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kingsstudent

Paying back significant debt

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There are probably actual statistics bearing out the average debt law students graduate with.

But I think what I've said has been reasonable - that even on a program with a tuition rate of 20 thousand, and reasonable living situation which doesn't affect your law school performance, and frugal living costs otherwise, law students in Ontario are looking at a good 80-100k in debt, including summer earnings, bursaries, etc. People should decide with eyes wide open.

If the person deciding is willing to live with 6 plus people, or living with the parents until they're in their mid to late 20s, then that's their choice. But they should make that choice willing to live with the consequences (bad roommates, landlord, both - stressful family relations because of an overlong stay, etc).

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1 minute ago, thedraper said:

Have you considered the types of kids who go to UoT? Particularly their family wealth? I'd be willing to bet their parents pay their way a lot more than someone over at Bora Laskin or any other school for that matter.

 

No one said that it is average, only that it happens, a lot.

That's kind of my point. I chose to go there, and as a result the level of debt I will amass is going to be higher than I would have if I chose to go to Osgoode, etc.

I think you yourself said that 45k of your debt is from undergrad? I think that makes a lot more sense than my original assumption (150k debt from law school alone).

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2 minutes ago, pzabbythesecond said:

There are probably actual statistics bearing out the average debt law students graduate with.

But I think what I've said has been reasonable - that even on a program with a tuition rate of 20 thousand, and reasonable living situation which doesn't affect your law school performance, and frugal living costs otherwise, law students in Ontario are looking at a good 80-100k in debt, including summer earnings, bursaries, etc. People should decide with eyes wide open.

If the person deciding is willing to live with 6 plus people, or living with the parents until they're in their mid to late 20s, then that's their choice. But they should make that choice willing to live with the consequences (bad roommates, landlord, both - stressful family relations because of an overlong stay, etc).

Personally I would love a study on how successful law students who live with their parents are vs the ones who don't. Because I haven't seen any consequences from that, and personally get envious of my friends who seem to have a much easier and low-stress time in school. But that's off topic.

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1 minute ago, wtamow said:

That's kind of my point. I chose to go there, and as a result the level of debt I will amass is going to be higher than I would have if I chose to go to Osgoode, etc.

I think you yourself said that 45k of your debt is from undergrad? I think that makes a lot more sense than my original assumption (150k debt from law school alone).

I only mention the kind of people who go to UoT because you mentioned only 30% of their grads have over 100k in debt. I'm saying that is most likely the case due to students there having wealthy families (I don't know this for sure obviously, just taking an educated guess, based on tuition expense and downtown living costs).

My undergrad debt is around 20k. I expect I'll use about 120-130 of my loc between 1L and articling.

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1 hour ago, wtamow said:

 

And no, I've finished two years of LS already. Not approaching 150k in debt yet, lol.

 

Just curious, but you said last month that you'd just finished 1L.  Is that due to the joint degree?

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23 minutes ago, erinl2 said:

Just curious, but you said last month that you'd just finished 1L.  Is that due to the joint degree?

Yeah, I'm in a four year program. Due to my experience, I would probably urge people away from choosing more expensive schools and programs if they are uncertain they can afford it. The extra debt and stress is not worth it in the long run, that's all I'm trying to say in this thread.

Edited by wtamow
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31 minutes ago, wtamow said:

Yeah, I'm in a four year program. Due to my experience, I would probably urge people away from choosing more expensive schools and programs if they are uncertain they can afford it. The extra debt and stress is not worth it in the long run, that's all I'm trying to say in this thread.

So we're saying the same thing, then.

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My OSAP estimate for the upcoming September was 15k per year, half of which would be non-repayable grants. That ends up taking off about 20,000 or so, which would help. 

I have very minimal debt from my undergrad and my MA (about 5k), so how much debt would I realistically be paying back? Tuition alone is 20,000 per year, plus books, living expenses, food, entertainment etc. OSAP calculated this total as about 96k. Also, where I plan on attending (Windsor, though this may change if I am accepted to Ottawa) apparently averages about 7500 dollars in student bursaries per student each year. That would be another 22. 500 taken off. 

