Could use some advice

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )

What would you do?

Apply this year on or around Nov 1, after Oct scores come out (GPA 3.29)
2
8%
Apply next year on the first day applications open, take a year off working, and have a gpa of 3.45ish
23
92%
 
Total votes: 25

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blink
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Could use some advice

Postby blink » Sat Jul 30, 2011 10:01 pm

This isn't a chances post, so it's irrelevent that I haven't taken the LSAT yet (Oct). FWIW, I'm PTing in the mid 170s (12 tests), strictly timed, etc etc blah blah. I realize that that means jack shit. Just something to keep in mind is all.

My situation: I currently have a 3.29 LSDAS GPA with one year to go in UG. My last 2 years have been 3.9 avg. I have a massive amount of credits lined up for my final year, and if i perform like I have been, I can get my gpa up to 3.48 by graduation next spring.

Question: would you wait a year if you had something decent to do for a year and apply next time around with a higher gpa? Is .2 difference worth waiting for? I'd probably go to the best school I can possibly get into, CCNMVPDNC, or if I got $$$ at any of the lower ones on that list.

Additional thoughts: the year off could entail a state government fellowship that is fairly prestigious, and is paid which would help pay some UG loans. It would be a good resume booster.

Opinions and advice would be appreciated.

ETA: Non-URM.

Any explanations as to the votes would be nice as well. Thanks.

schooner
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Re: Could use some advice

Postby schooner » Sat Jul 30, 2011 10:13 pm

Waiting a year to 1) significantly boost your GPA, 2) get more time to study for the LSAT, 3) get meaningful, paid work experience, and 4) pay off some of your undergrad loans is a solid plan. If I was in your shoes, I wouldn't think twice about doing that.

quetzal_bird
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Re: Could use some advice

Postby quetzal_bird » Sat Jul 30, 2011 10:45 pm

schooner wrote:Waiting a year to 1) significantly boost your GPA, 2) get more time to study for the LSAT, 3) get meaningful, paid work experience, and 4) pay off some of your undergrad loans is a solid plan. If I was in your shoes, I wouldn't think twice about doing that.


+1

If you do go the other route, wait until after you get fee waivers to apply. They will trickle in the days and weeks after scores are released. Every point above is right though

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blink
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Re: Could use some advice

Postby blink » Sat Jul 30, 2011 10:47 pm

One thing I worry about is the possibility that an increase from 3.29 (way below 25th percentiles at T14s) to 3.48 (still below all 25th percentiles at T14s) won't really do much; I'd still be a splitter. Is this a legitimate concern?

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Could use some advice

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sat Jul 30, 2011 10:48 pm

blink wrote:One thing I worry about is the possibility that an increase from 3.29 (way below 25th percentiles at T14s) to 3.48 (still below all 25th percentiles at T14s) won't really do much; I'd still be a splitter. Is this a legitimate concern?


The increase will move you above some GPA floors, though. Columbia is a solid bet at 3.48/175 but highly unlikely at 3.3/175.

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blink
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Re: Could use some advice

Postby blink » Sat Jul 30, 2011 10:57 pm

Another thing that has crossed my mind: If I underperform my avg and land a 170-171 should I just go ahead and ED this cycle to UVA? I know it sounds like I've been brainwashed by TLS, but I really like a lot of things about UVA and would be happy there, especially if it's my best option.

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Re: Could use some advice

Postby quetzal_bird » Sat Jul 30, 2011 10:59 pm

That's why the LSAT becomes so important in your case. If you are confident you can get your LSAT score up to T14 medians, then I would take the luxury of time to get there. Take the October test and put your applications together - at least write up a few drafts of your personal statement. If you score lower than you hoped, then start getting ready for December or June. The fellowship sounds like a great option too.


Like you said, you are below T14 medians with GPA, but a 3.48 will still look better than 3.29. One thing to keep in mind though - I took the October test and it was brutal. Not the test itself, but trying to study during the school year was stressful and difficult for me. If you are really aiming to get your GPA up, sacrifice some of those hundredths of a point for a higher LSAT.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Could use some advice

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:00 pm

You can always apply everywhere, including ED to UVA, and then not go. Very little is lost by applying, not attending, and then re-applying. It's what I'm doing.

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Re: Could use some advice

Postby quetzal_bird » Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:02 pm

blink wrote:Another thing that has crossed my mind: If I underperform my avg and land a 170-171 should I just go ahead and ED this cycle to UVA? I know it sounds like I've been brainwashed by TLS, but I really like a lot of things about UVA and would be happy there, especially if it's my best option.


Are you in-state? Have you visited UVA?

