Staying a 5th year to boost GPA?

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JesusChrist
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Staying a 5th year to boost GPA?

Postby JesusChrist » Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:33 am

I'm a 3rd year Jr currently with a 3.37-3.4 GPA. I'm thinking about declaring a second major or a minor in order to stay a fifth year and cram as many classes as I can in order to fluff my GPA. I'm pretty confident that if I try, there aren't any courses that could screw me in this plan. Obviously, I'm excluding classes like o-chem and upper div math.

I had a pretty bad freshman year. I won't bother to write an addendum for it because it's really just myself to blame. And if I understand the admissions process right, schools that I apply to won't see my grades for Winter and Spring quarter of my 4th year, were I to apply beginning of my 4th year. So even if I get a 4.0 for 3 or 4 straight quarters, I'd still only be at a 3.5-3.6. And with what seems to be un-astounding LSAT scores coming my way, I know I"m going to need a banging GPA.

I go to a public school so it's not excruciatingly expensive for me to stay on a year, just a major inconvenience. But it's one I'm willing to deal with. What do you guys think? Do you think law schools would look poorly upon this? I can't see how they could tell that my 5th year was only a GPA boosting measure.

Lastly, Can I declare a second major to stay the extra year, take easy filler courses, and then drop the major once my GPA is adequately fluffed, and just graduate with my sole degree?




Some LSAT info on me:

I took the Oct LSAT and I think I either bombed or did fairly well since I appear to have gotten all the 'hard' questions right. I personally feel it was a bad test, but i found the questions that other people found hard, to be really easy. In PTs, it was always the easy to medium questions that messed my scores up. i did pretty well on the hard questions. So for the Oct LSAT, it feels like my score could be anywhere from a 158 to a 171. I plan on retaking in Feb, and hopefully I'll be able to hit that 173+

LastChanceLA
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Re: Staying a 5th year to boost GPA?

Postby LastChanceLA » Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:00 am

OP, I will assume your aiming for a tier 1 school.

Make sure you keep in mind that people in the admissions department looking over your app have been doing this for years. With that said, it isn't going to be hard for someone with years of experience to detect when a student is trying to fluff a GPA with filler classes.

Delcaring a minor, and dropping it in the future isn't a problem you will face, but it all has to make sense. Meaning, if you declar a minor, stick with it. Furthermore, if you declare a fluffy minor, be cautious as it might backfire.

In all, if you really feel like you need to take the 5th year to boost your GPA, go for it. Make sure you delcare a minor that goes hand-in-hand with your major, and you obtain the degree. Also, make sure your course load for the 5th year makes sense with your previous years. A jump from 15 unts to 20 units is going to look suspicious.

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im_blue
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Re: Staying a 5th year to boost GPA?

Postby im_blue » Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:24 am

Even if you stay a 5th year, you'd still have to apply with only 4 years of grades, so GPA-wise that's the same as taking a year off after graduation.

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arklogic
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Re: Staying a 5th year to boost GPA?

Postby arklogic » Tue Oct 12, 2010 7:14 am

im_blue wrote:Even if you stay a 5th year, you'd still have to apply with only 4 years of grades, so GPA-wise that's the same as taking a year off after graduation.


+1. Just do well your last year and take a year off.

etown989
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Re: Staying a 5th year to boost GPA?

Postby etown989 » Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:52 am

I am no admissions officer obviously, but I really do not think they would make inferences about someone's intentions behind staying a 5th year and going for a double major. For all they know this has always been the plan for OP. To the OP... stay a 5th year if you want, but only if you are absolutely sure you can get all As. Also imo jumping from 15 to 20 credits would not look suspicious.


On further thought... even if they assume you are trying to fluff your GPA why would they care. They just want higher numbers and it may even reflect positively on you that you cared enough to want to raise your GPA (assuming you are not taking Math 100 and Psyc 101 as these 5th year classes lol)

JesusChrist
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Re: Staying a 5th year to boost GPA?

Postby JesusChrist » Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:18 pm

Ok, thanks for the replies guys. So it sounds like sticking with the second major/minor is going to be a really important thing. I'll be sure to do that. Thanks.

If I do do this, I would probably be taking a year off my 5th year and working or something. I hear a friend who said teaching in Korea is fun, easy and pays well. I'm a little afraid that it's going to look to enjoyable to the Admin Officers. It that way, I get all of the quarters into the transcript when I apply.

Well I guess not strictly filler courses. I meant to say courses in general because I think I can get a good grade in most courses with the exception of the hard sciences.

I'm a history major. I was thinking about either an Econ, Sociology, Psych or business minor. I throw in business because I already have all the math, stats and a few econ courses under my belt, it ought to be only 2 or 4 classes away. With 4 classes per quarter, I was hoping to do 2 degree-required classes and then 2 history+misc classes. So it's not entirely fluff, just not entirely honest.
Last edited by JesusChrist on Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

NV53A
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Re: Staying a 5th year to boost GPA?

Postby NV53A » Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:23 pm

LastChanceLA wrote:OP, I will assume your aiming for a tier 1 school.

