U of San Diego w/ nearly full tuition scholarship

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
kbuckley177
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 6:20 pm

U of San Diego w/ nearly full tuition scholarship

Postby kbuckley177 » Sun Feb 01, 2015 2:30 pm

I want some opinions. I was offered 43k/year from USD and I could live at home with my parents for free during my three years of law school. I have personal savings and my family is willing to continue to help me out with smaller school related expenses like books. However, I have been accepted to several other higher ranked schools. I am from SoCal and would love to move back home eventually, but I can't decide if going to a T2 school is worth the risk. Yes, it would be essentially at no cost. But job prospects out of USD are pretty damn bad outside of San Diego. I am still waiting for a scholarship offer from my "top choice" school in the midwest and I would be over-the-moon excited to go to this other school, but the offer from USD feels hard to pass up. Would it be dumb to walk away from "free" law school in order to take on some debt (definitely not sticker, btw) at a better school with hopes of being able to relocate back to SD later? I should note that I got into USC (still waiting on scholly info) and applied to UCLA but haven't heard back yet.

User avatar
TheSpanishMain
Posts: 4133
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:26 pm

Re: U of San Diego w/ nearly full tuition scholarship

Postby TheSpanishMain » Sun Feb 01, 2015 3:12 pm

If you want to practice in San Diego, I don't know what advantages going to your first choice school in the Midwest gives you, unless it's NU or Chicago.

What kind of job are you hoping to get? If you want a small firm or local government in San Diego, I don't think USD for free is an awful choice. If that's not you, though, run.

What are your numbers?

kbuckley177
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 6:20 pm

Re: U of San Diego w/ nearly full tuition scholarship

Postby kbuckley177 » Sun Feb 01, 2015 3:28 pm

I am almost certain that I do not want to work in government, and while I would not be unhappy working for a smaller firm, I am hoping for a larger firm. My biggest concern is that USD is a very limiting choice.

User avatar
Ron Don Volante
Posts: 899
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2014 2:26 pm

Re: U of San Diego w/ nearly full tuition scholarship

Postby Ron Don Volante » Sun Feb 01, 2015 3:32 pm

If you want to work at a big firm in SoCal, and this school is on your radar, the answer is probably going to be "retake," because you're going to need to go to at least UCLA or USC on a good scholarship. If you're fine working in a small firm or in some non-prefsitigious capacity in the greater San Diego area, USD for free sounds fine to me.

Going to this Midwestern school though, if it's not NU or UC, is not a good idea considering your goals.

User avatar
TheSpanishMain
Posts: 4133
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:26 pm

Re: U of San Diego w/ nearly full tuition scholarship

Postby TheSpanishMain » Sun Feb 01, 2015 3:32 pm

kbuckley177 wrote:I am almost certain that I do not want to work in government, and while I would not be unhappy working for a smaller firm, I am hoping for a larger firm. My biggest concern is that USD is a very limiting choice.


Well, less than 10% of USD grads end up in large firms. So yes, it would be very limiting, and you would be very unlikely to reach your goals.

I'm guessing an LSAT retake is your best bet.

User avatar
chuckbass
Posts: 9957
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:29 pm

Re: U of San Diego w/ nearly full tuition scholarship

Postby chuckbass » Sun Feb 01, 2015 3:33 pm

Robert Kardashian went there and went on to do great things

kbuckley177
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 6:20 pm

Re: U of San Diego w/ nearly full tuition scholarship

Postby kbuckley177 » Sun Feb 01, 2015 3:40 pm

I'm fully prepared to sit out this year and retake in June if I don't get an offer worth taking this cycle. I think I just needed to be reassured that USD isn't a good option just because it's at no cost.

User avatar
Ron Don Volante
Posts: 899
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2014 2:26 pm

Re: U of San Diego w/ nearly full tuition scholarship

Postby Ron Don Volante » Sun Feb 01, 2015 3:41 pm

please tell us your stats and give us more background. It's tough to give really particular advice beyond what we have already said.

In order to receive the best feedback in this forum, please provide as much of the following information in your original post as possible:

-The schools you are considering
-The total Cost of Attendance (COA) of each. COA = cost of tuition + fees + books + cost of living (COL) + accumulated interest - scholarships. Here is a helpful calculator.
-How you will be financing your COA, i.e. loans, family, or savings
-Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties (if any)
-Your general career goals
-Your LSAT/GPA numbers
-How many times you have taken the LSAT

User avatar
twenty
Posts: 3153
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:17 pm

Re: U of San Diego w/ nearly full tuition scholarship

Postby twenty » Sun Feb 01, 2015 3:50 pm

I would think long and hard before turning down a completely free JD. What do you see yourself accomplishing in a big firm that you wouldn't get out of a small firm/government/DA job?

kbuckley177
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 6:20 pm

Re: U of San Diego w/ nearly full tuition scholarship

Postby kbuckley177 » Sun Feb 01, 2015 3:55 pm

I will be financing tuition with loans. My parents are willing to cover my living expenses. I have only taken the LSAT once, I got a 166. 3.8 GPA from a B1G school. I would love to end up back in San Diego eventually, but its not a must. I went to undergrad in the Midwest and actually really like it here. Ideally, I want to end up working for a larger firm. I've been accepted at BC, ND, WUSTL, Ohio State, USC, and USD.

