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Author Topic: Baylor (no scholarship and quit job) v. St Mary's (scholarships and keep job)  (Read 3483 times)

john4040

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Nonetheless, I'll break down the financials, and I would welcome you to let me know if you still believe Baylor is the best option.

Approximate tuition for full JD:
Baylor- $125,000
St. Mary's- $90,000-$100,000

Opportunity Cost (approximate salary loss from attending- not adjusted for payraises, bonuses, etc.):
Baylor- $150,000
St. Mary's- $24,000

Scholarships:
Baylor- $0
St. Mary's- $10,000/year

Even with this, I'd still say Baylor.  Your opportunities will be much greater in the long run.  Government jobs are incredibly hard to come by right now - most governments are in a hiring freeze.

Let me also say this:  What a fcking joke that St. Mary's only threw you a $10K scholarship - especially when you've (presumably) already been accepted to Baylor.  If you've got both offers in hand, you could probably leverage your Baylor offer to get more money from St. Mary's.

Edit:  Also, not sure how you calculated the opportunity cost.  If you go to Baylor full time, you'll be out in 3 years.  If you go to St. Mary's, I not sure how long it would take to graduate from the part-time program, but I imagine about 5 years.  In those two years after Baylor, assuming you do well in law school, you're likely to find a higher paying job than pre-law school.

FalconJimmy

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passionately believes that my goals and career plans are "delusional."

Danielle when you become a law student, you're going to have to learn the difference between analyzing facts in evidence and presuming facts not in evidence.  What I said was that your plan to commute 3 hours a day to and from law school was delusional.  It is. 

Second, what are the terms of your scholly to St Mary's?  Will they give you a scholarship to be part-time / evening?  Generally speaking, most law scholarship offers are only for full-time students.  (And if you're talking about being a full-time evening student... with a 3 hour commute?  Wow... just wow.)  What is the renewal criteria?  That scholarship means nothing if you can't use it or you will lose it for failing to maintain a certain GPA.  Before we dig too far into the analysis, what are the terms of your scholarship?  Is it that you are a full-time student and maintain a certain GPA?  Is it even possible to be a full-time evening student there?  Most schools it isn't.

DanielleTex

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@John,
St. Mary's scholarships are merit-based and standardized based on LSAT/GPA.  Based on my scores, they're offering the highest amount.  I hadn't really thought about trying to negotiate scholarship.  In fact, I didn't even realize that was an option.  $10k would cover about 50% of the yearly tuition (I'm attending the PT evening program), and it is renewed every year.

I agree with you about Baylor.  It also has an incredible advocacy program, and I really do like the school. 

@Jimmy
Thank you for continuing to reiterate your point that I am "delusional."  I appreciate your persistence and I am sure that it is a quality that has substantially aided your many successes. 
I am not sure what the terms of the scholarship are yet.  All that I know is based on my conversations with their recruiter (I have not accepted or rejected either schools' offer of admission, and I am still waiting for more information before I make the decision).  They do offer scholarships for part-time students (which is what they have unofficially offered), and I would be attending their part-time evening program (9 hours per semester and 3 hours over the summer).  Thank you for bringing this up. I will need to pay close attention to the terms of the scholarship when making my decision.

john4040

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Based on my scores, they're offering the highest amount.  I hadn't really thought about trying to negotiate scholarship.  In fact, I didn't even realize that was an option.

Yep, you can negotiate scholarship and many do it every year.  I'm sure they told you that that's the highest they're offering, but tell them you're going to Baylor if they don't up it, and see what happens.  You have nothing to lose - and you might even end up with 75% or full scholarship.

FalconJimmy

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I am not sure what the terms of the scholarship are yet.  All that I know is based on my conversations with their recruiter (I have not accepted or rejected either school's offer of admission, and I am still waiting for more information before I make the decision).  They do offer scholarships for part-time students (which is what they have unofficially offered), and I will be attending their part-time evening program (9 hours per semester and 3 hours over the summer).

So, you're talking about 4 years or more to complete your law degree.  Does your model factor that in?  You've got opportunity cost due to not being able to pull down lawyer's salary for another year or two.

As for the scholarship, how did they offer this?  You didn't get a letter?  The recruiter just said they'd give you a $10,000 scholarship if you enrolled in their part-time program?  Ask about the GPA requirement.  You can't make an informed decision without this information. 

Frankly, if there's any gpa requirement at all, and you're commuting 3 hours a day, I would find it exceptionally unlikely that you will meet the GPA requirement.  If the scholarship doesn't have a GPA requirement for renewal, that's another factor.

However, if there IS a requirement for renewal and you don't meet it, your 2nd thru 4th year could be without the $10,000 scholarship, pushing the cost of St. Mary's up another $30,000.

