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Author Topic: are these schools doable with a 2.7 / 171???  (Read 4044 times)

bl825

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Re: are these schools doable with a 2.7 / 171???
« Reply #20 on: April 28, 2009, 08:52:42 PM »
I don't think that the OP's list is overly ambitious.  Just as a point of comparison: http://lawschoolnumbers.com/dcisneat/jd.
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SwampFox

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Re: are these schools doable with a 2.7 / 171???
« Reply #21 on: April 28, 2009, 10:45:58 PM »
bl, this lady had a 3.11.  It's not stellar (especially among people that qualify for the Ivy League), but I would argue that there's a world of difference between a 3.11 and a 2.7.  Even with the better GPA, she still got rejected from most of the truly high-end full time programs.
Oh, well, I suppose all you need is one acceptance, right?  I'll stop crushing dreams.


bl825

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Re: are these schools doable with a 2.7 / 171???
« Reply #22 on: April 28, 2009, 11:03:01 PM »
bl, this lady had a 3.11.  It's not stellar (especially among people that qualify for the Ivy League), but I would argue that there's a world of difference between a 3.11 and a 2.7.  Even with the better GPA, she still got rejected from most of the truly high-end full time programs.
Oh, well, I suppose all you need is one acceptance, right?  I'll stop crushing dreams.

I mean yes, GULC would be a bit of a reach, but I still think it's worth trying for.  :)

But your point is well taken: target range is slightly lower.
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LawDog3

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Re: are these schools doable with a 2.7 / 171???
« Reply #23 on: April 29, 2009, 01:29:03 AM »

I think that a new LSAT that was one or two points higher or a new LOR would have the same effect as some new grades, which is to say that I think they will have a very slight effect.

I disagree for this reason: you must think not just of improvement, but "relative improvement". One point added to a 171 is not only unhelpful, it's a complete waste of time. On the other hand - and I am not saying the OP NEEDS to do this, only recommending it - new, more recent and more stellar grades will force an adcom to look beyond (not ignore altogether) his GPA, especially if OP has really challenged himself. There's a world of difference between a 3.0 GPA and a 2.7. Those are two completely different people and it's not even close, all else held equal. There are threshholds in grades. The first is 2.5, then there's 3.0, 3.2 (that's a really important one b/c is a B+ average on a 4.0 scale) and then there's 3.5 and 4.0, of course. The closer OP can get to 3.0, even if it's not calculated formally, the (much) better he looks. But from 170 to 171? Pointless b/c both scores are in about the 97th or 98th%.

GWU Dean of Admissions Robert Stanek says that students who screw up their first two years but rebound and can explain the difference impress him. Other deans concur. In Princeton Review's Essays that Made a Difference, for example, he cites a specific example, and tell how he would view that student.

Another thing, last year, I was turned down by some schools that admitted me this year. The difference? A strongly worded LOR from the non-profit I worked at for eight years. I applied at the same time, and the schools knew about my new score last summer. LOR's make a difference...how much depends on the school and the strength of your letter. It also depends on the context in which it's written. For example, if it's written right after a new LSAT score (5+ point improvement) or newly impressive grades, and it's strongly worded and rings true, you had best believe it will make a difference.

And the more outside of a schools range you are, the more your LOR's, as well as ALL of your "soft factors", matter.
 
 

LawDog3

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Re: are these schools doable with a 2.7 / 171???
« Reply #24 on: April 29, 2009, 01:33:05 AM »
bl, this lady had a 3.11.  It's not stellar (especially among people that qualify for the Ivy League), but I would argue that there's a world of difference between a 3.11 and a 2.7.  Even with the better GPA, she still got rejected from most of the truly high-end full time programs.
Oh, well, I suppose all you need is one acceptance, right?  I'll stop crushing dreams.

I mean yes, GULC would be a bit of a reach, but I still think it's worth trying for.  :)

But your point is well taken: target range is slightly lower.

Swampfox must remember that NO TWO CANDIDATES are alike, even if their numbers match. With a 3.11, OP might be a much better candidate than your lady example b/c of intangibles, essays and LOR's. And if OP had a 3.11, I would tell him to apply to absolutely any school, though Yale would be tough. They won't admit it, but unless you are a legacy or a URM, you need a 3.2, so they have a "preferred" cutoff...but they bend it for some.   

bl825

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Re: are these schools doable with a 2.7 / 171???
« Reply #25 on: April 29, 2009, 06:21:03 AM »
There are threshholds in grades.

I really don't know why you think this.

And the more outside of a schools range you are, the more your LOR's, as well as ALL of your "soft factors", matter.

Or this.

They won't admit it, but unless you are a legacy or a URM, you need a 3.2, so they have a "preferred" cutoff...but they bend it for some.   

Or this.

