Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

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

Postby Aqualibrium » Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:52 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%


First I'd advise you to negotiate the Loyola stip down at some point. Even if you couldn't, I don't personally think Hastings puts you in a position with respect to the legal job market that makes it worth more over three years than Loyola would cost even if you lost your scholarship after 1L.

As far as USC goes, I would think there is a big enough prestige difference between the two schools to make this a very difficult decision for you. I personally would not pay sticker to attend USC, even for work in LA. I think situations like that are where TLS ceases to be helpful, and you just have to do what you think is best for you.

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Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby ggocat » Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:55 pm

ach24 wrote: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's impossible to reach an informed opinion without knowing more details about your situation--e.g., name of schools, location preference.

But generally speaking, it can be a good idea to go outside the first tier. http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL ... hbxlogin=1

As I mentioned above, things worked out well for me as a graduate of a third tier school (Mercer) despite passing on plenty of first tier schools (e.g., Iowa, Arizona with partial scholarship).

The only "regret" I have about the law school application and decision process is that I didn't retake the LSAT (and take it whatever the max number of times allowed). I think the year I applied was the first time they stopped averaging scores, and I didn't fully appreciate the importance of 2-3 points.

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

Postby Aqualibrium » Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:56 pm

Danteshek wrote:


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.


:shock: 160k in debt isn't a "financial incentive to work hard?" An uncertain economy isn't a "financial incentive to work hard?"

Even beyond that, many people work hard and don't have the grades to show for it...

Seems like faulty reasoning to me.

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

Postby Danteshek » Thu Feb 03, 2011 4:06 pm

Aqualibrium wrote:
Danteshek wrote:


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.


:shock: 160k in debt isn't a "financial incentive to work hard?" An uncertain economy isn't a "financial incentive to work hard?"

Even beyond that, many people work hard and don't have the grades to show for it...

Seems like faulty reasoning to me.


If he comes to Loyola and does well, his debt will be greatly diminished. Not so at USC. The incentive to do well is greater at Loyola. That is what I meant.

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

Postby Hannibal » Thu Feb 03, 2011 4:18 pm

Danteshek wrote:
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).


Scholarship stipulations are a disgusting practice, there is no way at getting around that. 100% of students thing they can get top 30% if they try hard enough, 30% will. The school knows this. It's a bigger gamble to go to Loyola since you have a 70% chance of having the same amount of debt, but the job prospects will be much much better at USC.

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Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby Aqualibrium » Thu Feb 03, 2011 4:48 pm

Hannibal wrote:
Scholarship stipulations are a disgusting practice...



Why?

I still don't understand the TLS hatred for scholarship stipulations. Unfair or outrageous scholarship stipulations are disgusting, but for the most part, scholarship stipulations are neither unfair nor outrageous.

Scholarships are not something schools have to do. Most graduate/professional programs that have tuition costs similar to law schools give out scholarships in the single digits. Few give out larger scholarships at all. It is totally reasonable and within the rights of a school to expect scholarship recipients to live up to certain reasonable academic standards to keep those discretionary funds. That said, you should always try to negotiate the stipulation down/away.

I totally understand a top 1/3 - top 30% stipulation for the recipients of large (75% to Full Tuition+) scholarships. Top 50% stipulations are equally understandable for more routine scholarships. As long as a school isn't requiring people to be in the top 25% or better to keep their scholarships, I don't see what the big deal is.

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

Postby Hannibal » Thu Feb 03, 2011 4:55 pm

Aqualibrium wrote:
Hannibal wrote:
Scholarship stipulations are a disgusting practice...



Why?

I still don't understand the TLS hatred for scholarship stipulations. Unfair or outrageous scholarship stipulations are disgusting, but for the most part, scholarship stipulations are neither unfair nor outrageous.

Scholarships are not something schools have to do. Most graduate/professional programs that have tuition costs similar to law schools give out scholarships in the single digits. Few give out larger scholarships at all. It is totally reasonable and within the rights of a school to expect scholarship recipients to live up to certain reasonable academic standards to keep those discretionary funds. That said, you should always try to negotiate the stipulation down/away.

