BU - 120K in aid. BC- 99k

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gtmort
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BU - 120K in aid. BC- 99k

Postby gtmort » Tue Mar 28, 2017 5:04 pm

I just got updated on scholarships I am going to receive from both my main schools. I want to work in massachusetts so both BU and BC were main targets of mine (since none of the top 14 accepted me). BU offered me 90k in merit based aid, and 30k in need based aid. This puts me at 120k in aid. Including costs of living, going here would be about 69k. BCs offer would place me at roughly 90k in debt. All these numbers are including COL. Now, i have heard that BC is better in terms of placements in massachusetts. But is it really worth taking on an extra 20 grand in debt for? I figured I should just take BU just because it means less debt. But I wanted to hear out everyones views.
Gpa 3.96 LSAT -165.

mcmand
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Re: BU - 120K in aid. BC- 99k

Postby mcmand » Tue Mar 28, 2017 6:04 pm

gtmort wrote:I just got updated on scholarships I am going to receive from both my main schools. I want to work in massachusetts so both BU and BC were main targets of mine (since none of the top 14 accepted me). BU offered me 90k in merit based aid, and 30k in need based aid. This puts me at 120k in aid. Including costs of living, going here would be about 69k. BCs offer would place me at roughly 90k in debt. All these numbers are including COL. Now, i have heard that BC is better in terms of placements in massachusetts. But is it really worth taking on an extra 20 grand in debt for? I figured I should just take BU just because it means less debt. But I wanted to hear out everyones views.
Gpa 3.96 LSAT -165.


Sounds like a wash to me. Pick which one you like better. Tearing your hair out over the numbers won't make the decision any easier. You probably know where you want to be, you just need to justify it to yourself.

BigZuck
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Re: BU - 120K in aid. BC- 99k

Postby BigZuck » Tue Mar 28, 2017 6:11 pm

I'd retake June and see if you can squeeze more money out of them.

mrtux45
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Re: BU - 120K in aid. BC- 99k

Postby mrtux45 » Tue Mar 28, 2017 6:37 pm

BC is better at placing in MA by a few percentage points. I don't think a few percentage points is worth 20k extra debt, but that's my opinion.

Visit both and pick one. Congrats on whichever you choose!

gtmort
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Re: BU - 120K in aid. BC- 99k

Postby gtmort » Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:19 pm

BigZuck wrote:I'd retake June and see if you can squeeze more money out of them.

I originally starting test preping at 143. My first lsat i got a 159. My second i got a 165. Im not sure how much i can squeeze that score up xD

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UVA2B
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Re: BU - 120K in aid. BC- 99k

Postby UVA2B » Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:50 pm

When you say placement in MA, do you mean Biglaw firms, or just general professional placement as an attorney?

I don't think BC is worth any more money than BU for MA, but your goals at least make this marginally more dependent.

gtmort
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Re: BU - 120K in aid. BC- 99k

Postby gtmort » Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:09 am

UVA2B wrote:When you say placement in MA, do you mean Biglaw firms, or just general professional placement as an attorney?

I don't think BC is worth any more money than BU for MA, but your goals at least make this marginally more dependent.

While I would love to have a chance at BigLaw, I know the odds of that happening at BU or BC are rather low. So while its a very reaching goal, I wouldnt mind also just being at least a slightly well paid attorney. From the salary breakdown from the class at BU and BC, i see that people at least seem to be reaching in the 70k. which would be acceptable.

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UVA2B
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Re: BU - 120K in aid. BC- 99k

Postby UVA2B » Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:20 am

gtmort wrote:
UVA2B wrote:When you say placement in MA, do you mean Biglaw firms, or just general professional placement as an attorney?

I don't think BC is worth any more money than BU for MA, but your goals at least make this marginally more dependent.

While I would love to have a chance at BigLaw, I know the odds of that happening at BU or BC are rather low. So while its a very reaching goal, I wouldnt mind also just being at least a slightly well paid attorney. From the salary breakdown from the class at BU and BC, i see that people at least seem to be reaching in the 70k - 80ks . which would be acceptable.


It's perfectly natural to be in your exact position for wanting Boston. You won't be alone at BU/BC in the least.

