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Messages - RedWine

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Law School Admissions / Re: YIKES LS STARTS IN 4 MONTHS
« on: April 18, 2007, 06:54:43 PM »
None of my financial aid packages factored my EFC into anything.  The basic formula was:

  School Budget (total cost of attendance including tuition, fees, books, living expenses, etc)
- Scholarship $
- Need-based grants
- $20,500 Stafford (Subsidized and Unsubsidized)
Balance - covered by GradPLUS or private loans

Nowhere did it say a word about my FAFSA EFC.  If you have the money, you just take out less in private loans.  If you don't have the money, you borrow what you need.  It's not worth killing yourself at work over, but it never hurts to earn a little extra cash.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Info about Villanova
« on: April 18, 2007, 12:33:48 PM »
I went to undergrad at a college very near Villanova, and I often heard people call it VanillaNova.  The student body at my school was very different than at 'Nova, which was one reason I knew I'd be more comfortable at Temple.  My college does send a fair number of students on to law school at 'Nova, though, and most of them are people who fit the stereotype.  It's not known for being a very diverse place (i.e. a campus of rich white kids surrounded by a neighborhood of rich white businesspeople/old Philly money).  Of course there are exceptions, but I live about 10 minutes from Villanova (in a less-rich area) and I've never seen anything to truly disprove this notion.

The facilities are known for being pretty dingy.  They're starting construction on a new law building, but it won't be done until after we're all out of law school.

Housing isn't too hard to find in the area, and if you're willing to have a roommate you can get 2 bedroom apartments for $1150-$1250, which isn't too horrible when split between you.  There's lots of housing near the train lines, if you don't have a car, and most apartment buildings have parking if you do have one.  Search the Philly section of Craigslist -- the nearby towns that would be most convenient to commute from are Wynnewood, Ardmore, Haverford, Bryn Mawr, and Wayne.  This will give you a good idea of what's out there right now.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Hello? Villanova? Where are you?
« on: April 17, 2007, 09:55:39 PM »
This (or That) Is The Credited Response.

It's a reference to the LSAT -- the correct answer is referred to as the "Credited Response."  People on the board use it when they agree with the quoted text.  It took me a little while to figure it out, too.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Hello? Villanova? Where are you?
« on: April 16, 2007, 06:44:46 PM »
They don't give out tons of aid...or very much at all.  They didn't give me a dime, and considering in-state tuition at Temple (even without my scholarship there) it would financially stupid for me to have chosen Villanova.  I had heard that they were stingy, but I was a little surprised at the extent of their stinginess.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Hello? Villanova? Where are you?
« on: April 16, 2007, 10:54:19 AM »
P.S.--- does this mean since i live in CT and dont have PA residency that i can't get it for the 2nd and 3rd yrs at Temple if i live in Pa for ther 1st year?  [if i get in there---its 'in the mail']

Unless you have some sort of extenuating circumstances, probably not.  PA doesn't make it easy to pay resident tuition prices.

Law School Admissions / Re: Dear Penn
« on: April 16, 2007, 08:34:54 AM »
Oh, and the other big choice is water ice vendor.  Myself, I'm a Pop's girl.  It's not as sugary-sweet as Rita's, and they have better flavors.  Margarita with vanilla custard is just heaven.  Unfortunately, Rita's is everywhere now and Pop's is harder to find.

Law School Admissions / Re: Dear Penn
« on: April 16, 2007, 07:15:43 AM »
Deedeeleigh, I don't hate Philly.  But once you've lived here awhile, there are certain things that really start to get on your nerves, and you start to get jaded.  I don't know anyone IRL who has lived here a few years and doesn't have at least a bit of a love-hate relationship with the city.  I'm always uneasy at night, I've never felt safe and even though I stay on my guard, I had a bad experience in one of the "best" parts of the city when I lived there, and it was one reason (among many) that I moved back to the suburbs.  Admittedly, I'm from a very small town originally and am still not quite resigned to the crush of people and lack of green space.  Also, my first extended big-city experience was in an amazing European city to which Philly just doesn't compare.  But the arts and culture scene here is wonderful, which is basically why I'm still here, and it really is a good place to be as a student, don't get me wrong.

