IIT Chicago-Kent (full ride) vs. Columbia?

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Taranteyja
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IIT Chicago-Kent (full ride) vs. Columbia?

Postby Taranteyja » Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:10 pm

To many of you, this may seem like a no-brainer...but hear me out:

* I plan on doing public interest law, so I won't be making big money after law school.
* I'm from Chicago, and want(ed?) to return to study and practice law there in the future.
* Kent is still top 100, and is actually ranked as #4 most under ranked school in the US (whatever that means)
* Living in NY is sooooo expensive, probably plunging me further into debt.

I'm not sure what kind of PI law I want to do and I haven't received my financial aid offer from Columbia yet, so I don't have all the necessary information to make a decision. But Columbia seems to have the most generous LRAP program I've found: full LRAP loan forgiveness after 5 years of PI work!

I'm painfully indecisive, so what do you guys think?

un3r3stimat3d
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Re: IIT Chicago-Kent (full ride) vs. Columbia?

Postby un3r3stimat3d » Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:20 pm

Yeah Columbia is a no brainer dude. You said it yourself: LRAP. PI jobs are so much better coming out of Columbia than a regional school. If you're really committed to the public interest, you'll be fine with LRAP. If the money bug bites you, you'll have no problem securing a high paying job. You can also do a summer at a Law Firm if you really want to help pay back some of your loans even if you don't even want to work there full time, though I'm not sure how this affects LRAP, if at all. From Kent, I doubt you'd get a big law summer job unless you're in the top 10 percent or so, which is far from guaranteed.

00TREX00
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Re: IIT Chicago-Kent (full ride) vs. Columbia?

Postby 00TREX00 » Wed Apr 16, 2008 9:38 pm

Those are your only two options?

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gedmem2
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Re: IIT Chicago-Kent (full ride) vs. Columbia?

Postby gedmem2 » Wed Apr 16, 2008 9:42 pm

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Last edited by gedmem2 on Tue Apr 22, 2008 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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SteelersandGators
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Re: IIT Chicago-Kent (full ride) vs. Columbia?

Postby SteelersandGators » Wed Apr 16, 2008 9:54 pm

00TREX00 wrote:Those are your only two options?


TITCQ

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Corsair
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Re: IIT Chicago-Kent (full ride) vs. Columbia?

Postby Corsair » Thu Apr 17, 2008 12:56 am

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Taranteyja
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Re: IIT Chicago-Kent (full ride) vs. Columbia?

Postby Taranteyja » Thu Apr 17, 2008 2:11 am

"On hold" at Northwestern
and haven't heard back from U of C (or 2 other schools for that matter)

withdrew from other options, so at this point I can realistically narrow it down to Columbia and Kent.

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Katkins
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Re: IIT Chicago-Kent (full ride) vs. Columbia?

Postby Katkins » Thu Apr 17, 2008 5:05 am

Um, choose Columbia, for the love of God. Seriously. Talk to some Kent students and ask what they would do in your situation. Ask how their job search is going, and know that every Columbia grad who wants one gets a great job. Columbia has a fine LRAP program that will help you pay back your loans if you want to do public interest. (Plenty of people here want to, and they're not all on scholarships.) I don't think NY is significantly more expensive than NY--Columbia housing is subsidized, and I think it actually ends up being cheaper than comparable apartments in Chi, though this is semi-speculative. The prospect of $160k in loans seems daunting at first, but it's an investment in your career. I think entering law students worry way more about their loans than lawyers in the real world ever do, especially grads of top schools. You only get your JD once, and that name is going to follow you for the rest of your life, not to mention the connections you'll build with people at law school and the opportunities you'll have. Choose. Columbia.

nellie06
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Re: IIT Chicago-Kent (full ride) vs. Columbia?

Postby nellie06 » Thu Apr 17, 2008 8:50 am

Why would you withdraw from other options? You never do that especially since I'm sure this wouldn't be a discussion unless kent offered you a huge scholarship. Why didn't you hit up a lot of t-14s...you couldve gotten good money from lower ones.

a couple points. 1. Don't disrepect pi by thinking its any less competitive than biglaw. Getting a govt job right out of law school can be more difficult than biglaw, because there are far less openings.

