SMU 2011

Share Your Experiences, Read About Other Experiences. Please keep posts organized by school and expected year of graduation.
jess85
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Re: SMU 2011

Postby jess85 » Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:33 am

Just as a heads up for those still waiting, they've been calling people off the waitlist this week. I know at least two who were called on Monday. One is definitely attending, the other has not yet decided. They were given until tomorrow (Thursday) to commit.

thewarflamingo
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Re: SMU 2011

Postby thewarflamingo » Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:50 am

jess85 wrote:Just as a heads up for those still waiting, they've been calling people off the waitlist this week. I know at least two who were called on Monday. One is definitely attending, the other has not yet decided. They were given until tomorrow (Thursday) to commit.

Thanks for the info. Were they FT or PT? Do you happen to know their #s?

jess85
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Re: SMU 2011

Postby jess85 » Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:05 pm

I belive they are both full time. I don't know their numbers, sorry.

renee88
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Re: SMU 2011

Postby renee88 » Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:27 pm

So I just got a call with an offer to the part time program. I turned it down, and she asked what could change my mind. I said scholarship money, and she then offered 11,000/year with the only requirement that I stay in good standing with the school. I still didn't say yes and she said she could up it to 16000. I am literally in the process of moving from Wisconsin to Waco to attend baylor and I already signed a lease that may be difficult to break. I have a 21000 scholarship to Baylor. Thoughts? I have until 10 am tomorrow to decide. I'm pretty set on Baylor but am open to opinions. Also, does anyone know when classes start at smu?

If anyone gets a call, push for money because she did not offer it right away. It took her a moment to calculate what she could offer.

Edit- numbers are 164 and 3.5.

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ebo
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Re: SMU 2011

Postby ebo » Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:39 pm

renee88 wrote:So I just got a call with an offer to the part time program. I turned it down, and she asked what could change my mind. I said scholarship money, and she then offered 11,000/year with the only requirement that I stay in good standing with the school. I still didn't say yes and she said she could up it to 16000. I am literally in the process of moving from Wisconsin to Waco to attend baylor and I already signed a lease that may be difficult to break. I have a 21000 scholarship to Baylor. Thoughts? I have until 10 am tomorrow to decide. I'm pretty set on Baylor but am open to opinions. Also, does anyone know when classes start at smu?

If anyone gets a call, push for money because she did not offer it right away. It took her a moment to calculate what she could offer.

Edit- numbers are 164 and 3.5.

That's odd- I was under the impression that SMU doesn't negotiate scholarships.

Classes start on the 19th for FT- not sure about PT.

If you want a breakdown of why you should choose SMU over Baylor, talk to Kalvano- I've seen him break it down pretty well in the past.

If you want to work in Dallas (or pretty much anywhere in TX for that matter) I think SMU makes more sense from an employment prospects standpoint. Also- would you rather live in Waco or Dallas for the next four years?

jess85
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Re: SMU 2011

Postby jess85 » Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:47 pm

ebo wrote:That's odd- I was under the impression that SMU doesn't negotiate scholarships.


One of the people I mentioned above negotiated his as well, and they ultimately gave him what he asked for. *shrugs*

thewarflamingo
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Re: SMU 2011

Postby thewarflamingo » Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:48 pm

renee88 wrote:So I just got a call with an offer to the part time program. I turned it down, and she asked what could change my mind. I said scholarship money, and she then offered 11,000/year with the only requirement that I stay in good standing with the school. I still didn't say yes and she said she could up it to 16000. I am literally in the process of moving from Wisconsin to Waco to attend baylor and I already signed a lease that may be difficult to break. I have a 21000 scholarship to Baylor. Thoughts? I have until 10 am tomorrow to decide. I'm pretty set on Baylor but am open to opinions. Also, does anyone know when classes start at smu?

If anyone gets a call, push for money because she did not offer it right away. It took her a moment to calculate what she could offer.

Edit- numbers are 164 and 3.5.

Wow, I can't believe they offered you PT with those numbers. I officially have no hope of getting in for FT. If it was me, I would take SMU in a heartbeat even though it's only PT. I only put FT on my app...kinda regretting that. :(

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fathergoose
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Re: SMU 2011

Postby fathergoose » Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:57 pm

Don't go to Baylor. Don't do it. You may not regret today or tomorrow but you will soon and for the rest of your life.