In short, though, the main thing I don't like about Philly is that nobody seems to care here.  The number of homeless on the streets or in the subway tunnels has increased threefold since I started working in Center City 2 1/2 years ago.  They harass and scream obscenities at transit passengers while the policeman on duty stands there reading a book and eating his donut (seriously...I watched this happen on Thursday night).  Everything about the situation is really disheartening.

When it snows, the city doesn't bother to plow - they just wait for the snow to melt off.  They also don't enforce the requirement about clearing sidewalks, so a lot of building owners just don't do it - and then you get to watch the elderly folks with canes trying to carefully pick their way around and usually slipping anyway.

Center City is filthy, and although you see people in green jackets from Center City District (an organization to maintain and promote the area) cleaning up, it just doesn't do that much good.  In the summer especially, it reeks.  And some things could easily be fixed and would help so much, but they won't do it until it causes a major problem.  Example: there are a few tunnels that run under the city (one under Broad Street and another crossing it under City Hall and going under Market toward Market East Station).  The section right under the Ritz Carleton has had a broken pipe for months.  When it rains, the water from the street above is supposed to be diverted into this pipe, but because it's broken, it causes a waterfall into the tunnel and floods a section of it.  But I guarantee they won't fix it until it shorts out the subway and causes some kind of electrical explosion, because that's how things work here.

The city wage tax is one of the highest in the nation (as a non-resident of the city who works inside city limits, I pay 3.72%, residents pay around 4%) but I fail to see where my tax dollars go.  Certainly not toward improving public facilities, or even maintaining them.  And the city government is particularly corrupt.  I'm hoping something will change with the mayoral elections coming up, but I'm not holding my breath.

I know that these things can happen in any city, but I think that Philly has such potential and it's just being squandered, which upsets me to no end.  It's hard to make people care about the city when the city proves day in and day out that it really doesn't care about its people.

Anyway, that's my rant.  I'm sorry to present all these negatives, but it's nothing you won't see once you've been in Philly for a little while.  I didn't come into it with my eyes open, so my frustration might be greater than it would have been if I'd realized it upfront.  I can't really say.  Just don't be surprised if your impression of a really cute little city changes once you're here.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Hello? Villanova? Where are you?
« on: April 16, 2007, 06:29:50 AM »
To get in-state tuition at PA schools, you generally have to be able to provide proof of PA residence for at least a year prior to entering school and be here for non-education-related purposes (i.e. your parents live here and you're still a dependent, or you've been living and working here since you graduated college at least a year ago), register your car and obtain a driver's license here (if you drive), and be registered to vote here.  Just being a PA resident isn't good enough -- you have to qualify as a "Resident for Tuition Purposes," meaning that if you don't get in-state tuition your first year, you probably never will.  There might be a few special cases, but this is the general rule.  But there is no in-state tuition at Villanova, so it doesn't really make a difference there - Villanova is an equal opportunity money fiend.

Law School Admissions / Re: Dear Penn
« on: April 15, 2007, 03:24:43 PM »
You should definitely visit. I wasn't even considering Penn until I visited a couple weeks ago and now I'm almost definitely going there in the Fall.

Philly is adorable, really cute little city. In my mind all things relate to various parts of NYC and it's very similar to the village (both west village and broadway area). The school campus is just beautiful and really grand. And the people are cool as hell. The LS itself is really nice, and I like that it's separate from the campus just a little.

Go visit! With your new LSAT you're def getting in.

This just made me laugh out loud  ;D  I mean, Philly does have its good points (after all, I did decide to stay here so I can't hate it that much) but I think you're the first person I've ever heard describe it this way.

My school couldn't send an official financial aid package until I sent my deposit, but they give preliminary packages if you just ask them.  I emailed them about it and got a PDF back by email later the same day with the preliminary information, which she said wouldn't change when they issued the official package unless my FAFSA info changed.  I'm sure that other schools do the same kind of thing -- did you ask about a preliminary estimate?

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