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Author Topic: BC v. UConn($) v. Suffolk($$)  (Read 1191 times)

Comrade Snarky

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BC v. UConn($) v. Suffolk($$)
« on: May 07, 2008, 02:34:12 AM »
Hello everyone!  As my title suggests, I've been accepted to Suffolk with $25,000 a year, UConn with $15,000 for the first year (basically giving me in-state tuition for the first year, after which I can reclassify as a resident), and Boston College with no scholarship likely.

I'm hesitant to go to UConn because I'd prefer to go to school and work (at least initially) in the Boston area, and I'm unsure of what kinds of connections with Boston employers I'd be able to make there.

Another part of the story is that I have relatives in Medford, MA, with an empty apartment in their two-family house in which I could live for next to nothing, so that's a pretty big plus for the Boston area.

As for BC v. Suffolk, is there no contest whatsoever?  Suffolk did offer me a fairly hefty scholarship, renewable provided I can stay in the top half of the class.  Just counting tuition, I'd come out owing ~$40,000.  At BC, I'd come out owing about three times that figure, but there is obviously a large difference in ranking between the two schools.

My plans are far from definite at this point -- I'd like to keep my options open.  I'm not dead set on a "big law" job, nor am I absolutely committed to public interest work.  My girlfriend (hopefully soon to be fiancée) will likely be seeking her Master's degree several years down the road, which would most likely necessitate leaving MA for another NE/Mid-Atlantic state.  BC, I imagine, would give me greater portability, but again there's the issue of debt.

I've been browsing through these forums for a few weeks now, and I've noted a prominent tension between school ranking and debt level as considerations.  Some posters suggest that there is little point going to a tier 3 or 4 school, unless you know from the outset that you aren't interested in pursuing a big law job or moving to another state.  Others, however, suggest that the worst advice they ever received was "Go to the best law school you got into, regardless of price."

Is the ranking difference between Suffolk and BC simply too great for debt to be a serious consideration here?

Also, for any BC students: would commuting from the Medford area to BC be doable?  Before being accepted to BC I had planned on taking the T to Suffolk, but I think I would be in for a ~1.5 hour commute each way if I took public transportation to BC.  Would it be necessary to buy a car?  I suspect it would be a 30-40 min drive

Thanks!

nukelaw

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Re: BC v. UConn($) v. Suffolk($$)
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2008, 07:31:21 AM »
Well, I'll give the argument for BC...

1) First, the obvious. Yes, there is a marked difference in the opportunities coming out of BC as opposed to Suffolk, or even UConn. Suffolk is a great school if you are sure you're going to stay in Boston. They have a strong alum network throughout the city in both the private and public sector. UConn I would imagine would have a similar representation throughout the state.

Problems begin when you try to extend that market. BC is primarily a regional school that is strong in New England/East Coast, with some growing ties nationally. You can do a lot worse at BC (median) and still end up better off than if you land in the top of your class at the other two. Anecdotally, I've known Suffolk grads in the top 15% who had problems finding a job at graduation.

2) If you're going to live rent-free, suck up the cost of getting a used car. $5-$10k on top of what is likely to be $120k-$150k in debt is honestly a drop in the bucket.

If you don't like that option, spend the money on getting a shared apartment with public transit access to BC. A word of caution: most folks at BC Law have cars because public transit drops you off at the main campus and then you have to catch a shuttle to the law school. This is annoying/problematic during the bad weather in the winter or during vacation periods.

3)You may not know exactly where your life will end up in the future, but you have to make the best decision you can. If your earning potential is significantly greater than your soon-to-be fiancee, there's a strong argument for her getting an MA in New England. Boston has the highest concentration of colleges/universities in the country. If she can't find what she's looking for here, her niche must be so specific that it will entail you making sacrifices to your own career wherever you follow her.

BC will have more portability, but if you're headed to a small market that tops out at $80k/yr for a big firm, you'll still be stuck with the same amount of debt.

Maddie

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Re: BC v. UConn($) v. Suffolk($$)
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2008, 09:47:52 AM »
One benefit of UConn would be that even though it is slightly less portable than BC it should be fine in the Mid-Atlantic/NE which is where you say your gf will be going to school ultimately.  I think with BC the difference would be more marked outside of the region (such as, if she were planning to go to school in the midwest and you were looking for jobs there.) If one of you is going to be a student again in the future, lower loan payments will be a good thing.  :)

I like UConn (even though they waitlisted me  ;)) and they make it really easy to get in-state tuition which is a huge plus.  You have some excellent options, congrats!  :)

greenie

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Re: BC v. UConn($) v. Suffolk($$)
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2008, 09:58:42 AM »
Take Suffolk out of the equation here.  That scholarship requires a 3.0 GPA if you got the same one I did - and since the curve is set at 3.0, keeping the scholarship for sure requires you to be in the top 35% of the class.  UConn's money doesn't have any strings attached - and you'll get your degree for 45k which is pretty sweet.  What state(s) is your SO looking to get her MA degree?  If you want Boston, go to BC, it just trumps everything there.

