I could REALLY use some help! Any insight appreciated.

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )

Which would you do?

UC Davis
50
69%
UNLV
22
31%
 
Total votes: 72

yo!
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I could REALLY use some help! Any insight appreciated.

Postby yo! » Sun Apr 11, 2010 4:36 pm

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Last edited by yo! on Fri May 11, 2012 12:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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zeth006
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Re: I could REALLY use some help! Any insight appreciated.

Postby zeth006 » Sun Apr 11, 2010 8:02 pm

As someone who's got his hopes staked on UCD, I'm recusing myself from voting. :)


But for me personally, if I were in your shoes, the the prospect of being able to come out with $0-$50,000 maximum debt along with your brother-in-law's super connections make UNLV the more attractive option at first. But I understand why UCD would still have a place in your heart right now. I've heard on more than one occasion that a school's atmosphere either will or won't click with you.

That being said, what were your impressions of UNLV after open house? Did the place also click with you?


I don't know much about UCD's LRAP but even without it, the 10-year loan payment and forgiveness program available to people working in PI seems to be helpful as it is. Not sure how it would work in junction with LRAP. You'll have to get info from others for that. But if you really want to work in PI and/or stay in your hometown, then UCD also sounds good if not better to me $150k in loans or not. If I had a heart for PI and if my hometown were in Norcal, I'd go Davis then.

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jks289
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Re: I could REALLY use some help! Any insight appreciated.

Postby jks289 » Sun Apr 11, 2010 8:08 pm

Sorry you are having a tough time deciding. I'm in the same boat with different schools. I think the three relevant things here are long term regional preference, debt load, and public interest. UNLV wins on debt, any way you cut it. But I don't see a UNLV grad breaking into the Nor Cal market. Theoretically thinking you could stay 5-10 years in a place, is difference than being stuck somewhere. Because you want to do PI I think the debt matters less. Not that it is irrelevant, but if you wife is picking up COL and you'll have residency after a year you are looking at manageable numbers, it seems like Davis is the right choice. I think if you want PI, it is important to go to a school that supports and sustains those goals.

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ggocat
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Re: I could REALLY use some help! Any insight appreciated.

Postby ggocat » Sun Apr 11, 2010 8:13 pm

Ask UNLV to drop the renewal requirement (or at least lower it to top 50%).

yo!
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Re: I could REALLY use some help! Any insight appreciated.

Postby yo! » Sun Apr 11, 2010 8:24 pm

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Last edited by yo! on Fri May 11, 2012 12:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

yo!
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Re: I could REALLY use some help! Any insight appreciated.

Postby yo! » Sun Apr 11, 2010 8:24 pm

ggocat wrote:Ask UNLV to drop the renewal requirement (or at least lower it to top 50%).


They won't. Another student tried to leverage a USC acceptance to get rid of it; I doubt that my acceptances would do the trick.

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drdolittle
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Re: I could REALLY use some help! Any insight appreciated.

Postby drdolittle » Mon Apr 12, 2010 1:01 am

I started out writing a much longer post but scrapped it because this decision really boils down to where you want to practice/live likely for the rest of your career. The type of law is also a factor but probably less so than location. But if you're set on PI (or become committed after thinking it through), I'd definitely go to Davis, despite the cost, for its LRAP and the overall support and shared interest of students/faculty for PI law. If you have any doubts, then Davis might still make sense for CA and the price is unfortunately what the CA market asks from you (and me). I just don't think a UNLV degree is all that valuable for practicing law in CA, but I could be wrong.

rww830872
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Re: I could REALLY use some help! Any insight appreciated.

Postby rww830872 » Mon Apr 12, 2010 1:11 am

also isn't out of state tuition at UNLV closer to 33k a year?

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ozarkhack
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Re: I could REALLY use some help! Any insight appreciated.

Postby ozarkhack » Mon Apr 12, 2010 1:12 am

Come on, yo! Go Davis.

I haven't seen you mention IBR, which makes the $150K in debt (which I also am likely to incur, also w/a PI-govt focus) way more manageable. Regardless of debt load, you're looking at $450/month if you earn $50K a year. And you won't have to include your wife's salary if you file separately (my understanding is that there are other drawbacks to filing separately, but the advantage in terms of your loan repayment would seem to me to far outweigh them). ... If you have kids, your monthly payment goes down even further. And if you qualify for Davis' LRAP, it would take a sizable chunk of that $450 out of the equation for you. ...

