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Author Topic: Scholarship vs. ranking  (Read 1210 times)

DoubleDip

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Scholarship vs. ranking
« on: May 28, 2009, 08:11:18 PM »
I've been accepted to 4 schools and narrowed it down to 3 choices for next fall. One University of Arkansas, which is now ranked tier 2, Rutgers Newark ranked 87 by USN, and Syracuse ranked tier 3. This would be a no brainer except that the different schools offer me different scholys:

UArk: $10k of $20k
SU: $32k of $43k
RU: 0 with in-state tuition after 1L

So the question is this: will going to RU give me enough of a career advantage upon graduation  to make it worth forgoing very nice scholarships from UArk or SU?

FYI: I'm a non-traditional student, returning to school at 33 with one career behind me, and I am less interested in working at a big name firm than in working either at a small firm or independently if that makes any difference. I am planning on practicing in the northeast and I don't have any political aspirations.   

ohioan

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Re: Scholarship vs. ranking
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2009, 08:46:08 PM »
I think the more important consideration is actually where you want to work. The ranking here really is not going to help you much since all of these are regional schools. So consider first and foremost where you want to work (which I think you have to some extent) and then look at the best school you can get into in that area. If you get into multiple schools there, then look not at ranking difference, since it will likely be insignificant, but your debt at graduation and the graduate placements. If debating among schools, and one has consistently good placements in the types of firms you want to work where you want to work, then that's your best option.

Crimson:devil(red)

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Re: Scholarship vs. ranking
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2009, 11:33:25 AM »
I agree with Ohioan, but I would also add that you should also consider which school you would attend without the scholarships as well. Nobody ever thinks it will happen to them, but there is a possibility of not having a scholarship after 1L. So, would you be happy paying $43k a year to go to Syracuse over Rutgers in-state?
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RobWreck

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Re: Scholarship vs. ranking
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2009, 05:14:17 PM »
Go with Rutgers... unlike your other options with scholarship money, 'in-state tuition' rates are not subject to maintaining a certain GPA or class rank.
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Ninja1

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Re: Scholarship vs. ranking
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2009, 03:34:05 AM »
Arkansas, assuming we're talking about THE University of Arkansas... and even if you're talking about UALR, probably still Arkansas. It's dirt cheap, it's a legit school, and it's not in NJ.
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vap

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Re: Scholarship vs. ranking
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2009, 11:14:05 AM »
What's your expected debt from each school?
What are the GPA requirements to keep?
Where do you want to live/work?

DoubleDip

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Re: Scholarship vs. ranking
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2009, 11:32:48 AM »
Expected debt for three yrs will be -

UArk: $30k - top 50% of class to keep
SU: $51k - 2.8 GPA to keep
RU: $85k

I want live and practice near NYC for personal reasons.

vap

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Re: Scholarship vs. ranking
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2009, 03:19:39 PM »
I'd say Rutgers.  SU might be worth the extra $21K over UArk to be closer to your preferred location, but I think RU's $34K additional cost (and possibly less if you lose the scholarship), is worth the extra career opportunities and location.  SU places 5% in biglaw and RU places closer to 15%.  http://www.law.com/img/nlj/charts/composite.pdf.

At the very least, I would scratch SU off the list.  If you are still very debt averse, then UArk is a good choice, but you will be better positioned for NYC coming from RU.

Matthies

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Re: Scholarship vs. ranking
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2009, 04:02:30 PM »
Hereís the deal the odds of you getting a job in NYC from Ark through the school (OCI or mass mailing) are slim to none. Itís a regional school, NYC firms are not going there to interview for talent. Add to the fact that everyone wants to work in NYC so competition is fierce and your setting yourself up for a really tough after school job search if NYC is your goal out of Ark.

Realistically what you will probably have to do is move back to NYC without a job and network heavily for 6-8 months before you can land something. If thatís doable, and you got an income or savings to cover you for that time while your local in NYC to find a job, then consider Ark. Otherwise go to school where you want to work and realize law degrees at the schools youíre talking about donít travel far from where they are located.
 
Its somewhat different if you want to open your own shop, but then ever more you will need to network in NYC and get some mentors and people to refer clients to you lined up before you can open your own doors. Small firms donít hire from the law schools, most of what they do hire is word of mouth referrals from people they know, again in person networking here will be key. So wherever you go you should plan on being unemployed in NYC for at least six months as you try to get in with folks there.
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StevePirates

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Re: Scholarship vs. ranking
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2009, 01:41:15 PM »
Rutgers, 'Cuse, Middle Earth University, in that order.