Turning down a higher ranked shcool with better $$$ offer

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OneSixtySix
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Turning down a higher ranked shcool with better $$$ offer

Postby OneSixtySix » Sat Apr 10, 2010 11:49 pm

I attended the ASD for a school ranked about 25 (lets call it School X) and loved it. I also have been accepted to several schools in the 15-20 range, all of which offered me more money than School X with the same scholarship stipulations (good academic standing).

I attended ASD for the other schools in contention and was happy with the prospect of 3 years there, but School X was such a clear and compelling fit. I tried negotiating with School X but was essentially told they are tapped out until seat deposits start trickling in, but even then I doubt they could come close to my other offers.

Essentially its 95k versus 150k.

Edit: I have 20k in undergrad debt, no family/parental assistance in the financial sense...

Am I crazy for thinking about taking the lower offer? Have other people done this?

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dvd
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Re: Turning down a higher ranked shcool with better $$$ offer

Postby dvd » Sat Apr 10, 2010 11:53 pm

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Last edited by dvd on Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Cupidity
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Re: Turning down a higher ranked shcool with better $$$ offer

Postby Cupidity » Sat Apr 10, 2010 11:58 pm

Whats school X?

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Spoonmanners
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Re: Turning down a higher ranked shcool with better $$$ offer

Postby Spoonmanners » Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:00 am

Man, you must really like the lower ranked school. That's a tough decision, but it's kind of foolish to use 3-5 spots on the US News ranking to make your decision, especially considering it changes every year. I think you gotta do what you feel happiest and most comfortable with No sense in being miserable for the next 3 years to save some money.
Last edited by Spoonmanners on Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

imisscollege
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Re: Turning down a higher ranked shcool with better $$$ offer

Postby imisscollege » Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:01 am

i bet its BC. worst ranked school i got into by over 10 spots, and got a middle of the road scholly offer but i just couldn't have loved it more when i went there.

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Spoonmanners
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Re: Turning down a higher ranked shcool with better $$$ offer

Postby Spoonmanners » Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:03 am

It's ND $ v. BU $$.

Looking at that, definitely go with Note Dame.
Last edited by Spoonmanners on Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Cupidity
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Re: Turning down a higher ranked shcool with better $$$ offer

Postby Cupidity » Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:07 am

BU>Yale

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174
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Re: Turning down a higher ranked shcool with better $$$ offer

Postby 174 » Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:14 am

Cupidity wrote:BU>Yale

+1

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Spoonmanners
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Re: Turning down a higher ranked shcool with better $$$ offer

Postby Spoonmanners » Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:18 am

ND>BU>Yale

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OneSixtySix
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Re: Turning down a higher ranked shcool with better $$$ offer

Postby OneSixtySix » Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:25 am

Spoonmanners wrote:It's ND $ v. BU $$.

Looking at that, definitely go with Note Dame.


More or less...Bingo, If I'm going to be incognito, I might as well be consistent about it and not leave a thread history with the details.

I loved BU and think I would be happy there, however it lacked the community aspect and gut feeling of Notre Dame. I think the grading system fosters the attitude and character ND claims to seek out and instill in their students, and the alumni network is an undeniably positive benefit. At the end of the day, the quality metrics are pretty equal for the schools lumped in the high teens/low 20s and I think it has to come down to comfort level and how one feels when visiting the campus

Judging from people I talked to about the matter, ND can be hit or miss and for the folks that consider it a "hit", its well worth it. Theres a couple other schools in play, but the difference in price isnt as extreme and I have far less interest in attending them.

Also, thank you everybody for not pointing out the typo in the topic, just got back to my apartment following a long day of travel. And on that note, this may be more appropriate in the 'Choosing a Law School" forum...

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OneSixtySix
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Re: Turning down a higher ranked shcool with better $$$ offer

Postby OneSixtySix » Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:26 am

Cupidity wrote:BU>Yale


lol, maybe in terms of campus location

ze2151
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Re: Turning down a higher ranked shcool with better $$$ offer

Postby ze2151 » Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:37 am

have you considered the $ you could save in COL expenses? South Bend isn't exactly Boston. If you liked ND's location, go with it. Rent will be half as expensive. If you pay 500/month in South Bend, that's 6,000/yr, as opposed to the 12,000/yr (minimum) you'd shill out in Boston for something of equal quality. If you scare up a roommate, so much the better. Also, every Domer I know is tremendously loyal to his alma mater, almost annoyingly so. I'm sure that alumni network strength would aid your job search.

