Columbia vs Berkeley vs NW

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

CLS vs Berkeley vs NW FIGHT

Columbia
3
8%
Berkeley
21
58%
NW
12
33%
 
Total votes: 36

stepney
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2016 6:02 am

Columbia vs Berkeley vs NW

Postby stepney » Sat Apr 29, 2017 6:51 am

Wa gwarn party people. Last day of deliberations for me before I just settle down to getting an astronomical loan and astronomically drunk, probably in that order.

The options before me (with estimated debt exposure over 3 years in brackets):

Columbia ($216,000)
Berkeley ($130,000)
Northwestern ($93,000)

Some concerns:
I'm a dirty foreigner, which means expensive private loans, and needing to get a work visa post-law school
I am susceptible to SAD
Not entirely certain on the exact sort of law I want to do as of yet, as i'm still a layperson, but am pretty set on being involved in tech law, and pretty set on giving BigLaw a shot for a bit.
I have lived in Berkeley before and while I like it it is a bit staid, and tanned, healthy, shiny toothed californians freak me out a bit because I am a dirty chainsmoking alcoholic scumbag. That being said, when I'm older I would like to move to Cali long term.
I have lived in NYC before and love it, but at this point at that price I've pretty much ruled Columbia out I think, unless someone comes up with a convincing reason its worth that sort of money.
Never been to Chicago and it looks cold.
My partner lives in Oakland, so it would be less student-y, which is good and bad, and cheaper to live, which is good.

I guess my main issue comes down to not knowing how much that 40 grand between NW and Berkeley means in the long run, as if you took all the money i've made in the last 5 years since leaving Uni and added it together, I don't think it would make 40,000. Its hard to know the differential impact that 40 grand would make, and whether I would actually enjoy NW more because I like proper cities. Anyway, if anyone's got any thoughts on the matter, much obliged.

EDIT: debt exposure is COA for 3 years, and I'm not retaking, you merciless motherfuckers
Last edited by stepney on Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

Npret
Posts: 1163
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:42 am

Re: Columbia vs Berkeley vs NW

Postby Npret » Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:00 am

What other options do you have other than law school? Any chance you can get a green card through marriage?
What is the interest rate on private loans? Do you make payments during school?

I don't understand much about how private loans work. But if you don't get a job for visa or other issues you won't have any protections.

Forgetting all of that go: to Northwestern unless your personal relationships will be destroyed by leaving California. If you will lose close personal relationships and you can't deal with dark and cold, stay in California

Also therapy lamps can help with SAD. You need to treat it because you can't afford to feel exhausted for months of the year.

stepney
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2016 6:02 am

Re: Columbia vs Berkeley vs NW

Postby stepney » Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:22 am

There is a possibility of green-card through marriage, but its not one that iI'm particularly interested in doing atm.
Interest rates on private loans for internationals tend to be around 3 - 9% variable rates, 4 -12% fixed, plus you need a co-signer (which I've got). You don't have to start paying before you finish school.
No other options other than law school, and tbh, I'm pretty happy with the options I have on the table so I'm not looking.

Npret
Posts: 1163
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:42 am

Re: Columbia vs Berkeley vs NW

Postby Npret » Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:37 am

stepney wrote:There is a possibility of green-card through marriage, but its not one that iI'm particularly interested in doing atm.
Interest rates on private loans for internationals tend to be around 3 - 9% variable rates, 4 -12% fixed, plus you need a co-signer (which I've got). You don't have to start paying before you finish school.
No other options other than law school, and tbh, I'm pretty happy with the options I have on the table so I'm not looking.

I know it's exceeding rude to ask about marriage but it's the only sure way to get to stay here and work.
This isn't an easy call. Like I said I would go to Northwestern but the $40,000 more for Berkeley isn't a deal breaker if you want to stay in California.

Did you negotiate with the schools?

Also, make a poll so people can vote. I feel unsure about my advice here!

stepney
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2016 6:02 am

Re: Columbia vs Berkeley vs NW

Postby stepney » Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:44 am

Npret wrote:
stepney wrote:Did you negotiate with the schools?

Also, make a poll so people can vote. I feel unsure about my advice here!


Good thinking batman, and yes, negotiated with the schools, and for Berkeley and Columbia thats my final offer. Still negotiating with NW. Only issue is Berkeley and Columbia want a decision on the 1st (Monday), and Berkeley have already extended my deadline like twice now so I don't think they would again.

Npret
Posts: 1163
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:42 am

Re: Columbia vs Berkeley vs NW

Postby Npret » Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:51 am

stepney wrote:
Npret wrote:
stepney wrote:Did you negotiate with the schools?

Also, make a poll so people can vote. I feel unsure about my advice here!


Good thinking batman, and yes, negotiated with the schools, and for Berkeley and Columbia thats my final offer. Still negotiating with NW. Only issue is Berkeley and Columbia want a decision on the 1st (Monday), and Berkeley have already extended my deadline like twice now so I don't think they would again.

You can figure this out by Monday.

arose928
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:05 am

Re: Columbia vs Berkeley vs NW

Postby arose928 » Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:48 pm

There are dirty chainsmoking alcoholic scumbags in the East Bay, if you're worried you'd be alone. Possibly more in Chicago (basically what the show Shameless is about), but that's because there's snow and shit on the ground 6 months out of the year. If you like proper cities though, then Chicago.

If you're going into BigLaw, maybe $40k doesn't make all that much of a difference. It's probably your first couple bonuses? (Idk how obscene bonuses are) If you're not, though, I know at least Berkeley's LRAP only covers fed loans so you'd be on your own for repayment, and $40k would make a big difference there. If you're aiming to repay in 10 years, that would be about an extra $300/month. Seems like an annoying amount to me but again if you're biglaw and making like, $13,000/month then perhaps its just a drop in the bucket.

User avatar
Rigo
Posts: 16017
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:19 pm

Re: Columbia vs Berkeley vs NW

Postby Rigo » Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:11 pm

I'd go Northwestern. Better chance at Biglaw and $40k cheaper (a not insignificant amount). You seem to really like NYC and targeting NYC during OCI should definitely land you something.
It's a decision on some level on what's best for your relationship though, and I get it if you choose Berkeley because of it.

You're making the right call not pursuing Columbia. Good luck with your choice!

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jbagelboy
Posts: 10180
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:57 pm

Re: Columbia vs Berkeley vs NW

Postby jbagelboy » Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:13 pm

I like berkeley here, esp considering your personal circumstances. That will inevitably lower costs compared to moving to Chicago. I do not value Berkeley $40k more than Northwestern in the abstract (query whether I value it anything more than NU), but with your interests and circumstances Cal makes sense, although we can't weigh the relationship dynamic/

I agree Columbia is too expensive right now. If you chopped it by another $40k it would enter the picture.

User avatar
rpupkin
Posts: 5636
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:32 pm

Re: Columbia vs Berkeley vs NW

Postby rpupkin » Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:25 pm

stepney wrote:I have lived in Berkeley before and while I like it it is a bit staid, and tanned, healthy, shiny toothed californians freak me out a bit because I am a dirty chainsmoking alcoholic scumbag.

This made me laugh. "Tanned, healthy, and shiny toothed" is not a description I would apply to most Berkeley residents. Are you sure you're not living in Southern California? :D

In all seriousness, you have a partner who lives in Oakland, you want to work in California in the long-term, and you don't seem to like the idea of living in Chicago. I really don't see how Berkeley isn't the right answer here. Even if you didn't have a SO and personal preferences to consider, Berkeley is probably worth $35K more than NU based on California job placement alone. Once you throw in your personal factors, the choice seems easy.




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