Columbia vs. Chicago

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lc0626
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Columbia vs. Chicago

Postby lc0626 » Tue May 05, 2015 1:13 am

This is quite late in the game, but...

-The schools you are considering
$70,000 from Columbia ($28,000X2+$14,000) vs. [$87,000 from UChicago ($29,000X3) + boyfriend lives in Chicago]

-The total Cost of Attendance (COA) of each from Year 1 to Year 3.
[COA = cost of tuition + fees + books + cost of living (COL) + accumulated interest - scholarships]
I calculated the total COA by assuming that the tuition, fees, and COL will increase by 3.5% each year from the 2014-2015 figures.
Columbia: $64,949/$66,696/$82,551
UChicago: $58,714/$60,278/$61,943

-How you will be financing your COA, i.e. loans, family, or savings
My parents are willing to subsidize whatever is left after subtracting $20,000 of student loan from the calculated numbers above on condition that I send them $500/mo for ten years after I get a job. (To sum up, I will be taking out $120,000 of loan from the government and my parents. My parents wont' take interests though.) I also have $37,000 in debt, not counting the interests that have accrued so far.

-Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties: I'm from the greater Chicago area, but I wanna work in NYC.

-Your general career goals: Work at a big law firm that specializes in international law or is internationally oriented. I'm vaguely dreaming of eventually working at an international organization, but not right after graduation due to the significant amount of loans I have and I will have to take out.

-Your LSAT/GPA numbers: 172/3.82

-How many times you have taken the LSAT: Twice. Cancelled the first test.
Last edited by lc0626 on Tue May 05, 2015 2:55 am, edited 2 times in total.

Butter
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Re: Columbia vs. Chicago

Postby Butter » Tue May 05, 2015 1:18 am

Probably Chicago, but I think both are reasonable.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Columbia vs. Chicago

Postby jbagelboy » Tue May 05, 2015 1:51 am

How important is being together for the relationship? Would the SO move to NY eventually? Which school do you like better?

I think given you want to wind up in New York, either will do. CLS obviously sends a lot more people there but that's not to say Chicago students have any trouble in the market. I think there are long-term advantages to the much larger Columbia network for making a career in NY, but I wouldn't overstate them; I think both choices are fair.

hearsay77
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Re: Columbia vs. Chicago

Postby hearsay77 » Tue May 05, 2015 3:39 am

Butter wrote:Probably Chicago, but I think both are reasonable.

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OhBoyOhBortles
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Re: Columbia vs. Chicago

Postby OhBoyOhBortles » Tue May 05, 2015 7:27 am

Both seem like great options. This is probably more a conversation you should have with your boyfriend to figure out where you both want to be in the short and long term, how well you would handle long-distance, etc. Congrats on great outcomes!

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Clemenceau
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Re: Columbia vs. Chicago

Postby Clemenceau » Tue May 05, 2015 8:03 am

Chicago seems like the winner to me.

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Mack.Hambleton
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Re: Columbia vs. Chicago

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Tue May 05, 2015 12:14 pm

Clemenceau wrote:Chicago seems like the winner to me.

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Clyde Frog
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Re: Columbia vs. Chicago

Postby Clyde Frog » Tue May 05, 2015 12:54 pm

Chicago seems like a good bet, unless you're secretly trying to get away from your SO.

krads153
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Re: Columbia vs. Chicago

Postby krads153 » Tue May 05, 2015 2:30 pm

lol at Columbia costing 80k for third year....I can't believe people still pay these prices for law school. Biglaw salaries haven't gone up since 2007 and won't be going up any time soon, while tuition has gone up by like 150k and rents in NYC have increased 50% since 2007....

CanadianWolf
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Re: Columbia vs. Chicago

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue May 05, 2015 2:42 pm

Total COA at Columbia will be $214,000 versus $181,000 total COA for Chicago.

You have a 172/3.82.

Seems as if you should have much better financial options within the T-14 law schools.

Between the two, Chicago is the better option if you want to be near your SO & you would like to save $33,000.

lc0626
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Re: Columbia vs. Chicago

Postby lc0626 » Tue May 05, 2015 3:34 pm

jbagelboy wrote:How important is being together for the relationship? Would the SO move to NY eventually? Which school do you like better?

I think given you want to wind up in New York, either will do. CLS obviously sends a lot more people there but that's not to say Chicago students have any trouble in the market. I think there are long-term advantages to the much larger Columbia network for making a career in NY, but I wouldn't overstate them; I think both choices are fair.

