Safe bet at T25 vs. risking debt for T14 Forum

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Ideal path forward?

Graduate in 3, 2 yrs free at Alabama or scholarship at T14
Graduate in 4, 1 yr free at Alabama or scholarship at T14
No votes
Graduate in 4, attend T14 no matter what
Total votes: 9


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Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2023 2:56 pm

Safe bet at T25 vs. risking debt for T14

Post by AR037 » Mon Jan 09, 2023 3:31 pm

I am currently an undergraduate at the University of Alabama. With the scholarship I earned in high school, I am offered 5 years of full tuition for both undergraduate and graduate/law studies. My current plan was to graduate in 3 years (anticipating May 2024) with a double major and use 2 years of the scholarship for law school. However, with my GPA (anticipating 3.9-4.0) and LSAT (currently scoring 165-170 on PTs), I have a chance at actually scoring scholarship money at some T14 schools. I am concerned that I may be essentially wasting a year of money (books and housing are covered by my scholarship, so I essentially attend Alabama for free) and the "college experience" by graduating in 3 years just to end up not using my scholarship here. Parents are very unhelpful with this decision because they do not understand the level of difference between T14 schools vs. T25. We have some money saved for school but I am not sure how much because it is difficult to have a frank financial conversation with them. Any advice?

TLDR: Finish undergrad in 3 years and use 2 years full tuition scholarship at Alabama or graduate in 4 years and hope for a decent scholarship at T14. 3.9-4.0 anticipated GPA, 165-170 on LSAT PTs (trying to improve to 170-175 range), Illinois resident. Minor preference for Midwest and Southeast regions.


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Re: Safe bet at T25 vs. risking debt for T14

Post by Rule23andMe » Mon Jan 09, 2023 9:26 pm

Hard to say with only the above info cus I think it mostly depends on your willingness to, in all likelihood, stay in Alabama or AL-adjacent states. If so, seems like a pretty good deal. If not, would you even apply to Alabama? It wouldn't make a ton of sense if you wanted to work in, for example, a big firm in Chicago. If you do score closer to 170 you can target NU and have a good shot (though - perhaps worth getting a year of work experience anyway). But I took a glance at Alabama's employment stats and ~half the class of '21 stayed in AL, 8 graduates went to TN, 7 to FL, then the rest at even smaller #s. Maybe you could land a good Chicago/IL job but it'd undoubtedly be much much harder.

Also worth considering the fact that you'd be, like, 22-23 or so at graduation? No need to rush it if you're not certain yet.


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Re: Safe bet at T25 vs. risking debt for T14

Post by unknownlaw23 » Tue Jan 10, 2023 12:59 pm

It sounds like you have a difficult decision to make! It definitely seems like it would be a waste of your scholarship money to finish in three years if you are not going to use your full five year tuition. At the same time, you want to take advantage of the opportunities that T14 schools can offer, especially with your GPA and LSAT scores.


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Re: Safe bet at T25 vs. risking debt for T14

Post by crazywafflez » Tue Jan 10, 2023 2:51 pm

Why not take the LSAT and see? It really dpeneds on what your goals are. You'll probs have the scores for vandy if you end up with like a 165ish or higher, and I'd personally go there or a T14 if BL was my goal. If you are perfectly happy practicing in Bham or Mobile, Bama is a fine choice and can place fine in NOLA, Memphis, Jackson and to some extent Atlanta.
Bama is the best school for practicing in Alabama, just like USC is for South Carolina etc. Don't look at the rankings too much. Decide where you want to practice and what your goals are.

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