UMN or UIUC?

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olemiss18

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UMN or UIUC?

Postby olemiss18 » Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:51 am

Having a TOUGH time deciding between the two, and my deadline is Monday. I was set for UMN for 6 months before receiving great news from UIUC off the waitlist. Here's the rundown, accumulated interest included.

UMN - $21.5k/year in scholarship (COA: $140k on graduation day)
UIUC - $30k/year in scholarship (COA: $96k on graduation day)
I have $5k in undergrad debt.

Pros for UMN:
I LOVE this school. Incredibly happy just being there.
Slight edge to Minneapolis as a place to work, but this is negligible.
I really don't care for UIUC; it didn't fit me very well

Pros for UIUC:
Makes the most sense on paper, and we are in talks of possibly increasing my scholarship a little bit (this would make it an easy decision)
Much less pressure to get a biglaw job, although that's what I'm shooting for at either school. There's a lot more wiggle room to fall short of that here.
Higher salaries in Chicago market than Minneapolis market; larger pool of firms
My serious girlfriend lives 7 hrs from Champaign instead of 17 from Minneapolis; this choice would be easier on us.
My serious girlfriend is hoping to work in Chicago; probably not interested in Minneapolis

My heart is in Minneapolis and my head is in Champaign.

Wubbles

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Re: UMN or UIUC?

Postby Wubbles » Sat Jul 28, 2018 12:52 pm

I can see your numbers on LSN you should not be going to either school. You should be retaking since you have a perfect GPA and want to work in biglaw

olemiss18

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Re: UMN or UIUC?

Postby olemiss18 » Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:55 pm

Wubbles wrote:I can see your numbers on LSN you should not be going to either school. You should be retaking since you have a perfect GPA and want to work in biglaw


Thanks for your reply. I understand your position, and it's a reasonable one. Taking that under consideration, do you have an opinion on these two options in a vacuum?

MrLions

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Re: UMN or UIUC?

Postby MrLions » Sat Jul 28, 2018 7:00 pm

When making an incredibly enormous (and expensive) life-changing decision, should one listen to their head or their heart? Depends how many RomComs you watch I guess.

For real though. Neither is a bad choice. That's a lot of debt for either school, though. Given what you've written, I'd probably lean toward UIUC as is, and certainly if they up your scholarship amount. Be aggressive in negotiating. Try to get them to give you full tuition.

That said, keep in mind that while 4 hours is a much shorter commute for an LDR, its still, like, a weekend trip that I can't imagine your partner (or you) wanting to make more than twice a month. You'll be busy with school, they'll have school/work, whatever. 4 hours is still a ways away.

Also, UIUC's employment stats are slightly better than UMN's, aren't they? And the student body is slightly weaker. Given that, your expected future income should be higher from UIUC, esp considering there's no real biglaw in MN (if that's the route you choose to go) like there is in Chicago.

Ultimately it's up to you. Whatever you choose, you'll probably end up being just as happy either way. All of the studies on human happiness suggest that our happiness levels don't tend to fluctuate much over time, and even when we experiencing increases in our quality of life, we usually return to near some baseline level. You'll be all set. Good luck!

MrLions

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Re: UMN or UIUC?

Postby MrLions » Sat Jul 28, 2018 7:06 pm

Honestly though--re-fucking-take. I'm dead serious. People don't say that on this board just to screw around with people (ok maybe some do). But for real. With a few months of studying your LSAT will easily be 163+. Easily. That's multiple t14 acceptances with your GPA.

I know you probably don't want to wait to go to law school, but just do it. Abandon your current plans, flop around and study LSAT for a year, maybe move in with your partner, and apply next year. Even if you can't appreciate it now, you definitely will someday.

Wubbles

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Re: UMN or UIUC?

Postby Wubbles » Sat Jul 28, 2018 7:33 pm

I had a similar gpa and first LSAT score. I retook at the next LSAT administration and went up 11 points and am at a t13 school taking on less debt than you would be at UIUC. This is not a decision between 2 schools in a vacuum. There is a 3rd option and it's leagues ahead of the other 2.

olemiss18

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Re: UMN or UIUC?

Postby olemiss18 » Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:39 pm

MrLions wrote:When making an incredibly enormous (and expensive) life-changing decision, should one listen to their head or their heart? Depends how many RomComs you watch I guess.

For real though. Neither is a bad choice. That's a lot of debt for either school, though. Given what you've written, I'd probably lean toward UIUC as is, and certainly if they up your scholarship amount. Be aggressive in negotiating. Try to get them to give you full tuition.

That said, keep in mind that while 4 hours is a much shorter commute for an LDR, its still, like, a weekend trip that I can't imagine your partner (or you) wanting to make more than twice a month. You'll be busy with school, they'll have school/work, whatever. 4 hours is still a ways away.

Also, UIUC's employment stats are slightly better than UMN's, aren't they? And the student body is slightly weaker. Given that, your expected future income should be higher from UIUC, esp considering there's no real biglaw in MN (if that's the route you choose to go) like there is in Chicago.