FalconJimmy

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I hadn't really thought about trying to negotiate scholarship. 

I got a half-ride by simply sending an e-mail that said that I was excited to go to the school, but was weighing other options and that a scholarship would have considerable impact on my decision of where to attend.

If you have a decent or good LSAT, they generally want you to try and help their US News numbers.  Applies less so with part-time programs, though, since those are not factored into US News rankings.

john4040

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Ask about the GPA requirement.  You can't make an informed decision without this information. 


This is crucial information as well.  Law schools are notorious for suckering students in with scholarships and then imposing overly-burdensome GPA requirements.  If you can't maintain the target GPA, you lose the scholarship and, often, the school banks on you continuing at the school at full-cost rather than just writing it off as a loss.

DanielleTex

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@John,
Thank you for this information John!  I am assuming I would speak with their Recruitment Coordinator for this type of negotiation.  I should probably start researching this...

@Jimmy,
The figures I presented are the total tuition for the program I am looking at (Baylor's tuition figure represents a 3 year JD program and St. Mary's tuition figure represents a 4 year JD program), and the tuition figures do not reflect any scholarships.  So if I lost the scholarship, the tuition figure would stay the same, but the scholarship category would be wiped out. 
The opportunity cost represents 3 years away from salary for Baylor and the cost of reduced working hours for 4 years for St. Mary's.
I'll try to find some information about St. Mary's scholarship renewals online (especially regarding their GPA requirements).
[No, I do not have a scholarship offer in writing yet.  And no, I will not accept their offer of admission without one.]

FalconJimmy

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This is crucial information as well.  Law schools are notorious for suckering students in with scholarships and then imposing overly-burdensome GPA requirements.  If you can't maintain the target GPA, you lose the scholarship and, often, the school banks on you continuing at the school at full-cost rather than just writing it off as a loss.

the toughest part about this is that most people have no idea what a law school GPA is.  So, the school says you only need to maintain a 3.3 or a 3.1 or whatever.  You think, "Sheesh... that wasn't so hard in undergrad!"  Thing was, in undergrad, 30% of the class got As, 50% got Bs, and 10% got Cs and lower.

There are law schools where a 3.0 puts you in the top 10% and on Law Review.

FalconJimmy

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Your model seems pretty sound, Danielle.  The only other thing to factor is the opportunity cost of being an attorney a year earlier.

Hard to measure.  Especially in local government, there are attorney jobs that don't pay $50,000.  Then, some attorney jobs with the fed pay close to six figures to star.

The last thing to point out here is that 4 years is a long time.  Supposing you can prove me wrong and somehow graduate with a JD in 4 years part-time, you're talking about 4 years where you won't have a moment to breathe.  It will, quite likely, be the worst 4 years of your life, short of being sent to prison. 

(And some weeks, you'll probably think prison doesn't sound like such a bad alternative.)

Going to Baylor full-time still lets you live some life for 3 years.  Going to st. Mary's, commuting and working really won't ever leave you a spare minute, best-case.  That's the best case.  I won't keep harping, but I don't see how best-case is possible.  You need to at least consider the possibility that you're setting yourself up for failure and that you will flunk out.

You seem to have some grasp of quantitiative tools.

Consider this:

Wake up at 7:00.  Shower, dress, rush to work.
Work from 8:00 to 5:00 with an hour break for lunch.
Drive 1.5 hours to class.  Park instantly, start class at 6:30.  (Most night programs, it'll start more like 5:30, but I'm being generous, here.)
Class until 9:30.  Drive home.  Arrive home at 11:00. 

Fall asleep instantly.  Get 8 hours of sleep.  Repeat the process for 3 days a week.

I mean, do you see how unrealistic this is?  When was the last time you got out of your car, instantly got into bed and got to sleep?

Okay... what's missing here?  Oh yeah, studying.  Rule of thumb in law school:  1 hour classroom = 3 hours of studying outside of class.

27 hours of studying during the remaining 4 days a week.  So, during two work-nights, you study from maybe 5:30 to 10:30. 

17 hours of studying to do on the weekends.  Relatively short days.  You only have to study 8.5 hours each day.

There is zero slippage mixed into any of this.  Not one minute to get a sandwich.  Not one minute to buy groceries.  Not one minute to do laundry.  Not one minute to turn on the TV.  Not one minute for facebook. 

If you take your research and writing class, it'll only count for 1 or 2 credit hours, and you're going to have to spend a LOT of time on it.  (I spent more time on research and writing than any other class.)  So, add more hours.  Some of them will have to be in the library.  It'll be mandatory.  So will Lexis Training.  So will Westlaw Training. 

For 4 years.

Are you starting to see where I'm coming from, here?