Staying in undergrad longer to increase gpa?

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rotar
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Staying in undergrad longer to increase gpa?

Postby rotar » Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:45 pm

Hello all, I am new to these forums though I have been reading them for about a year on and off. I am slowly becoming addicted haha. I will start by saying thank you to all for providing your useful information and experiences.

I have a question that I have not been able to find well discussed. It may well have been somewhere at some point but I was fruitless in searching so I figure this was a good opportunity to introduce myself to the forums.

I do not know how dangerous it can be posting exact details about yourself in regards to school because of it possibly being found by someone in the admission system so I am going to make some details broader. I am probably just paranoid but it cant hurt.

My question / situation involves taking extra time to graduate with several minors or majors in order to increase GPA. Here is my situation.

I am currently a 3rd year student at a normal 4 year university. This is my first year at this school, my first 2 years were at a community college. I transferred to this school for a major I do like and one that I was further ahead in than any other (so I thought). It is going to take me 5 years to graduate with a B.S in this science major. So 2 more years after this 3rd year I am in now. After a semester at this school though I realized its going to be a ton of work and grades are based on the curve for most classes. This school is a research / medical school so its very competitive in these classes. I came to the conclusion it is not worth my time to get a degree that will require tons of work for an alright GPA in a field I would not like to work in. So I am switching to the business school to get a degree in something that I also like and would not mind working in (if say I have no LSAT skills haha). Also it will probably help me in law more than the other. The good part, it will still only take me 2 more years to graduate with a summer class or two. This semester I am still in the science major and my GPA is going to come down more than likely to around a 3.6 :(. I am only going to be at about half my credits for a degree though and so my GPA can improve a good bit. Also I will be taking quite a few intro business classes with freshman so I hope to pull off a few a+. Not to mention I am going to be significantly changing my way of life in order to focus on school which I have not been able to do as much as I would have liked in the past.

I will be taking 5 years to graduate with a business degree with an obvious shift in types of classes taken on the transcript and a higher GPA. I do not think this is a big deal for admission from what I have read on here.

Now say that I am about to graduate and I do not like my GPA. This is my plan and I would like your opinion in regards to how it looks for admissions.

I plan on keeping one course till my last semester that is required to get any degree, like a foreign language class. If I do not take it I do not get my first degree and so I start working towards a double major, or a minor, maybe 2 minors since it only takes like 2 classes to get a minor in the science I was majoring in, or maybe 2 majors and 2 minors. Just some combination of degrees depending on how much I need to increase my GPA to get to the schools I want with the LSAT I get. At best I do not need to worry about this, or I just take a few summer classes and get a minor. At worst I have to stay another year and hopefully not 2 more years to graduate with multiple degrees.

How bad would this look for admissions? Taking 6 years for a combination of degrees, probably 2 majors. I was thinking I could just start out working on 2 majors and then with a few extra summer classes I could probably graduate in 5 years. This way it does not look bad at all because 5 years is normal for 2 degrees. This plan is based on the fact that LSAC counts all classes you took in college up till the time you get your first degree, including classes that do not count towards your GPA. I basically wait till my GPA is where I like it and then take that last class and get 1+ degrees at the same time.

Any opinions on this in regards to admissions. Thanks

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Veyron
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Re: Staying in undergrad longer to increase gpa?

Postby Veyron » Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:48 pm

tl; dr

Do whatever it takes to increase your GPA.

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PomasThynchon
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Re: Staying in undergrad longer to increase gpa?

Postby PomasThynchon » Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:49 pm

If you like pissing away money.

I think 5 years is excusable given your course of study. 6 might be pushing it. Didn't Sarah Palin take 6 years to graduate? Yeah...

rotar
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Re: Staying in undergrad longer to increase gpa?

Postby rotar » Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:31 pm

Pomasthynchon

I have thought about the money aspect. I was able to pay for community college out of pocket and so if I spend 4 years at this school I would be in the same situation as any normal college student.

Do you feel that 6 years for 2 degrees and possibly a minor having been at a community college would look bad for admission? Say this were to happen and it does look bad would an addendum about why I spent 6 years in undergrad be helpful? And does it always look bad if law school was not always your goal? For example while I was at the CC I was pursuing other opportunities not related to school at all. I was attempting to do something that you have one time in your life to enter and make it. I was not good enough. I took a stab at my dream however it did not work out and so I had school to fall back on.