User avatar
TheSpanishMain
Posts: 4133
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:26 pm

Re: U of San Diego w/ nearly full tuition scholarship

Postby TheSpanishMain » Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:04 pm

Definitely retake. You should be deciding between UCLA for free and T14 at a hefty discount. USD shouldn't be on your radar.

User avatar
ReasonableNprudent
Posts: 153
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:12 pm

Re: U of San Diego w/ nearly full tuition scholarship

Postby ReasonableNprudent » Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:05 pm

I don't think USD for free is bad at all. I'm guessing your "top choice in the midwest" is either Minnesota or Notre Dame. I'd imagine the networking you could do while in law school in SD would yield greater returns than going to a T1 but not T14 school. Think alumni, externships/internships, volunteer work, joining bar associations, etc. I understand that doing these things is what gets students jobs after graduation. It's a lot easier to do those things in the market you want to work.

Yes, if you want big law it is better to go to USC or UCLA (statistically speaking). I'm not sure if it is much easier to plan on being top 35% or so at USC than it is to be top 5-10% at USD. Though, I'm also not sure that the 35% out of USC/UCLA that gets big law is the top 35% of the class; the relationship might not be static.

In the end, USC or UCLA at a low cost/no cost is better than USD at low or no cost. Both are probably better than a midwest school, if you want to practice in So Cal.

(As far as Robert Kardashian goes, I understand he made his money in business and not law. Of course, if a school pumps out enough grads there are bound to be some Kardashians. He is really irrelevant to your situation.)

User avatar
Tiago Splitter
Posts: 15503
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:20 am

Re: U of San Diego w/ nearly full tuition scholarship

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:05 pm

I had good grades at Columbia and couldn't get a large firm job in San Diego despite having grown up there. It's really tough. If you can get USC down to 10k or so tuition per year that makes a lot more sense as it will give you a real chance at jobs throughout the state. Barring that you really need to retake for a couple more points to get a big scholarship at a place like Northwestern or Michigan.

USD is pretty much hopeless. I know of people comfortably inside the top 10% who struck out at OCI. I was going to go there with my 166 before I decided to retake and I'm certainly glad I stayed away.
Last edited by Tiago Splitter on Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
TheSpanishMain
Posts: 4133
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:26 pm

Re: U of San Diego w/ nearly full tuition scholarship

Postby TheSpanishMain » Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:07 pm

ReasonableNprudent wrote:
(As far as Robert Kardashian goes, I understand he made his money in business and not law. Of course, if a school pumps out enough grads there are bound to be some Kardashians. He is really irrelevant to your situation.)


....He was joking.

kbuckley177
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 6:20 pm

Re: U of San Diego w/ nearly full tuition scholarship

Postby kbuckley177 » Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:11 pm

TheSpanishMain wrote:Definitely retake. You should be deciding between UCLA for free and T14 at a hefty discount. USD shouldn't be on your radar.


I needed someone to tell me this. lol. Thank you!

User avatar
Ron Don Volante
Posts: 899
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2014 2:26 pm

Re: U of San Diego w/ nearly full tuition scholarship

Postby Ron Don Volante » Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:16 pm

In that case you really should be retaking. Two more points and you've basically got a full ride at USC. Don't settle.

Midwest is v underrated by most, yes, but most of the legal markets are quite small, saturated, and insular. Going T14 or to UCLA/USC, especially with your preferred line of employment, is pretty crucial here. Get that thing to like a 170 and it's smooth sailing.

Moneytrees
Posts: 646
Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:41 pm

Re: U of San Diego w/ nearly full tuition scholarship

Postby Moneytrees » Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:21 pm

166/3.8 are T14 stats, you should retake and re-apply early next cycle. USD is a decent school but somebody with your numbers should not be considering it.

User avatar
chuckbass
Posts: 9957
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:29 pm

Re: U of San Diego w/ nearly full tuition scholarship

Postby chuckbass » Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:22 pm

TheSpanishMain wrote:
ReasonableNprudent wrote:
(As far as Robert Kardashian goes, I understand he made his money in business and not law. Of course, if a school pumps out enough grads there are bound to be some Kardashians. He is really irrelevant to your situation.)


....He was joking.