I totally understand a top 1/3 - top 30% stipulation for the recipients of large (75% to Full Tuition+) scholarships. Top 50% stipulations are equally understandable for more routine scholarships. As long as a school isn't requiring people to be in the top 25% or better to keep their scholarships, I don't see what the big deal is.


Because they DO have to do scholarships in this rankings-driven education market. And they know that everyone thinks they will do well in law schools if they try hard enough. So they offer these scholarships to many many people with the knowledge that the bulk of these people with expectations of financial help will not receive it. The people that receive it are already in good shape since they're top 30%...they will get jobs. The bottom 70%, stuck with the full sticker, will also face a tougher job market. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer for the sake of USNWR.

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Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby Aqualibrium » Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:06 pm

Hannibal wrote:Because they DO have to do scholarships in this rankings-driven education market. And they know that everyone thinks they will do well in law schools if they try hard enough. So they offer these scholarships to many many people with the knowledge that the bulk of these people with expectations of financial help will not receive it. The people that receive it are already in good shape since they're top 30%...they will get jobs. The bottom 70%, stuck with the full sticker, will also face a tougher job market. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer for the sake of USNWR.


The majority of students who get scholarships aren't getting enough aid to make any meaningful dent in their total overall debt anyway. In the end, it doesn't much matter whether they got their minuscule scholarship or not. For example, 25k/yr at Tulane still puts a student in over 100k of debt. Stip or no stip, if that students finishes outside of say the top 30%, he or she will have a very difficult time repaying that amount. The scholarship is really just a false sense of financial security whether they keep it or not.

Of course all of that is from the perspective of someone who believes that a six figure debt is a six figure debt period. I personally don't see any appreciable difference between taking out 120k for law school and taking out 160k for law school. Not everyone agrees with that point when I state it,though...

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Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby emmbar53 » Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:10 pm

Aqualibrium wrote:
Hannibal wrote:Because they DO have to do scholarships in this rankings-driven education market. And they know that everyone thinks they will do well in law schools if they try hard enough. So they offer these scholarships to many many people with the knowledge that the bulk of these people with expectations of financial help will not receive it. The people that receive it are already in good shape since they're top 30%...they will get jobs. The bottom 70%, stuck with the full sticker, will also face a tougher job market. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer for the sake of USNWR.


The majority of students who get scholarships aren't getting enough aid to make any meaningful dent in their total overall debt anyway. In the end, it doesn't much matter whether they got their minuscule scholarship or not. For example, 25k/yr at Tulane still puts a student in over 100k of debt. Stip or no stip, if that students finishes outside of say the top 30%, he or she will have a very difficult time repaying that amount. The scholarship is really just a false sense of financial security whether they keep it or not.

Of course all of that is from the perspective of someone who believes that a six figure debt is a six figure debt period. I personally don't see any appreciable difference between taking out 120k for law school and taking out 160k for law school. Not everyone agrees with that point when I state it,though...


My calculations put the difference at an appreciable 40k.

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Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby deathviaboredom » Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:13 pm

Aqualibrium wrote:
Hannibal wrote:Because they DO have to do scholarships in this rankings-driven education market. And they know that everyone thinks they will do well in law schools if they try hard enough. So they offer these scholarships to many many people with the knowledge that the bulk of these people with expectations of financial help will not receive it. The people that receive it are already in good shape since they're top 30%...they will get jobs. The bottom 70%, stuck with the full sticker, will also face a tougher job market. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer for the sake of USNWR.


The majority of students who get scholarships aren't getting enough aid to make any meaningful dent in their total overall debt anyway. In the end, it doesn't much matter whether they got their minuscule scholarship or not. For example, 25k/yr at Tulane still puts a student in over 100k of debt. Stip or no stip, if that students finishes outside of say the top 30%, he or she will have a very difficult time repaying that amount. The scholarship is really just a false sense of financial security whether they keep it or not.

