USC 1L Taking Questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
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Horchata
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Horchata » Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:17 am

innernetp wrote:Just out of curiosity... how are you guys planning on dealing with the debt? I'm still visiting and it's even tougher now that I've put a very beautiful image to the name. USC is great, there's no doubt about it. I just don't know if it's one hundred thousand dollars of great. This is tough man.


I plan to live poor for a few years, regardless of what I'm making, to pay down what I owe -- I have don't have a big ego and I'm quite frugal. Plus, I plan to day trade on the side, too.

I don't look it at as, damn, I have to pay $100,000. I see it like, damn, I'll vastly increase my earning power for the rest of my life, go farther in my education than anyone in the history of my family, learn to think like a lawyer (which should help in other areas of life), join a community of alumni that truly take care of their own, attend a university that's highly regarded in lay and legal circles in the region of the country where I'll practice, which also has a lot of hot chicks and is located in a large metropolitan city close to the beach in southern California for only $100,000.


And maybe, just maybe, they can teach me to not write run-on sentences. :)

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innernetp
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby innernetp » Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:08 pm

Horchata wrote:
innernetp wrote:Just out of curiosity... how are you guys planning on dealing with the debt? I'm still visiting and it's even tougher now that I've put a very beautiful image to the name. USC is great, there's no doubt about it. I just don't know if it's one hundred thousand dollars of great. This is tough man.


I plan to live poor for a few years, regardless of what I'm making, to pay down what I owe -- I have don't have a big ego and I'm quite frugal. Plus, I plan to day trade on the side, too.

I don't look it at as, damn, I have to pay $100,000. I see it like, damn, I'll vastly increase my earning power for the rest of my life, go farther in my education than anyone in the history of my family, learn to think like a lawyer (which should help in other areas of life), join a community of alumni that truly take care of their own, attend a university that's highly regarded in lay and legal circles in the region of the country where I'll practice, which also has a lot of hot chicks and is located in a large metropolitan city close to the beach in southern California for only $100,000.


And maybe, just maybe, they can teach me to not write run-on sentences. :)


Hah, I see some of your points for sure. Except I don't think the hot chicks thing is too much of a selling point for me. Trying not to feel too objectified by that statement :-p.

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Horchata
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Horchata » Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:33 pm

haha my bad. I should have taken a clue from your rose-laced avatar :P

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Stupendous_Man
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Stupendous_Man » Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:57 am

Debt is a very real and very serious concern. With the job market declining (supposed to start rising back up someday?) and tuition increasing, it's becoming a worse and worse decision for a lot of people, yet they make it blindly. My advice is to evaluate whether it makes sense financially for your specific situation (whether you have supportive parents, can get financial aid or scholarships, have jobs lined up, etc.). Other than that, live cheaply. It's easy to lose sight of how much money you spend (what's a few hundred in the face of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of debt) but that $60 bar tab now is going to be whopping with interest. You don't have to live like you're impoverished (even though you are), but just make reasonable decisions, save where you can, and understand that you are probably the poorest person you know for the next few years. Once you have a steady job again, the debt is easier to grapple with emotionally.

Oh and USC will have free lunches/dinners all first semester. They dwindle a little second semester, but you can still find em when you need em.

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innernetp
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby innernetp » Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:58 am

Stupendous_Man wrote:Debt is a very real and very serious concern. With the job market declining (supposed to start rising back up someday?) and tuition increasing, it's becoming a worse and worse decision for a lot of people, yet they make it blindly. My advice is to evaluate whether it makes sense financially for your specific situation (whether you have supportive parents, can get financial aid or scholarships, have jobs lined up, etc.). Other than that, live cheaply. It's easy to lose sight of how much money you spend (what's a few hundred in the face of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of debt) but that $60 bar tab now is going to be whopping with interest. You don't have to live like you're impoverished (even though you are), but just make reasonable decisions, save where you can, and understand that you are probably the poorest person you know for the next few years. Once you have a steady job again, the debt is easier to grapple with emotionally.

