Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Discuss comparisons of various school choices and the various metrics that inform them, including rankings, student life, location, etc.
Borges_and_barbells
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by Borges_and_barbells » Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:47 pm

Are there any wood burning fireplaces on campus? Either at the law school or nearby? I'm from the southwest and the idea of sitting by a fireplace in a snowstorm sounds like a dream.

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dm1683
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by dm1683 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:43 pm

Anyone have any insight as to how 529 educational savings accounts impact financial aid? My parents' after tax income is about 65k combined but my mom has an ESA she has been contributing to since I was born and it's probably close to 50k atm. Our family is basically paycheck to paycheck w very little to no savings outside that and no investments or other assets besides house/car etc. I'm worried that that money is going to torpedo my chances of a good aid package.

Borges_and_barbells
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by Borges_and_barbells » Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:24 am

Hey do you know if any of the post-graduation fellowships, like the Heyman Fellowship, qualify for LIPP assistance?

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by tomwatts » Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:58 am

Borges_and_barbells wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:24 am
Hey do you know if any of the post-graduation fellowships, like the Heyman Fellowship, qualify for LIPP assistance?
They basically all do. To qualify for LIPP, you have to work for government or a nonprofit (or a law-related job in a for-profit) and have a low enough income. The Heyman is for people working in government and doesn't add much to your income, so you should still qualify for LIPP.

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heythatslife
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by heythatslife » Sun Jun 10, 2018 11:44 am

Borges_and_barbells wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:47 pm
Are there any wood burning fireplaces on campus? Either at the law school or nearby? I'm from the southwest and the idea of sitting by a fireplace in a snowstorm sounds like a dream.
The main lounge in Wasserstein has gas-burning fireplaces which are still pretty nice to sit by. Don't think I've seen an actual wood-burning fireplace anywhere in the school (probably too much of a fire hazard).

throwaway2712
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by throwaway2712 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:19 am

Does anyone have any experience with borrowing from the Harvard University Employees Credit Union? I initially thought I'd do Stafford + GradPLUS but HUECU offers lower interest rates + no loan fees...

My Oh My
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by My Oh My » Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:49 pm

throwaway2712 wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:19 am
Does anyone have any experience with borrowing from the Harvard University Employees Credit Union? I initially thought I'd do Stafford + GradPLUS but HUECU offers lower interest rates + no loan fees...
I borrowed exclusively from HUECU, other than two small Perkins loans (RIP) and a small amount of lending from Harvard itself. HUECU is likely superior if you plan on repaying yourself given that, as you noted, they tend to offer better rates with more flexible repayment terms and no origination fees. I believe that LIPP and government loan forgiveness programs will only repay federal loans.

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heythatslife
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by heythatslife » Fri Jun 22, 2018 3:31 pm

My Oh My wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:49 pm
throwaway2712 wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:19 am
Does anyone have any experience with borrowing from the Harvard University Employees Credit Union? I initially thought I'd do Stafford + GradPLUS but HUECU offers lower interest rates + no loan fees...
I borrowed exclusively from HUECU, other than two small Perkins loans (RIP) and a small amount of lending from Harvard itself. HUECU is likely superior if you plan on repaying yourself given that, as you noted, they tend to offer better rates with more flexible repayment terms and no origination fees. I believe that LIPP and government loan forgiveness programs will only repay federal loans.
Pretty sure LIPP covers HUECU loans, especially given that HUECU is frequently the only available lender for non-US citizens and I know some international grads on LIPP.

usernamechanged
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by usernamechanged » Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:05 am

Hey! I'm a 0L who was fortunate enough to receive a little bit of grant money from the school.
I recently found out that I have to take out a required base loan from "Unsubsidized HLS Loan."
Because I'm an international student, the interest rate from my home country is lower than the rates provided by the school.

So my question is this: Is it possible to substitute the "required loan" with another loan?

jake2123
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by jake2123 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 6:03 pm

usernamechanged wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:05 am
So my question is this: Is it possible to substitute the "required loan" with another loan?
I think an LLM student told me they took out a loan from their home country instead of US loans, but I don't know if they received any grant. You should call financial services, they're pretty helpful. There's exchange rate risk but it can be worth it if interest is substantially lower.

