Choosing the more expensive peer school - another Temple/Villanova decision thread

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
_lw1234

New
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:52 pm

Choosing the more expensive peer school - another Temple/Villanova decision thread

Postby _lw1234 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:18 pm

I've pretty much decided that I want to go to Temple and I'm looking for validation from internet strangers that this isn't a dumb decision. 3.6 ish GPA, 160 LSAT. Not retaking, not delaying my life another year.

Based purely on the COA reported by each school and w/o factoring in any savings or summer income:
Temple - $20k annual scholarship with a 2.5 stip (3.05 curve) = ~$28,418/year COA
Villanova - $44k expected annual scholarship (based on LSN) = ~$23,927/year COA

I will be living with a roommate and then eventually my s/o so my actual COA will definitively be lower than the estimate. The Villanova scholarship is purely based on LSN expectations, I received a letter yesterday that said they start making scholarship decisions at the end of January.

I do not have a strict career path yet - thinking ADA/defense attorney/plaintiff's litigation and if things go well running for Common Pleas Judge in 20 years but I'm open to exploring other options through internships, etc. and seeing what actually interests me. If my grades are there I will pursue a clerkship but I know they likely will not be. With that in mind, I know keeping debt low should be a priority. I will have ~$40,000 in loans from undergrad to pay off going into law school.

Temple has slightly better job statistics and a better USNW rank but all things considered, Temple and Villanova are peer schools. Temple is likely going to be more expensive and the scholarship comes with a stipulation. The commute to Nova would be like 45 mins by train whereas I could bike to Temple from the areas I'm looking to live in. I also can't seem to shake my impression that Villanova is a school for rich, white, preppy kids. Honestly, my preference for Temple is just a hunch I'd like it there better.

To anyone who read this far - thank you. Basically I'm asking whether it makes any sense at all to choose Temple over Villanova for superficial reasons when I know they're substantively very similar schools. I'm posting on TLS rather than Reddit because I'm looking for candid advice on how to evaluate this choice.

icechicken

Bronze
Posts: 302
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:09 pm

Re: Choosing the more expensive peer school - another Temple/Villanova decision thread

Postby icechicken » Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:43 pm

_lw1234 wrote:Not retaking, not delaying my life another year.


You're already living your life! The question of retaking isn't about timing but about how good you want it to be.

Based purely on the COA reported by each school and w/o factoring in any savings or summer income:
Temple - $20k annual scholarship with a 2.5 stip (3.05 curve) = ~$28,418/year COA
Villanova - $44k expected annual scholarship (based on LSN) = ~$23,927/year COA


You should, at a minimum wait till you get an actual offer from Villanova, and until you've had some time to negotiate with both schools (e.g. Temple might be willing to drop the stipulation), before you start thinking too hard about this.

I do not have a strict career path yet - thinking ADA/defense attorney/plaintiff's litigation and if things go well running for Common Pleas Judge in 20 years but I'm open to exploring other options through internships, etc. and seeing what actually interests me. If my grades are there I will pursue a clerkship but I know they likely will not be. With that in mind, I know keeping debt low should be a priority. I will have ~$40,000 in loans from undergrad to pay off going into law school.


The undergrad debt worries me, since you're looking at taking on $80-90k on top of that if you go to Temple. That's a miserable amount of debt to be dealing with on an ADA's salary. Forget retaking the LSAT - you should take some time before law school to pay down that undergraduate debt.

Temple has slightly better job statistics and a better USNW rank but all things considered, Temple and Villanova are peer schools. Temple is likely going to be more expensive and the scholarship comes with a stipulation. The commute to Nova would be like 45 mins by train whereas I could bike to Temple from the areas I'm looking to live in. I also can't seem to shake my impression that Villanova is a school for rich, white, preppy kids. Honestly, my preference for Temple is just a hunch I'd like it there better.


None of the above is irrational - that commute difference is a big deal, and cultural fit is important too (although I think you're coming down a little too hard on Nova in that regard). Neither is worth >$10,000, though, especially for someone with negative net worth.

To anyone who read this far - thank you. Basically I'm asking whether it makes any sense at all to choose Temple over Villanova for superficial reasons when I know they're substantively very similar schools. I'm posting on TLS rather than Reddit because I'm looking for candid advice on how to evaluate this choice.


