Desert Fox wrote:In my engineering courses they curved to a B-. So half the class was getting B- and below. That is a huge advantage you have. If the lowest I could have gotten was a B- my Gpa would be significantly higher.
To be honest I never really paid attention to any official curve policies, and professors never talked about it or put it in the syllabus. I wouldn't know in a class by class breakdown where the median student was. It was just something everyone knew that unless you really screwed up you wouldn't get rolled a C (in a liberal arts class)... that's not to says some people didn't still manage to do it. And I'm pretty sure this rule didn't exist for the math and science courses.
But anyway I took five classes with a single professor known to be a very harsh grader because I thought it would be a good learning experience and he has the most interesting classes... but I got rolled B+'s five times. Had I taken instead five more classes with another professor who always absolutely loved my papers and said I should go to grad school I would have had a higher GPA.
My point? GPA is a contextual number. The prestige of the UG is one context, but not the only one. And unfortunately all relevant contexts can never be known and adjusted for. Which is why my main point was that the admissions process isn't perfect.
Why do you think that being qualified to get into HYP that you shouldn't be doing C level work? I am more intelligent that most HYP students (I beat those school's LSAT medians out of the water), and I still did C level work at public school. And I was damn near the top of my class in high school.
And you are the one positing that grades are all about effort not intelligence, so did you just not try?
I was merely indicating that the students at elite schools (not just HYP) are supposed
to be there because they are capable of doing quality work. Such work could be "average" comparatively next to their peers but still quite good on an absolute scale. Small fish, big pond.
That's not to say students at elite schools do not slack, or that students from other schools don't do quality work. But every school's faculty has to struggle with tensions between average in an absolute sense and average relative to their student body when assigning grades.
These schools are prestigious. Now we could argue that prestige is completely baseless (and furthermore I don't think anyone here would dispute that for law school admissions UG prestige isn't important), but that prestige is supposed to indicate that on the whole
they have quality students. Now that doesn't mean they are the only schools with good students, but I don't think it should be a surprise that these schools curve higher because they (believe they) have a better average student.
And I pointed out previously that the LSAT isn't even a good indicator of a certain specific subset of intelligence, but less intelligence in general.
The factors that get you into a top undergrad aren't are foolproof as you assume. It is incredibly easy to slack your way to straight A's in high school. That isn't even considering the number of legacies, athletes, and artists who get in.
Of course. Just as law admissions are faulty so is UG admissions. But we have to accept that as part of the reality of the process for now. Just like law adcoms have to work on the basis that UG GPA and LSAT indicate potential to succeed, so do UG adcoms.
But given how easy you are saying it is to get straight A's in HS, what does that say about the quality of students at schools whose average student were B or C level students in HS? If those students make up the bulk of your classes, I would guess that it's comparatively easy to place at the top of your class. (Again I realize not every class or every non-elite school is like that... which is why my argument is merely that GPA is such a highly contextual number)