Impact of undergraduate institution's rank on my chances?

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artichoke
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Impact of undergraduate institution's rank on my chances?

Postby artichoke » Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:07 pm

Hello all,

I received my undergraduate degree from Michigan State University with a major in Political Science Pre-law and a minor in Philosophy and Law. My UGPA is 3.63, however my last four semesters were straight 4.0's in upper-level classes and I never received below a 3.0. I received a 176 on my LSAT and I would really like to go to UC Berkeley, Cornell or Michigan.

I know that when using law school predictor I should probably reduce my GPA somewhat to account for my unimpressive undergraduate institution, but how much do you think is an appropriate adjustment? How much will my undergraduate background hurt me? Additionally, how much will I benefit from the upward trend of my grades? Will it be enough to offset the hit I will take from graduating from MSU?

Thanks all.

sumus romani
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Re: Impact of undergraduate institution's rank on my chances?

Postby sumus romani » Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:14 pm

artichoke88 wrote:Hello all,

I received my undergraduate degree from Michigan State University with a major in Political Science Pre-law and a minor in Philosophy and Law. My UGPA is 3.63, however my last four semesters were straight 4.0's in upper-level classes and I never received below a 3.0. I received a 176 on my LSAT and I would really like to go to UC Berkeley, Cornell or Michigan.

I know that when using law school predictor I should probably reduce my GPA somewhat to account for my unimpressive undergraduate institution, but how much do you think is an appropriate adjustment? How much will my undergraduate background hurt me? Additionally, how much will I benefit from the upward trend of my grades? Will it be enough to offset the hit I will take from graduating from MSU?

Thanks all.



Your school is not a hinderance. It has to be a really terrible school, line an online school, for it to be a significant problem. You will get into lots of great schools. I'm not sure about Berkeley though. Look further into the in-state benefit of applying to Michigan. I don't know what it is off the top of my head. I know that M's in-state and out-of-state tuition are pretty darn close, but there might be some admissions advantage. Just treat your GPA as a given and go from there.

sumus romani
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Re: Impact of undergraduate institution's rank on my chances?

Postby sumus romani » Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:15 pm

Oh yes, and I love the UP too!

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artichoke
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Re: Impact of undergraduate institution's rank on my chances?

Postby artichoke » Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:18 pm

sumus romani wrote:
Your school is not a hinderance. It has to be a really terrible school, line an online school, for it to be a significant problem. You will get into lots of great schools. I'm not sure about Berkeley though. Look further into the in-state benefit of applying to Michigan. I don't know what it is off the top of my head. I know that M's in-state and out-of-state tuition are pretty darn close, but there might be some admissions advantage. Just treat your GPA as a given and go from there.


Yes, I read that residents have a fairly significant advantage at Michigan, though I can't for the life of me remember where I found that. Unfortunately, I really REALLY do not want to spend another three years in Southern Michigan. If I get in at UofM but not Berkeley or Cornell, I am going to have a hell of a time figuring out if the high rank is worth three years of unhappiness.

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artichoke
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Re: Impact of undergraduate institution's rank on my chances?

Postby artichoke » Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:19 pm

sumus romani wrote:Oh yes, and I love the UP too!


:mrgreen:

Are you from Michigan?

ze2151
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Re: Impact of undergraduate institution's rank on my chances?

Postby ze2151 » Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:19 pm

you're fine. michigan state is a top 100 research institution. not chopped liver. now, 3.6 is a bit low for berkeley.

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Re: Impact of undergraduate institution's rank on my chances?

Postby acrossthelake » Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:20 pm

You should be fine at Cornell. http://cornell.lawschoolnumbers.com/stats

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artichoke
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Re: Impact of undergraduate institution's rank on my chances?

Postby artichoke » Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:22 pm

ze2151 wrote:you're fine. michigan state is a top 100 research institution. not chopped liver. now, 3.6 is a bit low for berkeley.

I know :?

I was really hoping I might get a boost from my upward grade trend though... Do you think it could possibly be enough to make my GPA acceptable?

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joeshmo39
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Re: Impact of undergraduate institution's rank on my chances?

Postby joeshmo39 » Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:26 pm

You can write an addendum to mention the upward trend, and you should. I think with that and the LSAT score you have a shot at Berkley, I really do.

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Re: Impact of undergraduate institution's rank on my chances?

Postby sumus romani » Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:31 pm

artichoke88 wrote:
sumus romani wrote:Oh yes, and I love the UP too!


:mrgreen:

Are you from Michigan?



Not really, though I did teach for a year at one of the directional state schools in MI. I toured the UP for a week or so in the summer--aboslutely stunning.

You've probably visited Ann Arbor, and you know that it is a lot better than Lansing. I can see why someone would want to get the hell out of michigan (weather, for one). But I love AArbor so much that I have a hard time seeing why people would not be excited to spend three years there. I guess there are "NYC or bust" people, but you don't seem to be one of those. Also, have you seen M's law school? If that, plus its reputation for excellence, doesn't make you excited about M, I'm not sure that anything I can say can make you excited about getting admitted.

