Northwestern Class of 2016

(housing, friendships, future exams, all things 2016)
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simplycatalina
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Re: Northwestern Class of 2016

Postby simplycatalina » Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:17 pm

bananasplit19 wrote:So I'm looking at the explanation and estimate of costs. It allots $2,610 for "personal" expenses, which I'm interpreting to mean food and general living expenses (anything from toiletries to cat litter). Spread out over 9 months, that's under $300 a month. Now, I've been gainfully employed for a few years now and am used to a certain standard of living consistent with having disposable income, but does that seem worryingly low to you guys? I mean, assuming you use all of it for food, that's still like $9/day, which will get me a Big Mac for dinner, some crackers for lunch, and that's pretty much it.

Anyone with more experience with loans care to explain how this all works?


how much is allocated for room and board total?

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bananasplit19
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Re: Northwestern Class of 2016

Postby bananasplit19 » Wed Jul 03, 2013 1:00 am

simplycatalina wrote:
bananasplit19 wrote:So I'm looking at the explanation and estimate of costs. It allots $2,610 for "personal" expenses, which I'm interpreting to mean food and general living expenses (anything from toiletries to cat litter). Spread out over 9 months, that's under $300 a month. Now, I've been gainfully employed for a few years now and am used to a certain standard of living consistent with having disposable income, but does that seem worryingly low to you guys? I mean, assuming you use all of it for food, that's still like $9/day, which will get me a Big Mac for dinner, some crackers for lunch, and that's pretty much it.

Anyone with more experience with loans care to explain how this all works?


how much is allocated for room and board total?

http://www.law.northwestern.edu/admissions/tuitionaid/tuition/studentbudgetJD.html

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Solistus
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Re: Northwestern Class of 2016

Postby Solistus » Wed Jul 03, 2013 6:50 am

Cobretti wrote:
bananasplit19 wrote:So I'm looking at the explanation and estimate of costs. It allots $2,610 for "personal" expenses, which I'm interpreting to mean food and general living expenses (anything from toiletries to cat litter). Spread out over 9 months, that's under $300 a month. Now, I've been gainfully employed for a few years now and am used to a certain standard of living consistent with having disposable income, but does that seem worryingly low to you guys? I mean, assuming you use all of it for food, that's still like $9/day, which will get me a Big Mac for dinner, some crackers for lunch, and that's pretty much it.

Anyone with more experience with loans care to explain how this all works?

Well the important number to look at is the total COL monthly allowance, which is about $2,940 for the first year ($26,460/9). I don't think that number is too low to realistically cover us.


Where are you getting $26,460? Looking at http://www.law.northwestern.edu/admissi ... getJD.html and subtracting the tuition budget from the total budget gives me $21,618. That includes almost $2k for loan fees, so it's really a little less than $20k for room + board + books + transportation + "personal".

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Cobretti
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Re: Northwestern Class of 2016

Postby Cobretti » Wed Jul 03, 2013 12:59 pm

Solistus wrote:
Cobretti wrote:
bananasplit19 wrote:So I'm looking at the explanation and estimate of costs. It allots $2,610 for "personal" expenses, which I'm interpreting to mean food and general living expenses (anything from toiletries to cat litter). Spread out over 9 months, that's under $300 a month. Now, I've been gainfully employed for a few years now and am used to a certain standard of living consistent with having disposable income, but does that seem worryingly low to you guys? I mean, assuming you use all of it for food, that's still like $9/day, which will get me a Big Mac for dinner, some crackers for lunch, and that's pretty much it.

Anyone with more experience with loans care to explain how this all works?

Well the important number to look at is the total COL monthly allowance, which is about $2,940 for the first year ($26,460/9). I don't think that number is too low to realistically cover us.


Where are you getting $26,460? Looking at http://www.law.northwestern.edu/admissi ... getJD.html and subtracting the tuition budget from the total budget gives me $21,618. That includes almost $2k for loan fees, so it's really a little less than $20k for room + board + books + transportation + "personal".

