Berkeley (sticker) vs. USC ($$$)

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

Pick one

Berkeley
13
52%
USC
12
48%
 
Total votes: 25

indecisive2015
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Berkeley (sticker) vs. USC ($$$)

Postby indecisive2015 » Sat Apr 25, 2015 11:20 am

The schools you are considering and COA:
- Berkeley at sticker/in state tuition = $144,498
- USC full ride =$0

Other considerations
- Admitted to Cornell recently (waiting for money I guess but not too interested)
- Waitlisted at Harvard, Columbia, Penn, Michigan
- Tried negotiating with Berkeley, and got turned down but I am still trying… Berkeley was my top choice from the very beginning of the application process so I am just having a really hard time turning them down

How you will be financing your COA, i.e. loans, family, or savings
- Parents will cover COL completely
- Tuition: Parents will loan me $100,000, which I have to pay back after law school but at least there won't be any interest and the rest will be federal loans

Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties (if any)/general career goals
-Strong preference for SF big law, but not completely opposed to LA big law
-Strong ties to SF (lived/worked here almost my entire life) and LA (went to undergrad at USC)
-Minor interest in IP from the art and entertainment side

Your LSAT/GPA numbers
-170 (second take), 3.7 ish

EDITED TITLE PER POST BELOW: PLEASE HELP ME CHOOSE BETWEEN USC AND BERKELEY. Deposit deadline is Wednesday.
Last edited by indecisive2015 on Sun May 03, 2015 1:14 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Berkeley/NYU (sticker) vs. Duke ($) vs. USC ($$$)

Postby jbagelboy » Sat Apr 25, 2015 12:30 pm

first, your COA numbers do not include cost of living or interest on federal loans. that's a problem since manhattan/east bay cost a lot more than durham.

that's a great scholarship from Duke with your numbers. I'd roll there. you can't really appreciate the full financial contrast between duke and the sticker schools without accurate COA.

indecisive2015
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Re: Berkeley/NYU (sticker) vs. Duke ($) vs. USC ($$$)

Postby indecisive2015 » Sat Apr 25, 2015 12:41 pm

jbagelboy wrote:first, your COA numbers do not include cost of living or interest on federal loans. that's a problem since manhattan/east bay cost a lot more than durham.

that's a great scholarship from Duke with your numbers. I'd roll there. you can't really appreciate the full financial contrast between duke and the sticker schools without accurate COA.



I didn't include cost of living because my parents will pay for that during law school and I won't need to pay them back. The $100,000 loan from them is to help with the tuition specifically. Would you still say Duke is the best choice? I'm worried about not being able to get back to SF/Bay Area after graduation.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Berkeley/NYU (sticker) vs. Duke ($) vs. USC ($$$)

Postby jbagelboy » Sat Apr 25, 2015 12:45 pm

indecisive2015 wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:first, your COA numbers do not include cost of living or interest on federal loans. that's a problem since manhattan/east bay cost a lot more than durham.

that's a great scholarship from Duke with your numbers. I'd roll there. you can't really appreciate the full financial contrast between duke and the sticker schools without accurate COA.



I didn't include cost of living because my parents will pay for that during law school and I won't need to pay them back. The $100,000 loan from them is to help with the tuition specifically.


well just because someone else is paying for it doesnt mean it's not a real cost.

regardless, it sounds like your parents have a lot of financial resources so this isn't the type of decision TLS is well equipped to provide advise on. Berkeley is the best fit for your goals so if money is no issue, go there.

indecisive2015
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Re: Berkeley/NYU (sticker) vs. Duke ($) vs. USC ($$$)

Postby indecisive2015 » Sat Apr 25, 2015 1:03 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
indecisive2015 wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:first, your COA numbers do not include cost of living or interest on federal loans. that's a problem since manhattan/east bay cost a lot more than durham.

that's a great scholarship from Duke with your numbers. I'd roll there. you can't really appreciate the full financial contrast between duke and the sticker schools without accurate COA.



I didn't include cost of living because my parents will pay for that during law school and I won't need to pay them back. The $100,000 loan from them is to help with the tuition specifically.


well just because someone else is paying for it doesnt mean it's not a real cost.

regardless, it sounds like your parents have a lot of financial resources so this isn't the type of decision TLS is well equipped to provide advise on. Berkeley is the best fit for your goals so if money is no issue, go there.


"If money is no issue" is definitely a misrepresentation. Even though they are going cover my costs of living, I am still fully responsible for the amounts I posted under the COA section.

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cron1834
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Re: Berkeley/NYU (sticker) vs. Duke ($) vs. USC ($$$)

Postby cron1834 » Sat Apr 25, 2015 2:21 pm

If you actually, for-sure, have to pay back the COAs listed above, I would choose Duke. If parents are going to bail you out or something, Berkeley.

