Vandy ($$) vs. Texas

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DeathByLSATWasTaken
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Vandy ($$) vs. Texas

Postby DeathByLSATWasTaken » Thu May 12, 2016 11:37 am

I gave deposits to Texas and Vanderbilt and am riding out five waitlists: UVA, Duke, Michigan, Cornell, and Northwestern.

Vanderbilt gave me $95k and Texas (OOS) sadly gave me nothing even after I showed them Vandy's scholly offer. COA would be roughly $150k for Vandy and $250k for Texas.

This will be entirely financed by loans. I also have about $12k in debt left from undergrad.

I am from DC and have family in Philly. I would be happy to end up back here in DC (though I turned down Georgetown because I want a change for now) or in Philly, but I also loved Austin when I visited and could definitely see myself there.

I've been working in a specific, small nonprofit field for over two years and would ultimately like to end up back in this field. However, I do hope to get litigation experience at a firm for several years before transitioning back to the nonprofit sector. I would also love to clerk before working at a firm, but I realize how competitive clerkships are.

168/3.55 - I took the LSAT twice and scored a 167 the second time. Retaking is an option, though possibly not a helpful one. I took a blueprint class and studied several hours a day for several months, so it feels like I've unfortunately just reached my LSAT ceiling. If I sit out a year and retake and don't improve much or at all, I feel like I'll just be shooting myself in the foot since I already have decent options.

I've been told by so many people to choose a law school that is the "right fit." I visited both Vandy and Texas and absolutely loved Texas. Vandy, on the other hand, was fine. I didn't dislike it and don't think I'd be unhappy there, but I didn't love it and am not excited about it. Plus, I liked Austin way more than Nashville.

So let's hear it. Would it be insane to go to Texas at sticker? I'm going to be taking on over $100k in debt either way and am prepared to do the work necessary to pay that off. And what if I get into one of my waitlist schools? If that happens, I am unlikely to get much, if any, merit aid. Are those worth sticker?

Thanks in advance for your input!

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Dr. Nefario
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Re: Vandy ($$) vs. Texas

Postby Dr. Nefario » Thu May 12, 2016 11:46 am

Do you have any actual ties to Texas? That debt amount would be crazy out of Texas, generally the only way Texas makes sense at sticker is Forever Texas people, even then its debatable. I would advise strongly against UT especially at that debt.

Speaking to the waitlist schools, I'm not sure any are worth sticker.

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mornincounselor
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Re: Vandy ($$) vs. Texas

Postby mornincounselor » Thu May 12, 2016 12:04 pm

I'm assuming you have tried the formal scholarship reconsideration process with Texas (it's a form where you list all your other offers)?

Gosh, this is really unfortunate because I know many other people with similar competing offers (and worse stats) were able to get Texas to move on the OOS waiver this cycle. This is likely a sign that Texas has in fact over extended offers to out of state candidates (by law each of their classes has to be 65% in-state) and enough of those people have already committed.

I really cannot recommend Texas (or anywhere) for full costs. Vandy is decent at that price, but if you are feeling "meh" about them overall I wouldn't go there. Maybe, there's a shot that some of Texas' already committed OOS people will back out leaving room for you to get in with the waiver at the last minute.

Otherwise, if none of the waitlists turn into strong offers (I wouldn't go sticker to any of the places listed), I think you will want to apply early (not ED, just near when applications open) to Texas next year and you should have a much more competitive offer there. If you are sitting out anyway retaking the LSAT becomes an all-upside proposition if you can stomach it.

Let this serve as a lesson to future applicants not to wait too long to send in scholarship reconsideration forms because once the class is full that ship has sailed. (Not saying you did this necessarily)

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poptart123
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Re: Vandy ($$) vs. Texas

Postby poptart123 » Thu May 12, 2016 12:10 pm

mornincounselor wrote:I'm assuming you have tried the formal scholarship reconsideration process with Texas (it's a form where you list all your other offers)?

