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Author Topic: Can you get accepted if PS is completely off topic?  (Read 878 times)

Yankees Fan

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Can you get accepted if PS is completely off topic?
« on: March 19, 2007, 10:15:00 AM »
Here's a question. 

If your numbers are around a school's median (GPA just above), but your personal statement is completely off topic to the question asked, do you have any chance at admittance?

My reason for asking:

When I was applying to schools, all of them I applied to happened to have that generic personal statement topic, except one.  A couple asked why I wanted to attend their particular school.  No problem adding that to the end. 

However, that one school I wanted to apply to had a completely different essay topic.  I was originally going to apply to it as my top safety in a certain region.  However, due to some issues in my personal life and the lack of desire to churn out another essay for a school I figured I wouldn't attend anyway, I decided not to.

Now, while I still doubt I'd go there, there is a small chance I would and it'd be very nice to have the option.  But I do not have the time (or desire really) to write a lengthy essay in time, covering a topic I don't even know what to write about.  If my numbers are very competitive for that school, is there any chance I'd get in with the essay I sent to all the other schools?

Of course no one can know for sure, but has anyone done this and been accepted?  I know it is very late in the cycle as well...

USD 2010

adc676

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Re: Can you get accepted if PS is completely off topic?
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2007, 12:10:28 PM »
BU let me in pretty quickly and I accidentally didn't write a PS on what life events had made me want to become a lawyer (the specific topic they asked for) and I am pretty sure that they actually read the PS because there was a handwritten note about it at the bottom of the acceptance letter.

Yankees Fan

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Re: Can you get accepted if PS is completely off topic?
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2007, 02:41:52 PM »
BU let me in pretty quickly and I accidentally didn't write a PS on what life events had made me want to become a lawyer (the specific topic they asked for) and I am pretty sure that they actually read the PS because there was a handwritten note about it at the bottom of the acceptance letter.

Interesting.  I'm on the fence as the whether I should a) just not apply, b) send my current PS or c) write up a less than stellar answer to their question.

Any other experiences?
USD 2010

Pugnacious

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Re: Can you get accepted if PS is completely off topic?
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2007, 03:35:33 PM »
One of the schools I applied to have a kind of different essay question and I didn't bother writing another essay just for them. I sent in my standard one, and haven't heard back from them yet. I think it will hurt me because although my #s are pretty good for them, it shows that I don't really care about going there ("if she did, she would have made an effort" logic) Just throwing it out there.
My cycle is officially over. Boalt Law 2010!

http://www.lawschoolnumbers.com/display.php?user=pugattack

Quail!

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Re: Can you get accepted if PS is completely off topic?
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2007, 03:41:14 PM »
BU let me in pretty quickly and I accidentally didn't write a PS on what life events had made me want to become a lawyer (the specific topic they asked for) and I am pretty sure that they actually read the PS because there was a handwritten note about it at the bottom of the acceptance letter.

same here
2

Auelan

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Re: Can you get accepted if PS is completely off topic?
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2007, 03:48:24 PM »
I wouldn't even apply if I were you. It's late in the season, so your chances would be lower as it is. A subpar PS would just stack the odds further against you. Plus, you said yourself you probably won't go there. Based on some other threads, you seem pretty psyched about USD anyway. Save your application fee and put it towards the insane cost of living in SD :).

Yankees Fan

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Re: Can you get accepted if PS is completely off topic?
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2007, 03:57:48 PM »
I wouldn't even apply if I were you. It's late in the season, so your chances would be lower as it is. A subpar PS would just stack the odds further against you. Plus, you said yourself you probably won't go there. Based on some other threads, you seem pretty psyched about USD anyway. Save your application fee and put it towards the insane cost of living in SD :).

Insane is all relative, my friend.  Compared to my $3k 1 BR in NYC (actually a good deal) that I have to split, nothing is insane.  :D

I actually checked out some awesome apartment complexes in SD and they were a bit less than half the price of comparable apartments in NYC, plus you get parking spaces, pool, fitness club, beautiful buildings and perfect weather!  Not too bad... haha

Anyway, yeah, I know what you're saying.  I am very heavily leaning towards USD, but in the event I decide to stay in NYC (unlikely, but possible -- long story), I've already been waitlisted by Fordham and having not heard from Cardozo/Bklyn is a pretty bad sign at this point.  I got into St John's and Rutgers, but both would be a pain in the ass commute from where I live (no, I won't move if I stay) and SHU (the school in question), happens to be a better school than both.  It'd be nice to have a back up in the event Dozo and Bklyn ding me, in which case I wouldn't even have a viable NYC area option.

I figured it was worth the $60, even if they just get a good laugh at my app... perhaps not?


BTW - thanks for all the input.  If anyone else would like to share, please do...
USD 2010

rnumiami

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Re: Can you get accepted if PS is completely off topic?
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2007, 04:39:09 PM »
I have heard from many people in and already out of law school say always ATFQ(Answer the question).  You may be ok if you have steller numbers but by not answering the question properly it says a lot about an applicant.  Its just a 2 page essay and shouldn't take you long to write.  I think a crappy essay answering the question would be better than a wonderful essay that screams I can't follow directions.  If you really want to have that school as an option then I would do it the right way.
Emory '10

adc676

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Re: Can you get accepted if PS is completely off topic?
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2007, 10:35:41 PM »
I agree completely with the last post.  Mine was an accident and I thought about sending a letter to BU explaining what happened and how sorry I was.  In the end I decided to chalk it all up to a rejection attached to a good learning experience.  Was floored by the acceptance and certainly don't think my outcome was to be expected.

skyhigh711

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Re: Can you get accepted if PS is completely off topic?
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2007, 11:50:14 AM »
I sorta responded to BU's question, but not really (and I got in as a very borderline applicant).  I think sending a good PS about something else (as long as it's somewhat related to law) is better than a crappy PS about what they ask for.  They're definitely not going to be impressed by a crappy PS, but they may be impressed by a good PS on something else.  Remember, they're just trying to see what kind of a person you are.  If the latter gives them a better impression than the former, then it's better.