Of course all of that is from the perspective of someone who believes that a six figure debt is a six figure debt period. I personally don't see any appreciable difference between taking out 120k for law school and taking out 160k for law school. Not everyone agrees with that point when I state it,though...


I feel like this is some famous logical fallacy.

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Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby nickwar » Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:14 pm

No regrets whatsoever. Couldn't be happier with my decision. I'll graduate nearly debt free.

Specifics:

Attending UGA paying roughly $5000/year tuition

over

Emory (sticker)
BU (sticker)
Fordham (sticker)

-all around $40k tuition + significant cost of living increases.


Glad I dodged that bullet, especially considering UGA jumped something like 8 spots over the past year or so.
Last edited by nickwar on Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby nickwar » Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:15 pm

Aqualibrium wrote:
Hannibal wrote:Because they DO have to do scholarships in this rankings-driven education market. And they know that everyone thinks they will do well in law schools if they try hard enough. So they offer these scholarships to many many people with the knowledge that the bulk of these people with expectations of financial help will not receive it. The people that receive it are already in good shape since they're top 30%...they will get jobs. The bottom 70%, stuck with the full sticker, will also face a tougher job market. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer for the sake of USNWR.


The majority of students who get scholarships aren't getting enough aid to make any meaningful dent in their total overall debt anyway. In the end, it doesn't much matter whether they got their minuscule scholarship or not. For example, 25k/yr at Tulane still puts a student in over 100k of debt. Stip or no stip, if that students finishes outside of say the top 30%, he or she will have a very difficult time repaying that amount. The scholarship is really just a false sense of financial security whether they keep it or not.

Of course all of that is from the perspective of someone who believes that a six figure debt is a six figure debt period. I personally don't see any appreciable difference between taking out 120k for law school and taking out 160k for law school. Not everyone agrees with that point when I state it,though...



UGA's tuition is something like $13-14k/year. I got a $7,500 scholarship. That's a fairly significant contribution and it ended up making my decision.

And I personally think your "no difference" argument is kind of ridiculous. You basically said there's no difference between being debt free and $40k in debt.
Last edited by nickwar on Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby Aqualibrium » Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:15 pm

emmbar53 wrote:My calculations put the difference at an appreciable 40k.



I get that. I can do math too. I've just seen first hand the way people who are under that threshold and people who are over that threshold treat their debt load. The people I've seen who are under 100k try their damnedest to stay under it. Conversely, the people over that threshold don't much seem to care about the difference adding a 15k study abroad is going to make to their total debt. That comes from people with and without jobs, and people at great schools and poor schools.

That has primarily shaped my view that there isn't much of a difference between 120 and 160k. Like I said, I understand the math, but in practical terms it just doesn't seem to matter much.

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Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby nickwar » Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:20 pm

Aqualibrium wrote:
emmbar53 wrote:My calculations put the difference at an appreciable 40k.



I get that. I can do math too. I've just seen first hand the way people who are under that threshold and people who are over that threshold treat their debt load. The people I've seen who are under 100k try their damnedest to stay under it. Conversely, the people over that threshold don't much seem to care about the difference adding a 15k study abroad is going to make to their total debt. That comes from people with and without jobs, and people at great schools and poor schools.

That has primarily shaped my view that there isn't much of a difference between 120 and 160k. Like I said, I understand the math, but in practical terms it just doesn't seem to matter much.


Why does nonsensically adding a $15k study abroad to your debt load make your argument reasonable? That seems like a terrible way to go about things.

I'm guessing you have a rather large debt load (or maybe not?) I'm also guessing you'll notice a difference when you start paying the loans off.


Edit: Your argument makes sense if you plan on never paying back your loans.

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Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby Aqualibrium » Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:23 pm

nickwar wrote:
Aqualibrium wrote:
Hannibal wrote:Because they DO have to do scholarships in this rankings-driven education market. And they know that everyone thinks they will do well in law schools if they try hard enough. So they offer these scholarships to many many people with the knowledge that the bulk of these people with expectations of financial help will not receive it. The people that receive it are already in good shape since they're top 30%...they will get jobs. The bottom 70%, stuck with the full sticker, will also face a tougher job market. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer for the sake of USNWR.


