UVA vs OSU vs AU

<p>Hi, I am a current high school senior trying to decide between 3 schools: University of Virginia, American University, and Ohio State University. In order to make a decision, I made a pro and cons list but I really want to hear from people who are in these universities. </p>

-pros: very cheap with my scholarships, would only cost me about 11k a year. got accepted into the Politics, Society and Law program, would be able to finish school in 3 years due to various AP credits, special/nicer dorms for PSL students
-cons: far away from home (i live in maryland), flight is expensive, school is HUGE (40,000), although PSL is a great program, OSU itself is a very safety school for me as most of the population isn’t as intellectually active as I am</p>

-pros: relatively cheap (30k), near home, in DC which would have GREAT internships, usually only 2 people per dorm, got into both law scholars and honors, would be able to finish school in 3 years due to the scholars BA requirements for policy and law majors, great mock trial team
-cons: maybe too close to home (only 30 min away), again a safety school for me, the school is REALLY small (1,600 per class) - I feel like I’ll know everyone, the campus isn’t that nice, I’ve heard many people there are a little big headed</p>

-pros: GREAT school!, high on Harvard Law school (future dream) feeder schools list, beautiful campus, lively social life, not too large or too small, not too far from home
-cons: expensive!!!, no special law program like the ones in American and OSU, not a great mock trial team, I would have to go to school for 4 full years</p>

<p>Ok so that’s my list. As you can see, law is a huge part of my life. I hope to someday go to Harvard Law school and I want to make sure my undergraduate college helps me get there. For UVA, I really want to know if it’s worth paying $50k a year for 4 years as opposed to my other two options (30k and 11k) especially considering I’m not in any special program. As for OSU and American, I feel like they are so similar at the moment so I need help! anything you can add would be great! thanks!</p>

<p>The reason I fell in love with OSU is because of how many things it can offer. There are hundreds of clubs and organizations that meet the interests of thousands of people, so I’m sure there would be something intellectually challenging for you. </p>

<p>I think you need to ask yourself where you would be happiest. Three to four years of your life is a long time and you need to make sure that you love where you are. If you can afford your dream school, go for it. If you can’t, then pick the school that appeals most to you without breaking the bank. </p>

<p>Don’t try to over-analyze each school. That’s what I did and I stressed about nothing. Eventually I chose OSU because when I talked about it, read about it or anything else, I got excited. I knew that’s where I wanted to be. Once you know, you know. At least, that’s what I think.</p>

<p>Do you have the money for UVA or would you borrow?</p>

<p>I attended OSU for a while and my sister went to AU, so I have some experience with two of the schools you’re asking about.</p>

<p>AU is probably a better place to do your undergraduate education–the classes are smaller, the professors are more involved in undergrad classes, and the classes will definitely be more rigorous. These features will help you prepare for law school, as law school is all about writing, thinking, analyzing, and defending your ideas to a group of skeptical peers. You’ll get a more well-rounded education at AU with a much more global/international perspective.</p>

<p>At OSU, it will be more difficult to prepare yourself for law school. The hugeness of the classes just makes things less rigorous. You will write less, read less, and debate less. You will sit in classes with people who sleep and text and walk out early. As a serious student you will be in a tiny minority. You will be one of a few students at the front of the classroom, while everyone else is spacing out.</p>

<p>Having said all that, AU and OSU are really pretty similar in the rankings, and if OSU puts you in a better position financially (and 11k is really dirt cheap these days and a bargain for anyone on a budget), then perhaps you should consider it as a serious option. But you will have to fight to get the kind of attention you need to go to Harvard or a similar school.</p>

<p>I do have a friend who graduated from OSU and went to Georgetown Law (was rejected from Harvard, Yale, etc.). She was indeed a stand-out student at OSU, though. She was incredibly smart, well read, and a real intellectual all around. She liked OSU, but she desperately wanted to get into a better school for her grad work, and it was hard.</p>

<p>Bottom line: Find out the specifics of OSU and AU’s law school placement rates. Carefully weigh your financial options. Student loans are brutal these days, and you will go into additional debt when you go to law school.</p>

<p>If you are planning on going to law school, and will be taking out student loans to pay for undergrad, you should seriously consider what your overall debt load will be by the time you are done with law school. Law salaries have been on the decline, while law school is still very expensive. You may find yourself over your head in debt if you aren’t careful. </p>

<p>If you are looking at 30-50k a year in loans for undergrad, then another 65k a year for law school (50k tuition + 15k living expenses), you may easily graduate with 300k+ in student loans. Just to illustrate how difficult it would be to pay that debt off, 300k in debt at 6.8% interest, paid back over 10 years, equals monthly payments of $3,452. That’s over 41k of student loan payments per year. You would have to make an incredible salary in order to afford those payments. </p>

<p>If you received some aid for law school, and only took out a total of 200k in loans, your monthly student loan payment would be around $2,300, for ten years.</p>

<p>Forbes lists the law schools with the highest starting salaries for new graduates, and Harvard Law graduates make an average private sector starting salary of $143,000. That said, you should really consider what your salary might look like after graduating from a somewhat less prestigious law school, since Harvard Law’s acceptance rate is only 11%, and the average LSAT score for admitted applicants is 173/ 180, a score which places you in the 99th percentile for all students who take the LSAT. If you do attend a lower-ranked law school, your likely starting salary drops fairly quickly, as only 13 schools are listed as having new graduates in private sector jobs make an average of $100,000 or more annually. </p>

<p>If you end up making a starting salary of around $100,000, your take home salary after taxes and health insurance will only be around $65,000-$70,000. That means you’ll have to live on around $24k-29k (if you had 300k in loans). For ten years, while you’re paying off your student loans, you’ll be living on about as much money as a teacher. </p>

<p>This is why law school is considered to be such a bad deal right now. </p>

<p>If it helps any in your decision, my roommate, a senior economics major at OSU, got into multiple T14 law schools, and will be attending Duke Law in the fall. She’s very smart, but has been very happy here for the past four years, as have I. </p>

<p>[FinAid</a> | Calculators | Loan Calculator](<a href=“http://www.finaid.org/calculators/loanpayments.phtml]FinAid”>http://www.finaid.org/calculators/loanpayments.phtml) </p>

<p>[The</a> Law Schools Whose Grads Earn The Most - Forbes](<a href=“http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2012/03/13/the-law-schools-whose-grads-earn-the-most/]The”>http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2012/03/13/the-law-schools-whose-grads-earn-the-most/)</p>