Oh and USC will have free lunches/dinners all first semester. They dwindle a little second semester, but you can still find em when you need em.


Would you mind if I PMed you a couple questions? I have to decide by April 15th where I'm going :-\

Arelikefoxes
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Arelikefoxes » Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:53 pm

Stupendous_Man wrote:Debt is a very real and very serious concern. With the job market declining (supposed to start rising back up someday?) and tuition increasing, it's becoming a worse and worse decision for a lot of people, yet they make it blindly. My advice is to evaluate whether it makes sense financially for your specific situation (whether you have supportive parents, can get financial aid or scholarships, have jobs lined up, etc.). Other than that, live cheaply. It's easy to lose sight of how much money you spend (what's a few hundred in the face of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of debt) but that $60 bar tab now is going to be whopping with interest. You don't have to live like you're impoverished (even though you are), but just make reasonable decisions, save where you can, and understand that you are probably the poorest person you know for the next few years. Once you have a steady job again, the debt is easier to grapple with emotionally.

Oh and USC will have free lunches/dinners all first semester. They dwindle a little second semester, but you can still find em when you need em.



This is all very good advice for anyone looking to go to law school. Law school is a huge financial commitment, one that should NOT be taken lightly. The only thing I would add is that, as part of any law student's decision-making process, you should run the numbers based on the various potential jobs you might get coming out of school, and the actual affect those payments will have on your future income/life. $150K at 7.9% interest on a ten year loan means payments of approx. $1800 per month for ten years (more than most people's current rent, even in LA). It's not meant to be discouraging, but rather such considerations of the financial ramifications are vitally important when investing in your education.

Oh and +1 for free lunches.

ku1185
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby ku1185 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:49 pm

Can USC grads/students comment on employment prospects (and corresponding salary) for those who aren't able to/don't go into biglaw? I know public sector is always an option, but what about those who go for biglaw but are unable to secure employment? Where do they end up and what kind of salary could they expect to see?

USC's employment statistics is helpful in explaining this, but I don't wholly trust it. It would be nice to hear from those currently in the process and get their take on the situation.

FWIW, I'd love to go to USC but the debt is a big turn off considering I can go to a decent local school for virtually free.

Arelikefoxes
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Arelikefoxes » Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:22 pm

ku1185 wrote:Can USC grads/students comment on employment prospects (and corresponding salary) for those who aren't able to/don't go into biglaw? I know public sector is always an option, but what about those who go for biglaw but are unable to secure employment? Where do they end up and what kind of salary could they expect to see?

USC's employment statistics is helpful in explaining this, but I don't wholly trust it. It would be nice to hear from those currently in the process and get their take on the situation.


Unfortunately, it is very hard to get this kind of information. As with any social environment, people are uncomfortable with openly discussing salaries, so most people don't ask. I think your best resources are going to be to look more generally at state- or federal-focused salary statistics in various sectors (government, in-house, PI, small firms, etc.) If I were to guess, I would say that the drop off from biglaw to most other jobs is significant: at least $70k less/yr...and sometimes (like PI) much more. There are some midlaw firms that pay close to biglaw market rates and might have some flexibility, but they generally have pretty steep (albeit lower) grade requirements as well.

As for USC's employment statistics, you are right to always be somewhat skeptical of them, but we do tend to have very strong reporting statistics, and, if nothing else, they are valuable as a comparative tool to other schools.

NotImportant
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby NotImportant » Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:51 pm

I have a question regarding housing (thanks for being so helpful btw!). I'm in Boston presently and will need to fly out to LA to try and find a place to live. Any suggestions as to the best time to do this?

I know that in some cities, especially in areas populated by college kids, leases tend to run on a pretty standard cycle and that if you miss it you can be left with pretty slim pickings.

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Stupendous_Man
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Stupendous_Man » Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:30 pm

innernetp wrote:
Would you mind if I PMed you a couple questions? I have to decide by April 15th where I'm going :-\



Sent you a PM, but just so everyone knows, anyone is free to PM me questions at any time. I don't check here every day, but I will do my best to respond as soon as I see it!