Make sure you keep in mind that people in the admissions department looking over your app have been doing this for years. With that said, it isn't going to be hard for someone with years of experience to detect when a student is trying to fluff a GPA with filler classes.

Delcaring a minor, and dropping it in the future isn't a problem you will face, but it all has to make sense. Meaning, if you declar a minor, stick with it. Furthermore, if you declare a fluffy minor, be cautious as it might backfire.

In all, if you really feel like you need to take the 5th year to boost your GPA, go for it. Make sure you delcare a minor that goes hand-in-hand with your major, and you obtain the degree. Also, make sure your course load for the 5th year makes sense with your previous years. A jump from 15 unts to 20 units is going to look suspicious
.


Schools don't care. Get those good grades and win at life!

LastChanceLA
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Re: Staying a 5th year to boost GPA?

Postby LastChanceLA » Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:17 am

NV53A wrote:
LastChanceLA wrote:OP, I will assume your aiming for a tier 1 school.

Make sure you keep in mind that people in the admissions department looking over your app have been doing this for years. With that said, it isn't going to be hard for someone with years of experience to detect when a student is trying to fluff a GPA with filler classes.

Delcaring a minor, and dropping it in the future isn't a problem you will face, but it all has to make sense. Meaning, if you declar a minor, stick with it. Furthermore, if you declare a fluffy minor, be cautious as it might backfire.

In all, if you really feel like you need to take the 5th year to boost your GPA, go for it. Make sure you delcare a minor that goes hand-in-hand with your major, and you obtain the degree. Also, make sure your course load for the 5th year makes sense with your previous years. A jump from 15 unts to 20 units is going to look suspicious
.


Schools don't care. Get those good grades and win at life!


-1

WestOfTheRest
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Re: Staying a 5th year to boost GPA?

Postby WestOfTheRest » Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:19 am

NV53A wrote:
LastChanceLA wrote:OP, I will assume your aiming for a tier 1 school.

Make sure you keep in mind that people in the admissions department looking over your app have been doing this for years. With that said, it isn't going to be hard for someone with years of experience to detect when a student is trying to fluff a GPA with filler classes.

Delcaring a minor, and dropping it in the future isn't a problem you will face, but it all has to make sense. Meaning, if you declar a minor, stick with it. Furthermore, if you declare a fluffy minor, be cautious as it might backfire.

In all, if you really feel like you need to take the 5th year to boost your GPA, go for it. Make sure you delcare a minor that goes hand-in-hand with your major, and you obtain the degree. Also, make sure your course load for the 5th year makes sense with your previous years. A jump from 15 unts to 20 units is going to look suspicious
.


Schools don't care. Get those good grades and win at life!

TCR schools don't care about 4 years vs. 5 years. Anyone telling you otherwise is simply wrong. Better gpa=better schools, period. If you're looking hys, it may make a difference, but with your gpa hys is a major stretch.

JesusChrist
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Re: Staying a 5th year to boost GPA?

Postby JesusChrist » Wed Oct 13, 2010 11:42 am

CastleRock wrote:
NV53A wrote:
LastChanceLA wrote:OP, I will assume your aiming for a tier 1 school.

Make sure you keep in mind that people in the admissions department looking over your app have been doing this for years. With that said, it isn't going to be hard for someone with years of experience to detect when a student is trying to fluff a GPA with filler classes.

Delcaring a minor, and dropping it in the future isn't a problem you will face, but it all has to make sense. Meaning, if you declar a minor, stick with it. Furthermore, if you declare a fluffy minor, be cautious as it might backfire.

In all, if you really feel like you need to take the 5th year to boost your GPA, go for it. Make sure you delcare a minor that goes hand-in-hand with your major, and you obtain the degree. Also, make sure your course load for the 5th year makes sense with your previous years. A jump from 15 unts to 20 units is going to look suspicious
.


Schools don't care. Get those good grades and win at life!

TCR schools don't care about 4 years vs. 5 years. Anyone telling you otherwise is simply wrong. Better gpa=better schools, period. If you're looking hys, it may make a difference, but with your gpa hys is a major stretch.


I'm sorry, TCR schools? Could you clarify what that means?

Oh man, that freshman year sinkhole is brutal to climb out from. I mean, I got a 3.53, 3.3, 2.95, 3.1 (Fall Q, 2nd year). I found my current cum GPA, it's 3.38. Which isn't disastrously bad but jeez. If I maintain a 3.85 average through my 3rd and 4th year, and then take summer session, then I'd still only be at a ~3.65. If I stay another year, and take another summer session, and maintain that at 3.85 for 4 quarters, I could be at a 3.72 or so. It's fucking ridiculous how those low end numbers pull you down, since you can't go much above 3.8 in order to pull it up. I guess I'll have to shoot for 3.9s and 4.0s and try to get an A+ every once in a while. Out at HYS indeed.

RPK34
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Re: Staying a 5th year to boost GPA?

Postby RPK34 » Wed Oct 13, 2010 11:46 am

Once you have your first degree, LSAT stops counting your GPA.