PT at SMU is an incredible opportunity and gives you so many better options than Baykor that it is laughable to even consider Baylor seriously in this decision.

PM if you'd like.

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Iconoclast
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Re: SMU 2011

Postby Iconoclast » Wed Aug 03, 2011 2:24 pm

renee88 wrote:So I just got a call with an offer to the part time program. I turned it down, and she asked what could change my mind. I said scholarship money, and she then offered 11,000/year with the only requirement that I stay in good standing with the school. I still didn't say yes and she said she could up it to 16000. I am literally in the process of moving from Wisconsin to Waco to attend baylor and I already signed a lease that may be difficult to break. I have a 21000 scholarship to Baylor. Thoughts? I have until 10 am tomorrow to decide. I'm pretty set on Baylor but am open to opinions. Also, does anyone know when classes start at smu?


Orientation for part-time is the 15-17th. Classes start on Monday, the 22nd.

SMU places better than Baylor and also has a much larger legal community that will allow you to network and build relationships while in school (which can translate into jobs). Dallas is also a much nicer place to spend your time whicle in school. And although I have no personal experience with Baylor, a friend who just graduated said it was a pretty miserable, cutthroat environment. The evening program at SMU is nothing like what he described.

If you can put up with the extra year before graduation, I think SMU is a far better option. I'd try to get out of the lease and head to Dallas. Even if it costs a little bit of coin to do it, I think it would be money well spent.

profbarium
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Re: SMU 2011

Postby profbarium » Wed Aug 03, 2011 2:41 pm

renee88 wrote:So I just got a call with an offer to the part time program. I turned it down, and she asked what could change my mind. I said scholarship money, and she then offered 11,000/year with the only requirement that I stay in good standing with the school. I still didn't say yes and she said she could up it to 16000. I am literally in the process of moving from Wisconsin to Waco to attend baylor and I already signed a lease that may be difficult to break. I have a 21000 scholarship to Baylor. Thoughts? I have until 10 am tomorrow to decide. I'm pretty set on Baylor but am open to opinions. Also, does anyone know when classes start at smu?

If anyone gets a call, push for money because she did not offer it right away. It took her a moment to calculate what she could offer.

Edit- numbers are 164 and 3.5.


I have a horse in this race (i.e. I'd really like either a PT or FT slot at Dedman), so I can't be objective. I live in Dallas, so I don't have the "moving" issue to contend with, either. I hear mixed reviews about Baylor, but, honestly, I hear the same about SMU (namely, that it's super expensive and doesn't have a stellar bar-passage rate for its reputation). But that didn't convince me to abandon it. Everyone's situation is different, but I think PT at SMU is a very worthwhile option (even over Baylor).

One question for you, though: What, if anything, changed on your "check application status" page on the SMU Web site after you got the call? Mine has said "waitlisted" for months.

Thanks in advance. Best of luck!

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kalvano
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Re: SMU 2011

Postby kalvano » Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:01 pm

I can absolutely, without any hesitation, tell you to choose SMU over Baylor. I have a really long post that I can do, but the short version is that everyone I know who went to Baylor said it is a miserable experience and SMU places much better anyway. I was at the courthouse this summer with a girl from Baylor and she hated every minute of it and hadn't even gotten to Practice Court yet.

I was really astonished at the level of local prestige afforded SMU within Dallas at the courthouse. I always thought of SMU as a pretty average school (and it is, nationally) but attorneys in Dallas think extremely highly of it. It's odd, but nice.

Bottom line - SMU affords more job opportunities in Dallas (and Texas in general) over Baylor, far more. Law school kind of sucks anyway, so why go somewhere you'll be miserable? SMU has a pretty nice, laid-back atmosphere, and is a better bet anyway.

Also - scholarship stips at Baylor are pretty brutal. SMU just requires you don't pee in the Dean's filing cabinet.

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vanwinkle
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Re: SMU 2011

Postby vanwinkle » Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:09 pm

kalvano wrote:I can absolutely, without any hesitation, tell you to choose SMU over Baylor. I have a really long post that I can do, but the short version is that everyone I know who went to Baylor said it is a miserable experience and SMU places much better anyway. I was at the courthouse this summer with a girl from Baylor and she hated every minute of it and hadn't even gotten to Practice Court yet.

