I know this has been posted a thousand times in different guises, but I'm in a pickle today. I was accepted to UCLA in January, and had more or less decided to go there because I want to stay in Southern California (I'm in San Diego now) permanently and it's the best school I was accepted to. Yesterday I got a letter from U San Diego's law school, informing me that I've been awarded a $30,000 merit scholarship, renewable for all 3 years. Needless to say, I was totally not expecting that and it's making my decision a LOT harder. I'm one of those students who's paying for law school entirely with loans, so the cost difference is significant, about $60,000 for tuition alone.
I've always been told that you should go to the best school possible, screw the cost. I am interested in IP law (not patents) after school, and I'm worried that USD won't give me enough weight on my resume. At the same time, my fiance thinks it's better to be at the top at a strong regional law school than to be a bottom-feeder at a higher-ranked school. And I'm so poor right now, that extra $60K seems like a lot. And, we would much rather live in San Diego than LA because I really don't like LA as a city!
I haven't heard anything yet from UCLA about scholarships/aid. I'm going to call them tomorrow and tell them about my award from USD to nudge them, but the schools are a bit disparate in rank so I'm not sure if will make a difference.
What would you do?