NU($) v Duke($) v TX($$) v WUSTL($$$)

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MountainMama

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NU($) v Duke($) v TX($$) v WUSTL($$$)

Post by MountainMama » Sun Apr 12, 2020 6:34 pm

Schools (Scholarship; Expected Debt)
-Northwestern ($75,000; $130,000)
-Duke ($72,000; $130,000)
-Texas ($96,000; $50,000)
-WUSTL ($144,000; $20,000)
-UC Davis ($100,000; $30,000)
(Other schools are either R/WL/Sticker)

Finance
-Leftover 529 + savings, then loans
(Anyone have strong feelings on divesting/spending savings vs taking additional loans?)

GPA/LSAT
~3.6/174 (One take)

Goals
-I plan to focus on labor/employment law, with the goal to work in L/E BigLaw until I can go in-house.
-I would think seriously about pursuing clerkship/BigFed dependent on 1L grades (but assuming median).
-Also interested in CA state government, either out of Davis or down the road as an alternative to in-house.

Location
-Strong ties to CA. Undergrad in NE before living in NYC/DC. Zero TX/Chicago ties.
-Would prefer CA > TX/NC/Chicago/DC > NYC.
-Would like to end up in CA eventually, but totally happy starting career elsewhere, especially in a place with lower CoL.

Background/Preference
-Older applicant, 5+ years of unremarkable legal work experience.
-I’m hoping to negotiate Duke or Northwestern up a little, but not sure what leverage splitters will have this cycle, and the peer offers are already comparable.
-I feel like Duke/NW have much stronger pull in CA than TX/WUSTL, unclear if either has an advantage. I’ve heard Duke students spread out so much, single-market competition is lower.
-I feel like I’d probably “fit in” best with the older student body at Northwestern.
-I feel like I’d most enjoy Durham QoL, and might stand out more at OCI as an older/experienced candidate.
-But the TX BigLaw/CoL is very attractive, especially if I could lateral to CA in a few years.

What do you think? Thank you for your help!

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Re: NU($) v Duke($) v TX($$) v WUSTL($$$)

Post by cavalier1138 » Sun Apr 12, 2020 6:43 pm

You weren't able to negotiate scholarships at any of CCN? I'm shocked that you'd only be offered sticker at those schools, which would give you a little more flexibility in getting back to CA.

Of your current options, I'd go with Duke. But if you haven't negotiated yet, do that first.

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Re: NU($) v Duke($) v TX($$) v WUSTL($$$)

Post by MountainMama » Sun Apr 12, 2020 7:01 pm

I didn't even get in! I was waitlisted at CCN, Penn, Michigan, GULC, UCLA, & USC.
Sticker at UVA, Rejected at Berkeley.
Supposedly, its been a tough year for splitters, with a glut of high LSATs.
Currently waiting to hear back on negotiations.

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Re: NU($) v Duke($) v TX($$) v WUSTL($$$)

Post by crazywafflez » Sun Apr 12, 2020 7:59 pm

Northwestern ($75,000; $130,000)- a defensible approach but with Cali and TX being high on your list, as well as NC, I think Duke is just the better pick here. Obviously, NU is stronger in Chitown, but I think Duke and it are a wash in DC?
-Duke ($72,000; $130,000) I think for your goals this is the best option. Places well into all your makret preferences aside from Chi, and same debt as NU. Cheaper COL too.

-Texas ($96,000; $50,000)- My heart says to pick this one. It is a fantastic school, great city, and is king of a great legal market. However, it really loses its power and punch outside of Texas. I know of some grads that place into the Southwest and South (namely, AZ, NM, CO, AK, OK, and LA), but it isn't really happening a ton. These folks can get DC (but face stiff competition); and they aren't really going to Chi, CA, or NC. It places the best in TX out of all your schools and the CoL in the rest of the state is great.

-WUSTL ($144,000; $20,000)- I just think for your prferences this school doesn't help ya a ton. It's a good school, for a great price, but it really only shoves you closer to Chi and I'd maybe see picking it over NU just because of how low the cost is, but it'd be a tough sell.

-UC Davis ($100,000; $30,000)- For Cali, or NorCal, it is a great choice. And you've got a good package- but it has a lot less placing power into big law or top clerkships as compared to UT or NU. If you are set with NorCal and cool with livign in Sac or doing state level stuff in general, it is a great pick, good bargain, and you've still got a chance at biglaw.