CenterFringe
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by CenterFringe » Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:29 am

dm1683 wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:43 pm
Anyone have any insight as to how 529 educational savings accounts impact financial aid? My parents' after tax income is about 65k combined but my mom has an ESA she has been contributing to since I was born and it's probably close to 50k atm. Our family is basically paycheck to paycheck w very little to no savings outside that and no investments or other assets besides house/car etc. I'm worried that that money is going to torpedo my chances of a good aid package.
If the 529 account is in your parents name, and you're just the beneficiary, it should be treated like a regular parent asset (which will impact your aid, but not 1:1). If it's in your name, you have to declare it as a personal asset, and it will be taken out of your aid 1:1. Per the financial aid website, you are expected to spend all personal assets first, then the expected parental contribution, then loans, then grants for whatever is left

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Mbanksy
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by Mbanksy » Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:57 pm

For those who lived in Gropius: I'm interested in how people fed themselves. I lived in a dorm in undergrad but also had a meal plan. Did people buy most of their meals or try to cook in the group kitchen? Are the group kitchens well supplied/busy? If anyone can provide anecdotal experiences or anything else it would be greatly appreciated!

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dm1683
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by dm1683 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:27 pm

Mbanksy wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:57 pm
For those who lived in Gropius: I'm interested in how people fed themselves. I lived in a dorm in undergrad but also had a meal plan. Did people buy most of their meals or try to cook in the group kitchen? Are the group kitchens well supplied/busy? If anyone can provide anecdotal experiences or anything else it would be greatly appreciated!
My place is right next to the kitchen and I'm still bringing a rice cooker. There's one kitchen for like every 50 people, don't count on anything.

On the plus side, research shows that calorie restriction can have long term health benefits :lol:

yvr5544
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by yvr5544 » Tue Aug 21, 2018 2:34 pm

To any upperclassmen who have lived in the dorms: how strictly enforced is the policy against air conditioners? I have a small portable A/C unit that can just sit on any windowsill that I was really hoping to bring, but I probably won't if I'm likely to get in trouble if someone notices it in the windowsill.

Goldie
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by Goldie » Tue Aug 21, 2018 3:56 pm

Mbanksy wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:57 pm
For those who lived in Gropius: I'm interested in how people fed themselves. I lived in a dorm in undergrad but also had a meal plan. Did people buy most of their meals or try to cook in the group kitchen? Are the group kitchens well supplied/busy? If anyone can provide anecdotal experiences or anything else it would be greatly appreciated!
I lived in Gropius for two years and didn't eat super well. I mostly ate out or ordered in the first year, and ate a lot of things that didn't require cooking my second year. If you're motivated to cook in the kitchens, you'll be able to do that most of the time. But it can be a little hard to predict when someone will be using the kitchen and they aren't very big.

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EnderWiggin
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by EnderWiggin » Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:10 pm

yvr5544 wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 2:34 pm
To any upperclassmen who have lived in the dorms: how strictly enforced is the policy against air conditioners? I have a small portable A/C unit that can just sit on any windowsill that I was really hoping to bring, but I probably won't if I'm likely to get in trouble if someone notices it in the windowsill.
Nobody will likely notice or care.

CenterFringe
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by CenterFringe » Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:55 am

Any advice on 1L spring elective courses? I'm looking to do transnational/regulatory in the energy and environmental arena (corporate law). I don't have Leg Reg until the spring, so I'm hesitant to take Admin and I think Environmental is only offered in the fall. Generally speaking, should it be a 4 hour class or would a 2 hour class be likely to hurt me come OCI?

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pneumonia
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by pneumonia » Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:47 am

CenterFringe wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:55 am
Any advice on 1L spring elective courses? I'm looking to do transnational/regulatory in the energy and environmental arena (corporate law). I don't have Leg Reg until the spring, so I'm hesitant to take Admin and I think Environmental is only offered in the fall. Generally speaking, should it be a 4 hour class or would a 2 hour class be likely to hurt me come OCI?
Don't take admin or environmental before Leg Reg. In your shoes I would either (a) take Corporations or (b) take a seminar for an easy H.

I definitely wouldn't take Negotiation Workshop or a 4 hour class that isn't Corps.

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paperchaser
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by paperchaser » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:07 pm

Any recommendations for a leg reg supplement? My (visiting) prof recommended I read some law review articles when I asked about it LoL

Quenton Cassidy
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by Quenton Cassidy » Sat Dec 15, 2018 6:08 pm

fozzie wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:55 pm
Is there any information at all about what grades it takes to be around the top 5% after 3L, rather than 10%? tomwatts has done good work documenting that magna tends to take ~3.93-3.97. But where would 4.05 put you? 4.20? I wouldn't bother to speculate at all, except some people (e.g., the SCt clerk on TLS) suggest that 5% is a significant threshold for some opportunities. Maybe in that context 5% just means something like "safely inside the top 10%"?
I realize that I'm digging up a really old post, but I hadn't discovered this board until recently, and I have a response that I do not believe has been covered before.

