ITT: New School Medians Revealed

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Kabuo
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Re: ITT: New School Medians Revealed

Postby Kabuo » Sat Sep 24, 2011 8:56 pm

I just want to add that T14 schools are not going to have to shrink class sizes to maintain LSAT medians due to a lack of applicants with scores above median. There are plenty of low 3 splitters that miss out at schools like Duke and NYU because of GPA floors and other factors they choose to be picky about. If these schools decide that their LSAT median is that important to them, they can easily maintain it and the class size by taking low 3s, or, they can be even more extreme and dip into the 2s. I think it'll be interesting to see what gives first.

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JDndMSW
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Re: ITT: New School Medians Revealed

Postby JDndMSW » Sat Sep 24, 2011 9:17 pm

How do you think this will effect the speed in which people will receive their decisions. Do you think LS might hold applications longer or waitlist more to ensure they hit their goals? I guess this would have the most effect on splitters.

shoeshine
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Re: ITT: New School Medians Revealed

Postby shoeshine » Sat Sep 24, 2011 9:28 pm

Robespierre wrote:If you have a big drop in applications, which Duke, Berkeley and NYU all did, it seems like a simple and logical way to preserve your selectivity, i.e. medians, would be to aim for a smaller class. But you guys are saying no, it didn't happen that way, all three schools were simply correcting for major oversubscriptions in '10? All three schools mismanaged their enrollment in the same year? And it all shook out in such a way that they ended up with virtually unchanged medians? And were the 20 or so other law schools that decreased class size in '11 correcting for oversubscriptions too?

Doesn't sound right to me, guys.


I think you may be right to some extent.

At least some of the schools are trying to protect their yield and their medians. I am not sure which ones but definitely more than a few.

Boalt may be the exception to that, they are too holistic for that type of numbers gaming. They definitely don't care about their LSAT medians. Check out their LSN.

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Robespierre
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Re: ITT: New School Medians Revealed

Postby Robespierre » Sat Sep 24, 2011 9:43 pm

beachbum wrote:
Robespierre wrote:
beachbum wrote:
Robespierre wrote:If you have a big drop in applications, which Duke, Berkeley and NYU all did, it seems like a simple and logical way to preserve your selectivity, i.e. medians, would be to aim for a smaller class. But you guys are saying no, it didn't happen that way, all three schools were simply correcting for major oversubscriptions in '10? All three schools mismanaged their enrollment in the same year? And it all shook out in such a way that they ended up with virtually unchanged medians? And were the 20 or so other law schools that decreased class size in '11 correcting for oversubscriptions too?

Doesn't sound right to me, guys.


What? It doesn't sound right that, in the cycle that had an explosion of applicants, several top schools over-enrolled? And that, now with a much smaller applicant pool, they're returning to "normal" class sizes?

I can't speak for other schools, but Duke wasn't prepared last cycle for so many applicants to matriculate. But that was just the nature of the large and unpredictable (due to the economy?) applicant pool. So they handed out a lot of acceptances to very qualified applicants, expecting (as in a "normal" year) a sizable portion of those applicants to go somewhere else. But an unusually large number chose to attend Duke, causing both the medians and the class size to shoot up. Duke never even touched the waitlist.

And this cycle, with a much smaller and more manageable applicant pool, and with the experience of last cycle, Duke was more prepared in handing out acceptances. They also used the waitlist. The medians didn't change much because Duke, like Boalt and NYU, is a top school, and top schools get a lot of very qualified applicants. Maybe they weren't able to cherry-pick the "best" applicants (i.e. great numbers + great softs) like they were last year, but there are a lot of qualified applicants out there, even if this cycle didn't have as many of them as last cycle.


First bolded: There was no explosion of applicants in the Fall '10 cycle. The number of applicants rose only 1.5% over the previous year. http://www.lsac.org/LSACResources/Data/ ... ummary.asp

Second bolded: The economy is always unpredictable.

Third bolded: Duke's yield for Fall '10 was 22.8%. See the ABA data on the LSAC site. That's "unusually large"? Doesn't sound like it. Link us to something that indicates this please.

Fourth bolded: The class size was 238. Ibid. That's pretty small. Does that represent a "shoot up" from the previous few years? Link us to something that indicates this please.

In other words, your reasoning is sound but I would question some of your underlying facts. If you can back up those facts I'll gladly defer.

Congrats on getting into Duke, that is an awesome school.


First: Ha, ok. Since we're discussing Duke specifically, I'll point to Duke-specific data. For the class of 2013, Duke received 7900 applications, compared to the 6300 applications it received the prior year (which, though I can't find the data on a quick google search, I'll assume was larger still than the year before given the increase in overall applications from the previous year). For a class of ~200, that's a pretty solid "explosion."

Second: I was referencing the unpredictability of the applicants, who might have been acting in response to a bleak economy. The greater number of applications paired with an applicant pool who seems to be taking cues from the economy (i.e. as in deciding whether/where to matriculate) makes for an unpredictable cycle.

Third: You got me here, chief.

Fourth: Duke was also over-enrolled for the class of 2012, with 228. We typically have much closer to 200 (see LSN, or Google, or whatever). FWIW, though, doesn't the two years of over-enrollment corresponding to the two years of increased applications prove my point that increased applications --> over-enrollment? With a more "normal" number of applications this year, we have a more "normal" class size (212).