Out of your choices, and with your geographic preferences, I'd pick Duke. If California were equal in your destination choices I'd pick UT. Sorry about not getting into the other schools but you've got some great options. Best of luck.

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Re: NU($) v Duke($) v TX($$) v WUSTL($$$)

Post by Sackboy » Sun Apr 12, 2020 8:28 pm

I'd pick between Duke or Northwestern, depending on your fit/a more articulated geographic lean. Both will get you where you want to go.

FIT:
  • If you're more interested in being surrounded by some "older" folks like yourself, Northwestern's culture will make more sense. If you'd prefer to be on the elder end of your cohort, Duke will probably suit you a bit better.
  • Do you prefer going to school in an upscale residential neighborhood in downtown Chicago or a more suburban/mobile area like Durham? On this note, you should probably revisit your COA calculations, because a $5,000 extra scholarship at NU likely does not eradicate the difference in 3 years of COL between Chicago and Durham.
  • Comparisons etc.
GEOGRAPHY:

If you're more interested in your backup markets being DC/NC/TX/FL vs Chicago, then Duke might make more sense. Duke has a very dominant placement in NC and a slight placement edge in DC/TX/FL. Chicago's biglaw legal market is bigger than all NC/TX/FL combined, fwiw, and the DC edge is only slight. Both schools send about 10% of graduates to CA every year, so they are a wash there. This is to all say that, either option will put you on a pretty equivalent footing for a certain # of jobs, but those jobs are just located in different places.

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Re: NU($) v Duke($) v TX($$) v WUSTL($$$)

Post by trebekismyhero » Mon Apr 13, 2020 9:56 am

Sackboy wrote:I'd pick between Duke or Northwestern, depending on your fit/a more articulated geographic lean. Both will get you where you want to go.

FIT:
  • If you're more interested in being surrounded by some "older" folks like yourself, Northwestern's culture will make more sense. If you'd prefer to be on the elder end of your cohort, Duke will probably suit you a bit better.
  • Do you prefer going to school in an upscale residential neighborhood in downtown Chicago or a more suburban/mobile area like Durham? On this note, you should probably revisit your COA calculations, because a $5,000 extra scholarship at NU likely does not eradicate the difference in 3 years of COL between Chicago and Durham.
  • Comparisons etc.
GEOGRAPHY:

If you're more interested in your backup markets being DC/NC/TX/FL vs Chicago, then Duke might make more sense. Duke has a very dominant placement in NC and a slight placement edge in DC/TX/FL. Chicago's biglaw legal market is bigger than all NC/TX/FL combined, fwiw, and the DC edge is only slight. Both schools send about 10% of graduates to CA every year, so they are a wash there. This is to all say that, either option will put you on a pretty equivalent footing for a certain # of jobs, but those jobs are just located in different places.
+1 to Sackboy's analysis. If Chicago is your top backup option after CA then go with NU. Otherwise Duke

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Re: NU($) v Duke($) v TX($$) v WUSTL($$$)

Post by MountainMama » Tue Apr 14, 2020 5:22 pm

Awesome advice, thank you!!!

Texas declined to increase their offer. At this point, weighing Texas cost against Duke employment. I think its possible Texas's 70% in-state applicant requirement really skews hiring placement (and maybe actually lessens competition for out-of-state markets?) Deposit is due tomorrow; I think I will deposit while still negotiating with Duke.

For all the opacity over how self-selection affects employment stats, it would be really helpful if schools could survey student preferences before OCI and report the percent that are hired in their preferred market.

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Re: NU($) v Duke($) v TX($$) v WUSTL($$$)

Post by Sackboy » Tue Apr 14, 2020 10:07 pm

MountainMama wrote:Awesome advice, thank you!!!

Texas declined to increase their offer. At this point, weighing Texas cost against Duke employment. I think its possible Texas's 70% in-state applicant requirement really skews hiring placement (and maybe actually lessens competition for out-of-state markets?) Deposit is due tomorrow; I think I will deposit while still negotiating with Duke.

For all the opacity over how self-selection affects employment stats, it would be really helpful if schools could survey student preferences before OCI and report the percent that are hired in their preferred market.
Sounds like a solid plan. UT @ 50k and Duke @ 130k are fantastic choices to have.

