Southwestern, no scholly money, am I doomed?

Discuss various money matters here. Loans (federal and private), scholarships, lottery winnings, or other school finance related information and queries.
RedCharger
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Southwestern, no scholly money, am I doomed?

Postby RedCharger » Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:07 pm

I was accepted into Southwestern Law School and wasn't offered any scholarship money. My loan for the first year of school is totaling 75,000. Now, here we are a few days before class starts and I've been debating whether to continue with school or not. I've talked to a lot of friends and family members about whether this is financially viable or not and I've been getting very split decisions. Assuming I don't get any scholarship money for the rest of my time at Southwestern, it will be around 225,000 at the end of 3 years. With an average salary in the 50k-70k range if I am even able to find a job, it doesn't seem like this is even possible. Also at this point what are the ramifications of cancelling attending school? I'm also a bit older and feel if I don't go to law school now it doesn't make any sense for me to try in the coming years because I'll be in my mid 30's by the time I graduate.

Am I missing something? I feel like there has to be other people paying full sticker price for schools that aren't top tier? Is every single one of them just financially doomed?

elm84dr
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Re: Southwestern, no scholly money, am I doomed?

Postby elm84dr » Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:10 pm

RedCharger wrote:I was accepted into Southwestern Law School and wasn't offered any scholarship money. My loan for the first year of school is totaling 75,000. Now, here we are a few days before class starts and I've been debating whether to continue with school or not. I've talked to a lot of friends and family members about whether this is financially viable or not and I've been getting very split decisions. Assuming I don't get any scholarship money for the rest of my time at Southwestern, it will be around 225,000 at the end of 3 years. With an average salary in the 50k-70k range if I am even able to find a job, it doesn't seem like this is even possible. Also at this point what are the ramifications of cancelling attending school? I'm also a bit older and feel if I don't go to law school now it doesn't make any sense for me to try in the coming years because I'll be in my mid 30's by the time I graduate.

Am I missing something? I feel like there has to be other people paying full sticker price for schools that aren't top tier? Is every single one of them just financially doomed?


Retake or Don't Go. You should not go in 225K in debt for a school that will not give you ANY KIND of way to pay that back. DON'T DO IT.

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top30man
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Re: Southwestern, no scholly money, am I doomed?

Postby top30man » Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:12 pm

This is a great opportunity to stop now, before the school gets your loan money. Southwestern is an awful school with objectively poor job prospects. You should be able to cancel the loans (I know my school lets you withdraw up until classes start).

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goldeneye
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Re: Southwestern, no scholly money, am I doomed?

Postby goldeneye » Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:16 pm

RedCharger wrote:I was accepted into Southwestern Law School and wasn't offered any scholarship money. My loan for the first year of school is totaling 75,000. Now, here we are a few days before class starts and I've been debating whether to continue with school or not. I've talked to a lot of friends and family members about whether this is financially viable or not and I've been getting very split decisions. Assuming I don't get any scholarship money for the rest of my time at Southwestern, it will be around 225,000 at the end of 3 years. With an average salary in the 50k-70k range if I am even able to find a job, it doesn't seem like this is even possible. Also at this point what are the ramifications of cancelling attending school? I'm also a bit older and feel if I don't go to law school now it doesn't make any sense for me to try in the coming years because I'll be in my mid 30's by the time I graduate.

Am I missing something? I feel like there has to be other people paying full sticker price for schools that aren't top tier? Is every single one of them just financially doomed?
Last edited by goldeneye on Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

elm84dr
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Re: Southwestern, no scholly money, am I doomed?

Postby elm84dr » Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:20 pm

RedCharger wrote:I was accepted into Southwestern Law School and wasn't offered any scholarship money. My loan for the first year of school is totaling 75,000. Now, here we are a few days before class starts and I've been debating whether to continue with school or not. I've talked to a lot of friends and family members about whether this is financially viable or not and I've been getting very split decisions. Assuming I don't get any scholarship money for the rest of my time at Southwestern, it will be around 225,000 at the end of 3 years. With an average salary in the 50k-70k range if I am even able to find a job, it doesn't seem like this is even possible. Also at this point what are the ramifications of cancelling attending school? I'm also a bit older and feel if I don't go to law school now it doesn't make any sense for me to try in the coming years because I'll be in my mid 30's by the time I graduate.