Even better response than I could have hoped for :lol:

User avatar
Rigo
Posts: 11948
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:19 pm

Re: U of San Diego w/ nearly full tuition scholarship

Postby Rigo » Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:30 pm

San Diego native here, so I can see why you want to practice there. USD is a fine choice if you have modest goals in San Diego County. However, "a large firm" isn't a modest goal.

Your stats are too good for USD so you should aim higher if you really wouldn't be fine with the median outcomes. See what USC offers you or retake and shoot for USC and UCLA (hell, even Berekley or Stanford is possible).

Also, a big portion of the biglaw jobs in San Diego is patent stuff (iirc) so that's pretty limiting if you're not STEM and patent bar eligible.
Overall a very tough market.

User avatar
Tiago Splitter
Posts: 15503
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:20 am

Re: U of San Diego w/ nearly full tuition scholarship

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:31 pm

Moneytrees wrote:166/3.8 are T14 stats, you should retake and re-apply early next cycle. USD is a decent school but somebody with your numbers should not be considering it.

It's still very early in the cycle. Hopefully OP applied to some T-14's for scholarship leverage, but even without negotiation something like 135k at USC is very reasonable.

kbuckley177
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 6:20 pm

Re: U of San Diego w/ nearly full tuition scholarship

Postby kbuckley177 » Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:34 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
Moneytrees wrote:166/3.8 are T14 stats, you should retake and re-apply early next cycle. USD is a decent school but somebody with your numbers should not be considering it.

It's still very early in the cycle. Hopefully OP applied to some T-14's for scholarship leverage, but even without negotiation something like 135k at USC is very reasonable.


Is 135k for USC really reasonable? How much (or little?) should I be willing to pay for USC or UCLA?

User avatar
Tiago Splitter
Posts: 15503
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:20 am

Re: U of San Diego w/ nearly full tuition scholarship

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:36 pm

kbuckley177 wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
Moneytrees wrote:166/3.8 are T14 stats, you should retake and re-apply early next cycle. USD is a decent school but somebody with your numbers should not be considering it.

It's still very early in the cycle. Hopefully OP applied to some T-14's for scholarship leverage, but even without negotiation something like 135k at USC is very reasonable.


Is 135k for USC really reasonable? How much (or little?) should I be willing to pay for USC or UCLA?

I wouldn't pay more than about 10k per year. You're at or above both medians so you should come pretty close to a full ride. Ideally you'll get into a T-14 or two, UCLA, and get full rides at lower ranked schools, all of which you can use to negotiate up USC (and UCLA). Don't make the first move, but after you get your aid offer negotiate multiple times if necessary. Sort through some of the profiles on the page below to get a sense of what kind of money you can expect to receive.

http://usc.lawschoolnumbers.com/applica ... cholarship

The number of applicants continues to rapidly decline, so the schools have very little leverage here. Drive a hard bargain.

kbuckley177
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 6:20 pm

Re: U of San Diego w/ nearly full tuition scholarship

Postby kbuckley177 » Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:39 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
kbuckley177 wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
Moneytrees wrote:166/3.8 are T14 stats, you should retake and re-apply early next cycle. USD is a decent school but somebody with your numbers should not be considering it.

It's still very early in the cycle. Hopefully OP applied to some T-14's for scholarship leverage, but even without negotiation something like 135k at USC is very reasonable.


Is 135k for USC really reasonable? How much (or little?) should I be willing to pay for USC or UCLA?

I wouldn't pay more than about 10k per year. You're at or above both medians so you should come pretty close to a full ride. Ideally you'll get into a T-14 or two, UCLA, and get full rides at lower ranked schools, all of which you can use to negotiate up USC (and UCLA). Don't make the first move, but after you get your aid offer negotiate multiple times if necessary. Sort through some of the profiles on the page below to get a sense of what kind of money you can expect to receive.

http://usc.lawschoolnumbers.com/applica ... cholarship

The number of applicants continues to rapidly decline, so the schools have very little leverage here. Drive a hard bargain.


According to USC's ABA 509 report, the 75% award amount is only 25k. That isn't even close a full ride :(

User avatar
Rigo
Posts: 11948
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:19 pm

Re: U of San Diego w/ nearly full tuition scholarship

Postby Rigo » Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:42 pm

kbuckley177 wrote:According to USC's ABA 509 report, the 75% award amount is only 25k. That isn't even close a full ride :(

That's weighed down by people with worse numbers who only get nominal scholarships. It's not really a good reference point.

kbuckley177
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 6:20 pm

Re: U of San Diego w/ nearly full tuition scholarship

Postby kbuckley177 » Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:44 pm

Dirigo wrote:
kbuckley177 wrote:According to USC's ABA 509 report, the 75% award amount is only 25k. That isn't even close a full ride :(

That's weighed down by people with worse numbers who only get nominal scholarships. It's not really a good reference point.


I figured it had to be skewed in some way or another based off of the offers I have received from other schools.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Macallan, uion1715 and 11 guests