Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

Where should I go?

Poll ended at Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:18 pm

Harvard (COA $204,000)
18
34%
Columbia (COA $140,000)
14
26%
Reapply (making $40-50,000 during the year)
21
40%
 
Total votes: 53

McMooch
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Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby McMooch » Fri Apr 28, 2017 7:18 pm

Schools I'm considering:

Harvard - total COA $204,000 (COL is covered and anticipating tuition increase)

Columbia - total COA $140,000 (COL covered and 75k scholarship and anticipating tuition increase)

I'm not from NY, but I've been there for school for 3 years and many of my friends live there. Sort of torn about that because would love to move out of NY but socially more comfortable here in NY.

Goals are probably clerkship and litigation, and I'm especially intrigued by appelate litigation, but I don't really know very much about them. I don't want to live in NY long term.

Financing via some savings, 2L SA, and loans. Probably 40k overall will be not from loans.

LSAT 176, GPA 4.0

Thanks for your insight!
Last edited by McMooch on Mon May 01, 2017 10:57 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Rigo
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby Rigo » Fri Apr 28, 2017 7:28 pm

Sounds like you are just gonna go for Biglaw so I'd take the Columbia money.
Did you not have lower t13 full rides or more significant money? Your stats are great.

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ILoveYou
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby ILoveYou » Fri Apr 28, 2017 7:37 pm

I'm going to agree with the previous poster. Of those options, if you just want biglaw, save the money and go to Columbia.

But you should definitely have some serious money at lower t13s if you applied broadly, and I'd encourage you to strongly consider those if your goals are just general biglaw.

lakers180
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby lakers180 » Fri Apr 28, 2017 7:40 pm

did you apply late? are you k-jd? if either you might want to consider waiting a year

quigleyest
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby quigleyest » Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:26 pm

Anecdotal but I know a Hamilton fellow with those stats (full tuition at Columbia)

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rpupkin
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby rpupkin » Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:51 pm

McMooch wrote:LSAT 176, GPA 4.0

An applicant with those stats should be able to do better than $75K from CLS. Don't you have a full ride somewhere else? Given how generic your goals are, I think the right answer for you is whatever T13 school gives you a full ride.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby jbagelboy » Sat Apr 29, 2017 2:59 pm

I agree you should be doing better than $75k at CLS. Between these two at current costs I'd say its a tossup, leaning Columbia.

McMooch
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby McMooch » Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:04 pm

OP here.

Not exactly k-jd but don't have any work experience before applying, just other schooling.

I am just as surprised at my weak cycle. I was wait-listed at UVA, Michigan, Penn, Georgetown, NYU, and Stanford. I was even originally held at Columbia too. Accepted at Northwestern and Berkeley with 0 scholarship. So disappointed. But my undergrad is ranked in the 160s so that​may have been a factor. I don't think waiting another year is really gonna improve my chances and I'll just be what if-ing the whole time.

I would really like to enjoy my job (even as a lawyer), and I'm not sure that I'm gonna stick with firm life for my whole career. Is the bump that Harvard supposedly offers worthwhile for the added debt, or is that just fanciful fiction?

Considering that poll results on Butler vs. Harvard are usually even, why is Columbia ahead?

Thanks so much for your collective insight!

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guynourmin
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby guynourmin » Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:17 pm

McMooch wrote:But my undergrad is ranked in the 160s so that​may have been a factor. I don't think waiting another year is really gonna improve my chances


Strength of undergrad doesn't matter. Look at this class of Rubys, it's about half/half elite UGs.

Waiting another year should improve your outcomes - your stats should put you among the top 50 applicants in any given year (tbh, this is just a guess, but there are only 258 176+ applicants this year and you don't get much higher than a 4.0, so I'm pretty confident). I'm not saying that guarantees you a Yale acceptance or a Ruby or anything, really, but it should get you at least 120k from a mid t14. That seems like worst case scenario. Would you take Michigan or Duke for $50k in less debt if that was an option? If so, consider waiting. And you could come out much better than that, even, but if that is an improvement in your eyes, then reapplying makes sense to me.

McMooch
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby McMooch » Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:28 pm

guybourdin wrote:
McMooch wrote:But my undergrad is ranked in the 160s so that​may have been a factor. I don't think waiting another year is really gonna improve my chances


Strength of undergrad doesn't matter. Look at this class of Rubys, it's about half/half elite UGs.

