Berkeley (sticker) vs UT (half price)

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Berkeley (sticker) vs UT (half price

Berkeley at $50k/year
12
80%
UT at $26k/year
3
20%
 
Total votes: 15

arose928
Posts: 91
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Berkeley (sticker) vs UT (half price)

Postby arose928 » Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:36 pm

This may be premature as I haven't been accepted to Berkeley yet (sent to FR, waiting to hear back on Feb 6, anxious and trying to occupy myself in the meantime!)

Since I was sent to FR I'm assuming no money from Berkeley would be forthcoming, esp since they're considered stingier than other schools. In the meantime, the next best school I was accepted at was UT, and they gave me $7k + in-state tuition. That means UT would be $26k/year + living expenses, and Berkeley would be ~$50k/year + living expenses. My stats are 167, 3.6, 5 years WE and relatively good softs.

I currently live in the Bay Area, love it here, and want to stay here for a good chunk of my life. I also am partnered up, and while he is willing to move to Austin, would much rather stay here (is from here, has family here, has good job here). We're also in a crazy cheap rent controlled apartment within biking distance of the university, so my living expenses here would actually probably be cheaper than Austin. If I was living somewhere crappy I wouldn't mind moving to Austin - I am actually from there originally, went to college in TX, and have friends there - but again, already love it here.

FWIW, I intend to go the public interest track and so would plan on LRAP/IBR/loan forgiveness. Both schools have LRAP, although I'm not totally sure how they compare. I know a lot of people say/plan that but with 5+ years WE in nonprofits and my politics I can't imagine ever working corporate. And I would never take on sticker loan debt planning to pay it back in full on my own. That's crazy talk.

So one consideration is loans and managing that debt. The other consideration is employability. What are the chances of getting a Bay Area public defender/community law center/etc job out of UT? I might need to network with some folks around here about that question but thought I'd throw it out to the board.

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Rigo
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Re: Berkeley (sticker) vs UT (half price)

Postby Rigo » Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:48 pm

Texas is a pretty insular legal market, at least in the private sector.
It seems like your whole life is in Berkeley and you're genuinely happy there. If you can truly see yourself staying in the Bay Area for school and for life, then Berkeley seems like the right choice here. Trying to use a UT degree to get back to the Bay Area will probably be difficult.
Berkeley probably fits your public interest goals and is your cup of tea if you like Berkeley's social activism/justice vibe. Also, their LRAP is apparently pretty excellent.

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gamerish
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Postby gamerish » Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:55 pm

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Last edited by gamerish on Sun Jan 03, 2016 2:00 am, edited 8 times in total.

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sesto elemento
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Re: Berkeley (sticker) vs UT (half price)

Postby sesto elemento » Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:57 pm

Being sent to FR at Berkeley has no bearing on whether or not you will get fin aid from them. However, Cal ain't worth sticker. HTH

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MarkfromWI
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Re: Berkeley (sticker) vs UT (half price)

Postby MarkfromWI » Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:16 pm

While I agree that it's risky banking on loan forgiveness for full sticker debt, I'd lean towards Boalt. If you don't get into Boalt, though, given your desire to remain in the bay area and the fact that you and your SO/Hubby are currently employed, I would sit out this year rather than going to UT and trying to make it back. UT is a great school and all but I just can't imagine it's portable enough to get back to such a desirable market with several feeders (Boalt, Stanford, UCLA and USC to a lesser extent, and then the top few students from the local dumpster fires). Take the time to retake the LSAT and get just a handful more questions right and try again.

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Rigo
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Re: Berkeley (sticker) vs UT (half price)

Postby Rigo » Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:24 pm

RC fail on my part. I missed the part where OP said she hasn't yet been accepted to Berkeley.
Read my previous post with a big "IF" attached to it. And getting into Berkeley is definitely a big if with a 167/3.6. Berkeley is holistic though and you seem like you have some pretty good softs with a demonstrated interest in public interest.

arose928
Posts: 91
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:05 am

Re: Berkeley (sticker) vs UT (half price)

Postby arose928 » Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:31 pm

MarkfromWI wrote:While I agree that it's risky banking on loan forgiveness for full sticker debt, I'd lean towards Boalt. If you don't get into Boalt, though, given your desire to remain in the bay area and the fact that you and your SO/Hubby are currently employed, I would sit out this year rather than going to UT and trying to make it back. UT is a great school and all but I just can't imagine it's portable enough to get back to such a desirable market with several feeders (Boalt, Stanford, UCLA and USC to a lesser extent, and then the top few students from the local dumpster fires). Take the time to retake the LSAT and get just a handful more questions right and try again.


I did re-take and it didn't go well.. That was due to extenuating circumstances and I should have just canceled the score, but it made me wary that re-taking is a surefire path to a better score. I would definitely have to if I was going to apply again next year though, as my 167 is almost 5 years old and will expire after this cycle. But I'm not getting any younger and I've got things to do, and I already spent a year of my life applying so I'd rather just get a move on with this path.

Possibly should have mentioned this in my original post, but I did get into Davis and Hastings. So if it was Bay Area or bust, I could stay here and go to law school. I wouldn't seriously consider them without significant money though, and even if I got it, I'm not sure - while I want to stay in the Bay for now, going to them would mean I HAVE to stay in the Bay, pretty much, and I'd like to keep my options open and my degree portable. From what I'm hearing though, it seems like UT isn't even that portable of a degree.

arose928
Posts: 91
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Re: Berkeley (sticker) vs UT (half price)

Postby arose928 » Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:34 pm

Dirigo wrote:RC fail on my part. I missed the part where OP said she hasn't yet been accepted to Berkeley.
Read my previous post with a big "IF" attached to it. And getting into Berkeley is definitely a big if with a 167/3.6. Berkeley is holistic though and you seem like you have some pretty good softs with a demonstrated interest in public interest.


Yeah - some people have been accepted this round with those stats, and some haven't. I know it's kind of a toss-up at this point, my hope is hinging on the one comment I saw somewhere that said your PS matters more in faculty review. That is to say, my hopes aren't hinging on much :)

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MarkfromWI
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Re: Berkeley (sticker) vs UT (half price)

Postby MarkfromWI » Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:47 pm

arose928 wrote: But I'm not getting any younger and I've got things to do, and I already spent a year of my life applying so I'd rather just get a move on with this path.


I totally get that, but then just be aware that you're making it a lot harder on yourself to achieve your goals. You want to be in the bay area but also want portability. None of the schools you've mentioned besides Boalt gives you both. So if you don't want to sit out another year, then something will have to give.

BigZuck
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Re: Berkeley (sticker) vs UT (half price)

Postby BigZuck » Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:08 pm

I don't really see Berkeley happening with those numbers but maybe I guess

I'd choose Davis or Hastings over UT here. UT doesn't really make any sense to me unless you want to work in TX long term




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