USC with Scholarship vs Cornell Sticker

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nawi226
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USC with Scholarship vs Cornell Sticker

Postby nawi226 » Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:28 pm

Hey folks,

I haven't made any decisions and am still waiting on several schools, but as it stands the highest ranked and only T14 school I've gotten into is Cornell. I anticipate to hear from the rest pretty soon. Today I received a scholarship offer from USC for $135k and do not really anticipate receiving any from Cornell. I'm looking for advice on which course of action you all think would be best. On one hand Cornell job placement is obviously better but there is also the issue of being saddled with debt. I am very inclined to choose Cornell as it stands.

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: USC with Scholarship vs Cornell Sticker

Postby TheSpanishMain » Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:30 pm

I think the answer to 250k in debt is always* no.

*With a few exceptions, obviously: rich relatives paying your way, GI Bill, etc.

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runinthefront
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Re: USC with Scholarship vs Cornell Sticker

Postby runinthefront » Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:31 pm

In order to receive the best feedback in this forum, please provide as much of the following information in your original post as possible:

-The schools you are considering
-The total Cost of Attendance (COA) of each. COA = cost of tuition + fees + books + cost of living (COL) + accumulated interest - scholarships. Here is a helpful calculator.
-How you will be financing your COA, i.e. loans, family, or savings
-Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties (if any)
-Your general career goals
-Your LSAT/GPA numbers
-How many times you have taken the LSAT


Cornell hasn't released scholarship info for the vast majority of its admitted students, so this thread is premature. Until you see a wave of scholarship info being posted on this forum and/or ASW passes, I would wait it out.

Cornell at sticker is never a good idea if you're debt-financing.

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chuckbass
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Re: USC with Scholarship vs Cornell Sticker

Postby chuckbass » Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:34 pm

What are your numbers and where are you trying to work/what are you trying to do?

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twenty
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Re: USC with Scholarship vs Cornell Sticker

Postby twenty » Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:35 pm

My question to you would be: how do you expect to be able to pay back 300k in loan debt accumulating ~20k in interest every year? Even with biglaw, you're looking at 6-8 years before you break even.

nawi226
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Re: USC with Scholarship vs Cornell Sticker

Postby nawi226 » Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:37 pm

You are right that I have posted this rather early. Stats are 167 and 3.78. Cornell and USC are comparable for tuition at approx. 54 or 55k. Family has no money so this will be debt-financed. Rest of the schools I am waiting on are mostly far reach: NYU, Upenn, Uchicago, and then UCLA as well. I want to work in corporate law with a focus on international business transaction law. I also have a strong preference to work in NYC, but I'm not so rigid that I wouldn't consider otherwise.
Last edited by nawi226 on Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MarkfromWI
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Re: USC with Scholarship vs Cornell Sticker

Postby MarkfromWI » Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:38 pm

I couldn't even imagine that much debt. Please, enjoy LA.

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Hand
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Re: USC with Scholarship vs Cornell Sticker

Postby Hand » Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:40 pm

Are you from SoCal, and happy to stay there? If yes, then USC (or better, wait on UCLA, see if you can get them to match if they admit you). If no, wait on Cornell offer, and negotiate.

nawi226
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Re: USC with Scholarship vs Cornell Sticker

Postby nawi226 » Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:43 pm

I'm actually from Kentucky, and not particularly familiar with Cali. I've been to LA once, whereas I'm much more familiar with New York.

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ballcaps
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Re: USC with Scholarship vs Cornell Sticker

Postby ballcaps » Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:44 pm

why don't people read the stickies?

:cry:

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chuckbass
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Re: USC with Scholarship vs Cornell Sticker

Postby chuckbass » Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:44 pm

nawi226 wrote:I'm actually from Kentucky, and not particularly familiar with Cali. I've been to LA once, whereas I'm much more familiar with New York.

Well that definitely sounds like you shouldn't be considering USC then.

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KMart
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Re: USC with Scholarship vs Cornell Sticker

Postby KMart » Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:45 pm

runinthefront wrote:
Cornell at sticker is never a good idea if you're debt-financing.