You're not stupid for preferring Temple over Villanova. I think you're just a little stupid for preferring Temple, now, with that scholarship stipulation, and with five figures of undergraduate debt shackled to your ankles. At the very least you should take some time to negotiate with both schools to get the best deal possible.

_lw1234

New
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:52 pm

Re: Choosing the more expensive peer school - another Temple/Villanova decision thread

Postby _lw1234 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:17 pm

Thanks for taking the time to go through all this.

The undergrad debt worries me, since you're looking at taking on $80-90k on top of that if you go to Temple. That's a miserable amount of debt to be dealing with on an ADA's salary. Forget retaking the LSAT - you should take some time before law school to pay down that undergraduate debt.


My actual COA will be much lower than the calculation, but I included it as a worst-case for evaluation purposes. I'm looking at a living situation where COA would be <$10,000 in annual rent plus interest adjusted tuition and misc. living expenses. I'm currently making a tiny dent in my undergrad loans and intend to continue making payments up until I quit my current job for school. However, with my degree and work experience, I'm not in a position where paying my undergrad loans now is worth a further delay in my legal career. I would rather live paycheck to paycheck in my early 20s than start a new career from scratch 8-10 years from now.

You're not stupid for preferring Temple over Villanova. I think you're just a little stupid for preferring Temple, now, with that scholarship stipulation, and with five figures of undergraduate debt shackled to your ankles. At the very least you should take some time to negotiate with both schools to get the best deal possible.


Do you (or anyone who may be reading this) know if schools are willing to negotiate away stipulations? Am I wrong to think a 2.5 stip on a 3.05 curve is easily attainable? According to LST, only 7% ish lost conditional scholarships last year.

CanadianWolf

Diamond
Posts: 10714
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Choosing the more expensive peer school - another Temple/Villanova decision thread

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:20 pm

It is the end of January so you should receive Villanova's scholarship offer soon. Negotiate with Temple for more scholarship money. Your assessment of Villanova is pretty accurate.

Are these your only two options--or just your best options financially ?

With respect to scholarship stipulations: Schools negotiate terms, but--and I just don't know--Temple may be an exception.

The 2.5 stipulation seems easy, but you need to determine whether or not Temple engages in stacking all scholarship recipients into one section.

cuzzydunlop

New
Posts: 47
Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:45 pm

Re: Choosing the more expensive peer school - another Temple/Villanova decision thread

Postby cuzzydunlop » Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:24 pm

Those costs for those schools are not worth it. You say you don't want to delay your life another year by retaking... instead you'll be hampering your life much worse with debt that will take many, many years to repay.

_lw1234

New
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:52 pm

Re: Choosing the more expensive peer school - another Temple/Villanova decision thread

Postby _lw1234 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:30 pm

It is the end of January so you should receive Villanova's scholarship offer soon. Negotiate with Temple for more scholarship money. Your assessment of Villanova is pretty accurate.

Are these your only two options--or just your best options financially ?


I'm also in at OSU ($13k/year), Cincinnati ($16k/year), Maryland (no scholarship yet), and Richmond (no scholarship yet) - waiting to hear from Case Western and Wake Forest. I basically cast my net out to schools within a 6h drive of my hometown that I figured would give me decent scholarships. I'm still considering OSU and Cincy and plan to go down for visits in February. But honestly, I love Philadelphia and I have friends/family in the area. Plus, I ultimately plan to relocate to Pittsburgh at some point (close to my parents) so it would be nice not having to study for another bar 10 years out of school.

_lw1234

New
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:52 pm

Re: Choosing the more expensive peer school - another Temple/Villanova decision thread

Postby _lw1234 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:44 pm

Those costs for those schools are not worth it. You say you don't want to delay your life another year by retaking... instead you'll be hampering your life much worse with debt that will take many, many years to repay.


My scholarship to Temple is $20,000 for $24,990 tuition. Retaking the LSAT to a score which would earn me a full tuition scholarship only earns me $15,000 + inflation. I did consider a retake but I really don't know that it would be worth it. I self-studied casually for roughly 6mo and rigorously the last 2mo. My 160 was better than my PTs and I have experienced test anxiety in the past. If my score only raises by a point or decreases, I will have wasted time/money retaking and put my career on hold for another year with the same result.
Last edited by _lw1234 on Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

_lw1234

New
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:52 pm

Re: Choosing the more expensive peer school - another Temple/Villanova decision thread

Postby _lw1234 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:51 pm

With respect to scholarship stipulations: Schools negotiate terms, but--and I just don't know--Temple may be an exception.

