Which should I choose: Penn or UVA?

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Which is the better choice: Penn or UVA?

Penn at $135K COA
19
100%
UVA at $185K COA
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 19

usa1492

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Which should I choose: Penn or UVA?

Postby usa1492 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:00 pm

Hi - I am faced with a very difficult decision. I am a URM who is deciding between attending UVA with a $75K scholarship and Penn with a $140K discount. Coming into the cycle, Penn was my first choice. After conducting much research on both schools, however, UVA quickly became my favorite. I have decided that I would be happier at UVA. With such a significant discount at Penn, would it be downright unwise to choose UVA?

Also, for what it's worth, I am a URM with a 4.0/157. Anecdote: after going on both schools' websites to find the names of certain URMs and perusing their Linkedin profiles, it seems that URMs at UVA go on to slightly better firms than Penn URMs. Perhaps I was looking at an unrepresentative sample, but that was simply an observation I made.

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Br3v

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Re: Which should I choose: Penn or UVA?

Postby Br3v » Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:59 pm

usa1492 wrote:Hi - I am faced with a very difficult decision. I am a URM who is deciding between attending UVA with a $75K scholarship and Penn with a $140K discount. Coming into the cycle, Penn was my first choice. After conducting much research on both schools, however, UVA quickly became my favorite. I have decided that I would be happier at UVA. With such a significant discount at Penn, would it be downright unwise to choose UVA?

Also, for what it's worth, I am a URM with a 4.0/157. Anecdote: after going on both schools' websites to find the names of certain URMs and perusing their Linkedin profiles, it seems that URMs at UVA go on to slightly better firms than Penn URMs. Perhaps I was looking at an unrepresentative sample, but that was simply an observation I made.


Ask UBA to match Penn’s offer. They are peer schools and I’d be surprised if they didn’t match.

Calibrazy

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Re: Which should I choose: Penn or UVA?

Postby Calibrazy » Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:31 am

Don’t forget to account for COL differences. May be closer than you think

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HillandHollow

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Re: Which should I choose: Penn or UVA?

Postby HillandHollow » Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:32 am

Br3v wrote:
Ask UBA to match Penn’s offer. They are peer schools and I’d be surprised if they didn’t match.


^^^Do this. If they don't match, then probably UPenn.

albanach

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Re: Which should I choose: Penn or UVA?

Postby albanach » Tue Jun 18, 2019 5:01 pm

Hate to be the odd one out, but my vote is to retake the LSAT and save yourself $180k.

A 4.0 URM has no need to pay anything significant to attend a T-14 school.

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jkpolk

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Re: Which should I choose: Penn or UVA?

Postby jkpolk » Tue Jun 18, 2019 6:08 pm

albanach wrote:Hate to be the odd one out, but my vote is to retake the LSAT and save yourself $180k.

A 4.0 URM has no need to pay anything significant to attend a T-14 school.


This is what I would do.

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Re: Which should I choose: Penn or UVA?

Postby Wubbles » Tue Jun 18, 2019 6:36 pm

albanach wrote:Hate to be the odd one out, but my vote is to retake the LSAT and save yourself $180k.

A 4.0 URM has no need to pay anything significant to attend a T-14 school.

I don't think Penn will get much, if any, cheaper so if OP wanted to go there I would say it wouldn't be worth it, but because OP apparently wants to go elsewhere I agree. Then end result would be UVA getting a lot cheaper and maybe accidentally getting into HYS, which can't hurt.

icansortofmath

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Re: Which should I choose: Penn or UVA?

Postby icansortofmath » Tue Jun 18, 2019 6:44 pm

Retake is just silly. He'd be giving up a year of probably biglaw salary (and 1 year of seniority). That's worth more than his cost of attendance.

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Re: Which should I choose: Penn or UVA?

Postby nixy » Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:49 pm

icansortofmath wrote:Retake is just silly. He'd be giving up a year of probably biglaw salary (and 1 year of seniority). That's worth more than his cost of attendance.