So I'd think:

If you want to work California and to study in a great spot with many like-minded students ... Go Davis. You'll not regret it.

If you're frightened (understandably so) by the $$$, then go to UNLV. You surely could get PI work out of UNLV if you wanted, I'd think. Maybe the numbers you've seen there are a matter of self-selection into non-PI jobs?

(I take it your negotiations w/McGeorge didn't work out as hoped?)

yo!
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Re: I could REALLY use some help! Any insight appreciated.

Postby yo! » Mon Apr 12, 2010 1:34 am

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Last edited by yo! on Fri May 11, 2012 12:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

yo!
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Re: I could REALLY use some help! Any insight appreciated.

Postby yo! » Mon Apr 12, 2010 1:36 am

rww830872 wrote:also isn't out of state tuition at UNLV closer to 33k a year?


I have a 33,400 scholarship for the first year and resident tuition thereafter. Since my wife will be working full time, I easily qualify for the 20K resident tuition during 2L/3L.

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Teoeo
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Re: I could REALLY use some help! Any insight appreciated.

Postby Teoeo » Mon Apr 12, 2010 1:38 am

It's too late for me to list all my reasoning, but I think Davis is the clear choice =)

jackdaw
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Re: I could REALLY use some help! Any insight appreciated.

Postby jackdaw » Mon Apr 12, 2010 3:41 am

the obvious answer is often the correct one. go to neither, the amount of people attending law school increases every year while the amount of jobs fails to keep pace. if you are afraid of the debt (rightfully so) then save yourself the headache and don't go to law school period. unless of course your undergrad was in underwater basket weaving in which case you wouldn't be able to get a job doing anything else.

on a more serious note, i have no idea what Davis is like, but I know that if you are interested in PI and want a clerkship its really fairly easy to get one in nevada. UNLV also has a program where you can spend a semester in Reno with the legislature earning credits (a stipend, no one tells you this) and this can prepare you to end up drafting legislation if that is something that interests you. I know plenty of boyd grads in the attorney generals office, harry reid always takes a boyd student for an externship and the Clark County DA and Public Defender are pretty much flush with boyd grads b/c they meet the students in the externships and then tend to offer them the positions when they open up rather than out of staters (Clark County DA and PD pay more than most other State DA's).

its all a crap shoot anyway you think about it. UC Davis isn't like a UCLA or Berkeley where you can hang your hat on the name. On the other hand i have no doubt its alumni support and name recognition far outstrip UNLV if you ultimately want to live in california. i dont think either decision is terrible.

Another option is go to whichever school you think you have the best chance of excelling in and then rock it your first year and transfer out to a top 20 school. (Viewers are advised not to try this at home)

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LawandOrder
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Re: I could REALLY use some help! Any insight appreciated.

Postby LawandOrder » Mon Apr 12, 2010 6:52 am

Image

yo!
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Re: I could REALLY use some help! Any insight appreciated.

Postby yo! » Mon Apr 12, 2010 9:59 am

LawandOrder wrote:Image


I lol'ed

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ozarkhack
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Re: I could REALLY use some help! Any insight appreciated.

Postby ozarkhack » Mon Apr 12, 2010 10:39 am

yo! wrote:As for IBR, my wife's income would also be counted, so I wouldn't really get any substanial benefit.


This doesn't have to be true. You'd still need to see what is most financially advantageous for you, but your wife's income does not have to count against you.

From FinAid.org:

Marriage Penalty

The marriage penalty inherent in the IBR formula was corrected by Congress (P.L. 110-153, December 21, 2007) by allowing a married borrower who files income tax returns as "married filing separately" to count only the borrower's adjusted gross income and student loan debt. This lets a borrower exclude the (higher) income of his/her spouse when calculating the cap on monthly payments under income-based repayment instead of combining the income as under the original legislation.



Get this straight from Uncle Sam. Pull up the Q&A pdf at the top of the page. Go to page 6:

Q23 Is my spouse's income included in the determination of my eligibility for IBR?
A23 Under the current IBR regulations, if you are married and file a joint federal tax return and you and your
spouse both have eligible student loans, your eligibility for IBR will be determined separately based on
your joint income. However, only your own individual eligible loan debt will be considered. For married
borrowers who file separate federal tax returns, IBR eligibility is determined based on each individual
spouse’s income and eligible loan debt.

