JCougar's guide to interpreting Admissions Office-speak

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JCougar
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JCougar's guide to interpreting Admissions Office-speak

Postby JCougar » Tue Jun 01, 2010 1:54 pm

For all you applicants waiting to apply later this year, and for all those still twisting around on waitlists to start school in the fall, I have composed this helpful guide to deciphering the BS fed to applicants throughout the cycle by admissions offices. This should help you navigate through your admissions cycle with a more grounded view of what is going on, rather than fall victim to Admissions Office-speak. :wink:

Early decision - If you have marginal numbers that still help at least one of our medians (usually LSAT), we'll let you in early provided you give up all hope of a scholarship and refrain from applying to our competitors to see what they give you.

Admitted - Your numbers help our medians. Congratulations, here's tens of thousands of dollars! If you were the same person that made two less lucky guesses on the LSAT, we wouldn't give you the time of day.

Rejected - You could have easily just looked up our profile on LSN and determined that you have no chance, but thank you for the fee. And if you got a fee waiver, thank you for helping our selectivity. And LOL @ your softs. It was the numbers all along, bitch.

Application under review - You're on the waitlist, but we just haven't told you yet.

Application held - You're on the waitlist, but we don't want you to freak out and withdraw just yet because your numbers could help us in the future. So we tell you you are on "hold" so you feel better about yourself and about us.

Waitlist - You have almost no hope of getting in, but your numbers are just good enough for us to not want to piss you off just yet.

We are over-extended with our scholarship offers - We have the class profile we want already. That's all that matters to us, so there's no way in hell we're giving you more money, even if it's available. But if it comes to the point where our medians are in jeopardy, then we will love you and give you more. But don't be fooled: we're not going to pay you unless we absolutely have to.

Midlaw - The gap between the fantasy of our reported class salary median and the reality of our big firm placement.

We welcome you to the class of 2013 - See you in hell. :twisted:
Last edited by JCougar on Tue Jun 01, 2010 3:42 pm, edited 3 times in total.

miamiman
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Re: JCougar's guide to interpreting Admissions Office-speak

Postby miamiman » Tue Jun 01, 2010 1:55 pm

bitter much?

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JCougar
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Re: JCougar's guide to interpreting Admissions Office-speak

Postby JCougar » Tue Jun 01, 2010 1:58 pm

miamiman wrote:bitter much?


No, not really. I expected as much. I'm just trying to be sarcastic.

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lecteur
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Re: JCougar's guide to interpreting Admissions Office-speak

Postby lecteur » Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:37 pm

I am new to this whole process (applying for the first time this fall), and your post pretty much sums up what I've been reading about the application process everywhere that isn't an admissions blog. Sometimes I don't know whether to laugh or cry! :?

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Grizz
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Re: JCougar's guide to interpreting Admissions Office-speak

Postby Grizz » Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:40 pm

Rage on, cougar.

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JCougar
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Re: JCougar's guide to interpreting Admissions Office-speak

Postby JCougar » Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:07 pm

lecteur wrote:I am new to this whole process (applying for the first time this fall), and your post pretty much sums up what I've been reading about the application process everywhere that isn't an admissions blog. Sometimes I don't know whether to laugh or cry! :?


Just get comfortable with the idea that no matter how good your credentials, you are still just a statistic to [strike]someone[/strike] almost everyone. :)

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Cosmo Kramer
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Re: JCougar's guide to interpreting Admissions Office-speak

Postby Cosmo Kramer » Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:24 pm

JCougar wrote:Admitted - Your numbers help our medians. Congratulations, here's tens of thousands of dollars! If you were the same person that made two less lucky guesses on the LSAT, we wouldn't give you the time of day.


hilariously true

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romothesavior
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Re: JCougar's guide to interpreting Admissions Office-speak

Postby romothesavior » Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:36 pm

Although a good LSAT/GPA are a pre-requisite for getting into most schools, I do think there is a personal element to this as well. I have made relationships with a few adcomms and deans throughout this process, and at the end of the day, they are just people like you and I. They have a job to do (bring in the best students, and that metric is driven in large part by US News), but it does seem possible to make an impression on them if you go about it the right way. Unfortunately, they cannot let everyone in and they can't give huge schollies to everyone, but I wouldn't say this is a purely mechanistic process.

