Duke v Columbia v (sort of) UVA

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

Which school?

Poll ended at Mon May 04, 2015 12:00 pm

Columbia with $85,000 grant
13
76%
Duke with $90,000 scholarship
4
24%
 
Total votes: 17

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Duke v Columbia v (sort of) UVA

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Apr 29, 2015 6:45 pm

everton125 wrote:1) I would not be 215K in debt upon graduation from Columbia -- the number will most definitely be less, and likely around 170K. Obviously, 170K is a fairly large amount of debt, but my understanding is that is should be manageable, particularly as I would have some familial assistance if need be and will be inheriting some assets in the coming years. Additionally, my goal would be not to work in NYC BigLaw, so there is the possibility that I would be able to pay down the loans quicker than if I was living in NYC, where cost of living is so astronomical.

Any savings/family money you can apply to Columbia will go to debt at other schools, so forget that as a justification for any particular school. Also, if you aren't cool with NYC biglaw you'd be insane to choose any of these options. The only reason any of the three have such strong placement is because of their ability to place into NYC.

everton125
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Re: Duke v Columbia v (sort of) UVA

Postby everton125 » Wed Apr 29, 2015 6:58 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
everton125 wrote:1) I would not be 215K in debt upon graduation from Columbia -- the number will most definitely be less, and likely around 170K. Obviously, 170K is a fairly large amount of debt, but my understanding is that is should be manageable, particularly as I would have some familial assistance if need be and will be inheriting some assets in the coming years. Additionally, my goal would be not to work in NYC BigLaw, so there is the possibility that I would be able to pay down the loans quicker than if I was living in NYC, where cost of living is so astronomical.

Any savings/family money you can apply to Columbia will go to debt at other schools, so forget that as a justification for any particular school. Also, if you aren't cool with NYC biglaw you'd be insane to choose any of these options. The only reason any of the three have such strong placement is because of their ability to place into NYC.


No, your position incorrectly assumes that relative debt only matters. Absolute debt matters as well. As an extreme example, going 270K debt to attend Columbia as opposed to 150K debt to attend UVA, is a hell of a lot stupider than going 150K into debt to attend Columbia as opposed to 20K to attend UVA. Neither is smart, but the former leaves you in a rather unmanageable position. Knocking 10K off of Columbia's COA is of relativly greater value than knocking 10K of UVA's COA, because Columbia's absolute debt amount caries more risk.

I never said that I was not willing to work NYC BigLaw, just that it is not my preference. I would prefer Boston or DC BigLaw, which both pay market salaries and would allow me to pay down debt more quickly as a result of their lower COLs.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Duke v Columbia v (sort of) UVA

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Apr 29, 2015 7:11 pm

everton125 wrote:From upstate New York, where I also went to undergrad. Have lived in NYC for the past two years.
Would ideally like to move out of New York City at some point, given that I am not a huge city lover and the cost of living is so high, but definitely willing to stay for the foreseeable future.
I would like to work in DC or Boston going forward, but don’t have any demonstrable ties to either at the moment.

You aren't likely to get Boston or DC biglaw. It happens but will take excellent grades. So don't assume lower payback costs because of geographical preference.

Absolute debt does matter. But it also matters that you can keep your debt south of "needs biglaw" level. Lopping 50k off of Columbia also means you could get UVA down to a level that keeps you from needing biglaw in the first place, although it's obvious from your posts that you'll be walking the OCI plank 16 months from now.

Honestly I'd probably take Columbia here just because it sounds like you come from plenty of money and aren't really going to have problems with debt. And because UVA isn't a serious option so it's just Duke vs. Columbia.

everton125
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Re: Duke v Columbia v (sort of) UVA

Postby everton125 » Wed Apr 29, 2015 7:58 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
everton125 wrote:From upstate New York, where I also went to undergrad. Have lived in NYC for the past two years.
Would ideally like to move out of New York City at some point, given that I am not a huge city lover and the cost of living is so high, but definitely willing to stay for the foreseeable future.
I would like to work in DC or Boston going forward, but don’t have any demonstrable ties to either at the moment.

You aren't likely to get Boston or DC biglaw. It happens but will take excellent grades. So don't assume lower payback costs because of geographical preference.

Absolute debt does matter. But it also matters that you can keep your debt south of "needs biglaw" level. Lopping 50k off of Columbia also means you could get UVA down to a level that keeps you from needing biglaw in the first place, although it's obvious from your posts that you'll be walking the OCI plank 16 months from now.

Honestly I'd probably take Columbia here just because it sounds like you come from plenty of money and aren't really going to have problems with debt. And because UVA isn't a serious option so it's just Duke vs. Columbia.


I certainly understand that Boston and DC are tough gets, which is why I have made peace with the fact I may not need to work in NYC. I don't know for certain whether I will be doing OCI. If I don't, however, I will be striving for a job covered by LRAP, so then these discussions regarding debt are not nearly as relevant.

I don't come from plenty of money. My parents make, combined, under 100K a year, so I would say I am just upper middle class. With that said, my Grandmother is in a position to provide a reasonable amount of assistance, should it be needed.

WhatCouldHaveBeen
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Re: Duke v Columbia v (sort of) UVA

Postby WhatCouldHaveBeen » Thu May 07, 2015 1:57 pm

Don't you think you've had enough input from a bunch of strangers (albeit knowledgeable ones) at this point? Time to trust your gut and intuition, the ones that got you through life, presumably successfully due to your great acceptances, and do what's best for you, which none of us but you ultimately know. Let us know what you decide and congrats.




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