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Author Topic: I just spoke to an admissions guy at GWU...  (Read 2510 times)

jas9999

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I just spoke to an admissions guy at GWU...
« on: July 12, 2004, 02:48:59 PM »
I had been rejected this past spring, and GWU was my top choice. I scheduled an appointment with one of their counselors for this afternoon, so we could discuss my application, since it always burned me that I didn't even get on the waitlist, and I thought I had a decent chance of getting in.

Here's what I learned, which may or may not be applicable to other schools:

Thre three major things they look at are LSAT, GPA, and the PS. Everything else has little to no impact. If your GPA is low (mine was 3.07), he said that having a graduate degree would have helped considerably. They 'need to know you're capable of doing that level of work.'

The institution/major have virtually no influence. So the moral (as I see it) seems to be, at least for GWU, go to an easy school and pick an easy major where you can get good grades. I said "so it seems to me that it's better to go to an easy school where you can do well than to attend an elite institution where you'll be challenged and may not succeed gradewise." He didn't outright endorse my statement, saying that if the LSAT would have ended up the same, yes, it would have made me a better candidate to have a better GPA.

As for the PS, he said to think of it as an interview of about 15 minutes, where you have 3 to 4 minutes to speak about yourself, and the PS is those 3 to 4 minutes. The idea is to let them know who you are.

I chose to write about actions I took to lobby for provisions in a state welfare reform law to ensure it included benefits for legal immigrants, and how that influenced me to attend law school, and he said that it didn't do it for them. It didn't say enough about who I was, and didn't give them any way to get to know me. I don't necessarily agree with his statements, since I had it read over by many people, from college professors to law students, and they all thought it was great, but it's only the opinions of the adcom that count, after all. So make sure to keep the PS focused and not to include too much that isn't directly about you, even if you feel those parts are necessary to place the events in sociopolitical and personal context.

I hope this proves helpful for someone out there. I'm beginning to believe that... http://www.despair.com/mis24x30prin.html

jacy85

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Re: I just spoke to an admissions guy at GWU...
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2004, 03:29:25 PM »
Too late to do anything about my gpa/institution/lsat, but thanks for the advice on the PS, and best of luck if you decide to apply again to GWU.

jgruber

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Re: I just spoke to an admissions guy at GWU...
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2004, 03:37:38 PM »
So they pay attention to graduate degrees, at least at GWU.  That's interesting.

mancow555

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Re: I just spoke to an admissions guy at GWU...
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2004, 03:49:19 PM »
jas.  i'm interested in applying this year to GWU, and i would like to compare my stats to yours.  what was your LSAT score, and what did you major in?

feelthenoize

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Re: I just spoke to an admissions guy at GWU...
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2004, 03:52:44 PM »
This is great info--thanks for sharing.  Interesting about the grad degree and the lack of distinction b/w strong schools and weak schools.  I have mixed feelings about this.  On the one hand, if undergrad quality mattered a lot, no one apart from Ivy grads would get to attend top schools.  On the other hand, it irritates me when people breeze through large public schools w/ high GPAs then get into top 14s while a lower GPA from a quality lib arts is given less consideration.

Ladyday

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Re: I just spoke to an admissions guy at GWU...
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2004, 03:55:28 PM »
I'm just shocked that the major and institution means nothing. For that I could have had a free ride at a state school and majored in basket weaving. well at least now others who are looking at ls know what to aim for.

TDPookie1

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Re: I just spoke to an admissions guy at GWU...
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2004, 04:01:35 PM »
Just because certain things don't count much at GWU (esp. major and quality of UG institution) does not mean that it doesn't count at other LS's.  At the very top schools, things like this matter.  I don't remember where I read it, and I am in the middle of moving so all my materials are in boxes, but somewhere there is a chart of what matters most to schools after LSAT and GPA.  Quality of institution, work experience, extracurriculars, and personal statement were on the list.  I don't remember whether major was on the list, although I remember reading elsewhere on this board that there are schools that traditionally favor liberal arts majors, so maybe you can search for that if you're interested?
i am officially the biggest nerd of LSD!  ::gleaming with pride, as i shine my yoda trophy::

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accepted at yale.  how the hell did i pull this one off?

Ladyday

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Re: I just spoke to an admissions guy at GWU...
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2004, 04:12:41 PM »
Just because certain things don't count much at GWU (esp. major and quality of UG institution) does not mean that it doesn't count at other LS's.  At the very top schools, things like this matter.  I don't remember where I read it, and I am in the middle of moving so all my materials are in boxes, but somewhere there is a chart of what matters most to schools after LSAT and GPA.  Quality of institution, work experience, extracurriculars, and personal statement were on the list.  I don't remember whether major was on the list, although I remember reading elsewhere on this board that there are schools that traditionally favor liberal arts majors, so maybe you can search for that if you're interested?

Hmmmm, but I wonder what GMU say they are looking for in an applicant? Meaning, outside of jas actually meeting with the Dean I wonder if they say in print or if you call and ask admissions they would say that they look at the UG and all those other extras but in reality it's just like the Dean says, GPA and LSAT. And I wonder how many other law schools do the same thing? Probably more than we would care to admit.

jas9999

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Re: I just spoke to an admissions guy at GWU...
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2004, 04:15:08 PM »
my stats, for those who were curious, were 3.07 (maybe it was 3.09, i don't remember) from a top five liberal arts college. my major was sociology and anthropology (that's one major). my lsat was 168.

it does annoy me, because i could have stayed at home, gone to the university of arizona, and breezed through with a 4.0. i knew a lot of people there who graduated with high honors, and they were blown away at the work i was doing compared to their classes (i read more ethnographies in my intro anthro class than senior majors had read all four years). though i certainly wouldn't have learned as much, and probably wouldn't have scored as high on the lsat because i wouldn't have done as much reading and writing as i had to do at a lac. i showed my senior thesis to an anthro professor at the u of a (a top ten dept nationally) and he said it was one revision from being a master's thesis, and was better written than 90% of the graduate work he had seen in his 25+ years there. so i do take some consolation knowing that i'm better off having worked hard, even if i don't have the gpa to show for it. i have no doubt it will make me a much better law student.

but it's all in the past now. i'm going to be attending fordham, which is a damn good school, and will get me just as far as gwu would have, though it may take a little longer to transition into the greater dc area (where i really want to be), since fordham places really well in nyc and not as much anywhere else. but after two years, i'll be able to lateral or move into government work.

daynee

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Re: I just spoke to an admissions guy at GWU...
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2004, 04:19:39 PM »
jas - do you mind if I ask where you went to undergrad?  I was an anth major, too!

What you say about your experience with the dean is really depressing.  One hopes it's not simply a numbers crunch, when inevitably that's what it always boils down to...
If we do not find anything pleasant, at least we shall find something new.  ~ Voltaire, Candide