Yet another....Berkeley vs Columbia vs Cornell vs NYU

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BetterLate
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Yet another....Berkeley vs Columbia vs Cornell vs NYU

Postby BetterLate » Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:28 pm

Hi all! Like everyone else in this sub, I'm looking for advice on making the decision.

In the interests of full honesty, I originally applied to cornell because it's a T14 and they gave me a fee waiver. I figured that I would most likely get in, but it wouldn't be a real choice for me for various reasons, (family in berkeley/nyc) and that the amount of money they would have to offer me to make it a real contender was very unlikely to happen. I ended up getting in with a full tuition scholarship (Charles Evan Hughes - 170/3.9, u of m Ann Arbor undergrad). Right now I'm realistically considering Columbia (?) Berkeley (?) Cornell ($$$) and NYU (VERY long shot scholarship that I'm a finalist for).

I'm looking for some advice/opinions about the real differences between these options. How much does top 5 vs top 10 vs top 14 really matter? I know that it of course matters what you want to do post law school, and I'm honestly not really sure. I have no financial info from the other schools which is also obviously going to be a huge factor. I applied for Berkeley's matching but as everyone knows they don't match very many offers so I'm not holding my breath for any money. If neither Berkeley nor Columbia give me any money, Berkeley will be much cheaper since my parents live on the west coast which would eliminate many if not all of my living expenses. At the end of the day, I'm looking at about $150,000 of debt for Berkeley w/o $ vs $250,000 for Columbia (at least b/c of the 60k/yr tuition plus living expenses.)

I have family/friends on the west coast (from LA originally, want to ultimately practice on the west coast). But I also want to live in NYC at some point and kind of feel like if not now when, since I ultimately want to practice on the west coast. I'm probably not interested in academia, but do have an interest in possibly pursuing a judicial clerkship.

Final note - I'm not incredibly debt averse but do want to minimize debt if possible.

Thanks in advance for any help/advice - honestly any opinions will be appreciated.

03152016
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Re: Yet another....Berkeley vs Columbia vs Cornell vs NYU

Postby 03152016 » Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:40 pm

if you don't know what your goals are, you're not ready to make the decision
where you go is completely dependent on what you'd like to do long-term

BetterLate wrote:How much does top 5 vs top 10 vs top 14 really matter?

there is no top 5 or top 10 distinction. there is such a thing as "top 14", but i think that tends to make people think of it as a cliff rather than a curve, causing them to make stupid decisions. ignore rankings and focus on placement and cost.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Yet another....Berkeley vs Columbia vs Cornell vs NYU

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:41 pm

It would take a pretty huge scholarship offer from any of the other three to make them contenders over a full ride at Cornell.

BigZuck
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Re: Yet another....Berkeley vs Columbia vs Cornell vs NYU

Postby BigZuck » Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:54 pm

The fact that you're considering Columbia for 250K when you have a full ride at Cornell is troubling to me. I think sitting on a 170 was a mistake with that GPA if a fully at Cornell wasn't going to satisfactorily tickle your pickle.

Maybe retake in June to increase scholarship chances at a T10 or maybe even a T5?

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SupCutie
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Re: Yet another....Berkeley vs Columbia vs Cornell vs NYU

Postby SupCutie » Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:57 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:It would take a pretty huge scholarship offer from any of the other three to make them contenders over a full ride at Cornell.


Cornell's still gonna cost like 60-70k for COL. If you get some money from Cal, it's totally defensible if you want to practice on the West Cost. Columbia at sticker though, good god.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Yet another....Berkeley vs Columbia vs Cornell vs NYU

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:00 pm

SupCutie wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:It would take a pretty huge scholarship offer from any of the other three to make them contenders over a full ride at Cornell.


Cornell's still gonna cost like 60-70k for COL. If you get some money from Cal, it's totally defensible if you want to practice on the West Cost. Columbia at sticker though, good god.

Yeah the no COL at Berk is pretty huge, but that's still twice the price and that's with OP apparently ignoring tuition increases. But you're right that something solid but unspectacular would make Berkeley work here. Columbia is almost certainly out given that they don't go more the halfsies for people who don't get full rides. NYU probably needs to give OP like 100k+.

03152016
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Re: Yet another....Berkeley vs Columbia vs Cornell vs NYU

Postby 03152016 » Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:05 pm

yeah, i agree with the above posters that 9 times out of 10, cornell wins in your situation
forget about rankings, forget about prestige
it's not like you're comparing cls/boalt/nyu with full-ride emory or UT
we're talking full-ride cornell here, a school with close to 70% bl/fc last year
Last edited by 03152016 on Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BigZuck
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Re: Yet another....Berkeley vs Columbia vs Cornell vs NYU

Postby BigZuck » Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:06 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
SupCutie wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:It would take a pretty huge scholarship offer from any of the other three to make them contenders over a full ride at Cornell.


