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Author Topic: Stanford DING!  (Read 23729 times)

Steve.jd

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Re: Stanford DING!
« Reply #100 on: February 20, 2006, 03:17:34 PM »
Interesting theory on the East Coast bias. You're right, they did make a big deal out of the Form C (which I did not submit, entirely because I wanted to make things easier for my recommenders). I'm expecting to be rejected--I have a middle 50% GPA and way above 75% LSAT, which is much in line with other folks accepted at Harvard and rejected at Stanford. I thought my essay and recommendations were good, but I don't know if they're good enough to overcome some deep sentiment that I'm going to pick Harvard over them.

Anyway, if that's the case, I think that's pretty foul. If I were accepted, I would fly out there and visit and give them a fair shake just like I'm giving everyone else. For them to presume that I would be all starry-eyed with Harvard...it's not really a fair assumption. And I think they'd probably be selling themselves short on a bunch of good students. But if they think they have to do it to protect their yield, I guess that's their business.


(And not to harp on this or anything, because I don't know if it's true, but that would be a really crummy strategy for the development of your law school as well. If your concern is that students on the East Coast are turning down Stanford because it's not on the East Coast, or it's not Harvard, or what have you, then you do yourself a disservice in refusing them admission. You don't even give that 1 student in 8 or 10 a chance to pick Stanford over Harvard, to report back to his friends on the East Coast, to report back to his pre-law adviser, to tell everyone how much he loves the school. Your concerns about East Coast kids  disrespecting you become a self-fulfilling prophecy, and you become just a small step up from a regionally prestigious law school. Which some might argue is exactly what Stanford is. So if that's their strategy, then good luck catching Harvard and Yale.

...Sorry, but I'm really opinionated on this subject because I was a tourguide at Duke undergrad and spent my life trying to convince students that the world wouldn't end if they chose Duke over Harvard. Duke, to its credit, does not yield-protect, and if that means our yield stays under 50%, so be it! Because I know that our classes are enriched by those students we might have rejected through yield protection, but chose to attend Duke anyway. You gotta aim high. You just gotta.)

I agree with most of what you said...but something to keep in mind: The reason S yield protects, and Penn does this as well, is that EVEN with yield protection Stanford's yield is under 50%, if they did not do yield protection at all, their acceptance rate would rise significantly which *might* lower their ranking.  Should they reject qualified students to keep their acceptance rate low?  IMO, no.  Does keeping their acceptance rate low help their ranking? Sure does....Do adcomms care about the rankings?  Unfortunately they do...

Also, I don't think anyone considers S a "step up" from a regional law school...jsia ;)
HLS '09

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Re: Stanford DING!
« Reply #101 on: February 20, 2006, 03:46:54 PM »
I don't think there is anything wrong with Stanford deciding to ding people who don't show some interest in attending outside of its ranking.

I also think it's reasonable. Stanford's main method of doing this, I think, is the special recommender form -- anyone who doesn't bother with it, despite their stern admonishment on their web site -- is probably considered a vanity applicant (people just looking for the ego boost of being accepted to all of the T3).  I, for one, included an unsolicited addendum explaining exactly why Stanford was my first choice and promising to enroll if admitted.

The relatively new electronic application system LSAC uses is greatly increasing the number of "what the hell" applications from people taking a shot just to see if they can get admitted. That's why total apps are up while total applicants are down. Even if yield wasn't part of the stupid rankings, it would be perfectly reasonable for Stanford to reject people who haven't shown one bit of interest in attending aside from paying the app fee.

That said, it would be more transparent if Stanford required a special essay like the Yale 250 to ensure that applicants were spending both money AND effort to apply.

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Re: Stanford DING!
« Reply #102 on: February 20, 2006, 04:03:21 PM »

I didn't do the spec recommender form b/c I thought it'd be a pain for my rec writers and getting recs is the by far the most annoying part of applying (b/c you are relying on others goodwill and punctuality).

This is exactly what makes the special form such an effective tool for determining which applicants are truly committed to going to Stanford. Besides, I don't think it's that hard if you tell your recommenders that they don't need to write a special letter, just fill out the form and attach a second copy of the same letter.

Fortunately, all of my recommenders were more than happy to do so. (My former boss replied to my request for a second letter with an email saying, "GO @#!* YOURSELF. Just kidding, glad to do it.")

Still, I'm keeping my spot on the ding thread warm.