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NotASpecialSnowflake
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Re: Berkeley/NYU (sticker) vs. Duke ($) vs. USC ($$$)

Postby NotASpecialSnowflake » Sat Apr 25, 2015 2:33 pm

Duke seems like the best option here. Why so stingy Berkley?

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BiglawAssociate
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Re: Berkeley/NYU (sticker) vs. Duke ($) vs. USC ($$$)

Postby BiglawAssociate » Sun Apr 26, 2015 5:34 am

Berkeley and make your parents "loan" you the rest of the money

That begs the question - are your parents poor/middle class? Why the fuck give you COA but not the rest of it? (Why "loan" you 100k instead of giving you all of it for free?) It makes them sound poor/middle class. If they are poor/middle class, don't make them pay for law school. It's a huge waste of money and you'll likely not even like what you are doing.

indecisive2015
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Re: Berkeley/NYU (sticker) vs. Duke ($) vs. USC ($$$)

Postby indecisive2015 » Sun Apr 26, 2015 10:02 am

BiglawAssociate wrote:Berkeley and make your parents "loan" you the rest of the money

That begs the question - are your parents poor/middle class? Why the fuck give you COA but not the rest of it? (Why "loan" you 100k instead of giving you all of it for free?) It makes them sound poor/middle class. If they are poor/middle class, don't make them pay for law school. It's a huge waste of money and you'll likely not even like what you are doing.


Yes we are middle class, which is why they have offered to loan me the money temporarily so that I can attend a school like Berkeley or NYU but they cannot afford giving it to me for free.

Big Dog
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Re: Berkeley/NYU (sticker) vs. Duke ($) vs. USC ($$$)

Postby Big Dog » Sun Apr 26, 2015 10:14 am

paying sticker for NYU with your goals is ridiculous.

I'm assuming that you applied late? If so, I'd reapply early next year and focus on the supplemental essay questions for the T14. You should end up with more $$ offers and choices.

Absent that, ersonally, I'd roll the dice and pay $70k more for Boalt for the SF connections, since that is where you want to be. Otherwise, Duke.

Hutz_and_Goodman
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Re: Berkeley/NYU (sticker) vs. Duke ($) vs. USC ($$$)

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Sun Apr 26, 2015 10:27 am

I don't really know anything about CA market but it seems like USC is the best fit for cost and your goals. Is it hard to go USC-> SF?

indecisive2015
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Re: Berkeley/NYU (sticker) vs. Duke ($) vs. USC ($$$)

Postby indecisive2015 » Sun Apr 26, 2015 10:36 am

Big Dog wrote:paying sticker for NYU with your goals is ridiculous.

I'm assuming that you applied late? If so, I'd reapply early next year and focus on the supplemental essay questions for the T14. You should end up with more $$ offers and choices.

Absent that, ersonally, I'd roll the dice and pay $70k more for Boalt for the SF connections, since that is where you want to be. Otherwise, Duke.


The reason why I am still considering NYU is because I'd much rather get NY big law than no big law at all. So if I don't secure SF big law from Berkeley I got the impression that I would end up at smaller regional firms. Is that not true? Is that a dumb reason to keep NYU in the running?

My "any big law is better than no big law" mindset is why I am hesitant to take the full ride at USC. But maybe I don't even have to worry about big law if I have no debts to repay... I'm not sure how difficult it is to go from USC to SF but when I went to admit weekend they told me it is not a problem. Again I'm not sure it would be a big firm in SF. I haven't looked too closely into it.

Also if anyone can address my worry about whether I would be able to return to the Bay Area after attending Duke, that would be really helpful! Thanks!

Hutz_and_Goodman
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Re: Berkeley/NYU (sticker) vs. Duke ($) vs. USC ($$$)

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Sun Apr 26, 2015 10:48 am

The only options here are USC and Duke. Sticker is insane even at an elite school like NYU or Berkeley.

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BiglawAssociate
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Re: Berkeley/NYU (sticker) vs. Duke ($) vs. USC ($$$)

Postby BiglawAssociate » Sun Apr 26, 2015 11:39 am

indecisive2015 wrote:
BiglawAssociate wrote:Berkeley and make your parents "loan" you the rest of the money

That begs the question - are your parents poor/middle class? Why the fuck give you COA but not the rest of it? (Why "loan" you 100k instead of giving you all of it for free?) It makes them sound poor/middle class. If they are poor/middle class, don't make them pay for law school. It's a huge waste of money and you'll likely not even like what you are doing.


Yes we are middle class, which is why they have offered to loan me the money temporarily so that I can attend a school like Berkeley or NYU but they cannot afford giving it to me for free.


Yeah, I'd probably go to Duke or USC then, although there's a good chance you won't make it to CA biglaw straight out from graduation.