Also the amount of time is not a problem. I do not feel as though I have been in school for 3 years now. The first 2 years were more to stay in mental shape than get a degree. School for 2 years was not important to me even though I did pretty well, not perfect, but decent. I understood I was probably going to be at a real college someday and was using it to fill time so I did not apply to a 4 year school years after high school. Had things worked out I would have dropped out in a heartbeat to pursue my dream that a person is far less likely to be good enough at than be good enough for yale.

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haus
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Re: Staying in undergrad longer to increase gpa?

Postby haus » Sat Feb 26, 2011 11:44 pm

Seems like a generally poor idea.

Unless your GPA is really in the toilet, by the time you have racked up 120+ credit hours, it is going to be difficult to move the needle much. If you have a 3.0 you can move up to a 3.2 with 30 credit hours of 4.0, but this is a year of your life you are not earning an income or really being productive in any tangible way. I suspect that any REALLY selective school is going to take a double take if your undergrad transcript comes in with 160+ credit hours.

-----

If you have a 3.65 at 120 credit hours, and extra 30 credit hours of 4.0 will get you a whopping .07 lift. If you end the 120 credit hours at 3.8 that same 30 credits of 4.0 will give you a .04 bump. Heaven forbid you screw up in a course, you could end up not even getting that much out of an extra year.
Last edited by haus on Sun Feb 27, 2011 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

rotar
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Re: Staying in undergrad longer to increase gpa?

Postby rotar » Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:49 am

I still need to get 70+ for a degree. I will be at about 80 after this semester. I should be able to get it to about a 3.8 with some work, I am at about 3.65 now. Just trying to figure out worst case. Also do you not think a good explanation for a lot of undergrad credits is acceptable? Any one with two degrees is going to be at at least 150 and 5 years.

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applepiecrust
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Re: Staying in undergrad longer to increase gpa?

Postby applepiecrust » Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:00 am

rotar wrote:I still need to get 70+ for a degree. I will be at about 80 after this semester. I should be able to get it to about a 3.8 with some work, I am at about 3.65 now. Just trying to figure out worst case. Also do you not think a good explanation for a lot of undergrad credits is acceptable? Any one with two degrees is going to be at at least 150 and 5 years.


Your time and money will be better spent studying for the LSAT instead. Your 3.65 GPA, while not stellar (mine's worse), is not going to keep you out of any schools save HYS, provided you have the LSAT score for the schools.

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lolschool2011
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Re: Staying in undergrad longer to increase gpa?

Postby lolschool2011 » Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:01 am

Image

d34d9823
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Re: Staying in undergrad longer to increase gpa?

Postby d34d9823 » Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:03 am

applepiecrust wrote:
rotar wrote:I still need to get 70+ for a degree. I will be at about 80 after this semester. I should be able to get it to about a 3.8 with some work, I am at about 3.65 now. Just trying to figure out worst case. Also do you not think a good explanation for a lot of undergrad credits is acceptable? Any one with two degrees is going to be at at least 150 and 5 years.


Your time and money will be better spent studying for the LSAT instead. Your 3.65 GPA, while not stellar (mine's worse), is not going to keep you out of any schools save HYS, provided you have the LSAT score for the schools.

Yeah, you should probably get that 175 before you waste years of your life doing something that doesn't matter to anyone else.

rotar
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Re: Staying in undergrad longer to increase gpa?

Postby rotar » Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:27 am

yes I understand the importance of the LSAT first. I will be studying for it this summer and taking in october maybe. I know if I study for it for months and do not get kinda close to the score I want then I have to take a different route

Thank you for all the input

sarahlawg
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Re: Staying in undergrad longer to increase gpa?

Postby sarahlawg » Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:09 am

I have something like 150 credits due to transferring/study abroad/double major I dropped, and have gotten into perfectly respectable schools. I don't think the high number of credits will cause them to raise an eyebrow. I didn't take 6 years though..just an extra semester.

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Hank Chill
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Re: Staying in undergrad longer to increase gpa?