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gwuorbust
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Re: Staying a 5th year to boost GPA?

Postby gwuorbust » Wed Oct 13, 2010 11:55 am

etown989 wrote:I am no admissions officer obviously, but I really do not think they would make inferences about someone's intentions behind staying a 5th year and going for a double major. For all they know this has always been the plan for OP. To the OP... stay a 5th year if you want, but only if you are absolutely sure you can get all As. Also imo jumping from 15 to 20 credits would not look suspicious.


On further thought... even if they assume you are trying to fluff your GPA why would they care. They just want higher numbers and it may even reflect positively on you that you cared enough to want to raise your GPA (assuming you are not taking Math 100 and Psyc 101 as these 5th year classes lol)


TITCR

adcomms will not care at all. all they want to see is your overall GPA.. now if it is worth it is another issue entirely, but not what OP raised here.

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plenipotentiary
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Re: Staying a 5th year to boost GPA?

Postby plenipotentiary » Wed Oct 13, 2010 11:58 am

Your time would probably be better spend studying for the LSAT.

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gwuorbust
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Re: Staying a 5th year to boost GPA?

Postby gwuorbust » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:06 pm

plenipotentiary wrote:Your time would probably be better spend studying for the LSAT.


False. studying for one year full time for the LSAT is worthless at best and counterproductive at worst. LSAT prep should only take about 6 months of PT study.

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plenipotentiary
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Re: Staying a 5th year to boost GPA?

Postby plenipotentiary » Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:02 pm

gwuorbust wrote:
plenipotentiary wrote:Your time would probably be better spend studying for the LSAT.


False. studying for one year full time for the LSAT is worthless at best and counterproductive at worst. LSAT prep should only take about 6 months of PT study.


LSAT prep should take however long it takes to get a good score.

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gwuorbust
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Re: Staying a 5th year to boost GPA?

Postby gwuorbust » Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:08 pm

plenipotentiary wrote:
gwuorbust wrote:
plenipotentiary wrote:Your time would probably be better spend studying for the LSAT.


False. studying for one year full time for the LSAT is worthless at best and counterproductive at worst. LSAT prep should only take about 6 months of PT study.


LSAT prep should take however long it takes to get a good score.


why don't you try to be a little more ambiguous? no really, that was some great advice.

it is probably counterproductive to study full time for one year because (1) you will run out of material in about the first five months. this leaves you without material to study. (2) serious burnout will ensue. this is known to cause damage. (3) demoralizing. too much study can make you crazy and upset.

but nice try.

jarofsoup
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Re: Staying a 5th year to boost GPA?

Postby jarofsoup » Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:10 pm

When you get into law school admissions numbers GPA gains are leaps and bounds

I had a 3.08 the end of my fourth year. Stayed a extra year got it up to a 3.25.

Just keep in mind that 4 years of college is a lot as far as averages go. It is hard to raise your grades super high because you have a lot of other classes to cushion the grade inflation.

My advice is to get perfect grades, take easy classes(or classes that you like), and take a lot of classes and make the best of it get internships, research with a professor.

During my fifth year I wrote for my schools newspaper and did an independent study with a history professor. I got very good grades, worked hard and had a good time.

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Hattori Hanzo
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Re: Staying a 5th year to boost GPA?

Postby Hattori Hanzo » Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:30 pm

Stay for a 5th year. 3.5 is kind of a milestone so if you break that line it will make a difference for sure.

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plenipotentiary
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Re: Staying a 5th year to boost GPA?

Postby plenipotentiary » Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:33 pm

gwuorbust wrote:
plenipotentiary wrote:
gwuorbust wrote:
plenipotentiary wrote:Your time would probably be better spend studying for the LSAT.


False. studying for one year full time for the LSAT is worthless at best and counterproductive at worst. LSAT prep should only take about 6 months of PT study.


LSAT prep should take however long it takes to get a good score.


why don't you try to be a little more ambiguous? no really, that was some great advice.

it is probably counterproductive to study full time for one year because (1) you will run out of material in about the first five months. this leaves you without material to study. (2) serious burnout will ensue. this is known to cause damage. (3) demoralizing. too much study can make you crazy and upset.

but nice try.


I was being "ambiguous" because I think the appropriate amount of prep varies from person to person. It depends on where you start, how quickly you learn, and your non-LSAT obligations, among other things.

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ahduth
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Re: Staying a 5th year to boost GPA?

Postby ahduth » Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:39 pm

plenipotentiary wrote:I was being "ambiguous" because I think the appropriate amount of prep varies from person to person. It depends on where you start, how quickly you learn, and your non-LSAT obligations, among other things.


TITCR. Some people only take a couple practice tests to familiarize themselves with the questions and do fine.

09042014
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Re: Staying a 5th year to boost GPA?

Postby 09042014 » Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:31 pm

I'd just take a year or two off of school before you start law school. Get some decent work experience in. That way you save money instead of waste it, and at OCI you'll have a better shot at jobs.

Also the small difference you'd make in your GPA is probably not significant. Getting about 3.5 is a big deal for Columbia, but that's about it.




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