NotPanicking wrote:canafsa wrote:I presume most people who get into Harvard have the option of a full ride at a T14, but threads such a these make it seem as though HYS is never justifiable given such a choice. Is it just sons and daughters of billionaires and deluded optimists going to Harvard, or do TLS posters overlook hidden value of having one of these schools on your resume?
THIS. I'm trying to decide between the Rubenstein (meaning I'll graduate with $45k, total) or Harvard (with financial aid, looking at around $200k). I know debt is scary and can have a significant effect on retirement, homeownership, long run stuff, but is the choice really this easy? Take the money?
I took a similar scholarship at Duke for undergrad and turned down Stanford in the process, and I definitely am not sure, even years later, that that was the right choice. :/
People do it every year, because they are significantly less debt averse and illogically think the opportunities from HYS are fundamentally different for the average student than the opportunities available at CCN for the average student. If you're insensitive to debt and it's implications for your future, so be it. People make irrational financial decisions all the time. (This is particularly true at Harvard in my opinion as the average Harvard grad will likely end up sitting side by side at Biglaw firms with CCN grads, T13 grads, sprinkling of other grads). If you're picking between HYS vs. CCN (and I'd argue T13 as well) for free, the smart decision financially is that free education. This is not to say the placement power at the schools are all the same; it's that the average graduate at all of them are ending up in substantially the same jobs. If you're dead set on ACLU impact lit or IHR in Geneva, go ahead and grab for the prestige. But if you're not dead set on a particular, difficult to get, specific type of job, the smartest money is going to that free education. You know what's better than paying off $200k debt on a growing $180k scale? Paying off $45k debt on a growing $180k salary. It'll happen significantly faster, and you'll be financially free to build some personal wealth or pursue lower paying work if you're in the portion of the Biglaw population that can't stomach it and move on.