UCLA full ride or Harvard Sticker?

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Laker1024

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UCLA full ride or Harvard Sticker?

Post by Laker1024 » Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:41 pm

I received a 40K per year scholarship at UCLA (would leave me with about 9k tuition per year plus living expenses) and I decided to SIR there as well over Berkeley with 25k/year scholarship and Columbia sticker.

Now, I am on the waitlist to Harvard and am trying to make a decision as to what I would do if I were to get off the waitlist and pay sticker price.

I'm 99% sure I want to practice in southern California, I want to go into Clerkship/BigLaw, and have lived in southern California all my life. On one hand, having little debt and already strong regional influence is great for UCLA, but also Harvard prestige could potentially be better career-wise going forward. I find myself trying to evaluate the risk/reward of going for the prestige vs. avoiding the debt and I really am unsure.

What would you all recommend and what are some important things to think about that I may have not thought about myself? Thanks!

The Lsat Airbender

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Re: UCLA full ride or Harvard Sticker?

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Thu Apr 16, 2020 12:12 am

$40k/year isn't a full ride. You're still looking at a total CoA like $100k, which would be a huge pain if you miss the biglaw train, which in turn is very possible from UCLA even when the economy is going gangbusters. Paying full freight anywhere is crazy nowadays but Harvard is "worth it" in the sense that you can rely on access to career track that can finance the debt. I would reluctantly pick Harvard here.

I would have given Berkeley more thought in your shoes, as it splits the difference in a favorable way - priced roughly in the middle of HLS and UCLA, but closer to the former in terms of prestige and big-firm placement.

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Re: UCLA full ride or Harvard Sticker?

Post by dvlthndr » Thu Apr 16, 2020 2:50 am

hmcleod wrote:what I would do if I were to get off the waitlist and pay sticker price
Unless you know something you aren't sharing (e.g., you have an invitation to interview), you are getting way ahead of yourself. As a hypothetical, I think HLS would be worth the added cost given your goal of ultimately landing in BigLaw, but I would have said the same thing about Berkeley and CLS.

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cavalier1138

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Re: UCLA full ride or Harvard Sticker?

Post by cavalier1138 » Thu Apr 16, 2020 8:46 am

What are your numbers? I feel like you should have different options.

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trebekismyhero

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Re: UCLA full ride or Harvard Sticker?

Post by trebekismyhero » Thu Apr 16, 2020 10:54 am

Where did you apply as well as what are your numbers? Did you only apply to CA schools and HYS? If you got $25k a year from Berkeley, you likely would have gotten more money from lower t14 that are usually more generous than UCB. Also, why would you pick UCLA over Berkeley

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decimalsanddollars

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Re: UCLA full ride or Harvard Sticker?

Post by decimalsanddollars » Thu Apr 16, 2020 11:30 am

Go to Berkeley. Consider Harvard if you get off the waitlist (although, as others said, that's a big if).

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Re: UCLA full ride or Harvard Sticker?

Post by crazywafflez » Thu Apr 16, 2020 11:59 am

I'm not sure UCLA would be 100k total CoA- I think this is much more likely 75-85k. I know it seems silly to parse the numbers when dealing with so much money, but I think it does make a big difference paying off 40k compared to 55k etc.
Even at 100k CoA, I think UCLA is a defensible option here. However, you've got a coin toss chance of biglaw from here. There isn't a huge back up market for UCLA either outside of Southern California- although, thinking on it, it probs places decently into Vegas (pure speculation, do not read into this as I do not know at all).
However, UCLA hampers your chance at a clerkship by quite a bit compared to Cal.
I think Cal is the right move here, for the most part. You've got a decent package there, you'll get biglaw, and it places all over, including beating out UCLA in southern california.
I would grab at H if you get in, but UCB I think is the best option here. UCLA is defensible but I don't think it is the right choice unless you've really got something holding you down in Los Angeles.
Best of luck.

Laker1024

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Re: UCLA full ride or Harvard Sticker?

Post by Laker1024 » Thu Apr 16, 2020 12:40 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:What are your numbers? I feel like you should have different options.
3.85/174. I only got acceptances at UCLA, Berkeley, Columbia. Got waitlisted to the rest of the t14 and dinged from Stanford.

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trebekismyhero

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Re: UCLA full ride or Harvard Sticker?

Post by trebekismyhero » Thu Apr 16, 2020 12:44 pm

hmcleod wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:What are your numbers? I feel like you should have different options.
3.85/174. I only got acceptances at UCLA, Berkeley, Columbia. Got waitlisted to the rest of the t14 and dinged from Stanford.
When did you apply? Your numbers should have gotten you in with $$ almost everywhere besides HYS and at least in at H

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Re: UCLA full ride or Harvard Sticker?