I was really astonished at the level of local prestige afforded SMU within Dallas at the courthouse. I always thought of SMU as a pretty average school (and it is, nationally) but attorneys in Dallas think extremely highly of it. It's odd, but nice.

It's the best law school in the DFW area, by far. UT is a great school, but it's in Austin, and a lot of its grads are trying to get jobs out-of-state. SMU students can network and do internships in Dallas easily during the school year, and they're much more likely to want to stay in Dallas when they graduate. I suspect this has a lot to do with it.

Also, I have to +1 everything above. SMU >> Baylor for both QOL and career opportunities. Your lease probably has a provision that lets you terminate it early in exchange for X months' rent, and it's worth it to just eat that and take the better school. In any case, good luck figuring that out, but SMU is the right decision if you can possibly make it happen.

renee88
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Re: SMU 2011

Postby renee88 » Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:16 pm

Thanks for the responses.

I would rather live in Waco than Dallas, for starters. That might seem odd but I really don't like big cities, and the cost of living in Waco is quite low.

That is admittedly a fairly insignificant issue, as is the next- I have had a much more positive experience with Baylor so far. From getting my questions answered to just basic courtesy, the schools have thus far been worlds apart. It's not a lot but it does mean something to me. I just really like the atmosphere at Baylor.

More importantly, the educational value of Baylor that attracts me. I like the idea of rigor, challenge, and getting the ass kicked out of every apathetic, vulnerable aspect of me that could hinder my success later. I don't want another school that I have any potential to drift through. I don't do well in those environments. I know no law school is easy, but Baylor is a challenge beyond most and I believe that is what I need. It bothered me when I went to preview days at other schools and people were on Facebook, messengers, talking about how many classes they've missed, etc. That was the story my undergrad, and to me it doesn't at all resemble the professional world. I want to be ready to practice from day one. Baylor's bar passage rate also speaks volumes to me, especially compared to Smu's ofetty low one.

I've spoken to several students from Baylor, some who have been out for 7, 8 plus years. None of the students who have had time to gain a larger perspective have a single regret about Baylor, despite their struggles at the time. They, and their employers, feel Baylor grads are much miore prepared than even students from UT. This is so much mire important to me than how current students feel or how much money people are making 6 months after graduating.

As for the cutthroat atmosphere- I've heard that from one or two people. But overwhelmingly people say the struggles they go through lead them to form strong bonds with their classmates. They all just want to get through it, and while there are a few vicious students- I'd think all schools will have some people like that.

That's just where I'm coming from. I understand it may not work for everyone. If SMU offered me more money, I would probably take it. But I've already signed a lease, submitted two deposits, and it would cost a lot not only to switch things up this late in the game but also to spend 4 years there in the first place. And given my perhaps slightly odd priorities it doesn't seem worth it to me.

Given Baylor's numbers, I'm not stupid enough to expect a great job right away. But I accept this and it isn't going to change my mind at this point.
Last edited by renee88 on Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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vanwinkle
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Re: SMU 2011

Postby vanwinkle » Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:19 pm

renee88 wrote:Given Baylor's numbers, I'm not stupid enough to expect a great job right away. But I accept this and it isn't going to change my mind at this point.

Best of luck to you.

renee88
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Re: SMU 2011

Postby renee88 » Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:22 pm

profbarium wrote:
renee88 wrote:So I just got a call with an offer to the part time program. I turned it down, and she asked what could change my mind. I said scholarship money, and she then offered 11,000/year with the only requirement that I stay in good standing with the school. I still didn't say yes and she said she could up it to 16000. I am literally in the process of moving from Wisconsin to Waco to attend baylor and I already signed a lease that may be difficult to break. I have a 21000 scholarship to Baylor. Thoughts? I have until 10 am tomorrow to decide. I'm pretty set on Baylor but am open to opinions. Also, does anyone know when classes start at smu?

If anyone gets a call, push for money because she did not offer it right away. It took her a moment to calculate what she could offer.

Edit- numbers are 164 and 3.5.


I have a horse in this race (i.e. I'd really like either a PT or FT slot at Dedman), so I can't be objective. I live in Dallas, so I don't have the "moving" issue to contend with, either. I hear mixed reviews about Baylor, but, honestly, I hear the same about SMU (namely, that it's super expensive and doesn't have a stellar bar-passage rate for its reputation). But that didn't convince me to abandon it. Everyone's situation is different, but I think PT at SMU is a very worthwhile option (even over Baylor).

