Housing - closer or cheaper?

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legalbeagle20
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Housing - closer or cheaper?

Postby legalbeagle20 » Fri Jun 02, 2017 3:43 pm

Hi, I'll be attending law school in another state this coming year and I am wondering if it is worth it to spend extra money to leave near the law school or save a buck living about 30 minutes away? My fiancé is concerned about the extra cost, but I was granted enough federal loan money to take care of it if necessary. It should be noted that I don't have a car and I would have to purchase one.

cavalier1138
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Re: Housing - closer or cheaper?

Postby cavalier1138 » Fri Jun 02, 2017 3:44 pm

If you're going to have to purchase a car, it's probably not worth it, unless you were already going to have to purchase a car.

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UVA2B
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Re: Housing - closer or cheaper?

Postby UVA2B » Fri Jun 02, 2017 3:47 pm

Too much vagueness in this question to really be responsive, but if paying for the car and living farther away is cheaper than living closer and paying more, then do that. If they're equal, you're better off living closer. If living closer is cheaper than living farther away and buying a car, live closer.

If you're really asking "how much should it be worth to me to live closer to school and saving time in commuting?" the answer becomes much, much more personal and subjective. I couldn't really even put a dollar amount on how much that would be worth, but it's a non-zero amount.

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Future Ex-Engineer
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Re: Housing - closer or cheaper?

Postby Future Ex-Engineer » Fri Jun 02, 2017 3:48 pm

legalbeagle20 wrote:Hi, I'll be attending law school in another state this coming year and I am wondering if it is worth it to spend extra money to leave near the law school or save a buck living about 30 minutes away? My fiancé is concerned about the extra cost, but I was granted enough federal loan money to take care of it if necessary. It should be noted that I don't have a car and I would have to purchase one.


Really depends on how much you'll save. 15k a year in savings (for me) would be enough for me to live 30 minutes away. Anything less than that, I'd live close to the school. My experience with graduate school in general was that being near campus was helpful for collaboration/study with classmates. Also helped me get to class on time.

legalbeagle20
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Re: Housing - closer or cheaper?

Postby legalbeagle20 » Fri Jun 02, 2017 4:04 pm

Future Ex-Engineer wrote:
legalbeagle20 wrote:Hi, I'll be attending law school in another state this coming year and I am wondering if it is worth it to spend extra money to leave near the law school or save a buck living about 30 minutes away? My fiancé is concerned about the extra cost, but I was granted enough federal loan money to take care of it if necessary. It should be noted that I don't have a car and I would have to purchase one.


Really depends on how much you'll save. 15k a year in savings (for me) would be enough for me to live 30 minutes away. Anything less than that, I'd live close to the school. My experience with graduate school in general was that being near campus was helpful for collaboration/study with classmates. Also helped me get to class on time.


This is the kind of response I was after. Thank you. My concern is living far away from the school will have a negative impact on my academics. I want to give myself the best possible chance at success. It would be less than 10k of savings. I was just curious what other people's experiences were mostly so I can present my finacé with an argument. It's hard to win him on logic alone so personal experiences will be really helpful.

cavalier1138
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Re: Housing - closer or cheaper?

Postby cavalier1138 » Fri Jun 02, 2017 4:09 pm

legalbeagle20 wrote:This is the kind of response I was after. Thank you. My concern is living far away from the school will have a negative impact on my academics. I want to give myself the best possible chance at success. It would be less than 10k of savings. I was just curious what other people's experiences were mostly so I can present my finacé with an argument. It's hard to win him on logic alone so personal experiences will be really helpful.


Is that $10k in savings accounting for the car? Because that's actually pretty huge.

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UVA2B
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Re: Housing - closer or cheaper?

Postby UVA2B » Fri Jun 02, 2017 4:13 pm

legalbeagle20 wrote:
Future Ex-Engineer wrote:
legalbeagle20 wrote:Hi, I'll be attending law school in another state this coming year and I am wondering if it is worth it to spend extra money to leave near the law school or save a buck living about 30 minutes away? My fiancé is concerned about the extra cost, but I was granted enough federal loan money to take care of it if necessary. It should be noted that I don't have a car and I would have to purchase one.


