Michigan ($150k) vs. Texas (full-ride)

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philiptouch

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Michigan ($150k) vs. Texas (full-ride)

Postby philiptouch » Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:38 pm

Dear TLS members,

I would really appreciate some outside perspectives. I am considering between Michigan ($150k) and Texas (full-ride) at this point, and the difference of COA between the two is about $50k in favor of Texas.

Michigan: $150k; COA at 118k
Texas: full ride; COA at $70k

My numbers: LSAT: 171 (took twice), UGPA: 3.93

I am pursuing PI after law school, so the amount of debt at the end of law school is one of the most important factors for me. I am not necessarily intending to stay in Texas, where I lived the past 13 years, and actually would like to explore other states, though I wouldn't mind staying in Texas either. So Texas doesn't have an edge there, and Michigan actually may open more doors in PI down the road.

I visited Michigan for its Preview Weekend and quite liked the campus and the area, though severe winter there is definitely a concern. I went to high school in Austin, so I'm quite familiar with UT and the area too. So in terms of geography, I like both AA and Austin about the same.

So my question comes down to: Is $50k worth choosing Texas over Michigan?

(I also got in at Penn, Cornell, NYU, Duke, and Georgetown, but either no money yet or less than Michigan offer)

I'd really appreciate any feedback on it.

d373

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Re: Michigan ($150k) vs. Texas (full-ride)

Postby d373 » Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:42 pm

philiptouch wrote:Dear TLS members,

I would really appreciate some outside perspectives. I am considering between Michigan ($150k) and Texas (full-ride) at this point, and the difference of COA between the two is about $50k in favor of Texas.

Michigan: $150k; COA at 118k
Texas: full ride; COA at $70k

My numbers: LSAT: 171 (took twice), UGPA: 3.93

I am pursuing PI after law school, so the amount of debt at the end of law school is one of the most important factors for me. I am not necessarily intending to stay in Texas, where I lived the past 13 years, and actually would like to explore other states, though I wouldn't mind staying in Texas either. So Texas doesn't have an edge there, and Michigan actually may open more doors in PI down the road.

I visited Michigan for its Preview Weekend and quite liked the campus and the area, though severe winter there is definitely a concern. I went to high school in Austin, so I'm quite familiar with UT and the area too. So in terms of geography, I like both AA and Austin about the same.

So my question comes down to: Is $50k worth choosing Texas over Michigan?

(I also got in at Penn, Cornell, NYU, Duke, and Georgetown, but either no money yet or less than Michigan offer)

I'd really appreciate any feedback on it.



I think this really comes down to whether you want to stay in Texas, both for the next three years and beyond. UT is a great law school and Austin is awesome but if you want to be anywhere else Michigan will open more doors and that COA is very very reasonable for a T10 school.

sparkytrainer

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Re: Michigan ($150k) vs. Texas (full-ride)

Postby sparkytrainer » Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:46 pm

I mean you should discuss your other options as well. UT isn't portable, so you are gonna be pretty tied to texas if you go to UT. It sounds like you dont want to be permanently tied to texas so I would say thats out and list the other options

beinghuman

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Re: Michigan ($150k) vs. Texas (full-ride)

Postby beinghuman » Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:26 pm

Michigan opens more doors than Texas so between these two options, I'd go with Michigan.
However, if the difference in scholarship money between Michigan and Penn and/or NYU is not that great, you might want to consider those too and try to negotiate.

philiptouch

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Re: Michigan ($150k) vs. Texas (full-ride)

Postby philiptouch » Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:10 am

Thank you very much for the replies. They are very helpful. My other options are as follows:

NYU: Submitted the application for the scholarship/financial aid offer (should hear back soon)
Penn: Nominated for a Dean's Scholarship (ranging from $90k to $120) and sumitted the essay (should hear back soon)
Cornell: $105k
Duke: $105k
Georgetown: No $$
Waitlist: Harvard, Virginia, Berkeley, and Chicago
Still waiting for decision from Stanford and Columbia

My follow up question would be: how much scholarship money from NYU would justify choosing NYU over Michigan? My guess is that since NYU COA is vastly higher than Michigan in general, and I am not keen on staying in NYC, it should match Michigan offer at the minimum (though that'd be unlikley). But considering NYU's strong PI program and PI alum base, I am not sure how I should factor that into calculation.