Gosh, this is really unfortunate because I know many other people with similar competing offers (and worse stats) were able to get Texas to move on the OOS waiver this cycle. This is likely a sign that Texas has in fact over extended offers to out of state candidates (by law each of their classes has to be 65% in-state) and enough of those people have already committed.

I really cannot recommend Texas (or anywhere) for full costs. Vandy is decent at that price, but if you are feeling "meh" about them overall I wouldn't go there. Maybe, there's a shot that some of Texas' already committed OOS people will back out leaving room for you to get in with the waiver at the last minute.

Otherwise, if none of the waitlists turn into strong offers (I wouldn't go sticker to any of the places listed), I think you will want to apply early (not ED, just near when applications open) to Texas next year and you should have a much more competitive offer there. If you are sitting out anyway retaking the LSAT becomes an all-upside proposition if you can stomach it.

Let this serve as a lesson to future applicants not to wait too long to send in scholarship reconsideration forms because once the class is full that ship has sailed. (Not saying you did this necessarily)


I came to the same conclusion. I read the original post thinking it might be Texas trying to get you to not attend because they may have extended too many OOS offers, but this is just speculation.

*edit: deposit -> attend
Last edited by poptart123 on Thu May 12, 2016 12:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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emkay625
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Re: Vandy ($$) vs. Texas

Postby emkay625 » Thu May 12, 2016 12:17 pm

Texas grad here and love it, but Texas for 250K in debt is not something anyone should do. (No school at 250K in debt is something anyone should do.)

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DeathByLSATWasTaken
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Re: Vandy ($$) vs. Texas

Postby DeathByLSATWasTaken » Thu May 12, 2016 12:30 pm

poptart123 wrote:
mornincounselor wrote:I'm assuming you have tried the formal scholarship reconsideration process with Texas (it's a form where you list all your other offers)?

Gosh, this is really unfortunate because I know many other people with similar competing offers (and worse stats) were able to get Texas to move on the OOS waiver this cycle. This is likely a sign that Texas has in fact over extended offers to out of state candidates (by law each of their classes has to be 65% in-state) and enough of those people have already committed.

I really cannot recommend Texas (or anywhere) for full costs. Vandy is decent at that price, but if you are feeling "meh" about them overall I wouldn't go there. Maybe, there's a shot that some of Texas' already committed OOS people will back out leaving room for you to get in with the waiver at the last minute.

Otherwise, if none of the waitlists turn into strong offers (I wouldn't go sticker to any of the places listed), I think you will want to apply early (not ED, just near when applications open) to Texas next year and you should have a much more competitive offer there. If you are sitting out anyway retaking the LSAT becomes an all-upside proposition if you can stomach it.

Let this serve as a lesson to future applicants not to wait too long to send in scholarship reconsideration forms because once the class is full that ship has sailed. (Not saying you did this necessarily)


I came to the same conclusion. I read the original post thinking it might be Texas trying to get you to not deposit because they may have extended too many OOS offers, but this is just speculation.


Yeah, Texas admitted me in late March (I applied early January, so not early but still not super late) and they told me no scholarship in early April, like 2 days before the deposit deadline. I submitted the reconsideration form, but they didn't get back to me before the deposit deadline so I gave them my deposit. When I met with someone in financial aid during my visit, they told me they grant about 90% of reconsideration requests. So I guess it was just unfortunate timing. :(

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Rigo
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Re: Vandy ($$) vs. Texas

Postby Rigo » Thu May 12, 2016 12:51 pm

Vandy hands down.
Not sure your goals, but Vandy actually had better Biglaw+Fed Clerk numbers for the most recent c/o 2015 (though they're still peers/comparable). DC is a tough market to crack though.

DueProcessDoWheelies
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Re: Vandy ($$) vs. Texas

Postby DueProcessDoWheelies » Thu May 12, 2016 12:52 pm

I am from DC and have family in Philly. I would be happy to end up back here in DC (though I turned down Georgetown because I want a change for now) or in Philly, but I also loved Austin when I visited and could definitely see myself there.

