NW with a full ride or Harvard?

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Free Ride to NW or Harvard

 
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hobbla
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NW with a full ride or Harvard?

Postby hobbla » Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:43 pm

I got into harvard about a week ago and was incredibly excited at the prospect of going there. It's an amazing school and the boston/cambridge area offers a ton of the stuff that I like very conveniently.

Northwestern, on the other hand, offered me a full ride if I defer a year. Northwestern would be almost completley free (ignoring opportunity costs, economists...) since I could commute very easily to the law school.

Graduating law school debt free sounds very enticing, but so does Harvard and the boston area.

I'm pretty torn, any thoughts would be much appreciated.

USCtrojan86
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Re: NW with a full ride or Harvard?

Postby USCtrojan86 » Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:45 pm

Assuming you don't want PI or some other area that doesn't generally offer high pay after you graduate, I think you'd be a fool to turn down Harvard for NU without some extreme personal reasons involved.

And this is coming from someone who very much wants your Harvard spot.

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the rza
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Re: NW with a full ride or Harvard?

Postby the rza » Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:46 pm

unless you are dead-set on a public interest or other low paying career, i would go with harvard man...

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normalien
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Re: NW with a full ride or Harvard?

Postby normalien » Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:47 pm

me too

augustlights
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Re: NW with a full ride or Harvard?

Postby augustlights » Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:47 pm

I don't know.... No debt is an amazing thing. Opens up tons of options and a secure financial start.

IvyJustice
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Re: NW with a full ride or Harvard?

Postby IvyJustice » Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:48 pm

I disagree. Assuming you do well, you can get equal job opportunities coming from Northwestern as Harvard. To come out debt-free will make you much richer, faster. While
other students will spend years paying back their loans, you will be buying pools, cars, etc.

The Agitator
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Re: NW with a full ride or Harvard?

Postby The Agitator » Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:49 pm

Opens up tons of options and a secure financial start.


Options and money aren't issues for Harvard Law School grads. I'd go with Harvard.

USCtrojan86
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Re: NW with a full ride or Harvard?

Postby USCtrojan86 » Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:50 pm

Assuming you do well, you can get equal job opportunities coming from Northwestern as Harvard.


This is a very big assumption, especially at two competitive schools filled with incredibly bright and motivated people.

The Agitator
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Re: NW with a full ride or Harvard?

Postby The Agitator » Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:51 pm

Don't let your conception of debt right now faze you.

If, in 20 years, you are partner at a law firm making millions per year, do you really think you will say "Thank god I didn't pay that extra 100K for Harvard." Not a chance.

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iwasgoingtobeasenator
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Re: NW with a full ride or Harvard?

Postby iwasgoingtobeasenator » Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:51 pm

Ouch tough decision. While Harvard is obviously the better school which will give you better opportunities... there is something to be said for not having debt.

Also consider that if you BORROW like 160-180K, you have to pay it back with interest. At 7% annually, you're really saying "Harvard for like 300K, or Northwestern for free" Considering how well you could do if you started to invest your early earnings from Northwestern... it's something to think long and hard about. If you just want to do BIGLAW and you aren't serious about academia, politics or running this world.... you might consider the "no debt route." Great position to be in good sir, bravo.

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LabRat
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Re: NW with a full ride or Harvard?

Postby LabRat » Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:55 pm

So much depends on personal factors. How old are you (time to pay off debt)? Career goals--academia, V10 partner, rabid Innocence Project type fighter for justice, etc.?

For me I would go NU, but I'm older and have no real desire to work Biglaw.

The Agitator
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Re: NW with a full ride or Harvard?

Postby The Agitator » Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:57 pm

If you do BigLaw, paying down your debt from Harvard will not be an issue. Given today's wages, you'll earn 160,170,180 first three years.

Net 510K without bonuses
Assume you clear 336K
Live off something like 80K/year, put the rest to debt
You'll have paid off 100K by then

You might then have a manageable 40-50K in debt, and a HARVARD LAW DEGREE.

EDIT: The OP is 21-23, since NU scholly depends on a deferral for WE. He has his whole life to pay that debt back.

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nahumya
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Re: NW with a full ride or Harvard?

Postby nahumya » Fri Feb 01, 2008 4:04 pm

well that's easy. what do you want to do when you grow up?

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awesomerossum
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Re: NW with a full ride or Harvard?

Postby awesomerossum » Fri Feb 01, 2008 4:10 pm

I'd even take HLS over a CLS hammie, but that's just me.

hobbla
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Re: NW with a full ride or Harvard?

Postby hobbla » Fri Feb 01, 2008 4:14 pm

As an earlier poster correctly assumed, I will turn 21 this june (thus beginning law school at that 21-23 range which NW prefers to have WE)

so I guess that is another factor, I do have a lot of time to pay the debt off...

As for what I would like to do? I would probably try BigLaw (especially if I had loans...) - I'm interested in Anti-trust stuff from my undergrad econ classes already and I could see myself enjoying anti-trust litigation, but I would also like to go into politics/work at the DOJ sometime down the road.

I guess both of those goals point toward Harvard, huh...

thank you very much for your quick and helpful responses!

mildmannered
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Re: NW with a full ride or Harvard?