Postby Hank Chill » Sun Feb 27, 2011 3:00 pm

applepiecrust wrote:
Your time and money will be better spent studying for the LSAT instead.


/thread

WestOfTheRest
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Re: Staying in undergrad longer to increase gpa?

Postby WestOfTheRest » Sun Feb 27, 2011 6:09 pm

applepiecrust wrote:
rotar wrote:I still need to get 70+ for a degree. I will be at about 80 after this semester. I should be able to get it to about a 3.8 with some work, I am at about 3.65 now. Just trying to figure out worst case. Also do you not think a good explanation for a lot of undergrad credits is acceptable? Any one with two degrees is going to be at at least 150 and 5 years.


Your time and money will be better spent studying for the LSAT instead. Your 3.65 GPA, while not stellar (mine's worse), is not going to keep you out of any schools save HYS, provided you have the LSAT score for the schools.

Disagree. LSAT score is only going to take you so far. With the policy of not averaging, LSAT medians have seen a steady increase and as a result GPA has become much more important. A high LSAT score has become necessary, but it is no longer sufficient. If you feel you can get a 3.8 then that will give you a shot at hys (although not a stellar shot). So if you have the time and money stay in school and inflate that gpa.

But as a qualifier, I would work on getting the lsat score you need so that you know if staying in school is even worth your time.

rotar
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Re: Staying in undergrad longer to increase gpa?

Postby rotar » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:20 am

Thank you got the differing opinion castlerock. I will have to cross the bridge when it comes.

I would really like to get into Harvard but would be happy with Penn or Chicago. I would probably not waste time and money if those two were a good shot and Harvard was not. I would do what I had to in order to get into at least Penn with respect to GPA.

I plan on starting to study for LSAT in June and take in October. That is step one.

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PomasThynchon
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Re: Staying in undergrad longer to increase gpa?

Postby PomasThynchon » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:22 am

rotar wrote:Thank you got the differing opinion castlerock. I will have to cross the bridge when it comes.

I would really like to get into Harvard but would be happy with Penn or Chicago. I would probably not waste time and money if those two were a good shot and Harvard was not. I would do what I had to in order to get into at least Penn with respect to GPA.

I plan on starting to study for LSAT in June and take in October. That is step one.


Number one advice-don't ignore your problem areas. I knocked it out of the park on LR and RC, but got killed on LG. My fragile ego couldn't handle the studying.

MrAnon
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Re: Staying in undergrad longer to increase gpa?

Postby MrAnon » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:34 am

If you are a non-URM it is okay to extend undergrad to increase your GPA if you are trying desperately to get into a lower T1, T2, T3 etc. Those schools will bite. I note however that none of them are worth extending undergrad for. Job prospects are going to be roughly equal between those places. But they are looking for nothing but numbers so you could do it. However you say your goal is Harvard. Harvard doesn't need to bother with this. Harvard is looking for dynamic individuals who can handle whatever boring courses or uninteresting courses or bad professors or unfair professors or wrong major type courses or medical emergencies or deaths in the family that the student was dealt with during freshman year of undergrad. They are looking for someone who can rise above it all no matter what the situation. Why? Because Harvard can't send forth Harvard Law grads into the world who want to do-over or extend every event that doesnt go the way they want it to go until things click for them. That would cheapen the Harvard brand. Harvard wants dynamic people who things click for the first time around.

WestOfTheRest
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Re: Staying in undergrad longer to increase gpa?

Postby WestOfTheRest » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:36 am

MrAnon wrote:If you are a non-URM it is okay to extend undergrad to increase your GPA if you are trying desperately to get into a lower T1, T2, T3 etc. Those schools will bite. I note however that none of them are worth extending undergrad for. Job prospects are going to be roughly equal between those places. But they are looking for nothing but numbers so you could do it. However you say your goal is Harvard. Harvard doesn't need to bother with this. Harvard is looking for dynamic individuals who can handle whatever boring courses or uninteresting courses or bad professors or unfair professors or wrong major type courses or medical emergencies or deaths in the family that the student was dealt with during freshman year of undergrad. They are looking for someone who can rise above it all no matter what the situation. Why? Because Harvard can't send forth Harvard Law grads into the world who want to do-over or extend every event that doesnt go the way they want it to go until things click for them. That would cheapen the Harvard brand. Harvard wants dynamic people who things click for the first time around.

