ND $$$ vs GW $$$ and a Bunch of Waitlists

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dnab bulc straeh
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ND $$$ vs GW $$$ and a Bunch of Waitlists

Postby dnab bulc straeh » Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:55 am

Hello TLS! I'm hoping you guys can help me out a bit.

-Schools that I'm considering: Notre Dame and George Washington. Currently on the Priority Waitlist at Georgetown, Reserve at Cornell, Hold at Northwestern and Waitlist at Penn, UVA, Duke, and Michigan.
-Total Cost of Attendance (using Georgetown Calculator at 3.50% annual increase): Notre Dame gave me a $120,000 scholarship which brings my indebtedness at repayment to $122,851. There is a work-study opportunity at the school for 2Ls and 3Ls that provides room and board as well as 3 free credit hours and some cash. I would probably do this and reduce debt a bit more. George Washington gave me a $129,000 scholarship which brings my indebtedness at repayment to $142,315. I think I could reduce costs a little more for any school thanks to some financial support from my parents (car insurance, health insurance, cell phone). Unknown CoA at waitlisted schools.
-How will I finance: At ND or GW, I would loan finance the rest of the cost. If I am accepted at a T-14, I would be willing to ask a great-uncle of mine for a ~$50,000 loan.
-Where am I from, where do I want to work: I am from and have lived in Georgia my entire life. I'm not that committed to Atlanta, but I'm also not opposed to working there. I would certainly be fine with Chicago, Indianapolis, DC or any other southern markets (Charlotte, Dallas, Nashville). For the first five or so years after law school, I will work anywhere I can get a job that helps me in my long-term career plans. That said, I wouldn't want to spend the bulk of my career in any major city. A secondary market would be perfectly fine, but I don't really want to live in a NYC/DC/LA area for 20+ years.
-Career Goals: My perhaps-unrealistic career goal is to become an AUSA. Biglaw is not my goal, though I wouldn't be opposed to it for a few years if either I attend a T-14 (mainly to pay my uncle back and repay students loans) and hope to lateral to an AUSA position later, or if I find myself in the top 20% at either ND or GW. Admittedly, I do not know the best way to become an AUSA but I am willing to follow the best path for where I go to school. If that means BigLaw -> AUSA, I'll do it. If it means JAG -> AUSA, I'll do it.
-LSAT/GPA: 165, 170/ 3.26. Would really prefer not to retake again. I'm already a few years out of undergrad and I really don't know how much more I could improve on LSAT.

Only other information I can really add is that I have some work experience, but it's neither impressive nor related to the law. I have already deposited at ND ($600) but recently received an increased scholarship offer from GW. I would have to deposit at GW early next week and ND does not permit me to double deposit.

Any feedback is really appreciated!


EDIT: I posted this below, but wanted to copy some of it up here.

All of my applications were submitted before Oct. 31. I know this isn't exceptionally early, but I believe it is fairly early in the cycle. Looking at the last two years on mylsn, it doesn't seem like my cycle is that much of an outlier either. http://mylsn.info/kgzie7/
It looks like I did a little worse than average at GULC with a priority waitlist instead of admitted with $50,000, but other than I performed about as expected. My scholarships to ND and GW are actually quite a bit higher than average.


I will also definitely be staying on the waitlists, and I've tried to be proactive on the waitlists with several law school visits and LOCIs, but I'm treating them like a soft rejection. I sort of figured that I over estimated CoA a bit, particularly at ND, so I am very glad to see those sort of responses here.

My thought process right now is that I have to decide between ND and GW. The chances of being admitted from a waitlist between now and Monday is very slim and I must either withdraw/not deposit at GW, or deposit at GW and lose my ND scholarship. I also feel like my best chance to be admitted off a waitlist is GULC given that my numbers are more competitive there and I'm on the priority waitlist as opposed to a normal waitlist. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I would think GULC is more likely to negotiate scholarships with GW than ND (I definitely know they won't come close to matching. Just saying I might get a little more with GW's offer on the table). ND however would be not-insignificantly cheaper than GW even without that work opportunity (Assistant Rector as Effingham mentioned) and schools like Northwestern and Michigan might be more likely to compete with scholarship against ND than GW.
Last edited by dnab bulc straeh on Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:11 pm, edited 4 times in total.