Under changes made to the IBR regulations that will take effect July 1, 2010, married borrowers who
file joint tax returns and who both have eligible student loan debt will have their individual IBR eligibility
determined based on their joint income and the combined eligible loan debt of both spouses. [January
5, 2010]


So, borrow away!

(But if I'm missing something, somebody please let me know.)

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calgal17
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Re: I could REALLY use some help! Any insight appreciated.

Postby calgal17 » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:34 am

COME TO DAVIS! If PI in Norcal is your thing, there is no other option. I'm going to be in the same boat about your partner making more than you and qualifying for IBR, but it seems pretty straight forward to work around it. Also don't forget that you may qualify for some scholarships your 2nd and 3rd year which may make your debt less.

My 2 cents. See you in the fall! :wink:

guvna2030
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Re: I could REALLY use some help! Any insight appreciated.

Postby guvna2030 » Mon Apr 12, 2010 7:49 pm

My two cents here as a current UNLV law student. While I agree with the above comments that it can be extremely beneficial to go to law school in the city or region you want to practice in, UNLV offers a lot of practical opportunities. Someone above noted the legislative externship in Carson City. I did that last year and it was a great chance to work on real policy issues in a state that has really grown in the last decade or two. We also have a top-notch externship program where any student who wants to can work for a judge or agency (DA, PD, City Attorney, AG, ACLU, School District, Legal Aid of Southern Nevada, etc.) will have the chance.

The real advantage to UNLV is that we are the only law school in the state and we, as students, get connected very quickly to the legal community, no matter what type of law you want to practice. Because of the size, you can essentially carve out a niche for yourself based on your own career goals. While here, I've worked for the Legislature, a big-ish firm, and argued before the 9th Circuit as part of our Appellate Clinic. The point being, there are LOTS of opportunities get prepared for any career.

As PI is your thing, it's noteworthy that our Public Interest Law Association just raised $29K for grants for PI work. All of this money goes straight to students and past grant recipients have worked for non-profits in the Las Vegas area, as well as abroad. Because UNLV's law school is small, you'd definitely have a chance to get involved in this organization.

Oh, and if you're looking for NorCal networking opportunities, UNLV is part of the northern California circuit of the Law Student Division of the ABA and they host two events per year, usually in San Francisco. So, just because you go to school in Las Vegas doesn't mean you can't connect with employers elsewhere.

Best of luck in your law school search!

davis3l
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Re: I could REALLY use some help! Any insight appreciated.

Postby davis3l » Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:19 pm

So here is my best objective analysis. I think you should think of the the following:

1. Are you 110% sure you want public interest? You really really really should keep your options open. 98% of 0Ls have no idea what different practice areas are actually like...hell most 3Ls don't even know. As an example, as a 1L, I was 100% sure I DID NOT want to practice X law; guess what type of law I'll be practicing after graduation?

2. You say you can't get loans because your wife makes good money. But if she makes good money, then why is going in debt such a problem? Obviously nobody loves owing 150k, but if you feel confident that your wife can support you for the next few years, then it might be worth taking the debt for better job prospects.

3. Davis LRAP - you should not rely on this. It's just too risky to rely on something with a bunch of requirements that you might not meet.

4. How important is it for you to get your "dream" job? I think Davis will give you a better chance of getting a job that you'll be thrilled with. If you'd be fine with a decent job that will put food on the table, then the fact that Davis has strong public interest ties shouldn't be as important a factor. For example, if you go to Davis you might get a job somewhere like Sierra Club (unlikely from UNLV). But maybe you don't care about Sierra Club or ACLU...maybe you just want a legal aid job.

5. You should not rely on keeping your scholarship at UNLV. Also note that if you lose it and are stuck paying sticker, you'll be kicking yourself for not taking Davis.

6. Even though it sounds like your location preference is flexible, I think you really should take a hard look at where you want to live for the near future. UNLV to Bay Area is next to impossible; Davis to Vegas is possible, but not through OCI.

articulably suspect
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Re: I could REALLY use some help! Any insight appreciated.

Postby articulably suspect » Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:30 pm

davis3l wrote:So here is my best objective analysis. I think you should think of the the following:

5. You should not rely on keeping your scholarship at UNLV. Also note that if you lose it and are stuck paying sticker, you'll be kicking yourself for not taking Davis.

