COA: schools' reported vs. your experience?

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Lordcarnus123

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COA: schools' reported vs. your experience?

Postby Lordcarnus123 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:42 pm

Something I'm really curious about is how conservative/generous schools' estimates of costs less tuition tend to be. Below are reported COA - tuition for the T14 in 2016-2017:

    Yale $20,309
    Harvard $29,050
    Stanford $32,090
    Chicago $32,784
    Columbia $28,492
    NYU $29,784
    Penn $27,598
    Berkeley $30,549
    Michigan $21,002
    UVA $23,293
    Duke $26,034
    Northwestern $26,335
    Cornell $27,837
    Georgetown $27,924

It goes without saying that your lifestyle/fiscal habits will be big variables, but all said - have these numbers been reliable?

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jbagelboy

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Re: COA: schools' reported vs. your experience?

Postby jbagelboy » Sun Feb 26, 2017 2:49 pm

Tough to compute exactly since I lived with an SO, but just counting my expenses I hit around ~25,000/year, which is below the COL figure indicated for my school by about $4k (of course this was several years ago when the COL figure may have been lower--also I didn't buy new textbooks).

This is incredibly person-dependent, though. You can easily spend $40k/year on yourself in SF/NY including rent, going out, travel. You can also e.g. live in gropius and shop only at TJs instead of the prospect whole foods at HLS and cut way under $29k/year, or commute into downtown chicago from a less pricy neighborhood and be closer to $20k than &26k at NU, since living near the law school there is what really stacks up costs.

The reason these figures are useful is that they should be your rough estimation--you might think "oh I'm going to live a super frugal lifestyle and reduce loans," but in law school you'll be way too busy and stressed to always worry about that uber ride or that bar tab or that flight to the friend's wedding or that new computer when your old one was stolen, so its good to build in float.

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laqueredup

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Re: COA: schools' reported vs. your experience?

Postby laqueredup » Sun Feb 26, 2017 3:04 pm

I don't have actual experience living in these locations, but from looking on Craigslist you'd be living much nicer on 23k in Charlottesville than 29 in Boston. UVA and duke seem to be assuming a 1br apartment instead of sharing like the NE schools do

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jbagelboy

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Re: COA: schools' reported vs. your experience?

Postby jbagelboy » Sun Feb 26, 2017 3:06 pm

laqueredup wrote:I don't have actual experience living in these locations, but from looking on Craigslist you'd be living much nicer on 23k in Charlottesville than 29 in Boston. UVA and duke seem to be assuming a 1br apartment instead of sharing like the NE schools do


At least for Duke, they build in the cost of keeping a car, since most people have to in Durham.



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