Estimated Cost of Attendence VS reality

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Veyron
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Estimated Cost of Attendence VS reality

Postby Veyron » Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:51 am

How easy is it to live within the estimated COA. My school's seems quite low in areas like housing (estimate based on double occupancy "suite" a-la college dormatory and books (doesn't seem to provide for da hornbooks and commercial outlines). Wondering if it is off across the board. What has been the experience of the people on here?

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dood
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Re: Estimated Cost of Attendence VS reality

Postby dood » Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:56 am

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Last edited by dood on Sun Aug 29, 2010 6:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Veyron
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Re: Estimated Cost of Attendence VS reality

Postby Veyron » Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:00 am

dood wrote:hornbooks, outlines, resume paper, various supplies that will make ur life easier, laptop, misc travel, entertainment etc adds up quite a bit. i cashed out $10K in stocks to supplement my 1L COA, used it all. for 2L im cashing out a 401K worth $12K. for 3L im counting on a 2L summer gig that pays me $3K/week for 10 weeks.

u could prolly do it on the est. COA. or even with a couple Gs extra. but if you like things, like I do, then ur gonna need more $$.


Define things? I lived on about 17k this year as a 0L in a low COA area so I can be cheap. However, I'm not going to be penny wise and pound foolish. I'll spend whatever I have to (within reason) in order to perform optimally as a 1L, probably would be much less likely to spend on things unrelated making my studies easier.

I was estimating about 7,500 over COA so your results shock and disturb me.

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Re: Estimated Cost of Attendence VS reality

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:24 am

lol@this thread. Many people live within the estimated CoL, which means it is quite possible to do so. If you can't, it means you fail at money management/living like a student. It isn't even close to difficult.

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Re: Estimated Cost of Attendence VS reality

Postby Veyron » Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:26 am

ToTransferOrNot wrote:lol@this thread. Many people live within the estimated CoL, which means it is quite possible to do so. If you can't, it means you fail at money management/living like a student. It isn't even close to difficult.


1) Every school creates different expense budgets.

2) I definately CAN do it. However, I don't want to compromise performance for frugality. Living close to the law school instead of in the burbs, eating good food, and having every needed study aid are not things I am willing to compromise. I view these things as an investment which I hope will pay of in high grades and biglaw.
Last edited by Veyron on Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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nealric
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Re: Estimated Cost of Attendence VS reality

Postby nealric » Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:27 am

With the proper cheapskate mentality, you can live well below the estimated COA.

Basic guidelines:

Get room mates- lots of them. 4 people splitting a 4 bedroom apartment/house is much, much cheaper than renting a studio. Find a place that rents by the room. Study in the library- your apartment is for sleeping and hanging out.

Don't buy a $2,000 laptop. You aren't going to spend your time doing CAD or video editing in law school- any new computer sold today has plenty of power. A $300 unit will suffice- and learn how to do basic repairs on it. I was appalled by how many of my law school peers discarded perfectly good laptops because they couldn't figure out how reinstall windows or replace a hard drive.

Cook- don't eat out. Focus on meals with a cheap staple base. For example, if you cook a stir-fry, you can use rice as a base. A 20lb bag of rice costs almost nothing amortized over a couple of months. Supplement with meat bought in bulk and fresh fruits/veggies for a healthy diet. You don't need to eat ramen. In most cities you can eat well for $150 a month.

Don't buy the most recent edition edition books from the bookstore. You shouldn't need to spend anywhere close to the book budget. At no point did I spent more than $250 a semester on books. Many of the "optional" books will be on westlaw/lexis. If you have an old casebook and it doesn't include a new case, it will be on westlaw/lexis.

Don't bring a car to school. Don't take public transport. Ride a bike.

The only reason you should be exceeding the budget is if you are supporting a family or have serious health problems that necessitate a particular life style.
Last edited by nealric on Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:33 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Estimated Cost of Attendence VS reality

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:29 am

Veyron wrote:
ToTransferOrNot wrote:lol@this thread. Many people live within the estimated CoL, which means it is quite possible to do so. If you can't, it means you fail at money management/living like a student. It isn't even close to difficult.


1) Every school creates different expense budgets.

2) I definately CAN do it. However, I don't want to compromise performance for frugality. Living close to the law school instead of in the burbs, eating good food, and having every needed study aid are not things I am willing to compromise.


I do all of those things and regularly do not use the entire budget. If you're going to go out frequently, the budget won't be high enough - that's about the end of it. They aren't set up around living in the burbs with an hour trip each way and/or eating ramen 7 days a week.

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Re: Estimated Cost of Attendence VS reality

Postby Veyron » Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:33 am

ToTransferOrNot wrote:
Veyron wrote:
ToTransferOrNot wrote:lol@this thread. Many people live within the estimated CoL, which means it is quite possible to do so. If you can't, it means you fail at money management/living like a student. It isn't even close to difficult.


1) Every school creates different expense budgets.