Pancho

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Re: Stanford DING!
« Reply #103 on: February 20, 2006, 04:12:07 PM »
I also think it's reasonable. Stanford's main method of doing this, I think, is the special recommender form -- anyone who doesn't bother with it, despite their stern admonishment on their web site -- is probably considered a vanity applicant (people just looking for the ego boost of being accepted to all of the T3).  I, for one, included an unsolicited addendum explaining exactly why Stanford was my first choice and promising to enroll if admitted.

Every one of the Stanford admits on LSD last year (regulars that I talked to - max, mariecutie, etc.) did not use the school-specific form.  From all indications, it is simply not that important in whatever Stanford is looking for.  I know dawn (LSD non-regular) made it clear in her app that S was her first choice and she got dinged.  She got into Yale and Harvard.  They apparently didn't want her ~3.9/175. 

check01

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Re: Stanford DING!
« Reply #104 on: February 20, 2006, 04:24:31 PM »
Every one of the Stanford admits on LSD last year (regulars that I talked to - max, mariecutie, etc.) did not use the school-specific form.  From all indications, it is simply not that important in whatever Stanford is looking for.  I know dawn (LSD non-regular) made it clear in her app that S was her first choice and she got dinged.  She got into Yale and Harvard.  They apparently didn't want her ~3.9/175. 

Hmm, interesting. Perhaps they use the pigeon method instead -- spread 100 apps on the floor, put a pigeon on them, the first app the pigeon craps on is admitted. This is the only theory that can't be contradicted by evidence of exceptions.

Their web site says, "Please be aware of the high value Stanford places on school-specific letters of recommendation on Form C." I took them at their word. Why they would say "high value" and then act as if it's "not that important" is a mystery to me.

Pancho

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Re: Stanford DING!
« Reply #105 on: February 20, 2006, 05:18:07 PM »

Their web site says, "Please be aware of the high value Stanford places on school-specific letters of recommendation on Form C." I took them at their word. Why they would say "high value" and then act as if it's "not that important" is a mystery to me.


Hard to say.  There were a lot of Stanford admits on the board last year, and I asked nearly every one of them.  I think they care a lot more about finding those high GPA (usually from Ivies or comparable schools), 168+ LSAT applicants they love.

motheroftaurasi

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Re: Stanford DING!
« Reply #106 on: February 20, 2006, 06:37:19 PM »
Okay, a couple things. I think it's unreasonable and, frankly, a little arrogant to reject students because you assume they have no interest in your school. Excuse me, but how do you know what I want? I don't see why I should have to swear some kind of loyalty oath to Stanford to be admitted--I applied to seven schools, carefully selected, all of which I'd be happy to attend for different reasons. Rankings were a consideration, but not the only consideration--for example, I applied to UCLA and Duke, and would be happy to attend either of those, even though they're ranked below other schools where I was admitted. For Stanford to assume that I applied there only because it's ranked 3rd, and to reject me for that reason, just wouldn't be a wise way to go about selecting the best possible class.

On the recommenders, I'm sorry, but it's a bunch of BS to tell me that if I don't go the extra mile and turn in Form C, I must not really want to go to Stanford. First of all, I'm in Washington DC and my recommenders are at Duke. Second, I'm indebted to them for filling out ONE recommendation and it's in my interest to make it as easy for them as possible. Finally, there are extenuating circumstances (one of my recommenders had a heart attack and still got my rec in on time) that can make criticism for not turning in one school's special form ring a little hollow.

Once again, I don't know if this is how the Stanford admissions office really approaches applications like mine. If it's not, then I'm sorry for casting aspersions. But I wouldn't be terribly surprised, given what I've seen so far.

Steve.jd

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Re: Stanford DING!
« Reply #107 on: February 20, 2006, 06:59:18 PM »
Okay, a couple things. I think it's unreasonable and, frankly, a little arrogant to reject students because you assume they have no interest in your school. Excuse me, but how do you know what I want? I don't see why I should have to swear some kind of loyalty oath to Stanford to be admitted--I applied to seven schools, carefully selected, all of which I'd be happy to attend for different reasons. Rankings were a consideration, but not the only consideration--for example, I applied to UCLA and Duke, and would be happy to attend either of those, even though they're ranked below other schools where I was admitted. For Stanford to assume that I applied there only because it's ranked 3rd, and to reject me for that reason, just wouldn't be a wise way to go about selecting the best possible class.

