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Your comments about loyalty and your moral obligation to repay Georgetown (or LRAP) are right on point. If I'm able, I fully intend to pay back my grant money. Though, any extra donations will be heading to the undergrad school (where the fin aid office bent over backwards to make things happen, going so far as to create new scholarships for me!). Furthermore, every penny I plan to give to Georgetown will be in the form of staplers. There is a disturbing lack of functional staplers available to students on campus. Assuming I'm in a position to donate, I plan to purchase a stapler for every incoming student each year until my grants have been repaid.




Most definitely. And, upon a showing of financial need, selected students will receive a power stapler capable of piercing even the most lengthy and superfluous of free Westlaw printouts.

so sue me

I think financial decisions need to be made with an eye on what you plan on doing after law school. If you want to work in public interest law are you wedded to the idea of working for the type of organization that demands a GULC degree? If so, then go and mortgage your future and don't worry about it. You'll be all the happier later on. If you want to work as a public defender or something that doesn't require the expensive degree - then go to a state school and save yourself 60K. All I'm saying is, will the degree put you in a place that you couldn't get otherwise and if so go for it.


so sue me offers very sound advice. When I was choosing between schools, I utilized the precise calculation suggested. Ultimately, I decided that a degree from expensive school A would enable me to do anything a degree from less expensive school B would; but, a degree from less expensive school B would not afford me the same range of opportunities as a degree from expensive school A. Not knowing exactly what I wanted to do or where I wanted to practice, I opted for expensive school A in order to maximize my opportunities, debt be damned.


Sue and D, (and Scheherazade and in limine on other threads,) (and those private writers,)

I can’t say how helpful it's been to have people comment on this situation. Sometimes when the issues are large and I’m feeling relatively isolated, it seems like the whole complicated mass of options is being considered by (and being offered to) another person. Hearing other voices helps contextualize and ground things for me.

As to the issue here, very true - it's all about cost-benefit. I have no idea why I'm twisting myself up over this. Well, actually, I do.

Part of it has to do with past choices/experiences. I had decided to pursue an acceptable/marketable post-graduate degree (Ph.D., English Lit.) at a large state school; I eventually left the program for a more controversial degree, the terminal M.F.A. in Writing at a small and prestigious private school. I’m still carrying some debt from that choice (and others made about employment afterwards.) They aren’t choices I regret (at all) but I find odd parallels with my current options, which complicates my thinking via nostalgia, which leads me to doubt the basis for my decisions.

No matter where I go I’ll have a significant “floor” of debt via the 3 year cost of living at any school and my prior debt. While the cost difference between UConn/BU seemed larger than the benefit difference, and while the cost difference between UConn/GULC is slightly larger, I have to wonder if the benefits outweigh the costs.

Then there’s the LRAP.

Right now I’m leaning towards GULC. I think I’ll make a decision by the end of the weekend.


PS – D, to elaborate further on my reaction to the A v. B story about the young woman who was strong-armed out of B by a parent, I had a parent dictate my undergraduate major (and threaten to contact the person funding my college education and have my funds revoked should I attempt to major in anything but what they chose.) I eventually said the hell with it and ran the risk by changing my major. It was a pretty big risk as there was no fallback plan (I was completely dependent on this funding) and the parent in question would have totally cut my throat had it meant “teaching me a lesson.” Perhaps they had second thoughts or chickened out – who knows? But nothing came of it and I continued onto graduation. Today I was just thinking how that had affected my academic record. I ended up leaving with a 3.6 overall, but largely because I took my desired electives early and had a 3.9 after switching majors. Had I been allowed to play to my strengths from the start I’d have probably finished in the 3.8-3.9 territory. At the time I thought it didn’t much matter (and perhaps it doesn’t, today) but it would have certainly changed things, given me a better range of choices, particularly with prior graduate funding/scholarships. I might have a Ph.D. right now (if I got a sweeter deal) – but if I did, I would have missed out on the M.F.A., which has been so useful and valuable to me. I also wouldn’t be going to law school. Ultimately, I’m happy where I am, but it’s really odd to think about the things your life “turns” on.

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