2) I definately CAN do it. However, I don't want to compromise performance for frugality. Living close to the law school instead of in the burbs, eating good food, and having every needed study aid are not things I am willing to compromise.


I do all of those things and regularly do not use the entire budget. If you're going to go out frequently, the budget won't be high enough - that's about the end of it. They aren't set up around living in the burbs with an hour trip each way and/or eating ramen 7 days a week.


1) Penn's estimated housing costs seem to be.

2) How the hell could a 1L possibly go out enough to blow their expense budget?

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Re: Estimated Cost of Attendence VS reality

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:39 am

If you go to bar review every week, that will sap the expense budget pretty quickly. People overestimate how time-consuming 1L is, too - people don't go out for the first week or two, or for a few weeks before finals, but aside from that, eh.

As far as the housing budget goes, you should just talk to some current students at Penn. Schools are aware of how detrimental commuting would be to performance - you're missing something re: the available places to live. They might expect you to get a roommate - which shouldn't be too shocking for a student living on loans.

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Re: Estimated Cost of Attendence VS reality

Postby czelede » Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:43 am

ToTransferOrNot wrote:They might expect you to get a roommate - which shouldn't be too shocking for a student living on loans.


I'm fairly worried about finding a non-dump if I don't get a roommate - having a dog makes things difficult :(

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Re: Estimated Cost of Attendence VS reality

Postby Veyron » Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:54 am

ToTransferOrNot wrote:If you go to bar review every week, that will sap the expense budget pretty quickly. People overestimate how time-consuming 1L is, too - people don't go out for the first week or two, or for a few weeks before finals, but aside from that, eh.

As far as the housing budget goes, you should just talk to some current students at Penn. Schools are aware of how detrimental commuting would be to performance - you're missing something re: the available places to live. They might expect you to get a roommate - which shouldn't be too shocking for a student living on loans.


I'm coming from an area where studios can be had for 500 a month inc. utilities. Fuck, I hate the east coast. Anyway, not getting a roomate so I guess I will have to budget a bit extra for housing all 3 years.

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Re: Estimated Cost of Attendence VS reality

Postby MC Southstar » Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:58 am

Penn's estimated housing expenses aren't that far off, even if you are living in the best areas. Just don't be living in a 1BR by yourself on the most gentrified street you can find.

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Re: Estimated Cost of Attendence VS reality

Postby Veyron » Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:02 am

MC Southstar wrote:Penn's estimated housing expenses aren't that far off, even if you are living in the best areas. Just don't be living in a 1BR by yourself on the most gentrified street you can find.


Suggestions for studios close to the law school on non gentrified streets?

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Re: Estimated Cost of Attendence VS reality

Postby MC Southstar » Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:07 am

Veyron wrote:
MC Southstar wrote:Penn's estimated housing expenses aren't that far off, even if you are living in the best areas. Just don't be living in a 1BR by yourself on the most gentrified street you can find.


Suggestions for studios close to the law school on non gentrified streets?


Did you already get a place? You really just need to keep your eyes peeled for good rates because they aren't that common. I think the penn estimate is assuming you will live somewhere like in the pre-ghetto though.

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Re: Estimated Cost of Attendence VS reality

Postby Veyron » Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:14 am

MC Southstar wrote:
Veyron wrote:
MC Southstar wrote:Penn's estimated housing expenses aren't that far off, even if you are living in the best areas. Just don't be living in a 1BR by yourself on the most gentrified street you can find.


Suggestions for studios close to the law school on non gentrified streets?


Did you already get a place? You really just need to keep your eyes peeled for good rates because they aren't that common. I think the penn estimate is assuming you will live somewhere like in the pre-ghetto though.


Not from Philadelphia. What is this pre-ghetto you speak of?

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Re: Estimated Cost of Attendence VS reality

Postby 03121202698008 » Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:16 am

Veyron wrote:
MC Southstar wrote:
Veyron wrote:
MC Southstar wrote:Penn's estimated housing expenses aren't that far off, even if you are living in the best areas. Just don't be living in a 1BR by yourself on the most gentrified street you can find.


Suggestions for studios close to the law school on non gentrified streets?


Did you already get a place? You really just need to keep your eyes peeled for good rates because they aren't that common. I think the penn estimate is assuming you will live somewhere like in the pre-ghetto though.


Not from Philadelphia. What is this pre-ghetto you speak of?


North by temple is pretty ghetto. Right around Penn is a lot of undergrads and isn't terribly expensive but can be noisy. You can live in a lot of Philly for a decent price and take the bus/train in. Just make sure you are located on a line that gets you to the school.

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Re: Estimated Cost of Attendence VS reality

Postby MC Southstar » Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:16 am

Veyron wrote:
MC Southstar wrote:
Veyron wrote:
MC Southstar wrote:Penn's estimated housing expenses aren't that far off, even if you are living in the best areas. Just don't be living in a 1BR by yourself on the most gentrified street you can find.


Suggestions for studios close to the law school on non gentrified streets?


