2 Years to Get My Bachelor's: Positive or Negative?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )

Should I graduate after 2 years at ASU come this Spring, or wait until Fall '11?

Spring '11
15
79%
Fall '11
4
21%
 
Total votes: 19

JVanHo
Posts: 32
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2 Years to Get My Bachelor's: Positive or Negative?

Postby JVanHo » Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:04 am

I could graduate next spring with my Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (Philosophy and Political Science) degree, after 2 full years at Arizona State. Certainly not the most prestigious undergrad degree or school, but I think ASU's reputation is definitely improving, and especially so in recent years. Also, my LSAC GPA is 3.65.

Here's a little background... I took quite a few CLEP tests while I was in the Marine Corps and I've taken 18 credits every Fall or Spring semester, as well as either 6 or 7 credits for each Summer semester since I've enrolled in school in August 2009.

The dillemma is: are law schools (I'm looking at Duke, UCLA, ASU, Case Western, Thomas Jefferson, UNLV, and a few others) going to thumb their nose at me for finishing in only two years? Should I take a lighter load next spring and finish up in the fall of '11 (which would also give me more time to study for my LSAT, scoring in the 162-165 range now)?

I certainly don't need to stretch it out to the fall, but perception is reality, right?

JVanHo
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Re: 2 Years to Get My Bachelor's: Positive or Negative?

Postby JVanHo » Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:07 am

For what it's worth, when I told both my academic advisor and my Pre-Law advisor, both of them only asked "Why?" when I told them my plan to graduate after only 2 years at ASU. Both of them asked my why I would "rush".

The thing is, if I do graduate in the Spring, the GI Bill and the Yellow Ribbon Program will cover the entire cost of my Undergrad degree, as well as my JD. If I wait until Fall '11, I'll be paying for my final semester of law school out of my own pocket (most likely).

BarCliff
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Re: 2 Years to Get My Bachelor's: Positive or Negative?

Postby BarCliff » Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:50 am

My entire response changed when I saw that you were in the marine corps.

How long were you enrolled for, and how old are you now?

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Cupidity
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Re: 2 Years to Get My Bachelor's: Positive or Negative?

Postby Cupidity » Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:04 am

Age is the correct answer. A degree is a degree, no one will care, but if you are too young firms are less likely to hire you. Given the marine corps thing, I don't imagine you are some over-achieving 19 year old.

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maine08080
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Re: 2 Years to Get My Bachelor's: Positive or Negative?

Postby maine08080 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:27 am

It sounds like graduating in the spring = more money in your pocket. Which is well justified.

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LLB2JD
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Re: 2 Years to Get My Bachelor's: Positive or Negative?

Postby LLB2JD » Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:30 am

I think you should go ahead and graduate regardless of your age.

mst
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Re: 2 Years to Get My Bachelor's: Positive or Negative?

Postby mst » Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:33 am

You could wait until next cycle, grind your GPA to around a 3.8 by next Fall with some easier classes, improve your LSAT to around a 170, and be golden for a fantastic law school. I don't know your age and maturity but that's also a factor. Oh yeah, college is fun and meaningful too, so you should think about that before you rush on with your life... not to say you haven't... I just know that every year in college has been some unexpected, transformational experience for me, and I would be pissed with myself if I had used my load of AP credits to get myself out of it a year or two early.

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2014
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Re: 2 Years to Get My Bachelor's: Positive or Negative?

Postby 2014 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 9:10 am

I think this is the first time I've seen someone mention both Duke and Thomas Jefferson as schools they are considering.

On topic: I'd graduate in the spring and save money. If being straight out of undergrad in 2 years concerns you, take a year and get some work experience.

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LLB2JD
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Re: 2 Years to Get My Bachelor's: Positive or Negative?

Postby LLB2JD » Thu Oct 28, 2010 9:14 am

2014 wrote:I think this is the first time I've seen someone mention both Duke and Thomas Jefferson as schools they are considering.

On topic: I'd graduate in the spring and save money. If being straight out of undergrad in 2 years concerns you, take a year and get some work experience.


+1

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Arbiter213
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Re: 2 Years to Get My Bachelor's: Positive or Negative?

Postby Arbiter213 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 11:21 am

2014 wrote:I think this is the first time I've seen someone mention both Duke and Thomas Jefferson as schools they are considering.