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Stupendous_Man
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Stupendous_Man » Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:47 pm

NotImportant wrote:I have a question regarding housing (thanks for being so helpful btw!). I'm in Boston presently and will need to fly out to LA to try and find a place to live. Any suggestions as to the best time to do this?

I know that in some cities, especially in areas populated by college kids, leases tend to run on a pretty standard cycle and that if you miss it you can be left with pretty slim pickings.


Here's my anecdotal response: There isn't really a set time, but as with any college town the area around USC opens up at the beginning and end of summer break (May-ish, and then end of July/August-ish). I'd think about whether you want to live in undergrad territory though, because Los Angeles is a huge and diverse place, and there's somewhere to live that suits any lifestyle. When you're not in the thick of undergrad areas, there's not really a set time. I imagine it's sort of similar (beginning and end of summer), but housing isn't as big a problem here as everyone makes it out to be, at least that's how it seemed to me. Depending on how specific your needs are, you shouldn't have a problem.

Grad students can purchase parking, so it's a question of what you want your commute to look like, and what kind of surroundings are important to you. Popular places to look are: Downtown, Culver City, Silver Lake, Miracle Mile, Korea Town, Atwater Village. Some of our more adventurous classmates live out in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, or Hermosa Beach. If you want to try your luck with undergrads and want a short walk to campus, a new block of apartments just opened up last year called "Gateway", or there are a lot of houses/apartments around. There is always the law dorm option also.

NotImportant
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby NotImportant » Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:53 pm

Stupendous_Man wrote:
NotImportant wrote:I have a question regarding housing (thanks for being so helpful btw!). I'm in Boston presently and will need to fly out to LA to try and find a place to live. Any suggestions as to the best time to do this?

I know that in some cities, especially in areas populated by college kids, leases tend to run on a pretty standard cycle and that if you miss it you can be left with pretty slim pickings.


Here's my anecdotal response: There isn't really a set time, but as with any college town the area around USC opens up at the beginning and end of summer break (May-ish, and then end of July/August-ish). I'd think about whether you want to live in undergrad territory though, because Los Angeles is a huge and diverse place, and there's somewhere to live that suits any lifestyle. When you're not in the thick of undergrad areas, there's not really a set time. I imagine it's sort of similar (beginning and end of summer), but housing isn't as big a problem here as everyone makes it out to be, at least that's how it seemed to me. Depending on how specific your needs are, you shouldn't have a problem.

Grad students can purchase parking, so it's a question of what you want your commute to look like, and what kind of surroundings are important to you. Popular places to look are: Downtown, Culver City, Silver Lake, Miracle Mile, Korea Town, Atwater Village. Some of our more adventurous classmates live out in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, or Hermosa Beach. If you want to try your luck with undergrads and want a short walk to campus, a new block of apartments just opened up last year called "Gateway", or there are a lot of houses/apartments around. There is always the law dorm option also.



Thanks for the help! At the moment I am leaning toward looking in Culver City. From what I hear from everyone, it seems like a quality place to be.

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innernetp
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby innernetp » Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:00 pm

NotImportant wrote:
Stupendous_Man wrote:
NotImportant wrote:I have a question regarding housing (thanks for being so helpful btw!). I'm in Boston presently and will need to fly out to LA to try and find a place to live. Any suggestions as to the best time to do this?

I know that in some cities, especially in areas populated by college kids, leases tend to run on a pretty standard cycle and that if you miss it you can be left with pretty slim pickings.


Here's my anecdotal response: There isn't really a set time, but as with any college town the area around USC opens up at the beginning and end of summer break (May-ish, and then end of July/August-ish). I'd think about whether you want to live in undergrad territory though, because Los Angeles is a huge and diverse place, and there's somewhere to live that suits any lifestyle. When you're not in the thick of undergrad areas, there's not really a set time. I imagine it's sort of similar (beginning and end of summer), but housing isn't as big a problem here as everyone makes it out to be, at least that's how it seemed to me. Depending on how specific your needs are, you shouldn't have a problem.