Re: OOS market placement. While 74% of students staying in-state could theoretically lessen out-of-state competition, it's much more likely that all it does is make UT/its grading/its network much more unknown OOS. That works against you, not for you. You also don't know what jobs the UT students are getting in CA or NY. They could not be biglaw jobs, in which case they aren't very attractive. I wouldn't attend UT unless you're (1) very comfortable living in TX, and (2) are OK with a ~50% chance of missing out on biglaw.

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Re: NU($) v Duke($) v TX($$) v WUSTL($$$)

Post by JustWannaGraduate » Tue Apr 14, 2020 11:31 pm

Duke grad here - Duke places really well in CA, DC, NC (few people stay in NC), TX. Chicago is more of a self selection problem (not a whole lot of people from the Midwest go to Duke, cause if they want to go to Chicago, they go elsewhere). Anecdotally, many more Duke students go to DC and place in DC than Northwestern, but that also may be a self-selection issue.

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Re: NU($) v Duke($) v TX($$) v WUSTL($$$)

Post by trebekismyhero » Wed Apr 15, 2020 9:50 am

Sackboy wrote:
MountainMama wrote:Awesome advice, thank you!!!

Texas declined to increase their offer. At this point, weighing Texas cost against Duke employment. I think its possible Texas's 70% in-state applicant requirement really skews hiring placement (and maybe actually lessens competition for out-of-state markets?) Deposit is due tomorrow; I think I will deposit while still negotiating with Duke.

For all the opacity over how self-selection affects employment stats, it would be really helpful if schools could survey student preferences before OCI and report the percent that are hired in their preferred market.
Sounds like a solid plan. UT @ 50k and Duke @ 130k are fantastic choices to have.

Re: OOS market placement. While 74% of students staying in-state could theoretically lessen out-of-state competition, it's much more likely that all it does is make UT/its grading/its network much more unknown OOS. That works against you, not for you. You also don't know what jobs the UT students are getting in CA or NY. They could not be biglaw jobs, in which case they aren't very attractive. I wouldn't attend UT unless you're (1) very comfortable living in TX, and (2) are OK with a ~50% chance of missing out on biglaw.
Agree 100% with Sackboy. UT is a very good option at that price, but UT does not have a national network like Duke or the big law placement. If you're ok with the possibility of starting your career at a small/mid size firm in Texas, then go with UT. Otherwise, probably should go with Duke

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Re: NU($) v Duke($) v TX($$) v WUSTL($$$)

Post by dozefalls » Wed Apr 15, 2020 7:25 pm

Congrats on some good schollys! I’m surprised you didn’t get CCN. Rough year for splitters.

I’d go Duke with your goals, but you might be able to swing Texas if you don’t mind starting out there. WashU would be cost effective for Chi with that scholly, but I wouldn’t go there unless you were okay with Chicago. Tempting COA though.

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Re: NU($) v Duke($) v TX($$) v WUSTL($$$)

Post by plurilingue » Mon Apr 20, 2020 4:39 pm

Did OP apply to law school late? This is not a good outcome for someone with these stats. There must be something more to the story. If a late app, I would defer a cycle and be the first to apply in September. Also, definitely ride out those waitlists. This is a very odd year and I expect a ton of WL movement.

None of these schools places well in California. The two major California schools are higher ranked, and you have a lot of YLS, HLS, CLS and NYU people who also target the California market at some point or another. So the schools you are describing are not on the radar for good California firms. I recommend spending some time considering what to do differently and a reapplication.

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Re: NU($) v Duke($) v TX($$) v WUSTL($$$)

Post by MountainMama » Tue Apr 21, 2020 4:51 pm

plurilingue wrote:Did OP apply to law school late?
Most of my applications were submitted in Sept/October, everything before Thanksgiving. I applied to UVA and Duke very early and was accepted quickly; I figured that meant my application didn't have any red flags.

Cursory judging by LSN and reddit, I think my outcomes are actually about in line with my stats for this cycle. More acceptances would be neat but I was realistically never going to attend any school at sticker anyway (All praise to foundational TLS wisdom). I had imagined CCN acceptance begets a little MVP aid begets substantial DNBCG aid. But hey, I'm just as happy if a bunch of waitlists still beget substantial aid!
plurilingue wrote:None of these schools places well in California... not on the radar for good California firms.
Can you tell me more about your impression? My understanding was that California BigLaw was totally reachable from Duke or Northwestern, especially with ties and foresight. CA is consistently NU's third largest market, and Duke seems to place everywhere. Do you think Duke/NU have a CA placement advantage over Texas or WUSTL?
JustWannaGraduate wrote:Duke grad here - Duke places really well in CA
Heck yeah! Duke sent out some summer placement data and I was thoroughly impressed by the CA reach, particularly in Palo Alto and San Diego.

