Berkeley ($$) vs. Stanford (sticker)

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Whichschool2016

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Berkeley ($$) vs. Stanford (sticker)

Postby Whichschool2016 » Tue Aug 02, 2016 4:05 pm

COL will be paid through a combo of my savings/my long-term SO.

After my $30k/year scholarship to Berkeley, I would be paying roughly $18k/a year. Stanford is sticker.

I will likely marry my SO who has a high paying career and will happily pay off any and all law school debt when we are married. He will be fine living in either location and he's from the Bay Area, so he knows both cities well. I would like to work in California, with the possibility of living in other Pacific northwest states and/or Texas (family reasons).

I want to go into PI, hopefully something at the federal or national level (e.g. FPD or ACLU).

I love the PI and social justice ethos at Berkeley, but I'm worried I might always regret turning down Stanford.

I would pay both with loans, and use LRAP with Stanford until I'm married, in which case my SO would pay down the loans. I wouldn't qualify for Berkeley's LRAP because my debt would be too low (you need to have over $100k in debt). If I don't marry my SO (low chance but still possible), the debt will be all mine in either case.

There is a 0% chance of me working in big law to help pay off debt, but I would be open to other non-PI positions at some point (e.g. in house counsel).

Which should I choose?

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Re: Berkeley ($$) vs. Stanford (sticker)

Postby Redfactor » Tue Aug 02, 2016 4:16 pm

You don't qualify for need-based aid from Stanford?

I think Stanford is the better option here; I'm just surprised you'd have to go at sticker if you're needing to take out loans to cover 100% tuition.

Whichschool2016

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Re: Berkeley ($$) vs. Stanford (sticker)

Postby Whichschool2016 » Tue Aug 02, 2016 4:21 pm

Redfactor wrote:You don't qualify for need-based aid from Stanford?

I think Stanford is the better option here; I'm just surprised you'd have to go at sticker if you're needing to take out loans to cover 100% tuition.


I don't qualify unfortunately. My parents have a lot of assets, but are not willing to contribute to my education. You still think it's worth sticker?

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Dr. Nefario

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Re: Berkeley ($$) vs. Stanford (sticker)

Postby Dr. Nefario » Tue Aug 02, 2016 4:21 pm

Stanford, though I too am surprised you'd need sticker with having to 100% loan finance.

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oidsedidy

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Re: Berkeley ($$) vs. Stanford (sticker)

Postby oidsedidy » Tue Aug 02, 2016 4:23 pm

Whichschool2016 wrote:COL will be paid through a combo of my savings/my long-term SO.

After my $30k/year scholarship to Berkeley, I would be paying roughly $18k/a year. Stanford is sticker.

I will likely marry my SO who has a high paying career and will happily pay off any and all law school debt when we are married. He will be fine living in either location and he's from the Bay Area, so he knows both cities well. I would like to work in California, with the possibility of living in other Pacific northwest states and/or Texas (family reasons).

I want to go into PI, hopefully something at the federal or national level (e.g. FPD or ACLU).

I love the PI and social justice ethos at Berkeley, but I'm worried I might always regret turning down Stanford.

I would pay both with loans, and use LRAP with Stanford until I'm married, in which case my SO would pay down the loans. I wouldn't qualify for Berkeley's LRAP because my debt would be too low (you need to have over $100k in debt). If I don't marry my SO (low chance but still possible), the debt will be all mine in either case.

There is a 0% chance of me working in big law to help pay off debt, but I would be open to other non-PI positions at some point (e.g. in house counsel).

Which should I choose?



Although I do not know you, I fervently hope you will take $$ at Boalt and call it a day. Many things in this world are likely, but your potential spouse "happily" paying off sticker at Stanford so that you can pursue the amorphous world of PI is not one of them.

Furthermore, take this advice seriously- you just never know what life will hand you. I hope you get married and all turns out well, but sometimes really unfortunate, unforeseen things happen. That's not to say that you shouldn't make plans for the future, but rather that you should not shoulder 6 figures worth of debt with the expectation that someone else will necessarily be there to help foot the bill.

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oidsedidy

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Re: Berkeley ($$) vs. Stanford (sticker)

Postby oidsedidy » Tue Aug 02, 2016 4:29 pm

Redfactor wrote:You don't qualify for need-based aid from Stanford?

I think Stanford is the better option here; I'm just surprised you'd have to go at sticker if you're needing to take out loans to cover 100% tuition.



