Delay Graduation to improve awful GPA?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
capsfan
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 3:28 am

Delay Graduation to improve awful GPA?

Postby capsfan » Thu May 26, 2011 7:08 pm

So I definitely have a somewhat unique situation so I understand if people don't necessarily have a lot of answers. Basically I attend a top 15 LAC and will be a senior in the fall but currently have an awful LSDAS GPA from what I can calculate of 2.54, luckily this is based on only 88 credits. I had an undiagnosed medical condition I developed in college that was severely hindering my ability to perform to the level I am capable of (I had 3.9 in high school, 5s on about 8 AP tests, received a scholarship to where I am currently attending, and had acceptances to multiple Ivies).

I withdrew in the fall of this year and have gotten the medical condition under control (It will not be a problem going forward, it was something I didn't even know I had and is fairly easily treated). I have been studying for the June LSAT and am consistently scoring above 176 on practice tests taken under test day conditions. Obviously none of this matters if I can't replicate it on the actual exam. But for this let's assume I get at least a 176 on the LSAT.

I guess my question here is, to what length do I go to get my GPA above 3 or (some other number) to have a shot at the bottom of t14 or t25?

My plan as of now is to take 18 credits this summer at a local state university (should I consider more at a community college?) and then go back to the LAC and graduate in spring of 2012, wait a year so my senior year grades matter and apply for Fall 2013. I might throw out some applications for Fall 2012 but assumed I wouldn't get very far because even with 18 credits this summer at 4.0 I would only get to 2.73.

I'm also considering transferring to a state university and taking 2 years and overloading. Cost wise 2 years at the LAC is not an option and it would prove difficult to get permission to overload given my previous academic performance.

I know that for the most part people say the prestige of the university does not matter for law school admissions but if my GPA is already below the 25% for all of the places I'm applying, would it look better to stay at the LAC and finish with 4.0 my Senior year (I know I am capable of this) and only end up with about a 3.0 or would it be better to transfer to get to a 3.3?

Sorry for the long post and thanks for any help you can provide me.

User avatar
bgdddymtty
Posts: 697
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2010 12:59 pm

Re: Delay Graduation to improve awful GPA?

Postby bgdddymtty » Thu May 26, 2011 7:46 pm

Your plan is good, but you might have to add a second major or something in order to be able to take enough credits to get your GPA to where you want/need it to be. I know you say that two more years at your school isn't affordable, but if you know you want to go to law school you might want to consider it an investment toward maximizing your earning power as a young attorney. OTOH, the prestige of your undergraduate institution isn't a big factor in law school admissions, so transferring to a cheaper school might be a good idea.

In any event, assuming you're right about your current LSDAS GPA, you need 41 credits of straight A's to get to a 3.0. You'd need 96 credits of A's to get to a 3.3. The former is doable within a year; the latter would require at least two years plus summers. According to Law School Predictor, a 3.0/176 makes you a possibility as high as NYU. In reality, who knows? I can tell you anecdotally that I got in ED at UVa with numbers somewhat similar to those as well as explainable circumstances. Good luck.

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: Delay Graduation to improve awful GPA?

Postby 09042014 » Thu May 26, 2011 8:43 pm

I would try to get to 3.0.

I had a 2.8/176 and I got outright rejected at Cornell, and regular wait listed at GTown. I did get northwestern but I had work experience and applied ED.

scammedhard
Posts: 642
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:17 pm

Re: Delay Graduation to improve awful GPA?

Postby scammedhard » Thu May 26, 2011 8:52 pm

Whatever you do, your GPA is still going to be low. You should work for a few years to get some distance from it.

rapstar
Posts: 161
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:37 pm

Re: Delay Graduation to improve awful GPA?