Now, as a Penn St fan, I can't in good conscience advise you to select ND. However, if you liked it, I see no reason to turn it down. The rankings at this level are fluid. I'm going to Emory, but I wouldn't be shocked if ND jumped Emory in the 2011 rankings. Do I care? Not really. Emory has what I want, where I want to be, with professors I want to learn from and who have taken an interest in me. ND could easily be #20 by the time you graduate. It could also easily be #30. Either way, it will still be ND. Don't let this one number sway you.

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Cupidity
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Re: Turning down a higher ranked shcool with better $$$ offer

Postby Cupidity » Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:39 am

Did you do the ASD at BU?

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OneSixtySix
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Re: Turning down a higher ranked shcool with better $$$ offer

Postby OneSixtySix » Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:53 am

The rankings really arent a factor. They are peer schools in every sense of the word, in fact I would suspect ND crack the T20 in the next 3 years due to some faculty acquisitions and the new building. I guess my personal concern is whether I should turn down a school with a significant difference in cost given my financial situation.

I originally phrased it differently to elicit a broader range of responses from folks who have more/less undergrad debt, come from different economic backgrounds, or receive different levels of financial support from family/parents.

Its the money thats the difficult issue, I thought I couldnt justify assigning 50k to just liking a place more although the job prospects and quality of education are so close.

I browsed LSN and most people seem to accept the highest rank or if a number of similar schools are tied, the one with the most $ wins. However, I have grown to realize LSN is not necessarily the norm and appreciate some of the advice given here on the subject.

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Cupidity
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Re: Turning down a higher ranked shcool with better $$$ offer

Postby Cupidity » Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:57 am

As much as I love talking up Boston, I think the argument made earlier is quite valid. Your long-term law school success is more likely in a positive environment. If you really loved ND, go there, be happy, be top 10%.

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PDaddy
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Re: Turning down a higher ranked shcool with better $$$ offer

Postby PDaddy » Sun Apr 11, 2010 1:29 am

Spoonmanners wrote:Man, you must really like the lower ranked school. That's a tough decision, but it's kind of foolish to use 3-5 spots on the US News ranking to make your decision, especially considering it changes every year. I think you gotta do what you feel happiest and most comfortable with No sense in being miserable for the next 3 years to save some money.


Agreed. Go where you'll be happy b/c that's where you will likely perform the best. Sometimes there are other considerations you should heed, like tuition (think in terms of the % of tuition each scholarship covers), the relative curves at the schools, the requirements for making law review or journals, and the types of programs and available courses at the schools. Yours is one of those situations where it sounds like the rankings are not central to the decision. I would pick UCLA over several schools ranked above it (and there are other examples), so I understand you.
Last edited by PDaddy on Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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superserial
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Re: Turning down a higher ranked shcool with better $$$ offer

Postby superserial » Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:17 am

Exact ranking doesn't mean that much in the range of schools you're considering. Don't base your choice on ranking, it's almost guaranteed to fluctuate (seemingly) arbitrarily. Think about fit, job prospects, where you'd like to practice in the beginning of your career, scholarship money, debt, etc. Don't make sweeping judgments about a school based on its admitted students program; you've received a portrayal of the school with its game face on and its pimp hand mighty strong.

(I'd pick BU).

nocal
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Re: Turning down a higher ranked shcool with better $$$ offer

Postby nocal » Sun Apr 11, 2010 11:40 am

Know what you mean about ND. I visited BC, BU, WUSTL, and some others, including some of the T-14, but when I visited ND I was sold.

BetterCallSaul
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Re: Turning down a higher ranked shcool with better $$$ offer

Postby BetterCallSaul » Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:26 pm

What the difference in scholarship means:
Tuition and Fees at ND are $57,505--just for fun let's say you can live more cheaply and make it on 53k/year. BU tuition and fees are $58,456.
Assuming you keep your scholarship in both places, you'd graduate with roughly 26k in debt from BU or 64k from ND.
Let's bundle that up with your undergrad debt and see what your payments would be:
On a 10 year payment plan at 6% interest, you'd pay about $510/month toward your student loans after you graduate from BU.
Same payment plan but with an ND degree, you pay $933/month in student loans.

This is rough--I'm not accounting for summer jobs or tuition increases and your interest rate could be anywhere between 4% and 8.7% depending on the loan and the year. But essentially choosing ND will cost you about $420/month for your first 10 years as a lawyer. That's a lot of money. It will seriously limit your ability to save, to buy a house, everything.

I should also acknowledge that some people have consolidated their loans at much lower interest rates, but that's not so easy to do anymore because Federal loans have a fixed rate--you could stretch them over 20 years, but you'd only end up paying more over time.