Outside of LST and USNEWS is there any particular reason why? I'm not sure why that would be, given OP's initial statement. That said, I'm not asking to be abrasive; I am just genuinely curious as to why you think that sticker at Stanford is preferable.

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Re: Berkeley ($$) vs. Stanford (sticker)

Postby Redfactor » Tue Aug 02, 2016 4:36 pm

Whichschool2016 wrote:
Redfactor wrote:You don't qualify for need-based aid from Stanford?

I think Stanford is the better option here; I'm just surprised you'd have to go at sticker if you're needing to take out loans to cover 100% tuition.


I don't qualify unfortunately. My parents have a lot of assets, but are not willing to contribute to my education. You still think it's worth sticker?


That's a bummer, but it's their money.

I try to stay away from advocating additional debt. Here, however, I think Stanford is the better selection.

Keep in mind that need-based is reevaluated after every year, so if you turn 26+ during law school, you might get some money your 2L and/or 3L years.

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Re: Berkeley ($$) vs. Stanford (sticker)

Postby Whichschool2016 » Tue Aug 02, 2016 4:46 pm

Redfactor wrote:
Whichschool2016 wrote:
Redfactor wrote:You don't qualify for need-based aid from Stanford?

I think Stanford is the better option here; I'm just surprised you'd have to go at sticker if you're needing to take out loans to cover 100% tuition.


I don't qualify unfortunately. My parents have a lot of assets, but are not willing to contribute to my education. You still think it's worth sticker?


That's a bummer, but it's their money.

I try to stay away from advocating additional debt. Here, however, I think Stanford is the better selection.

Keep in mind that need-based is reevaluated after every year, so if you turn 26+ during law school, you might get some money your 2L and/or 3L years.


Why do you think it's the better option? And yeah, I don't blame them at all. I wouldn't help me pay for law school either :P

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Re: Berkeley ($$) vs. Stanford (sticker)

Postby Redfactor » Tue Aug 02, 2016 4:53 pm

oidsedidy wrote:
Redfactor wrote:You don't qualify for need-based aid from Stanford?

I think Stanford is the better option here; I'm just surprised you'd have to go at sticker if you're needing to take out loans to cover 100% tuition.



Outside of LST and USNEWS is there any particular reason why? I'm not sure why that would be, given OP's initial statement. That said, I'm not asking to be abrasive; I am just genuinely curious as to why you think that sticker at Stanford is preferable.


People who are genuinely curious don't "fervently hope" against the option.

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Re: Berkeley ($$) vs. Stanford (sticker)

Postby ObiWahooKenobi » Tue Aug 02, 2016 6:14 pm

Whichschool2016 wrote:COL will be paid through a combo of my savings/my long-term SO.

After my $30k/year scholarship to Berkeley, I would be paying roughly $18k/a year. Stanford is sticker.

I will likely marry my SO who has a high paying career and will happily pay off any and all law school debt when we are married. He will be fine living in either location and he's from the Bay Area, so he knows both cities well. I would like to work in California, with the possibility of living in other Pacific northwest states and/or Texas (family reasons).

I want to go into PI, hopefully something at the federal or national level (e.g. FPD or ACLU).

I love the PI and social justice ethos at Berkeley, but I'm worried I might always regret turning down Stanford.

I would pay both with loans, and use LRAP with Stanford until I'm married, in which case my SO would pay down the loans. I wouldn't qualify for Berkeley's LRAP because my debt would be too low (you need to have over $100k in debt). If I don't marry my SO (low chance but still possible), the debt will be all mine in either case.

There is a 0% chance of me working in big law to help pay off debt, but I would be open to other non-PI positions at some point (e.g. in house counsel).

Which should I choose?


I don't know much about Stanford - does it not have a robust loan repayment assistance program for folks who go into PI/non-profit? If so, I would certainly still consider Stanford.

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Re: Berkeley ($$) vs. Stanford (sticker)

Postby T3TON » Tue Aug 02, 2016 7:25 pm

ObiWahooKenobi wrote:
Whichschool2016 wrote:COL will be paid through a combo of my savings/my long-term SO.

After my $30k/year scholarship to Berkeley, I would be paying roughly $18k/a year. Stanford is sticker.

I will likely marry my SO who has a high paying career and will happily pay off any and all law school debt when we are married. He will be fine living in either location and he's from the Bay Area, so he knows both cities well. I would like to work in California, with the possibility of living in other Pacific northwest states and/or Texas (family reasons).

I want to go into PI, hopefully something at the federal or national level (e.g. FPD or ACLU).