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Re: NU($) v Duke($) v TX($$) v WUSTL($$$)

Post by QContinuum » Tue Apr 21, 2020 6:20 pm

Congrats on your offers!

Since you want CA, I'd rule out WUSTL and UT. They're strong schools, but UT primarily places in Texas (and, for top students, NYC), and WUSTL is largely limited to the Midwest (and, for top students, NYC). Neither gets much traction in CA.

As between Northwestern and Duke, I think you'd be fine at either. If I were in your shoes, I'd go with Duke just because I think it has a slight placement power edge overall. Your preference for living in Durham over Chicago also militates in favor of Duke.

So, tl;dr congrats and enjoy Duke! 8)

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Re: NU($) v Duke($) v TX($$) v WUSTL($$$)

Post by hookem7 » Tue Apr 21, 2020 6:32 pm

Your price for UT is great, but it doesn't sound like you'd be happy with a median outcome. For that reason, I think you have to eliminate it. You should still be competitive for Houston BL (although RIP big oil) out of Duke/NW without ties if you still want to pursue that option later on. I think between NW and Duke it can come down to personal preference, but I'd pick Duke. I think it has the most truly national rep of the (great!) options you have.

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Re: NU($) v Duke($) v TX($$) v WUSTL($$$)

Post by Sackboy » Wed Apr 22, 2020 1:03 am

Both schools will get you back to California. Go to the one you prefer based off all the intangibles in your life.

I don't understand the Duke (BL+FC= 76.8%) and Northwestern (75.6%) distinction being made here (1.2% difference). They're virtually the same school. If you throw in the desirable JD Advantage jobs both grads are getting, then it's Duke (78.6%) and Northwestern (79.1%) (0.5% difference). At the point in which you're splitting hairs between 1.2% placement in favor of Duke or 0.5% placement in favor of Northwestern, you've gone too deep.

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Re: NU($) v Duke($) v TX($$) v WUSTL($$$)

Post by QContinuum » Wed Apr 22, 2020 2:46 am

Sackboy wrote:Both schools will get you back to California. Go to the one you prefer based off all the intangibles in your life.

I don't understand the Duke (BL+FC= 76.8%) and Northwestern (75.6%) distinction being made here (1.2% difference). They're virtually the same school. If you throw in the desirable JD Advantage jobs both grads are getting, then it's Duke (78.6%) and Northwestern (79.1%) (0.5% difference). At the point in which you're splitting hairs between 1.2% placement in favor of Duke or 0.5% placement in favor of Northwestern, you've gone too deep.
No one's trying to make a mountain out of the 1.2% differential. Rather, the sense is that Duke has slightly stronger national (geographic) placement than NW. Plus, OP wants to go to Duke. So, this makes things easy.

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Re: NU($) v Duke($) v TX($$) v WUSTL($$$)

Post by Sackboy » Wed Apr 22, 2020 1:41 pm

QContinuum wrote: No one's trying to make a mountain out of the 1.2% differential. Rather, the sense is that Duke has slightly stronger national (geographic) placement than NW. Plus, OP wants to go to Duke. So, this makes things easy.
If OP wants to go to Duke, then that's the correct choice here. Duke and Northwestern are virtually the same schools. I don't think anyone is making a mountain out of the difference in geographic placement, but there are no statistics to back up Duke having a "slightly stronger national (geographic) placement." They are peer schools, and the numbers are a complete wash. I just think it's disingenuous to imply a real difference, even slight, exists for both OP and future posters reading this thread. The geographic spread isn't better or worse at Duke. It's just different.

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Re: NU($) v Duke($) v TX($$) v WUSTL($$$)

Post by dabigchina » Wed Apr 22, 2020 2:05 pm

Sackboy wrote:
QContinuum wrote: No one's trying to make a mountain out of the 1.2% differential. Rather, the sense is that Duke has slightly stronger national (geographic) placement than NW. Plus, OP wants to go to Duke. So, this makes things easy.
If OP wants to go to Duke, then that's the correct choice here. Duke and Northwestern are virtually the same schools. I don't think anyone is making a mountain out of the difference in geographic placement, but there are no statistics to back up Duke having a "slightly stronger national (geographic) placement." They are peer schools, and the numbers are a complete wash. I just think it's disingenuous to imply a real difference, even slight, exists for both OP and future posters reading this thread. The geographic spread isn't better or worse at Duke. It's just different.
I agree. Anecdotally, they both place more or less the same in CA. It really depends on if OP wants to spend 3 years in North Carolina or Chicago.

