PA state schools vs. PA "state schools"

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jkhalfa
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PA state schools vs. PA "state schools"

Postby jkhalfa » Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:37 pm

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Last edited by jkhalfa on Sun May 11, 2014 10:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BigZuck
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Re: PA state schools vs. PA "state schools"

Postby BigZuck » Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:40 pm

Undergrad doesn't really matter unless you go to one of the very best schools (maybe) in which case you might get a very small bump. The only school in PA that might give you a small bump is Penn.

Don't worry about this stuff, just get your gpa as high as possible and crush the LSAT.

fordtheriver
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Re: PA state schools vs. PA "state schools"

Postby fordtheriver » Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:43 pm

Look into Clep tests to test out of a lot of gen eds (Pitt should give credit). You could try to graduate in 3 years that way. I went to a similar school and did that. Your undergrad isn't overly important, but college is an experience so if you love it and are doing well you might not want to leave. What about scholarships at Pitt?

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rinkrat19
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Re: PA state schools vs. PA "state schools"

Postby rinkrat19 » Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:45 pm

I don't know what threads you're reading that "don't have a definitive answer," but the definitive answer is that UG prestige matters very little.

You sound like you're going to be aiming at the very tiptop schools like HYS, so for you it might matter...a tiny bit. UG prestige is a tiebreaker between similar candidates where most everything else matches up, easily wiped out by a few ticks on the GPA or a point on the LSAT. But undergrad prestige is mostly HYP (+ Cal Tech/MIT for STEM) vs. everyone else. I don't think Pitt is prestigious enough to be worth $60k more than a cheaper state school. It's not worth going into that much debt or putting more stress on your family's finances.

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jchiles
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Re: PA state schools vs. PA "state schools"

Postby jchiles » Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:55 pm

If you are talking a difference of 60k v 0 debt for another school, I would transfer. I know PA very well and I really can't think of a state school that has a reputation so bad that it would hurt you. If anything, the admissions person or employer would just shrug and think "where is that?" when they read the name. Pitt is a good school, but not so much better that I would view it as a meaningful drop in prestige. That said, Pitt is obviously well regarded in its home city and if you enjoy it and are doing well, there really is some value in that.

I just would be a little cautious about assuming a smaller state school will give you a full scholarship, just because most of them have fairly limited resources to begin with. Pitt would most likely have more info on private donors and scholarship available. And while you are only in your first year staying at a school that you know you can maintain a 4.0 could end up being worth the extra cost when it comes to LS scholarships. But really, aside from keeping your GPA up, don't worry about law school too much right now, or at least worry about your family and having as good a time as possible first.

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jkhalfa
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Re: PA state schools vs. PA "state schools"

Postby jkhalfa » Wed Jul 24, 2013 2:07 pm

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Last edited by jkhalfa on Sun May 11, 2014 10:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BigZuck
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Re: PA state schools vs. PA "state schools"

Postby BigZuck » Wed Jul 24, 2013 2:16 pm

So you're 19, intensely focused on law school already, and don't even have a drivers license?

Just go live it up for a few years (and do as well in school as you can), don't worry about this law school stuff. And major in something useful so that you can get a decent job without going to law school.

RoaringMice
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Re: PA state schools vs. PA "state schools"

Postby RoaringMice » Wed Jul 24, 2013 2:24 pm

You may not get good scholarships/aid if you transfer. Most schools put the majority of their scholarship funds toward attracting freshmen, not transfers. However, you should apply. See where you get in, see what aid they give you, calculate how much in loans you'd need for each school, then decide where you're going. As part of those calculations, though - you say you may live at home and need a car to drive. You need to calculate in the costs of owning a car, including insurance, gas and maintenance, and include that in your decision.

You say you like Pitt, and you're doing well there. What I might suggest is trying to do things to make your Pitt experience less expensive, to see if you can stay. For example, look into becoming an RA in the dorms. RAs usually get free or reduced cost room, and sometimes a small weekly salary. I did this, and it saved me a lot of cash.

I also went off the meal plan as soon as I was allowed, and cooked in my room/dorm. I found this much cheaper. A related option is to drop down to a minimal meal plan - say, just dinners - and do the rest of your meals in your dorm.

If you are an excellent student, talk to the head of your department or, if he's well placed in your department, your department advisor about your financial situation. I suggest this because when I ran into the same problem, and told my department advisor, who was also what I'd call "senior management" in my dept., he gave me a scholarship. I was shocked. I didn't ask for it. And I can't promise your dept is in a position to do this. But you may as well schedule a meeting and ask him if he has any ideas.

And of course, there is always the National Guard or Reserves. They will pay your tuition up to the amount needed to attend the most expensive public school in your state. You'd also get a monthly salary. The repercussions of this decision should be obvious.

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hephaestus
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Re: PA state schools vs. PA "state schools"

Postby hephaestus » Wed Jul 24, 2013 2:29 pm

jkhalfa wrote:I've been reading most of the "does undergrad reputation matter" threads on here, but none of them seem to have a definitive answer. Can anyone speak to the value of a PA state school specifically? I'm shooting for the top half of the T14.

Yeah there are so few of those threads around.

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jchiles
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Re: PA state schools vs. PA "state schools"

Postby jchiles » Wed Jul 24, 2013 2:36 pm

Also, while I think you've gotten a lot of decent advice from the other posters in this thread, I'd suggest avoiding this site and sites like it until you really get down to thinking about the LSAT and where to apply. TLS is a great resource but it can kind of breed neurosis and unnecesary anxiety.




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