I love the PI and social justice ethos at Berkeley, but I'm worried I might always regret turning down Stanford.

I would pay both with loans, and use LRAP with Stanford until I'm married, in which case my SO would pay down the loans. I wouldn't qualify for Berkeley's LRAP because my debt would be too low (you need to have over $100k in debt). If I don't marry my SO (low chance but still possible), the debt will be all mine in either case.

There is a 0% chance of me working in big law to help pay off debt, but I would be open to other non-PI positions at some point (e.g. in house counsel).

Which should I choose?


I don't know much about Stanford - does it not have a robust loan repayment assistance program for folks who go into PI/non-profit? If so, I would certainly still consider Stanford.


For legal PI it is among the very best LRAPs in the nation. I think it makes Stanford the clear choice here.

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Re: Berkeley ($$) vs. Stanford (sticker)

Postby L’Étranger » Tue Aug 02, 2016 7:40 pm

Stanford is the right choice if you want to do prestige-y PI. You can absolutely get it from B, but you won't have to get as good grades at S to get it as you would at B.

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oidsedidy

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Re: Berkeley ($$) vs. Stanford (sticker)

Postby oidsedidy » Wed Aug 03, 2016 1:56 am

Redfactor wrote:
oidsedidy wrote:
Redfactor wrote:You don't qualify for need-based aid from Stanford?

I think Stanford is the better option here; I'm just surprised you'd have to go at sticker if you're needing to take out loans to cover 100% tuition.



Outside of LST and USNEWS is there any particular reason why? I'm not sure why that would be, given OP's initial statement. That said, I'm not asking to be abrasive; I am just genuinely curious as to why you think that sticker at Stanford is preferable.


People who are genuinely curious don't "fervently hope" against the option.


Ah, I wasn't aware that the two are mutually exclusive- my bad. Any chance you'll offer OP anything beyond Stanford bc Stanford?

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rpupkin

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Re: Berkeley ($$) vs. Stanford (sticker)

Postby rpupkin » Wed Aug 03, 2016 4:18 am

Here's a thread a couple of years ago started by someone with a roughly similar choice:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=226834&hilit=berkeley

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Re: Berkeley ($$) vs. Stanford (sticker)

Postby jbagelboy » Wed Aug 03, 2016 7:40 pm

this is directed to the people discussing Stanford's LRAP:
why do you assume that even enters the picture with a high earning spouse? OP won't qualify for LRAP. Their spouse will just be responsible for $250,000 in loan payments.

$18k/year for Berkeley is an objectively better option than $60k/year at Stanford. If you are comfortable with the debt load and long-term implications at SLS, go for it. But Berkeley at that price is golden.

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Re: Berkeley ($$) vs. Stanford (sticker)

Postby Whichschool2016 » Wed Aug 03, 2016 11:49 pm

I wouldn't qualify for LRAP if I married my SO, but then it wouldn't matter. He would just pay for it. The scenario I'm concerned with is that we break up, so that's the math I've laid out below. I think it does make more financial sense to go to SLS because their LRAP is way better. Can someone check my math/understanding of the two different LRAP policies?

Assumptions and disclaimers (referred to in the calculations below):
[1] If I go to Stanford, I take out $175k of loans with a (weighted) average interest rate of 6.0%, based on the interest rates for Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Direct PLUS Loans here: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loans/interest-rates.
[2] If I go to Berkeley, I take out $60k of loans (all Direct Unsubsidized) with an interest rate of 5.3%
[3] I am going to work in public interest (+ maybe a clerkship) for at least 10 years after law school
[4] I will enroll in the "Standard" repayment program if I go to Stanford, and the "IBR" or "PAYE" repayment program if I go to Berkeley (note that Berkeley requires you to enroll in "IBR"/"PAYE" in order to qualify for LRAP). Repayment plans outlined here: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loan ... tand/plans
[5] I will qualify for and enroll in Stanford's LRAP program, described here: https://www-cdn.law.stanford.edu/wp-con ... erms-1.pdf or Berkeley's LRAP program described here: https://www.law.berkeley.edu/admissions ... 13-beyond/.
[6] I am not counting on PSLF, since the future of the program is not certain enough to count on.

