HYS at Sticker

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
chad2

New
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon May 21, 2018 1:36 pm

HYS at Sticker

Postby chad2 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:38 pm

Hi all,

I'd like you to help me understand something. So the common mantra seems to be that T14 is great, but can be quite a difficult investment to justify without at least some sort of scholarship/aid. At sticker, T14 might consign you to years of unhappy biglaw firm life, and that's if you can last.

My question is, how does this logic apply to schools like HYS? Harvard and Yale aren't going to be giving out much merit-based aid (I'll admit I haven't looked into need-based a ton), or at least I certainly wouldn't be eligible for receiving any. And yet these schools cost as much or greater than other T14 schools. So how do people justify going/who goes? Rich people? People that already know they want to do big law? People that are receiving tons of need-based aid? Brilliant people who somehow manage to get merit-based aid? Or is there a rule of thumb that when it comes to HYS the usual guidelines don't apply and it's wisest to go regardless of price, given the number of opportunities available at them? Genuinely curious to hear what the logic is here, since if I am fortunate enough to get into one of these schools (between them, most likely Harvard), I'd like to know how feasible it would be to actually attend.

Thanks!

nixy

Bronze
Posts: 414
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:58 am

Re: HYS at Sticker

Postby nixy » Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:29 pm

There isn’t any merit-based aid at HYS - it’s all need-based, and it’s capped. So even someone getting the max need-based aid is going to end up with loans of some amount (I want to say it’s probably ~$150k but didn’t personally face this decision and am not up on the numbers, so could be wrong). That said, if you get the max aid, for some people that’s a reasonable amount to pay for school. Even if you don’t get max aid, people will pay sticker, mostly for one of the following reasons:

1) they have family support (so won’t actually be taking the loans or at least not all of them) or

2) they aspire to very elite, very niche kinds of legal jobs where the HYS brand will make a difference (academia, unicorn international human rights/impact lit - not your run of the mill big law or government or the like) or

3) for whatever reason they don’t get $$ at lower-ranked schools (maybe they’re a splitter. There used to be a poster here who would have taken a T14 with money but he got into Yale and didn’t get any $$ from anywhere else), so HYS ends up being the best financial deal for them, or

4) they’ve fallen for the brand name and can’t pass up the prestige.

Generally, if someone knows they want biglaw, and they get good money at a T14 school, people here will recommend they take the money and run. You don’t need a HYS degree to get a biglaw job. It’s more the unique jobs where HYS might help.

chad2

New
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon May 21, 2018 1:36 pm

Re: HYS at Sticker

Postby chad2 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:40 pm

nixy wrote:There isn’t any merit-based aid at HYS - it’s all need-based, and it’s capped. So even someone getting the max need-based aid is going to end up with loans of some amount (I want to say it’s probably ~$150k but didn’t personally face this decision and am not up on the numbers, so could be wrong). That said, if you get the max aid, for some people that’s a reasonable amount to pay for school. Even if you don’t get max aid, people will pay sticker, mostly for one of the following reasons:

1) they have family support (so won’t actually be taking the loans or at least not all of them) or

2) they aspire to very elite, very niche kinds of legal jobs where the HYS brand will make a difference (academia, unicorn international human rights/impact lit - not your run of the mill big law or government or the like) or

3) for whatever reason they don’t get $$ at lower-ranked schools (maybe they’re a splitter. There used to be a poster here who would have taken a T14 with money but he got into Yale and didn’t get any $$ from anywhere else), so HYS ends up being the best financial deal for them, or

4) they’ve fallen for the brand name and can’t pass up the prestige.

Generally, if someone knows they want biglaw, and they get good money at a T14 school, people here will recommend they take the money and run. You don’t need a HYS degree to get a biglaw job. It’s more the unique jobs where HYS might help.


Hm, so frankly speaking HYS doesn't sound that worth it to me based on the reasons you listed, most of which don't really apply to me (we'll see about aid from other schools). How much does HYS help for gov't jobs, say US Attorney's offices or the Justice Department?

nixy

Bronze
Posts: 414
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:58 am

Re: HYS at Sticker

Postby nixy » Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:22 pm

It's not like HYS are ever going to hurt you (unless you run up against a hiring person with a serious chip on their shoulder, I guess), but they're not necessary. Some parts of DOJ/some USAOs *are* very pedigree conscious, but by that I mean they'll hire from the T14, not only HYS, and they'll want to see great grades, great clerkships, and great experience (or connections) as much as a single school name. Other parts of DOJ/other USAOs hire from a wide range of respectable schools and focus more on the experience/grades/etc side of things. Further a lot of these won't hire people straight out of school so it's going to depend on what experience you get in the meantime (though admittedly the better your school, the better experience you can get to put you in a position to get the gov job later down the road). It might depend a little on which part of DOJ/USAO you're talking about but I don't believe any edge that HYS might give you is worth taking out sticker debt at HYS, especially over money elsewhere in the T14 (Ruby/Dillard/Darrow/Hamilton/Levy over HYS any day). If the difference in cost is, say, $50k or so, HYS might be defensible.

(I should make clear that I wasn't facing these choices, so I'm not speaking from personal experience attending any of these, but more from what I've seen of government hiring.)

All that said, going back to your original post, one plus for Yale at least is that it's LRAP program (they call it something else) is extremely flexible and I think is one of the very few (if not only) that doesn't require you to be in a legal job to be able to use it. So even if you hate law, hate biglaw, and decide to bail from the profession entirely, you can have help covering your debt. So that makes Yale a little more justifiable. (I can't remember what H and S actually cover, but I think their LRAP programs are also better than many others.)

Elbble

New
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:06 pm

Re: HYS at Sticker

Postby Elbble » Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:55 am

I get max need-based aid from Y/S, and my loans work out to about 20 grand per year. (This is a lot lower than most people, admittedly, because I live with family.) I got the hamilton from columbia, but it only covers tuition - you still end up paying stuff like health insurance, various fees (>$5k per year iirc) and super high nyc living expenses. So the very generous financial aid from hys made it only moderately more expensive to go there than to take the hamilton.

User avatar
jbagelboy

Diamond
Posts: 10276
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:57 pm

Re: HYS at Sticker

Postby jbagelboy » Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:40 am

there isn't really anything specific about three schools that doesn't apply to some degree to other top schools. the reality is that Yale is the best law school in the country, and provides the most opportunities for its graduates at access competitive positions, and then Harvard and Stanford, and then Columbia and Chicago, ect., ect. But nothing is unique - its a gradual scale, and all the top programs offer strong job prospects.

So no, there isn't any principled reason that a school ranked a few points higher in a commercial survey is worth "sticker price" when another top school is not. But several factors intersect to make the highest "ranked" school the most attractive option for certain candidates. As noted, structurally speaking, most of the highest qualified law students each year will also have the most resources, so money is not an issue since parents will pay. For some, as the poster above, the need-based grants make yale ect. competitive in pricing to another top program. And even among those who don't have the money or the grants, a sub-set of them consider ranking/prestige uber alles because they have valued that extra margin of opportunity to get a certain type of job at hundreds of thousands of dollars in the long-term. Others take the scholarships at the top schools offering merit-based aid.



Return to “Law School Admissions Forum?

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: czy.dorothy and 17 guests