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Higher-ranked school, or lower-ranked with free tuition?

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PowerScore Staff
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We recently received a question from a mom, Melanie, asking for advice about her daughter's law school choice. Below is her question and PowerScore CEO Dave Killoran's reply.

Melanie: "Hi Dave,

My daughter is trying to decide between sticker price at University of Miami and Loyola (Los Angeles) and a full-tuition scholarship to Capital University, an unranked regional school in Ohio. I don’t believe she has her sights on big law firms but wants to have a stable, well-paying career nonetheless. The free cost of tuition at Capital is nice because it’s close to home and on top of the 50k+ spent at Loyola and Miami, the two cities offer some of the highest living costs. We just need help on deciding if the ranked school is better or the free tuition. Thanks!"

Dave Killoran: "Hi Melanie,

Your daughter faces one of the true classic decisions here. First, do your research on job outcomes and locations! Start here: https://www.lstreports.com/compare/capital/miami/loyola-la/

Capital has some very low employment rates, which are a reflection of the ranking (or vice versa, depending on how you view it). But of course it's free, so that minimizes her risk as a student and then as a practicing attorney. Her career options and likely trajectory do change, however, if she goes here.

The flip side is a load of debt, and while both Loyola and Miami have better job outcomes, there are no guarantees with degrees from either.

Your daughter needs to closely consider her interests and pathways as a lawyer, and what she hopes to gain from attending any given school because the choice here is too difficult for an outsider like me to make :)

Good luck!"