It seems they lowered COL for 2013-2014... My calculator I made based on last year has 26,400; which I got from increasing 2012-2013 by 2% for inflation.

Looking at LST it looks like they had the same 2012-2013 # of $25,941 for COL. I know TLS has long said NU had inflated COL to be conservative, but I'd still prefer the couple extra thousand cushion while I'm in school personally... this sucks.

ETA: actually I think the difference is from health insurance/laptops

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hmlee
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Re: Northwestern Class of 2016

Postby hmlee » Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:23 pm

bananasplit19 wrote:
rinkrat19 wrote:
bananasplit19 wrote:So I'm looking at the explanation and estimate of costs. It allots $2,610 for "personal" expenses, which I'm interpreting to mean food and general living expenses (anything from toiletries to cat litter). Spread out over 9 months, that's under $300 a month. Now, I've been gainfully employed for a few years now and am used to a certain standard of living consistent with having disposable income, but does that seem worryingly low to you guys? I mean, assuming you use all of it for food, that's still like $9/day, which will get me a Big Mac for dinner, some crackers for lunch, and that's pretty much it.

Anyone with more experience with loans care to explain how this all works?
isn't "room and board" a category? Board=food.

TIL what the "board" in "room and board" stands for. :oops:

It's still a really tight fit when you factor in the post-rent remnant of room and board, but not absurdly so anymore. Sigh, being a poor student again is going to be a culture shock.


This is why some students get jobs as RAs during the year...

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hmlee
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Re: Northwestern Class of 2016

Postby hmlee » Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:24 pm

Cobretti wrote:
Solistus wrote:
Cobretti wrote:
bananasplit19 wrote:So I'm looking at the explanation and estimate of costs. It allots $2,610 for "personal" expenses, which I'm interpreting to mean food and general living expenses (anything from toiletries to cat litter). Spread out over 9 months, that's under $300 a month. Now, I've been gainfully employed for a few years now and am used to a certain standard of living consistent with having disposable income, but does that seem worryingly low to you guys? I mean, assuming you use all of it for food, that's still like $9/day, which will get me a Big Mac for dinner, some crackers for lunch, and that's pretty much it.

Anyone with more experience with loans care to explain how this all works?

Well the important number to look at is the total COL monthly allowance, which is about $2,940 for the first year ($26,460/9). I don't think that number is too low to realistically cover us.


Where are you getting $26,460? Looking at http://www.law.northwestern.edu/admissi ... getJD.html and subtracting the tuition budget from the total budget gives me $21,618. That includes almost $2k for loan fees, so it's really a little less than $20k for room + board + books + transportation + "personal".

It seems they lowered COL for 2013-2014... My calculator I made based on last year has 26,400; which I got from increasing 2012-2013 by 2% for inflation.

Looking at LST it looks like they had the same 2012-2013 # of $25,941 for COL. I know TLS has long said NU had inflated COL to be conservative, but I'd still prefer the couple extra thousand cushion while I'm in school personally... this sucks.

ETA: actually I think the difference is from health insurance/laptops


1Ls get a laptop allowance in their first semester loan amount that other students don't get.

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cookiejar1
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Re: Northwestern Class of 2016

Postby cookiejar1 » Wed Jul 03, 2013 6:31 pm

hmlee wrote:
bananasplit19 wrote:
rinkrat19 wrote:
bananasplit19 wrote:So I'm looking at the explanation and estimate of costs. It allots $2,610 for "personal" expenses, which I'm interpreting to mean food and general living expenses (anything from toiletries to cat litter). Spread out over 9 months, that's under $300 a month. Now, I've been gainfully employed for a few years now and am used to a certain standard of living consistent with having disposable income, but does that seem worryingly low to you guys? I mean, assuming you use all of it for food, that's still like $9/day, which will get me a Big Mac for dinner, some crackers for lunch, and that's pretty much it.

Anyone with more experience with loans care to explain how this all works?
isn't "room and board" a category? Board=food.

