Aqualibrium wrote:You're obviously in a different situation. As I said in my post, MOST people aren't in a situation where the scholarship they receive makes a meaningful dent (read: keeps them under 100k in debt), to their debt load. Even without a scholarship you would have been well under 100k. Any scholarship amount in that situation is just a bonus.
My no difference point was only about the difference between your debt load once you eclipse 100k in educational loans. I wasn't speaking about anything under that 100k threshold, so I wasn't "basically saying there is no difference between being debt free and 40k in debt."
The entire point was that whether you keep your scholarship or not, the sense of financial security that most scholarships provide is a false one. With 10k/yr scholarship that still puts you at over 100k in debt you are no more financially secure than you would have been attending the very same school at sticker price. Whether or not you keep that scholarship is of little importance to your overall financial security because you had none to begin with.
I agree with Aqualibrium. It might seem really foolish to say that that 40k is not that big of a difference, but if you think about how debt affects your post-graduation life, it makes sense. If you have only 40k in debt you are still going to be able to make pretty free choices with what you do with your life. You can probably take on a clerkship or non-profit or government work, non-legal work, or small firm work if you choose, because having 40k worth of debt is very affordable. However, past a certain point, say, 100k, or 120k your choices become much much more limited. You basically have to make Biglaw. And mentally, there is kind of a point where it becomes a huge burden beyond the financial aspect of it because your life is not your own. It's Citibank's, or whomever's. Your freedom becomes limited at that point and anything beyond that, while obviously numerically larger and more burdensome, has less effect. A more relevant point is not the dollar amount, but whether the scholarship you are being offered will allow you to be able to pursue a greater variety of careers and not just incentivize you to choose a different school to take on massive debt for.