Post by HooDat » Thu Apr 16, 2020 12:45 pm

One way I'm starting to look at it (class of 2016, T-10) is that t-14, here Berkeley, will get you into biglaw, whereas Harvard will get you out (which adds tremendously to its value).

My t-10 degree got me my two big law jobs and district clerkship, and I'm grateful for that. Now that I'm looking to get out of law (see my post on 'transitioning to policy') an HLS degree would be killer.

For that reason, I'd pay sticker at HLS, which is painful, but the degree will continue to pay soft dividends later on. I'd pay mid-five figures for Berkeley--basically a year of biglaw to finance (which is enough of an indenture tbh). I don't think I'd pay for UCLA, in fact, I don't think I'd go for free: 3 years is worth a lot.

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Re: UCLA full ride or Harvard Sticker?

Post by Laker1024 » Thu Apr 16, 2020 12:47 pm

trebekismyhero wrote:
hmcleod wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:What are your numbers? I feel like you should have different options.
3.85/174. I only got acceptances at UCLA, Berkeley, Columbia. Got waitlisted to the rest of the t14 and dinged from Stanford.
When did you apply? Your numbers should have gotten you in with $$ almost everywhere besides HYS and at least in at H
Mid-December unfortunately. Also that was on a second take of the LSAT. I assumed maybe my softs weren't as compelling

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cavalier1138

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Re: UCLA full ride or Harvard Sticker?

Post by cavalier1138 » Thu Apr 16, 2020 12:51 pm

hmcleod wrote:
trebekismyhero wrote:
hmcleod wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:What are your numbers? I feel like you should have different options.
3.85/174. I only got acceptances at UCLA, Berkeley, Columbia. Got waitlisted to the rest of the t14 and dinged from Stanford.
When did you apply? Your numbers should have gotten you in with $$ almost everywhere besides HYS and at least in at H
Mid-December unfortunately. Also that was on a second take of the LSAT. I assumed maybe my softs weren't as compelling
That's definitely not it. Are there any issues that would have affected your application (character & fitness problems, personal statement written in blood, LOR that says not to accept you)? I can imagine you getting waitlisted at some of the lower T13 as yield protection, but you should be in a much better situation.

Laker1024

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Re: UCLA full ride or Harvard Sticker?

Post by Laker1024 » Thu Apr 16, 2020 12:55 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
hmcleod wrote:
trebekismyhero wrote:
hmcleod wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:What are your numbers? I feel like you should have different options.
3.85/174. I only got acceptances at UCLA, Berkeley, Columbia. Got waitlisted to the rest of the t14 and dinged from Stanford.
When did you apply? Your numbers should have gotten you in with $$ almost everywhere besides HYS and at least in at H
Mid-December unfortunately. Also that was on a second take of the LSAT. I assumed maybe my softs weren't as compelling
That's definitely not it. Are there any issues that would have affected your application (character & fitness problems, personal statement written in blood, LOR that says not to accept you)? I can imagine you getting waitlisted at some of the lower T13 as yield protection, but you should be in a much better situation.
Nope, I highly doubt it. But here I am lol.

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Laker1024

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Re: UCLA full ride or Harvard Sticker?

Post by Laker1024 » Thu Apr 16, 2020 1:31 pm

HooDat wrote:One way I'm starting to look at it (class of 2016, T-10) is that t-14, here Berkeley, will get you into biglaw, whereas Harvard will get you out (which adds tremendously to its value).

My t-10 degree got me my two big law jobs and district clerkship, and I'm grateful for that. Now that I'm looking to get out of law (see my post on 'transitioning to policy') an HLS degree would be killer.

For that reason, I'd pay sticker at HLS, which is painful, but the degree will continue to pay soft dividends later on. I'd pay mid-five figures for Berkeley--basically a year of biglaw to finance (which is enough of an indenture tbh). I don't think I'd pay for UCLA, in fact, I don't think I'd go for free: 3 years is worth a lot.
Appreciate the insight. As for your post, I'm not able to find it from your profile, but I would love to read through it.

LBJ's Hair

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Re: UCLA full ride or Harvard Sticker?