What worries me is an understanding of salaries in the legal profession. Boston pays market salaries largely for Biglaw firms, but if you are in the ~60-70% of the class that doesn't get Biglaw, it (most likely) won't be a slightly well-paid attorney position. None of the governing bodies are actually collecting particularly accurate data that can be parsed beyond the simple statistics (500+ attorneys=$180k, government salary=$55k median, these numbers are largely assumed because I don't want to look into BU/BC specific data).

The employment data doesn't help those who are looking for the not-easily parsable data like "slightly well paid attorney" positions. It's a non-zero number, but none of it is worth relying on either. A graduate can go to a firm of 20 attorneys and make $180k, or they can go to a 20 attorney firm making $45k. Nothing about reporting requires this distinguishing.

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Re: BU - 120K in aid. BC- 99k

Postby SiddFinch85 » Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:38 am

Recent BU Grad here. Feel free to PM for details on either school. I went to one, considered the other and work with plenty of folks who went to one of the two.

First, have you tried negotiating with BC? Specifically have you asked them to match BU's package? If not, it's worth a try. The two schools are competitive enough that a substantial discrepancy between aid packages strikes me as surprising. In my experience, and the experiences of those I've talked financial aid with (not many, but people compare), I'd expect them to be at least in the same ballpark if not matching.

Second, as others have pointed out, be careful relying on average salary numbers. A $70k average is great, but keep in mind that starting salary distribution is bi-modal with the overall average pulled up by big law folks making $180k.

Last, in my experience BC has a stronger network in Massachusetts not just in terms of entry level placement, but throughout your career. Definitely worth considering if you're interested in staying here longterm. For both schools, you'll need to be in the top 1/3rd to have a solid shot at big law. My feeling is that once you're outside of the OCI/big law process, network is even more important. Consider whether your undergrad has a strong network in the region, if you've lived here and have a natural network among friends/family, etc. and weigh how important a law school network might be to your career before making a decision. Not to say BU doesn't have a strong local network, or that I wouldn't go to BU again, but I can't help thinking that if OCI hadn't worked out I might have wanted that BC network to draw on. Up to you to decide if that's worth the $20k difference.

mrtux45
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Re: BU - 120K in aid. BC- 99k

Postby mrtux45 » Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:00 am

UVA2B wrote:
gtmort wrote:
What worries me is an understanding of salaries in the legal profession. Boston pays market salaries largely for Biglaw firms, but if you are in the ~60-70% of the class that doesn't get Biglaw, it (most likely) won't be a slightly well-paid attorney position. None of the governing bodies are actually collecting particularly accurate data that can be parsed beyond the simple statistics (500+ attorneys=$180k, government salary=$55k median, these numbers are largely assumed because I don't want to look into BU/BC specific data).


I think gmort might be referencing NALP salary data, which can be found on LST.

Here are salary reports for BC's 2014 and 2015 classes:

http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/do ... 014/bc.pdf
http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/do ... 015/bc.pdf

It's obviously important to understand the debt you're getting yourself into/your ability to comfortably service it at graduation. I don't think it's unreasonable for OP to think they're in a position to land a 70k starting job from BC, assuming they're committed to private practice after graduation. However, the low end of that range (approx. 60k) is also a possibility that you should financially plan around.

BigZuck
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Re: BU - 120K in aid. BC- 99k

Postby BigZuck » Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:35 am

Pretty sure the OP is wildly underestimating cost of living and total cost of attendance unless there is something missing from the first post.

Also I doubt there are very many 70K entry level lawyer jobs in Boston and paying 100K+ and 3 years of your life to try and snag one is pretty dicey IMO.

mrtux45
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Re: BU - 120K in aid. BC- 99k

Postby mrtux45 » Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:43 am

BigZuck wrote:Pretty sure the OP is wildly underestimating cost of living and total cost of attendance unless there is something missing from the first post.


Agree with this. Unless OP is planning to commute at some point, I'd say tuition+3 years COL-Scholarships pushes everything up to 100k minimum

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Dr. Nefario
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Re: BU - 120K in aid. BC- 99k

Postby Dr. Nefario » Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:14 pm

mrtux45 wrote:
BigZuck wrote:Pretty sure the OP is wildly underestimating cost of living and total cost of attendance unless there is something missing from the first post.


