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Author Topic: I hate myself for asking this but USD v USC  (Read 1707 times)

DumbMe

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I hate myself for asking this but USD v USC
« on: July 16, 2005, 05:27:56 AM »
Basically do you think that the prestige/name of USC is worth the cost. I have a full ride to USD, plus  my family is here, I want to practice in SD, and am all set up already to start but getting into USC off the waitlist is throwing me off. I am assuming I will not get any money so it will be all loans. There is a slight chance that I may not want to work in SD for the rest of my life, so the advantage that USC has over USD in that arena is something to think about. I know there are worse decisions that have to be made, but right now this one is killing me.

jdw112

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Re: I hate myself for asking this but USD v USC
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2005, 06:24:44 AM »
I'd take USC. It is sorta prestigious, which USD isn't. USC is wayyyyyyyy better on the resume when looking for a job. I would only take USD if I had connections that would guarantee a great job, no matter where I finish in the class.

GaspowerLA

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Re: I hate myself for asking this but USD v USC
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2005, 06:30:14 AM »
First, I want to say congratulations as USC is an awesome school. I would kill to go there but unfortunately I applied late and was dinged. Anyway, you really do have a hard decision to make. Some may say its not close but you want work in SD and USD is the best school in the area. You're also getting a full ride there where USC you will be taking 50k in loans a year. As for getting a job later on in life somwhere else, I wouldnt worry about the law school you come out of since at that point, employers will look more towards your work experience as an attorney then your law school.

I think the question you want to ask yourself is what you want to do as an attorney? If you are going to be a public interest lawyer in SD then USC is definately not worth it since youll be in debt so much. If you want big law, USC gives you the advantage. However, USD does place extremely well in San Diego. So are you sure you want to be in SD after you graduate? If you're going to want to work out of law school anywhere else in the country like LA or San Francisco, then GO TO USC. If you know for sure you want to stay in SD, than I would take the full ride and go to USD. I only wish I had the opportunity to graduate law school with no debt, but I am going to a UC so its not going to be that bad. Either way, you'll be going to a good law school so dont let it get to you too much.

And as far as prestige, USC isnt prestigious in the sense of Berkeley or Stanford, or even UCLA. It has some name recognition, moreso than that of USD.

acl1013

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Re: I hate myself for asking this but USD v USC
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2005, 11:15:29 AM »
You can't lose with USD and if you got money out of it, it's a win win situation.  But as someone who knows a ton of people who went to USC law, grad schools and people on the board, no one has had trouble finding a job.  You have to also just figure that no matter where you go, you have to do well.  If you kick ass at USD, you can find a spot in LA etc. USC also has a really extensive alumni connection which will help you finding jobs also. Not sure about USD.

The area sucks though, so if you're itching to get out, I'd stay in SD.  If you have a car and can deal with commute, you'll be better off.

CornellBound

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Re: I hate myself for asking this but USD v USC
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2005, 03:36:29 PM »
The above poster is correct.  You wont find much trouble getting a job in SD from USC. That said, you wont find much trouble getting a job in SD going to USD since all the firms recruit from there. What it comes down to I guess is that is USC worth the extra 150K? If you want to work in LA, it definately is. But prestige-wise, it is a regional school so its prestige is rather limited. It does lose its prestige as soon as you hit NorCal with all those great law schools (Stanford, Berkeley, Hastings, Davis). But for SD, you'll be fine at either school you go to. If I were in your situation, I would personally take the money and run because cost is a heavy consideration for me. Personally, I got into NYU with no money vs Cornell with a great scholarship.  I picked Cornell because I knew I wanted to work in NY and Cornell would get me there. Now if I wanted to work in another state, I would have probably chosen NYU because the name is more reputable, but for my purposes, Cornell did the job and saved me a bunch of money.
It just matters what you want. If you are 100 percent positive you want to work in SD after you graduate, I say go with SD. But only under the condition you are 100 percent positive because otherwise, USC has more mobility outside of SD (even though that mobility is really confined to SoCal).

ScurvyWench

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Re: I hate myself for asking this but USD v USC
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2005, 05:18:45 PM »
That's a toughie. USC has some of the most devoted, loyal, rich, and powerful alums out there. You'd have no problem finding a job on the west coast. USC is not limited to SoCal, it has quite a bit of pull throughout the entire western region. However, it is incredibly expensive (as you know).

USD is up and coming, well respected and is unstoppable in SD. If you're even 70% sure that you want to practice in SD, then USD is a better bet. Keep in mind that if you change your mind, you'll still have the freedom to spend more time looking for the right job outside of SD with little to no LS debt. With very little debt, you can take opportunities that you'll never be able to take with 150K from USC.

Though USC would seem to be the least limiting choice, the debt that goes with it may end up being the most limiting and detrimental to your future. With little to no LS debt from a well-respected and rising school, you will be able to truly do what you want. Practice with a small firm, take on pro-bono causes, get additional degrees, travel, do some super speciality law. You won't have to spend the 1st 10 years of your career digging yourself out.

Finally, how are the requirements to keep your scholarship? Are they harsh? What are the chances in reality that you might loose that scholarship? If it's even 50/50 chance that you'd lose it, go to USC. It would be terrible to pick the more limiting school without even having the benefit of being debt free. . . . USD and USC aren't THAT close in reputation yet.

kmp783

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Re: I hate myself for asking this but USD v USC
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2005, 07:52:38 PM »
Hey, you already know this, but I am in the same boat as you (scholarship to USD, accepted off waitlist at USC).  I am going to go USC.  I just think that there are far more opportunities available with a USC degree.  However, since you know that you want to practice in San Diego, I don't think it would necessarily be bad to stay at USD.  Let me know what you decide!

And by the way, I sent you a PM yesterday, just in case you didn't see it. :)

jenery

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Re: I hate myself for asking this but USD v USC
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2005, 12:42:18 AM »
I was also in this situation ($30K/year renewable scholarship, top 1/2 of class to USD, 5K/year renewable scholarship to USC, no $$ at UCLA) and ended up choosing UCLA.  It was tough, but even though I would have had more or less a free ride at USD (my husband's covering the living expenses while I'm in school) I was really worried about committing to staying in San Diego for any amount of time after graduating. 

Now, I had already lived in San Diego from 2001 until this past weekend, so I knew the city before I made this decision, and knew for damn sure I didn't want to stay there permanently.  I think either of the two "big" LA schools will offer a wider range of opportunities for me, especially as I want to move back to the east coast sometime in the next 10 years. If you know you love San Diego and want to stay there for a while (I didn't) then I think USD seems to have a strong local following and could probably get you a job in town.

Just my 2 cents as someone in a similar situation.

DumbMe

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Re: I hate myself for asking this but USD v USC
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2005, 01:13:09 AM »
Thanks for all the advice everyone, you gave me some great things to think about. The scholarship at USD is amazing because it's for all three years, rises with the cost of attendance, and I do not have to maintain any kind of GPA or rank to keep it. I actually went up to USC today to see if I got a feeling from the campus and it really didn't help matters. Right now I'm leaning toward USD. My real hesitation is that I instead of going to Harvard for undergrad, I chose to go to UCSD because I got a full-ride and it wasn't feasible for me to take my son with me to MA, so I'm not sure if I want to take the easy (and free) way again.

3023

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Re: I hate myself for asking this but USD v USC
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2005, 01:42:42 AM »
As hard as it is (and I know cause I am in the EXACT same situation), I would say go with your gut and what makes the most sense in your life.
Loyola Public Interest Scholar '05!