Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

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RedItalus10
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Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby RedItalus10 » Thu Feb 03, 2011 4:21 am

I've heard a few times of people expressing that once they graduated law school, they wished they had taken a lower ranked school with a scholarship rather than the one they did in fact choose at sticker. Has anyone had the reverse situation and regretted it? For example, someone getting into Loyola with $87,000 scholarship and USC at sticker and choosing Loyola to avoid debt? Has anyone regretted NOT taking the higher ranked school at sticker?

cowgirl_bebop
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Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby cowgirl_bebop » Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:23 am

Im curious about this as well, as I may soon have the make that very same decision.

helfer snooterbagon
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Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby helfer snooterbagon » Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:01 am

I chose the lower ranked school with scholarship. I had a choice between the very low end of the T14 at sticker (rhymes with smorgeclown) and chose Chicago-Kent instead.

It is hard to really quantify whether I would have been any better or worse off had I made the choice to go with the higher ranked school. Currently, I have no debt and a job that I really enjoy that pays well.

Having said that (Curb Your Enthusiasm), when I tell people where I go to law school I can tell that many of them have never heard of it. Some come right out and tell me, some are more polite about it.

Certainly if I had done as well at GT as I have at CK, I would almost certainly have more opportunities. However, there is no telling how I would have done at GT. Additionally, if I had taken loans to attend law school, I would need to make quite a bit more money just to have the same lifestyle.

rundoxierun
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Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby rundoxierun » Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:06 am

This forum is made up of students who have either not yet entered law school or are currently in law school. I doubt you will get many good answers here.

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ggocat
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Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby ggocat » Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:13 am

helfer snooterbagon wrote:I chose the lower ranked school with scholarship. I had a choice between the very low end of the T14 at sticker (rhymes with smorgeclown) and chose Chicago-Kent instead.

It is hard to really quantify whether I would have been any better or worse off had I made the choice to go with the higher ranked school. Currently, I have no debt and a job that I really enjoy that pays well.

Having said that (Curb Your Enthusiasm), when I tell people where I go to law school I can tell that many of them have never heard of it. Some come right out and tell me, some are more polite about it.

Certainly if I had done as well at GT as I have at CK, I would almost certainly have more opportunities. However, there is no telling how I would have done at GT. Additionally, if I had taken loans to attend law school, I would need to make quite a bit more money just to have the same lifestyle.

Similar for me except schools were top 25-ish vs. third tier. I got a job that pays decently and I really enjoy (clerking at state court of appeals).

It's easier to say "I wish I had taken the scholarship" than "I wish I had gone to the higher ranked school" because the scholarship is a known benefit whereas the benefit of going to a higher ranked school is unknown--you just have no idea what job you would have gotten. The only known benefit of going to the higher ranked school (i.e., prestige or name-recognition or whatever you want to call it) would not be worth a lifetime of debt to me.

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LLB2JD
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Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby LLB2JD » Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:22 am

helfer snooterbagon wrote:I chose the lower ranked school with scholarship. I had a choice between the very low end of the T14 at sticker (rhymes with smorgeclown) and chose Chicago-Kent instead.


:lol:

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:32 am

I'm a 2L at Tulane who picked it over Vanderbilt.

I don't regret it at all. I have a (nicely) paid summer job but I'm still waiting to hear back from a couple of other employers (1 in the secondary market where I'm from and 1 in DC [not firm/not PI/not government/not academia]).

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ach24
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Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby ach24 » Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:48 am

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Last edited by ach24 on Fri Jul 31, 2015 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:06 am

ggocat wrote:It's easier to say "I wish I had taken the scholarship" than "I wish I had gone to the higher ranked school" because the scholarship is a known benefit whereas the benefit of going to a higher ranked school is unknown--you just have no idea what job you would have gotten.

This is a good summary of the problem. Also, results skew perspective. The person who took the scholarship and did poorly may be glad they did so, believing they would have done poorly anywhere and are happy they paid less. The person who took the scholarship, did well, and found work is probably happy about their outcome and having less to repay. It's only the person who did extremely well but can't find work at all who probably truly regrets their decision, and those people are less common.

frost
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Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby frost » Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:27 am

I'm also answering with the benefit of hindsight. I chose a scholarship in a school in my hometown over sticker at a lower T14 and it turned out to be a great decision. I got to stay close to my family and friends (and I certainly needed their support throughout), did fairly well in my first year, and will be a biglaw SA. For me personally, I would have felt a lot more pressure if I paid sticker, and I really didn't need that extra pressure on top of law school.

JeNeRegretteRien
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Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby JeNeRegretteRien » Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:35 am

vanwinkle wrote:
ggocat wrote:It's easier to say "I wish I had taken the scholarship" than "I wish I had gone to the higher ranked school" because the scholarship is a known benefit whereas the benefit of going to a higher ranked school is unknown--you just have no idea what job you would have gotten.