Agree with this. Unless OP is planning to commute at some point, I'd say tuition+3 years COL-Scholarships pushes everything up to 100k minimum


Can attest that this level of debt is possible but not necessarily probable. Came in with 75K scholly, SO working and paying much of COL, and working myself at any chance possible. I will leave with 95K, but again that's circumstantial. So OP may be in a better position than I with 120K scholly, assuming he/she is willing to work and live cheap.

ETA: I'd probably take BU with the odds so similar and less debt. BC isn't worth the extra money when the options are basically a wash.

gtmort
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Re: BU - 120K in aid. BC- 99k

Postby gtmort » Thu Mar 30, 2017 1:36 pm

Dr. Nefario wrote:
mrtux45 wrote:
BigZuck wrote:Pretty sure the OP is wildly underestimating cost of living and total cost of attendance unless there is something missing from the first post.


Agree with this. Unless OP is planning to commute at some point, I'd say tuition+3 years COL-Scholarships pushes everything up to 100k minimum


Can attest that this level of debt is possible but not necessarily probable. Came in with 75K scholly, SO working and paying much of COL, and working myself at any chance possible. I will leave with 95K, but again that's circumstantial. So OP may be in a better position than I with 120K scholly, assuming he/she is willing to work and live cheap.

ETA: I'd probably take BU with the odds so similar and less debt. BC isn't worth the extra money when the options are basically a wash.


Let me just point out that I do have some outside support in terms of purchasing food and other nessesisites. So this is not a debt situation where I am completely independent financially. And, i wouldnt be living in boston the entire year. I would go home where I am lucky enough to be able to live rent free. The debt estimates come from the costs of rent, board, and tuition. I would have the transportation aspect covered because I would bike around boston even during the winter (trust me, even in the snow, my electric bike manages ).

But my main question is about asking for the opinion on which school I should pick given the scholarship packages.

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Dr. Nefario
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Re: BU - 120K in aid. BC- 99k

Postby Dr. Nefario » Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:13 pm

gtmort wrote:
But my main question is about asking for the opinion on which school I should pick given the scholarship packages.


With the schools being virtually identical outside of location and feel, a 21K difference would make me choose BU. Try to negotiate BC up and then come back at BU, but BU with 120K is an excellent option for wanting Boston after graduation. BC's "better placement" in Boston shouldn't matter with that much difference.

ETA: part of BU's placement in Boston is self-selection with a lot of people wanting NY biglaw instead of Boston.

gtmort
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Re: BU - 120K in aid. BC- 99k

Postby gtmort » Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:11 am

Dr. Nefario wrote:
gtmort wrote:
But my main question is about asking for the opinion on which school I should pick given the scholarship packages.


With the schools being virtually identical outside of location and feel, a 21K difference would make me choose BU. Try to negotiate BC up and then come back at BU, but BU with 120K is an excellent option for wanting Boston after graduation. BC's "better placement" in Boston shouldn't matter with that much difference.

ETA: part of BU's placement in Boston is self-selection with a lot of people wanting NY biglaw instead of Boston.


I tried to ask BC to up the scholarship or at least come close. They said no. Im not sure if im just bad at this process or they just really couldnt match the offer. But hey, I would only be paying 30k in tuition over the 3 years. Not that bad if you ask me given the school

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Re: BU - 120K in aid. BC- 99k

Postby tuesdayninja » Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:11 pm

SiddFinch85 wrote:Recent BU Grad here. Feel free to PM for details on either school. I went to one, considered the other and work with plenty of folks who went to one of the two.

First, have you tried negotiating with BC? Specifically have you asked them to match BU's package? If not, it's worth a try. The two schools are competitive enough that a substantial discrepancy between aid packages strikes me as surprising. In my experience, and the experiences of those I've talked financial aid with (not many, but people compare), I'd expect them to be at least in the same ballpark if not matching.

Second, as others have pointed out, be careful relying on average salary numbers. A $70k average is great, but keep in mind that starting salary distribution is bi-modal with the overall average pulled up by big law folks making $180k.

Last, in my experience BC has a stronger network in Massachusetts not just in terms of entry level placement, but throughout your career. Definitely worth considering if you're interested in staying here longterm. For both schools, you'll need to be in the top 1/3rd to have a solid shot at big law. My feeling is that once you're outside of the OCI/big law process, network is even more important. Consider whether your undergrad has a strong network in the region, if you've lived here and have a natural network among friends/family, etc. and weigh how important a law school network might be to your career before making a decision. Not to say BU doesn't have a strong local network, or that I wouldn't go to BU again, but I can't help thinking that if OCI hadn't worked out I might have wanted that BC network to draw on. Up to you to decide if that's worth the $20k difference.