Post by LBJ's Hair » Thu Apr 16, 2020 2:29 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
hmcleod wrote:
trebekismyhero wrote:
hmcleod wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:What are your numbers? I feel like you should have different options.
3.85/174. I only got acceptances at UCLA, Berkeley, Columbia. Got waitlisted to the rest of the t14 and dinged from Stanford.
When did you apply? Your numbers should have gotten you in with $$ almost everywhere besides HYS and at least in at H
Mid-December unfortunately. Also that was on a second take of the LSAT. I assumed maybe my softs weren't as compelling
That's definitely not it. Are there any issues that would have affected your application (character & fitness problems, personal statement written in blood, LOR that says not to accept you)? I can imagine you getting waitlisted at some of the lower T13 as yield protection, but you should be in a much better situation.
Yeah, weird cycle. Personal statement might've been bad, or no "Why X?" statements.

OP, I would take Harvard at sticker given the option, but there's no guarantee you're getting in.

I think Berkeley or Columbia are both good options; in a vacuum, I think Columbia is worth +$70K over Berkeley, but maybe not, given your California preference.

I would not have done UCLA. Berkeley and Columbia are a clear class ahead. If you can withdraw and choose either of those two, do it.

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Re: UCLA full ride or Harvard Sticker?

Post by Sackboy » Thu Apr 16, 2020 2:45 pm

Yeah, this is a really weird cycle for those numbers, and I think you could have much better choices out there. I'd be more than happy to read over your app this weekend (personal info redacted) and try to help you focus on what, if anything, went wrong, so you can access if it'd be better to move forward with your current options or sit out and reapply in September with a modified application.

Laker1024

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Re: UCLA full ride or Harvard Sticker?

Post by Laker1024 » Thu Apr 16, 2020 5:45 pm

LBJ's Hair wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
hmcleod wrote:
trebekismyhero wrote:
hmcleod wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:What are your numbers? I feel like you should have different options.
3.85/174. I only got acceptances at UCLA, Berkeley, Columbia. Got waitlisted to the rest of the t14 and dinged from Stanford.
When did you apply? Your numbers should have gotten you in with $$ almost everywhere besides HYS and at least in at H
Mid-December unfortunately. Also that was on a second take of the LSAT. I assumed maybe my softs weren't as compelling
That's definitely not it. Are there any issues that would have affected your application (character & fitness problems, personal statement written in blood, LOR that says not to accept you)? I can imagine you getting waitlisted at some of the lower T13 as yield protection, but you should be in a much better situation.
Yeah, weird cycle. Personal statement might've been bad, or no "Why X?" statements.

OP, I would take Harvard at sticker given the option, but there's no guarantee you're getting in.

I think Berkeley or Columbia are both good options; in a vacuum, I think Columbia is worth +$70K over Berkeley, but maybe not, given your California preference.

I would not have done UCLA. Berkeley and Columbia are a clear class ahead. If you can withdraw and choose either of those two, do it.
I appreciate the feedback. I thought it was weird that I didn't even get an interview at Harvard before the waitlist. Don't know if that's a positive or negative sign for getting accepted off of it...

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LBJ's Hair

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Re: UCLA full ride or Harvard Sticker?

Post by LBJ's Hair » Thu Apr 16, 2020 7:23 pm

hmcleod wrote:
I appreciate the feedback. I thought it was weird that I didn't even get an interview at Harvard before the waitlist. Don't know if that's a positive or negative sign for getting accepted off of it...
I'd take it as meaning your numbers were good, but they aren't seriously considering admitting you unless they need a bump to GPA and/or LSAT late in the cycle.

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Re: UCLA full ride or Harvard Sticker?

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Fri Apr 17, 2020 12:00 am

LBJ's Hair wrote:I'd take it as meaning your numbers were good, but they aren't seriously considering admitting you unless they need a bump to GPA and/or LSAT late in the cycle.
This. OP's numbers are great, of course, but they're still a splitter at HLS. Harvard has a huge class to fill but they still have the luxury of rejecting 173-174's they're not thrilled about and who aren't also accretive to the GPA median.

I'm more surprised OP didn't get more scholarship love in the T14.

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Re: UCLA full ride or Harvard Sticker?

Post by cavalier1138 » Fri Apr 17, 2020 7:05 am

The Lsat Airbender wrote:
LBJ's Hair wrote:I'd take it as meaning your numbers were good, but they aren't seriously considering admitting you unless they need a bump to GPA and/or LSAT late in the cycle.
This. OP's numbers are great, of course, but they're still a splitter at HLS. Harvard has a huge class to fill but they still have the luxury of rejecting 173-174's they're not thrilled about and who aren't also accretive to the GPA median.

I'm more surprised OP didn't get more scholarship love in the T14.
I wouldn't say they're a splitter at HLS. They're solidly between the 50th and 75th LSAT and the 25th and 50th GPA. I agree that Harvard can be pickier about their class, but I'm surprised at the WL (and even more surprised at the lack of enthusiasm across the T13).

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