But we usually don't agree and I don't see a need to bury this thread in pointless arguments.  OP can decide for herself who she wants to listen to.
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LawDog3

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Re: are these schools doable with a 2.7 / 171???
« Reply #26 on: April 29, 2009, 06:20:40 PM »
There are threshholds in grades.

I really don't know why you think this.

And the more outside of a schools range you are, the more your LOR's, as well as ALL of your "soft factors", matter.

Or this.

They won't admit it, but unless you are a legacy or a URM, you need a 3.2, so they have a "preferred" cutoff...but they bend it for some.   

Or this.

But we usually don't agree and I don't see a need to bury this thread in pointless arguments.  OP can decide for herself who she wants to listen to.

Because I have done extensive research and seen grids on the admissions patterns the tops schools have. They all claim not to have formal cutoffs, but most have soft cutoffs. Yale has rarely admitted ANYONE with a GPA below 3.2...go to their site and you will see it. If you want, I can send you a copy of the information I look at. But the important thjing for you to know is that I do not talk out of my ass. This info can be backed up with hard data.

As for my remark on "soft factors", I am living proof of this. I was nearly admitted to Columbia, Vanderbilt and Iowa the first time I applied...with a 145 LSAT back in 2004! URM or not, that's extraordinary. That's how I know. And I can show you copies of my waitlist letters from that year. I know what I know.

Let me give you some advice:

You need to quit rejecting everything I say simply on the basis that my opinions tend to be in the minority. That is what we refer to on the LSAT as "Flawed Reasoning".  

LawDog3 consistently spouts opinions that are out of the norm for me or anyone I know. Clearly he doesn't know what he's talking about. I know some very astute people and they rarely, if ever, say the things he does.

Which of the following answers identifies the FIVE Flaws committed by the respondent (bl825) in the passage above?[/b]

A) Cites a sample that is likely to be unrepresentative
B) Assumes arguments to be circumspect on the basis that they are outside of the norm
C) Takes for granted that people are always honest in the opinions they reveal
D) Neglects to consider the possibility that the subject can offer evidence for his claims
E) Assumes bl825's opinion of the reliability of others to be reliable as fact.



bl825

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Re: are these schools doable with a 2.7 / 171???
« Reply #27 on: April 29, 2009, 06:42:05 PM »
See the last sentence in my last post.
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SwampFox

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Re: are these schools doable with a 2.7 / 171???
« Reply #28 on: April 29, 2009, 09:14:25 PM »
There are threshholds in grades.

I really don't know why you think this.

And the more outside of a schools range you are, the more your LOR's, as well as ALL of your "soft factors", matter.

Or this.

They won't admit it, but unless you are a legacy or a URM, you need a 3.2, so they have a "preferred" cutoff...but they bend it for some.   

Or this.

But we usually don't agree and I don't see a need to bury this thread in pointless arguments.  OP can decide for herself who she wants to listen to.

Because I have done extensive research and seen grids on the admissions patterns the tops schools have. They all claim not to have formal cutoffs, but most have soft cutoffs. Yale has rarely admitted ANYONE with a GPA below 3.2...go to their site and you will see it. If you want, I can send you a copy of the information I look at. But the important thjing for you to know is that I do not talk out of my ass. This info can be backed up with hard data.

As for my remark on "soft factors", I am living proof of this. I was nearly admitted to Columbia, Vanderbilt and Iowa the first time I applied...with a 145 LSAT back in 2004! URM or not, that's extraordinary. That's how I know. And I can show you copies of my waitlist letters from that year. I know what I know.

Let me give you some advice:

LawDog3 consistently spouts opinions that are out of the norm for me or anyone I know. Clearly he doesn't know what he's talking about. I know some very astute people and they rarely, if ever, say the things he does.

Which of the following answers identifies the FIVE Flaws committed by the respondent (bl825) in the passage above?[/b]

A) Cites a sample that is likely to be unrepresentative
B) Assumes arguments to be circumspect on the basis that they are outside of the norm
C) Takes for granted that people are always honest in the opinions they reveal
D) Neglects to consider the possibility that the subject can offer evidence for his claims
E) Assumes bl825's opinion of the reliability of others to be reliable as fact.




For the record, I'm going with f) bl825 doesn't actually say why she doesn't agree with you on these points; whether or not she's basing her opinion on past experiences isn't certain.

I am confused, though, as to which side of the argument you're on.  On the one hand, you have made a big case that the most selective schools in the country have a standard GPA cutoff around 3.2, well above the OP's GPA.  (Frankly, I'm surprised a cutoff would be that low.)  In any event, it's nigh mathematically impossible to raise four years of GPA averaging 2.7 to something close to 3.2 with an extra year of classes, which would seem to indicate it's a lost cause to apply to these places.  On the other hand, you mentioned that "no two candidates are alike," and that anything is possible with the right letters of recommendation and activities.  This would seem to contradict your other assertion that there is a magic cutoff below which the prospective applicant is pretty much hosed.  What are you trying to prove?

