Motivation for taking the money

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lawschool134
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Motivation for taking the money

Postby lawschool134 » Sun May 31, 2015 3:45 am

Hey all I know this sort of thing has been asked before but the most recent thread I could find was from a few years ago. If any recent graduates are willing to chime in, do any of you have any anecdotes of how taking a large scholarship rather than attending your top choice was the right decision? Or if you regretted turning one down to attend a higher ranked school?

I was accepted into my "dream school" so to speak (not HYS) and was intent on going but I've since been generously offered a full scholly at another t14 school. I understand this is a no brainer and I am taking the money, but as I'm filling out my withdrawal form for what was my top choice I feel really disappointed. I motivated myself to study my brains out for the LSAT with the hopes of just getting accepted at this place, so I'm having trouble hitting the "send" button on the withdrawal form. It's also the school with the best employment stats (excluding HYS) for my desired region so this is further complicating the decision. If any of you current law students or practicing attorneys faced a similar situation and can speak to your experience and give insight, I would appreciate it. I've never before experienced the amount of debt I'd incur at the school (around $165,000), so it's hard to fully understand its implications. And unfortunately the school has refused to negotiate. Thanks all for your thoughts

TL;DR: New Grads if you took the money over your top choice did your regret it/how did it impact you?

kcdc1
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Re: Motivation for taking the money

Postby kcdc1 » Sun May 31, 2015 7:27 am

When you factor in finance costs (origination fees, interest over life of loan), that $165k of tuition costs you over $250k. That's a down payment on a $1.25M house.

Motivation: Go on Zillow and look for houses and condos in your desired market up to $1.25M.

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haus
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Re: Motivation for taking the money

Postby haus » Sun May 31, 2015 8:44 am

kcdc1 wrote:When you factor in finance costs (origination fees, interest over life of loan), that $165k of tuition costs you over $250k. That's a down payment on a $1.25M house.

Motivation: Go on Zillow and look for houses and condos in your desired market up to $1.25M.

I am a big fan of keeping cost down, but this is not the best representation of the cost.

If you went to a school of full scholarship and stipend, came out owing nothing, you would not have a big pile of money from a down payment on a killer place at or near graduation.

It is better to think of this as a cash flow situation. Go check out the student loan real numbers thread, see how much money is being spent on making student loan payments, then ponder if this might limit your choices regarding the type of job you consider, the housing you can consider, and generally how you might try to conduct your life.

kcdc1
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Re: Motivation for taking the money

Postby kcdc1 » Sun May 31, 2015 8:59 am

haus wrote:If you went to a school of full scholarship and stipend, came out owing nothing, you would not have a big pile of money from a down payment on a killer place at or near graduation.

Just trying to frame the tuition discount in terms of something tangible. The amount you'll save by taking the full ride is equal to a down payment on a $1.25M house. It's worth going to e.g. Northwestern over UChicago to save an amount equal to a down payment on a $1.25M house.

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haus
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Re: Motivation for taking the money

Postby haus » Sun May 31, 2015 9:23 am

kcdc1 wrote:
haus wrote:If you went to a school of full scholarship and stipend, came out owing nothing, you would not have a big pile of money from a down payment on a killer place at or near graduation.

Just trying to frame the tuition discount in terms of something tangible. The amount you'll save by taking the full ride is equal to a down payment on a $1.25M house. It's worth going to e.g. Northwestern over UChicago to save an amount equal to a down payment on a $1.25M house.

Well one could mention that they would save as much money as the cost of a Bentley Continental GT Convertible or, perhaps more relevant, one could think of it as over 11,000 48-packs of Angel Soft, Double Roll Toilet Paper (free shipping with Amazon Prime).

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smaug
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Re: Motivation for taking the money

Postby smaug » Sun May 31, 2015 9:35 am

Take the money. You'll likely have the same or very similar outcomes between your dream school and the other school. A full ride at a T14 is a great outcome. 165k ish debt for non HYS isn't an amazing outcome.

Once you start working, you're not going to think much about the degree you have. I wouldn't care if my degree was from a lower ranked school.