TIL what the "board" in "room and board" stands for. :oops:

It's still a really tight fit when you factor in the post-rent remnant of room and board, but not absurdly so anymore. Sigh, being a poor student again is going to be a culture shock.


This is why some students get jobs as RAs during the year...


RA? As in... residential advisor? For what, the undergraduate campus?

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Cobretti
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Re: Northwestern Class of 2016

Postby Cobretti » Wed Jul 03, 2013 6:47 pm

cookiejar1 wrote:
hmlee wrote:This is why some students get jobs as RAs during the year...


RA? As in... residential advisor? For what, the undergraduate campus?

ya... how would this work at NU?

M458
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Re: Northwestern Class of 2016

Postby M458 » Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:15 pm

Cobretti wrote:
cookiejar1 wrote:
hmlee wrote:This is why some students get jobs as RAs during the year...


RA? As in... residential advisor? For what, the undergraduate campus?

ya... how would this work at NU?


Or RA = research assistant? But that probably wouldn't be until 2L, if that's even possible to do during the year.

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Solistus
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Re: Northwestern Class of 2016

Postby Solistus » Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:00 pm

I was researching the laptop thing yesterday - it's up to $1500 for a laptop + software, and up to $500 for a printer. You have to submit receipts, though, so don't count on getting a cheap laptop or using one you already have and pocketing the difference. On the plus side, it's an excuse to buy a really nice printer ;)

This is why I quickly forgot about the idea of living in Streeterville: $1400/month + in rent when we're living off just over $2k/month leaves very little for food and personal expenses.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Northwestern Class of 2016

Postby rinkrat19 » Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:03 pm

Solistus wrote:I was researching the laptop thing yesterday - it's up to $1500 for a laptop + software, and up to $500 for a printer. You have to submit receipts, though, so don't count on getting a cheap laptop or using one you already have and pocketing the difference. On the plus side, it's an excuse to buy a really nice printer ;)

This is why I quickly forgot about the idea of living in Streeterville: $1400/month + in rent when we're living off just over $2k/month leaves very little for food and personal expenses.

They're making you submit receipts for the laptop loan? Weird. Last year you just took out the extra $2000, or not.

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Solistus
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Re: Northwestern Class of 2016

Postby Solistus » Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:27 pm

This is the form I found for the laptop loan: http://chicagofinancialaid.northwestern.edu/forms/PDFs/Comps2014a.pdf

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cookiejar1
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Re: Northwestern Class of 2016

Postby cookiejar1 » Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:52 pm

What a bummer. I'm trying to figure out if I want to buy a new laptop or not. So is this only for incoming 1Ls? If my laptop decides to break, for example, in-between my 1L and 2L years I guess I'm just out of luck? Might as well just buy into this program now and keep my current laptop as backup? This seems......... excessive.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Northwestern Class of 2016

Postby rinkrat19 » Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:55 pm

cookiejar1 wrote:What a bummer. I'm trying to figure out if I want to buy a new laptop or not. So is this only for incoming 1Ls? If my laptop decides to break, for example, in-between my 1L and 2L years I guess I'm just out of luck? Might as well just buy into this program now and keep my current laptop as backup? This seems......... excessive.

I kept a backup laptop and when the hard drive in my brand new laptop failed in the 2nd week of classes, I was able to walk home, get the backup, and be up and running (with my notes saved on Dropbox) in a half hour. I had to haul around the 17" beast for a week while my old one was shipped back to HP and repaired, but I didn't even miss a class. Worth it.

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Solistus
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Re: Northwestern Class of 2016

Postby Solistus » Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:17 pm

cookiejar1 wrote:What a bummer. I'm trying to figure out if I want to buy a new laptop or not. So is this only for incoming 1Ls? If my laptop decides to break, for example, in-between my 1L and 2L years I guess I'm just out of luck? Might as well just buy into this program now and keep my current laptop as backup? This seems......... excessive.


I read something about a loaner program through the University's IT dept. if you buy one of the recommended laptop models, not sure how that works.