But he has to get biglaw first, and you do never know who’s going to strike out (or decide they hate it and want to do something else). I know it’s not common at *all* at UVA/Penn, but it can happen. One year’s salary is speculative.

Also I don’t get how you can “give up a year of seniority” on something you haven’t started yet? If you mean at the end of his career, one year isn’t making a difference over 40-odd years.

All that said, Penn is a good deal and I don’t think it would be a terrible choice. I think it’s a better choice than UVA at this price though, if UVA won’t match.

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Re: Which should I choose: Penn or UVA?

Postby albanach » Wed Jun 19, 2019 11:27 am

icansortofmath wrote:Retake is just silly. He'd be giving up a year of probably biglaw salary (and 1 year of seniority). That's worth more than his cost of attendance.


OP has $40k of existing debt. Even with Penn's lower COA, they come out owing over $100k. Paying that back at $3k/month is going to take about four years.

Put another way, OP could take a year and try to get that COA as low as possible - you'd think a high 160s score would be Dillard competitive at UVA. Graduating with much lower debt could lead to them having $100k in retirement savings at the same point in time as they'd finish paying off their loans by going now. At 7% growth over thirty years, that extra $100k is worth an extra $750k at retirement.

Additionally, if they don't get, or decide they don't like biglaw, they have much more flexibility without the debt.

It's easy to underplay the impact of debt when you're not yet trying to balance the cost of a family and a mortgage with loan repayments. I'd rather be starting a family or saving for retirement than sharing an apartment and putting the rest of life on hold.

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LSATWiz.com

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Re: Which should I choose: Penn or UVA?

Postby LSATWiz.com » Wed Jun 19, 2019 11:46 am

albanach wrote:
icansortofmath wrote:Retake is just silly. He'd be giving up a year of probably biglaw salary (and 1 year of seniority). That's worth more than his cost of attendance.


OP has $40k of existing debt. Even with Penn's lower COA, they come out owing over $100k. Paying that back at $3k/month is going to take about four years.

Put another way, OP could take a year and try to get that COA as low as possible - you'd think a high 160s score would be Dillard competitive at UVA. Graduating with much lower debt could lead to them having $100k in retirement savings at the same point in time as they'd finish paying off their loans by going now. At 7% growth over thirty years, that extra $100k is worth an extra $750k at retirement.

Additionally, if they don't get, or decide they don't like biglaw, they have much more flexibility without the debt.

It's easy to underplay the impact of debt when you're not yet trying to balance the cost of a family and a mortgage with loan repayments. I'd rather be starting a family or saving for retirement than sharing an apartment and putting the rest of life on hold.

I agree that if OP had an average outcome from either school, the $40k probably is not significant enough to be a factor. This type of money, though significant, is only relevant if OP struggles to make six-figures coming out of school.

A $140K scholarship to Penn is a significant offer, and at only around $50k tuition + living expenses, I think that is a great offer. The best case scenario with a retake is that OP saves another $50k. I don't know if that is necessarily worth waiting a year, and this assumes OP makes the improvement necessary to getting that add'l $50k.

The comparatively poor UVa offer may be linked to the school simply having already solidified its GPA median without solidifying its LSAT median.

albanach

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Re: Which should I choose: Penn or UVA?

Postby albanach » Wed Jun 19, 2019 12:14 pm

LSATWiz.com wrote:I agree that if OP had an average outcome from either school, the $40k probably is not significant enough to be a factor. This type of money, though significant, is only relevant if OP struggles to make six-figures coming out of school.


I do agree that the debt will me manageable so long as OP gets biglaw, or at least BigFed.

I still think they have the opportunity to save a meaningful amount. UVA with no tuition (which I still think is a reasonable goal for a anyone with a 4.0 GPA, let alone a URM, given almost 10% of recent classes have received that scholarship) saves about $80k over attending Penn when you factor in the increased cost of living and the savings from tuition increases. Even with aggressive repayments, $80k is over $100k saved when we consider interest.



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