Re the upward grade trend: nearly everybody's got one. Once you get out of the big lectures and into upper-level discussion classes, everyone's grades get better. The trend won't really help you. Having said that, you should be able to put together a strong application package and get into lots of great schools.

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Re: Impact of undergraduate institution's rank on my chances?

Postby artichoke » Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:38 pm

joeshmo39 wrote:You can write an addendum to mention the upward trend, and you should. I think with that and the LSAT score you have a shot at Berkley, I really do.


Do you think it's necessary to include an addendum that simply points out something they can see for themselves? I was under the impression an addendum was mainly used to explain something that otherwise would be unknown to the admissions committee.

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Re: Impact of undergraduate institution's rank on my chances?

Postby Veyron » Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:41 pm

artichoke88 wrote:
joeshmo39 wrote:You can write an addendum to mention the upward trend, and you should. I think with that and the LSAT score you have a shot at Berkley, I really do.


Do you think it's necessary to include an addendum that simply points out something they can see for themselves? I was under the impression an addendum was mainly used to explain something that otherwise would be unknown to the admissions committee.


An addendum is necessary for even a sliver of hoap at berk. OTOH, why not any other T-14, you should be able to skor at Chi if you like the midwest and Penn/NYU/CLS (all with possible scholarships) if you want NYC.
Last edited by Veyron on Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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artichoke
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Re: Impact of undergraduate institution's rank on my chances?

Postby artichoke » Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:42 pm

sumus romani wrote:
artichoke88 wrote:
sumus romani wrote:Oh yes, and I love the UP too!


:mrgreen:

Are you from Michigan?



Not really, though I did teach for a year at one of the directional state schools in MI. I toured the UP for a week or so in the summer--aboslutely stunning.

You've probably visited Ann Arbor, and you know that it is a lot better than Lansing. I can see why someone would want to get the hell out of michigan (weather, for one). But I love AArbor so much that I have a hard time seeing why people would not be excited to spend three years there. I guess there are "NYC or bust" people, but you don't seem to be one of those. Also, have you seen M's law school? If that, plus its reputation for excellence, doesn't make you excited about M, I'm not sure that anything I can say can make you excited about getting admitted.

Re the upward grade trend: nearly everybody's got one. Once you get out of the big lectures and into upper-level discussion classes, everyone's grades get better. The trend won't really help you. Having said that, you should be able to put together a strong application package and get into lots of great schools.



I do like Ann Arbor much more than East Lansing, but then again, I pretty much like everywhere more than East Lansing. My problem with all of Southern Michigan is that there is really no possibility for outdoor sports because of the sprawl and the completely flat topography, and yet there is none of the benefits of a city because, like I said, it is all sprawl (with the exception of Detroit, which really doesn't have any of the benefits of a city either).

Anyway, I wouldn't be as severely depressed in Ann Arbor as I was in East Lansing, but I would still prefer to get out of the area altogether.

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Re: Impact of undergraduate institution's rank on my chances?

Postby artichoke » Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:47 pm

Veyron wrote:
An addendum is necessary for even a sliver of hoap at berk. OTOH, why not any other T-14, you should be able to skor at Chi if you like the midwest and Penn/NYU/CLS (all with possible scholarships) if you want NYC.


Thanks, I'm glad both of you told me this, I would have never thought of it otherwise. And there are very few T14's I think I would be happy at, but maybe I'll apply to a few more than I was originally planning just in case I decide T14 or bust later on.

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Re: Impact of undergraduate institution's rank on my chances?

Postby sumus romani » Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:49 pm

artichoke88 wrote:
joeshmo39 wrote:You can write an addendum to mention the upward trend, and you should. I think with that and the LSAT score you have a shot at Berkley, I really do.


Do you think it's necessary to include an addendum that simply points out something they can see for themselves? I was under the impression an addendum was mainly used to explain something that otherwise would be unknown to the admissions committee.



We can all agree that the OP has "a shot" at B. Admissions just does not seem as likely as at other peer schools. MVP are great target schools. It wouldn't surprise me if OP got admitted to one or two of CCN (and waitlisted at the other). The thing is, with a 176, the OP is above LSAT median at all schools, and thus has "a shot" of admission anywhere. But the more probable schools are CCNMVPDNCG. With YHSB as reaches (columbia probably is a reach too). Lastly, OP, apply to all of the T14, and look for scholarship offers before you set your heart on a school.

ze2151
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Re: Impact of undergraduate institution's rank on my chances?

Postby ze2151 » Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:53 pm

i wouldn't anticipate money at the NY schools (I didn't get any, and my gpa is better), and you should visit Penn if you want a solid look from them. I say take some time off to work a little, take your full ride at northwestern and call it a day.

but if you're eager to get started in this economic climate, then consider showing genuine interest in 2 or three lower t14's (do this by visiting, communicating with admissions staffers, etc...) then be clear to those schools that you want to go to one of the ones youre targeting, and cash will play a big role. this works.

if you are tired of the cold, consider duke, uva (although it gets cold there too) and vandy (i see big bags of money in your future should you choose the 'dores).

sumus romani
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Re: Impact of undergraduate institution's rank on my chances?

