Harvard (WL) vs. UChi (WL) vs. Mich ($)

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half moon
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Harvard (WL) vs. UChi (WL) vs. Mich ($)

Postby half moon » Mon May 08, 2017 10:13 am

I'm currently in and have deposited at Michigan, and am on waitlists at both Harvard and Chicago.

My main question here is about career prospects. I'm having trouble figuring out whether there are meaningful differences in career outcomes between these schools, or if I'm just staying on the waitlist because I've fallen into the trap of prestige whoring, especially regarding Harvard.

Debt at Repayment: Mich ($215k), UChi (sticker), Harvard (not sure. probably sticker for the first year, might be eligible for some aid after that bc I'll be old enough that my parents assets won't factor in). Financing with loans. They're all expensive, but I'm hoping to use a combination of PAYE/LRAP/PSLF to limit my payments.

Career goals: PI/Gov - I'm primarily interested in environmental law, preferably working for a major national nonprofit (NRDC, EarthJustice, etc.), federal or state government. My long term goal would be to work in a nationwide organization, but I'd be ok starting somewhere smaller and working my way up. I'm also open to other types of PI/Gov work, but am not interested in big law.

LSAT/GPA: 172/3.2.

Other considerations:
My spouse is starting a career in medicine with high pay, but also high loans. Her salary will be enough to handle her loans, so I'm primarily thinking of it in terms of how it'll affect my LRAP at various schools.

With my GPA, I'm honestly shocked to have even been waitlisted at Harvard and Chicago. But I also feel like it limits my chances of getting in off the waitlist, so I'm torn between spending a summer worrying about it and delaying plans for what is probably a minimal chance vs. the feeling that I should hang because you never know what might happen.

My contract for student housing at Michigan is due on the 15th. If I go to Mich, I'd like to live in their housing for the convenience of it. But if I sign the contract and back out, I risk being stuck with paying 65% of the lease if they can't find anyone to take the spot. I know I could get off-campus housing at Michigan, and that's what I would plan to do if I decide to stay on the waitlist. But that looming deadline is one of the things driving me to consider now whether its worth staying on the waitlists.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Harvard (WL) vs. UChi (WL) vs. Mich ($)

Postby jbagelboy » Mon May 08, 2017 10:39 am

If you got into Harvard or Chicago, it would be worthwhile over Michigan if your COA is still $215k. However, with a 3.2 GPA, it's sort of a moonshot (no offense).

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jjcorvino
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Re: Harvard (WL) vs. UChi (WL) vs. Mich ($)

Postby jjcorvino » Mon May 08, 2017 11:16 am

jbagelboy wrote:If you got into Harvard or Chicago, it would be worthwhile over Michigan if your COA is still $215k. However, with a 3.2 GPA, it's sort of a moonshot (no offense).


Agreed on this. If you get in definitely take H, however I don't think it is likely. Either way good luck!

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half moon
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Re: Harvard (WL) vs. UChi (WL) vs. Mich ($)

Postby half moon » Mon May 08, 2017 11:17 am

jbagelboy wrote:If you got into Harvard or Chicago, it would be worthwhile over Michigan if your COA is still $215k. However, with a 3.2 GPA, it's sort of a moonshot (no offense).

Thanks, and no offense taken. I knew with my GPA it was a super long shot when I applied, so I'm shocked to have even been waitlisted! :D

Out of curiosity, do you say this because there are jobs available to Harvard or Chicago grads that a Michigan grad would be completely shut out of? Or is it more about margin for error, where a median Harvard grad may be competitive for certain positions that you'd have to be top 1/3 or top 1/4 at Michigan to have a good chance at?

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jbagelboy
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Re: Harvard (WL) vs. UChi (WL) vs. Mich ($)

Postby jbagelboy » Mon May 08, 2017 11:25 am

half moon wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:If you got into Harvard or Chicago, it would be worthwhile over Michigan if your COA is still $215k. However, with a 3.2 GPA, it's sort of a moonshot (no offense).

Thanks, and no offense taken. I knew with my GPA it was a super long shot when I applied, so I'm shocked to have even been waitlisted! :D

Out of curiosity, do you say this because there are jobs available to Harvard or Chicago grads that a Michigan grad would be completely shut out of? Or is it more about margin for error, where a median Harvard grad may be competitive for certain positions that you'd have to be top 1/3 or top 1/4 at Michigan to have a good chance at?


there are no jobs that grads from one top school are "shut out of" that are available at another school. However, there are jobs that are substantially easier to attain from HLS or UChicago than from Michigan, meaning, as you suggest, that you might have to be top 1/4 at Michigan for a particular firm that would hire down to median at those other two schools (or a judge that would hire top 1/4 from HLS or Chicago that would look for top 10% at Michigan, ect.)

Exactly how stark those divisions run is difficult to predict and changes based on the employer. Generally the gaps between T6 and lower T13 are noticeable enough that the T6 is the superior value proposition where the debt difference is marginal. If Michigan was much cheaper than Harvard and Chicago, then it would be the better choice, but your current COA at Michigan is already really high.

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Rigo
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Re: Harvard (WL) vs. UChi (WL) vs. Mich ($)

Postby Rigo » Mon May 08, 2017 12:18 pm

I'd probably jump to either if you get them, especially Harvard (for the LIPP).




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