« on: March 21, 2007, 12:49:48 PM »
Estimate at Albany:
Tuitionx 3: 114,000
COL x 3: 45K
A cool 160K...for a ten-year loan, that's about 2200 bucks a month in payments.
Anyone else completely horrified about their debt prospects?
you're right to be afraid of such massive debt coming out of a tier 3 law school. Not to sound like an arrogant jackass but to give you my honest opinion- you should really consider your employment prospects in conjuction with the massive debt you'll be getting into. Looking at albany the median salary is only 48K! Use this site to calculate your loan payments: http://www.finaid.org/calculators/loanpayments.phtml. Your monthly payment will be 1,800 dollars and to quote this site "It is estimated that you will need an annual salary of at least $220,954.80 to be able to afford to repay this loan...If you use 15% of your gross monthly income to repay the loan, you will need an annual salary of only $147,303.20 , but you may experience some financial difficulty". Anyhow, let's say that these numbers are too high- you'd still need about 100K to comfortably pay off those loans. For instance if you pay your loans over 30 years you're still looking at a monthly payment of 1,000 and you'd need about 80 K a year to sustain yourself comfortably. Will your law degree from albany give you such an opportunity? Perhaps. I'm sure there have been a selected few who excelled at their jobs and managed to get into biglaw. But it is an uphill battle and the odds are greatly against you.
Furthermore i'd like to add that I'm against the whole "i want to be a lawyer and i dont care what school i go to... it's my dream". Personally i view such "dreams" as immature. Law is not fun and is definately not glamorous. Remember that law school is a means to an end and not an end in itself.
Most people use far more than 15% of their income to pay off their student loans. If you make 60K (and no offense, but I think I just MAY get above "the median") out of law school, that means you gross $1200 a week. After taxes you're looking at $780, give or take. That's $3120 a month. With a twenty year monthly payment of $1500, that leaves you with $1620, or $405 a week.
Yes, that's incredibly rough at first. You won't be able to live in NYC for sure, not unless you're married, or with a signifigant other. But it CAN be done, and it CAN work itself out. I know many lawyers who do just fine having gone to tier 3 or 4 schools. But if you wish to believe ALL the hype you're fed, be my guest.
Per your other comments: yes, I know that law is not always fun or glamorous. And no, i don't have this generic "dream" of wanting to be a lawyer. My reasons for entering the field are my own, as are yours. As for school rank, where's your cutoff? Is Villanova an acceptable 150K risk, but St. John's isn't, simply because they're separated by a few points on the good ol' US News rankings?