Duke vs. UNC, decision due Friday

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Should I attend Duke or UNC Chapel Hill?

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Duke vs. UNC, decision due Friday

Postby Katkazoo » Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:30 pm

I am deciding between attending Duke ( Rank 8 ) or UNC Chapel Hill ( Rank 35 I think ) in fall of 2015 for law school. Duke Tuition is $55,000/year and they have offered me $18k/year. UNC's out of state Tuition is $37k/year and they have offered me $18k/year in scholarship. However, I *should* qualify for resident tuition by next fall. I will have lived in NC for 1 year by next fall, the required time, but I have yet to get a new license and some other supporting documents. Qualifying as a resident would lower tuition to about $22k and maintain the scholarship at $18k/year. UNC has told me they may raise my scholarship.

Money is a hugely important factor for me My father passed away this summer and I have lost my savings supporting my mother and my sisters in the meantime. I am currently working as an intern at a law firm, so I will have some savings by the time I start law school.

Further, I am planning to pursue Environmental Law. Both schools have loan repayment plans for graduates in public interest law. From my understanding, these plans pay off your student loans over time if you make less than a certain amount or work at a nonprofit.

My partner and I live in NC currently. I would like to practice in the southeast.

I was a hard science major undergrad with a 3.45 GPA and I got a 170 on the LSAT. I have received other offers but these are the two I am considering.

I hope I have covered everything! I appreciate your help in deciding!

I did not compare total COA because I have no cost of living. My ideal job is working at a nonprofit environmental law firm, like I do now. Obviously as an attorney and not an intern! :)
Last edited by Katkazoo on Tue Apr 07, 2015 3:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Duke vs. UNC, decision due Friday

Postby BigZuck » Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:34 pm

Your chances of working private interest environmental law is probably very slim. But if you want to be in North Carolina and are concerned with money and want to possibly take something low paying then UNC is the call (assuming you're only paying 4K a year in tuition like you said you should be).

If you want to work at a big firm in NY then Duke is the call, although I'm not sure an 18K a year scholarship is enough to make attending worthwhile.

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Re: Duke vs. UNC, decision due Friday

Postby OhBoyOhBortles » Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:35 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

Advice will be easier to give if you list the total COA of the two schools next to each other.
Also, the other offers you aren't considering are still good information to give. You may be able to leverage some of those offers against Duke/UNC for increased financial aid.

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Re: Duke vs. UNC, decision due Friday

Postby zombie mcavoy » Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:38 pm

Public interest environment law jobs in NC, is essentially why you want to go to law school? There are so few of these positions, period, that I hope you have other goals in law and aren't counting on this.

That's too pricey for [SHITSTAIN STUPID FUCK COLLEGE IN DURHAM], in my opinion, but if you have a partner supporting your cost of living, meaning you loans would be close to only your tuition, I would take [TERRIBLE SHIT DEATH COLLEGE IN DURHAM] over UNC. If you only want to work in North Carolina over the long term, though, UNC with a tiny level of debt is nothing to scoff at. Basically if you want to have options outside of North Carolina and have support for your COL, do aforementioned terrible school, if not, I would advise UNC.

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Re: Duke vs. UNC, decision due Friday

Postby Hand » Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:39 pm

Don't count on qualifying for in-state tuition at UNC; I know a lot of people who had to apply for 2-3 years in a row after seemingly meeting all formal requirements before being granted in-state tuition (for other graduate programs at UNC)

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Re: Duke vs. UNC, decision due Friday

Postby WeeBey » Tue Apr 07, 2015 3:05 pm

with a 3.45 and 170, you should have more money at Michigan, Cornell, NU, GULC. Even if you would never attend those schools, you could use those offers to negotiate

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