Cornell's still gonna cost like 60-70k for COL. If you get some money from Cal, it's totally defensible if you want to practice on the West Cost. Columbia at sticker though, good god.

Yeah the no COL at Berk is pretty huge, but that's still twice the price and that's with OP apparently ignoring tuition increases. But you're right that something solid but unspectacular would make Berkeley work here. Columbia is almost certainly out given that they don't go more the halfsies for people who don't get full rides. NYU probably needs to give OP like 100k+.

I'll admit, I'm always really skeptical when posters say that they can live at home for freesies. I mean, obviously they know more than me. But is it really and truly for full freesies? Every single meal out is paid for? Every time they go to the movies? Or is it just rent? Not that that isn't a huge savings, it is. But that's like 12-15k rather than a 20-25K savings as most people seem to paint it to be. And they know for sure that they will be able to stomach living at home for 3 years? They won't move out or get pushed out?

The 60ishK cost of living at Cornell is an absolute in my mind. The OP will pay that. But will they really save 60ishK by living at home?

Again though, they know more than me so I guess maybe I shouldn't question it.

BigZuck
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Re: Yet another....Berkeley vs Columbia vs Cornell vs NYU

Postby BigZuck » Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:08 pm

Brut wrote:yeah, i agree with the above posters that 9 times out of 10, cornell wins in your situation
forget about rankings, forget about prestige
it's not like you're comparing cls/boalt/nyu with full-ride emory or UT
we're talking full-ride cornell here, a school with close to 70% bl/fc last year


HOW

DARE

YOU

But 4 serious, Cornell fully is a great outcome and should tickle many a pickle

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Yet another....Berkeley vs Columbia vs Cornell vs NYU

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:17 pm

zuck makes a good point. Other side of that same coin is that someone who can truly live for free with parents at Berkeley seems like the type whose parents might toss him a few bucks to buy groceries in Ithaca.

Regardless, it's easily Cornell until we hear some big news from the others.

BetterLate
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Re: Yet another....Berkeley vs Columbia vs Cornell vs NYU

Postby BetterLate » Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:57 pm

Thanks for all of the input - I guess it was hard for me to think about Cornell because it wasn't on my original list of schools. I am going to the ASW though so maybe I'll be completely sold!

As far as cost of living goes, I should've probably said more about that in the original post. My family will realistically be able to provide about 10-15k/yr of support. If I'm living at home this covers everything+. In NYC, it's kind of a drop in the bucket.

Also, the scholarship that I'm in the running for at NYU awards amounts up to full tuition - what do people think about NYU with that kind of money?

It seems everyone is pretty much in agreement though that money seems to be the only real factor that should be making the decision, which seems to imply there is no real difference in the schools. Is that what most everyone here believes? What accounts for these differences then in prestige?

Also, I really liked the vibe at Berkeley - I haven't visited anywhere else, but I've heard Berkeley is somewhat unique in its more collegial vibe. I've also heard that's all hype and that these are all competitive places, with very similar people that offer pretty essentially similar experiences. I don't know if anyone can speak to that?

Not trying to be obtuse or naive, just looking for some real advice from people who are from everything I've seen well-informed about these schools and the differences between them.

Again, thanks for the help!

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Yet another....Berkeley vs Columbia vs Cornell vs NYU

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Mar 18, 2015 4:22 pm

10/15k a year is a lot, but since it's the same everywhere (other than apparently Berkeley, where you won't have to use that mone to pay rent) it doesn't change thing much.

Columbia and NYU do place a little bit better than Cornell but the difference isn't worth very much. Maybe 50 or 75k could be justified, but like I said you'll need like 100k from NYU to get there. If you do get the full tuition scholarship from NYU then you should of course go there.

BigZuck
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Re: Yet another....Berkeley vs Columbia vs Cornell vs NYU

Postby BigZuck » Wed Mar 18, 2015 4:45 pm

Problem with NYU even on a full tuition scholarship is that its not even a T5

But seriously though, I think your focus on "prestige" (whatever that is) is going to lead you astray if you can't get it out of your mind. Look at employment numbers- all these schools place well. I think all things being equal, for someone with your goals it would be Berkeley>Columbia/NYU>Cornell. But when the money is wildly disproportionate I would gladly take Cornell.

Besides, if you want prestige why don't you just got to Harvard instead of considering two state schools, some random liberal arts college in Siberia, and a foreign country?