beinghuman

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Re: Michigan ($150k) vs. Texas (full-ride)

Postby beinghuman » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:58 pm

My personal opinion, if I were in your situation:

1- I would take Michigan over Duke and Georgetown.
2- I prefer Cornell to Michigan and I think they would probably match or exceed Michigan. This would make sense if you prefer Ithaca and want to work in NYC after.
3- For Penn, 30k to 60k might not be worth it unless you prefer to be in Philly over Ann Arbor. If it's 30k, I'd consider but if it's 60k, I would just go with Michigan.
4- For NYU, I think they'd need to give you at least 100-120k (but that might be unlikely). I would pay a little more for NYU personally but no more than 30k and keep in mind that your cost of living will be higher in New York.

So it all boils down to your preferred location and the debt level that are willing to tolerate. In all cases, you cannot go wrong here.


philiptouch wrote:Thank you very much for the replies. They are very helpful. My other options are as follows:

NYU: Submitted the application for the scholarship/financial aid offer (should hear back soon)
Penn: Nominated for a Dean's Scholarship (ranging from $90k to $120) and sumitted the essay (should hear back soon)
Cornell: $105k
Duke: $105k
Georgetown: No $$
Waitlist: Harvard, Virginia, Berkeley, and Chicago
Still waiting for decision from Stanford and Columbia

My follow up question would be: how much scholarship money from NYU would justify choosing NYU over Michigan? My guess is that since NYU COA is vastly higher than Michigan in general, and I am not keen on staying in NYC, it should match Michigan offer at the minimum (though that'd be unlikley). But considering NYU's strong PI program and PI alum base, I am not sure how I should factor that into calculation.

philiptouch

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Re: Michigan ($150k) vs. Texas (full-ride)

Postby philiptouch » Thu Apr 12, 2018 3:15 pm

beinghuman wrote:My personal opinion, if I were in your situation:

1- I would take Michigan over Duke and Georgetown.
2- I prefer Cornell to Michigan and I think they would probably match or exceed Michigan. This would make sense if you prefer Ithaca and want to work in NYC after.
3- For Penn, 30k to 60k might not be worth it unless you prefer to be in Philly over Ann Arbor. If it's 30k, I'd consider but if it's 60k, I would just go with Michigan.
4- For NYU, I think they'd need to give you at least 100-120k (but that might be unlikely). I would pay a little more for NYU personally but no more than 30k and keep in mind that your cost of living will be higher in New York.

So it all boils down to your preferred location and the debt level that are willing to tolerate. In all cases, you cannot go wrong here.


philiptouch wrote:Thank you very much for the replies. They are very helpful. My other options are as follows:

NYU: Submitted the application for the scholarship/financial aid offer (should hear back soon)
Penn: Nominated for a Dean's Scholarship (ranging from $90k to $120) and sumitted the essay (should hear back soon)
Cornell: $105k
Duke: $105k
Georgetown: No $$
Waitlist: Harvard, Virginia, Berkeley, and Chicago
Still waiting for decision from Stanford and Columbia

My follow up question would be: how much scholarship money from NYU would justify choosing NYU over Michigan? My guess is that since NYU COA is vastly higher than Michigan in general, and I am not keen on staying in NYC, it should match Michigan offer at the minimum (though that'd be unlikley). But considering NYU's strong PI program and PI alum base, I am not sure how I should factor that into calculation.


Thank you very much for your help! Just a few follow up:

1. As you said, Cornell has just raised its offer to match Michigan's $150k. My question would be, why do you prefer Cornell over Michigan? Would you say that may also apply to someone interested in PI in general? I've never visited Cornell yet but its idyllic surrounding has always been very attractive personally.

And yet I don't want to limit myslef to just NY area at the same time. Do you think Michigan may open more doors for PI work, at least geographically - if only because there are more alum spread out - than Cornell? What might be the advantage of going to Cornell over Michigan, other than the better prospect in biglaw and NY, and its pastoral campus? I haven't looked into Cornell's PI program in detail, but I probably should shortly.