Waiting another year should improve your outcomes - your stats should put you among the top 50 applicants in any given year (tbh, this is just a guess, but there are only 258 176+ applicants this year and you don't get much higher than a 4.0, so I'm pretty confident). I'm not saying that guarantees you a Yale acceptance or a Ruby or anything, really, but it should get you at least 120k from a mid t14. That seems like worst case scenario. Would you take Michigan or Duke for $50k in less debt if that was an option? If so, consider waiting. And you could come out much better than that, even, but if that is an improvement in your eyes, then reapplying makes sense to me.


What does waiting do? Another roll of the dice?

lawlorbust
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby lawlorbust » Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:38 pm

guybourdin wrote:
McMooch wrote:But my undergrad is ranked in the 160s so that​may have been a factor. I don't think waiting another year is really gonna improve my chances


Strength of undergrad doesn't matter. Look at this class of Rubys, it's about half/half elite UGs.

Waiting another year should improve your outcomes - your stats should put you among the top 50 applicants in any given year (tbh, this is just a guess, but there are only 258 176+ applicants this year and you don't get much higher than a 4.0, so I'm pretty confident). I'm not saying that guarantees you a Yale acceptance or a Ruby or anything, really, but it should get you at least 120k from a mid t14. That seems like worst case scenario. Would you take Michigan or Duke for $50k in less debt if that was an option? If so, consider waiting. And you could come out much better than that, even, but if that is an improvement in your eyes, then reapplying makes sense to me.


I'm not sure how Rubys are given out, but OP is not getting into Yale unless he spends a year getting a MSc in Basket Weaving or something from Oxford.

Rest of the advice, is, IDK, terrible? Pretty sure the pay differential between 180K first-year biglaw and the entry jobs available out of OP's TTT UG >> $50k. Am I missing anything?

(Assuming a JD from Michigan / Duke is worth a JD from Columbia. Maybe it is, the CLS posters can chime in.)

ambrajdurbra131313
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby ambrajdurbra131313 » Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:41 pm

Super weird cycle bro- I would reapply cuz thats a ton of money. I don't even think its a role of the dice with your, but, if you didn't apply late, then idk but I would think something is off... Anyways, I would just apply the day apps open, write every "Why "x school" possible to mitigate YP, and be sure that your PS/letters are solid.

This is all assuming you aren't a ride or die Harvard kid, which it doesn't seem like you are.

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UVA2B
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby UVA2B » Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:50 pm

Yeah, you need to reapply, because these results make no sense. You can apply day one apps open, after spending months perfecting the rest of your app (plenty around here will help in critiquing the rest of your app), and you should expect way better results.

If you want a second look, feel free to PM me and I'd happily look over the rest of your materials. You shouldn't be paying tuition for a T13 if you do your app right.

McMooch
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby McMooch » Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:58 pm

OP here, I don't think the opportunity cost is worth reapplying. Also parents aren't on board for that.

Maybe you can speak to the two options that I offered, because to me those are what I'm looking at.

I think there was massive yield protect going on this year with my application, and I applied in November. Truly maddening but such is life.

McMooch
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby McMooch » Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:00 pm

Can anyone who voted Harvard explain why? Besides the usual "Of course, it's Harvard!" I am also into lay prestige but trying to turn on some higher level decision making and turn off the vanity. :lol:

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Rigo
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby Rigo » Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:01 pm

Any way you can get more money from Columbia? Have you negotiated at all?

McMooch
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby McMooch » Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:03 pm

Rigo wrote:Any way you can get more money from Columbia? Have you negotiated at all?


Yeah, tried twice. I was just admitted off the hold list last week, so hasn't been much time. But because they have a paucity of funding and ever so many causes, they are unable to increase it.

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UVA2B
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby UVA2B » Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:03 pm

McMooch wrote:OP here, I don't think the opportunity cost is worth reapplying. Also parents aren't on board for that.

Maybe you can speak to the two options that I offered, because to me those are what I'm looking at.

I think there was massive yield protect going on this year with my application, and I applied in November. Truly maddening but such is life.


