URM boosts more subtle in the lower law school tiers?

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
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runinthefront
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URM boosts more subtle in the lower law school tiers?

Postby runinthefront » Wed Dec 31, 2014 8:15 pm

Am I off-base here for thinking that the URM boost is much more subtle for schools outside the T1?

I mean, taking the Supreme Court at its word (that the reason for the boosts are for "diversity" purposes and not as a racial quota), wouldn't there be a lesser need to fill seats with URMs at schools outside the T1? I mean, I'm a URM attending a T14 and I definitely noticed lower offers than expected at schools outside the T25, even where I was above both 75ths.

Similarly, when you look at law school demographics, there seems to be a significantly higher amount of URM students attending institutions outside of the T1 rather than within the T1. Wouldn't this suggest that competitive URM students are more in demand at the top schools?

Basically, my question can be summed up as this: Do you think that a URM splitter* (let's say, 2.7, 172) would fare better in terms of admittance/$** at a school like Northwestern (3.6% African-American or American Indian), where the student is below a 25th percentile and above one, as opposed to a school like the University of Florida (8.5%)?


*I didn't include any PR/MA since the 509 does not differentiate between Hispanics.
**Note: I think money at either institution would be improbable.

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cc78
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Re: URM boosts more subtle in the lower law school tiers?

Postby cc78 » Wed Dec 31, 2014 10:01 pm

runinthefront wrote:Am I off-base here for thinking that the URM boost is much more subtle for schools outside the T1?

I mean, taking the Supreme Court at its word (that the reason for the boosts are for "diversity" purposes and not as a racial quota), wouldn't there be a lesser need to fill seats with URMs at schools outside the T1? I mean, I'm a URM attending a T14 and I definitely noticed lower offers than expected at schools outside the T25, even where I was above both 75ths.

Similarly, when you look at law school demographics, there seems to be a significantly higher amount of URM students attending institutions outside of the T1 rather than within the T1. Wouldn't this suggest that competitive URM students are more in demand at the top schools?

Basically, my question can be summed up as this: Do you think that a URM splitter* (let's say, 2.7, 172) would fare better in terms of admittance/$** at a school like Northwestern (3.6% African-American or American Indian), where the student is below a 25th percentile and above one, as opposed to a school like the University of Florida (8.5%)?


*I didn't include any PR/MA since the 509 does not differentiate between Hispanics.
**Note: I think money at either institution would be improbable.


I'm nervous to go here, but I'll bite. You could be on to something. Though we have some really sharp analyses on TLS, I don't think we can understate the paucity of high scoring AAs in the applicant pool. But, a bunch of AAs apply to law school every year. It could be that Florida just has more "admissable" AAs than your typical T14 and since they think the high scorer is going t14 anyway, why not actually go hard after the AAs who might matriculate? Also, TLS experience has shown me that a lot of URMs/AAs don't fully understand the situation and will read their application chances like a majority candidate. Sites like lawschoolpredictor don't help at all in this respect.

I can speak from experience and say that I have had great success in the T14 (with at least two full scholarship offers) and applied to several schools outside the T25 and got full scholarships at most if not all of them.

Now, let's look at a real example of your 2.7/172 person: http://lawschoolnumbers.com/4thQuarterClutch2012 This person had a rough ride, but got less money from NW than he did from GW or Wake or several other non T25 schools.

Law school admissions professionals are not only experts on their schools, they also know the whole picture. I think they can anticipate really well how a candidate is going to do elsewhere in the law school universe. Essentially, that scholarship offer is their statement of how likely they think you are to have better options than them. Adcomms know that most of the t14 isn't touching a 2.7 even if they are URM and have a 180.

I think that the common wisdom that URM cycles are unpredictable is less true if you have the solid 3.7+/165+ numbers. The last several cycles have been pretty predictable for those folks. It is for the more marginal candidates--the splitters, or just the low scorers that things look more like a crapshoot.

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runinthefront
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Re: URM boosts more subtle in the lower law school tiers?

Postby runinthefront » Wed Dec 31, 2014 11:04 pm

cc78 wrote:Now, let's look at a real example of your 2.7/172 person: http://lawschoolnumbers.com/4thQuarterClutch2012 This person had a rough ride, but got less money from NW than he did from GW or Wake or several other non T25 schools.



Wait, doesn't this account kind of prove my hypothesis though? This user received $60,000 from NU off of the waitlist, and although said user received a higher amount from schools like GW and Cardozo, they still only received $45k from Penn State, $60k from UMiami, $75k from WUSTL, and $75k from Emory.

cc78 wrote:Essentially, that scholarship offer is their statement of how likely they think you are to have better options than them. Adcomms know that most of the t14 isn't touching a 2.7 even if they are URM and have a 180.


I think you're correct, and that this is likely how they view certain splitter applicants. It just seems weird that a school like NU would be willing to throw $60k at a high-scoring URM, yet PSU would only be willing to offer $45k.




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