Am I missing something? I feel like there has to be other people paying full sticker price for schools that aren't top tier? Is every single one of them just financially doomed?


Just to reiterate---DON'T GO. I was in a similar situation with a better school (Think Northeastern/Suffolk) and I chose to wait it out, retake and got great packages at Top 30s (including Vanderbilt, BU, BC, Cornell, Georgetown, Duke and Fordham).

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Nova
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Re: Southwestern, no scholly money, am I doomed?

Postby Nova » Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:25 pm

Image

200k debt isnt worth it for ANY school outside the T14. Let alone Southwestern.

Study/retake/reapply for scholarships.

RedCharger
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Re: Southwestern, no scholly money, am I doomed?

Postby RedCharger » Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:48 pm

I forgot to mention that I will be able to get scholarship money in my 2nd and 3rd year if I do well within the class. What level of debt should I be (realistically) aiming for if I intend to attend law school. My undergraduate GPA is very poor (2.9) and my LSAT was 161 when I took it 4 years ago.

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justonemoregame
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Re: Southwestern, no scholly money, am I doomed?

Postby justonemoregame » Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:53 pm

go get a job

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JCFindley
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Re: Southwestern, no scholly money, am I doomed?

Postby JCFindley » Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:55 pm

RedCharger wrote:I forgot to mention that I will be able to get scholarship money in my 2nd and 3rd year if I do well within the class. What level of debt should I be (realistically) aiming for if I intend to attend law school. My undergraduate GPA is very poor (2.9) and my LSAT was 161 when I took it 4 years ago.


160? More like a 145 now.

In case this is real, yes there are people that pay sticker at these schools. There are also people that pay real money to the dudes on late night TV that will teach you how to be a millionaire for the small price of 1K. Same general scam. These schools exist to employ their staff and some to make a profit for investors. They do NOT exist to help you get a job as an attorney.

elm84dr
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Re: Southwestern, no scholly money, am I doomed?

Postby elm84dr » Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:13 pm

RedCharger wrote:I forgot to mention that I will be able to get scholarship money in my 2nd and 3rd year if I do well within the class. What level of debt should I be (realistically) aiming for if I intend to attend law school. My undergraduate GPA is very poor (2.9) and my LSAT was 161 when I took it 4 years ago.


NO. Retake or do not go to law school. There are no guarantees of doing well---and any six-figure debt for a school like SE is NEVER going to pay for itself, EVER.

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rayiner
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Re: Southwestern, no scholly money, am I doomed?

Postby rayiner » Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:20 pm

I can't believe tuition at Southwestern is $44,000 a year. :shock:

Here's the deal: with a 2.9/161, something has to give. That something might be timing (take the time to retake to get a higher score). That something might be geographic flexibility (try to go somewhere that has a cheap public law school). That something might just be going to law school at all.

There is no question that taking full loans at Southwestern is an option you shouldn't even consider. Not every single one of the people who do will be screwed, but most will be. There are just no jobs out there. I think when people on TLS say that there are lots of T14 folks who can't find work, prospective lower-tier school students think they're referring to people who did atrociously in law school, people who are too stuck up to accept a job paying $75k, people who can't hustle, etc. Some of the people who are unemployed from T14 schools do fall into that category, no doubt. But I know too many people with decent grades from my T14 class looking for jobs that I have to conclude that there is just no work out there.

Now, given that Southwestern isn't an option, you might be wondering what choices are reasonable options. I think a reasonable option for someone in your position is to find a cheap public law school: http://testprep.about.com/od/thelsat/tp ... chools.htm. I don't know what state you're a resident of, but there are schools where you can get a law degree for $10k/year that would be an infinitely better option.

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sunynp
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Re: Southwestern, no scholly money, am I doomed?

Postby sunynp » Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:27 pm

You will be ruining your life for the next 25 years if you go to this school.

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Experimental Section
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Re: Southwestern, no scholly money, am I doomed?

Postby Experimental Section » Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:20 pm

"...I've been getting very split decisions." There should be no split decisions. It's a bad idea.

"...it doesn't seem like this is even possible." That's because it's not possible.

"I'll be in my mid 30's by the time I graduate." Robert Levy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_A._Levy) began law school when he was 50-years old. He finished first in his class and later taught law and even argued in front of the Supreme Court.