Postby sumus romani » Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:54 pm

artichoke88 wrote:
Veyron wrote:
An addendum is necessary for even a sliver of hoap at berk. OTOH, why not any other T-14, you should be able to skor at Chi if you like the midwest and Penn/NYU/CLS (all with possible scholarships) if you want NYC.


Thanks, I'm glad both of you told me this, I would have never thought of it otherwise. And there are very few T14's I think I would be happy at, but maybe I'll apply to a few more than I was originally planning just in case I decide T14 or bust later on.



You need to apply to all of the T14 for scholly purposes, if nothing else. It sounds crazy, but say you get admitted to B and really want to attend B. Say as well you get admitted to P, but prefer B to P. Say furthermore that P gives you a nice fat scholarship, but B initially does not. If all of this were to be true, then you take your scholly offer from P and tell B about it and get an offer from B.

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Re: Impact of undergraduate institution's rank on my chances?

Postby Veyron » Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:55 pm

No problem. The general rule of thumb is that if you went to a shitty ug like yours and had a high GPA, schools want to see a good LSAT to back that shit up. I think you satisfy that. Some schools still have reputations for giving more weight to good UG's (Penn, Yale, and CLS) but its a real minor thing compared to LSAT score.

In conclusion, even though it seems to good to be true, it isn't - your LSAT score really and truly does make up for your undergrad. Most kids at ivys and the like applying to law school would kill baby seals to be in your position. Congratulations.

sumus romani
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Re: Impact of undergraduate institution's rank on my chances?

Postby sumus romani » Mon Jun 28, 2010 5:01 pm

I've got to get off of TLS and get back to work. But your claim that AA does not present opportunities for outdoor sports is crazy. I guess you can't ski. But running is excellent there and the cycling scene is pretty good there too. Maybe you are thinking about hiking and camping; in which case no T14 can satisfy you (though Duke and UVA are closest to great spots by a long shot). The hunting is great just north of AA, and the fishing isn't really good anywhere in the top schools. AA actually fairs pretty well compared to other T14 for outdoor pursuits.

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Re: Impact of undergraduate institution's rank on my chances?

Postby im_blue » Mon Jun 28, 2010 5:29 pm

Michigan State is a solid research university, and won't hinder your chances relative to your numbers.

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artichoke
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Re: Impact of undergraduate institution's rank on my chances?

Postby artichoke » Mon Jun 28, 2010 5:38 pm

sumus romani wrote:

You need to apply to all of the T14 for scholly purposes, if nothing else. It sounds crazy, but say you get admitted to B and really want to attend B. Say as well you get admitted to P, but prefer B to P. Say furthermore that P gives you a nice fat scholarship, but B initially does not. If all of this were to be true, then you take your scholly offer from P and tell B about it and get an offer from B.


Wow, really? Once again, very glad to learn that. However, do you think I should apply to ALL T14 schools or just those under YHS? I don't know that it would be worth it for me to apply to YHS as I will almost certainly be rejected.

And in response to your comment below regarding outdoor sports in AA, I suppose I am a bit biased from growing up in the Upper Peninsula. My idea of outdoor sports is essentially trail running, mountain biking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or any other activity that requires at least some topographic variance and takes place in secluded and acceptably vast woods.

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Re: Impact of undergraduate institution's rank on my chances?

Postby Nom Sawyer » Mon Jun 28, 2010 5:43 pm

Yes you should apply to all of the T14 except HYS.. I think you have a shot at Columbia with ur numbers, plus you should email all schools and ask politely for a fee waiver and mention your LSAT score.. u'll be likely to get one from several of the T14 schools.

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Veyron
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Re: Impact of undergraduate institution's rank on my chances?

Postby Veyron » Mon Jun 28, 2010 5:48 pm

artichoke88 wrote:
sumus romani wrote:

You need to apply to all of the T14 for scholly purposes, if nothing else. It sounds crazy, but say you get admitted to B and really want to attend B. Say as well you get admitted to P, but prefer B to P. Say furthermore that P gives you a nice fat scholarship, but B initially does not. If all of this were to be true, then you take your scholly offer from P and tell B about it and get an offer from B.


Wow, really? Once again, very glad to learn that. However, do you think I should apply to ALL T14 schools or just those under YHS? I don't know that it would be worth it for me to apply to YHS as I will almost certainly be rejected.

And in response to your comment below regarding outdoor sports in AA, I suppose I am a bit biased from growing up in the Upper Peninsula. My idea of outdoor sports is essentially trail running, mountain biking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or any other activity that requires at least some topographic variance and takes place in secluded and acceptably vast woods.


You never know about H, they realy like high LSATS. You are probably out but I applied with less amazing numbers and am riding the waitlist, so quien sabe?




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