Postby rapstar » Thu May 26, 2011 9:20 pm

I think you should stay where you are and try to earn a 4.0 over your last year. I really don't think that you will see a big difference in results between a 3.0 and 3.3 gpa. Either one will still be below the 25% for top schools. I do think that you are likely to see different results depending on whether you end up above or below the 3.0 mark though. I believe 3.0 is an almost absolute minimum for top schools, especially for some one straight out of undergrad. Also, i would apply to every school between 4 and 40 that you would even possibly consider going to. Extreme splitters are always difficult to predict, so leave yourself with options. Scholarship money from lowers versus acceptances from highers will then be what you are faced with.

User avatar
Lawquacious
Posts: 2037
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 10:36 am

Re: Delay Graduation to improve awful GPA?

Postby Lawquacious » Thu May 26, 2011 9:28 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
I had a 2.8/176



I thought I remembered you saying you had a 174 (about a year ago)...

User avatar
Corwin
Posts: 451
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 1:12 pm

Re: Delay Graduation to improve awful GPA?

Postby Corwin » Thu May 26, 2011 11:29 pm

A 3.0 is fine. With that LSAT score you have a shot at UVa ED and you'll get into a decent set of schools in the T25. No chance at NU without WE, but if you work for a year or two you can do ED to NU as well. Just get a 3.0 and focus on LSAT prep.

The bigger issue here is that extreme splitters like you usually end up paying sticker unless you go deep into the T50. You'll need a plan for paying back all that debt and you simply wont be able to pay it back unless you get good L1 grades.

One last thing. Even if you decide that you want higher than a 3.0, I don't think transferring is necessary. Can't you just register for a bunch of online classes at the local community college and get those grades transfered?

EDIT: As Desert Fox pointed out below, there are some schools that you can get money at. IUB, WUSTL, etc. Silly of me to forget those.
Last edited by Corwin on Fri May 27, 2011 4:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: Delay Graduation to improve awful GPA?

Postby 09042014 » Fri May 27, 2011 11:10 am

Corwin wrote:A 3.0 is fine. With that LSAT score you have a shot at UVa ED and you'll get into a decent set of schools in the T25. No chance at NU without WE, but if you work for a year or two you can do ED to NU as well. Just get a 3.0 and focus on LSAT prep.

The bigger issue here is that extreme splitters like you usually end up paying sticker unless you go deep into the T50. You'll need a plan for paying back all that debt and you simply wont be able to pay it back unless you get good L1 grades.

One last thing. Even if you decide that you want higher than a 3.0, I don't think transferring is necessary. Can't you just register for a bunch of online classes at the local community college and get those grades transfered?


A lot of schools will give 1/3-1/2 scholarships to splitters. I think IUB was giving near full rides this year.

capsfan
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 3:28 am

Re: Delay Graduation to improve awful GPA?

Postby capsfan » Wed Jun 29, 2011 4:45 pm

Thanks for all of the advice, 174 on the June LSAT, not quite as high as I had hoped for but still hoping it will be enough. I'm thinking about finishing up this coming year and applying ED to Virginia after Fall grades come out, also I'm a Virginia resident so hoping that helps at least marginally. I took the advice to take some online classes through a community college and assuming I get A's in the ones I'm taking both this summer and during the fall I should have a LSDAS GPA above 3.0 by that point. Sorry if this is becoming a chances post, maybe I should re-post in that forum. Thanks for all of the advice.

User avatar
bgdddymtty
Posts: 697
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2010 12:59 pm

Re: Delay Graduation to improve awful GPA?

Postby bgdddymtty » Wed Jun 29, 2011 5:03 pm

capsfan wrote:I'm thinking about finishing up this coming year and applying ED to Virginia after Fall grades come out, also I'm a Virginia resident so hoping that helps at least marginally to the point that it practically makes me an ED shoo-in.
FTFY. It is virtually impossible to overestimate the value of being a VA resident in terms of admission to UVa Law. By law, 40% of the student body must be made up of VA residents. I don't remember the exact numbers on applicants and admitted students from last year, but it turned out to be something on the order of 4% of out-of-state applicants and 40% of in-state applicants being admitted.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests