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Author Topic: GPA v. Degree GPA  (Read 3163 times)

mahyde

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GPA v. Degree GPA
« on: June 20, 2008, 09:15:11 AM »
When law schools are evaluating your application, which gets more weight? I'm in an interesting situation where thanks to an array of circumstances (stupidity being one, to a degree), my UG GPA will be pretty low when factoring in community college. I'm at my 4 year now and so far have kept my 4.0 in a double major. Assuming I stay in a holding pattern with 4.0, but my CC gpa drops it, how much is that fact going to hurt me?

Other factors:
White male
No parents
Worked 40+ hours through every year of school so far
Outstanding LoRs
Mediocre other "soft factors"
Diagnostic 177 LSAT.

Any input from past experience would be appreciated. That or some (un)educated guesses.

Morning Star

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Re: GPA v. Degree GPA
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2008, 01:58:39 PM »
They will emphasize your LSDAS gpa.  If there is any extenuating circumstance you might want to address it in an addendum.
CLS 2011

meggo

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Re: GPA v. Degree GPA
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2008, 02:05:09 PM »
I've heard mixed things. I would definately add an addendum. I'm adding on to all my applications because my first year of university my average was 74.8 and after leaving for two years and then returning my average has gone up to 84 so that's a big leap, but my gpa won't reflect that. From the admissions stuff I've read, they do look at your transcripts, and also pay attention to strong upward trends. I think if there is a big enough discrepancy between the ugpa and lsac gpa, they take this stuff into consideration.

mahyde

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Re: GPA v. Degree GPA
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2008, 06:03:48 PM »
I'm finding out now that I would have been better off to just bite the bullet on my CC gpa and not retake the courses. How does the LSAC score withdrawls, if at all?

There will most certainly be an addendum. I'm just shooting for schools along the line of CLS, NYU, Chicago, and UMich. Without counting my chickens before they hatch, hopefully my LSAT score makes up for a large degree of the concern derived from my LDAS gpa.Don't get me wrong, it's not going to be anything horrid, it projects out, after all my UG work is complete, to right around a 3.0.

Dr. Raoul Duke

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Re: GPA v. Degree GPA
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2008, 02:32:31 AM »
I'm finding out now that I would have been better off to just bite the bullet on my CC gpa and not retake the courses. How does the LSAC score withdrawls, if at all?

There will most certainly be an addendum. I'm just shooting for schools along the line of CLS, NYU, Chicago, and UMich. Without counting my chickens before they hatch, hopefully my LSAT score makes up for a large degree of the concern derived from my LDAS gpa.Don't get me wrong, it's not going to be anything horrid, it projects out, after all my UG work is complete, to right around a 3.0.

I think as long as you can explain any significant discrepancies with the addendum, you'll be fine. A lot of it depends on what courses you took at the CC, the level of difficulty vis a vis the courses/your major at the four-year, but ultimately as long as you can play it off with a good explanation, it shouldn't matter all that much. 

Plus, always helps to have a solid LSAT to solidify stuff, and you seem on your way.   ;D

WashLaw

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Re: GPA v. Degree GPA
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2008, 07:50:35 PM »
When law schools are evaluating your application, which gets more weight? I'm in an interesting situation where thanks to an array of circumstances (stupidity being one, to a degree), my UG GPA will be pretty low when factoring in community college. I'm at my 4 year now and so far have kept my 4.0 in a double major. Assuming I stay in a holding pattern with 4.0, but my CC gpa drops it, how much is that fact going to hurt me?

Other factors:
White male
No parents
Worked 40+ hours through every year of school so far
Outstanding LoRs
Mediocre other "soft factors"
Diagnostic 177 LSAT.

Any input from past experience would be appreciated. That or some (un)educated guesses.

No Parents?
It's a Miracle!Even Jesus didn't do that.  ;D

Hammerstein

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Re: GPA v. Degree GPA
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2008, 08:17:50 PM »
I'm finding out now that I would have been better off to just bite the bullet on my CC gpa and not retake the courses. How does the LSAC score withdrawls, if at all?

There will most certainly be an addendum. I'm just shooting for schools along the line of CLS, NYU, Chicago, and UMich. Without counting my chickens before they hatch, hopefully my LSAT score makes up for a large degree of the concern derived from my LDAS gpa.Don't get me wrong, it's not going to be anything horrid, it projects out, after all my UG work is complete, to right around a 3.0.

The withdrawal policy is somewhat convoluted and consists of three basic rules (for future readers, please note that these only apply cleanly to American students):

1)  If it was a college course (even a college course taken for high school credit), then it counts for your LSDAS GPA.  No exceptions.  This includes all classes taken at community college and at any four year universities, whether or not the applicant graduated from that particular school.

2)  Whatever grade you get in all college level classes will be normalized using a LSAC standard conversion from letter grades to numeric values from 0-4.  These work as follows:

A+ :  4.33
A  :  4.00
A- :  3.66
B+ :  3.33
B  :  3.00
B- :  2.66
And so on. There are again no exceptions to these conversions -- they are meant to normalize the grades of all applicants.

3)  If you did not receive a letter grade for a college course (due to a withdrawal or attendance issues or whatever the case might be), then the situation varies depending on the following rules:

a)  If you receive a non-punitive Withdrawal or Withdrawal-Failure (though it's rare that a WF is non-punitive), then the course will be excluded from your GPA calcuations.  Using an addendum, you'll probably want to address why such marks appear instead of course grades.

b)  If a Withdrawal or Withdrawal-Failure or whatever else is considered punitive (i.e., is meant to punish you for failing to complete the class or failing to attend or whatever the case might be), then it is treated as an F, which is equivalent to a grade of 0.0 / 4.0 for your LSDAS GPA.  For obvious reasons, these are not good.

If you're unsure if a withdrawal is considered punitive or not, contact your school's registrar or check a transcript from your school (transcripts usually indicate the nature of every possible mark).  You can also contact LSAC, as sometimes they can already tell you how to tell what they will do with them.
CLS 2011.  All done.

meggo

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Re: GPA v. Degree GPA
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2008, 09:04:49 PM »
Thanks for the post Hammerstein - it's quite clear. I just have two quick questions for you. Firstly, regarding Withdrawls (and I just noticed this now looking at my old uni transcript) I have classed marked as "Dropped". These appear to be non-punitive (they don't affect my gpa). I dropped them when I left the university to live abroad (which is explained in my addendum). Secondly, my current university (Canadian) doesn't award A-. They award A's and A+. They consider B+ to be between 76-80. My classes are all in the 80's and thus are all A's so would this equal a 4.0/class then?

mahyde

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Re: GPA v. Degree GPA
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2008, 03:33:57 PM »
When law schools are evaluating your application, which gets more weight? I'm in an interesting situation where thanks to an array of circumstances (stupidity being one, to a degree), my UG GPA will be pretty low when factoring in community college. I'm at my 4 year now and so far have kept my 4.0 in a double major. Assuming I stay in a holding pattern with 4.0, but my CC gpa drops it, how much is that fact going to hurt me?

Other factors:
White male
No parents
Worked 40+ hours through every year of school so far
Outstanding LoRs
Mediocre other "soft factors"
Diagnostic 177 LSAT.

Any input from past experience would be appreciated. That or some (un)educated guesses.

No Parents?
It's a Miracle!Even Jesus didn't do that.  ;D

I'm going to continue under the assumption you have a general idea of what I really meant...:)

My school also does not distinguish between As and A+s. I would just like to get into something in the range of Chicago, Columbia, NYU, or Michigan, and i'm going to be supremely disappointed if due to past marks I get denied with a 4.0 for 54 hours of course work and a high GPA...

Team Awesome

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Re: GPA v. Degree GPA
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2008, 09:26:15 AM »
Don't worry about your GPA.  You are doing everything you can do to show that you balled out once you got your act together - however you decide to frame that is up to you. 

Your LSAT score is the MOST IMPORTANT component of your application PERIOD

I can't emphasize this enough - your LSAT score will be what it comes down to my friend.  Don't count on an insanely high GPA making up for a mediocre/low LSAT score, and don't worry about having a somewhat low LSDAS GPA if you nail the LSAT.  If you have a 3.5-3.6 LSDAS GPA you better hope you get 175+ to get into the NYU/Columbia/Chicago echelon.  You can still get into a T14 with anything 169+ if you have a GPA in that range, have a good application put together, and get it in very early (I'm thinking of Cornell, GULC, NU, and Michigan).  Shoot for a 175, but be serious about it.  If you get a 172 I think you will find that many doors shall be open to you.

NAIL THE LSAT.

Didn't the OP says his LSDAS gpa will be about 3.0?