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Defer at CLS for an extra $60k?

Discuss comparisons of various school choices and the various metrics that inform them, including rankings, student life, location, etc.
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Law1177
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Defer at CLS for an extra $60k?

Post by Law1177 »

Hello everyone,

I am an enrolled student planning on entering Columbia this fall. However, I have been given the option to defer for a year in exchange for an additional $60k in aid. Is this worth delaying my career for another year? I feel like I am ready to move on, and would have to figure out what to do for the next year, but lowering my debt by $60k would indeed be very nice. I would also be required to withdraw from the Harvard waitlist if I go forward with this referral.

What should I do?
Last edited by Law1177 on Mon Jun 06, 2022 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Slytherpuff
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Re: Defer at CLS for an extra $60k?

Post by Slytherpuff »

That sounds incredibly tempting. Can you tell us a little more about yourself? How much time have you taken off between undergrad and law school (if any), is there anything else you could do next year while you wait, and how much debt are you currently looking at for CLS?

I also wonder how much tuition is going to go up at CLS. There's a chance that tuition increases over three years will eat up that $60k anyway :lol:
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pancakes3
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Re: Defer at CLS for an extra $60k?

Post by pancakes3 »

Also career goals.
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BlendedUnicorn
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Re: Defer at CLS for an extra $60k?

Post by BlendedUnicorn »

kind of depends on what your opportunity cost is here and whether you're gunning to pay down your debt or to get it PSLF/PAYED away.

in general, law isn't going anywhere (probably) but the opportunity to be a young not lawyer in a career you have no intention of sticking around in is a golden once in a lifetime opportunity, and if you can live comfortably for the year without the loan money I would absolutely consider deferring and just living your best life.
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Stranger
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Re: Defer at CLS for an extra $60k?

Post by Stranger »

I would especially consider deferring if you haven't had much or any time off after undergrad. Just getting a little time in a workplace outside of the field of law will give you perspective that could help tremendously when it comes time to practice. But you should probably consider the questions folks above have raised, first.
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Baguette
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Re: Defer at CLS for an extra $60k?

Post by Baguette »

Slytherpuff wrote: Mon Jun 06, 2022 1:13 pmI also wonder how much tuition is going to go up at CLS. There's a chance that tuition increases over three years will eat up that $60k anyway :lol:
I know you're joking but for the sake of getting this on paper: the margin here would be between 2022-23 tuition and 25-26, since OP is paying for 23-24 and 24-25 anyway. Napkin math says it would cost an extra $10k of tuition (maybe $15k if admin gets more aggressive with increases). I'd budget an extra several thousand for CoL as well, so $40k seems like a reasonable estimate for actual savings.

I would strongly consider that. It's like getting paid an extra $40k to do whatever you end up doing for the next 12 months, although it won't feel that way because the "bonus" automatically gets spent on law-school tuition. Once-in-a-while opportunity to try out a weird job without feeling like it'll cost anything in the long run, financially or professionally.

another consideration not mentioned yet: attending an overenrolled law school sounds like a suboptimal experience, subjectively and in terms of outcomes. I deferred last year (had deposited at a school overenrolled by like 30%) for mainly this reason, although in hindsight it's also been great for other reasons.
Law1177
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Re: Defer at CLS for an extra $60k?

Post by Law1177 »

Slytherpuff wrote: Mon Jun 06, 2022 1:13 pm Can you tell us a little more about yourself? How much time have you taken off between undergrad and law school (if any), is there anything else you could do next year while you wait, and how much debt are you currently looking at for CLS?


I’m two years out from undergrad, and hope to be able to stay in my current position if I do defer but that is far from a given. I may also use the time to try to improve my decayed language skills, and to do a bit of traveling.

Without the deferral I’m looking at about $261,000 of principal, and deferring it would be $201,000. These use CLS’s estimates, and barring a tuition increase I’m rather confident I can come out below in either case.
Last edited by Law1177 on Mon Jun 06, 2022 6:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Law1177
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Re: Defer at CLS for an extra $60k?

Post by Law1177 »

BlendedUnicorn wrote: Mon Jun 06, 2022 3:33 pm kind of depends on what your opportunity cost is here and whether you're gunning to pay down your debt or to get it PSLF/PAYED away.

in general, law isn't going anywhere (probably) but the opportunity to be a young not lawyer in a career you have no intention of sticking around in is a golden once in a lifetime opportunity, and if you can live comfortably for the year without the loan money I would absolutely consider deferring and just living your best life.
pancakes3 wrote: Mon Jun 06, 2022 1:26 pm Also career goals.


I’m very strongly planning on going biglaw, so I’ll want to pay off debt quickly so I can start investing my biglaw money.
Law1177
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Re: Defer at CLS for an extra $60k?