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Re: NU($) v Duke($) v TX($$) v WUSTL($$$)

Post by plurilingue » Wed Apr 22, 2020 7:25 pm

MountainMama wrote:
plurilingue wrote:Did OP apply to law school late?
Most of my applications were submitted in Sept/October, everything before Thanksgiving. I applied to UVA and Duke very early and was accepted quickly; I figured that meant my application didn't have any red flags.

Cursory judging by LSN and reddit, I think my outcomes are actually about in line with my stats for this cycle. More acceptances would be neat but I was realistically never going to attend any school at sticker anyway (All praise to foundational TLS wisdom). I had imagined CCN acceptance begets a little MVP aid begets substantial DNBCG aid. But hey, I'm just as happy if a bunch of waitlists still beget substantial aid!
plurilingue wrote:None of these schools places well in California... not on the radar for good California firms.
Can you tell me more about your impression? My understanding was that California BigLaw was totally reachable from Duke or Northwestern, especially with ties and foresight. CA is consistently NU's third largest market, and Duke seems to place everywhere. Do you think Duke/NU have a CA placement advantage over Texas or WUSTL?
That being the case, this is an unfortunate outcome. Your LSAT score is very high, and at or above the 75th for Columbia, NYU and Chicago, in addition to MVPB. I honestly think you will get off the waitlist at at least two of these, and also have a reasonable shot at HLS. So in every event, I strongly encourage you not to withdraw any applications. There will be remarkable WL movement this year due to the extraordinary circumstances, and that WL movement will continue right up until the academic year starts in August. Remember that lots of withdrawals at the last minute at a large, highly ranked school -- say, HLS/CLS/NYU will cascade down the rankings and create movement throughout the T14. Stay tuned.

Right now, I think it would be advisable to send tailored LOCI to UVA, UMich, Penn, and Berkeley just to get a final response from them; you're probably being yield protected at all of them. UVA seems to really want to maintain the 75th percentile LSAT at 172 -- the highest it has ever been for that school -- and your LSAT score would help them get there. So expressing interest in UVA may get you off the WL.

You say that you don't want to pay sticker, though. I don't think that changes the advice above, because you can always use a CCN offer to get some aid out of MVP and use that MVP offer to shake down DCN. I think that, at a minimum, you should be getting $120k out of Northwestern or Duke in order to make this in any way a fair cycle. Seventy thousand dollars at either school is a travesty. My mentee who had a 168/3.96 got a full-tuition scholarship (i.e., $180k) from Northwestern last cycle (and turned it down). He took the LSAT four times.

Given the low aid, I would recommend that you not deposit at either of these schools for the moment; it's important not to give them the impression that you're locked down at this level of aid. Rather express to them in your withdrawal letter that you really appreciate the admissions offers, that you are a particularly cost-sensitive applicant, and that your withdrawal is purely a function of your finances. In other words, but for the low scholarship funding, you would matriculate at their school. Both schools should come back with more money (~$90k). Then you will have to negotiate further from there. Ideally you could do this after having already gotten final responses from CCNMVP, since the logic (i.e., "I need more money") doesn't hold if prestige comes into play.

Finally, between Duke and Northwestern, I agree with QC that Duke has the edge here. I worked at a V5 in a major California office, and Duke was somewhat better represented than Northwestern. I found that consistently true at rival firms in my part of California. Duke has a smaller home market, and its grads are dispersed a bit more around the country; Northwestern is a bit more of a Chicago phenomenon. But the issue discussed above holds in either case: California -- especially the Bay Area -- is a difficult market to crack, and there are too many schools above these two for the school to make much of a difference. Your grades will have to be good, and your experience relevant, to have a good shot of landing a good Bay Area landing place. I really do recommend that you do this if your interest is L&E, because L&E is a great pipeline to those lucrative Silicon Valley in-house counsel jobs.

As an aside, I understand that people who are 30+ do not have their parents' assets considered in their financial aid package. If you have been out of undergrad for five years, you may wish to consider deferring law school for another cycle or two, particularly if you have no significant personal assets, to the extent that it can get you some serious aid money. Please don't quote me on this -- I had no finaid -- but I do recall that this is the case.

