LetsGoMets wrote:0L, posting a question in this forum because I think it's relevant.
So I went to Harvard's ASW a week ago, and of the 15-20 current students I talked to, almost all had turned down scholarships at CCN, including many full rides, to pay sticker at Harvard -- and they're all totally convinced they made the right decision, and worked to convince me to make it also (I have a Hamilton, which I can't see myself not taking unless some magic scholarship money shows up to bring down Harvard's insane COA, which is 85k for next year). I actually had multiple people coming up to me at one event to try to sell me on going there, explaining without a whole lot of substance why Harvard beats a CCN full ride even at sticker, and then bringing over their friends to back them up. It was a pretty bizarre display. (Not quite as bizarre as the financial aid office's presentation to us on why HLS is a good financial decision, in which they directly told us to turn down full rides because after ten years our income would be equal... that was a trip.)
So what's the deal with these kids? Are they just blinded by the preftige light and drowning in confirmation bias, and will be telling a different story a year into their Biglaw jobs after they've started making debt payments? (I did try to get some of them to elaborate while I was there, but I either got blank stares or "just trust me, it's worth it" back.)
I would assume the TLS response is that they just don't understand money, should have taken their full rides, and are going to suffer in debt because they made the wrong decision. So is that just the modern HLS business model? Jack up tuition 4% every year, and dupe otherwise intelligent people into taking out massive loans to pay for something they probably could've gotten elsewhere much cheaper? Seems like a very exploitative system, if that's really the case.
I went to the same ASW as you and had a wildly different experience. All of the current students were very honest and reasonable and only 1 or 2 were in any way pushy at all.
Your claim that you talked with 15-20 current students and "many" had turned down full rides at CCN seems like total bullshit to me. CCN do not give out many full rides, there is no way there was a serious concentration of people who turned them down in a sample of 15-20 students, even at HLS.
Calling HLS admissions an "exploitative system" is so hilariously dramatic that I can't take it seriously at all. There are many very real problems in the law school system, pick one of them if you want to get up and arms about something. While paying sticker at Harvard isn't something I'd recommend to anyone, the people who do so will end up just fine, barring a few incredibly rare exceptions, and know what they are getting into.
I really don't get the point of this thread. Are you incredibly shocked that people like to justify decisions they have made to themselves? Did you want to exaggerate your ASW experiences to jump on the HLS hate-train? Did you want to humble-brag about your Hamilton in a high profile way?
I mean, I personally think the people who turn down full-rides at CCN for HLS are foolish, but that is a very small segment of the population at HLS and the calculus gets a lot hazier with lower scholarship offers.