Post by Law1177 »

Stranger wrote: Mon Jun 06, 2022 4:00 pm I would especially consider deferring if you haven't had much or any time off after undergrad. Just getting a little time in a workplace outside of the field of law will give you perspective that could help tremendously when it comes time to practice. But you should probably consider the questions folks above have raised, first.
I’m already two years out, so I feel ready to move on and start law school but I’m very tempted by the additional money/lowered debt load.
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pancakes3
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Re: Defer at CLS for an extra $60k?

Post by pancakes3 »

defer for sure. 2 years out is nothing. you're... 24? graduating at 27 vs. 28 is a meaningless distinction, but having an extra year in your 20's that's not consumed by billable hours is... well... invaluable.

plus you just got out of covid. enjoy this next year with CLS locked up at $$.

also, i wouldn't count on investing your BL paycheck as a means to get to FATFIRE. you'll be able to secure retirement at a traditional age, sure, but you ain't gonna retire at 40 even if you make non-equity pathern.
Law1177
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Re: Defer at CLS for an extra $60k?

Post by Law1177 »

pancakes3 wrote: Mon Jun 06, 2022 4:54 pm defer for sure. 2 years out is nothing. you're... 24? graduating at 27 vs. 28 is a meaningless distinction, but having an extra year in your 20's that's not consumed by billable hours is... well... invaluable.

plus you just got out of covid. enjoy this next year with CLS locked up at $$.

also, i wouldn't count on investing your BL paycheck as a means to get to FATFIRE. you'll be able to secure retirement at a traditional age, sure, but you ain't gonna retire at 40 even if you make non-equity pathern.
Thanks, that’s definitely where I’m leaning at the moment. The one thing that is bothering me is that I would have to withdraw from the HLS waitlist, but I realize it’s probably foolish to give up $60k on the hope that I get into Harvard. (I’m not entirely sure if Harvard is worth $120k over Columbia anyway)
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BlendedUnicorn
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Re: Defer at CLS for an extra $60k?

Post by BlendedUnicorn »

Law1177 wrote: Mon Jun 06, 2022 4:46 pm
BlendedUnicorn wrote: Mon Jun 06, 2022 3:33 pm kind of depends on what your opportunity cost is here and whether you're gunning to pay down your debt or to get it PSLF/PAYED away.

in general, law isn't going anywhere (probably) but the opportunity to be a young not lawyer in a career you have no intention of sticking around in is a golden once in a lifetime opportunity, and if you can live comfortably for the year without the loan money I would absolutely consider deferring and just living your best life.
pancakes3 wrote: Mon Jun 06, 2022 1:26 pm Also career goals.


I’m very strongly planning on going biglaw, so I’ll want to pay off debt quickly so I can start investing my biglaw money.
I vote defer based on it just being an extra year where you're not a lawyer, but even if you're big law or bust $200k or so is the point where you should be going all in on forgiveness programs no matter what you want:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=832&p=131750&hilit=PAYE#p131750

the only way you lose is if you win so much that losing doesn't matter

e. just imagine being the idiot who paid down $200k + interest in student loans right in time for AOC to be elevated to god queen and eliminate all federal student loans in her first royal proclamation.
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pancakes3
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Re: Defer at CLS for an extra $60k?

Post by pancakes3 »

Law1177 wrote: Mon Jun 06, 2022 4:58 pm
pancakes3 wrote: Mon Jun 06, 2022 4:54 pm defer for sure. 2 years out is nothing. you're... 24? graduating at 27 vs. 28 is a meaningless distinction, but having an extra year in your 20's that's not consumed by billable hours is... well... invaluable.

plus you just got out of covid. enjoy this next year with CLS locked up at $$.

also, i wouldn't count on investing your BL paycheck as a means to get to FATFIRE. you'll be able to secure retirement at a traditional age, sure, but you ain't gonna retire at 40 even if you make non-equity pathern.
Thanks, that’s definitely where I’m leaning at the moment. The one thing that is bothering me is that I would have to withdraw from the HLS waitlist, but I realize it’s probably foolish to give up $60k on the hope that I get into Harvard. (I’m not entirely sure if Harvard is worth $120k over Columbia anyway)
you're on biglaw path, HLS isn't going to do anything that Columbia can't already do for you.
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Slytherpuff
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Re: Defer at CLS for an extra $60k?

Post by Slytherpuff »

I think deferring sounds like a great option for you in that case.

And 100% what pancakes says - if your goal is big law, then CLS will get you everything HLS will get you.
Law1177
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Re: Defer at CLS for an extra $60k?

Post by Law1177 »

Thank you everyone, I’m leaning pretty heavily towards deferring at this point.
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pancakes3
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Re: Defer at CLS for an extra $60k?

Post by pancakes3 »

stick around LSL though. we give good advice re: law school, OCI, bar prep, etc.

don't cost nothin
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Hennessy
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Re: Defer at CLS for an extra $60k?

Post by Hennessy »

go to indonesia for a year
teach english
hike, surf, etc.
decide you don't want to do law after all
instead of saving $60k, you save $260k
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