IBThatGuy wrote:In advance: Don't read this as a slam; it really isn't intended as such.
I'm a bit confused about something: When forumites write that they can't afford to pay sticker, what exactly do they mean?
The vast majority of law-school students have to take out loans to attend any school that doesn't offer a full ride. It's an enormous expenditure, and it generally prevents one from obtaining employment. [Loss of money] plus [prevention of gaining money] equals loss of money.
The question is therefore simply a matter of how much of a loan one is willing to take on. Wake or UNC; Pitt or Penn State; W&L or W&M; the net result is debt. That is, properly speaking, most of us can't really afford to go wherever it is we do go; we're just betting on being able to make enough, after graduating, to be able to justify the outlay of huge amounts of money.
It seems like the better wording would be something like, "I'm not willing to pay sticker." For instance, it would cost roughly $55,000 more to go to Wake than to UNC. What is meant is that, with no scholarship money at either, the student is not willing to pay the extra $55,000 to attend Wake Forest.
Am I missing something?
You literally took the words out of my mouth (or the typing out of my fingers). I definitely understand people not being willing to pay sticker. That makes perfect sense, especially if they have received decent scholarship offers at comparable schools.
The flip side is that some of us (like me) who are on the waitlist WOULD be willing to pay sticker because going to Wake would give us better employment prospects compared to, say, Marquette (even if Marquette did offer $16k/year). It's really all about what you're willing to do. I am personally not willing to pay $39k/year at Marquette if I could get off Wake's waitlist. With schools that are of a comparable rank, that choice is a bit harder...
So no, you can't pay sticker, but in reality, a VERY small percentage of prospective students can. The rest take out loans, and it's all about how much debt you are comfortable taking on.
EDIT: I have said this before, but I am happy for those of you who have gotten into Wake--don't take my desperation as me trying to get you to withdraw!