Law School Discussion

"Splitter" questions

Re: "Splitter" questions
« Reply #20 on: October 09, 2005, 06:09:38 PM »
I'm an English major, so my only contribution to this discussion is, what does this 25-75 v. median change do to my chances? I have about a 3.45 and probably a low 170 score. Are my chances worsened or bettered?

Ryan - Let's say you're at 3.45/172 and the school's means are 3.75/171 (the very top schools).  Accepting you will hurt the school's GPA mean substantially and help its LSAT mean only slightly.  You're a net drag and don't look like a great candidate.

But subsitute "median" for "mean."  Now, accepting you will hurt their GPA median and help their LSAT median; there's no issue of "substantially."  You've got one plus and one minus; neither a net drag or net boost.  You've become a better candidate.  So it helps you at the top schools.

But I agree with the other poster that it will hurt you in getting $$$ from lesser schools, with averages such as 3.45/163.  At such a school under the mean system, you'd help their mean for LSAT very substantially, so they might give you $$$ even though you don't help their GPA mean.  Under the median system the "substantially" doesn't matter and you only help one of two medians, end of story.  I think they'd be more likely to give $$$ to someone who helps BOTH medians, such as someone with 3.7/168.

Re: "Splitter" questions
« Reply #21 on: October 10, 2005, 01:18:09 PM »
Thats pretty well right on Robespierre.

My reasoning for the lower top 14 is this: Imagine youre NU, GULC, or Duke. I dont have it specifically (and dont feel like looking it up) but lets say those three schools have medians of 3.7, 168. If they want to improve their median, they shouldnt offer a full ride to a 3.9, 178 applicant. Instead, they should take that $140,000 and distribute it out to 3 or 4 3.8, 170's. Anyone with a 3.8 170 would be happy to get a 30-40k scholarship at those schools. There is just no incentive anymore for these schools to fall over themselves for the best applicants. Instead, theyll all be fighting over the slightly above average applicants, who they can get for much cheaper and who  improve their medians just as much as the top applicant.

Re: "Splitter" questions
« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2005, 07:46:23 AM »
Thats pretty well right on Robespierre.

My reasoning for the lower top 14 is this: Imagine youre NU, GULC, or Duke. I dont have it specifically (and dont feel like looking it up) but lets say those three schools have medians of 3.7, 168. If they want to improve their median, they shouldnt offer a full ride to a 3.9, 178 applicant. Instead, they should take that $140,000 and distribute it out to 3 or 4 3.8, 170's. Anyone with a 3.8 170 would be happy to get a 30-40k scholarship at those schools. There is just no incentive anymore for these schools to fall over themselves for the best applicants. Instead, theyll all be fighting over the slightly above average applicants, who they can get for much cheaper and who  improve their medians just as much as the top applicant.

Yup.  It could have huge ramifications for how money is given out.

And there's another point here.  A switch to an all-median analysis could have a huge impact on admissions because it is SO EASY FOR THE ADCOMMS TO ADDRESS.  Think about it: if you want to hit a target median, all you have to do is the following.  Pick a number.  Then, for every person you admit who is under the target, you have to admit someone who is over.  One for one.  It's just so easy to administer.  So I don't think we can dismiss this whole topic, as some might be inclined to do, as an obscure statistical quirk that means nothing in practice.

Re: "Splitter" questions
« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2005, 08:25:06 AM »
Thats pretty well right on Robespierre.

My reasoning for the lower top 14 is this: Imagine youre NU, GULC, or Duke. I dont have it specifically (and dont feel like looking it up) but lets say those three schools have medians of 3.7, 168. If they want to improve their median, they shouldnt offer a full ride to a 3.9, 178 applicant. Instead, they should take that $140,000 and distribute it out to 3 or 4 3.8, 170's. Anyone with a 3.8 170 would be happy to get a 30-40k scholarship at those schools. There is just no incentive anymore for these schools to fall over themselves for the best applicants. Instead, theyll all be fighting over the slightly above average applicants, who they can get for much cheaper and who  improve their medians just as much as the top applicant.

Yup.  It could have huge ramifications for how money is given out.

And there's another point here.  A switch to an all-median analysis could have a huge impact on admissions because it is SO EASY FOR THE ADCOMMS TO ADDRESS.  Think about it: if you want to hit a target median, all you have to do is the following.  Pick a number.  Then, for every person you admit who is under the target, you have to admit someone who is over.  One for one.  It's just so easy to administer.  So I don't think we can dismiss this whole topic, as some might be inclined to do, as an obscure statistical quirk that means nothing in practice.

Sure it would be that easy if you could be sure that every admitted student would enroll but not see easy when you have to figure out who will actually end up enrolling. Most schools, save the top few, have yield rates well below 50% and most students who are admitted but dont end up enrolling probably have numbers above the medians. So really you have to admit many more kids with numbers above the medians to end up with a class that is at the medians you hope to have.

Re: "Splitter" questions
« Reply #24 on: October 11, 2005, 02:37:57 PM »
To get back to the OP's situation: Batdown, I would add some schools on the reach side.  The conventional wisdom on splitters with high LSATs is that they should cast their net wide in order to increase chances of finding that one reach school that's looking to pick up a high LSAT to improve their stats.

Re: "Splitter" questions
« Reply #25 on: October 11, 2005, 09:16:06 PM »
Re: Matriculation...

I dont think theyll go buck wild on admitting splitters because, by and large, if a splitter gets into a t14 hes going to go. I think theyll admit more splitters than under means, but theyre still going to give out most of their admits to median applicants. As I stated before, I think theres enough confidence in the LSAT that high GPA/low LSAT splitters wont be getting the boost that high LSAT/low GPA splitters will get - though this is merely an assumption. As a few of you have noted, theres no statistical reason they wouldnt. If you've got compelling soft factors to go with your high GPA and low LSAT, I'd certainly throw apps at a few reaches. As Leiter said, this change allows schools to adopt alternative admissions practices. I interpret this to mean they'll evaluate applicants more holistically, rather than by the numbers.

Re: "Splitter" questions
« Reply #26 on: October 11, 2005, 09:36:11 PM »
After looking over my earlier posts, I went ahead and deleted them. As 77 noted, the math was wrong. Sorry if I misled anyone. I dont see anything out of line on the others though.

Re: "Splitter" questions
« Reply #27 on: October 12, 2005, 01:11:26 AM »
Makes sense. And also, Im starting to think that the splitters that are really going to benefit are the ones who can explain their split. If youve got a straight up 3.0, I dont think a 170 is going to help you much more than it wouldve under means. If youve got a good explanation though, schools can now afford to evaluate you on your true potential, rather than your LSAC GPA. True, they could do just as much GPA hiding for the other splitters, but I would imagine they look more favorably on an applicant with a bad semester or two than one with a 3.0 across the board. The switch to medians allows them to disregard those bad semesters.

That said, this is an entirely self serving idea, as I failed out my freshman year and came back strong. ;]

Good luck, fellow splitters.