I'm probably going to sound rude, and I'm sorry, but here goes.

Everyone says this about Austin after they visit, hence about 100 people moving to Austin every day. For that reason, the market is insanely competitive. Austin, while it has grown substantially, still doesn't have that big of a legal market. Lots of Texas grads work there, yes, but lots will go to bigger markets like Houston and Dallas as well. Point being, there are lots of UT law grads and lots of them want to stay in Austin, so the job market there is so, so competitive. Not saying you won't compete, just saying be cautious.
So let's hear it. Would it be insane to go to Texas at sticker? I'm going to be taking on over $100k in debt either way and am prepared to do the work necessary to pay that off. And what if I get into one of my waitlist schools? If that happens, I am unlikely to get much, if any, merit aid. Are those worth sticker?

I don't think it would be insane, being that Texas is top 15. I do think that if you go to Texas and plan to take the bar there, you should at least be open to starting off in a place other than Austin. It's nothing like the market in a place like DC or Philly. I think most Texas grads and students would agree- if you go there and plan to work in Austin, you absolutely must be open to the possibility of starting in another city first. Then making a move over to Austin after getting some experience.

As for Vandy, I can't offer much advice. I can say, however, that if you didn't have a very good feeling about a school when you visited, you're probably better off going elsewhere.
Last edited by DueProcessDoWheelies on Thu May 12, 2016 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

thebrownnote
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Re: Vandy ($$) vs. Texas

Postby thebrownnote » Thu May 12, 2016 12:54 pm

Don't pay sticker at UT, because if you're willing to pay sticker anywhere, it should be at one of your reach schools, not at a school that should have given you money but didn't for some reason. I wouldn't put too much stock in your Vandy impression after just one visit, unless you absolutely hated it, which it doesn't seem like you did. I've found law school (and undergrad) visits in general to be stressful, and not all that indicative of what life would be like at the school. Also, I could be wrong, but I think you might have an easier time getting back to D.C. from Vandy than from UT...Texas grads seem to never leave Texas.

So in short, I vote Vandy, followed by paying sticker at a waitlist school, followed by UT, assuming you don't want to wait another year.

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ScottRiqui
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Re: Vandy ($$) vs. Texas

Postby ScottRiqui » Thu May 12, 2016 1:16 pm

thebrownnote wrote:Also, I could be wrong, but I think you might have an easier time getting back to D.C. from Vandy than from UT...Texas grads seem to never leave Texas.



Even as a Texas Law student, I was surprised at just how many graduates stay in Texas. From the 2015 ABA employment report, of the 319 graduates they had employment information for, 260 stayed in Texas, 11 went to New York, and 10 went to California. I'm sure there were other destinations, but those were the top three.

(And I'm sure there's at least some self-selection in there)

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DeathByLSATWasTaken
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Re: Vandy ($$) vs. Texas

Postby DeathByLSATWasTaken » Thu May 12, 2016 8:57 pm

DueProcessDoWheelies wrote:I'm probably going to sound rude, and I'm sorry, but here goes.

Everyone says this about Austin after they visit, hence about 100 people moving to Austin every day. For that reason, the market is insanely competitive. Austin, while it has grown substantially, still doesn't have that big of a legal market. Lots of Texas grads work there, yes, but lots will go to bigger markets like Houston and Dallas as well. Point being, there are lots of UT law grads and lots of them want to stay in Austin, so the job market there is so, so competitive. Not saying you won't compete, just saying be cautious.


Compared to some of the responses I've seen on similar threads, that was not rude at all! Some people on here seem to be unnecessarily abrasive, and I'm kind of surprised how nice and helpful the responses to my post were. Your point about Austin being a competitive market is absolutely valid, and I really appreciate the advice. If I do want to practice in Austin, though, do you think UT would give me a better chance than Vanderbilt?