Grad students can purchase parking, so it's a question of what you want your commute to look like, and what kind of surroundings are important to you. Popular places to look are: Downtown, Culver City, Silver Lake, Miracle Mile, Korea Town, Atwater Village. Some of our more adventurous classmates live out in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, or Hermosa Beach. If you want to try your luck with undergrads and want a short walk to campus, a new block of apartments just opened up last year called "Gateway", or there are a lot of houses/apartments around. There is always the law dorm option also.



Thanks for the help! At the moment I am leaning toward looking in Culver City. From what I hear from everyone, it seems like a quality place to be.


I just visited - I didn't get the chance to check out Culver City but I visited Los Feliz and Silverlake and I thought they were both really great and not too far at all. Kind of hipstery but really just a cute walkable little-shops kinda neighborhood with a good bar scene and also seemed safe (grammatically I'm not sure wtf just happened in that sentence). It seems like those are similar to the vibe in Culver City? Hope that helps. And I'm a 0L but I know I take all the help I can get with this kind of stuff! :-)

Puttanesca
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Puttanesca » Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:18 pm

NotImportant wrote:
Stupendous_Man wrote:
NotImportant wrote:I have a question regarding housing (thanks for being so helpful btw!). I'm in Boston presently and will need to fly out to LA to try and find a place to live. Any suggestions as to the best time to do this?

I know that in some cities, especially in areas populated by college kids, leases tend to run on a pretty standard cycle and that if you miss it you can be left with pretty slim pickings.


Here's my anecdotal response: There isn't really a set time, but as with any college town the area around USC opens up at the beginning and end of summer break (May-ish, and then end of July/August-ish). I'd think about whether you want to live in undergrad territory though, because Los Angeles is a huge and diverse place, and there's somewhere to live that suits any lifestyle. When you're not in the thick of undergrad areas, there's not really a set time. I imagine it's sort of similar (beginning and end of summer), but housing isn't as big a problem here as everyone makes it out to be, at least that's how it seemed to me. Depending on how specific your needs are, you shouldn't have a problem.

Grad students can purchase parking, so it's a question of what you want your commute to look like, and what kind of surroundings are important to you. Popular places to look are: Downtown, Culver City, Silver Lake, Miracle Mile, Korea Town, Atwater Village. Some of our more adventurous classmates live out in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, or Hermosa Beach. If you want to try your luck with undergrads and want a short walk to campus, a new block of apartments just opened up last year called "Gateway", or there are a lot of houses/apartments around. There is always the law dorm option also.



Thanks for the help! At the moment I am leaning toward looking in Culver City. From what I hear from everyone, it seems like a quality place to be.


Yeah, Culver City's a really great place to be - I have a few 'SC undergrad friends who live in that area, and they love it. It is safe, affordable, and only about 15 minutes or so from 'SC. There are also a lot of good places to eat and such in Culver City.

ku1185
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby ku1185 » Sat Apr 16, 2011 3:40 pm

Can anyone comment on the minimum COL one could expect while attending USC? (Rent and such). I'm trying to calculate CoA at various schools and was hoping to stay under the figure that USC provides. What if I were to live with a roommate?

NotImportant
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby NotImportant » Sun Apr 17, 2011 2:20 pm

Can anyone speak to the LRAP program at USC? As I understand it, it is a 5 year forgiveness program as opposed to the 10 years I have seen at basically every other school. That seems to be a pretty HUGE advantage, or am I missing something about how this works?

Thanks!

Puttanesca
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Puttanesca » Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:12 pm

ku1185 wrote:Can anyone comment on the minimum COL one could expect while attending USC? (Rent and such). I'm trying to calculate CoA at various schools and was hoping to stay under the figure that USC provides. What if I were to live with a roommate?