But, you'll care about what you can afford. A nicer apartment, an earlier exit from the rat race, that TV you wanted—it will make a huge impact on your quality of life.

lawschool134
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Re: Motivation for taking the money

Postby lawschool134 » Sun May 31, 2015 1:53 pm

Thanks for the responses so far, everyone. Does anyone have any anecdotes for what it's like to live with that much debt? I've perused the TLS thread where grads post their loan figures but am curious about what it's like to actually live on a day-to-day basis with that kind of debt

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UnicornHunter
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Re: Motivation for taking the money

Postby UnicornHunter » Sun May 31, 2015 1:58 pm

lawschool134 wrote:Thanks for the responses so far, everyone. Does anyone have any anecdotes for what it's like to live with that much debt? I've perused the TLS thread where grads post their loan figures but am curious about what it's like to actually live on a day-to-day basis with that kind of debt


Don't do this to yourself. Just withdraw. There are plenty of anecdotes all over this sight of people talking about debt, try browsing Desert Fox's post history.

collegewriter
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Re: Motivation for taking the money

Postby collegewriter » Fri Jun 05, 2015 8:30 pm

I took a full ride to go to a TT instead of a few top 20 schools. Have never regretted it, but this comes with a grain of salt because I got a good, but not big law, job. This decision looks even better when you look at the breakdown living in a city like NY (note: we had a prof do this for us just to show how bad law school is as an economic decision (thanks :|))

Rent: (if you want to live alone-2000) (if you live with roommates in Manhattan-1000-1500)
Groceries/Laundry/Dry-cleaning/Eating out: At least 700, more if you don't cook
Drinking/going out: 50/night minimum--figure 500/month
Gym: 100
Metrocard: 100
New Clothes: avg. of 200 at least

-------that puts you at 3500-4000 just for bare bones stuff------

That leaves:
Loan payments (min 1000, but anywhere up to 5000 or more). You probably want to get this off your shoulders quickly, so you're looking at 2000/month at least.

Take home pay is 93k or so on 160k salary. You're taking home about 7.5/month

That's almost your ENTIRE salary on basic necessities. This doesn't include car service/taxis, presents, weddings, travel, taking girls/guys on dates, pursuing hobbies you enjoy, saving, or investing

You have 1000-2000 left over for ALL of those things. And this is assuming you can maintain your biglaw position for more than 5 years and not go totally insane before that (because your loans won't be paid).

Long story short: When you go to a school at sticker or close, you are obligating yourself to get a job that makes this salary and actually isn't even that much money in the first place. This is why some people (me included) choose not to go to the best school possible. Believe me, not having the loan burden feels AMAZING.

rwhyAn
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Re: Motivation for taking the money

Postby rwhyAn » Fri Jun 05, 2015 8:53 pm

I wasn't t14 material, but I'll give you my story for taking the money. I initially enrolled in law school back in 2012, and was given roughly a 50% conditional scholarship. My debt would've been around $120-160k, depending on whether or not I kept my scholarship. I realized what I was getting myself into before I enrolled, but once I started class, the debt I was looking at became real to me and took on a whole new meaning. I withdrew in the middle of week 3 or 4 in fall semester and got out only paying $500. The thought of working so hard for three years and accumulating so much debt for an uncertain result was all I thought about.

In fall 2014, I enrolled in law school once again, but this time in my local TT school that had a night program. I have a scholarship and employer contribution that cover all of tuition. It is such a huge relief not having to think about the debt that I cannot begin to explain. So much of the pressure is off because I know that I can always walk away from law if law school doesn't work out since I won't be saddled with loans. In turn, this helped me do well since I didn't have the pressure of knowing that I needed to get high grades to get the big law job in order to pay off my loans. Law school is stressful enough; it's even more stressful when you're uncertain how you're going to pay it off. Take the full scholly at the other t14 and never look back.

Kungfu Wontons
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Re: Motivation for taking the money

Postby Kungfu Wontons » Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:11 pm

Eh we don't get many chances in life to fulfill dreams. If you feel strongly about it, just do it. Yeah you'll have debt. but if you're really struggling with this even though you know the conventional wisdom, then perhaps you know you have the ability to pay off the debt.

If you go to the dream school, you'll always know you had the guts to take a chance and do what you wanted. I think that's worth a whole lot more than a down payment on a house or whatever.

Hutz_and_Goodman
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Re: Motivation for taking the money

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:49 pm

90+% of HYS grads would go back and take the $ (if they m could).




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