I'm just gonna buy a new MacBook Air and get the 3 year extended warranty. That way, if it decides to break any time during law school, I just have to take it to the Apple Store. I'll just take notes on my iPad for a little while if it happens during the school year.

edit: FWIW, I don't see anything on the form about having to be a 1L, just that you can only get the extra loan money once during your tenure at Northwestern. So, if you wanna stick with an older laptop for now, it sounds like you would probably still have the option to buy one later and get the extra loan money.

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cookiejar1
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Re: Northwestern Class of 2016

Postby cookiejar1 » Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:39 pm

Just sat down and budgeted my living expenses with NU's official financial aid package. Wooof. It's either I eat or give up drinking. Come at me, Freshmen -30!

onionz
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Re: Northwestern Class of 2016

Postby onionz » Thu Jul 04, 2013 9:43 am

I've been using a $400 one the last two years for work happily..at that rate, I can buy a new $400 onea year and still come out ahead. ew $400 one a year and still come out ahead. Just word processing and internet browsing doesn't require all that power. If you really want something nicer, buy a cheap laptop and put an SSD in.

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hmlee
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Re: Northwestern Class of 2016

Postby hmlee » Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:28 am

M458 wrote:
Cobretti wrote:
cookiejar1 wrote:
hmlee wrote:This is why some students get jobs as RAs during the year...


RA? As in... residential advisor? For what, the undergraduate campus?

ya... how would this work at NU?


Or RA = research assistant? But that probably wouldn't be until 2L, if that's even possible to do during the year.


Research assistant. Sorry. I started at the end of my first year with my con law professor, but it might be possible to start the second semester of your 1L year. There are work limits on 1L students that don't apply to 2Ls/3Ls but I'm not sure what they are. Some students also get jobs at the library circulation desk (the law library).

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hmlee
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Re: Northwestern Class of 2016

Postby hmlee » Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:30 am

rinkrat19 wrote:
Solistus wrote:I was researching the laptop thing yesterday - it's up to $1500 for a laptop + software, and up to $500 for a printer. You have to submit receipts, though, so don't count on getting a cheap laptop or using one you already have and pocketing the difference. On the plus side, it's an excuse to buy a really nice printer ;)

This is why I quickly forgot about the idea of living in Streeterville: $1400/month + in rent when we're living off just over $2k/month leaves very little for food and personal expenses.

They're making you submit receipts for the laptop loan? Weird. Last year you just took out the extra $2000, or not.


Yeah back when I got it it was automatically included and you had to specifically decline it. Seems like this is another change from the new administration.

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Solistus
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Re: Northwestern Class of 2016

Postby Solistus » Thu Jul 04, 2013 5:35 pm

onionz wrote:I've been using a $400 one the last two years for work happily..at that rate, I can buy a new $400 onea year and still come out ahead. ew $400 one a year and still come out ahead. Just word processing and internet browsing doesn't require all that power. If you really want something nicer, buy a cheap laptop and put an SSD in.


<shameless Apple fanboy>

Or you can buy a $1000-1500 laptop now that will last you for three years or longer, and have loans cover it. You will spend about the same amount over time, but spend most of that time using a significantly better laptop. I'm pretty sure you wouldn't be able to use the laptop loan program to cover multiple laptops over your three years, even if they add up to less than $1500.

To me, buying a nicer laptop has nothing to do with power. An Air is hardly a powerful machine. It's about build quality and having a good keyboard, trackpad, and screen. The tiny size and amazing battery life are nice, too. As someone who has used both cheap netbooks and nice laptops, you couldn't pay me enough to consider using a cheap netbook in law school.

</shameless Apple fanboy>

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Cobretti
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Re: Northwestern Class of 2016

Postby Cobretti » Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:02 pm

Happy Murrica day

onionz
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Re: Northwestern Class of 2016

Postby onionz » Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:47 pm

Solistus wrote:
onionz wrote:I've been using a $400 one the last two years for work happily..at that rate, I can buy a new $400 onea year and still come out ahead. ew $400 one a year and still come out ahead. Just word processing and internet browsing doesn't require all that power. If you really want something nicer, buy a cheap laptop and put an SSD in.