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Dr. Nefario
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Re: Vandy ($$) vs. Texas

Postby Dr. Nefario » Fri May 13, 2016 8:36 am

DeathByLSATWasTaken wrote:
DueProcessDoWheelies wrote:I'm probably going to sound rude, and I'm sorry, but here goes.

Everyone says this about Austin after they visit, hence about 100 people moving to Austin every day. For that reason, the market is insanely competitive. Austin, while it has grown substantially, still doesn't have that big of a legal market. Lots of Texas grads work there, yes, but lots will go to bigger markets like Houston and Dallas as well. Point being, there are lots of UT law grads and lots of them want to stay in Austin, so the job market there is so, so competitive. Not saying you won't compete, just saying be cautious.


Compared to some of the responses I've seen on similar threads, that was not rude at all! Some people on here seem to be unnecessarily abrasive, and I'm kind of surprised how nice and helpful the responses to my post were. Your point about Austin being a competitive market is absolutely valid, and I really appreciate the advice. If I do want to practice in Austin, though, do you think UT would give me a better chance than Vanderbilt?


If you want to practice in Austin, you really need long established ties to the state/UT/a firm in Austin. Or just incredible grades at Texas. But yes, UT gives you a better chance at working in Austin then Vandy simply because it is in Austin and you'll make contacts.

Shootin
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Re: Vandy ($$) vs. Texas

Postby Shootin » Fri May 13, 2016 8:56 am

What about getting in state tuition your 2l and 3l years?

Seems like applying early in the cycle next year will give you better options either way though.

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DeathByLSATWasTaken
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Re: Vandy ($$) vs. Texas

Postby DeathByLSATWasTaken » Fri May 13, 2016 9:08 am

Shootin wrote:What about getting in state tuition your 2l and 3l years?

Seems like applying early in the cycle next year will give you better options either way though.


Unfortunately, to get in-state tuition, you have to live or work in Texas for one year before even starting school.

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Big Red
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Re: Vandy ($$) vs. Texas

Postby Big Red » Fri May 13, 2016 10:45 am

Considering your goals, I just don't think you gain very much considering the 100k debt price tag.

Very similar schools, and the benefit you would get in TX from UT would kind of be lost on you.

For what it's worth, I'm about 99% sure that if you went to UT you would feel like the decision was worth it, but if you go to Vandy you're going to think the whole "fit" first brush impression was silly. It's really only after law school that you're going to realize what the cost was.

DueProcessDoWheelies
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Re: Vandy ($$) vs. Texas

Postby DueProcessDoWheelies » Fri May 13, 2016 11:11 am

DeathByLSATWasTaken wrote:
DueProcessDoWheelies wrote:I'm probably going to sound rude, and I'm sorry, but here goes.

Everyone says this about Austin after they visit, hence about 100 people moving to Austin every day. For that reason, the market is insanely competitive. Austin, while it has grown substantially, still doesn't have that big of a legal market. Lots of Texas grads work there, yes, but lots will go to bigger markets like Houston and Dallas as well. Point being, there are lots of UT law grads and lots of them want to stay in Austin, so the job market there is so, so competitive. Not saying you won't compete, just saying be cautious.


Compared to some of the responses I've seen on similar threads, that was not rude at all! Some people on here seem to be unnecessarily abrasive, and I'm kind of surprised how nice and helpful the responses to my post were. Your point about Austin being a competitive market is absolutely valid, and I really appreciate the advice. If I do want to practice in Austin, though, do you think UT would give me a better chance than Vanderbilt?

Most definitely. As another poster said, you just need to make great contacts in Austin and do some summers there. I was simply saying that Austin is so competitive that even some UT grads have to go to other cities to practice. But, some of them choose to as well. And you may have to do that if you are determined to work in Austin. Just the way it is.

Source: I just passed the Texas bar (didn't go to UT), am talking to some Austin attorneys and UT grads, and would love to work there but will probably have to get some experience in Houston/Dallas first.




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