Thanks for your two cents. He will have to stay in Chicago for at least 2 years due to his job contract. But I like Columbia better. Both schools are great in terms of academics and employment rate, but I'm more attracted to Columbia in regard to its size, diversity, etc.

OhBoyOhBortles wrote:Both seem like great options. This is probably more a conversation you should have with your boyfriend to figure out where you both want to be in the short and long term, how well you would handle long-distance, etc. Congrats on great outcomes!

Thanks for the comment. He's planning to build his career in Chicago in the long term, but as I mentioned in the original post, I'm more drawn toward NYC. Well things may change though. I'm talking to him and both of us know that Chicago seems to be the more reasonable choice considering the lower COA and his presence, but I still like Columbia better. I've gotten such a great impression from the conversations I had with the current students.

krads153 wrote:lol at Columbia costing 80k for third year....I can't believe people still pay these prices for law school. Biglaw salaries haven't gone up since 2007 and won't be going up any time soon, while tuition has gone up by like 150k and rents in NYC have increased 50% since 2007....

Yea that's precisely what's holding me back from committing to Columbia, aside from my SO's presence in Chicago. They say I can pay for the decreased amount of scholarship through the summer internship I will do in the 2L summer (NYU also said that while cutting my scholarship award in half for the third year). I guess some people are rich enough to pay whatever it takes just to go to the school they like most. But I still love Columbia, and it's been my dream school ever since, so I'm terribly torn between the two and ended up posting on TLS. lol

CanadianWolf wrote:Total COA at Columbia will be $214,000 versus $181,000 total COA for Chicago.

You have a 172/3.82.

Seems as if you should have much better financial options within the T-14 law schools.

Between the two, Chicago is the better option if you want to be near your SO & you would like to save $33,000.

I had offers from two other T-14 law schools. One of them offered less than Chicago but more than Columbia, and the other offered more than both of them. But their employment statistics and/or location aren't as good as those of the two. So I narrowed it down to Columbia and Chicago. Job prospective and location as well as financial aid were crucial in my decision process.


Thank all for your comments, TLSers! I'm going to do more heavy research and hard thinking, and decide within a day.

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Clemenceau
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Re: Columbia vs. Chicago

Postby Clemenceau » Tue May 05, 2015 3:40 pm

Sounds like you like columbia more than your boyfriend.

Also, you should take the full ride to northwestern that we all know you have.

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Mack.Hambleton
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Re: Columbia vs. Chicago

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Tue May 05, 2015 3:43 pm

^good point NW for free should be an option with those numbers

Butter
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Re: Columbia vs. Chicago

Postby Butter » Tue May 05, 2015 4:24 pm

Mack.Hambleton wrote:^good point NW for free should be an option with those numbers


At least consider it.

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Hikikomorist
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Re: Columbia vs. Chicago

Postby Hikikomorist » Tue May 05, 2015 4:25 pm

krads153 wrote:lol at Columbia costing 80k for third year....I can't believe people still pay these prices for law school. Biglaw salaries haven't gone up since 2007 and won't be going up any time, so they should go to 190k soon, while tuition has gone up by like 150k and rents in NYC have increased 50% since 2007....

krads153
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Re: Columbia vs. Chicago

Postby krads153 » Tue May 05, 2015 4:35 pm

Hikkomorist wrote:
krads153 wrote:lol at Columbia costing 80k for third year....I can't believe people still pay these prices for law school. Biglaw salaries haven't gone up since 2007 and won't be going up any time, so they should go to 190k soon, while tuition has gone up by like 150k and rents in NYC have increased 50% since 2007....


It's all wishful thinking. I think it's more likely firms will just increase bonuses rather than the base (and they won't be as high as pre-2009 bonuses).

In order to come out the same as 2007 and before though, taking into account increase COL and tuition, you probably need a salary increase to at least 250k for first year associates...190k isn't that much in the grand scheme of things since around half of the increase (so around 15k) will go to taxes.

And to the above posts, I'd take NU for free over both of these options.

lawschoolbound94
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Re: Columbia vs. Chicago

Postby lawschoolbound94 » Wed May 06, 2015 7:16 pm

Chicago. It's a great law school. If it's cheaper then it should a obvious choice.