Tools used to make calculations (referred to in the scenairos below):
[a] finaid.org's loan calculator: http://www.finaid.org/calculators/scrip ... yments.cgi
[b] Stanford's LRAP calculator: http://media.law.stanford.edu/calculator/
[c] The Federal Student Aid's repayment calculator: https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/m ... ment-plans

A few example scenarios:

(1) I make $65k every year for the first 10 years after law school.
Stanford: Using [a], I'll owe $1,942.86 in monthly loan payments. Plug that into [b] under "Projected Monthly Payment on Qualifying Debt," and plug $65k for my "Anticipated AGI" every year. My monthly payments start at $187.50/month, and end at $75/month. In total, I will pay $15,750 out of pocket in those 10 years.
Berkeley: Using [c], my monthly payments will total between $393 and $645 over a course of 158 months under the IBR/PAYE repayment plans. Berkeley will cover 100% of those repayments for the first 10 years (with a salary <=$65k). For the remaining 38 months, I'm paying ~$550/month. In total, I will pay $550*38 = $20,900 out of pocket in those 13.16 years (backloaded during the last 3.16 years).

(2) I make $70k every year for the first 10 years after law school.
Stanford: Using [a], I'll owe $1,942.86 in monthly loan payments. Plug that into [b] under "Projected Monthly Payment on Qualifying Debt," and plug $70k for my "Anticipated AGI" every year. My monthly payments start at $395.83/month, and end at $137.50/month. In total, I will pay $28,500 out of pocket in those 10 years.
Berkeley: Using [c], my monthly payments will total between $435 and $645 over a course of 146 months under the IBR/PAYE repayment plans. For the first 10 years, I pay (.35*($70k-$65k)) = $1,750/year, which is $145.83/month. For the remaining 26 months, I'm paying ~$550/month. In total, I will pay ($1,750*10 + $550*26) = $31,800 out of pocket in those 12.16 years (again, paying more in the last 2.16 years if PSLF no longer exists).

(3) I make $80k every year for the first 10 years after law school.
Stanford: Using [a], I'll owe $1,942.86 in monthly loan payments. Plug that into [b] under "Projected Monthly Payment on Qualifying Debt," and plug $80k for my "Anticipated AGI" every year. My monthly payments start at $812.50/month, and end at $437.50/month. In total, I will pay $75,000 out of pocket in those 10 years.
Berkeley: Using [c], my monthly payments will total between $518 and $645 over a course of 130 months under the IBR/PAYE repayment plans. For the first 10 years, I pay (.35*($80k-$65k)) = $5,250/year, which is $437.5/month. For the remaining 10 months, I'm paying ~$600/month. In total, I will pay $5,250*10 + $600*10 = $58,500 out of pocket in those 10.8 years (again, paying more in the last .8 years).

Basically if I will be making under $72,500/year, SLS is cheaper out of pocket. If I make over $72,500, Berkeley will end up being cheaper. However, even if Berkeley ends up being cheaper, the value I'd get for S is incredible. Is my math correct? Did I miss anything?

Thanks!

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Re: Berkeley ($$) vs. Stanford (sticker)

Postby rpupkin » Wed Aug 03, 2016 11:57 pm

Whichschool2016 wrote: Is my math correct? Did I miss anything?

I can't comment on your math, but I will say this: For every 10 students who enter SLS thinking they're going to do LRAP for 10 years after they graduate, maybe 2 students actually end up doing it. What you're missing is the risk that your debt will matter even though you currently think it won't.

Also, is your SO rich rich, or is he just "could afford to buy his own house while still paying my loans off" rich. If it's the latter, you two could buy a much nicer house if he doesn't have to pay off your SLS law school debt.

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Re: Berkeley ($$) vs. Stanford (sticker)

Postby Whichschool2016 » Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:04 am

rpupkin wrote:
Whichschool2016 wrote: Is my math correct? Did I miss anything?

I can't comment on your math, but I will say this: For every 10 students who enter SLS thinking they're going to do LRAP for 10 years after they graduate, maybe 2 students actually end up doing it. What you're missing is the risk that your debt will matter even though you currently think it won't.

Also, is your SO rich rich, or is he just "could afford to buy his own house while still paying my loans off" rich. If it's the latter, you two could buy a much nicer house if he doesn't have to pay off your SLS law school debt.


He's rich rich. And I agree and have mentioned that point. He doesn't think it will impact him much and is actively pushing me to go to SLS.

If that's a true statistic you shared, I think I would be one of those two students. I've worked in the public sector and at a firm, and i absolutely could not stomach the latter. And the whole reason I'm going to law school is to pursue the former. So you're right, I could change my mind. Hopefully in that case I would make enough money that paying off the loans wouldn't be too much of a struggle.