"Am I missing something?" No.

"I feel like there has to be other people paying full sticker price for schools that aren't top tier?" That is correct, but that doesn't mean it's a good idea.

"Is every single one of them just financially doomed?" Probably.

If you want to go to law school, then go. Just be smart about it.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Southwestern, no scholly money, am I doomed?

Postby JamMasterJ » Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:26 pm

half your friends and family are ignorant to legal hiring.

I know many people with 2.9 gpa's at T-14 schools, but they were either naturally gifted enough to score in the 170s on the LSAT, hard-working enough to get there, or a combination of the two. If you can score 171 or so, you could actually get into Northwestern, and many of the schools in the 15-25 range. You really need to do this. Graduating from SW in your mid 30s is not even close to as good of a career move as graduating from a much better school a year or two later. You ought to put in about 6 months studying for the LSAT and retake in February. If that doesn't go well, take it again in June. If that fails, do something else.

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bankruptedcasino
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Re: Southwestern, no scholly money, am I doomed?

Postby bankruptedcasino » Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:39 pm

I'm going to bite and join the chorus of people saying that going to Southwestern at sticker is a galatically stupid idea.

I assume you're from Southern California if you're considering Southwestern. If you are, you should know better. If you're not, let me clue you in: The legal market there is a complete and utter wasteland (play video games? Think Fallout). The very top of the class at UCLA and USC are struggling to find work in LA and most have settled to work in NYC, Chicago, or DC. I don't know many Bruins or Trojans who are not casting a wide net at OCI and are only bidding firms in Los Angeles.

Orange County and San Diego will not look at you. Chapman and UCI "own" Orange County (as in, they look there when high-ranked UCLA and USC students go elsewhere). Same with USD in San Diego.

It is highly unlikely that you will find a job that will assist you in paying off $200k+ loans from Southwestern even if you graduate at the top of your class. Do you like anecdotes? Here's one: Two years ago a friend of mine from college graduated from SW in the top 10% of her class. No job at graduation. No job after passing the bar. She just now (two years later!) got a job at an immigration firm. Since calbar.org allows me to pull up the name of the firm that she's working at (I heard about her offer on FB), I googled the firm for its website. Couldn't find it. After three Google pages, I found it. Pretty gross-looking. Something tells me she isn't making $160k at that firm as a first-year associate. I'm going to guess it's more like $42k. Good luck paying off your debt then. At $42k a year starting, it's never, ever going to happen.

I assume that you have no desire to retake. At 2.9/161, that's fine. I'm not a TLS'er who says T14 or bust. BUT you will have to give up the dream of practicing in California. Your 161 will provide you with fine scholarship offers at state schools elsewhere. You should look into them. Apply to the cheapest school you can get into, and hope for the best.

TL;DR? Don't go. You will regret it for the rest of your life.

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HarlandBassett
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Re: Southwestern, no scholly money, am I doomed?

Postby HarlandBassett » Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:21 pm

Nova wrote:Image

200k debt isnt worth it for ANY school outside the T14. Let alone Southwestern.

Study/retake/reapply for scholarships.

even T5s are not financially prudent choices: http://insidethelawschoolscam.blogspot. ... mbers.html

if you attend Southwestern, EVEN FOR FREE, you are a fucking idiot.

d0rklord
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Re: Southwestern, no scholly money, am I doomed?

Postby d0rklord » Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:30 pm

HarlandBassett wrote:
Nova wrote:Image

200k debt isnt worth it for ANY school outside the T14. Let alone Southwestern.

Study/retake/reapply for scholarships.

even T5s are not financially prudent choices: http://insidethelawschoolscam.blogspot. ... mbers.html

if you attend Southwestern, EVEN FOR FREE, you are a fucking idiot.


I don't think it's fair to say "even for free"... getting a free legal education is worth it for a lot of people, anywhere... not EVERYONE is BigLaw or bust....

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IAFG
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Re: Southwestern, no scholly money, am I doomed?

Postby IAFG » Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:37 pm

d0rklord wrote:I don't think it's fair to say "even for free"... getting a free legal education is worth it for a lot of people, anywhere... not EVERYONE is BigLaw or bust....

Weird necro, but being "not biglaw or bust" is a stupid reason to go to a school with shit prospects. Non-biglaw jobs also are rare and often crappy.




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