How much debt would I expect to accrue if I were to go to law school? Is the 96k an accurate number before these deductions are taken off or are there things I'm missing? 50-60k is doable, but 100k or more would cause me to rethink my decision to attend.

Edited by capitalttruth

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12 minutes ago, capitalttruth said:

My OSAP estimate for the upcoming September was 15k per year, half of which would be non-repayable grants. That ends up taking off about 20,000 or so, which would help. 

I don't know why but this seems crazy to me. Maybe I need to be calling someone at OSAP and asking why I barely receive any bursaries.

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Ford changed osap. You may have used the wrong calculator. I got around that number last year under Wynne's new program, which Dougie cancelled for this upcoming year. 

My estimate this year was about half of what I had last year per annum.

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8 minutes ago, pzabbythesecond said:

Ford changed osap. You may have used the wrong calculator. I got around that number last year under Wynne's new program, which Dougie cancelled for this upcoming year. 

My estimate this year was about half of what I had last year per annum.

I just did a second estimate on the OSAP website for the 2019-2020 school year and got the same number. Am I using the wrong calculator? 

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Look, you chose an expensive school, so flat out, living alone probably isn't the best option if you're worried about debt. I lived in a house with 6 people for 2 years. It was a spacious place - full bathrooms, kitchens, and living rooms on both floors, with enough room for a queen size bed in the bedroom - and it ran me a little over $300/mth. Don't assume cheap rent means living in a slum or a sardine can. I paid $500/mth living with 2 people in an apartment in North York. Again, nice, spacious place, and with a reasonably quick and easy transit ride downtown.

You've already made your choice by the sound of things, but I'll give you a breakdown of my plan, which was designed to, in part, keep costs down. This might help some of the others with better understanding your potential debt situation too. Note, living expenses are conservatively high. I'm aiming to keep them below that figure.

Year 1 - Kwantlen Polytechnic University

  • Tuition: ~$500/course x 17 courses = ~$8500
  • Living expenses: ~$1250/mth x 12 months = ~$15000
  • Total expenses: ~$23500

Year 2 - Beedie School of Business (Simon Fraser University)

  • Tuition: ~$750/course x 18 courses = ~$13500
  • Living expenses: ~$15000
  • Total expenses: ~$28500

Year 3 - Peter A. Allard School of Law (University of British Columbia)

  • Tuition: ~$12500
  • Living expenses: ~$15000
  • Total expenses: ~$27500

Years 4/5 - Allard

  • Tuition: ~$12000/year x 2 years = ~$24000
  • Living expenses: ~$15000/year x 2 years = ~$30000
  • Total expenses: ~$54000

Total Expenses

  • Year 1: ~$23500
  • Year 2: ~$28500
  • Year 3: ~$27500
  • Years 4/5: ~$54000
  • Total: ~$133,500

You might note the course numbers might not seem to add up for Years 1 and 2 (17 + 18 is 35, not 40), and the plan seems fairly fast paced, considering I'd be finishing a 4 year BBA in 2 years. I would note in response that I have some transfer credits to cover the difference, and the plan has me taking a 1-course overload each semester after my 1st, as well as studying through summers (3 semester years) to save on cost of living (interest paid on loans not paid down by, or foregone due to, summer income < ~$10-20k in additional living expenses plus opportunity cost of delaying my career 2 years). As an independent, low income individual (29; < $30k in 2018, probably < $20k in 2019) planning to study 3 semesters through the year, I can expect to receive about $12k in grants per year from OSAP, even under Ford's new rules (I won't get into further specifics as to why I would qualify for that amount). The grant cuts ~$60k off the total in a best case scenario, leaving it at ~$73500. As I don't see any reason to believe I can get my JD at an accelerated pace as well, I expect to try to find work during the summer, but I'll note that I have been that guy who didn't work through the summer before, and it wasn't for lack of trying. I saw a few say it doesn't make sense to refuse to work, and I'll counter that by saying that it's not always a refusal to work, but that nobody hires you. That's what happened to me. People need to be open to hear the reality of others' experiences.