Housing - If you split a 2 bedroom with a roommate, your rent would probably be around $800/month at the lower end. Studios at the lower end price range would be about $1000-1100, and 1-bedrooms would be closer to $1300+.

Utilities - Utilities are not too expensive - I pay about $70/month for utilities (electricity, water, trash, sewage, gas) for a one-bedroom.

TV/Internet - maybe $100/month?

Transportation - A parking permit at USC costs a little over $400/semester. I just filled up my gas tank this morning, and gas was $4.15/gallon. If you take public transportation and get a monthly pass, you can probably get away with spending $70 or so per month on transportation.

Food - If you eat at home pretty much all of the time, I think you could squeeze by on $150/month (assuming no eating out and no going out to bars or anything like that).

Personal expenses (I mean medical expenses, household items, etc.) - You are required to have health insurance at USC, but if you can stay on your parents' plan or find cheaper health insurance through another company, you might be able to save some money there. On household items and personal items (e.g. soap, toothpaste, contact solution, stuff like that), I probably spend an average of $70/month.

Misc. (like car repairs, entertainment, etc.) - I don't know, I think I average about $50/month.

So, I would say it is possible to get by on $1400-1500/month, but it is also pretty unrealistic to say that you will never spend money on eating out, going out, etc. But yes, it is possible to get by on less than USC's estimated cost of living, which looks like it's around $2200/month (I think the room/board, personal misc expenses, transportation costs calculated in the cost of attendance are only for the 9 months that school is in session). Hope this helps.

ku1185
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby ku1185 » Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:28 pm

Puttanesca wrote:
ku1185 wrote:Can anyone comment on the minimum COL one could expect while attending USC? (Rent and such). I'm trying to calculate CoA at various schools and was hoping to stay under the figure that USC provides. What if I were to live with a roommate?


Housing - If you split a 2 bedroom with a roommate, your rent would probably be around $800/month at the lower end. Studios at the lower end price range would be about $1000-1100, and 1-bedrooms would be closer to $1300+.

Utilities - Utilities are not too expensive - I pay about $70/month for utilities (electricity, water, trash, sewage, gas) for a one-bedroom.

TV/Internet - maybe $100/month?

Transportation - A parking permit at USC costs a little over $400/semester. I just filled up my gas tank this morning, and gas was $4.15/gallon. If you take public transportation and get a monthly pass, you can probably get away with spending $70 or so per month on transportation.

Food - If you eat at home pretty much all of the time, I think you could squeeze by on $150/month (assuming no eating out and no going out to bars or anything like that).

Personal expenses (I mean medical expenses, household items, etc.) - You are required to have health insurance at USC, but if you can stay on your parents' plan or find cheaper health insurance through another company, you might be able to save some money there. On household items and personal items (e.g. soap, toothpaste, contact solution, stuff like that), I probably spend an average of $70/month.

Misc. (like car repairs, entertainment, etc.) - I don't know, I think I average about $50/month.

So, I would say it is possible to get by on $1400-1500/month, but it is also pretty unrealistic to say that you will never spend money on eating out, going out, etc. But yes, it is possible to get by on less than USC's estimated cost of living, which looks like it's around $2200/month (I think the room/board, personal misc expenses, transportation costs calculated in the cost of attendance are only for the 9 months that school is in session). Hope this helps.


Thanks. It does help =). I'm not at the point where I'm trying to budget for the year; just trying to get a general idea of what I would need for minimalist living.

Arelikefoxes
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Arelikefoxes » Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:35 pm

Puttanesca wrote:Housing - If you split a 2 bedroom with a roommate, your rent would probably be around $800/month at the lower end. Studios at the lower end price range would be about $1000-1100, and 1-bedrooms would be closer to $1300+.

Utilities - Utilities are not too expensive - I pay about $70/month for utilities (electricity, water, trash, sewage, gas) for a one-bedroom.

TV/Internet - maybe $100/month?