Did you already get a place? You really just need to keep your eyes peeled for good rates because they aren't that common. I think the penn estimate is assuming you will live somewhere like in the pre-ghetto though.


Not from Philadelphia. What is this pre-ghetto you speak of?


Like between 40th and 48th street, where the real ghetto of west philly begins, or around the lower part of drexel campus. Rent tends to be pretty cheap in these areas, they aren't extremely bad neighborhoods, they just aren't nice. If you travel a little further outside of the UC area, it gets bad though. Thus, pre-ghetto, kinda like pre-cum except less savory.

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Re: Estimated Cost of Attendence VS reality

Postby Veyron » Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:22 am

[/quote]

Like between 40th and 48th street, where the real ghetto of west philly begins, or around the lower part of drexel campus. Rent tends to be pretty cheap in these areas, they aren't extremely bad neighborhoods, they just aren't nice. If you travel a little further outside of the UC area, it gets bad though. Thus, pre-ghetto, kinda like pre-cum except less savory.[/quote]

180.

Ok, budgeting extra for car and housing for the next 3 years. And... the ... scholarship... is ... blown. Other than that, is the expense budget sufficient?

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Re: Estimated Cost of Attendence VS reality

Postby MC Southstar » Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:25 am

Veyron wrote:
Like between 40th and 48th street, where the real ghetto of west philly begins, or around the lower part of drexel campus. Rent tends to be pretty cheap in these areas, they aren't extremely bad neighborhoods, they just aren't nice. If you travel a little further outside of the UC area, it gets bad though. Thus, pre-ghetto, kinda like pre-cum except less savory.


180.

Ok, budgeting extra for car and housing for the next 3 years. And... the ... scholarship... is ... blown. Other than that, is the expense budget sufficient?


Hell if I know, but I sure hope so. No income scares me into compulsively checking my bank balance.

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Re: Estimated Cost of Attendence VS reality

Postby nealric » Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:37 pm

Anyway, not getting a roomate so I guess I will have to budget a bit extra for housing all 3 years.


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Re: Estimated Cost of Attendence VS reality

Postby 03121202698008 » Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:43 pm

Veyron wrote:


Like between 40th and 48th street, where the real ghetto of west philly begins, or around the lower part of drexel campus. Rent tends to be pretty cheap in these areas, they aren't extremely bad neighborhoods, they just aren't nice. If you travel a little further outside of the UC area, it gets bad though. Thus, pre-ghetto, kinda like pre-cum except less savory.[/quote]

180.

Ok, budgeting extra for car and housing for the next 3 years. And... the ... scholarship... is ... blown. Other than that, is the expense budget sufficient?[/quote]

I wouldn't own a car in Philly. Parking sucks and is expensive. You can buy a university pass and ride the subway/bus/trains.

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Re: Estimated Cost of Attendence VS reality

Postby worldtraveler » Mon Aug 23, 2010 1:09 pm

I have fairly expensive housing and I was under the student budget last year. Don't blow massive amounts of money on alcohol or fancy dinners and you should be able to do it.

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Re: Estimated Cost of Attendence VS reality

Postby zanda » Mon Aug 23, 2010 1:13 pm

1L at NYU I think I spent about 2/3 of the budgeted amount for COL

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Re: Estimated Cost of Attendence VS reality

Postby mmmadeli » Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:18 pm

blowhard wrote:
Veyron wrote:Ok, budgeting extra for car and housing for the next 3 years. And... the ... scholarship... is ... blown. Other than that, is the expense budget sufficient?


I wouldn't own a car in Philly. Parking sucks and is expensive. You can buy a university pass and ride the subway/bus/trains.


Yeah, car doesn't seem necessary. Trolleys have pretty good coverage in West Philly, and there's a stop at 36th and Walnut.

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Re: Estimated Cost of Attendence VS reality

Postby Jessep » Mon Aug 23, 2010 4:10 pm

I think it's worth spending a little more to live with less people so I could relax more at home. Plus, I think it is worth spending extra money to live in a safe neighbor, so you don't have to worry about getting jumped coming home from the library late at night. Sure, most of the time you will be okay, but I think it's just not worth it to save a few thousand. It's all subjective worth though.

nealric wrote:Don't buy the most recent edition edition books from the bookstore. You shouldn't need to spend anywhere close to the book budget. At no point did I spent more than $250 a semester on books. Many of the "optional" books will be on westlaw/lexis. If you have an old casebook and it doesn't include a new case, it will be on westlaw/lexis.

The rest of your advice was good, though more frugal than I chose to be; however, the part I quoted is bad advice in my mind. If you really want to do well, it's important to get the right edition. You can get it used, but get the right edition. You will waste time reading full cases on lexis/westlaw that were excerpted, and you will miss out on non-case readings (notes, etc.). If you are a 2L or 3L and grades don't really matter for you, then it's not really a problem. For 1L, you want the right edition so you can do your best.




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