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BizBro
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Re: Columbia vs. Chicago

Postby BizBro » Wed May 06, 2015 7:47 pm

I would go to NU for free over any of those two options? That much debt just to do a big law job? That's a mistake.

Also I wouldn't pick Columbia over chicago unless you don't care about your relationship, but that's your personal call. Both will give you the same outcome. As others have said, cheaper makes chicago the obvious choice.

Indifference
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Re: Columbia vs. Chicago

Postby Indifference » Thu May 07, 2015 12:34 am

Clyde Frog wrote:Chicago seems like a good bet, unless you're secretly trying to get away from your SO.

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BasilHallward
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Re: Columbia vs. Chicago

Postby BasilHallward » Thu May 07, 2015 12:41 am

I'm jumping on the Northwestern bandwagon here. If you have an interest in NYC, Cornell should be considered as well. Kept that debt financing to an absolute minimum. But if pressed, I say Chicago.

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Cobretti
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Re: Columbia vs. Chicago

Postby Cobretti » Thu May 07, 2015 11:14 am

krads153 wrote:In order to come out the same as 2007 and before though, taking into account increase COL and tuition, you probably need a salary increase to at least 250k for first year associates...190k isn't that much in the grand scheme of things since around half of the increase (so around 15k) will go to taxes.

liberal arts maths ftw

krads153
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Re: Columbia vs. Chicago

Postby krads153 » Thu May 07, 2015 1:59 pm

Cobretti wrote:
krads153 wrote:In order to come out the same as 2007 and before though, taking into account increase COL and tuition, you probably need a salary increase to at least 250k for first year associates...190k isn't that much in the grand scheme of things since around half of the increase (so around 15k) will go to taxes.

liberal arts maths ftw


190k-160k=30k. 0.5*30=15

As for the other part, it's a very rough estimate, but I'd say you need at least 70k more a year pre-tax income to pay off loans at a reasonably similar level and pay the extra rent..maybe not 90k more, but at least 70k more
Last edited by krads153 on Thu May 07, 2015 2:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Columbia vs. Chicago

Postby jbagelboy » Thu May 07, 2015 2:01 pm

krads153 wrote:
Cobretti wrote:
krads153 wrote:In order to come out the same as 2007 and before though, taking into account increase COL and tuition, you probably need a salary increase to at least 250k for first year associates...190k isn't that much in the grand scheme of things since around half of the increase (so around 15k) will go to taxes.

liberal arts maths ftw


190k-160k=30k. 0.5*30=15


Starting associates dont have a 50% effective tax rate

krads153
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Re: Columbia vs. Chicago

Postby krads153 » Thu May 07, 2015 2:03 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
krads153 wrote:
Cobretti wrote:
krads153 wrote:In order to come out the same as 2007 and before though, taking into account increase COL and tuition, you probably need a salary increase to at least 250k for first year associates...190k isn't that much in the grand scheme of things since around half of the increase (so around 15k) will go to taxes.

liberal arts maths ftw


190k-160k=30k. 0.5*30=15


Starting associates dont have a 50% effective tax rate


If you live in NYC, what is it? 0.45 with federal, NYC and state income tax?

Based on this 2010 data, it's around 0.4. The numbers don't take into account 401k contribution, but the tax is at least around 40%. Anyone know 2014 rates? (I don't do my own taxes)

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=131254

--LinkRemoved--

If you're single, and you have one exemption for both your federal 1040 and your NY taxes, it would break down as such:

Gross: 160,000
Less Fed W/H: (36,913)
Less SS: (6,622)
Less M/C: (2,320)
Less NY W/H: (10,751)
Less NYC W/H: (5,901)
Less NYC SDI: (32)
Net Annual Pay: 97,462

***Assuming tax rates don't change

HTH

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Cobretti
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Re: Columbia vs. Chicago

Postby Cobretti » Thu May 07, 2015 4:33 pm

krads153 wrote:
Cobretti wrote:
krads153 wrote:In order to come out the same as 2007 and before though, taking into account increase COL and tuition, you probably need a salary increase to at least 250k for first year associates...190k isn't that much in the grand scheme of things since around half of the increase (so around 15k) will go to taxes.

liberal arts maths ftw

As for the other part, it's a very rough estimate, but I'd say you need at least 70k more a year pre-tax income to pay off loans at a reasonably similar level and pay the extra rent..maybe not 90k more, but at least 70k more

That's the "math" I was referring to

ETA: not the thread to have this convo though, didn't mean to derail OP




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