Postby mildmannered » Fri Feb 01, 2008 4:19 pm

I think you should also consider what kind of educational experience you want to have during the three years you are at school. It is probably fair to say that at Harvard you will be in a more vibrant intellectual environment and will be surrounded by people who have higher expectations of themselves and the impact they beleive they can make in the world. To me, that is worth paying for and will have an intangible impact on your approach to law and your career that you can't compensate for by just thinking about it. I think that is the benefit of going to one of the most elite schools - higher expectations, broader vistas, and more subtle understanding; the ability to be truly inspired and the tools and support to act on your inspiration.

i know this all probably sounds a little dreamy and naive, but I do think that we respond to what is expected of us, and we find equilibrium with our peer group - why not place yourself in an environment where you will be the most challenged in those things? That is worth paying for because it will enrich you as a person, not just make you rich as a lawyer.

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Katkins
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Re: NW with a full ride or Harvard?

Postby Katkins » Fri Feb 01, 2008 4:30 pm

Since I want to do BigLaw, I'd take a free T14 over any full price.

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awesomerossum
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Re: NW with a full ride or Harvard?

Postby awesomerossum » Fri Feb 01, 2008 4:35 pm

think you should also consider what kind of educational experience you want to have during the three years you are at school. It is probably fair to say that at Harvard you will be in a more vibrant intellectual environment and will be surrounded by people who have higher expectations of themselves and the impact they beleive they can make in the world. To me, that is worth paying for and will have an intangible impact on your approach to law and your career that you can't compensate for by just thinking about it. I think that is the benefit of going to one of the most elite schools - higher expectations, broader vistas, and more subtle understanding; the ability to be truly inspired and the tools and support to act on your inspiration.


TITCR.

Cambridge, MA is a wonderful, wonderful place. You're working in one of the best universities in the world, which is along side another one of the best universities in the world (MIT). The amount of non-law academic opportunities and venues for intellectual exploration are immense in that area. I'd pay full freight for that. You only experience that once in your life (if at all).

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Diana341
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Re: NW with a full ride or Harvard?

Postby Diana341 » Fri Feb 01, 2008 4:42 pm

What a fantastic position to be in!

Personally, I think I'd take the free ride at Northwestern over full price at Harvard.

Either way, you will have fantastic job options at both places. You should probably start comparing other factors (like, location, QOL, which school has the better standing in the specific field of law you want to go in, etc.)

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Gametime
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Re: NW with a full ride or Harvard?

Postby Gametime » Fri Feb 01, 2008 4:46 pm

If this were me then I would take the full scholarship bc I don't know what type of law I would like to practice. Leaving law school with no debt would open up opportunities for bc I would not have to worry about taking a high paying salary to pay off my loans.

The Agitator
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Re: NW with a full ride or Harvard?

Postby The Agitator » Fri Feb 01, 2008 4:55 pm

I don't know man....you're young. Say you turn 35 and decide that you don't want to be a lawyer anymore.

You can be 35 and be a Harvard Law Grad trying to get into a new field.
Or you can be 35 and be a Northwestern Law grad trying to get into a new field.

There is SO MUCH insurance in that extra 150K you will spend, I think it is well worth it, and over a lifetime, it will be a fabulous return on your investment.

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BondGirl
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Re: NW with a full ride or Harvard?

Postby BondGirl » Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:04 pm

I think you would be stupid not to chose Northwestern. They are both high ranked prestigious schools, and you can get a good education and the same job opportunities at both. Once you're actually in debt at Harvard you'll realize that 300K is A LOT of money. The COL in Boston is really high too, and you will want to live in Cambridge to be near the school.

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Drew82abndiv
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Re: NW with a full ride or Harvard?

Postby Drew82abndiv » Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:10 pm

Oh to have a choice like that...I'm so sorry that you have to choose between two terrible schools like this. I would go to Cooley if I were you, but make sure to include that when you w/d the acceptance from HLS and NW! :twisted:

The Agitator
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Re: NW with a full ride or Harvard?

Postby The Agitator » Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:12 pm

They are both high ranked prestigious schools, and you can get a good education and the same job opportunities at both.


Are you mad?!?

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nonunique
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Re: NW with a full ride or Harvard?

Postby nonunique » Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:13 pm

I know a couple people here who made that very decision in favor of NU.

In my conversations with my HLS friends, I certainly get the impression that they are more coveted than we are...but I don't buy any of this aspirations and expectations bullshit.

Harvard will give you a substantial advantage in several fields (clerking, academia, etc), and so should be your choice if that is what you want to do.

If you want big law, the advantage is marginal and so the cost is immense. This argument that you are young is asinine. It's the same debt that could have been spent on so many other things. Think about what you could do (at any age) with $300k. Instead of spending your late 20s living on $80k/yr (in Boston/NY...and STILL being in debt after 3 years), you can be living off of your full salary. Or, if you're wise, you can live off of $80k/yr (in Chicago, that's hefty), invest the rest, and EARN interest instead.

Opportunity cost for Harvard here is immense. The payout could be equally immense, it could be marginal, it could be very negative.

EDIT: you won't get the SAME job opportunities at both...but what you want is biglaw, you'll get similar.




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