2. Would you say there may be something to be said about NYU's PI program and reputation - e.g. better PI job prospect and alum network - compared to Michigan's or Cornell's that I should take into consideration in deciding how much more loan I might be willing to take out for NYU?

Again, much appreciation for your input!

beinghuman

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Re: Michigan ($150k) vs. Texas (full-ride)

Postby beinghuman » Thu Apr 12, 2018 3:58 pm

First, I want to say that the difference in the T4 - T13 schools will not be very substantial in terms of your career prospects.

I personally like Cornell better because I'm not from the midwest and I prefer east coast culture. So if I'm going to be stuck in a small city, I'd take Ithaca any day but that's just me. Plus Cornell university is overall more interesting that U Michigan (again IMO). I visited both schools two years ago and had a better gut feeling about Cornell but again that's subjective. Ideally, you should visit and find out for yourself.

Also, I didn't say that Cornell students are limited to NY but it definitely is easier for them to get and harder to get other places like Chicago for example. I think Cornell has a good PI program. Look at the differences in clerkship and PI scores between the 3 schools, I don't think it's that big and there's always a self-selection thing going on. From any of these schools, you have the opportunity to get the outcome that you want provided you put in the work.

NYU has a great/ better reputation for PI but again you could do similar work from Michigan and Cornell, so it depends on how much you're willing to pay for the PI reputation - in my opinion, the difference in marginal. NYU has the Furman public policy program and that would be an excellent PI career opportunity (plus full ride) but it doesn't seem that you have that. So in short, yes you can take the reputation and alum network into account but it wouldn't be worth 100k in my opinion. I think the maximum extra money I would pay for NYU would be 30-45k because keep in mind that living expenses and interest will be added to your bill. So debt adds up really quickly and that's something to keep in mind.

philiptouch

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Re: Michigan ($150k) vs. Texas (full-ride)

Postby philiptouch » Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:39 pm

I see. It all makes great sense. Thank you once again for your very helpful and relevant perspective and insight!

beinghuman wrote:First, I want to say that the difference in the T4 - T13 schools will not be very substantial in terms of your career prospects.

I personally like Cornell better because I'm not from the midwest and I prefer east coast culture. So if I'm going to be stuck in a small city, I'd take Ithaca any day but that's just me. Plus Cornell university is overall more interesting that U Michigan (again IMO). I visited both schools two years ago and had a better gut feeling about Cornell but again that's subjective. Ideally, you should visit and find out for yourself.

Also, I didn't say that Cornell students are limited to NY but it definitely is easier for them to get and harder to get other places like Chicago for example. I think Cornell has a good PI program. Look at the differences in clerkship and PI scores between the 3 schools, I don't think it's that big and there's always a self-selection thing going on. From any of these schools, you have the opportunity to get the outcome that you want provided you put in the work.

NYU has a great/ better reputation for PI but again you could do similar work from Michigan and Cornell, so it depends on how much you're willing to pay for the PI reputation - in my opinion, the difference in marginal. NYU has the Furman public policy program and that would be an excellent PI career opportunity (plus full ride) but it doesn't seem that you have that. So in short, yes you can take the reputation and alum network into account but it wouldn't be worth 100k in my opinion. I think the maximum extra money I would pay for NYU would be 30-45k because keep in mind that living expenses and interest will be added to your bill. So debt adds up really quickly and that's something to keep in mind.

hangingtree

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Re: Michigan ($150k) vs. Texas (full-ride)

Postby hangingtree » Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:36 am

philiptouch wrote: Thank you very much for your help! Just a few follow up:

1. As you said, Cornell has just raised its offer to match Michigan's $150k. My question would be, why do you prefer Cornell over Michigan? Would you say that may also apply to someone interested in PI in general? I've never visited Cornell yet but its idyllic surrounding has always been very attractive personally.

And yet I don't want to limit myslef to just NY area at the same time. Do you think Michigan may open more doors for PI work, at least geographically - if only because there are more alum spread out - than Cornell? What might be the advantage of going to Cornell over Michigan, other than the better prospect in biglaw and NY, and its pastoral campus? I haven't looked into Cornell's PI program in detail, but I probably should shortly.