To give an example, though not directly law related, my friend is doing organizing akin to what barak did.most kids went to top schools, and the job doesn't pay great, but the prestige and connections are priceless. 2000 applied, 30 or fewer were accepted, and he was one of 4 who made the final cut. That is what you can expect if you want top level pi work. So cls would give you a huge leg up on the competition.

Tons of yales and nyu grads as well do pi, and a decent amt of grads of other t-14s do to and they get first dibs. I mean, scotus judges barely make more than v10 associates, and yet you haven't seen a judge appointed to the position who didn't attend a top 5 law school in our lifetime lol, so not everything is about $.

Plus most pi lawyers end up leaving to make more $, very few are career pi lawyers, unless you're already loaded. And as much as you may want to do pi now, law school is three years so don't make assumptions about what your true ambitions are. A ridiculous percentage of students target pi as the reason for law school, yet most who have the shot go to biglaw. Keep that in mind!

Taranteyja
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Re: IIT Chicago-Kent (full ride) vs. Columbia?

Postby Taranteyja » Thu Apr 17, 2008 9:35 am

Point taken....thank you for helping me see the light!

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Corsair
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Re: IIT Chicago-Kent (full ride) vs. Columbia?

Postby Corsair » Thu Apr 17, 2008 1:53 pm

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Fourttier
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Re: IIT Chicago-Kent (full ride) vs. Columbia?

Postby Fourttier » Thu Apr 17, 2008 2:03 pm

My experience is that 1L's talk about doing public interest work but the same people will say that they are in it for the money when they are 3L's and would take the highest paying job offered. It's a tough decision. Big debt vs. much lower ranked school. Kent would be the safer choice, but Columbia will open doors for you. Do you want to gamble with a big debt by going to Columbia or not?

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Katkins
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Re: IIT Chicago-Kent (full ride) vs. Columbia?

Postby Katkins » Thu Apr 17, 2008 2:13 pm

More like, do you want to gamble on being employable or not?

Fourttier
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Re: IIT Chicago-Kent (full ride) vs. Columbia?

Postby Fourttier » Thu Apr 17, 2008 2:35 pm

Katkins wrote:More like, do you want to gamble on being employable or not?


At Kent, you must do very well in class ranking in order to make the gamble work. Good point.

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Ken
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Re: IIT Chicago-Kent (full ride) vs. Columbia?

Postby Ken » Thu Apr 17, 2008 2:48 pm

Columbia! The gap in quality is too great to consider otherwise. Best,

Ken

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JSASS
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Re: IIT Chicago-Kent (full ride) vs. Columbia?

Postby JSASS » Thu Apr 17, 2008 3:57 pm

Maybe I'm crazy, but I definitely see the argument for Kent.

1st, he says he wants to practice in Chi-town. Kent's not a bad school. their grads get jobs. Especially in/around Chicago/Milwuakee.

2nd, and most importantly, he's got a full ride to Kent!

Columbia debt can easily get to $200K!!! Think about that. The mortgage on my house is 160K, and I and my wife pay $1400 a month for it, for 30 years at a better interest rate than his student loans will be.

I think debt is an underrated factor on this forum in general

AVSexton
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Re: IIT Chicago-Kent (full ride) vs. Columbia?

Postby AVSexton » Thu Apr 17, 2008 4:14 pm

JSASS wrote:Maybe I'm crazy, but I definitely see the argument for Kent.

1st, he says he wants to practice in Chi-town. Kent's not a bad school. their grads get jobs. Especially in/around Chicago/Milwuakee.

2nd, and most importantly, he's got a full ride to Kent!

Columbia debt can easily get to $200K!!! Think about that. The mortgage on my house is 160K, and I and my wife pay $1400 a month for it, for 30 years at a better interest rate than his student loans will be.

I think debt is an underrated factor on this forum general


If this person is 100% sure they have no desire for Biglaw, then yes, Kent ***might*** be a reasonable decision for practicing in Chicago. However, think about all of the schools that Kent competes against for the Chicago market:

The entire T14, including 2 T14s in Chicago itself.
Every T1 midwestern state school (Wisconsin, Iowa, WUSTL, UIUC, MN to a lesser extent since they largely self-select to stay in MN)
Every T2 school in the area.

Can Kent students get 'jobs' in Chicago? Yes. On average, are they the particularly good jobs? No.