Ultimately it's up to you. Whatever you choose, you'll probably end up being just as happy either way. All of the studies on human happiness suggest that our happiness levels don't tend to fluctuate much over time, and even when we experiencing increases in our quality of life, we usually return to near some baseline level. You'll be all set. Good luck!


Thank you for this. I know retaking is your best advice, and I appreciate that. Regarding this advice though, I like these points. We'll be 7 hours apart, not 4, so it'll definitely be about a once per month thing at best. I think that's perfect for law school since I feel like seeing her all the time may be somewhat distracting and too little of course could be detrimental as well.

I'd say UMN is probably on par with Illinois employment-wise. I think a lot of potential biglaw folks go to solid state clerkships in Minnesota first, so I think it's deceptively lower. But regardless, I can't make a case that Illinois is a lesser school than UMN, that's for sure. You brought up an interesting point I didn't consider: UIUC's class profile is typically less competitive than UMN. I don't know if that'll have an impact on my personal ranking, but it doesn't hurt, right? Also, UIUC's class size this fall will be 120-130, possibly an all-time low. This is according to administration. UMN's class is over deposited. So I like my employment chances better at UIUC three years from now, pending economic conditions aside.

I really like your point on happiness. I think there's a lot to that. That sort of helps me stress less about this decision. It's a tough one, but I don't think I can go too terribly wrong on it. Thanks!

JohnMaynardKeynes

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Re: UMN or UIUC?

Postby JohnMaynardKeynes » Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:28 pm

olemiss18 wrote:Having a TOUGH time deciding between the two, and my deadline is Monday. I was set for UMN for 6 months before receiving great news from UIUC off the waitlist. Here's the rundown, accumulated interest included.

UMN - $21.5k/year in scholarship (COA: $140k on graduation day)
UIUC - $30k/year in scholarship (COA: $96k on graduation day)
I have $5k in undergrad debt.

Pros for UMN:
I LOVE this school. Incredibly happy just being there.
Slight edge to Minneapolis as a place to work, but this is negligible.
I really don't care for UIUC; it didn't fit me very well

Pros for UIUC:
Makes the most sense on paper, and we are in talks of possibly increasing my scholarship a little bit (this would make it an easy decision)
Much less pressure to get a biglaw job, although that's what I'm shooting for at either school. There's a lot more wiggle room to fall short of that here.
Higher salaries in Chicago market than Minneapolis market; larger pool of firms
My serious girlfriend lives 7 hrs from Champaign instead of 17 from Minneapolis; this choice would be easier on us.
My serious girlfriend is hoping to work in Chicago; probably not interested in Minneapolis

My heart is in Minneapolis and my head is in Champaign.


Rising 2L at UIUC so thought I should chime in.

1. You should heed the advice of retaking. I was determined to go to law school right away and thought another year to retake would somehow be inconvenient. I decided to get some interesting work experience during the extra year as well. I would say this (anecdotally) seems to be increasingly valued by some firms. I know its getting quite late in the summer but I would seriously consider a retake with some relevant, preferably legal related, work experience. I would also recommend (provided it would be possible) living in the city you want to eventually end up in.

2. If you decide to enroll I would go for UIUC but you should factor in my obvious bias. Like you, I never felt a "fit" with UIUC. For me, I don't know if it was the building, or just the fact that I don't like CU. It's a relatively boring college town. That being said, I now appreciate it more, and you will spend all your time studying, so the town is pretty much a non factor. I cannot speak to the quality of professors at UMN, but I think the professors at UIUC are absolutely amazing.

If you want biglaw UIUC has the better chance, albeit marginally. Likewise, the career office is phenomenal and they work their ass off to help you get the kind of job you want. Factor in a smaller class size and perhaps the biglaw + FC percentage increases.

3. My serious girlfriend decided to live/work in Chicago as opposed to living with me in CU. This was the optimal choice for us because I can focus all week on classwork. She takes the train or bus down every weekend. She is getting a head start establishing her career in Chicago. Its an optimal solution for us, even though it sucks only spending weekends together. My point here is that it would seem like your situation probably makes more sense at UIUC.

If you have any specific questions regarding UIUC, or the law school retake process generally, please send me a DM. Good luck with the decision!

olemiss18

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Re: UMN or UIUC?

Postby olemiss18 » Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:47 pm

JohnMaynardKeynes wrote:
olemiss18 wrote:Having a TOUGH time deciding between the two, and my deadline is Monday. I was set for UMN for 6 months before receiving great news from UIUC off the waitlist. Here's the rundown, accumulated interest included.

UMN - $21.5k/year in scholarship (COA: $140k on graduation day)
UIUC - $30k/year in scholarship (COA: $96k on graduation day)
I have $5k in undergrad debt.