Really depends on how much you'll save. 15k a year in savings (for me) would be enough for me to live 30 minutes away. Anything less than that, I'd live close to the school. My experience with graduate school in general was that being near campus was helpful for collaboration/study with classmates. Also helped me get to class on time.


This is the kind of response I was after. Thank you. My concern is living far away from the school will have a negative impact on my academics. I want to give myself the best possible chance at success. It would be less than 10k of savings. I was just curious what other people's experiences were mostly so I can present my finacé with an argument. It's hard to win him on logic alone so personal experiences will be really helpful.


An hour of total commuting time daily will not necessarily torpedo your performance in law school. If you live close to the school, you're probably saving 30-45 minutes a day in travel, but if you really think that's your only time loss during the day, you'd be wrong. The truth is $10k in savings is a decent chunk of change, and your fiancé is probably right to consider saving the money since you're relying on loans to live and go to school.

Only you can really answer whether saving $10k is worth a minor inconvenience like commuting an hour total every day. When that $10k is loan money, I think it's absolutely worth it to live farther away and commute to school. It shouldn't have a noticeable effect on your grades.

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Future Ex-Engineer
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Re: Housing - closer or cheaper?

Postby Future Ex-Engineer » Fri Jun 02, 2017 4:23 pm

UVA2B wrote:
legalbeagle20 wrote:
Future Ex-Engineer wrote:
legalbeagle20 wrote:Hi, I'll be attending law school in another state this coming year and I am wondering if it is worth it to spend extra money to leave near the law school or save a buck living about 30 minutes away? My fiancé is concerned about the extra cost, but I was granted enough federal loan money to take care of it if necessary. It should be noted that I don't have a car and I would have to purchase one.


Really depends on how much you'll save. 15k a year in savings (for me) would be enough for me to live 30 minutes away. Anything less than that, I'd live close to the school. My experience with graduate school in general was that being near campus was helpful for collaboration/study with classmates. Also helped me get to class on time.


This is the kind of response I was after. Thank you. My concern is living far away from the school will have a negative impact on my academics. I want to give myself the best possible chance at success. It would be less than 10k of savings. I was just curious what other people's experiences were mostly so I can present my finacé with an argument. It's hard to win him on logic alone so personal experiences will be really helpful.


An hour of total commuting time daily will not necessarily torpedo your performance in law school. If you live close to the school, you're probably saving 30-45 minutes a day in travel, but if you really think that's your only time loss during the day, you'd be wrong. The truth is $10k in savings is a decent chunk of change, and your fiancé is probably right to consider saving the money since you're relying on loans to live and go to school.

Only you can really answer whether saving $10k is worth a minor inconvenience like commuting an hour total every day. When that $10k is loan money, I think it's absolutely worth it to live farther away and commute to school. It shouldn't have a noticeable effect on your grades.


Agree with all of the bolded. Also would add that if you and your fiance can't come to a reasonable agreement on this through discussion, and because of that you're starting an arms race of getting anonymous internet strangers to back your position, that indicates a larger detriment to your academic experience may be a relationship with bad communication, not commute time.

Probably not accurate, just that sticks out to me as odd that you specifically said you can't win over your fiance with logic. My experience with SO's is that that sort of sentiment is pretty toxic. If you mess up and tell him he's always illogical in arguments, you're going to be in for a rough time.

Often times guys have very different priorities/thought processes, especially when it relates to finances/providing for someone else (no idea what your relationship dynamic is like). It very well could be that he has a very logically defensible position, and you just aren't seeing it. I'd be really wary of pinning illogical/irrational behavior on him.

legalbeagle20
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Re: Housing - closer or cheaper?