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JCougar
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Re: JCougar's guide to interpreting Admissions Office-speak

Postby JCougar » Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:52 pm

romothesavior wrote:Although a good LSAT/GPA are a pre-requisite for getting into most schools, I do think there is a personal element to this as well. I have made relationships with a few adcomms and deans throughout this process, and at the end of the day, they are just people like you and I. They have a job to do (bring in the best students, and that metric is driven in large part by US News), but it does seem possible to make an impression on them if you go about it the right way. Unfortunately, they cannot let everyone in and they can't give huge schollies to everyone, but I wouldn't say this is a purely mechanistic process.


On the fringes, it probably isn't. Campus visits and interviews with deans will set you apart from others with similar numbers. This will help you if your numbers are on the margins but still help the school, and it may help with scholly money, which seems to be less numbers-based than some people acknowledge. Same with good personal statements. But that's still secondary to class medians pretty much everywhere you apply. If you help people's medians (like you do romo) than they will be happy to oblige and give you more money if they like you. If you have a crappy GPA like me and apply late, it don't matter if they like you or not. :)

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lecteur
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Re: JCougar's guide to interpreting Admissions Office-speak

Postby lecteur » Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:15 am

JCougar wrote:Just get comfortable with the idea that no matter how good your credentials, you are still just a statistic to [strike]someone[/strike] almost everyone. :)


As long as I am part of the statistics on who got into HYS, I think I can live with that... :wink:

Locke N. Lawded
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Re: JCougar's guide to interpreting Admissions Office-speak

Postby Locke N. Lawded » Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:19 am

romothesavior wrote:Although a good LSAT/GPA are a pre-requisite for getting into most schools, I do think there is a personal element to this as well. I have made relationships with a few adcomms and deans throughout this process, and at the end of the day, they are just people like you and I. They have a job to do (bring in the best students, and that metric is driven in large part by US News), but it does seem possible to make an impression on them if you go about it the right way. Unfortunately, they cannot let everyone in and they can't give huge schollies to everyone, but I wouldn't say this is a purely mechanistic process.


What you say is true...early in the admissions process when the admissions folks always "fear" that they won't have enough people to fill the class. I spent all three years giving tours for them and got to know them too, and here's the lowdown: up until early January, there is some chance of getting in based on the "personal element" of the applicant, but after that, it's all about the LSAT/GPA. And they won't bother looking at the personal stuff unless your numbers help the median or there is some diversity boost. Them's the breaks.

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trialjunky
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Re: JCougar's guide to interpreting Admissions Office-speak

Postby trialjunky » Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:56 pm

JCougar wrote:
Application held - You're on the waitlist, but we don't want you to freak out and withdraw just yet because your numbers could help us in the future. So we tell you you are on "hold" so you feel better about yourself and about us.


Lol, so true

theLastZion
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Re: JCougar's guide to interpreting Admissions Office-speak

Postby theLastZion » Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:43 am

I always interpreted "Hold" as "We don't like you enough to let you in, but if you in effect turn this into an ED application and write us a letter telling us how great we are and that you'll accept no scholly money and withdraw all other applications, then we may let you in. If not, you will surely end up on the waitlist (read: rejected)."

e: although I never wrote one of those letters, and I was WL everywhere I was held and didn't withdraw.

fakemoney
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Re: JCougar's guide to interpreting Admissions Office-speak

Postby fakemoney » Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:24 am

"Application under review" really means you're defacto waitlisted? A lot of schools send a letter or email when an app goes complete, and they usually say your application is "under review."




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