I think that if the choice is EDing (and then missing out on merit aid) or taking the test 2-3 times AND increasing your GPA AND getting work experience....then its not too hard a choice

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blink
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Re: Could use some advice

Postby blink » Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:22 pm

quetzal_bird wrote:That's why the LSAT becomes so important in your case. If you are confident you can get your LSAT score up to T14 medians, then I would take the luxury of time to get there. Take the October test and put your applications together - at least write up a few drafts of your personal statement. If you score lower than you hoped, then start getting ready for December or June. The fellowship sounds like a great option too.


Like you said, you are below T14 medians with GPA, but a 3.48 will still look better than 3.29. One thing to keep in mind though - I took the October test and it was brutal. Not the test itself, but trying to study during the school year was stressful and difficult for me. If you are really aiming to get your GPA up, sacrifice some of those hundredths of a point for a higher LSAT.



Interestingly, this is a big reason I didn't take June like I had planned. It fell during my spring finals because we are on quarters. This october, it falls a week into classes. I don't see it as being too much of an issue, I can catch up in school after a week.

quetzal_bird wrote:
blink wrote:Another thing that has crossed my mind: If I underperform my avg and land a 170-171 should I just go ahead and ED this cycle to UVA? I know it sounds like I've been brainwashed by TLS, but I really like a lot of things about UVA and would be happy there, especially if it's my best option.


Are you in-state? Have you visited UVA?

I think that if the choice is EDing (and then missing out on merit aid) or taking the test 2-3 times AND increasing your GPA AND getting work experience....then its not too hard a choice


Out-of-state. No, but I'll be going for a thorough visit to sit in on a class etc later this summer. Duke and Vandy as well.

The issue for me is that I'll have 25 credits per quarter, so studying again for Dec, Feb, or June would be a battle to say the least.

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Re: Could use some advice

Postby blink » Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:24 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:You can always apply everywhere, including ED to UVA, and then not go. Very little is lost by applying, not attending, and then re-applying. It's what I'm doing.



Relying on fee waivers? Applying is expensive

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Could use some advice

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:27 pm

blink wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:You can always apply everywhere, including ED to UVA, and then not go. Very little is lost by applying, not attending, and then re-applying. It's what I'm doing.



Relying on fee waivers? Applying is expensive


If you score over 170 you will get plenty of fee waivers. Even without them a few hundred dollars falls under the "Very little is lost" category.

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blink
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Re: Could use some advice

Postby blink » Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:27 pm

Either of the two votes for applying this cycle want to add their explanations? I appreciate the help, everyone.

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minnbills
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Re: Could use some advice

Postby minnbills » Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:28 pm

If you can get this position then pull the trigger.

On top of the reasons you listed, you're giving the economy another year. I say go for it.

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Re: Could use some advice

Postby quetzal_bird » Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:30 pm

blink wrote:
quetzal_bird wrote:That's why the LSAT becomes so important in your case. If you are confident you can get your LSAT score up to T14 medians, then I would take the luxury of time to get there. Take the October test and put your applications together - at least write up a few drafts of your personal statement. If you score lower than you hoped, then start getting ready for December or June. The fellowship sounds like a great option too.


Like you said, you are below T14 medians with GPA, but a 3.48 will still look better than 3.29. One thing to keep in mind though - I took the October test and it was brutal. Not the test itself, but trying to study during the school year was stressful and difficult for me. If you are really aiming to get your GPA up, sacrifice some of those hundredths of a point for a higher LSAT.



Interestingly, this is a big reason I didn't take June like I had planned. It fell during my spring finals because we are on quarters. This october, it falls a week into classes. I don't see it as being too much of an issue, I can catch up in school after a week.

quetzal_bird wrote:
blink wrote:Another thing that has crossed my mind: If I underperform my avg and land a 170-171 should I just go ahead and ED this cycle to UVA? I know it sounds like I've been brainwashed by TLS, but I really like a lot of things about UVA and would be happy there, especially if it's my best option.


Are you in-state? Have you visited UVA?

I think that if the choice is EDing (and then missing out on merit aid) or taking the test 2-3 times AND increasing your GPA AND getting work experience....then its not too hard a choice


Out-of-state. No, but I'll be going for a thorough visit to sit in on a class etc later this summer. Duke and Vandy as well.

The issue for me is that I'll have 25 credits per quarter, so studying again for Dec, Feb, or June would be a battle to say the least.


I mean I hope you get a 175+ in October and its not an issue. However, if you don't get the score you want, I think a retake is generally a better decision than an ED

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blink
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Re: Could use some advice

Postby blink » Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:31 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
blink wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:You can always apply everywhere, including ED to UVA, and then not go. Very little is lost by applying, not attending, and then re-applying. It's what I'm doing.



Relying on fee waivers? Applying is expensive


If you score over 170 you will get plenty of fee waivers. Even without them a few hundred dollars falls under the "Very little is lost" category.


haha yeah i suppose so. the whole "broke college kid" thing is a pain in the ass though.