6. Even though it sounds like your location preference is flexible, I think you really should take a hard look at where you want to live for the near future. UNLV to Bay Area is next to impossible; Davis to Vegas is possible, but not through OCI.


This was exactly what I was going to tell OP. Contingency based scholarships are as good as no scholarship in my book, especially when choosing between these two schools. OP, seroiusly, go to Davis, don't limit your options. Plus, Davis is no #28, didn't the Dean promise they would crack t25 in the next few years? Anyway, that's quite a jump, Hastings fell BTW.

yo!
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Re: I could REALLY use some help! Any insight appreciated.

Postby yo! » Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:52 pm

ejjones wrote:
davis3l wrote:So here is my best objective analysis. I think you should think of the the following:

5. You should not rely on keeping your scholarship at UNLV. Also note that if you lose it and are stuck paying sticker, you'll be kicking yourself for not taking Davis.

6. Even though it sounds like your location preference is flexible, I think you really should take a hard look at where you want to live for the near future. UNLV to Bay Area is next to impossible; Davis to Vegas is possible, but not through OCI.


This was exactly what I was going to tell OP. Contingency based scholarships are as good as no scholarship in my book, especially when choosing between these two schools. OP, seroiusly, go to Davis, don't limit your options. Plus, Davis is no #28, didn't the Dean promise they would crack t25 in the next few years? Anyway, that's quite a jump, Hastings fell BTW.


Thanks for the help everyone. As far as the scholarship at UNLV goes, I'm not counting on it. But since the tuition is only 20K/yr, it is still A LOT cheaper to attend UNLV, even if the scholarship doesn't renew. Sure, my wife can make decent money, but 150K in debt is crippling. Ugh....I still have to think about this.

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bceagles182
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Re: I could REALLY use some help! Any insight appreciated.

Postby bceagles182 » Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:56 pm

yo! wrote:
ejjones wrote:
davis3l wrote:So here is my best objective analysis. I think you should think of the the following:

5. You should not rely on keeping your scholarship at UNLV. Also note that if you lose it and are stuck paying sticker, you'll be kicking yourself for not taking Davis.

6. Even though it sounds like your location preference is flexible, I think you really should take a hard look at where you want to live for the near future. UNLV to Bay Area is next to impossible; Davis to Vegas is possible, but not through OCI.


This was exactly what I was going to tell OP. Contingency based scholarships are as good as no scholarship in my book, especially when choosing between these two schools. OP, seroiusly, go to Davis, don't limit your options. Plus, Davis is no #28, didn't the Dean promise they would crack t25 in the next few years? Anyway, that's quite a jump, Hastings fell BTW.


Thanks for the help everyone. As far as the scholarship at UNLV goes, I'm not counting on it. But since the tuition is only 20K/yr, it is still A LOT cheaper to attend UNLV, even if the scholarship doesn't renew. Sure, my wife can make decent money, but 150K in debt is crippling. Ugh....I still have to think about this.


I don't think $150k debt is a great idea if you're looking to go into public interest. I'd go with UNLV and hope to god that you can to meet the requirement

davis3l
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Re: I could REALLY use some help! Any insight appreciated.

Postby davis3l » Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:44 pm

yo! wrote:
ejjones wrote:
davis3l wrote:So here is my best objective analysis. I think you should think of the the following:

5. You should not rely on keeping your scholarship at UNLV. Also note that if you lose it and are stuck paying sticker, you'll be kicking yourself for not taking Davis.

6. Even though it sounds like your location preference is flexible, I think you really should take a hard look at where you want to live for the near future. UNLV to Bay Area is next to impossible; Davis to Vegas is possible, but not through OCI.


This was exactly what I was going to tell OP. Contingency based scholarships are as good as no scholarship in my book, especially when choosing between these two schools. OP, seroiusly, go to Davis, don't limit your options. Plus, Davis is no #28, didn't the Dean promise they would crack t25 in the next few years? Anyway, that's quite a jump, Hastings fell BTW.


Thanks for the help everyone. As far as the scholarship at UNLV goes, I'm not counting on it. But since the tuition is only 20K/yr, it is still A LOT cheaper to attend UNLV, even if the scholarship doesn't renew. Sure, my wife can make decent money, but 150K in debt is crippling. Ugh....I still have to think about this.