The 2.5 stipulation seems easy, but you need to determine whether or not Temple engages in stacking all scholarship recipients into one section.


According to LST, 7% of Temple students lost conditional scholarships last year. If I get below a 2.5 at Temple, I would absolutely reconsider pursuing a law degree.

cuzzydunlop

New
Posts: 47
Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:45 pm

Re: Choosing the more expensive peer school - another Temple/Villanova decision thread

Postby cuzzydunlop » Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:55 pm

_lw1234 wrote:
Those costs for those schools are not worth it. You say you don't want to delay your life another year by retaking... instead you'll be hampering your life much worse with debt that will take many, many years to repay.


My scholarship to Temple is $20,000 for $24,990 tuition. Retaking the LSAT to a score which would earn me a full tuition scholarship only earns me $15,000 + inflation. I did consider a retake but I really don't know that it would be worth it. I self-studied casually for roughly 6mo and rigorously the last 2mo. My 160 was better than my PTs and I have experienced test anxiety in the past. If my score only raises by a point or decreases, I will have wasted time/money retaking and put my career on hold for another year with the same result.


Fair enough. $15,000 plus interest accrued over a decade or so is a lot more than $15,000 though. Speaking from past experience, I raised my LSAT 13 points from September to December and drastically changed my potential outcomes in doing so... so I'm a pretty firm "retake" guy, but it sounds like you've done the cost-benefit analysis yourself and have made a decision.

albanach

Silver
Posts: 1346
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:05 pm

Re: Choosing the more expensive peer school - another Temple/Villanova decision thread

Postby albanach » Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:19 pm

_lw1234 wrote:
Those costs for those schools are not worth it. You say you don't want to delay your life another year by retaking... instead you'll be hampering your life much worse with debt that will take many, many years to repay.


My scholarship to Temple is $20,000 for $24,990 tuition. Retaking the LSAT to a score which would earn me a full tuition scholarship only earns me $15,000 + inflation. I did consider a retake but I really don't know that it would be worth it. I self-studied casually for roughly 6mo and rigorously the last 2mo. My 160 was better than my PTs and I have experienced test anxiety in the past. If my score only raises by a point or decreases, I will have wasted time/money retaking and put my career on hold for another year with the same result.


You need to look at cost of attendance vs. outcomes. 1% of the temple class ended up as paralegals. 8.4% didn't get jobs at all. 6.4% are in non-lawyer business roles. 17% of the class are in firms with fewer than 25 attorneys. That gives you (very roughly) an approximately 33% chance of a not-great outcome at graduation.

LST reports the non discounted cost of attendance as $185,391. Take off $60k+interest and it'll still cost you $110,000 to attend. Add on your undergrad loans plus interest and you will have $160k in debt at graduation.

hamshotfirst

New
Posts: 90
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:00 pm

Re: Choosing the more expensive peer school - another Temple/Villanova decision thread

Postby hamshotfirst » Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:56 pm

Agree with an earlier poster, wait until Villinova gives you a scholarship offer and then use that to negotiate more money from Temple. I'd say don't use USNW rankings as a guide, but it looks like you've considered the actual employment numbers as well. Good luck!

Phillyc/o18

New
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:00 am

Re: Choosing the more expensive peer school - another Temple/Villanova decision thread

Postby Phillyc/o18 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:49 am

1.) If you can't get a 2.5 then you did something very wrong. Put in the work, it's not that hard.
2.) If you want to do litigation, Temple is easily the school you should choose. Often times the distinction between Temple and Nova is transactional business practice vs. litigation. The two school don't really compete with one another in that regard. Temple is the better litigation school (one of the best in the country) and Nova is the better transactional business school.
3.) Obviously, you should wait to hear from Nova on the scholarship and bargain with Temple. Yet, don't let a couple thousand dollars keep you from Temple. Inevitably, Temple will cost more.

snowball2

New
Posts: 98
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2016 5:13 pm

Re: Choosing the more expensive peer school - another Temple/Villanova decision thread

Postby snowball2 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:29 pm

So from your perspective retaking to get a score in the mid-upper 160's isn't worth it when it could mean a full scholarship or even a school offering better job placement?




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: KBradley757 and 11 guests