When I was bored during my job this summer I used some basic statistical methods and the two datapoints that we have nailed down to some degree of precision (magna and cum laude cut-offs) to derive an equation that would spit out a "class ranking" off of simply your GPA input. Before we get to the equation, I have a few disclaimers:

This equation is heavily dependent on (1) the accuracy of the datapoints (ie, 3.6 actually corresponding to top 40% and 3.95 actually being top 10%) and (2) the assumption that GPAs fall along a normal distribution. Number 1 seems to be a pretty safe bet, because through almost a decade of data back at TLS the magna and cum laude cut-offs seem to have been narrowed down pretty precisely, with some natural variance year-by-year. Number 2 is a much more questionable assumption. Although "test scores" is a category that is one of the poster children for normal distributions (especially when curved), the wackiness of HLS grading could very well wreak havoc on the assumption of a normal distribution.

If #1 is accurate but #2 is not, this will lead to the equation being very accurate at or near the two datapoints, and less accurate farther away. Because both datapoints are above median (60th and 90th percentile) this may lead to the equation being less accurate for someone trying to determine their class rank below median.

The last, and more minimal, disclaimer is that these datapoints only reflect class standings after all 3 years of school. To the extent that GPAs change throughout law school (many people speculate that they generally rise), this will affect the accuracy of the equation for people trying to calc their class rank after 1L or 2L rather than at graduation. I don't think this should be too big of a deal. If anything maybe just expect the equation to over-estimate your rank a bit ("over" meaning it gives you a higher number, technically "under"estimating your position in the class) if you are a 1L.

Without further ado, here is the equation:

560*(1-(1/sqrt(2pi))(integral from -infinity to ((X-3.513)/0.3408) of (e^(-t^2/2))dt))

To use this, copy and paste that into wolframalpha.com (or a similar application, but wolframalpha is free and available to anyone with internet), and replace the X in the equation with your GPA. If you don't know how to calc your GPA given HLS's wacky grading, look it up under HLS's latin honors policy. The "Result" that wolframalpha gives you will be your estimated class rank.

To answer OPs initial question, this equation would estimate top 5% (after 3L) to be around 4.1, and summa to be just over 4.5.

small tidbit: to the extent you want to be even more precise (which is probably futile because most of the inaccuracy in the model will probably come from deviation from the normal distribution) you can input the actual number of people in your class instead of 560 at the start of this equation. For instance 560 is the usual number of students in a class, but I think my class has like 562. This will result in a completely meaningless change in output and is not a good use of your time. I am just including this in case in the future HLS begins shifting class sizes significantly.

app
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by app » Fri Dec 21, 2018 3:53 am

how closely tied is berkman center with hls and are there hls students with tech background who do fellowship at berkman center?

nubcs
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by nubcs » Fri Dec 21, 2018 4:34 pm

app wrote:
Fri Dec 21, 2018 3:53 am
how closely tied is berkman center with hls and are there hls students with tech background who do fellowship at berkman center?
There are good ties between BKC and HLS, especially through the Cyberlaw Clinic. A number of professors at HLS are also involved with BKC, so taking their courses is a natural way to become involved through research opportunities. There has been at least one HLS student who did a fellowship with BKC her 3L year. I think if you're interested, there are a lot of projects you can be a part of as early as 1L year.

app
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by app » Fri Dec 21, 2018 11:54 pm

nubcs wrote:
Fri Dec 21, 2018 4:34 pm
There are good ties between BKC and HLS, especially through the Cyberlaw Clinic. A number of professors at HLS are also involved with BKC, so taking their courses is a natural way to become involved through research opportunities. There has been at least one HLS student who did a fellowship with BKC her 3L year. I think if you're interested, there are a lot of projects you can be a part of as early as 1L year.
could you elaborate on how hard to get and competitive BKC fellowships are for both hls and non-hls students?

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ChaimtheGreat
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by ChaimtheGreat » Mon Dec 24, 2018 6:01 pm

Sorry if this is a repeat question, I went looking for it earlier in the thread but didn't see anything about food. What is the general consensus about food on campus? My understanding is that there is not a large meal plan available. Do people largely cook, buy food at the cafeteria, or get takeout? I know this will likely vary based on living space and budget, but I am just curious as to what past 1Ls have done. Thank you for your time!

nubcs
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by nubcs » Mon Dec 24, 2018 8:17 pm

app wrote:
Fri Dec 21, 2018 11:54 pm
could you elaborate on how hard to get and competitive BKC fellowships are for both hls and non-hls students?
I don’t know how competitive it is, I just know that it’s been done before.

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