What opportunity cost? Let's say, for instance, you pay $140k for Columbia this year (which I think is the better option here, but don't think it's your best option). Now you consider reapplying while perfecting your apps, and you end up with a Mordecai (which is absolutely achievable), and your COA ends up being $60k (since you seem to have savings and other ways to defray COL making this pretty conservative). Now you're looking at a difference of $80k. Even under the most conservative estimates of present value combined with your income coming a year early, it's the safest investment.

McMooch
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby McMooch » Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:07 pm

UVA2B wrote:
McMooch wrote:OP here, I don't think the opportunity cost is worth reapplying. Also parents aren't on board for that.

Maybe you can speak to the two options that I offered, because to me those are what I'm looking at.

I think there was massive yield protect going on this year with my application, and I applied in November. Truly maddening but such is life.


What opportunity cost? Let's say, for instance, you pay $140k for Columbia this year (which I think is the better option here, but don't think it's your best option). Now you consider reapplying while perfecting your apps, and you end up with a Mordecai (which is absolutely achievable), and your COA ends up being $60k (since you seem to have savings and other ways to defray COL making this pretty conservative). Now you're looking at a difference of $80k. Even under the most conservative estimates of present value combined with your income coming a year early, it's the safest investment.


Thanks for putting thought into this. I really would like to proceed with the assumption that I'm attending next year. But your points are well taken.

ambrajdurbra131313
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby ambrajdurbra131313 » Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:14 pm

McMooch wrote:OP here, I don't think the opportunity cost is worth reapplying. Also parents aren't on board for that.

Maybe you can speak to the two options that I offered, because to me those are what I'm looking at.

I think there was massive yield protect going on this year with my application, and I applied in November. Truly maddening but such is life.


I mean if you're super cool with debt then I guess I'd say screw it and go to Harvard- if it were me I would sit out and try to get big money so I could graduate debt free, which seems possible given your op

McMooch
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby McMooch » Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:21 pm

Rigo wrote:Any way you can get more money from Columbia? Have you negotiated at all?


Can you elaborate more on your view. I always enjoy your comments on these threads.

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Nebby
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby Nebby » Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:38 pm

McMooch wrote:
Considering that poll results on Butler vs. Harvard are usually even, why is Columbia ahead?

Because it's 0Ls who don't know shit skewing the polls

McMooch
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby McMooch » Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:47 pm

ambrajdurbra131313 wrote:
McMooch wrote:OP here, I don't think the opportunity cost is worth reapplying. Also parents aren't on board for that.

Maybe you can speak to the two options that I offered, because to me those are what I'm looking at.

I think there was massive yield protect going on this year with my application, and I applied in November. Truly maddening but such is life.


I mean if you're super cool with debt then I guess I'd say screw it and go to Harvard- if it were me I would sit out and try to get big money so I could graduate debt free, which seems possible given your op


I'm not super cool with debt. But it's not something that scares me away and I don't know how the 60k will make a difference.

McMooch
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby McMooch » Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:52 pm

Nebby wrote:
McMooch wrote:
Considering that poll results on Butler vs. Harvard are usually even, why is Columbia ahead?

Because it's 0Ls who don't know shit skewing the polls


As a 0L, I refuse to comment on these threads. It's like making an account on Top Accountant and comparing tax programs.

Can anybody explain Harvard?

Npret
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby Npret » Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:04 pm

McMooch wrote:OP here.

Not exactly k-jd but don't have any work experience before applying, just other schooling.

I am just as surprised at my weak cycle. I was wait-listed at UVA, Michigan, Penn, Georgetown, NYU, and Stanford. I was even originally held at Columbia too. Accepted at Northwestern and Berkeley with 0 scholarship. So disappointed. But my undergrad is ranked in the 160s so that​may have been a factor. I don't think waiting another year is really gonna improve my chances and I'll just be what if-ing the whole time.

I would really like to enjoy my job (even as a lawyer), and I'm not sure that I'm gonna stick with firm life for my whole career. Is the bump that Harvard supposedly offers worthwhile for the added debt, or is that just fanciful fiction?

Considering that poll results on Butler vs. Harvard are usually even, why is Columbia ahead?

Thanks so much for your collective insight!

1. Maybe consider having an expert look at your app or asking Spivey what he thinks of this schedule.

2. Columbia is ahead probably because you want biglaw and it's cheaper. I've never understood why Harvard does better than it should in these pools other than 0Ls thinking it's the Holy Grail of guaranteed status and wealth.




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