On the recommenders, I'm sorry, but it's a bunch of BS to tell me that if I don't go the extra mile and turn in Form C, I must not really want to go to Stanford. First of all, I'm in Washington DC and my recommenders are at Duke. Second, I'm indebted to them for filling out ONE recommendation and it's in my interest to make it as easy for them as possible. Finally, there are extenuating circumstances (one of my recommenders had a heart attack and still got my rec in on time) that can make criticism for not turning in one school's special form ring a little hollow.

Once again, I don't know if this is how the Stanford admissions office really approaches applications like mine. If it's not, then I'm sorry for casting aspersions. But I wouldn't be terribly surprised, given what I've seen so far.


I agree with you, but like I said earlier admissions (unfortunately) is geared more towards the whims of USNWR than about admitting all qualified students...this does not apply to S so much as it applies to EVERYONE...

P.S.  Most schools game the rankings far more than Stanford *may*.......second, we don't know why you were rejected...I don't know your numbers...but looking at LSN, virtually no one who is not a URM has been admitted with a GPA below 3.9, and even then everyone else is at 3.8+....maybe Stanford (god bless em if its true) aren't obsessed with a four hour test...also its a little arrogant for you to assume that S rejected you based on their knowledge or intuition that you would not attend...maybe they just didn't like something in your app, maybe they thought your GPA was too low...maybe they didn't like your soft factors...the fact is I don't know why they rejected you, and neither do you...
HLS '09

motheroftaurasi

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Re: Stanford DING!
« Reply #108 on: February 20, 2006, 08:38:34 PM »
Okay, a couple things. I think it's unreasonable and, frankly, a little arrogant to reject students because you assume they have no interest in your school. Excuse me, but how do you know what I want? I don't see why I should have to swear some kind of loyalty oath to Stanford to be admitted--I applied to seven schools, carefully selected, all of which I'd be happy to attend for different reasons. Rankings were a consideration, but not the only consideration--for example, I applied to UCLA and Duke, and would be happy to attend either of those, even though they're ranked below other schools where I was admitted. For Stanford to assume that I applied there only because it's ranked 3rd, and to reject me for that reason, just wouldn't be a wise way to go about selecting the best possible class.

On the recommenders, I'm sorry, but it's a bunch of BS to tell me that if I don't go the extra mile and turn in Form C, I must not really want to go to Stanford. First of all, I'm in Washington DC and my recommenders are at Duke. Second, I'm indebted to them for filling out ONE recommendation and it's in my interest to make it as easy for them as possible. Finally, there are extenuating circumstances (one of my recommenders had a heart attack and still got my rec in on time) that can make criticism for not turning in one school's special form ring a little hollow.

Once again, I don't know if this is how the Stanford admissions office really approaches applications like mine. If it's not, then I'm sorry for casting aspersions. But I wouldn't be terribly surprised, given what I've seen so far.


I agree with you, but like I said earlier admissions (unfortunately) is geared more towards the whims of USNWR than about admitting all qualified students...this does not apply to S so much as it applies to EVERYONE...

P.S.  Most schools game the rankings far more than Stanford *may*.......second, we don't know why you were rejected...I don't know your numbers...but looking at LSN, virtually no one who is not a URM has been admitted with a GPA below 3.9, and even then everyone else is at 3.8+....maybe Stanford (god bless em if its true) aren't obsessed with a four hour test...also its a little arrogant for you to assume that S rejected you based on their knowledge or intuition that you would not attend...maybe they just didn't like something in your app, maybe they thought your GPA was too low...maybe they didn't like your soft factors...the fact is I don't know why they rejected you, and neither do you...

Actually, despite the title of this thread, I haven't been rejected yet. I said I'm anticipating rejection, and, after reading the theory on East Coast bias, said that it's "foul" if it's for that reason. That's all, no more and no less.

Pancho

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Re: Stanford DING!
« Reply #109 on: February 21, 2006, 12:22:54 AM »
maybe Stanford (god bless em if its true) aren't obsessed with a four hour test

Interestingly, last year I analyzed the index formula for all of the schools in the top 25 that calculate such a measure to see the value of a single LSAT point.  Stanford placed BY FAR the lowest importance on LSAT, equating 1 LSAT point to 0.04 GPA points.  The average of the group was 0.08, and WUSTL was actually slightly over 0.1. 

In other terms, a 4.0/170 has the same index as

3.80/175 at Stanford
3.60/175 at most schools
3.48/175 at WUSTL

While index numbers do not determine admission, I think this is at least evidence of Stanford's priorities.


Good stuff!