Law School Discussion

Pepperdine or Ohio State?...please help

Pepperdine or Ohio State?...please help
« on: March 14, 2011, 09:49:39 AM »
So it's come down to Pepperdine and Ohio State for me.  Pepperdine has offered me $15,000 per year provided that I stay in the top third of my class.  Their projected cost of attendance is $65,678 per year.  So after factoring in the scholarship (assuming I will be in the top third each year), it will cost me a total of $152,034 to go to Pepperdine.

Ohio State has offered me $8,500 per year provided that I maintain a 2.5 GPA.  Their projected cost of attendance for nonresidents is $60,264 and for residents is $45,314.  If I attend Ohio State I will receive resident status for my second and third year, meaning a total projected cost of attendance of $125,392 after factoring in my scholarship offer.

Now that you know the facts I have, I would GREATLY appreciate any advice or words of wisdom you can provide.  I'll be visiting both schools in April, but it seems as though I'll have better job options coming from Ohio, but will have more fun in California...


Re: Pepperdine or Ohio State?...please help
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2011, 12:21:29 PM »
Personally?  I'd say OSU.

For one thing, they have a better football team.


I know that being in the top 1/3 of your class sounds like a modest goal, but honestly, who knows?  If you go to a school that fits your academic profile, the reality is that pretty much everybody there will be roughly as smart as you are.  So, being in the top 1/3?  I can pretty much assure you that every single person who got accepted thinks they're top 1/3 material.  2/3 of them are wrong.

Ohio State's requirements to renew the scholarship seem much, much more reasonable, IMHO. 

If you take the Pepperdine scholly, you may find yourself having to pay sticker price for 2 or even 2.5 years of your degree.

Plus, frankly, OSU is a better school.  Will it open doors to a totally different strata of jobs than Pepperdine?  Personally, I doubt it, but it is the better school, which means that all other things being equal, a degree from OSU will carry slightly more weight than a Pepperdine degree.

Now, that having been said:  time is the stuff life is made of.  If you want to spend 3 years in a dreary midwest city, versus perhaps the coolest part of the world, that's a real factor and I think you're right to consider it.

And when you graduate, yes, OSU and Pepperdine grads practice law all over the world, but OSU grads are going to be geographically concentrated in Ohio and the midwest.  Pepperdine grads will be concentrated in California.

Where do you want to live?

Personally, I don't consider those silly questions.  You don't want to be 70 years old thinking, "Man, I've had to waste my life with these corn-fed midwestern trogs, when I could have been at the beach checking out scantily clad waitresses waiting for their big break into the movie industry".  Or, if you're a woman, put in the appropriate gender-based generalities in there, too.

Personally, I love Ohio.  Lived here 3/4 of my life.  I'm not an OSU grad, but the ones I know are really happy that they went there.  Sports teams may seem like a frivolous reason to go to a school, but OSU grads party their asses off when the football season rolls around and now, they party when the basketball season comes, too.  They not only enjoyed their time at OSU, but it enhanced their enjoyment of life afterwards.

That having been said, the industrial midwest is a dreary-assed place to be.  It's friggin' depressing, here.  California is in the toilet right now, too, but I guarantee, they'll be recovered and wiping their asses with C-notes a loooong time before the industrial midwest recovers. 

So, basically, from a law-school/lawstudent perspective, you should go to OSU.  But I wouldn't blame you if, from a quality of life perspective, you picked Pepperdine. 

Re: Pepperdine or Ohio State?...please help
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2011, 01:00:14 PM »
Thanks for the advice FalconJimmy, I am definitely considering Pepperdine for the quality of life aspect.  I'm 22 years old and am trying to live a little while in law school.  I know everyone says this, but I really am pretty confident that I can be in the top third of my class.  I worked 30+ hours a week throughout my undergrad studying finance and accounting and I was able to keep a pretty good GPA.  I guess what I'm getting at is that that cost of school isn't all that important to me.  A difference of $25,000 for one law degree over another is marginal to me over the course of my life.  My head says OSU, but my heart says Pepperdine...

Re: Pepperdine or Ohio State?...please help
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2011, 10:53:39 AM »
It should really come down to where you want to live after graduation.  Where is your family?  As you get older you tend to want to be closer to them. 

Top 1/3rd is doable, especially if you did well enough to be offered a scholarship.  I only knew one person in my law school that lost a scholarship because of grades, and he didn't really care because daddy paid the balance.

Personally, I practice law all over, and I would do CA over OH.  A CA license is valuable whether you live in CA or not.   

Re: Pepperdine or Ohio State?...please help
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2011, 02:24:41 PM »
Thanks for your input Mike.  I'm from the Boston area but have lived here all my life.  I did my undergrad at a business school close to Boston and just don't want to look back at my life 10 years from now wishing I had left for California.  Having just received my financial aid package from Pepperdine I am pretty worried now about the debt I would take on.  The price tag for Pepperdine altogether is $68,316.  When you take out my $15,000 scholarship and do some time value of money calculations on the debt I would have to take on I would be paying back a total of $227,642 to go to Pepperdine, $67,694 of which is just interest I would be paying for.

If I go to Ohio State, after factoring in the $8,500 scholarship I have from them I would be paying back a total of $177,558 to go to Ohio State, $17,386 of which is interest.

So I guess the question is whether or not it is worth paying an extra $50,000 over the course of 10 years (how long the loan-repayment is) to head to California instead of Ohio.


Re: Pepperdine or Ohio State?...please help
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2011, 09:11:06 AM »
How much (measure in $ at time of disbursement) would you have to borrow for each school?

If you are able to make it on the stafford loans, I wouldn't even worry about it.  You can get your payment below $400.  The current limit is $20,500 yr. 

Re: Pepperdine or Ohio State?...please help
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2011, 07:46:53 AM »
In addition to borrowing the $20,500 in Stafford loans per year, I would need to borrow $32,816 per year to go to Pepperdine and $21,297 per year for Ohio State.


Re: Pepperdine or Ohio State?...please help
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2011, 10:20:17 AM »
You might consider taking the non-stafford loans and figure your payment amount.  Is  more than a couple of hundred different per month?  Also, sometimes law schools have favorable institutional loans, make sure to explore that. 

Your stafford can be consolidated different and you can even graduate the payments, paying interest only at first.  So your payments would be lower during the first few years of practice. 

Re: Pepperdine or Ohio State?...please help
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2011, 01:00:29 PM »
Ohio vs Malibu?  This is a question?  Of these two Pepperdine would be a no-brainier for me.