Alexandros wrote: HonestlyThough wrote:
Necho2 wrote:Ok I am going to take the bait here and try to engage in good faith. How much effort have you put into that $50k debt at Chicago w/ Ruby figure If you're putting so much effort into information-gathering? And how exactly are you planning on living in law school?
15k a yr + 5k public interest stipend each summer (I know there are interesting positions that will actually pay you beyond the stipend, but none of that's guaranteed so forget it for now)
~15k a year in Stafford loans (assume a 5.5% interest rate but I think it's a little lower for next year)
Tax on 20k a year in income is gonna be roughly 1k- so excluding post-graduation summer, your budget with just that and taking out the full 15k a year is roughly ~$2850 a month. Are you gonna spend that much in grad school? I don't actually live in HP, but it looks like spending somewhere significantly below 1.5k all-in for a 1BR is quite feasible. Do you think you could handle a discretionary budget below $800 a month outside of that?
Basically, my point is that the only way you get $50k in Stafford loans (which presumably are gonna stay around 5.5% interest, and you're factoring that into your payment plan, right?) is if you take out the full loans every year- which isn't exactly necessary if you're truly so worried about debt. If you could handle spending something like $2k per month- I think you'd be able to knock that loan balance down to 30k or even lower, and while I defer to others who've actually lived in HP, I don't think there's any career you'd pursue where that would severely burden you.
all very valid. I do agree that my debt burden at Chicago would remain manageable whether I qualified for LRAP or not, with varying amounts paid back and lengths of payment, depending on what I do. I also agree that I can reduce it a bit with budgeting.
(side note: $5K for 2L summer stipend is a bit low compared to most schools)
What I disagree with most people here about is how manageable my debt at Harvard will be and how my longterm out of pocket costs for that debt will compare to my debt at Chicago. I maintain that Harvard will likely set me back $20K to $100K more than Chi over the 10 years after I graduate. <-- most likely outcome
Alright. So why take H here? Assuming you are 100% confident in what you want to do and don't change your mind, and have done your math right in the above post, H will cost you $20k-$100k more, restrict your flexibility and freedom for ten years after you graduate (this is worth something even if you don't change your mind), and not offer the Ruby perks, if they exist. All you've really mentioned in H's favor are community and alumni network.
I wouldn't really be any more restricted by H's LIPP than I would out of Chicago paying my small debt. The level of restriction would be about the same, assuming we accept my confidence in what I want to do. At chi, outside of LRAP, my monthly payments would be similar, and in LRAP, my available jobs would be much more limited.
Other than that, I agree with your analysis other than there being more reasons I prefer Harvard.
As mentioned throughout this thread:
-the size, diversity, and intensity of the PI community and student orgs (this is REALLY important to me)
-the size of the student body as a whole
-the much larger faculty and the fact that their expertise covers more areas of interest to me that are on the unique side
-similarly, there are more course offerings in more subjects
-the Kennedy school and the opportunity to take cross-listed courses there and possibly do a joint MPP
-the alumni network, esp. how vast it is. I want to return to CA and it's certainly more extensive here than is Chi's
-Public service venture fund, post-grad fellowships, and H's placement into Skadden and EJW fellowships is much better
-the greater emphasis on out of class activities
-arbitrary, but I was far more impressed by Harvard students
-I felt energized and excited by Harvard. I will enjoy my time there. I visited Chi and gave it the realest chance I could, and I do not feel excited about it and would be simply biding my time until I graduade
-the grading scheme
-the weather is less miserable
-campus is less miserable
-i like the surrounding area a LOT more, including that there's more of a community around the campus and that the housing situation is much better
-My SO is significantly more likely to join my in Boston than in Chicago
I excel when I'm happy and excited, not when I'm drained, annoyed, unhappy, put-off, etc. I truly think I will be a better law student at Havard.
I also put a high premium on happiness (this is a very personal consideration), and I'm willing to pay money to be happier even if there isn't a measurable benefit gained in employment outcomes or whatever
I've noticed that many TLSers recommend people turn down Chicago at sticker for full rides at, say, cornell or some other low ranked t13/14/15.
Many of those same people give the opposite advice if the choice is Havard at sticker vs. a full ride at those low t13s.
Doesn't this suggest most TLSers thing Harvard is worth hundreds of thousands more than Chicago?