Postby legalbeagle20 » Fri Jun 02, 2017 4:47 pm

Future Ex-Engineer wrote:
UVA2B wrote:
legalbeagle20 wrote:
Future Ex-Engineer wrote:
legalbeagle20 wrote:Hi, I'll be attending law school in another state this coming year and I am wondering if it is worth it to spend extra money to leave near the law school or save a buck living about 30 minutes away? My fiancé is concerned about the extra cost, but I was granted enough federal loan money to take care of it if necessary. It should be noted that I don't have a car and I would have to purchase one.


Really depends on how much you'll save. 15k a year in savings (for me) would be enough for me to live 30 minutes away. Anything less than that, I'd live close to the school. My experience with graduate school in general was that being near campus was helpful for collaboration/study with classmates. Also helped me get to class on time.


This is the kind of response I was after. Thank you. My concern is living far away from the school will have a negative impact on my academics. I want to give myself the best possible chance at success. It would be less than 10k of savings. I was just curious what other people's experiences were mostly so I can present my finacé with an argument. It's hard to win him on logic alone so personal experiences will be really helpful.


An hour of total commuting time daily will not necessarily torpedo your performance in law school. If you live close to the school, you're probably saving 30-45 minutes a day in travel, but if you really think that's your only time loss during the day, you'd be wrong. The truth is $10k in savings is a decent chunk of change, and your fiancé is probably right to consider saving the money since you're relying on loans to live and go to school.

Only you can really answer whether saving $10k is worth a minor inconvenience like commuting an hour total every day. When that $10k is loan money, I think it's absolutely worth it to live farther away and commute to school. It shouldn't have a noticeable effect on your grades.


Agree with all of the bolded. Also would add that if you and your fiance can't come to a reasonable agreement on this through discussion, and because of that you're starting an arms race of getting anonymous internet strangers to back your position, that indicates a larger detriment to your academic experience may be a relationship with bad communication, not commute time.

Probably not accurate, just that sticks out to me as odd that you specifically said you can't win over your fiance with logic. My experience with SO's is that that sort of sentiment is pretty toxic. If you mess up and tell him he's always illogical in arguments, you're going to be in for a rough time.

Often times guys have very different priorities/thought processes, especially when it relates to finances/providing for someone else (no idea what your relationship dynamic is like). It very well could be that he has a very logically defensible position, and you just aren't seeing it. I'd be really wary of pinning illogical/irrational behavior on him.


I didn't say he's illogical. I said it's hard to win him on logic alone. There is logic supporting both sides which is what led me to this forum in the first place. As another poster said, it's a very personal and subjective decision and my wonderful fiancé, nor I, know very much about the possible impact of living farther away. I think personal experiences would be helpful for both of us to fill the gaps in our understanding of what this is going to be like. The question is certainly commute times, but the heart of the question is more about academic success. I have a friend who is going to law school next year as well and she refused to live farther than 10 minutes away from her campus because she wanted to be nearby for office hours, activities, classes, study groups, and the like. It's quite possible that her way of thinking has made me just as "illogical" as my male counterpart.

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UVA2B
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Re: Housing - closer or cheaper?

Postby UVA2B » Fri Jun 02, 2017 4:53 pm

You don't need to live close to the law school to maximize your access to everything that will lead to academic success. People regularly do just fine commuting. I'm a ~15-20 minute commuter type, and I haven't seen the slightest disadvantage over my classmates that live 5 minutes from the school because of that commute.

If you weren't saving money, I'd say by all means live closer since that's what most of your classmates will probably do (this entirely depends on what school we're talking about, so I'm just making a blanket assumption here) and you'll be in the thick of the social scene, etc. But spending significantly more on living would be a really bad decision if you think it's going to drastically affect how well you do in law school. You're probably going to be median at your school no matter where you live, and if you're going to be top of your class living close to the school, you'd still be top of your class living farther away and commuting.

IExistedOnceBefore
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Re: Housing - closer or cheaper?

Postby IExistedOnceBefore » Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:14 pm

Really depends on the school. Some have everyone who just live closer. Some have a large chunk of their class live 30 minutes out. I lived a 25 minute commute away from my school and it was fine.

legalbeagle20
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Re: Housing - closer or cheaper?