Anyway, right now I would wait until you have all your fully negotiated scholly duckies in a row. When you do, come back and then people can start postulating as to their own personal line drawings for which schools are worth it over others for whatever costs. Right now this is too speculative. All you know right now is that you have a full ride to an Ivy League law school and parents willing to cover like half your living costs, so you've already won the admissions game. Everything better than that is just gravy.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Yet another....Berkeley vs Columbia vs Cornell vs NYU

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Mar 18, 2015 4:48 pm

I'm not sure this dude cares as much about prestige as he does the opportunity to live in NYC. It's cool but you can get the experience in a summer or two, and any of these schools will set you up with a job here after graduation if you really need the whole nine yards.

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rpupkin
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Re: Yet another....Berkeley vs Columbia vs Cornell vs NYU

Postby rpupkin » Wed Mar 18, 2015 4:57 pm

BigZuck wrote:Problem with NYU even on a full tuition scholarship is that its not even a T5

Indeed. The OP's question would look starkly different in 2009, when NYU was a T5 and Berkeley was a T6:

http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2009/04/22/her ... l-ranking/

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Re: Yet another....Berkeley vs Columbia vs Cornell vs NYU

Postby BigZuck » Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:04 pm

rpupkin wrote:
BigZuck wrote:Problem with NYU even on a full tuition scholarship is that its not even a T5

Indeed. The OP's question would look starkly different in 2009, when NYU was a T5 and Berkeley was a T6:

http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2009/04/22/her ... l-ranking/

I don't trust any ranking system that has UCLA tied with UT.

No sir.

Anyone OP- if you really just want to live in NYC for a while why not just move there before law school and get it out of your system? I don't think paying 200K extra to go to Columbia/NYU (assuming neither pulls through with money) makes sense just to live in NYC.

03152016
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Re: Yet another....Berkeley vs Columbia vs Cornell vs NYU

Postby 03152016 » Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:07 pm

@rpup
zuck is kidding
as you just demonstrated tho, some people (maybe most people, considering the high view to post count) won't catch that it's a joke
hopefully not many of them will make stupid choices because of it

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reasonable person
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Re: Yet another....Berkeley vs Columbia vs Cornell vs NYU

Postby reasonable person » Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:07 pm

UCLA

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rpupkin
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Re: Yet another....Berkeley vs Columbia vs Cornell vs NYU

Postby rpupkin » Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:09 pm

Brut wrote:@rpup
zuck is kidding
as you just demonstrated tho, some people (maybe most people, considering the high view to post count) won't catch that it's a joke
hopefully not many of them will make stupid choices because of it

Yes, there is a poster here who has a hard time detecting jokes and sarcasm, but I don't think it's me.

03152016
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Re: Yet another....Berkeley vs Columbia vs Cornell vs NYU

Postby 03152016 » Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:10 pm

oic
sry dude your joke was so funny i must have missed it

BigZuck
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Re: Yet another....Berkeley vs Columbia vs Cornell vs NYU

Postby BigZuck » Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:11 pm

Brut wrote:@rpup
zuck is kidding
as you just demonstrated tho, some people (maybe most people, considering the high view to post count) won't catch that it's a joke
hopefully not many of them will make stupid choices because of it

I think rpumpkin knew I was kidding

If lurkers read what I wrote ITT (and what everyone else has written), and their takeaway is go to a T5 no matter what, then that is on them. They are beyond saving IMO.

Eta: damn, scooped
Last edited by BigZuck on Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

03152016
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Re: Yet another....Berkeley vs Columbia vs Cornell vs NYU

Postby 03152016 » Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:12 pm

@rpup anyways, zuck's second post was actually more clearly a joke

the first post was more the one i thought non-regulars wouldn't get

BigZuck wrote:The fact that you're considering Columbia for 250K when you have a full ride at Cornell is troubling to me. I think sitting on a 170 was a mistake with that GPA if a fully at Cornell wasn't going to satisfactorily tickle your pickle.

Maybe retake in June to increase scholarship chances at a T10 or maybe even a T5?

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Yet another....Berkeley vs Columbia vs Cornell vs NYU

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:14 pm

I feel like I'm in the god damn matrix with this meta trolling

BigZuck
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Re: Yet another....Berkeley vs Columbia vs Cornell vs NYU

Postby BigZuck » Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:15 pm

I was dead serious about the retake thing. If Cornell doesn't satifactorily tickle his/her pickle and the thirst for a higher ranked school is real, then might as well give yourself the best shot to get money at those schools. I don't think a 170/3.9 can really expect to get much better than a Cornell fully.

03152016
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Re: Yet another....Berkeley vs Columbia vs Cornell vs NYU

Postby 03152016 » Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:16 pm

BigZuck wrote:If lurkers read what I wrote ITT (and what everyone else has written), and their takeaway is go to a T5 no matter what, then that is on them. They are beyond saving IMO.

yea i'm not saying that's how it would necessarily play out, but given the idiocy of most 0Ls i bet it'd factor in somewhere

anyways just a thought




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