The majority of students who get scholarships aren't getting enough aid to make any meaningful dent in their total overall debt anyway. In the end, it doesn't much matter whether they got their minuscule scholarship or not. For example, 25k/yr at Tulane still puts a student in over 100k of debt. Stip or no stip, if that students finishes outside of say the top 30%, he or she will have a very difficult time repaying that amount. The scholarship is really just a false sense of financial security whether they keep it or not.

Of course all of that is from the perspective of someone who believes that a six figure debt is a six figure debt period. I personally don't see any appreciable difference between taking out 120k for law school and taking out 160k for law school. Not everyone agrees with that point when I state it,though...



UGA's tuition is something like $13-14k/year. I got a $7,500 scholarship. That's a fairly significant contribution and it ended up making my decision.

And I personally think your "no difference" argument is kind of ridiculous. You basically said there's no difference between being debt free and $40k in debt.


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.

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Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby stratocophic » Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:24 pm

emmbar53 wrote:
Aqualibrium wrote:
Hannibal wrote:Because they DO have to do scholarships in this rankings-driven education market. And they know that everyone thinks they will do well in law schools if they try hard enough. So they offer these scholarships to many many people with the knowledge that the bulk of these people with expectations of financial help will not receive it. The people that receive it are already in good shape since they're top 30%...they will get jobs. The bottom 70%, stuck with the full sticker, will also face a tougher job market. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer for the sake of USNWR.


The majority of students who get scholarships aren't getting enough aid to make any meaningful dent in their total overall debt anyway. In the end, it doesn't much matter whether they got their minuscule scholarship or not. For example, 25k/yr at Tulane still puts a student in over 100k of debt. Stip or no stip, if that students finishes outside of say the top 30%, he or she will have a very difficult time repaying that amount. The scholarship is really just a false sense of financial security whether they keep it or not.

Of course all of that is from the perspective of someone who believes that a six figure debt is a six figure debt period. I personally don't see any appreciable difference between taking out 120k for law school and taking out 160k for law school. Not everyone agrees with that point when I state it,though...


My calculations put the difference at an appreciable 40k.
It's not appreciable if you can't pay either amount off b/c you're jobless. Doesn't matter if it's 100k or 1M if you're making 30k doing doc review or completely unemployed.

That said, in response to the thread prompt, I took the money and couldn't be happier. I'm actually pretty dang glad that I didn't get off the waitlist at any T14s.

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Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby Aqualibrium » Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:28 pm

nickwar wrote:
Aqualibrium wrote:
emmbar53 wrote:My calculations put the difference at an appreciable 40k.



I get that. I can do math too. I've just seen first hand the way people who are under that threshold and people who are over that threshold treat their debt load. The people I've seen who are under 100k try their damnedest to stay under it. Conversely, the people over that threshold don't much seem to care about the difference adding a 15k study abroad is going to make to their total debt. That comes from people with and without jobs, and people at great schools and poor schools.

That has primarily shaped my view that there isn't much of a difference between 120 and 160k. Like I said, I understand the math, but in practical terms it just doesn't seem to matter much.


Why does nonsensically adding a $15k study abroad to your debt load make your argument reasonable? That seems like a terrible way to go about things.

I'm guessing you have a rather large debt load (or maybe not?) I'm also guessing you'll notice a difference when you start paying the loans off.


Edit: Your argument makes sense if you plan on never paying back your loans.


I have $0 debt. I had two firm jobs last summer. I'll have two this summer. I'm not making an argument. That would require me to want you to believe me. I'm just stating my viewpoint and why I feel that way. I'm not even arguing that the actions of those people make sense. It's just the way I've seen these things play out.

There shouldn't be a difference between a 2.9 gpa and a 3.0 gpa, but psychologically there is. There shouldn't be a difference between charging 9.99 for something and charging $10 dollars for something, but psychologically there is. Likewise, there should in fact be a difference between having 120k in educational loans and having 160k, but I've observed in a fairly good sized sample that psychologically there is no difference to people in that situation.

