Na_Swatch wrote:generals10 wrote:Bumping this after attending HLS and CLS admitted student programs (sorry for doing so on two threads, but this is a more appropriate forum than the other thread).
I basically left CLS thinking I was 90% going there, and was equally certain at one point during the Harvard ASW that I was going to Harvard. I'm not one of the "easy call" people, at least I don't think: my ideal career path is, I think, federal clerkship-->big firm litigation for 2-3 years-->federal government (DOJ or Department of Education) OR boutique lit. It seems like for the big firm part, CLS is almost on par, but Harvard does present an advantage for clerkships and government.
A line of thinking I can't get away from is this: If there were no money involved, I would go to Harvard without question. If I had gotten a Butler at Columbia, I probably would've paused for a second, but still would have gone to Harvard without stressing too much. So my decision is basically made tough by the extra $75K. This is a lot of money, don't get me wrong, and I am sure that if I go to HLS I will wonder more than once what it would be like to not be buried in debt. But I'm not worried about actually being able to pay off loans in ten years, and I am in better financial shape going into law school than many (no UG debt due to scholarship, grateful parents who will cover most living expenses).
I liked CLS, but at times I was borderline intoxicated by Harvard. Part of me is worried that however rational it may be to take the Hamilton--I fully realize that there's a very good chance the marginal advantages of Harvard will never actually affect me--I will always regret not going to Harvard. I think that I might rather deal with the pain of ten years of loans I didn't really have to take on than risk wondering if I missed out on some small but important advantage.
Anyone else with updated thoughts, or just a fresh take?
I guess you'll have to wait till Harvard's grant amounts come out before you can make a decision either way. The interesting thing is has anyone made an actual cost estimate b/w Harvard and Columbia?
With Columbia's COL estimates about $7000~$10000 more per year than Harvard, and estimating the Hamilton at $140,000, you're looking at about a $119,000 to $110,000 difference between the two, barring grants. However with the addition of say $10,000 a year grant from Harvard, the difference drops down to $90,000~$80,000.
For me, if the difference is closer to the actual $140,000 (say $125,000+) I would lean towards taking the Hamilton. However, if a true cost difference over the three years comes out closer to <$100,000 (say 80k or 90k) then I'd probably lean towards Harvard.
I don't think the COL is anywhere near that disparate. I think about $2000 is more accurate--Cambridge rent is extremely expensive. Using the total cost estimates for this year from the HLS and CLS websites, and multiplying that by three (which obviously doesn't take inflation into account) would yield $203,700 for three years of Harvard and $59,400 for Columbia. Of course, that's not taking grants, savings and such into account.