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Re: Berkeley ($$) vs. Stanford (sticker)

Postby jbagelboy » Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:10 am

its too messy when the personal variables are in play for us to really comment. if he's rich rich, then fuck it of course go to Stanford.

all that math suggests to me that the LRAP programs and outcomes are not that different, and that if you are committed to public interest, Stanford is probably the superior choice

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rpupkin

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Re: Berkeley ($$) vs. Stanford (sticker)

Postby rpupkin » Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:18 am

Whichschool2016 wrote:He's rich rich. And I agree and have mentioned that point. He doesn't think it will impact him much and is actively pushing me to go to SLS.

If that's a true statistic you shared, I think I would be one of those two students. I've worked in the public sector and at a firm, and i absolutely could not stomach the latter. And the whole reason I'm going to law school is to pursue the former. So you're right, I could change my mind. Hopefully in that case I would make enough money that paying off the loans wouldn't be too much of a struggle.

Well if he's rich rich and will pay your tuition at SLS, then go to SLS.

And, no, the "2 in 10" estimate I shared is not "a true statistic"; I made it up based on anecdotal observation. I think it's accurate, but I could certainly be wrong. In any event, even if you decided to work at a firm instead of doing PI, you could of course still pay off your loans. As for the "wouldn't be too much of a struggle" part, the one unifying theme of post-grad-TLS advice is "damn, I really underestimated how limiting $100K+ of debt really is." It adversely affects your life in so many ways. But that's moot in your case so long as you hold onto your sugar daddy.

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Re: Berkeley ($$) vs. Stanford (sticker)

Postby Whichschool2016 » Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:24 am

rpupkin wrote:
Whichschool2016 wrote:He's rich rich. And I agree and have mentioned that point. He doesn't think it will impact him much and is actively pushing me to go to SLS.

If that's a true statistic you shared, I think I would be one of those two students. I've worked in the public sector and at a firm, and i absolutely could not stomach the latter. And the whole reason I'm going to law school is to pursue the former. So you're right, I could change my mind. Hopefully in that case I would make enough money that paying off the loans wouldn't be too much of a struggle.

But that's moot in your case so long as you hold onto your sugar daddy.


Rude.

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Re: Berkeley ($$) vs. Stanford (sticker)

Postby jbagelboy » Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:41 am

Whichschool2016 wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Whichschool2016 wrote:He's rich rich. And I agree and have mentioned that point. He doesn't think it will impact him much and is actively pushing me to go to SLS.

If that's a true statistic you shared, I think I would be one of those two students. I've worked in the public sector and at a firm, and i absolutely could not stomach the latter. And the whole reason I'm going to law school is to pursue the former. So you're right, I could change my mind. Hopefully in that case I would make enough money that paying off the loans wouldn't be too much of a struggle.

But that's moot in your case so long as you hold onto your sugar daddy.


Rude.


yea it was, but we play hardball here. remember also that most of us come from less fortunate backgrounds and carry heavy debt loads to make it possible to attend schools like SLS, living in closets for years while our opportunities are restricted by purely financial considerations no matter how well we perform or how qualified we are. Since so much of the TLS common wisdom doesn't apply to people who are independently wealthy, it definitely makes the experience less relatable.

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jbagelboy

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Re: Berkeley ($$) vs. Stanford (sticker)

Postby jbagelboy » Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:43 am

not that you aren't welcome--this isn't about labeling the class enemy--it just helps to be sensitive or expect people to snark.

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rpupkin

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Re: Berkeley ($$) vs. Stanford (sticker)

Postby rpupkin » Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:52 am

Whichschool2016 wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Whichschool2016 wrote:He's rich rich. And I agree and have mentioned that point. He doesn't think it will impact him much and is actively pushing me to go to SLS.

If that's a true statistic you shared, I think I would be one of those two students. I've worked in the public sector and at a firm, and i absolutely could not stomach the latter. And the whole reason I'm going to law school is to pursue the former. So you're right, I could change my mind. Hopefully in that case I would make enough money that paying off the loans wouldn't be too much of a struggle.

But that's moot in your case so long as you hold onto your sugar daddy.


Rude.

I meant it in a playful way. I really wasn't trying to insult you or your relationship. You're an anonymous poster on the Internet; I of course know nothing about you or your SO.

Everything I've written in this thread has been in the spirit of trying to help. I'm sincerely sorry I offended you.

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Re: Berkeley ($$) vs. Stanford (sticker)

Postby Nebby » Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:56 am

Berkeley. They need more aspirational PI students with money



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