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Re: NU($) v Duke($) v TX($$) v WUSTL($$$)

Post by MountainMama » Mon Apr 27, 2020 12:59 pm

Thanks so much for the thoughts and advice, very helpful. I have some updates!

Requested reconsideration from Texas - denied
Requested reconsideration from Northwestern - denied
Requested reconsideration from Duke - offer increased about $10k

Perfect, I was all set to deposit at Duke. However! UVA ended up giving me a $75k scholarship (after initially granting $0). COA now roughly the same between Duke/Northwestern/UVA.

I feel like this is now a no-brainer. UVA seems to have stronger national placement, more west coast connection. UVA has an employment clinic and more L&E classes. UVA hiring would probably weather a recession a little easier. And I would personally much rather be in Charlottesville than Durham or Chicago. Am I missing or overthinking anything?

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Re: NU($) v Duke($) v TX($$) v WUSTL($$$)

Post by QContinuum » Mon Apr 27, 2020 1:59 pm

Nope, I think your gut is right that you should attend UVA. Congrats!!

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Re: NU($) v Duke($) v TX($$) v WUSTL($$$)

Post by nixy » Mon Apr 27, 2020 2:05 pm

QContinuum wrote:Nope, I think your gut is right that you should attend UVA. Congrats!!

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Re: NU($) v Duke($) v TX($$) v WUSTL($$$)

Post by Sackboy » Mon Apr 27, 2020 6:59 pm

MountainMama wrote: I feel like this is now a no-brainer. UVA seems to have stronger national placement, more west coast connection. UVA has an employment clinic and more L&E classes. UVA hiring would probably weather a recession a little easier. And I would personally much rather be in Charlottesville than Durham or Chicago. Am I missing or overthinking anything?
UVA is largely a peer with Duke and Northwestern. National placement is roughly the same. It has no more of a west coast connection than the other two schools. There is no indication it will weather a recession easier, either. Those are all weak, if not bad points.

It is, however, completely fine to pick UVA at $75k against Duke at $82k and Northwestern at $75k if the weather, geography, and clinical opportunities make more sense to you.

Enjoy your time in Charlottesville.

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Re: NU($) v Duke($) v TX($$) v WUSTL($$$)

Post by plurilingue » Tue Apr 28, 2020 2:02 am

MountainMama wrote:Thanks so much for the thoughts and advice, very helpful. I have some updates!

Requested reconsideration from Texas - denied
Requested reconsideration from Northwestern - denied
Requested reconsideration from Duke - offer increased about $10k

Perfect, I was all set to deposit at Duke. However! UVA ended up giving me a $75k scholarship (after initially granting $0). COA now roughly the same between Duke/Northwestern/UVA.

I feel like this is now a no-brainer. UVA seems to have stronger national placement, more west coast connection. UVA has an employment clinic and more L&E classes. UVA hiring would probably weather a recession a little easier. And I would personally much rather be in Charlottesville than Durham or Chicago. Am I missing or overthinking anything?
This is a very positive development! Still, I recommend continuing to press all of these schools for more money and, assuming money is more important than which lower T14 you attend, not committing yourself until you've exhausted all negotiation.

I would continue to ride each and every waitlist and use the LOCI to convert Penn and Michigan into admissions offers, ideally expressing your excitement about those schools and the hope of a substantial scholarship. My expectation is that you will ultimately get admitted to Columbia, admitted to NYU with some money, and get DCN up to $150k. I think MVP with up to $110k is also possible. Law school is absurdly expensive and right now you have only about a year of tuition. This cycle is going to be unpredictable until August.

For now, send your $75k offer at UVA to Northwestern and Duke along with your notice of withdrawal. Clearly express your need for as much funding as possible and that such need is the reason why you are withdrawing. I cannot overemphasize now important it is to be extremely polite about everything, and to express much you appreciate the offers and would love to attend if you could make the finances work a bit better. It is appropriate to indicate that if they were to offer you $125k or some other number, then you would be able to commit immediately. Further, it is entirely appropriate to withdraw from Duke and Northwestern now and also recontact them in a month post-withdrawal to see whether they have any more funding available. It is no problem for them to reinstate your admission in mid to late May when their class has firmed up and they have greater clarity regarding what they can offer you.

Your scholarship at UVA most likely has a deadline, so you have a lot of urgent work to do in terms of maximizing your outcomes.

Seriously? What are you waiting for?

Now there's a charge.
Just kidding ... it's still FREE!


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