2. Would you say there may be something to be said about NYU's PI program and reputation - e.g. better PI job prospect and alum network - compared to Michigan's or Cornell's that I should take into consideration in deciding how much more loan I might be willing to take out for NYU?

Again, much appreciation for your input!


Was facing a similar dilemma when I was choosing a school, so here's my two cents.

If you're interested in PI at all Cornell would have to be quite a bit cheaper than Michigan. So, in your situation, I'd probably need the stipend, which I assume they don't have/aren't giving you, so I would strike them out. I understand Michigan has a deep PI tradition and culture supporting PI, solid alumni base and the public policy/health/etc. schools will be stronger at Michigan than at Cornell, meaning course offerings will be better and you'd be in touch with some very talented folks in the other programs. Cornell is deeply focused on NYC biglaw, and it'd generally be harder to navigate to a PI career. (For what it's worth, I think Michigan's relatively poorer biglaw numbers is largely attributed to a supportive culture there of letting you find your own way. Anecdotal, but it seems from speaking to my friends from there that there was a bigger portion of the population that was never interested in biglaw and in the end never chose to pursue it.)

As for NYU, I'd pay $150K COA to attend vs. your $118K for Michigan if you're at all OK with living in NYC. At NYU, those soft factors mentioned above will be at least as strong as Michigan and being in NYC gives you access to a lot more opportunities than being in Ann Arbor will.

In the end, I chose paying a little more money for a school that made my career path slightly easier. I don't regret it. You only do law school one time, and if you can attend NYU while avoiding going more than $150K in the hole, that's probably what I would do.

beinghuman

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Re: Michigan ($150k) vs. Texas (full-ride)

Postby beinghuman » Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:45 pm

Your advice on Cornell is probably better than mine as I'm not a PI guy.
However, I would still say that NYU would def be worth it but not if the difference in cost is 50k+.

philiptouch

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Re: Michigan ($150k) vs. Texas (full-ride)

Postby philiptouch » Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:15 pm

hangingtree wrote:
Was facing a similar dilemma when I was choosing a school, so here's my two cents.

If you're interested in PI at all Cornell would have to be quite a bit cheaper than Michigan. So, in your situation, I'd probably need the stipend, which I assume they don't have/aren't giving you, so I would strike them out. I understand Michigan has a deep PI tradition and culture supporting PI, solid alumni base and the public policy/health/etc. schools will be stronger at Michigan than at Cornell, meaning course offerings will be better and you'd be in touch with some very talented folks in the other programs. Cornell is deeply focused on NYC biglaw, and it'd generally be harder to navigate to a PI career. (For what it's worth, I think Michigan's relatively poorer biglaw numbers is largely attributed to a supportive culture there of letting you find your own way. Anecdotal, but it seems from speaking to my friends from there that there was a bigger portion of the population that was never interested in biglaw and in the end never chose to pursue it.)

As for NYU, I'd pay $150K COA to attend vs. your $118K for Michigan if you're at all OK with living in NYC. At NYU, those soft factors mentioned above will be at least as strong as Michigan and being in NYC gives you access to a lot more opportunities than being in Ann Arbor will.

In the end, I chose paying a little more money for a school that made my career path slightly easier. I don't regret it. You only do law school one time, and if you can attend NYU while avoiding going more than $150K in the hole, that's probably what I would do.


Thank you so much for your awesome two cents. All of your points were spot on. Following the general consensus here and talking to others, it's now between Michigan vs. NYU, and I will take your advice on $150k or less COA for NYU or Michigan at $118k. I am visiting NYU next week for ASW and so will find out if I can enjoy living in NYC for three years or not. Thanks so much again! (If I may ask, are you still in law school? If not, what PI work are you doing or have done?)

philiptouch

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Re: Michigan ($150k) vs. Texas (full-ride)

Postby philiptouch » Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:20 pm

beinghuman wrote:Your advice on Cornell is probably better than mine as I'm not a PI guy.
However, I would still say that NYU would def be worth it but not if the difference in cost is 50k+.


I will keep in mind your point aboit the $50k or less difference between Michigan and NYU. Thanks!



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