Monday, April 21, 2008

Deciding between Cincinnati and Lewis and Clark

So I've heard back from six schools so far. Two have me on waitlists (which means there's a small chance I maybe might get in) and four have accepted me.
UNLV and Villanova (in Pennsylvania) are the lesser of the four.
So the two I have to choose between (at least at this point in time) are Cincinnati and Lewis and Clark (in Portland).
Here's the comparison:
Location
Lewis and Clark is in a very beautiful green state with good weather...except for the rain. It's much closer to our families.
Ohio has less rain, but it is very humid in the summer and it's not nearly as green. It's quite far from our families, but a cousin's husband will be attending the exact same university (surprise!). He's getting his master's in music. Another cousin (close to me) will live two hours away in Indianapolis, and of course Brent and co. live two hours away in Kentucky.
Safety
Both universities are located in large cities that have the potential to be a bit dangerous. Cincinnati has seen riots in recent years. Portland is known for its large number of strip clubs. Lewis and Clark is away from the center of Portland, but the University of Cincinnati is in the heart of the city.
Tuition Cost
Cincinnati wins this one hands down. Even with a scholarship from Lewis and Clark, it'll be about $24,000 a year. Cincinnati will be $18,000 as long as April can find a full-time job in Ohio before I start school, so we can get in-state tuition for the first year. There's a bit of demand for Medical Technologists, so I don't think she'll have much of a problem there. So we're talking a difference of $18,000 for the three years.
Cost of Living
Cincinnati wins out here too. Much more affordable than Portland. We might even consider buying a house in Cincinnati...
School Ranking
Cincinnati ranks #52, Lewis and Clark #73. Cincinnati graduates make considerably more than Lewis and Clark graduates, but I'm not sure how much of this is due to the fact that many lawyers from Lewis and Clark practice environmental law, which doesn't tend to pay as much as other types of law.
Emphasis
Lewis and Clark is ranked the best school in the nation for environmental law. However, many lawyers advise that law students go to the best law school they can, without paying attention to what a law school specializes in. More importantly, I'm not certain that I want to practice environmental law. Cincinnati offers a grand total of four environmental law courses.
So, you see our dilemma. Lots of factors to consider (and if you can think of more, please let me know). Deposits are due May 2nd, but I'm considering paying deposits to both places to postpone making a decision.

7 comments:

alison said...

Hmmm, big decision. After considering everything, I would only recommend that you pray. (shrug) I'm excited for you to go to law school! I think you'll enjoy it!

John Robinson said...

Congrats Tim!

As you've laid it out, it seems like Cincinnati is cheaper, better, and cheaper. Being close to family is good, but you're choosing between far and really far, so I don't know how much that helps.

And I'm going to have to disagree with you on the rain. Rain is great!

Good luck with making your decision.

Tim said...

I agree with the rain...I think I'd rather have rain and green than no rain and brown.

Cougarg said...

All things being equal, I'd choose Oregon over Ohio, too. That might just be that I've lived on the west coast and not in the Midwest. But all things are not equal, that price differential and the quality of the school are major considerations. Good luck!

Brent Wenerstrom said...

I have a couple of thoughts. First, I have been to Cincinnati and Portland and both are equally green. Cincinnati is just like Louisville and we get rain all of the time and are surrounded by trees everywhere we go.

One additional positive for living in the East is that big towns are very close to each other and church sites are nearby. You are a few hours from Nauvoo and a few more hours the other direction from the Sacred Grove. You could also visit Chicago, Detroit, or Washington DC while out here. Check out Google Maps and all of the possibilities.

Good luck

Brightonwoman said...

I'm naturally going to favor the Great Northwet (typo intentional). Obviously, I live in the rainforest myself. :)
That said, Cincinnati seems like a better call on many angles. Trust me, debt is an ikky place to start off a marriage. And I somehow suspect that April will only be working for so long before she's coming home to be with kiddos...so don't count on her income to make much difference in the long haul.

Tim said...

Thanks for all the comments.
The good input here will definitely help us make the decision.