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BrianGriffintheDog
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Re: Staying in undergrad longer to increase gpa?

Postby BrianGriffintheDog » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:50 am

If you're going to do it, you better be prepared to direct all your time and energy to it. I'm talking about going to class and then studying until the library closes. If you're done the work for the day, then review and then preview. Be prepare to become a FULLtime student. It really pays off (really).

Plus, as for the issue with $ being "wasted" by spending extra time in your undergrad study, I think it's worth it if you can bring up your GPA significantly (i.e. from below 3.0 to 3.0 or above; below 3.7 to 3.7 or above).

Oh and for the thing about taking 6 years as opposed to taking 4 years to graduate, this is a subjective matter when it comes down to admissions, so I really can't say. However, someone with 3.7 GPA that took 6 yrs to graduate compared to someone with say 3.4-3.5 that took 4 yrs to graduate, I say 3.7 will look more favourably. Plus, if you can come up with a good explanation as to why it took longer, I don't think it'll be a problem at all.

slacker
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Re: Staying in undergrad longer to increase gpa?

Postby slacker » Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:23 am

This is completely anecdotal but taking six years to graduate as a double major coming from community college isn't all that unusual as far as I know. It depends on if all your courses transfer, your major, what AP credits you had, etc. though. As long as you're taking a normal course load each semester I don't see why it would look that strange.

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PomasThynchon
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Re: Staying in undergrad longer to increase gpa?

Postby PomasThynchon » Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:39 am

slacker wrote:This is completely anecdotal but taking six years to graduate as a double major coming from community college isn't all that unusual as far as I know. It depends on if all your courses transfer, your major, what AP credits you had, etc. though. As long as you're taking a normal course load each semester I don't see why it would look that strange.


That may well be (although plenty of transfers I know managed a double major or an extra concentration within 4 years...sometimes 4.5), but still. If a DOUBLE major is going to take you 6 full academic years of college, bite the bullet and drop one of your beloved majors. Double majors are all well and good, but if they're going to take you extra time, you REALLY need to consider whether it's worth it (the vast majority of the time it really isn't). You're not going to gain any out-of-this-world work experience in one year, but working the year you planned to take as your 6th of college will do wonders for your maturity level, not to mention your financials. If you're set on law school and absolutely must pay for schooling above and beyond what is necessary for your bachelor's, at least pursue a master's. Double majors really aren't THAT impressive, especially if they take 6 years. No offense, just my two cents.

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PomasThynchon
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Re: Staying in undergrad longer to increase gpa?

Postby PomasThynchon » Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:45 am

BrianGriffintheDog wrote:If you're going to do it, you better be prepared to direct all your time and energy to it. I'm talking about going to class and then studying until the library closes. If you're done the work for the day, then review and then preview. Be prepare to become a FULLtime student. It really pays off (really).

Plus, as for the issue with $ being "wasted" by spending extra time in your undergrad study, I think it's worth it if you can bring up your GPA significantly (i.e. from below 3.0 to 3.0 or above; below 3.7 to 3.7 or above).

Oh and for the thing about taking 6 years as opposed to taking 4 years to graduate, this is a subjective matter when it comes down to admissions, so I really can't say. However, someone with 3.7 GPA that took 6 yrs to graduate compared to someone with say 3.4-3.5 that took 4 yrs to graduate, I say 3.7 will look more favourably. Plus, if you can come up with a good explanation as to why it took longer, I don't think it'll be a problem at all.


As someone mentioned earlier, at the end of 5 years (i.e. 10 semesters), your grades are pretty much set in stone. If you have a 2.9, sure it might help to get above a 3.0, but if you have anything higher than, say, a 3.3 or so (and I'm too lazy to calculate), 2 semesters of straight A's on top of your already completed 10 semesters (assuming an average of 15 credit hours per semester) isn't going to give you an increase of that much. Even if you get up to a 3.5 (which in this specific case would really be the most you could hope for), at that rate it's not going to help you crack the T14-your LSAT is.