Transportation - A parking permit at USC costs a little over $400/semester. I just filled up my gas tank this morning, and gas was $4.15/gallon. If you take public transportation and get a monthly pass, you can probably get away with spending $70 or so per month on transportation.

Food - If you eat at home pretty much all of the time, I think you could squeeze by on $150/month (assuming no eating out and no going out to bars or anything like that).

Personal expenses (I mean medical expenses, household items, etc.) - You are required to have health insurance at USC, but if you can stay on your parents' plan or find cheaper health insurance through another company, you might be able to save some money there. On household items and personal items (e.g. soap, toothpaste, contact solution, stuff like that), I probably spend an average of $70/month.

Misc. (like car repairs, entertainment, etc.) - I don't know, I think I average about $50/month.

So, I would say it is possible to get by on $1400-1500/month, but it is also pretty unrealistic to say that you will never spend money on eating out, going out, etc. But yes, it is possible to get by on less than USC's estimated cost of living, which looks like it's around $2200/month (I think the room/board, personal misc expenses, transportation costs calculated in the cost of attendance are only for the 9 months that school is in session). Hope this helps.



If you are really looking to stay on a budget, many people around USC split a bedroom, which would potentially halve you rent/utilities expenses. I know it's hard to "go back" to room sharing (a la dorm life), but it is definitely an option, particularly in the nicer complexes around campus (which would also negate your need for a parking spot on campus as well.) But there is definitely a happiness/affordability balancing test that you should consider with something like this.

flexityflex86
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby flexityflex86 » Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:54 pm

How much is your COA this year?

Also, I am going to be getting a car (or possibly a motorcycle) if i go down there.

Do you have any advise on this?

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Stupendous_Man
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Stupendous_Man » Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:59 pm

I'd give you a break down but I think the breakdowns available are pretty accurate and helpful, and this is all highly variable on what's an acceptable standard of living to you. To give you a very rough idea though, I live very comfortably for about $2k a month, after tuition. I have my own bedroom and bathroom in a house, I spend money at bar reviews (but nothing crazy, cab fare and a few drinks), and I don't restrict myself too much from anything I feel like I need. That being said, I don't shop for anything I don't need, I pack my lunches and dinners whenever I can, and I try to be smart about my spending where I can, like buying used supplements/using coupons etc. I used the USC figures as a budgeting tool, but I've come under budget every month. Also, if you're fiscally responsible and haven't already, get yourself some credit w/ a reward you actually use and no fee, and pay it off entirely every month from your loan disbursement. I have a mileage card I pay everything with, and have yet to pay for a flight home. (Open the credit line while you still have a job so that you have a workable maximum.)

porgie
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby porgie » Sun Apr 17, 2011 4:16 pm

Arelikefoxes wrote:Well, we are told if we are "top 10%", but we also know the median is set to 3.3. I don't know how sub-median students tend to in terms of hard numbers (other than being very unlikely to get biglaw.) At that point, the relative success seems to depend more on your other credentials (relevant w/e, good personality, etc.) I don't know of anyone that has been unemployed upon graduation (USC still is very strong name), but that does not mean they are necessarily doing what they wanted to do


I go to USC. A bunch of 3Ls in my class were asked what they were planning on doing next year and if they had jobs lined up. Only 1 out of 5 3Ls said they had a job lined up (the one who did had a big firm job). I don't think I'm in a particularly slacker-ish class as well. Another 3L told me the other day that she heard estimates that 30% of 3Ls don't have a job lined up, yet, though she thought that might be underestimating the actual figure. I just wanted to add this b/c the above post seems a little too optimistic. USC's a great school and we do really well in Los Angeles, but the possibility of having no job upon graduation is very real. I don't want prospective students to think that the worst that could happen is they get a job doing something they're not fond of.