<shameless Apple fanboy>

Or you can buy a $1000-1500 laptop now that will last you for three years or longer, and have loans cover it. You will spend about the same amount over time, but spend most of that time using a significantly better laptop. I'm pretty sure you wouldn't be able to use the laptop loan program to cover multiple laptops over your three years, even if they add up to less than $1500.

To me, buying a nicer laptop has nothing to do with power. An Air is hardly a powerful machine. It's about build quality and having a good keyboard, trackpad, and screen. The tiny size and amazing battery life are nice, too. As someone who has used both cheap netbooks and nice laptops, you couldn't pay me enough to consider using a cheap netbook in law school.

</shameless Apple fanboy>


Apple machines may be nicer, but I wasn't actually advocating spending $400 a year on a new laptop (in which case I would get a macbook pro retina). My point was that if we're trying to stretch every penny, dropping an extra $600-$1000 for a nicer keyboard, trackpad, and screen(this last one is questionable on non-retina devices) seems unreasonable to me, and it's annoying the school doesn't offer more reasonable budget options.

Apple has done an incredible job convincing you that you *do* need the quality in those devices, but unfortunately they all do their job roughly equally- and in fact getting a bigger laptop that isn't an air and has slightly more spaced out keys will help you type faster if we're talking about differences that *might* matter, as opposed to ones that certainly don't.

If you do buy an Air, then you have to consider buying a monitor for home use (which also costs $), because that screen is tiny to stare at all day long when you're doing *so* much work in front of your computer. Of course, like all their other features, Apple has managed to convince people that staring at a tiny-ass screen is totally reasonable, but carrying anything over 4lbs is the end of the world.

That said, we all have our own preferences. My fiance got a macbook air before she started med school because that was what she was comfortable with and that is most important. When you're already dropping this much money on an education quibbling over another $1k seems a little silly, but I do wish they had added at least one budget option to that list of "accepted" devices. It looks like it comes straight from vendors with all the fixin's.

Bumi
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Re: Northwestern Class of 2016

Postby Bumi » Fri Jul 05, 2013 2:28 pm

onionz wrote:If you do buy an Air, then you have to consider buying a monitor for home use (which also costs $), because that screen is tiny to stare at all day long when you're doing *so* much work in front of your computer. Of course, like all their other features, Apple has managed to convince people that staring at a tiny-ass screen is totally reasonable, but carrying anything over 4lbs is the end of the world.


You don't strike me as particularly familiar with Macbook Airs, so it's probably best if you get off your high horse about squinting at them. I use a 13" Macbook Air for law school and have never wanted a monitor for home use. The screen and the keyboard are the same size as any other 13" computer anyone else has, it's just thinner. Which is pretty great for law school, to be honest. I am using a regular heavy-ass 13" PC laptop this summer, and I can't imagine carrying around something like that with all my books during school.

But honestly, people can get anything they want. They don't require special software to take exams. The only software it would be inconvenient for you to not have would be something compatible with some recent version of Word. If you can take notes and you can write papers, get whatever makes you happy. Some people have 11" airs, some people have enormous PCs, nobody cares. If your computer dies and you need a new one in the middle of 2L year, talk to financial aid and they'll work something out. These things really aren't that big of a deal.

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simplycatalina
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Re: Northwestern Class of 2016

Postby simplycatalina » Fri Jul 05, 2013 2:54 pm

Anyone else still waiting on financial aid info? Was hoping to hear by the end of the week.

LRGhost
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Re: Northwestern Class of 2016

Postby LRGhost » Fri Jul 05, 2013 3:27 pm

simplycatalina wrote:Anyone else still waiting on financial aid info? Was hoping to hear by the end of the week.


Same. Quick question: If we're taking out loans, it seems like NU tuition and living numbers allocates for ~$1550 for rent. If our rent will be more, can loans exceed that number given by NU?




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