Pros for UMN:
I LOVE this school. Incredibly happy just being there.
Slight edge to Minneapolis as a place to work, but this is negligible.
I really don't care for UIUC; it didn't fit me very well

Pros for UIUC:
Makes the most sense on paper, and we are in talks of possibly increasing my scholarship a little bit (this would make it an easy decision)
Much less pressure to get a biglaw job, although that's what I'm shooting for at either school. There's a lot more wiggle room to fall short of that here.
Higher salaries in Chicago market than Minneapolis market; larger pool of firms
My serious girlfriend lives 7 hrs from Champaign instead of 17 from Minneapolis; this choice would be easier on us.
My serious girlfriend is hoping to work in Chicago; probably not interested in Minneapolis

My heart is in Minneapolis and my head is in Champaign.


Rising 2L at UIUC so thought I should chime in.

1. You should heed the advice of retaking. I was determined to go to law school right away and thought another year to retake would somehow be inconvenient. I decided to get some interesting work experience during the extra year as well. I would say this (anecdotally) seems to be increasingly valued by some firms. I know its getting quite late in the summer but I would seriously consider a retake with some relevant, preferably legal related, work experience. I would also recommend (provided it would be possible) living in the city you want to eventually end up in.

2. If you decide to enroll I would go for UIUC but you should factor in my obvious bias. Like you, I never felt a "fit" with UIUC. For me, I don't know if it was the building, or just the fact that I don't like CU. It's a relatively boring college town. That being said, I now appreciate it more, and you will spend all your time studying, so the town is pretty much a non factor. I cannot speak to the quality of professors at UMN, but I think the professors at UIUC are absolutely amazing.

If you want biglaw UIUC has the better chance, albeit marginally. Likewise, the career office is phenomenal and they work their ass off to help you get the kind of job you want. Factor in a smaller class size and perhaps the biglaw + FC percentage increases.

3. My serious girlfriend decided to live/work in Chicago as opposed to living with me in CU. This was the optimal choice for us because I can focus all week on classwork. She takes the train or bus down every weekend. She is getting a head start establishing her career in Chicago. Its an optimal solution for us, even though it sucks only spending weekends together. My point here is that it would seem like your situation probably makes more sense at UIUC.

If you have any specific questions regarding UIUC, or the law school retake process generally, please send me a DM. Good luck with the decision!



Thanks for all of this advice. I appreciate the retaking advice. It may sound shortsighted, but I studied for 13 months, took a course, and felt great on test day. Really thought I did my best. I'm not saying I absolutely couldn't do better; I'm just think it's just as fine that I start school this fall. As for UIUC vs UMN, it became effectively very clear that UIUC is the way to go. Not only did I rationalize the initial decision in my head, but today I received an increased award that made it a no-brainer. Not quite full tuition, but close enough.

The work experience point is compelling but I don't know if it justifies losing eventual career time, you know? Also, my background is in an unmarketable liberal arts degree; I wouldn't know how to go from that to a relevant legal job. My gf and I will be 7 hours apart, which is a little far but I think one visit per month is perfectly fine. We've done a long distance thing all summer now (she's been in China), so we've gotten a small feel for how that will go, although we're not both stressed with school this summer so it's only so accurate. C-U does seem dry compared to Minneapolis, but I'm from a small town of 200 people (yep, two hundred) in rural Mississippi, so literally anywhere is a step up. I'm content with attending UIUC, and I look forward to seeing you there. Thanks for reaching out to me, and I'll definitely message you if something comes to mind.

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Re: UMN or UIUC?

Postby unsweetened » Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:40 am

olemiss18 wrote:The work experience point is compelling but I don't know if it justifies losing eventual career time, you know? Also, my background is in an unmarketable liberal arts degree; I wouldn't know how to go from that to a relevant legal job. My gf and I will be 7 hours apart, which is a little far but I think one visit per month is perfectly fine. We've done a long distance thing all summer now (she's been in China), so we've gotten a small feel for how that will go, although we're not both stressed with school this summer so it's only so accurate. C-U does seem dry compared to Minneapolis, but I'm from a small town of 200 people (yep, two hundred) in rural Mississippi, so literally anywhere is a step up. I'm content with attending UIUC, and I look forward to seeing you there. Thanks for reaching out to me, and I'll definitely message you if something comes to mind.

Losing 6-12 months of eventual career time is nothing if it helps you get the career that you want and enter the workplace with less/no debt. The "losing eventual career" time argument may be plausible if you are over 35.

minnbills

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Re: UMN or UIUC?

Postby minnbills » Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:49 am

UMN grad checking in.

Strongly agree with the retake advice. If nothing else, getting a few more points will get you some more $$ at either school. It is absolutely in your interest to do this.

I graduated from UMN with about 85k in debt, which has been manageable. But the reality is that 145k+ is enough that it's going to be uncomfortable and a serious drag for you to service that debt. There are very few jobs available to UMN grads that pay 6 figures right out of the gate. You should assume you will make like 50-70k out of the gate.

That said, UMN is the better school :). Plus if you feel like you will be happy there, as opposed to UIUC, then go with god.



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