JJDancer
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby JJDancer » Sun Apr 17, 2011 5:03 pm

porgie wrote:
Arelikefoxes wrote:Well, we are told if we are "top 10%", but we also know the median is set to 3.3. I don't know how sub-median students tend to in terms of hard numbers (other than being very unlikely to get biglaw.) At that point, the relative success seems to depend more on your other credentials (relevant w/e, good personality, etc.) I don't know of anyone that has been unemployed upon graduation (USC still is very strong name), but that does not mean they are necessarily doing what they wanted to do


I go to USC. A bunch of 3Ls in my class were asked what they were planning on doing next year and if they had jobs lined up. Only 1 out of 5 3Ls said they had a job lined up (the one who did had a big firm job). I don't think I'm in a particularly slacker-ish class as well. Another 3L told me the other day that she heard estimates that 30% of 3Ls don't have a job lined up, yet, though she thought that might be underestimating the actual figure. I just wanted to add this b/c the above post seems a little too optimistic. USC's a great school and we do really well in Los Angeles, but the possibility of having no job upon graduation is very real. I don't want prospective students to think that the worst that could happen is they get a job doing something they're not fond of.

Not going to lie, but this makes me pretty nervous...

Porgie, thanks for posting your experience.

flexityflex86
Posts: 973
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2011 6:06 pm

Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby flexityflex86 » Sun Apr 17, 2011 5:36 pm

Stupendous_Man wrote:I'd give you a break down but I think the breakdowns available are pretty accurate and helpful, and this is all highly variable on what's an acceptable standard of living to you. To give you a very rough idea though, I live very comfortably for about $2k a month, after tuition. I have my own bedroom and bathroom in a house, I spend money at bar reviews (but nothing crazy, cab fare and a few drinks), and I don't restrict myself too much from anything I feel like I need. That being said, I don't shop for anything I don't need, I pack my lunches and dinners whenever I can, and I try to be smart about my spending where I can, like buying used supplements/using coupons etc. I used the USC figures as a budgeting tool, but I've come under budget every month. Also, if you're fiscally responsible and haven't already, get yourself some credit w/ a reward you actually use and no fee, and pay it off entirely every month from your loan disbursement. I have a mileage card I pay everything with, and have yet to pay for a flight home. (Open the credit line while you still have a job so that you have a workable maximum.)

I am very good at budgeting. I always pack lunches in my apt here on the east coast (but mostly for fitness reasons as it's impossible to order a salad when i can get buffalo wings or pizza), but 2k a month is a lot. i live off of that minus a little bit in a very expensive part of manhattan.

the trick is don't take cabs, don't eat out all of the time and take women on well thought out creative dates.

also, this might sound really dumb, but i know cars are a huge status symbol in LA, and although i'm a student, i don't want to be seen as a poor loser. being that a cool car is substantially more expensive, would a motorcycle be dumb? i figure a motorcycle really complements my personality, and i love the free feeling of being one with the road. of course, i'm concerned about my safety.

as a former cab driver, i have licenses for everything (was thinking about doing truck driving at one point), and i've never been in an accident, but i know one bike crash and you're cake.

Puttanesca
Posts: 443
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:10 pm

Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Puttanesca » Sun Apr 17, 2011 6:33 pm

Arelikefoxes wrote:If you are really looking to stay on a budget, many people around USC split a bedroom, which would potentially halve you rent/utilities expenses. I know it's hard to "go back" to room sharing (a la dorm life), but it is definitely an option, particularly in the nicer complexes around campus (which would also negate your need for a parking spot on campus as well.) But there is definitely a happiness/affordability balancing test that you should consider with something like this.


Just a note on living near campus - don't (unless you want to live in Terrace). Rent around campus, especially just north of campus, which is the only direction from campus you would want to live, is ridiculously inflated. The dumpy little apartment complex that I lived in during my junior year at USC was $1550/month for a 432 square foot one-bedroom, and the apartment was in horrible condition. You might be able to find some cheaper places, but you will really get a better value for your money if you don't live right near campus. If you are thinking one of the nicer places near USC (like Tuscany), be prepared to pay close to $2500/month for a 1-bedroom.




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