So, if it were me, I would not do it.
Last edited by BetterCallSaul on Sun Apr 11, 2010 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

notme
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Re: Turning down a higher ranked shcool with better $$$ offer

Postby notme » Sun Apr 11, 2010 2:18 pm

I'd take ND over BU without hesitation, regardless of cost differentials - unless of course you plan on practicing in the Boston region. The payment differential when you are making over 100k per year will not seem significant. Besides, things change and that loan will be consolidated, refinanced or paid off long before that 10 years has passed.

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Re: Turning down a higher ranked shcool with better $$$ offer

Postby LurkerNoMore » Sun Apr 11, 2010 2:51 pm

notme wrote:I'd take ND over BU without hesitation, regardless of cost differentials - unless of course you plan on practicing in the Boston region. The payment differential when you are making over 100k per year will not seem significant. Besides, things change and that loan will be consolidated, refinanced or paid off long before that 10 years has passed.


B***S***

First, assuming you are getting $100k per year is a big assumption. Even if you get there eventually, if you don't get there right away, there is a good chance you will need to refinance your loans, increasing your overall indebtedness.

Second, $400/month (taking the previous poster's numbers) or $650/month (using the OP's estimated debt), every month, for 10 years is a big deal, even at that income level. In those 10 years, many people get married, want to buy a house, want to have kids. That money is money that won't be available for those things and will severely limit future options.

Third, the "fit" one feels during ASD should really be taken with a grain of salt, unless you are talking fit differences akin to Regent and Berkeley. It is possible to find groups of friends pretty much anywhere.

Law school is a professional degree program, not a social finishing school. If you are looking at a two schools that are roughly comparable, sure, go by "fit." When you are looking at over $50,000, fit shouldn't be a factor. It's three years. Boston's a big town. If you hate every single person at school, you can either a) spend more time studying and kill them all in class rank or b) consider looking outside law school for friends.

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Re: Turning down a higher ranked shcool with better $$$ offer

Postby OneSixtySix » Sun Apr 11, 2010 10:36 pm

LurkerNoMore wrote:
notme wrote:I'd take ND over BU without hesitation, regardless of cost differentials - unless of course you plan on practicing in the Boston region. The payment differential when you are making over 100k per year will not seem significant. Besides, things change and that loan will be consolidated, refinanced or paid off long before that 10 years has passed.


B***S***

First, assuming you are getting $100k per year is a big assumption. Even if you get there eventually, if you don't get there right away, there is a good chance you will need to refinance your loans, increasing your overall indebtedness.

Second, $400/month (taking the previous poster's numbers) or $650/month (using the OP's estimated debt), every month, for 10 years is a big deal, even at that income level. In those 10 years, many people get married, want to buy a house, want to have kids. That money is money that won't be available for those things and will severely limit future options.

Third, the "fit" one feels during ASD should really be taken with a grain of salt, unless you are talking fit differences akin to Regent and Berkeley. It is possible to find groups of friends pretty much anywhere.

Law school is a professional degree program, not a social finishing school. If you are looking at a two schools that are roughly comparable, sure, go by "fit." When you are looking at over $50,000, fit shouldn't be a factor. It's three years. Boston's a big town. If you hate every single person at school, you can either a) spend more time studying and kill them all in class rank or b) consider looking outside law school for friends.


I agree with your point about not choosing a law school based on how one will feel socially, I did not intend to define fit in that manner.

I think that people can generally attest to a feeling that a particular individual may feel more comfortable in one location rather than another. Some people love New York City, others have no interest in city life. Additionaly in terms of "fit", I include such things as the curriculum offered, absence of ranking, and facilities.

Also, I'm not sure BetterCallSaul has the correct numbers.

BU is about 58k a year, multiplied by 3 years = 174k
Subtract 75k in scholarships and I'm at 99k

ND is about 57.5k a year, multiplied by 3 years = 172.5k
Subtract 24k in scholarships and I'm at 148.5k

Other factors to consider include undergraduate debt and any 2L summer earnings, which ideally would cancel each other out.

One thing that stuns me is how high my debt will be given how 100k+ debt is sometimes vilified on this board. Do most people have either significant personal savings or parental contributions? I thought 25k was a pretty generous scholarship figure, yet it still leaves me with 100k in debt.

BetterCallSaul
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Re: Turning down a higher ranked shcool with better $$$ offer

Postby BetterCallSaul » Sun Apr 11, 2010 11:52 pm

OneSixtySix wrote:
LurkerNoMore wrote:
notme wrote:I'd take ND over BU without hesitation, regardless of cost differentials - unless of course you plan on practicing in the Boston region. The payment differential when you are making over 100k per year will not seem significant. Besides, things change and that loan will be consolidated, refinanced or paid off long before that 10 years has passed.