This is a good summary of the problem. Also, results skew perspective. The person who took the scholarship and did poorly may be glad they did so, believing they would have done poorly anywhere and are happy they paid less. The person who took the scholarship, did well, and found work is probably happy about their outcome and having less to repay. It's only the person who did extremely well but can't find work at all who probably truly regrets their decision, and those people are less common.



TITCR.

helfer snooterbagon
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Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby helfer snooterbagon » Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:36 am

I will add this as well, though some will almost certainly disagree. You have a better chance of being near the top of your class if your LSAT and GPA are significantly higher than the rest of the entering class. There was a group of 7-8 of us who all had the same scholarship. 1 guy was the valedictorian, 3 more were in the top 5% and no-one was below the top 20%. To qualify for the scholarship we needed an LST that was at least 7-8 points above the median LSAT at the school. Those results were pretty consistent with prior year's groups as well. Granted, it is never guaranteed how you will do, but you do set yourself up for success if your LSAT is 10 points or more about the median LSAT of the school.

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Jackson Pollock
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Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby Jackson Pollock » Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:44 am

helfer snooterbagon wrote:I will add this as well, though some will almost certainly disagree. You have a better chance of being near the top of your class if your LSAT and GPA are significantly higher than the rest of the entering class. There was a group of 7-8 of us who all had the same scholarship. 1 guy was the valedictorian, 3 more were in the top 5% and no-one was below the top 20%. To qualify for the scholarship we needed an LST that was at least 7-8 points above the median LSAT at the school. Those results were pretty consistent with prior year's groups as well. Granted, it is never guaranteed how you will do, but you do set yourself up for success if your LSAT is 10 points or more about the median LSAT of the school.


I'd be interested in responses to this from current law school students as I am facing a similar situation.

Do you agree or disagree with helfer?

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Drake014
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Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby Drake014 » Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:47 am

I took a scholly at Boalt instead of going to HYS. I've got an awesome summer job in BigLaw in the very specific field that I'm most interested in.

No regrets and I honestly can't see how things could have turned out better.

rundoxierun
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Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby rundoxierun » Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:49 am

Jackson Pollock wrote:
helfer snooterbagon wrote:I will add this as well, though some will almost certainly disagree. You have a better chance of being near the top of your class if your LSAT and GPA are significantly higher than the rest of the entering class. There was a group of 7-8 of us who all had the same scholarship. 1 guy was the valedictorian, 3 more were in the top 5% and no-one was below the top 20%. To qualify for the scholarship we needed an LST that was at least 7-8 points above the median LSAT at the school. Those results were pretty consistent with prior year's groups as well. Granted, it is never guaranteed how you will do, but you do set yourself up for success if your LSAT is 10 points or more about the median LSAT of the school.


I'd be interested in responses to this from current law school students as I am facing a similar situation.

Do you agree or disagree with helfer?


I think this is strongly dependent on the school. If you have a 3.7/160+ where the school's medians are like 3.5/150 I think it is a lot more predictive than being like a Darrow or Mordecai scholar at Michigan and Duke.

TheStrand
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Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby TheStrand » Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:52 am

Drake014 wrote:I took a scholly at Boalt instead of going to HYS. I've got an awesome summer job in BigLaw in the very specific field that I'm most interested in.

No regrets and I honestly can't see how things could have turned out better.


Lol I saw this and it sounds like "I chose an awesome school instead of an awesome school, and I have no regrets" Congrats =)

helfer snooterbagon
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Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby helfer snooterbagon » Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:53 am

tkgrrett wrote:
Jackson Pollock wrote:
helfer snooterbagon wrote:I will add this as well, though some will almost certainly disagree. You have a better chance of being near the top of your class if your LSAT and GPA are significantly higher than the rest of the entering class. There was a group of 7-8 of us who all had the same scholarship. 1 guy was the valedictorian, 3 more were in the top 5% and no-one was below the top 20%. To qualify for the scholarship we needed an LST that was at least 7-8 points above the median LSAT at the school. Those results were pretty consistent with prior year's groups as well. Granted, it is never guaranteed how you will do, but you do set yourself up for success if your LSAT is 10 points or more about the median LSAT of the school.


I'd be interested in responses to this from current law school students as I am facing a similar situation.

Do you agree or disagree with helfer?


I think this is strongly dependent on the school. If you have a 3.7/160+ where the school's medians are like 3.5/150 I think it is a lot more predictive than being like a Darrow or Mordecai scholar at Michigan and Duke.



I agree.

Aqualibrium
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Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby Aqualibrium » Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:59 am

2L at a t30. Took a full ride plus stipend at the t30 over a few t25 admissions. Best decision I ever made. No debt, paying firm jobs at NLJ250's 1L year, will have paying firm jobs at NLJ250's 2L year,and have had a great experience otherwise.