Ah I didn't know how much UNLV sticker is. Well then you're looking at 1 free year, then 20K each for 2L and 3L (to be safe, assume you don't keep the scholarship). Davis will be 40k times 3. 120k for Davis v. 40k for UNLV. That's a tough call man, I wouldn't want to be you.

articulably suspect
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Re: I could REALLY use some help! Any insight appreciated.

Postby articulably suspect » Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:27 pm

yo! wrote:
ejjones wrote:
davis3l wrote:So here is my best objective analysis. I think you should think of the the following:

5. You should not rely on keeping your scholarship at UNLV. Also note that if you lose it and are stuck paying sticker, you'll be kicking yourself for not taking Davis.

6. Even though it sounds like your location preference is flexible, I think you really should take a hard look at where you want to live for the near future. UNLV to Bay Area is next to impossible; Davis to Vegas is possible, but not through OCI.


This was exactly what I was going to tell OP. Contingency based scholarships are as good as no scholarship in my book, especially when choosing between these two schools. OP, seroiusly, go to Davis, don't limit your options. Plus, Davis is no #28, didn't the Dean promise they would crack t25 in the next few years? Anyway, that's quite a jump, Hastings fell BTW.


Thanks for the help everyone. As far as the scholarship at UNLV goes, I'm not counting on it. But since the tuition is only 20K/yr, it is still A LOT cheaper to attend UNLV, even if the scholarship doesn't renew. Sure, my wife can make decent money, but 150K in debt is crippling. Ugh....I still have to think about this.


Well, there is always IBR, as someone else mentioned, which makes those repayments much more manageable and your debt no more after 10 years of public sector work(Fed Govt just expanded on it too). You can always leave the public sector, but your payments will obviously increase(there are several threads that go into detail on this).

Also, considering your rough goals, Davis seems like the best option. If you knew that you wanted to stay in NV and had great legal connections there, I would say go for UNLV, but given your situation, go with Davis. Davis will give you more options, PI or private sector, not to mention an increase in geographic reach. You will have some trouble getting employment in CA fresh out of UNLV.

There are a lot of T2’s in CA, none of them gave you a scholarship?

yo!
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Re: I could REALLY use some help! Any insight appreciated.

Postby yo! » Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:42 pm

ejjones wrote:
yo! wrote:
ejjones wrote:
davis3l wrote:So here is my best objective analysis. I think you should think of the the following:

5. You should not rely on keeping your scholarship at UNLV. Also note that if you lose it and are stuck paying sticker, you'll be kicking yourself for not taking Davis.

6. Even though it sounds like your location preference is flexible, I think you really should take a hard look at where you want to live for the near future. UNLV to Bay Area is next to impossible; Davis to Vegas is possible, but not through OCI.


This was exactly what I was going to tell OP. Contingency based scholarships are as good as no scholarship in my book, especially when choosing between these two schools. OP, seroiusly, go to Davis, don't limit your options. Plus, Davis is no #28, didn't the Dean promise they would crack t25 in the next few years? Anyway, that's quite a jump, Hastings fell BTW.


Thanks for the help everyone. As far as the scholarship at UNLV goes, I'm not counting on it. But since the tuition is only 20K/yr, it is still A LOT cheaper to attend UNLV, even if the scholarship doesn't renew. Sure, my wife can make decent money, but 150K in debt is crippling. Ugh....I still have to think about this.


Well, there is always IBR, as someone else mentioned, which makes those repayments much more manageable and your debt no more after 10 years of public sector work(Fed Govt just expanded on it too). You can always leave the public sector, but your payments will obviously increase(there are several threads that go into detail on this).

Also, considering your rough goals, Davis seems like the best option. If you knew that you wanted to stay in NV and had great legal connections there, I would say go for UNLV, but given your situation, go with Davis. Davis will give you more options, PI or private sector, not to mention an increase in geographic reach. You will have some trouble getting employment in CA fresh out of UNLV.

There are a lot of T2’s in CA, none of them gave you a scholarship?


Some did. McGeorge offered a full ride with the top 33 requirement, but their tuition is insane as well. Assuming no renewal, I'm still in a shit ton of debt (and REALLY kicking myself for not choosing Davis). San Diego and Santa Clara offered money, but not anywhere near a full ride. To be honest, I'm leaning towards UNLV because I just can't see myself with that much debt. I really loved both schools when I visited, but getting the opportunities that come with a T30 school really gives me something to think about. I'm agonizing over this decision. I have a feeling that it will come down to flipping a coin or something at the last minute.




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