If an extra year would really put you over the edge in terms of GPA competitiveness, then, mathematically speaking, you were already close enough to that hump for an extra year of your life in undergrad to not be worth it (at least not in my view).

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Re: Staying in undergrad longer to increase gpa?

Postby WestOfTheRest » Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:59 am

PomasThynchon wrote:
BrianGriffintheDog wrote:If you're going to do it, you better be prepared to direct all your time and energy to it. I'm talking about going to class and then studying until the library closes. If you're done the work for the day, then review and then preview. Be prepare to become a FULLtime student. It really pays off (really).

Plus, as for the issue with $ being "wasted" by spending extra time in your undergrad study, I think it's worth it if you can bring up your GPA significantly (i.e. from below 3.0 to 3.0 or above; below 3.7 to 3.7 or above).

Oh and for the thing about taking 6 years as opposed to taking 4 years to graduate, this is a subjective matter when it comes down to admissions, so I really can't say. However, someone with 3.7 GPA that took 6 yrs to graduate compared to someone with say 3.4-3.5 that took 4 yrs to graduate, I say 3.7 will look more favourably. Plus, if you can come up with a good explanation as to why it took longer, I don't think it'll be a problem at all.


As someone mentioned earlier, at the end of 5 years (i.e. 10 semesters), your grades are pretty much set in stone. If you have a 2.9, sure it might help to get above a 3.0, but if you have anything higher than, say, a 3.3 or so (and I'm too lazy to calculate), 2 semesters of straight A's on top of your already completed 10 semesters (assuming an average of 15 credit hours per semester) isn't going to give you an increase of that much. Even if you get up to a 3.5 (which in this specific case would really be the most you could hope for), at that rate it's not going to help you crack the T14-your LSAT is.

If an extra year would really put you over the edge in terms of GPA competitiveness, then, mathematically speaking, you were already close enough to that hump for an extra year of your life in undergrad to not be worth it (at least not in my view).

This depends on whether or not your school gives out A+s.

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Re: Staying in undergrad longer to increase gpa?

Postby predent/prelaw » Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:49 am

rotar wrote:Hello all, I am new to these forums though I have been reading them for about a year on and off. I am slowly becoming addicted haha. I will start by saying thank you to all for providing your useful information and experiences.

I have a question that I have not been able to find well discussed. It may well have been somewhere at some point but I was fruitless in searching so I figure this was a good opportunity to introduce myself to the forums.

I do not know how dangerous it can be posting exact details about yourself in regards to school because of it possibly being found by someone in the admission system so I am going to make some details broader. I am probably just paranoid but it cant hurt.

My question / situation involves taking extra time to graduate with several minors or majors in order to increase GPA. Here is my situation.

I am currently a 3rd year student at a normal 4 year university. This is my first year at this school, my first 2 years were at a community college. I transferred to this school for a major I do like and one that I was further ahead in than any other (so I thought). It is going to take me 5 years to graduate with a B.S in this science major. So 2 more years after this 3rd year I am in now. After a semester at this school though I realized its going to be a ton of work and grades are based on the curve for most classes. This school is a research / medical school so its very competitive in these classes. I came to the conclusion it is not worth my time to get a degree that will require tons of work for an alright GPA in a field I would not like to work in. So I am switching to the business school to get a degree in something that I also like and would not mind working in (if say I have no LSAT skills haha). Also it will probably help me in law more than the other. The good part, it will still only take me 2 more years to graduate with a summer class or two. This semester I am still in the science major and my GPA is going to come down more than likely to around a 3.6 :(. I am only going to be at about half my credits for a degree though and so my GPA can improve a good bit. Also I will be taking quite a few intro business classes with freshman so I hope to pull off a few a+. Not to mention I am going to be significantly changing my way of life in order to focus on school which I have not been able to do as much as I would have liked in the past.

I will be taking 5 years to graduate with a business degree with an obvious shift in types of classes taken on the transcript and a higher GPA. I do not think this is a big deal for admission from what I have read on here.

Now say that I am about to graduate and I do not like my GPA. This is my plan and I would like your opinion in regards to how it looks for admissions.