I'm deciding between these two schools as well with BU giving me 12k more so far. I'm leaning towards BU but have heard so much about the BC community and alum that I still waver between the two. I'm coming from the Midwest so a strong network would definitely be helpful. When you say the BC network is "stronger" do you mean by numbers there are more BC law alums than BU alums in Boston? Or that the BC alums are more willing to help BC alums? Are BU alums not as helpful or not in as strong positions as BC law alums?

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Dr. Nefario
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Re: BU - 120K in aid. BC- 99k

Postby Dr. Nefario » Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:20 pm

tuesdayninja wrote:
SiddFinch85 wrote:Recent BU Grad here. Feel free to PM for details on either school. I went to one, considered the other and work with plenty of folks who went to one of the two.

First, have you tried negotiating with BC? Specifically have you asked them to match BU's package? If not, it's worth a try. The two schools are competitive enough that a substantial discrepancy between aid packages strikes me as surprising. In my experience, and the experiences of those I've talked financial aid with (not many, but people compare), I'd expect them to be at least in the same ballpark if not matching.

Second, as others have pointed out, be careful relying on average salary numbers. A $70k average is great, but keep in mind that starting salary distribution is bi-modal with the overall average pulled up by big law folks making $180k.

Last, in my experience BC has a stronger network in Massachusetts not just in terms of entry level placement, but throughout your career. Definitely worth considering if you're interested in staying here longterm. For both schools, you'll need to be in the top 1/3rd to have a solid shot at big law. My feeling is that once you're outside of the OCI/big law process, network is even more important. Consider whether your undergrad has a strong network in the region, if you've lived here and have a natural network among friends/family, etc. and weigh how important a law school network might be to your career before making a decision. Not to say BU doesn't have a strong local network, or that I wouldn't go to BU again, but I can't help thinking that if OCI hadn't worked out I might have wanted that BC network to draw on. Up to you to decide if that's worth the $20k difference.



I'm deciding between these two schools as well with BU giving me 12k more so far. I'm leaning towards BU but have heard so much about the BC community and alum that I still waver between the two. I'm coming from the Midwest so a strong network would definitely be helpful. When you say the BC network is "stronger" do you mean by numbers there are more BC law alums than BU alums in Boston? Or that the BC alums are more willing to help BC alums? Are BU alums not as helpful or not in as strong positions as BC law alums?


As a current student, I'd vouch that the BU network is extremely helpful. I think historically there may be more BC alums in Boston, but BU's alumni base is strong. It may also depend on what in area in particular you are looking at working. Honestly, things like alumni network should only come into your evaluation when all else is equal. In your case, the money at BU should sway you towards BU. If BC came back and offered more, then you should go BC. But the two schools are basically a wash in employment. BC undergrad absolutely has a stronger network than BU, but in the legal context, the schools are interchangeable outside location. I'm not really sure considering a potential or perceived small network difference should be worth $12,000 plus interest.

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circle.the.wagons
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Re: BU - 120K in aid. BC- 99k

Postby circle.the.wagons » Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:52 pm

gtmort wrote:
Dr. Nefario wrote:
gtmort wrote:
But my main question is about asking for the opinion on which school I should pick given the scholarship packages.


With the schools being virtually identical outside of location and feel, a 21K difference would make me choose BU. Try to negotiate BC up and then come back at BU, but BU with 120K is an excellent option for wanting Boston after graduation. BC's "better placement" in Boston shouldn't matter with that much difference.

ETA: part of BU's placement in Boston is self-selection with a lot of people wanting NY biglaw instead of Boston.


I tried to ask BC to up the scholarship or at least come close. They said no. Im not sure if im just bad at this process or they just really couldnt match the offer. But hey, I would only be paying 30k in tuition over the 3 years. Not that bad if you ask me given the school

Just for the record, BC doesn't seem to be negotiating with anyone this year, so it's not you.

gtmort
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Re: BU - 120K in aid. BC- 99k

Postby gtmort » Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:49 am

I appreciate that update. If no one is getting more money, it makes me feel at least somewhat better. Im probably going to choose BU because of the extra money. I also really like that the entire law program is in one building. Its works with my disability well.




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