This. It's what most people are going to tell you until you give more facts about your situation.

nawi226
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Re: USC with Scholarship vs Cornell Sticker

Postby nawi226 » Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:54 pm

Being the first person in my family to pursue a postgraduate degree, my only understanding of debt-financing is through my own research. While I agree that a large amount of debt isn't ideal, I'm not sure I understand the absolute aversion. My understanding is that it would take perhaps a decade of paying off the loans, but is that so bad that it merits not going to the school? What would the differences in job opportunities be like with a Cornell degree vs. one from USC?

JFO1833
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Re: USC with Scholarship vs Cornell Sticker

Postby JFO1833 » Sat Feb 21, 2015 3:14 pm

Law school transparency is a good place to start:

Cornell: http://www.lstscorereports.com/schools/cornell/2013/
USC: http://www.lstscorereports.com/schools/usc/2013/

If your goals are working for a big firm in NYC it will be far easier to accomplish that from Cornell than USC. If you add together large law firm and federal clerkships (the most desirable outcomes for many on TLS) then about two thirds get that from Cornell and about one third from USC (your odds are probably a bit better than that because some folks at both schools don't want these kinds of jobs). Cornell also has more connections to NYC.

At Cornell you are paying for the higher odds of getting these kinds of jobs. Most people on this thread will likely advise you against paying sticker at Cornell (and they haven't given offers yet so you could still get one) but ultimately it is up to you to decide how willing you are to pay for better job prospects.
Last edited by JFO1833 on Sat Feb 21, 2015 3:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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twenty
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Re: USC with Scholarship vs Cornell Sticker

Postby twenty » Sat Feb 21, 2015 3:16 pm

nawi226 wrote:My understanding is that it would take perhaps a decade of paying off the loans, but is that so bad that it merits not going to the school?


You tell me - if you're 24 right now, plus three years of law school, plus another decade of paying off loans, by the time you break even you'll be 37 years old.

Furthermore, keep in mind that in order to service that kind of debt, you must get biglaw, which is not necessarily a guarantee from Cornell.

nawi226
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Re: USC with Scholarship vs Cornell Sticker

Postby nawi226 » Sat Feb 21, 2015 3:23 pm

twenty wrote:
nawi226 wrote:My understanding is that it would take perhaps a decade of paying off the loans, but is that so bad that it merits not going to the school?


You tell me - if you're 24 right now, plus three years of law school, plus another decade of paying off loans, by the time you break even you'll be 37 years old.


I'm 21, so I'll be 34, but I see what you're saying. I don't see what's so wrong with that though. I fully expected that before I sat the LSAT. I could be where I want to be, doing what I want to be doing work-wise, and making payments. It seems fairly normal...I understand your argument completely, I was just worried I was missing a key component of something because everyone seemed to be saying it's completely off the table.

Edit: You do have a point about the need to get into biglaw.

JFO1833
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Re: USC with Scholarship vs Cornell Sticker

Postby JFO1833 » Sat Feb 21, 2015 3:31 pm

If Cornell gives no aid (and again I would be sure of that), I would present the USC scholarship to them and see if you can get them to offer something up. If you have not done so already I'd apply for Cornell's aid immediately (they require Need Access, a Questionnaire and tax returns) to get the ball rolling.

nawi226
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Re: USC with Scholarship vs Cornell Sticker

Postby nawi226 » Sat Feb 21, 2015 3:36 pm

JFO1833 wrote:If Cornell gives no aid (and again I would be sure of that), I would present the USC scholarship to them and see if you can get them to offer something up. If you have not done so already I'd apply for Cornell's aid immediately (they require Need Access, a Questionnaire and tax returns) to get the ball rolling.


Thank you JF! I'll get right on that. And thank you for the links above.

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KMart
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Re: USC with Scholarship vs Cornell Sticker

Postby KMart » Sat Feb 21, 2015 3:38 pm

nawi226 wrote:
JFO1833 wrote:If Cornell gives no aid (and again I would be sure of that), I would present the USC scholarship to them and see if you can get them to offer something up. If you have not done so already I'd apply for Cornell's aid immediately (they require Need Access, a Questionnaire and tax returns) to get the ball rolling.


Thank you JF! I'll get right on that. And thank you for the links above.

