I was accepted to Cornell ED earlier this week and I do not expect to get any scholarship. When I applied, I believed that the reputation of a Cornell degree is worth the money. But after withdrawing my other applications I am beginning to get nervous about the cost. I got a full ride to a tier 2 NY school (the only offer I received before the Cornell decision) and I think I could have gotten decent $$$ from a top 30 school.
i know that around half of the students at Cornell are paying sticker. Are these students under more pressure to get good grades compared to those who got scholarships? Is landing a 160k Big Law position the only way to make Cornell worth sticker? Do I have a shot at getting some $$$?
I just want to know the general strategy and outlook of somebody paying sticker (and taking on lots of debt) at a lower top 14. I am really excited about attending Cornell but now I am really starting to think about how I can make my degree viable with lots of debt.
For starters, biglaw is paying 180K now, so that helps.
You might get some small, 7-10K/year scholarship if you're lucky. Theoretically it makes sense that the more debt you have, the more pressure you'll feel to do well. But at the end of the day, it's 1L, and everyone will feel the pressure and be gunning super hard so that they can get good jobs.
I didn't pay sticker so I can't personally speak to the general strategy and outlook. But: If you're sure that you want to be a lawyer, your career will last a long time, and where you start will matter a lot. At Cornell, your odds of getting biglaw will be much better than at some tier 2 school. You'll have to stick with biglaw for a few years to pay off a good chunk of that debt, and it'll probably suck. But long term, you'll pay off the debt, and you'll likely have a better career having gone to Cornell.
With that said, If you think there's any chance you could improve your LSAT score, and you wouldn't mind waiting a year, I'd retake, and if you get a 168 or above, sit out and reapply for $$$. No need to choose between T-14 and low debt if there's still a chance you can have both.