And it seems like TLS is virtually unanimous on this decision! I am legitimately surprised. Glad that I came out of the shadows to get your opinions.
Last edited by ColbyBryant on Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Nelson
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby Nelson » Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:56 pm

ColbyBryant wrote:
Nelson wrote:You don't have to do LIPP. Harvard also has a PLSF linked LRAP like most other T14s. If these are your only options, Harvard is the better choice.


Holy cow! I had no idea. Do you have a link to this information?

Call Harvard. I know they have it because I know people who are on it.

ColbyBryant
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby ColbyBryant » Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:58 pm

Nelson wrote:
ColbyBryant wrote:
Nelson wrote:You don't have to do LIPP. Harvard also has a PLSF linked LRAP like most other T14s. If these are your only options, Harvard is the better choice.


Holy cow! I had no idea. Do you have a link to this information?

Call Harvard. I know they have it because I know people who are on it.


Thank you.

NYstate
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby NYstate » Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:01 pm

ColbyBryant wrote:
Nelson wrote:You don't have to do LIPP. Harvard also has a PLSF linked LRAP like most other T14s. If these are your only options, Harvard is the better choice.


Holy cow! I had no idea. Do you have a link to this information?

And it seems like TLS is virtually unanimous on this decision! I am legitimately surprised. Glad that I came out of the shadows to get your opinions.


It isn't through Harvard it is through the federal government. It has nothing to do with the school you attend. PSLF is for people in qualifying public service jobs. http://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/fo ... ic-service

Similarly, PAYE and IBR are payment plans through the government that reduce your monthly payment based on debt and income. It has nothing to do with your school or your degree. I think you can file as married filely seperately so your husbands income doesn't count. http://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/un ... come-based

LIPP is Harvards own plan available to its students.

ColbyBryant
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Re: Michigan($$) vs. Harvard(sticker)

Postby ColbyBryant » Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:08 pm

NYstate wrote:
ColbyBryant wrote:
Nelson wrote:You don't have to do LIPP. Harvard also has a PLSF linked LRAP like most other T14s. If these are your only options, Harvard is the better choice.


Holy cow! I had no idea. Do you have a link to this information?

And it seems like TLS is virtually unanimous on this decision! I am legitimately surprised. Glad that I came out of the shadows to get your opinions.


It isn't through Harvard it is through the federal government. It has nothing to do with the school you attend. PSLF is for people in qualifying public service jobs. http://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/fo ... ic-service

Similarly, PAYE and IBR are payment plans through the government that reduce your monthly payment based on debt and income. It has nothing to do with your school or your degree. I think you can file as married filely seperately so your husbands income doesn't count. http://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/un ... come-based

LIPP is Harvards own plan available to its students.


Right that makes more sense. Of course every graduate can use the PAYE/PSLF, but the poster above made it sound like Harvard had a program designed to limit out of pocket expense using said program (like every LRAP outside of HYS).




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