You think Cornell would match or care about USC? I don't know - worth a shot though and may force their hand for something if you truly get nothing.

thebobs1987
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Re: USC with Scholarship vs Cornell Sticker

Postby thebobs1987 » Sat Feb 21, 2015 3:39 pm

nawi226 wrote:
twenty wrote:
nawi226 wrote:My understanding is that it would take perhaps a decade of paying off the loans, but is that so bad that it merits not going to the school?


You tell me - if you're 24 right now, plus three years of law school, plus another decade of paying off loans, by the time you break even you'll be 37 years old.


I'm 21, so I'll be 34, but I see what you're saying. I don't see what's so wrong with that though. I fully expected that before I sat the LSAT. I could be where I want to be, doing what I want to be doing work-wise, and making payments. It seems fairly normal...I understand your argument completely, I was just worried I was missing a key component of something because everyone seemed to be saying it's completely off the table.

Edit: You do have a point about the need to get into biglaw.


Yes, if you take that much debt and don't get biglaw, your life is basically ruined at 24 because the debt is not dischargeable. As everyone said, negotiate with Cornell if they don't offer you any aid. If you don't get anything from them either go to USC and adjust your goals or take a year off and retake the LSAT

nawi226
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Re: USC with Scholarship vs Cornell Sticker

Postby nawi226 » Sat Feb 21, 2015 3:42 pm

imKMart wrote:
nawi226 wrote:
JFO1833 wrote:If Cornell gives no aid (and again I would be sure of that), I would present the USC scholarship to them and see if you can get them to offer something up. If you have not done so already I'd apply for Cornell's aid immediately (they require Need Access, a Questionnaire and tax returns) to get the ball rolling.


Thank you JF! I'll get right on that. And thank you for the links above.

You think Cornell would match or care about USC? I don't know - worth a shot though and may force their hand for something if you truly get nothing.


Admittedly I jumped the gun, because I don't have any notion of what I'll get or won't get from Cornell. I do wonder the same about how much they'll care about USC's offer. Not even because of the difference in ranking, but because the markets are completely different and on opposite sides of the country.

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twenty
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Re: USC with Scholarship vs Cornell Sticker

Postby twenty » Sat Feb 21, 2015 3:46 pm

Yeah - I'm not trying to bust you up or anything, but it's kind of a "Well, aside from the shooting, how else was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?" thing. You mentioned that you could be where you want to be, but committing yourself to something that big without knowing that much about it seems fairly unconscionable. It's a pretty big gamble to assume that "what you want to be doing" will continue to be corporate legal work 8-12 years down the line. There are also some things you just don't know about yourself until you have some (bear with me) "real world" experience. I know that sounds like bullshit that old people tell 18-year-olds that want to major in history, but speaking from personal experience, there's a lot that changes. In undergrad, averaging 70 hours a week sounded like a cakewalk. After a few years of professional work experience, there's no way in hell you could make me sit at a desk for even 50 hours a week. I never knew how much I hated wearing suits. In undergrad, I thought wearing a suit every day to work would be badass.

Alternatively, maybe you get into biglaw and you absolutely love it and you can't imagine doing anything else. That's totally possible, too. The thing is, you have to make that bet long, long before you're in a position to actually see its results.

edit> Just to be clear, I'd totally pull the trigger on Cornell if they offer you enough money, just not at sticker. I'd probably go for even 25k/30k a year.

JFO1833
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Re: USC with Scholarship vs Cornell Sticker

Postby JFO1833 » Sat Feb 21, 2015 3:50 pm

imKMart wrote:You think Cornell would match or care about USC? I don't know - worth a shot though and may force their hand for something if you truly get nothing.


Match, almost certainly not. Might they offer something, I don't know. Worse they can say is no.

nawi226
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Re: USC with Scholarship vs Cornell Sticker

Postby nawi226 » Sat Feb 21, 2015 3:50 pm

You make several fair points there. And I'm definitely considering all of those things - obviously I wouldn't have asked otherwise haha. I'll keep looking into it and wait out for other offers. Thanks for the input!

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cannibal ox
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Re: USC with Scholarship vs Cornell Sticker

Postby cannibal ox » Sat Feb 21, 2015 5:01 pm

nawi226 wrote:Cornell and USC are comparable for tuition at approx. 54 or 55k.


Cornell's tuition is at $59,360 for this year and will likely be over $60k for you if you enroll in the fall. Don't pay sticker.




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