B***S***

First, assuming you are getting $100k per year is a big assumption. Even if you get there eventually, if you don't get there right away, there is a good chance you will need to refinance your loans, increasing your overall indebtedness.

Second, $400/month (taking the previous poster's numbers) or $650/month (using the OP's estimated debt), every month, for 10 years is a big deal, even at that income level. In those 10 years, many people get married, want to buy a house, want to have kids. That money is money that won't be available for those things and will severely limit future options.

Third, the "fit" one feels during ASD should really be taken with a grain of salt, unless you are talking fit differences akin to Regent and Berkeley. It is possible to find groups of friends pretty much anywhere.

Law school is a professional degree program, not a social finishing school. If you are looking at a two schools that are roughly comparable, sure, go by "fit." When you are looking at over $50,000, fit shouldn't be a factor. It's three years. Boston's a big town. If you hate every single person at school, you can either a) spend more time studying and kill them all in class rank or b) consider looking outside law school for friends.


I agree with your point about not choosing a law school based on how one will feel socially, I did not intend to define fit in that manner.

I think that people can generally attest to a feeling that a particular individual may feel more comfortable in one location rather than another. Some people love New York City, others have no interest in city life. Additionaly in terms of "fit", I include such things as the curriculum offered, absence of ranking, and facilities.

Also, I'm not sure BetterCallSaul has the correct numbers.

BU is about 58k a year, multiplied by 3 years = 174k
Subtract 75k in scholarships and I'm at 99k

ND is about 57.5k a year, multiplied by 3 years = 172.5k
Subtract 24k in scholarships and I'm at 148.5k

Other factors to consider include undergraduate debt and any 2L summer earnings, which ideally would cancel each other out.

One thing that stuns me is how high my debt will be given how 100k+ debt is sometimes vilified on this board. Do most people have either significant personal savings or parental contributions? I thought 25k was a pretty generous scholarship figure, yet it still leaves me with 100k in debt.


Ah, I misread the numbers and thought you were looking at 95k in scholarships vs. 150k in scholarships--that would be awesome.

So to get it right...you'd take out an extra 55k to go to ND, which would mean at least $610/month more for 10 years--unless you go public interest and do IBR or somehow consolidate--which will be very tough given that interest rates are going no where but up and all federal loans have fixed rates now.

If you aren't already playing with a loan payment calculator, you should give it a go:
http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/mor ... lator.aspx

I believe 100k in debt should be terrifying. That doesn't mean you can't do it, just figure out how the numbers will actually work if you don't make the top 25% and get a big law job.

What do other people do? A lot of people have more family help than they'll talk about publicly. Then there are people in the T14 who think they're justified in taking 150k-200k in debt but no one else is. Also, there's a fair bit of "do as I say, not as I do" thing when it comes to student loans.

Full Disclosure: I will graduate with 55k in debt from CCN. If I didn't have rich elderly relatives I would have gone to a the best school that offered me a good scholarship. I figured out what my post-law school budget will look like (best and worst case scenarios) and how quickly I'll be able to pay off the loans (between 16 and 28 months--If I were headed for big law I could do it much faster but I'm going plaintiff-side). I look at the future budgets every now and then to remind myself that I'm doing fine even though I'm skipping big law. I think I'm more phobic than most, but it's not really an unhealthy fear...

CanadianWolf
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Re: Turning down a higher ranked shcool with better $$$ offer

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:03 am

Notre Dame.

flcath
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Re: Turning down a higher ranked shcool with better $$$ offer

Postby flcath » Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:06 am

OneSixtySix wrote:The rankings really arent a factor. They are peer schools in every sense of the word, in fact I would suspect ND crack the T20 in the next 3 years due to some faculty acquisitions and the new building. I guess my personal concern is whether I should turn down a school with a significant difference in cost given my financial situation.

Just so you know, you were inappropriately vague in your OP. I inferred into it that you were choosing an IUBish school w/ $ over a Vanderbiltish school w/ $$... which--I apologize to the unusual number of free-spirited people ITT--would be fucking stupid. But yeah, ND, BC, BU, Emory, and--despite being a jump ahead and a jump behind, respectively--WUSTL and GWU are all pure peer schools.

I wouldn't recommend taking ND over BU in these circumstances (i.e., it is clearly the illogical choice), but it wouldn't be "stupid". It'd be like any other purchase that costs money in return for an enhanced lifestyle.

Edit: fix




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