LawDog3

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Re: are these schools doable with a 2.7 / 171???
« Reply #29 on: April 30, 2009, 02:47:40 AM »
Here are my points:

1) No, you cannot raise your GPA once it's in stone. And you cannot go from 2.7 to 3.0 in a reasonably short time. At the UW-Seattle, some people have figured out that they can wait to confer their degrees, re-take some courses, get A's and receive the averages between their grades and those A's as "final grades"; that can raise your GPA quickly. But, they are still in school.

2) You can give adcoms something else to look at by taking additional courses (some will be more lenient than others). They are not going to "ignore" your grades, but they will "look beyond them" if you give them a reason to.

3) Many schools have cutoffs, but they are not "formal"...At Yale, they will not tell you that they have a cutoff, but when have they admitted anyone with a GPA below 3.2 who wasn't a legacy, a URM, an Olympic athlete, a reformed convict with an extraordinary story, or from a foreign country with a wierd grading system, and/or didn't have an LSAT above 170? Probably not in a good long time...like maybe ever. Every school claims that there is "no point on the GPA or LSAT scale below which an application will not be considered". They have to say that.

Even at 3.2, Yale might admit one or two at the most in a given year. And, believe me, those two people are in a unique situation. Like I said, daddy$ money, URM, etc, plus a great LSAT. Remember, we are talking Yale.

Now, at Duke, I know a guy (a White guy) who got in with a 2.9/170 last year. That's doable b/c Duke doesn't have a 3.2 cutoff. GWU and several other schools use an "index", which is just a fancy word (semantic) for "cutoff". At a certain GPA you will need a certain LSAT score to have a decent shot at getting in, that's what it means. But there are top schools that take students with GPA's below 3.0. They don't take many, but they will take a few. Soft factors and LOR's CAN help if they are very strong. Texas, GWU and some other top schools have taken 2.5 students...not many, but it happens.

And again, the further outside of a school's numbers you are, the more closely they will scrutinize your soft factors. The reason for this is that schools are looking for reasons to say "Yes" b/c they don't want to miss a hidden gem. And they want diversity, which comes in many forms. Legal education would duck if everyone was cut from the same mold. Soft factors ensure that the schools have diversity of ethnicities, experiences, etc.

On the flip-side, if you apply to Harvard with a 3.9/170, you will also be scrutinized b/c most of the applicants look like you on paper. So the schools have to find a way to differentiate you from other applicants whose numbers are just as stellar as yours. Does that not make sense? Thus, your essays will matter, your LOR's will matter, your extra-curriculars, work history, community service will matter. So, contrary to what most people on LSD and TLS will say, "soft factors" make a big difference. Otherwise, how do schools pick between several thousand students with similar stats? Admissions would not make sense otherwise.

Soft factors matter a lot, and so does additional course work. The top schools will pay as much or more attention to soft factors than will the so-called lower-tiered schools. Yale seems to have an informal, but hard, cutoff, while the other schools have "soft cutoffs", which just means that it will be rare, but not impossible (that's the distiction), for anyone with certain numbers to get in. 

Grade thresholds exist b/c everyone understands that different GPA's represent different "levels" of acheivement. As another poster also said, there's a big difference between 2.7 and 3.11. And people understand, that the 2.7 student is a B-/C+ student, whereas the 3.1 student is almost a B+. Big difference in the level of consistency, and in class rank and percentile. Most college students are C/C+ students, which people also don't seem to know. And at certain schools grades take on different meanings, but the thresholds still remain the same: 2.5, 3.0, 3.2, 3.5, 3.75 (which I forgot below), and 4.0. Everyone knows how they feel when their GPA reaches or crosses those marks, which makes it real.

Also, my response to bl825 is based on other responses I have received from bl825 in other posts. I wish people would refrain from calling people's remarks "flawed" without addressing the flaws. You did a good job of addressing an "apparent contradiction" and I have responded to it. But most of the time, people just reject what I say out-of-hand or attack me personally b/c they really cannot refute what I am saying.

I have hard evidence for the things I am saying. I get my info from experience, books, research, etc. But people want to say I don't know what I am talking about. Yet, when I quote chapter and verse, they have no response. They often have no evidence for their claims, and I have to call them on it. I don't pull anything out of my ass, that's the point. bl825 stalks me. That poster fights me constantly and seems to respond to everything I post. There are times when I love him/her, and times when I'm like..."Go somewhere!"

If you want to know where I get my info, I will be glad to tell you. I'll post it here b/c I have nothing to hide.