I plan on keeping one course till my last semester that is required to get any degree, like a foreign language class. If I do not take it I do not get my first degree and so I start working towards a double major, or a minor, maybe 2 minors since it only takes like 2 classes to get a minor in the science I was majoring in, or maybe 2 majors and 2 minors. Just some combination of degrees depending on how much I need to increase my GPA to get to the schools I want with the LSAT I get. At best I do not need to worry about this, or I just take a few summer classes and get a minor. At worst I have to stay another year and hopefully not 2 more years to graduate with multiple degrees.

How bad would this look for admissions? Taking 6 years for a combination of degrees, probably 2 majors. I was thinking I could just start out working on 2 majors and then with a few extra summer classes I could probably graduate in 5 years. This way it does not look bad at all because 5 years is normal for 2 degrees. This plan is based on the fact that LSAC counts all classes you took in college up till the time you get your first degree, including classes that do not count towards your GPA. I basically wait till my GPA is where I like it and then take that last class and get 1+ degrees at the same time.

Any opinions on this in regards to admissions. Thanks


Yo I was the in the same situation I was a Neuroscience major (predent) and decided law school after dropping Organic. Just switch into the dumbest major you can find like ask around what all the varsity players take and do that major. Bump up your semesters to 21 hours in the easy courses and 13 hours in the summer. You will pull your GPA up hella fast if you keep to mostly As and a few Bs

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PomasThynchon
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Re: Staying in undergrad longer to increase gpa?

Postby PomasThynchon » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:06 pm

CastleRock wrote:
PomasThynchon wrote:
BrianGriffintheDog wrote:If you're going to do it, you better be prepared to direct all your time and energy to it. I'm talking about going to class and then studying until the library closes. If you're done the work for the day, then review and then preview. Be prepare to become a FULLtime student. It really pays off (really).

Plus, as for the issue with $ being "wasted" by spending extra time in your undergrad study, I think it's worth it if you can bring up your GPA significantly (i.e. from below 3.0 to 3.0 or above; below 3.7 to 3.7 or above).

Oh and for the thing about taking 6 years as opposed to taking 4 years to graduate, this is a subjective matter when it comes down to admissions, so I really can't say. However, someone with 3.7 GPA that took 6 yrs to graduate compared to someone with say 3.4-3.5 that took 4 yrs to graduate, I say 3.7 will look more favourably. Plus, if you can come up with a good explanation as to why it took longer, I don't think it'll be a problem at all.


As someone mentioned earlier, at the end of 5 years (i.e. 10 semesters), your grades are pretty much set in stone. If you have a 2.9, sure it might help to get above a 3.0, but if you have anything higher than, say, a 3.3 or so (and I'm too lazy to calculate), 2 semesters of straight A's on top of your already completed 10 semesters (assuming an average of 15 credit hours per semester) isn't going to give you an increase of that much. Even if you get up to a 3.5 (which in this specific case would really be the most you could hope for), at that rate it's not going to help you crack the T14-your LSAT is.

If an extra year would really put you over the edge in terms of GPA competitiveness, then, mathematically speaking, you were already close enough to that hump for an extra year of your life in undergrad to not be worth it (at least not in my view).

This depends on whether or not your school gives out A+s.


Yeah, but I wouldn't pay an extra five-figures on the off chance that I got A+'s

Being generous, let's say the guy is instate somewhere and tuition is 8,000 a semester. A very conservative estimate, but let's just say. That's 16,000 for another year, excluding living expenses. You can take that money and pay for the best prep class and buy every LSAT book on the market and still come out ahead. At this stage, LSAT LSAT LSAT. You're wasting your time.

By the way, on the community college thing--I have two friends from cc here, and both of them are graduating in 4 years (i.e. 4 years including their 2 cc years). Neither of them have double majors though. I say again, if 2/12 semesters would really put you over the edge, then you were already so close to that edge that a couple of LSAT points would do the same thing for you. If your GPA is inexcusable (i.e. sub-3.0) I might do an extra year, but it's time to press on at this stage.

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Re: Staying in undergrad longer to increase gpa?

Postby Sandro » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:17 pm

At a certain point trying to boost your gpa becomes useless. You are still under every schools median in the T1. A 3.1 looks better than a 2.9 but at the end of the day it just comes down to how the school is going to fit you in.




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