I personally think it'll be pretty hard to find someone who regrets taking a large scholarship at a lower ranked (assuming still t1) school over admissions at t25's or better (or t25 over t14 etc). IMO, if you do well, you're happy. If you do poorly, you probably would have done poorly anyway so at least it was free/near free.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:11 pm

helfer snooterbagon wrote:I will add this as well, though some will almost certainly disagree. You have a better chance of being near the top of your class if your LSAT and GPA are significantly higher than the rest of the entering class. There was a group of 7-8 of us who all had the same scholarship. 1 guy was the valedictorian, 3 more were in the top 5% and no-one was below the top 20%. To qualify for the scholarship we needed an LST that was at least 7-8 points above the median LSAT at the school. Those results were pretty consistent with prior year's groups as well. Granted, it is never guaranteed how you will do, but you do set yourself up for success if your LSAT is 10 points or more about the median LSAT of the school.

There is a correlation, but it is a group/aggregate correlation and isn't a guarantee of individual success. If you had a group like that I'd definitely expect several of them to finish at the top of the class... There's just no way to predict with certainty which individuals would, or how badly the ones who weren't at the top would do. Given enough time you'll see examples of individuals who did very poorly despite numbers that strong.

Also, saying it's based on LSAT alone is even weaker. There's even less correlation between LSAT alone and performance than combined LSAT/GPA and performance. You began by discussing the greater probability of success if you possess both a high LSAT and GPA relative to school medians, which is plausible, but then incorrectly omit the GPA relevance later and claim that a substantially higher LSAT in itself will "set yourself up for success".

Lastly, there are many schools ITE where finishing in the top 20% wouldn't be good enough to find satisfactory employment, and people should not take full scholarships to those schools on the basis of a high relative GPA/LSAT, since even doing well there may not be well enough.

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ach24
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Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby ach24 » Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:18 pm

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Aqualibrium
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Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby Aqualibrium » Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:27 pm

What about people who don't stay in T1 for their scholarship offers?



Not sure what you mean...Can you rephrase the question?

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ach24
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Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby ach24 » Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:36 pm

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Aqualibrium
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Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby Aqualibrium » Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:04 pm

ach24 wrote:
Aqualibrium wrote:
What about people who don't stay in T1 for their scholarship offers?



Not sure what you mean...Can you rephrase the question?


Sure... I've been accepted into T1 schools and T2 schools. T2s are giving me much better scholarship options so far. How big of a difference would it be to take the money and run at a T2 versus staying within T1 schools? As in, would the scholarship at a T2 make it worthwhile since everyone so far seems to be staying within T1 schools and not going down to T2.



It would really depend on the schools and where you want to end up. For me, a t30 in the South with a large scholarship was a better decision than several t25's because I wanted to end up in the South. Even if I took a hit with regards to big law placement in major markets, I was still attending a school that was the best in its state and also placed well in its region. I could still also at least try to find a gig in major markets (which I did do, and which I had success at).

I'm a big believer that everything is pretty regional outside the t10 (with a few exceptions). That means the rankings can't be a major influence in your decision making IMO. Should you go Denver with a full scholarship over Colorado at sticker? Definitely. Should you go to South Carolina with a full scholarship over Colorado at sticker? Different question entirely.

If you're comfortable settling in a region, and you get a large scholarship with reasonable stipulations to a school in that region, you should probably go to that school.

RedItalus10
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Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby RedItalus10 » Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:39 pm

Good insight above.

For the LA market in particular, does the rank and prestige of USC outweigh the debt? It would cost me roughly $110,000 more to attend USC than it would Loyola (assuming I even get accepted to USC). I do not expect a scholarship from the Trojans. I've also gotten into Hastings, but if it were between Hastings at sticker and Loyola at scholly price, I would take Loyola. I should add that the Loyola scholarship is contingent upon me staying in the top 30%

Danteshek
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Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby Danteshek » Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:49 pm

RedItalus10 wrote:Good insight above.

For the LA market in particular, does the rank and prestige of USC outweigh the debt? It would cost me roughly $110,000 more to attend USC than it would Loyola (assuming I get accepted to USC). I do not expect a scholarship from the Trojans. I've also gotten into Hastings, but if it were between Hastings at sticker and Loyola at scholly price, I would take Loyola. I should add that the Loyola scholarship is contingent upon me staying in the top 30%


LLS student here

If you come to Loyola, you will have a financial incentive to work hard. Not so at USC. Therefore, I think you will probably do better grade wise if you come to Loyola. The rest will take care of itself.

If you are deciding between Hastings and Loyola, I think you should definitely pick Loyola if you intend to practice in the LA market (even if you get a scholarship to Hastings).




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