Comrade Snarky

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Re: BC v. UConn($) v. Suffolk($$)
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2008, 10:22:26 AM »
Thanks for the suggestions all.

Greenie -- the Suffolk scholarship only requires that I remain in the top 50% of the class, actually.  I do see the scholarship you're talking about, though.

greenie

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Re: BC v. UConn($) v. Suffolk($$)
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2008, 10:23:06 AM »
Thanks for the suggestions all.

Greenie -- the Suffolk scholarship only requires that I remain in the top 50% of the class, actually.  I do see the scholarship you're talking about, though.

Huh interesting - what is your scholarship called if you don't mind me asking.

Comrade Snarky

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Re: BC v. UConn($) v. Suffolk($$)
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2008, 10:26:04 AM »
It's the Sargent Scholarship.  I assume yours was the Trustee Academic Scholarship?

greenie

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Re: BC v. UConn($) v. Suffolk($$)
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2008, 10:31:05 AM »
It's the Sargent Scholarship.  I assume yours was the Trustee Academic Scholarship?

Yup, but I know they also give out the Trustee Academic Scholarship for 25k/yr

doorsend

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Re: BC v. UConn($) v. Suffolk($$)
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2008, 03:31:42 PM »
Hello everyone!  As my title suggests, I've been accepted to Suffolk with $25,000 a year, UConn with $15,000 for the first year (basically giving me in-state tuition for the first year, after which I can reclassify as a resident), and Boston College with no scholarship likely.

I'm hesitant to go to UConn because I'd prefer to go to school and work (at least initially) in the Boston area, and I'm unsure of what kinds of connections with Boston employers I'd be able to make there.

Another part of the story is that I have relatives in Medford, MA, with an empty apartment in their two-family house in which I could live for next to nothing, so that's a pretty big plus for the Boston area.

As for BC v. Suffolk, is there no contest whatsoever?  Suffolk did offer me a fairly hefty scholarship, renewable provided I can stay in the top half of the class.  Just counting tuition, I'd come out owing ~$40,000.  At BC, I'd come out owing about three times that figure, but there is obviously a large difference in ranking between the two schools.

My plans are far from definite at this point -- I'd like to keep my options open.  I'm not dead set on a "big law" job, nor am I absolutely committed to public interest work.  My girlfriend (hopefully soon to be fiancée) will likely be seeking her Master's degree several years down the road, which would most likely necessitate leaving MA for another NE/Mid-Atlantic state.  BC, I imagine, would give me greater portability, but again there's the issue of debt.

I've been browsing through these forums for a few weeks now, and I've noted a prominent tension between school ranking and debt level as considerations.  Some posters suggest that there is little point going to a tier 3 or 4 school, unless you know from the outset that you aren't interested in pursuing a big law job or moving to another state.  Others, however, suggest that the worst advice they ever received was "Go to the best law school you got into, regardless of price."

Is the ranking difference between Suffolk and BC simply too great for debt to be a serious consideration here?

Also, for any BC students: would commuting from the Medford area to BC be doable?  Before being accepted to BC I had planned on taking the T to Suffolk, but I think I would be in for a ~1.5 hour commute each way if I took public transportation to BC.  Would it be necessary to buy a car?  I suspect it would be a 30-40 min drive

Thanks!


BC estimates that it will cost 57k per year, that would put you at 171k in debt. How do you figure that you will only have 120?

blues86

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Re: BC v. UConn($) v. Suffolk($$)
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2008, 11:47:02 PM »
Hi there Comrade Snarky!  If you do decide to go to BC (which, if you want my two cents, seems to be the best option), definitely buy a car! 

I'm from the Boston area and have had friends come out to BC from Tufts on occasion.  I can not understate how horrible the commute would be for you coming from Medford.  To put it in perspective, you would have to catch the commuter rail in Medford and head to North Station.  From North Station, you would have to switch trains, get on the Green Line, and get off at the Kenmore Square stop.  At the Kenmore Square stop, you would have to take the D line to the Reservoir Station stop.  From there, you would have to catch the BC shuttle bus to main campus.  Then, after all that, you would have to get off at main campus and catch another bus to the law school campus.  This is, to my knowledge, the "easiest" way to do it via public transportation, and I imagine this commute would be at around 90 minutes each way (maybe even longer depending on when you begin the commute), and keep in mind that the BC shuttle runs only when undergrads are in school, so if the law school is in session while the undergrads aren't (which will happen sporadically throughout the year), you're going to have to find a way to get to Newton from Cleveland Circle in Brighton.

Seriously, mate, if you can afford even a clunker that can get you to Newton and back from Medford every day, it would be a great  investment and it would save you at least two hours a day in travel time.