Thank you again to everyone who has posted and helped me with my decisions. I really do appreciate the advice.
If you have two years (24 months) on your GI Bill
When I said two years I was talking about 2 academic years. I actually have 19 months and 26 days left. Therefore, I should have 2 academic years plus some change, but I'm not counting the change and just trying overestimate.
Are you Post-9/11 or Montgomery? If you're 3+ years active duty you qualify for the Yellow Ribbon Program, which typically kicks in a nice chunk of change. It looks like ND's is only $4,000/year (matched with VA for $8,000/year). That means your Post-9/11, if you qualify for YRP, would get you $25,500/year for Notre Dame.
Tuition cost for 2012 is about $46,000, so ND would costs you about $61,500 total.
I am Post-9/11, but I only have 2 academic years left. I did the math and ND would actually cost me around $86,940, which I would not be willing to pay. However, if they would only give me a $7,000 a year scholarship (the lowest amount I have said I would still go there for) that would bring the price down to 65,940, which I think I would be willing to pay. I might still be able to pay this in cash if my wife gets a job (she is a school teacher and with state budget cuts it is hard to predict if she will, but hopefully she could get something). If she does, then I could still graduate with no debt, but still have spent much more of my savings. With all of this in mind, my target city/area will actually be South Bend, IN. It is basically where my family lives and where I want to end up no matter what law school I go to. I already know that 1) they may not take me off of the waitlist 2) they will probably not give me any scholarship. However, let's assume that both happened for my question.
My question is, do you think it would be worth spending 65,940 (worst case scenario that I would still accept) to go to ND rather than closer to 27,000 at IU? With my goal of working in South Bend, is the extra 38k worth it?
Again, thank you for all of the advice and help. I really do listen to this advice.