All this said, I could expect to easily surpass $100k in debt combined through my undergrad and JD after accounting for interest, though I expect to have my CPA before I'm done 1L, so that will help with finding work in the summers after 1L and 2L, which should allow me to keep expenses down. Still, worst case scenario, I don't work at all these 5 years. My OSAP estimate is ~$24500/yr total. That will keep the bulk of that ~$73500 from ballooning due to interest (otherwise, it would be ~$161,500 by end of Year 5, assuming 6.5%). Still, carrying the extra ~$1k from Year 1 over to Year 2, that OSAP figure amounts to a 5-year total ~$11k less than my total expenses, which means I will need to finance that amount if I don't work and cannot obtain bursaries. So assuming 6.5%, that ~$11k could result in me exiting my JD with ~$75500 in debt to repay. That's the best case scenario, assuming I don't work and that OSAP figure isn't wildly off the mark after Year 1, yet my tuition is almost half of what you are looking at paying.

Given that, I would, once again, highly advise looking for a room rather than an apartment, even in 1L, as it will save you a lot of money in the long run. As I demonstrated from my own experience, you can find a good place for cheap fairly easily if you're willing to be open-minded about living with others. A good friend of mine spent 1L in residence. All I heard from him was how fun it was, and it didn't hurt his career at all. In fact, he's younger than I am and already seriously speculating about when he expects to make partner at his firm...

Edited by Al2790

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45 minutes ago, Al2790 said:

Year 1 - Kwantlen Polytechnic University

  • Tuition: ~$500/course x 17 courses = ~$8500
  • Living expenses: ~$1250/mth x 12 months = ~$15000
  • Total expenses: ~$23500

Year 2 - Beedie School of Business (Simon Fraser University)

  • Tuition: ~$750/course x 18 courses = ~$13500
  • Living expenses: ~$15000
  • Total expenses: ~$28500

You're planning on taking 35 courses over two years of undergrad with a transfer on top of that? Don't do that to yourself.  

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24 minutes ago, Tagger said:

You're planning on taking 35 courses over two years of undergrad with a transfer on top of that? Don't do that to yourself.  

I'm planning on taking a BBA Accounting with some industry experience, and have been studying in the lead up as well. At this point, it's less about learning the material while I'm there, and more about getting the degree, as I already know a lot of the material. Getting the marks shouldn't be too hard with the amount of preparation I've put in. The electives will be the hardest part, since I have to work them around getting the required courses done, so I may end up having to take courses I hadn't anticipated taking.

The only reason for the transfer is I would have applied to Beedie straight off the hop, but my high school grades were too low because I was a major slacker back then. Even though I graduated 10 years ago, they apparently still matter. I was turned down by Douglas College for their BBA... lol

EDIT: Also, I had tried to do an accounting program at my local college a few years back, and I was doing exceptionally, top of my classes, but it was an online full-time program I was taking while working full-time at the CRA, and so it became an issue financially when I lost the job, because I was paying cash... I wasn't eligible for OSAP due to having recently filed for bankruptcy at the time. Due to the online nature, it was easy to ignore and forget with all the stress I was under after losing the job.

Edited by Al2790

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15 hours ago, thedraper said:

I don't know why but this seems crazy to me. Maybe I need to be calling someone at OSAP and asking why I barely receive any bursaries.

If you didn't get that much during undergrad (which honestly, you should have unless your scholarships paid for everything) then I would definitely contact someone and ask why it is.

15 hours ago, pzabbythesecond said:

Ford changed osap. You may have used the wrong calculator. I got around that number last year under Wynne's new program, which Dougie cancelled for this upcoming year. 

My estimate this year was about half of what I had last year per annum.

You can already send in an application this year for OSAP. Is the estimate the comes with your application wrong this year? If so, where is the Doug Ford OSAP calculator?

I'm operating under the assumption that my estimate for grant money is correct because it is a little bit lower -- but not that low.

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