I thought this discussion was about Chapman vs. Whittier.
Anyways, an argument on an internet discussion hardly gets you anywhere but at least it does get some points out.
I was wondering how the Chapman vs Whittier thread became 8 pages long, LOL. Last I checked (less than a day ago), it was only 4 pages. Thought maybe Chapman and Whittier had been going on a financial aid spree.
To anyone going to either of these schools, I would advise choosing whatever path minimizes your debt level. Chapman/Whittier may not be a top 14 and may not get you a job in BigLaw, but at least your debt level won't force you to only have BigLaw as an option. I don't know that much about how each school is perceived in the community, but from the possibly inaccurate data USNews provided last year, it seemed the only differences between the two schools were student-faculty ratio (Whittier at 23, Chapman at 15) and admission standards (Chapman had the upper hand here). Whittier had a lower bar passage rate but that corrolates with the lower admissions standard. That also seem to have a better reputation than Chapman, but again, this is based on poorly orchestrated reputation surveys on USNews' part.
To the poster who received the full-ride at Whittier and half-ride at Chapman, do try to get the class rank requirement lowered. If this is possible, re-evaluate the aid packages with the new requirements in mind. If it is not possible, it might not be that bad an idea to attend Whittier (on the full-ride) and work your butt off for the first year. After the first year is over, if you don't do well enough, at least you didn't have to shell out much money (there is still an opportunity cost for the full year of work lost though) if you decide not to continue in your law education. And if you did well enough, you can keep attending for free or maybe even transfer up to a Top 100 school (though transferring would probably mean no financial aid at the new school). In either case, if you do well, you have options, and if you don't do well, then you have less to lose. The economy is not that great right now for lawyers, so the road ahead might be long and tough. Having less debt = more options. I hope you do really well and keep your head up. Success is not measured by the amount you earn, but by the person you are. Best of wishes!