bjokay wrote:I want an honest opinion.....
I was offered 39k per year from USD, and I have deposited my $250 as an intention to accept. That being said, I have some other offers and I was curious what my fellow class of 2015 thinks...
30k per year at George Washington (#20), or
Boston University (#26) (sticker, but expecting Aid)
Arizona State University (#26) (same at ASU)
Notre Dame University (#22) (same as others)
Hey there bjokay!
Now, because I want to go to Notre Dame, and I am on the waitlist, I want to encourage you to withdraw from ND ASAP! haha
Honestly though, I'm gonna give you some advice as a 31-year old who has already had some financial success in life. Even if you are convinced you want to be a lawyer, and maybe work for big law, don't bet your financial future on it. I'm not going to law school because I need a new career, but rather I am interested in expanding my horizons. I have made a number of career mistakes before, and lost a significant amount of money in those mistakes that put me a world of hurt. Luckily, I have also made some good decisions and made back a lot of money. If you want to stay in SD, go to USD. It sounds like it is nearly free (except living expenses). If you want to have a degree that will transmit across the country or get you into big law then go to GW. That is a great deal and GW has a terrific reputation. You will graduate with not so much debt and outstanding career opportunities. Unless the other schools give you significant money (like GW) I would say they are out, except maybe ASU (not so expensive but also regional despite its high ranking).
Frankly, I wouldn't pay sticker price even for Yale, unless I had at least 300k in the bank. Not because you couldn’t pay off your bill with a big law paycheck, but rather that you HAVE to work for big law for that paycheck, even if you wanted to do something else. You're just not free to make whatever career decision you want to make when graduate.
One of my many job hats is that of a financial advisor. I can tell you that a man who makes $5000 a month, who saves $500 a month, who has a lighter workload and is happy with their job is much better off than a man who makes $20,000 a month, who saves none of it since they live beyond their means (common in many cases of driven and wealthy lawyers I work with) and who are constantly stressed and unhappy.
Go to the school that will make you happy, that will get you the job you want, and that won’t cripple you financially for the next 20 years.