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blink
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Re: Could use some advice

Postby blink » Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:33 pm

quetzal_bird wrote:
blink wrote:
quetzal_bird wrote:That's why the LSAT becomes so important in your case. If you are confident you can get your LSAT score up to T14 medians, then I would take the luxury of time to get there. Take the October test and put your applications together - at least write up a few drafts of your personal statement. If you score lower than you hoped, then start getting ready for December or June. The fellowship sounds like a great option too.


Like you said, you are below T14 medians with GPA, but a 3.48 will still look better than 3.29. One thing to keep in mind though - I took the October test and it was brutal. Not the test itself, but trying to study during the school year was stressful and difficult for me. If you are really aiming to get your GPA up, sacrifice some of those hundredths of a point for a higher LSAT.



Interestingly, this is a big reason I didn't take June like I had planned. It fell during my spring finals because we are on quarters. This october, it falls a week into classes. I don't see it as being too much of an issue, I can catch up in school after a week.

quetzal_bird wrote:
blink wrote:Another thing that has crossed my mind: If I underperform my avg and land a 170-171 should I just go ahead and ED this cycle to UVA? I know it sounds like I've been brainwashed by TLS, but I really like a lot of things about UVA and would be happy there, especially if it's my best option.


Are you in-state? Have you visited UVA?

I think that if the choice is EDing (and then missing out on merit aid) or taking the test 2-3 times AND increasing your GPA AND getting work experience....then its not too hard a choice


Out-of-state. No, but I'll be going for a thorough visit to sit in on a class etc later this summer. Duke and Vandy as well.

The issue for me is that I'll have 25 credits per quarter, so studying again for Dec, Feb, or June would be a battle to say the least.


I mean I hope you get a 175+ in October and its not an issue. However, if you don't get the score you want, I think a retake is generally a better decision than an ED


Interesting. At what point do I run into the problem of schools averaging? Is that just HYS and some of CCN?

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blink
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Re: Could use some advice

Postby blink » Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:34 pm

minnbills wrote:If you can get this position then pull the trigger.

On top of the reasons you listed, you're giving the economy another year. I say go for it.


Good point.

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Re: Could use some advice

Postby quetzal_bird » Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:35 pm

I also don't like EDing because I am Virginia resident and UVA was my first choice when I started applying to schools. Despite the fact that UVA is a great school I ultimately picked a different one. I think its good to be flexible and open to letting your cycle play out with some uncertainty. I'm also a URM so I kinda had to do that anyway

schooner
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Re: Could use some advice

Postby schooner » Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:38 pm

blink wrote:Another thing that has crossed my mind: If I underperform my avg and land a 170-171 should I just go ahead and ED this cycle to UVA? I know it sounds like I've been brainwashed by TLS, but I really like a lot of things about UVA and would be happy there, especially if it's my best option.


If you underperform and feel that a retake is worth it, taking a year off would allow you to do so and still apply early in the following cycle.

Another reason to postpone is that you will probably be better off graduating in the 2016 economy, rather than the 2015 economy. The country has a long way to go to recover from the recession. (Or maybe I'm being overly pessimistic.)

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Re: Could use some advice

Postby quetzal_bird » Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:42 pm

I wouldn't even worry about averaging at this point. Focus on October and do the best you can. Once you have a score, you can make an informed decision about what you want to do. Maybe you score so high that getting your GPA up really isn't a concern anymore. Maybe you score too low and its inevitable that you need a retake. A low score followed by a high score is going to be better than one low score, and whether a school chooses to average is out of your hands. I think even CCN take the highest score

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Re: Could use some advice

Postby blink » Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:33 am

Anyone else care to voice their opinion? Thanks to those who have already.

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cinephile
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Re: Could use some advice

Postby cinephile » Mon Aug 01, 2011 11:02 am

Any chance you could get the GPA up to a 3.5, maybe with summer classes?
Last edited by cinephile on Mon Aug 01, 2011 11:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Yeshia90
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Re: Could use some advice

Postby Yeshia90 » Mon Aug 01, 2011 11:06 am

Tiago Splitter wrote:
blink wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:You can always apply everywhere, including ED to UVA, and then not go. Very little is lost by applying, not attending, and then re-applying. It's what I'm doing.



Relying on fee waivers? Applying is expensive


If you score over 170 you will get plenty of fee waivers. Even without them a few hundred dollars falls under the "Very little is lost" category.


When you're paying upwards of $200,000 for three years of education, $500 certainly falls under "low risk, high reward."

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blink
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Re: Could use some advice

Postby blink » Mon Aug 01, 2011 11:15 am

cinephile wrote:Any chance you could get the GPA up to a 3.5, maybe with summer classes?


I thought of that, but I'd have to take 30 credit hours in a quarter (possibly more than once) this year to do that before graduation. No summer classes.

Think it would make a significant difference?




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