One question for you, though: What, if anything, changed on your "check application status" page on the SMU Web site after you got the call? Mine has said "waitlisted" for months.

Thanks in advance. Best of luck!


I will check later and let you know. Phone battery is dying and I'm in the middle of stupid Iowa. :) I appreciate your response. Good luck to you too!

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fathergoose
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Re: SMU 2011

Postby fathergoose » Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:34 pm

So in summary you want to live in Waco and attend an academic program that works you harder and gives you worse job prospects than another school. All this so you can have a warm tingly feeling inside you because you feel like you've overcome your slacker tendencies?

You sound like a great fit for Baylor. Good luck.

renee88
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Re: SMU 2011

Postby renee88 » Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:41 pm

fathergoose wrote:So in summary you want to live in Waco and attend an academic program that works you harder and gives you worse job prospects than another school. All this so you can have a warm tingly feeling inside you because you feel like you've overcome your slacker tendencies?

You sound like a great fit for Baylor. Good luck.


I didn't say I was a slacker. I said I didn't want to be in that kind of environment again. And I'm not expecting a false sense of accomplishment. I'm hoping for better value for my money.

But thanks for the false assumptions and nasty tone.

I'll also note that what gets you through undergrad won't get you through law school. And given the environment I was in, I know you can work hard but not be challenged, really. Guess that's a better way of saying what I mean.

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fathergoose
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Re: SMU 2011

Postby fathergoose » Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:53 pm

renee88 wrote:I don't want another school that I have any potential to drift through. I don't do well in those environments. I know no law school is easy, but Baylor is a challenge beyond most and I believe that is what I need. It bothered me when I went to preview days at other schools and people were on Facebook, messengers, talking about how many classes they've missed, etc. That was the story my undergrad, and to me it doesn't at all resemble the professional world.

Sorry if I mistook this to mean you were afraid of your slacker tendancies

renee88 wrote:I've spoken to several students from Baylor, some who have been out for 7, 8 plus years. None of the students who have had time to gain a larger perspective have a single regret about Baylor, despite their struggles at the time. They, and their employers, feel Baylor grads are much more prepared than even students from UT.

renee88 wrote:But overwhelmingly people say the struggles they go through lead them to form strong bonds with their classmates.

Sorry if I took this to mean that you were more interested in the non-tangible sense of accomplishment than the tangible variety.

As far as a better value for your money, I hope that paying more tuition at Baylor than you would at SMU works out for you.

I didn't mean to be snarky, I really didn't. Just be aware that going to either law school is like jumping out of a perfectly good airplane and all I'm suggesting is that you pick the parachute with the fewest holes in it.

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kalvano
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Re: SMU 2011

Postby kalvano » Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:08 pm

The odds are very good you will lose your scholarship to Baylor. Then you will have a lot of debt and worse job prospects.

You're going to learn the same law at either school, or basically any law school in the country. Law school is about reputation and connections, and SMU is exponentially better in that regard.

You're still thinking of law school like undergrad, and while some parts may be similar, this is graduate professional school and you are going to get a job, not to get an education. You won't actually learn how to be a lawyer at either school. Granted, Baylor may do a somewhat better job in that aspect, but it won't matter if you can't find work.

Would those same people that chose Baylor 10 years ago still do so today, given a choice? Probably not. You may be the best prepared newly-minted lawyer in the world, but you'll watch a parade of UT and SMU kids waltz in and take the jobs you are trying to get. I'm not saying SMU is perfect or a guaranteed job, but the prospects are infinitely better.

renee88
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Re: SMU 2011

Postby renee88 » Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:12 pm

I apologize, I was a little unclear in that first part about Facebook etc in class- I didn't mean I did those things. Just a lot of people at my undergrad did. It was disracting and meant little class involvement, which was why I didn't like it.

Also tuition would be slightly more for me at smu, unless I'm not correctly remembering their tuition rates- plus a higher cost of living.

No worries about your post. I understand my line of thinking may have sounded a bit abstract, and probably is in reality.

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kalvano
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Re: SMU 2011

Postby kalvano » Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:17 pm

You won't be "involved" in class. They will either:

1) Lecture for the entire class and 10 minutes over. I'm looking at you, Crespi.

