Law School Discussion

Seton Hall v. Penn State University

Seton Hall v. Penn State University
« on: February 06, 2012, 06:08:57 PM »
I was offered scholarships to both schools.  Any thoughts on which school I should attend in the fall?  I'm having an incredibly difficult time deciding.

Re: Seton Hall v. Penn State University
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2012, 05:29:13 PM »
Where do you want to practice?
Do you have any ties to either Carlisle/University Park or Newark/NYC?
Do you know what kind of law you're interested in?
What're the stips on the scholarships?


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Re: Seton Hall v. Penn State University
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2012, 10:26:56 AM »
Seton Hall
42k per year tuition
20k per living expenses
62K total  at Seton Hall
62 x 3= 186k total debt over 3 years (without scholarship)

Penn State
34k per year tuition
20k per year living expenses
54k total
54 x 3= 162k for three years (without scholarship)

So with no scholarship Penn State will be 26,000 dollars cheaper, which is something to consider especially considering you will be paying interest at these loans and 26k can turn into 40k realistically.

Scholarship Conditions:
As the poster above said look at the scholarship conditions. This article does a good job of explaining what many schools do. Most schools that I got scholarships at required a 3.0 and thankfully I kept mine over the years, but many people didn't. The 3.0 is very misleading, because the majority of ABA schools only allow the top 35% of the class to have a 3.0 at the end of first year.
This means you have a 65% chance at losing your scholarship. This is because almost everyone at an ABA school is smart, hard working, and motivated. The first day of class at any school everyone really believes they will be in the top 10%, but 100% of people can't be in the top 10%. So 90% are wrong.

Also if there are class rank conditions instead of a 3.0 requirement the same logic above applies. It might say finish in the top 25% of the class and again there is a high risk you will lose the scholarship. If either school offers a scholarship without a condition I would recommend choosing that school.

There is also the aspect of location, which area would you prefer to live in? You are going to be there for three years and there is a strong likelihood whatever city you end attending school in is where you will start your career. Especially, because these are regional schools and not many firms from Texas, California, Florida, etc are going to be begging for Seton Hall or Penn State grads.

The final thing is visit these schools. Each school has a vibe to it and when I was choosing there were a couple places I thought yea I could spend three years here. There were other places where I couldn't stand the visit and I certainly knew I couldn't handle three years. That is not a knock on the schools just those places didn't suit my style and everyone has their own subjective likes/dislikes and a visit can tell you a lot about how you will fit in.

Just remember there is no right or wrong answer to what law school you attend. 0L's including myself when I was trying to choose think there is some magic answer on what school to attend, but there isn't. The reality is almost every ABA school teaches you the same exact thing, because they are required to and the law is the law from Harvard to Cooley. Obviously the T14 schools have more job opportunities, but people don't care or know  about whatever the rank difference of Seton Hall or Penn State is.

Good luck to you no matter what you decide.