On topic: I'd graduate in the spring and save money. If being straight out of undergrad in 2 years concerns you, take a year and get some work experience.


He has some work experience- I think you've heard of the company: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usmc

I say go straight through- any job you get likely won't pay well enough to cover the increased cost. I would definitely try and grind the gpa and LSAT up though.

JVanHo
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:53 am

Re: 2 Years to Get My Bachelor's: Positive or Negative?

Postby JVanHo » Thu Oct 28, 2010 9:48 pm

Thank you everyone, your answers are much appreciated.

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JenDarby
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Re: 2 Years to Get My Bachelor's: Positive or Negative?

Postby JenDarby » Thu Oct 28, 2010 10:22 pm

(I did not read all the previous responses)

I graduated in two years with a similar GPA. For me personally, I regret not spending at least one more year in undergrad. I easily could have bumped my GPA up, but I was in a RUSH. I'm applying this year, so we'll see if my GPA brings me down too much. I have three years work experience after graduating, and also worked through college, but still think I would have been better off boosting my GPA.

slamp
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Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:57 am

Re: 2 Years to Get My Bachelor's: Positive or Negative?

Postby slamp » Thu Oct 28, 2010 11:37 pm

As an Army veteran myself (5.5 years Active Duty), I hit the ground running almost as fast as you. I have been in school or interning nonstop since I got out, and will be graduating in Spring 2011. First and foremost, I almost guarantee you that your college advisors have no idea what they are talking about, so go ahead and write them off because I have heard similar things from mine and they clearly are used to advising 19 year olds with no concept of the real world. There is absolutely no reason for you to stay in school any longer if you don't want to, unless that means it wouldn't let you get the highest LSAT you can get. Work for a 170+ LSAT, combine that with the military experience and a 3.65 GPA and you'll be an extremely appealing law school applicant. If you do stay in school just take some BS classes to get some easy A's and a boost in your GPA, all while striving for a high LSAT. Law schools are really not going to look that closely at what you took when they consider everything else.

As far as the GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon goes, I am operating under the same plan. I have to be done in Spring 2011 so that I can put the rest towards law school. Even this early on, I am already in at law schools where I will not have to pay a dime between the benefits and merit scholarships I have been offered. Debt free coming out of law school? That beats staying on in undergrad and losing out on valuable Yellow Ribbon benefits. My only question is how are you going to stretch the benefits out to 5 years total (2 for undergrad, 3 for law school)? Unless you are shooting for an accelerated 2 year JD program, because the GI Bill, with or without Yellow Ribbon, only covers 4 years total...


FYI: I'm confident in saying all of this because I am applying this cycle, with a significantly lower GPA but a 170 LSAT, and have already gotten great feedback from schools.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: 2 Years to Get My Bachelor's: Positive or Negative?

Postby DoubleChecks » Thu Oct 28, 2010 11:45 pm

not sure how the GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon works, but if you end up ONLY having to pay for ONE extra semester...i say wait

ive heard from NUMEROUS adcomms that while graduating half to one yr early isnt a problem at all (esp. if you had a tough course load AND did well)...2 yrs is a bit much. shows you just didnt really even GO to your ugrad (sort of).

also, a lot of ppl regret not being able to get their GPA higher. LSAT you can retake, GPA you cant. spend that extra time to 'buy' yourself a higher GPA and subsequently a much better law school (which in the long run, depending on the tier, may be worth it).

take easy classes to boost GPA -> study for the LSAT -> ?? -> profit

pwyoung
Posts: 163
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:19 am

Re: 2 Years to Get My Bachelor's: Positive or Negative?

Postby pwyoung » Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:00 am

I'm at Arizona State as well and I'm additionally considering graduating early.

I'd take what the advisors say with a grain of salt. Their natural inclination is to get you to stay. #1, it's a trained reaction - the longer you're here the more they can charge tuition. #2, ASU is prone to a lot of people who overload their class schedule attempting to graduate early and end up burning out and trashing their GPA, so the advisors are always cautious towards people graduating early. If you're not going to have to overload to get it done (which it sounds like you won't have to, I'm in your same position - just with AP credits instead of CLEP credits) I'd go for it.

What political science advisor did you talk to? I know Sandra and Rea are more likely than Andy to tell you to keep it slow.




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