Postby legalbeagle20 » Sat Jun 03, 2017 8:53 am

UVA2B wrote:You don't need to live close to the law school to maximize your access to everything that will lead to academic success. People regularly do just fine commuting. I'm a ~15-20 minute commuter type, and I haven't seen the slightest disadvantage over my classmates that live 5 minutes from the school because of that commute.

If you weren't saving money, I'd say by all means live closer since that's what most of your classmates will probably do (this entirely depends on what school we're talking about, so I'm just making a blanket assumption here) and you'll be in the thick of the social scene, etc. But spending significantly more on living would be a really bad decision if you think it's going to drastically affect how well you do in law school. You're probably going to be median at your school no matter where you live, and if you're going to be top of your class living close to the school, you'd still be top of your class living farther away and commuting.


Thank you! This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for sharing your experience with me.

agnes_bean
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Re: Housing - closer or cheaper?

Postby agnes_bean » Sat Jun 03, 2017 11:05 am

I live about a 30 min walk from campus (20 min by public transit), at a school where the majority seemed to be within 10 minutes (and many on campus) during 1L, and I don't think it negatively impacted me, academically or socially. In fact, if anything I think it was a net positive. That said, these things are obviously very individual. So here are some of the ways I do think living father away made my 1L experience DIFFERENT than those who lived close. I've noted how these differences impacted me, but you should think about how you would react:

1) It is harder to get home during the day. It was VERY rare for me to go back and forth between home and school more than once a day. (Like, I can probably count on one hand the number of times I did it 1L.) That meant that if I had an hour+ gap in my schedule I had to fill it somehow. And that happens -- some semesters big gaps have been built into by schedule, plus there are evening meetings for activities, office hours, dinner plans, etc. For me, I think this ended up being a good thing, esp. 1L. I ended up using such gaps to either work or socialize, both of which were better uses of my time than going home and watching TV alone, which is probably what I would have done if I lived on/near campus. That said, it sometimes led to some logistical bother on those rare days where I had to, say, bring a nice outfit to change into for a firm reception. But those days were few and far between, probably not enough to hinge a decision on.

As a subset of this category, you do have to make sure you're really on top of your organization -- because you aren't going home, you need to know which books you need each day, not just for class but for filling the time gaps, etc. There were occasional times I'd leave a book at home and then wish I had it with me because my plans changed and suddenly I had more time to fill at school, but there's enough work to do all around that this was rarely ever a big deal. You can always find something to fill the time.

2) It is mildly harder to socialize in the evenings/weekends. There's no running into people in the dorms and deciding to grab dinner or whatever, and you have to make more of an effort if you want to go meet people after you've gone home/on the weekends. This wasn't a big deal for me: I did my impromptu socializing during the day/right after class, and coming from a big city where it regularly took 40+ minutes to get places, the 20-30 minutes to go meet friends at bars near campus on a Friday or Saturday night just didn't strike me as an impediment at all.

3) The commute itself breaks up your day. For me, this was GREAT. I loved having separation between home and school. It was great to have a break between class and getting to work at the end of the day. I liked breaking up my studying during exam week with a walk to school to meet my study group or grab lunch with a friend. It was my time to decompress. This is a place where your mileage can really vary, though, so think about how this would effect you.

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BottomOfTotem
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Re: Housing - closer or cheaper?

Postby BottomOfTotem » Tue Jun 06, 2017 12:34 am

Most of this has been mentioned above, but I'll add my experience.

I commuted a decently long distance, think hour each way. I did well during my 1L year. My thoughts:

Positives:
- loved where I lived (happiness in law school is a huge plus)
- saved money that is now not owed and accruing interest (less stress)
- was forced to stay on campus and study the majority of the day -- couldn't leave and come back during breaks
- had an automatic time period where I couldn't law school it up (decompressing during law school is good)

Negatives:
- missed time studying
- traffic blows


I will say it comes down to who you are, and how dedicated you will be. If you have a personal life that is demanding of your time, it may be detrimental to your studies. The travel will cut into either your studies or your personal life, at least a little bit. But it is certainly possible, and not incredibly difficult, to manage with a commute.




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