Does it make sense? No. It's just what I've seen. People do stupid things.

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Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:38 pm

Danteshek wrote:
Aqualibrium wrote:
Danteshek wrote: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.


:shock: 160k in debt isn't a "financial incentive to work hard?" An uncertain economy isn't a "financial incentive to work hard?"

Even beyond that, many people work hard and don't have the grades to show for it...

Seems like faulty reasoning to me.


If he comes to Loyola and does well, his debt will be greatly diminished. Not so at USC. The incentive to do well is greater at Loyola. That is what I meant.

Logic failing this hard on the LSAT is what keeps people out of better schools than Loyola.

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Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby lsatextreme » Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:45 pm

Danteshek wrote:
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.


i'm not sure how having a scholarship on the line would give you more motivation to do better at a school than being in any kind of debt or knowing how difficult the legal job market is ITE...

but if that's your motivation to do well at LLS then more power to you I guess...

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Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby TheStrand » Thu Feb 03, 2011 6:22 pm

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.

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Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby Hannibal » Thu Feb 03, 2011 6:25 pm

TheStrand wrote:
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 contestable point is 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.


Ok, think about how long it would take you to pay off a 40k loan. Depending on how long you take to pay it and the interest, that's around $500/month for 8-9 years. You could easily be putting this into retirement/survival, whatever. Now imagine while you are paying that off, you are paying interest on a 120k loan.

It's a big fucking difference.

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Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby Gotti » Thu Feb 03, 2011 6:27 pm

I haven't read most of the responses to this thread, but I JUST spoke about this with my friend (2L) who chose USC over a lot of $$ at Fordham. He said that the difference between 18 and 30+ is just not that big and it gets smaller once you go to even lower ranked schools. He's not doing poorly at all but he said he would have definitely gone with $$ at Fordham over USC at sticker, just because of the job market right now.

I do agree with vanwinkle's first comment though.

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Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby bjsesq » Thu Feb 03, 2011 6:32 pm

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.

The only thing I'll add to vw's analysis is that i am very happy that I ended up in Chicago v. Charlottesville. The schools aren't so far apart in ranking that it makes that big of a difference, and I adore this city. While I lost the opportunity to hang with panda, yc, and others, I just console myself by savagely beating DF on the regular.
Last edited by bjsesq on Thu Feb 03, 2011 6:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Aqualibrium
Posts: 2011
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:57 am

Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby Aqualibrium » Thu Feb 03, 2011 6:32 pm

Gotti wrote:I haven't read most of the responses to this thread, but I JUST spoke about this with my friend (2L) who chose USC over a lot of $$ at Fordham. He said that the difference between 18 and 30+ is just not that big and it gets smaller once you go to even lower ranked schools. He's not doing poorly at all but he said he would have definitely gone with $$ at Fordham over USC at sticker, just because of the job market right now.

I do agree with vanwinkle's first comment though.


Well this depends on what he wanted out of law school. This is one of those situations where it would be an abundantly stupid decision to pick the higher ranked school over a school in a region you want to work.

In your friend's situation, rankings really have nothing to do with anything. If he wanted to work in New York, Fordham was the better option. If he wanted to work in Cali, USC, even at sticker, was the better option. If he didn't care and all he wanted was a big law job, Fordham was always going to be the better option of those two schools.

rundoxierun
Posts: 1893
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2008 1:46 am

Re: Anyone regret taking scholarship over higher ranked school?

Postby rundoxierun » Thu Feb 03, 2011 6:34 pm

Hannibal wrote:
Ok, think about how long it would take you to pay off a 40k loan. Depending on how long you take to pay it and the interest, that's around $500/month for 8-9 years. You could easily be putting this into retirement/survival, whatever. Now imagine while you are paying that off, you are paying interest on a 120k loan.

It's a big fucking difference.


What point are you trying to make?? Are you arguing against the argument that past a certain point the extra 40k debt is marginal??




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