Traynor Brah
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Re: ND $$$ vs GW $$$ and a Bunch of Waitlists

Postby Traynor Brah » Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:03 am

Both are too expensive for the risk they entail. Gun to my head, I suppose GW, because you have no ties to the Midwest, but you don't have a gun to your head. I just wouldn't go. Was your 170 a retake late in this cycle?

Why is something like UGA with a big scholarship not on the table, too?

Effingham
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Re: ND $$$ vs GW $$$ and a Bunch of Waitlists

Postby Effingham » Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:16 am

What's the work study program at ND? If it's an assistant rector spot and you're male those things can be pretty competitive if you don't have strong religious/previous similar experience. If you're female, you'll almost definitely get it because they can never seem to fill all the spots. Also, I wouldn't use the exact estimates on the ND website, my housing this year was closer to $5,000 and more like $800 for transportation expenses, and I travel a good amount.

This is blowing my mind that you have that high of a scholarship and things are still that expensive, this system is broken.

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Gray
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Re: ND $$$ vs GW $$$ and a Bunch of Waitlists

Postby Gray » Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:20 am

Stay on the waitlists/held/on reserve. Those schools will need the 170 eventually and you can negotiate for $$ at a t14 well into the summer. If nothing worthwhile is offered, apply on the first day of next cycle.

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ILoveYou
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Re: ND $$$ vs GW $$$ and a Bunch of Waitlists

Postby ILoveYou » Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:24 am

Gotta agree with Traynor and Gray, here. Seems like you should have some strong regional options with big scholarships. Staying on those WLs could turn into some decent $$, but if it doesn't you should consider sitting out the year and reapplying broadly early next cycle. You'd almost certainly end up with better options.

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usn26
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Re: ND $$$ vs GW $$$ and a Bunch of Waitlists

Postby usn26 » Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:30 am

I'm inclined to say that in your shoes I'd try to swing a wait list and if I struck out I'd play the ED game in the fall to T14s. I'm pretty sure you could hit 4+ T14s with ED apps, and with that score someone would bite.

The Dark Shepard
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Re: ND $$$ vs GW $$$ and a Bunch of Waitlists

Postby The Dark Shepard » Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:37 am

I could be wrong, but I feel Notre Dame is one of those schools that overstates the COL of where it is at (WUSTL does the same thing). I would look into that and see if you think you can get away with not taking out as much loans. If you can get down to $100k, Notre Dame might be worth it

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metroidbum
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Re: ND $$$ vs GW $$$ and a Bunch of Waitlists

Postby metroidbum » Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:32 pm

If you have a 120k scholarship at ND, there is no way in heck your COA will be 122k.

Edit: Using georgetown law's finance calculator, I got 106k assuming 16k per year in COL, which is on the high side for south bend.

Pacman
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Re: ND $$$ vs GW $$$ and a Bunch of Waitlists

Postby Pacman » Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:50 pm

Did my undergrad at ND so I can say without a doubt you can live their on the cheap. They're increasingly sprawling and gentrifying the area immediately around the school but if you live in South Bend instead of in Notre Dame (it is it's own city/town with its own zip code) then you can find some decent deals for rent. There are some slumlords around but there are also some good landlords too, and the latter favor non-traditional students over undergrads every day of the week. If you get the work study thing then obviously living on campus is the better option for 2L and 3L.

I took out about 90 grand in loans to do my undergrad there and while I'm glad I did it (met my wife there, was third generation on both sides of my family), I would never do it again because the debt isn't worth it. I'd hang on for any of those T14s over ND, but if it comes down to it I'd go to GW over ND just to be in DC and network my ass off. South Bend is pretty terrible in general and I hated living there and couldn't wait to get out and it will provide you with few to no networking opportunities. While the undergrad ND networking is pretty strong as there is a sense of family and pride you won't find at other schools I have not seen the same to be the case with grad students.

Also if you are an atheist, agnostic or generally not Catholic/Christian, or if you think religion is a private thing then ND might drive you crazy, although it's probably more pronounced at the undergrad level. It's still fairly prevalent in general so if you'd rather not walk across a quad littered with crosses for all the aborted babies in the country then I'd go with the less religious option.

dnab bulc straeh
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Re: ND $$$ vs GW $$$ and a Bunch of Waitlists

Postby dnab bulc straeh » Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:07 pm

Thank you all very much for the responses. There are a couple of things I wanted to point out though based on some of the advice I'm seeing.