As for Kent placement in the Milwaukee area, they are going to be playing a DISTANT third fiddle to Madison and Marquette grads. There are some Kent alums as partners in Milwaukee firms, yes, but they are all Law Review/Top of Class type applicants.

When you state that Columbia debt can get to 200k, you're talking about tuition and COL. Kent students have COL issues to deal with too. You're saving 120k on tuition, perhaps 30k in COL (an extra 10k per year to live in NYC instead of Chicago strikes me as a stretch), but even this lands you at Columbia costing 150k more than Kent.

Columbia's LRAP takes care of the rest of the cost difference, not to mention the quality of PI work that a Columbia degree is going to give you.

Picking a mid T1 at full cost over a T2 with a full scholarship probably doesn't make sense in many situations. Picking Columbia over the T2 does.

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Corsair
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Re: IIT Chicago-Kent (full ride) vs. Columbia?

Postby Corsair » Thu Apr 17, 2008 4:48 pm

..

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JSASS
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Re: IIT Chicago-Kent (full ride) vs. Columbia?

Postby JSASS » Thu Apr 17, 2008 5:21 pm

Picking a mid T1 at full cost over a T2 with a full scholarship probably doesn't make sense in many situations. Picking Columbia over the T2 does.


the more I think about it, getting an acceptance to Columbia is a can't miss once in a lifetime thing. go for it. find a PI job that'll do some loan forgiveness

Taranteyja
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Re: IIT Chicago-Kent (full ride) vs. Columbia?

Postby Taranteyja » Thu Apr 17, 2008 7:51 pm

Thanks again. 2 comments/questions

1) I'm a female.... ("she" please)

2) I sent NU a LOCI as soon as I got put on hold, which happened *before* I received my Columbia acceptance letter. And, yes, I would go to NU over Columbia because I'd save loads! So, my question is: Should I write another update-type LOCI to NU informing them of my Columbia acceptance? Or should I just wait and see?

I've decided its definitely Columbia over Kent (thanks in large part to LRAP). But if NU accepts me, NU over Columbia, so any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you!

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Corsair
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Re: IIT Chicago-Kent (full ride) vs. Columbia?

Postby Corsair » Thu Apr 17, 2008 9:07 pm

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Fourttier
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Re: IIT Chicago-Kent (full ride) vs. Columbia?

Postby Fourttier » Thu Apr 17, 2008 9:46 pm

Absolutely update with NW right now. Tell them you are admitted at Columbia and say you are very interested in staying in Chicago. Tell them about your full ride at Kent and ask if NW would offer any money in a polite way. NW acceptance with some money would be much better that Columbia with no money. It pays to ask. All they can say is no.

jen4463
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Re: IIT Chicago-Kent (full ride) vs. Columbia?

Postby jen4463 » Thu Apr 17, 2008 10:12 pm

I was actually in a very similar situation... I got into Chicago Kents Honors Scholars Program (which is a full ride) as well as a few T14 schools with little money. I'm three years out of school at this point and know for sure that I want to do public service and not big law. Ultimately, I decided that Kent was the right choice (though I later got a full ride to WUSTL so I took that instead)... What I will say is, of all the top schools I visited, I was extemely impressed with Kent's programs - their legal writing department is excellent and their moot court and trial advocacy teams both won awards this year. Also, the effort that the professors and even the dean of the law school put into making us feel wanted as the finalists weekend for the scholarship blew me away. I don't live in Chicago nor do I want to end up there, but if I were in your shoes, Id take Chicago Kent (unless of course you get into Northwestern or U of C)... And, calling those two and telling them your situation wouldnt hurt either

Taranteyja
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Re: IIT Chicago-Kent (full ride) vs. Columbia?

Postby Taranteyja » Fri Apr 18, 2008 5:44 am

Ok, updated LOCI has been written.
Would anyone mind looking it over, please? :D
It's really short (I figure they have enough paperwork to go through...)

Taranteyja
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Re: IIT Chicago-Kent (full ride) vs. Columbia?

Postby Taranteyja » Fri Apr 18, 2008 5:45 am

btw, wasn't sure about how to tactfully ask for money when they haven't even admitted me yet, so I left that part out of the new LOCI....




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