zanzbar wrote:I did it in excel but the simple explanation of it (Tuition-Scholarships)+ Rent/Amenities+ Transportation costs+ Food+Books for 3 years. Then I started factoring in the compound interest from each year of law school using the grad plus interest rate (7.9%) so then I used the PMT formula to determine the amount of my monthly payment to pay it off over 10 years and once I got that number I used the average starting salary provided by each school (I know the issue with this, but I didn't really have any better estimate to go with) I then took 30% off this number to calculate for federal income tax rate ,subtracted the loan repayment, and I am left with my average monthly take home pay. One school did clearly win in the end. I guess there could be an additional cost of living argument for why this school has higher pay, but even the higher pay allows me to increase my loan repayment by simply 100 bucks a month it will save me a couple grand in the long run.

I did the first part of this - total coa over the three years, using their numbers and mine (based on information of housing costs, etc. - they were pretty similar for the most part). I've heard showing different COAs is good in negotiating (for instance, two schools give comparable amounts but have different COA). I'll probably end up making more columns for debt repayment, but (as you mentioned), I'm not comfortable saying I'll get median. I may do low, median, high. However, I doubt this would help any more than COA comparison, because that is probably what they will focus on for your chart (IMO).