All of my applications were submitted before Oct. 31. I know this isn't exceptionally early, but I believe it is fairly early in the cycle. Looking at the last two years on mylsn, it doesn't seem like my cycle is that much of an outlier either. http://mylsn.info/kgzie7/
It looks like I did a little worse than average at GULC with a priority waitlist instead of admitted with $50,000, but other than I performed about as expected. My scholarships to ND and GW are actually quite a bit higher than average.


I will also definitely be staying on the waitlists, and I've tried to be proactive on the waitlists with several law school visits and LOCIs, but I'm treating them like a soft rejection. I sort of figured that I over estimated CoA a bit, particularly at ND, so I am very glad to see those sort of responses here.

My thought process right now is that I have to decide between ND and GW. The chances of being admitted from a waitlist between now and Monday is very slim and I must either withdraw/not deposit at GW, or deposit at GW and lose my ND scholarship. I also feel like my best chance to be admitted off a waitlist is GULC given that my numbers are more competitive there and I'm on the priority waitlist as opposed to a normal waitlist. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I would think GULC is more likely to negotiate scholarships with GW than ND (I definitely know they won't come close to matching. Just saying I might get a little more with GW's offer on the table). ND however would be not-insignificantly cheaper than GW even without that work opportunity (Assistant Rector as Effingham mentioned) and schools like Northwestern and Michigan might be more likely to compete with scholarship against ND than GW.

I really do appreciate the feedback I've received and thank you for letting me get all of this out there.

framboozer
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Re: ND $$$ vs GW $$$ and a Bunch of Waitlists

Postby framboozer » Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:33 pm

Have you let the schools you are waitlisted at know of your continued interest? Though your GPA is pretty low for Duke I don't think it will be too low for them once they start drawing from their waitlist and see your 170. The fact that you are from Atlanta makes me think Duke will see you as more likely to attend, so I can see you getting in off the waitlist and with $. Just make sure they know you're interested.

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OhBoyOhBortles
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Re: ND $$$ vs GW $$$ and a Bunch of Waitlists

Postby OhBoyOhBortles » Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:35 pm

Gray wrote:Stay on the waitlists/held/on reserve. Those schools will need the 170 eventually and you can negotiate for $$ at a t14 well into the summer. If nothing worthwhile is offered, apply on the first day of next cycle.


+1

mu13ski
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Re: ND $$$ vs GW $$$ and a Bunch of Waitlists

Postby mu13ski » Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:56 pm

Pacman wrote:Did my undergrad at ND so I can say without a doubt you can live their on the cheap. They're increasingly sprawling and gentrifying the area immediately around the school but if you live in South Bend instead of in Notre Dame (it is it's own city/town with its own zip code) then you can find some decent deals for rent. There are some slumlords around but there are also some good landlords too, and the latter favor non-traditional students over undergrads every day of the week. If you get the work study thing then obviously living on campus is the better option for 2L and 3L.

I took out about 90 grand in loans to do my undergrad there and while I'm glad I did it (met my wife there, was third generation on both sides of my family), I would never do it again because the debt isn't worth it. I'd hang on for any of those T14s over ND, but if it comes down to it I'd go to GW over ND just to be in DC and network my ass off. South Bend is pretty terrible in general and I hated living there and couldn't wait to get out and it will provide you with few to no networking opportunities. While the undergrad ND networking is pretty strong as there is a sense of family and pride you won't find at other schools I have not seen the same to be the case with grad students.

Also if you are an atheist, agnostic or generally not Catholic/Christian, or if you think religion is a private thing then ND might drive you crazy, although it's probably more pronounced at the undergrad level. It's still fairly prevalent in general so if you'd rather not walk across a quad littered with crosses for all the aborted babies in the country then I'd go with the less religious option.



Gonna disagree with this. The ND network is still very strong when it comes to grad students. And the whole religious thing is not even noticeable at grad level.

dnab bulc straeh
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Re: ND $$$ vs GW $$$ and a Bunch of Waitlists

Postby dnab bulc straeh » Thu Apr 30, 2015 6:15 pm

framboozer wrote:Have you let the schools you are waitlisted at know of your continued interest? Though your GPA is pretty low for Duke I don't think it will be too low for them once they start drawing from their waitlist and see your 170. The fact that you are from Atlanta makes me think Duke will see you as more likely to attend, so I can see you getting in off the waitlist and with $. Just make sure they know you're interested.



Thanks for the response!

Yeah I have definitely expressed my interest in Duke. I've written an LOCI and visited in the last month.




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