BillClinton Jr wrote:I have to agree with fliptrip on this one: those numbers are just too high but if you "HAVE" to pick one, it's Michigan easy. I hate the constant "retake/reaaply" that you hear on TLS but this may be a time where I have to be that annoying voice.
Thanks for this, but unfortunately this was my "retake/reaaply" cycle. I've been around this block before. lol.
Alright, you came asking if you were making a mistake taking Michigan over UVA in your situation and the answer is no. A major issue with advice on TLS is that it has inherent limitations. Basically I/we can do one of two things:
1. Give you some information based on an objective analysis, so what I try to do with expected payoffs and net values, etc. I
2. How we feel about your choice. A close cousin of "what I would do in your situation."
So, when I say you're only getting $10k in value by going to Michigan and you counter by talking about how meaningful it will be for you to go to a school as good as Michigan or UVA, we are talking about different things. I, the internet rando, cannot put a value on that for you. Who am I to tell you how much intrinsic value this choice will have for you? If it's immense, then terrific and I wish you nothing but the best of luck. That doesn't make my objective analysis wrong, however.
I think it's helpful though to ask yourself how you would feel if you end up in the worst-case scenario. Missing out on biglaw is a real possibility at Michigan in a way that it's not at a place like Harvard or Columbia. If you miss, and end up in something else where you aren't making six figures and probably something in the $60-$70k range more likely, will you be okay with that? Depending on what exactly the job is, you may not qualify for Michigan's LRAP or PSLF forgiveness, so you could be stuck trying to service $212k in debt on a $60k salary. How in the world would you make a $2,400 monthly payment? You wouldn't. You'd re-am your loan to 25-years, but that's going to only cut your payment to $1,478, which is serviceable in the strictest sense but will leave you only $650/month to spend on housing. So, re-amming your loan isn't going to work. You'll have to go on IBR, which will drive your payment down to $527/month, but with no PSLF forgiveness, you'll have to do that for 25 years to have the balance forgiven. But at $527/month, your loan balance is actually growing over time. It's growing and compounding so much over time that by the time you get ready to have your loan forgiven, you'll owe $745,000. The tax nuclear bomb that will drop on you that day will be $253,000.
That's not me being shrill and telling you that no school is worth $160k or that I am literally ill every time I look at any bill that says I owe something. That's just realistic numbers and objective analysis. Keep in mind that the road to that worst case scenario begins with your 33% chance of not getting biglaw at Michigan.
So, how would you feel if ^^ happens? Would you be alright or would you not?