2) Randomly call on students and question you about cases.

3) Go through their own Property book that they wrote, finding mistakes and bad law all year long, and lecture for 4 days on some esoteric Property topic and then tell you it doesn't matter because the law is changing and you won't be tested on it anyways.

That's it. It's not an undergrad class. Other people on Facebook or taking notes will have zero impact on you.

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Thirteen
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Re: SMU 2011

Postby Thirteen » Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:44 pm

I'm doing an internship at the district courthouse. All of the kids I've met from Baylor Law look miserable. They never smile, and walk around the courthouse like zombies. It's only been a year, and the school has taken their souls.

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ebo
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Re: SMU 2011

Postby ebo » Wed Aug 03, 2011 6:43 pm

renee88 wrote:Thanks for the responses.

I would rather live in Waco than Dallas, for starters. That might seem odd but I really don't like big cities, and the cost of living in Waco is quite low.

That is admittedly a fairly insignificant issue, as is the next- I have had a much more positive experience with Baylor so far. From getting my questions answered to just basic courtesy, the schools have thus far been worlds apart. It's not a lot but it does mean something to me. I just really like the atmosphere at Baylor.

More importantly, the educational value of Baylor that attracts me. I like the idea of rigor, challenge, and getting the ass kicked out of every apathetic, vulnerable aspect of me that could hinder my success later. I don't want another school that I have any potential to drift through. I don't do well in those environments. I know no law school is easy, but Baylor is a challenge beyond most and I believe that is what I need. It bothered me when I went to preview days at other schools and people were on Facebook, messengers, talking about how many classes they've missed, etc. That was the story my undergrad, and to me it doesn't at all resemble the professional world. I want to be ready to practice from day one. Baylor's bar passage rate also speaks volumes to me, especially compared to Smu's ofetty low one.

I've spoken to several students from Baylor, some who have been out for 7, 8 plus years. None of the students who have had time to gain a larger perspective have a single regret about Baylor, despite their struggles at the time. They, and their employers, feel Baylor grads are much miore prepared than even students from UT. This is so much mire important to me than how current students feel or how much money people are making 6 months after graduating.

As for the cutthroat atmosphere- I've heard that from one or two people. But overwhelmingly people say the struggles they go through lead them to form strong bonds with their classmates. They all just want to get through it, and while there are a few vicious students- I'd think all schools will have some people like that.

That's just where I'm coming from. I understand it may not work for everyone. If SMU offered me more money, I would probably take it. But I've already signed a lease, submitted two deposits, and it would cost a lot not only to switch things up this late in the game but also to spend 4 years there in the first place. And given my perhaps slightly odd priorities it doesn't seem worth it to me.

Given Baylor's numbers, I'm not stupid enough to expect a great job right away. But I accept this and it isn't going to change my mind at this point.

If this was a flame, it was a brilliantly subtle one.

EDIT: If this wasn't a flame, how do you know that you need a law school that is a "challenge beyond most" when you've never even spent a day as a law student? Do you think that schools ranked 10, 20, 30 spots higher than Baylor are cakewalks? Do you refuse anesthesia for surgeries as well?

Not trying to give you a hard time, just generally curious as to what exactly your thinking is here. Best of luck in whatever you decide, though.

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wellington
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Re: SMU 2011

Postby wellington » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:39 pm

Having to put up with more bullshit (See: having to take classes year round just to graduate in 3 years, having to do the balls-to-the-wall court requirement your final year, being subjected to archaic/strict Socratic method all three years--enjoy standing up in class when you're called on) doesn't necessarily make a program better.

It only means you have to put up with more bullshit.

renee88
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Re: SMU 2011

Postby renee88 » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:57 pm

What I know about Baylor is what I've learned from many people on the forums, including students, people who know students, or those just familiar with its reputation. It has certain distinguishing aspects, from practice court to a quarter system to a much stronger emphasis on the Socratic method than many schools. While the merit of the extra rigor may be questioned, i think most would agree it presents at least some extra challenges.

The way schools are ranked doesn't cover everything. Obviously I am a 0L, but like most people on here I've researched and compared the schools I'm considering. From what I've learned, those policies just set Baylor apart from many schools. That's the basis of my post.




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