Fwiw, there are a lot of people whose parents help out in law school and pay for stuff - but most of their parents have like 10mm+ or more. If your parents aren't comfortable throwing out money like candy, then I wouldn't have them pay for you.

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Redamon1
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Re: Berkeley/NYU (sticker) vs. Duke ($) vs. USC ($$$)

Postby Redamon1 » Sun Apr 26, 2015 7:15 pm

indecisive2015 wrote: The reason why I am still considering NYU is because I'd much rather get NY big law than no big law at all. So if I don't secure SF big law from Berkeley I got the impression that I would end up at smaller regional firms. Is that not true? Is that a dumb reason to keep NYU in the running?


You can bid from Berkeley on both SF and NY big law and see what works. That's what I did. From Berkeley (or any school for that matter), NY big law is less competitive than SF big law.

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rpupkin
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Re: Berkeley/NYU (sticker) vs. Duke ($) vs. USC ($$$)

Postby rpupkin » Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:39 pm

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:I don't really know anything about CA market but it seems like USC is the best fit for cost and your goals. Is it hard to go USC-> SF?

Yes. OP should not go to USC with those goals.

heidi828
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Re: Berkeley/NYU (sticker) vs. Duke ($) vs. USC ($$$)

Postby heidi828 » Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:12 pm

If OP doesn't mind working in LA then transitioning to SF… I'd say USC. Full ride opens up a lot of opportunities

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Sls17
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Re: Berkeley/NYU (sticker) vs. Duke ($) vs. USC ($$$)

Postby Sls17 » Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:43 pm

indecisive2015 wrote:
BiglawAssociate wrote:Berkeley and make your parents "loan" you the rest of the money

That begs the question - are your parents poor/middle class? Why the fuck give you COA but not the rest of it? (Why "loan" you 100k instead of giving you all of it for free?) It makes them sound poor/middle class. If they are poor/middle class, don't make them pay for law school. It's a huge waste of money and you'll likely not even like what you are doing.


Yes we are middle class, which is why they have offered to loan me the money temporarily so that I can attend a school like Berkeley or NYU but they cannot afford giving it to me for free.


Stuck on the insane fallacy that "middle class" parents can cover COA and loan you 100k.

Regardless -- Berkeley, for your goals.

indecisive2015
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Re: Berkeley/NYU (sticker) vs. Duke ($) vs. USC ($$$)

Postby indecisive2015 » Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:52 pm

I want to stay in California, so I think that I have narrowed my choices to Berkeley or USC… So is the Berkeley name worth almost $150,000? I agree with the previous poster that full ride would open a lot of opportunities in case big law is not for me. Also, I wouldn't mind working LA big law for a few years before transitioning to the Bay Area.

But still REALLY conflicted. I have to decide by tomorrow. Ugh.

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Flokkness
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Re: Berkeley/NYU (sticker) vs. Duke ($) vs. USC ($$$)

Postby Flokkness » Fri May 01, 2015 9:05 am

If you can't shake any money out of Berk's pockets, I'd look deeper into Duke's ability to place in SF given strong existing ties, and give some serious thought to that $90,000 scholly. $100,000 plus three year COL in Berkeley (assuming you aren't living at home, but even if you are) sounds like an absolute shellacking on your "middle class" parents, and it sounds you'd still be on the hook for everything other than COL at the end of the day anyway. Even with $100,000 of that at 0%...that's a whole lot of hurt.

Good luck!

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bretby
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Re: Berkeley (sticker) vs. USC ($$$)

Postby bretby » Fri May 01, 2015 9:36 am

USC is a great choice. Do not underestimate the freedom of being without $150k in debt, even if that debt is to your parents rather than to the government.

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OhBoyOhBortles
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Re: Berkeley (sticker) vs. USC ($$$)

Postby OhBoyOhBortles » Fri May 01, 2015 9:38 am

Duke in this situation, no question.

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BruceWayne
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Re: Berkeley (sticker) vs. USC ($$$)

Postby BruceWayne » Fri May 01, 2015 9:40 am

UVA people with ties and good grades get SF without too much trouble. I'd assume the same for Duke. Normally I don't like taking the risk of going to a school where you have to get good grades to get your desired outcome. But in this case the extra debt is just too much to attend Boalt for the increased chance at your desired outcome. Especially since you're fine with NYC if it comes to that.

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twenty
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Re: Berkeley (sticker) vs. USC ($$$)

Postby twenty » Fri May 01, 2015 10:45 am

Duke is still overwhelmingly your best choice. Berkeley with that debt shouldn't even be on the table. If not Berkeley, then USC.

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usn26
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Re: Berkeley (sticker) vs. USC ($$$)

Postby usn26 » Fri May 01, 2015 10:59 am

Go to Duke.




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