I guess I just don't have enough data on Duke's class size historically to take this any further. I turned up this chart, which indicates that the school has graduated between 207 and 220 students over the past several years: http://www.law.duke.edu/career/resources/facts But those are graduates; to know the number of matriculants we would need some transfer/attrition data.

I'm still skeptical about the "correction for overenrollment" assertion, but you make some good points. Best of luck at Duke. I envy you going there. And that aint sarcasm.

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Robespierre
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Re: ITT: New School Medians Revealed

Postby Robespierre » Sat Sep 24, 2011 10:14 pm

birdlaw117 wrote:
Robespierre wrote:
Please answer the question. Did NYU's class shrink this year, or not? If you don't know, just say so. It's not a problem. I didn't think the class shrunk, but you said "we're about 20 seats smaller."

With regard to the bolded, which ones are decreasing class sizes to maintain medians and which are returning to normal class sizes? I'd like to hear your views on that since you seem like a bright guy.

(Btw, I'll ask whatever questions I please and discuss whichever schools I want.)

wtf... Yes, I said NYU is 20 seats smaller than last year (roughly, I don't know last year's numbers and I'm not going to do all your research for you). Which, if my math is correct, means it shrunk.

It's pretty obvious that a school with an anomalously large class size last year (like Duke, Boalt, and NYU) is decreasing in an attempt to hit the class size they want. On the other hand, a school like George Mason who decreased by a large percentage from a typical class size to a smaller size, is probably doing it because of medians (or perhaps some other reason).

With respect to the bolded, get over yourself.


Yeah, I agree with you that lower-ranked schools are probably cutting classes to preserve medians. Where we disagree is that I suspect a couple of T14s did it as well. (Not NYU; as I said, I didn't even know they shrank their class until you pointed it out.) People are putting up correction-to-overenrollment as an explanation, but I've done some research and I just don't see the "anomalously large class sizes" in Fall '10. "They told us so at orientation" doesn't carry much weight.

Best of luck at NYU; I envy you.

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birdlaw117
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Re: ITT: New School Medians Revealed

Postby birdlaw117 » Sat Sep 24, 2011 10:52 pm

Robespierre wrote:Yeah, I agree with you that lower-ranked schools are probably cutting classes to preserve medians. Where we disagree is that I suspect a couple of T14s did it as well. (Not NYU; as I said, I didn't even know they shrank their class until you pointed it out.) People are putting up correction-to-overenrollment as an explanation, but I've done some research and I just don't see the "anomalously large class sizes" in Fall '10. "They told us so at orientation" doesn't carry much weight.

Best of luck at NYU; I envy you.

The only reason it doesn't carry much weight is because I don't feel like doing your research for you. I want to say the number was high 460s in comparison to usually being right around 450. Maybe you're looking at the wrong numbers. You mentioned graduating classes earlier, but those are irrelevant. You have to look at the first-year numbers.

And the top schools have no incentive to reduce class sizes. It will hurt their revenue and maintaining a median 1 point higher won't have much impact on their ranking.

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Robespierre
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Re: ITT: New School Medians Revealed

Postby Robespierre » Sat Sep 24, 2011 11:39 pm

birdlaw117 wrote:
Robespierre wrote:Yeah, I agree with you that lower-ranked schools are probably cutting classes to preserve medians. Where we disagree is that I suspect a couple of T14s did it as well. (Not NYU; as I said, I didn't even know they shrank their class until you pointed it out.) People are putting up correction-to-overenrollment as an explanation, but I've done some research and I just don't see the "anomalously large class sizes" in Fall '10. "They told us so at orientation" doesn't carry much weight.

Best of luck at NYU; I envy you.

The only reason it doesn't carry much weight is because I don't feel like doing your research for you. I want to say the number was high 460s in comparison to usually being right around 450. Maybe you're looking at the wrong numbers. You mentioned graduating classes earlier, but those are irrelevant. You have to look at the first-year numbers.

And the top schools have no incentive to reduce class sizes. It will hurt their revenue and maintaining a median 1 point higher won't have much impact on their ranking.


I was trying to see if you had any hard data on the "anomalously large class sizes" you talked about. But you don't feel like doing research. That's cool, no problem. Again, best of luck to you.

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thelaststraw05
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Re: ITT: New School Medians Revealed

Postby thelaststraw05 » Sun Sep 25, 2011 12:42 am

The drop in enrollment at the T14s doesn't seem to be huge. At Michigan it is in the mid teens, at NYU it is around 20. That kind of drop seems more likely to be caused by an applicant pool which acts differently than past applicant pools OR because last year over-enrolled and they adapted to the higher yield rate. That doesn't feel like the kind of drop that would result in trying to maintain medians.

On the other hand, the drops at places like GMU are clearly of an entirely different nature. That is the kind of drop that you would expect from a school trying to maintain medians given a smaller applicant pool.

If the applicant pool remains smaller this year and next year it will be interesting to see if schools will be able to maintain the smaller class sizes and the lost revenue or if they will sacrifice their numbers to maintain the revenue stream. One would suspect that if class sizes continue to drop you would either see tuition spike at places like GMU or you would see a lot of professors thrown out on the street.

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AntipodeanPhil
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Re: ITT: New School Medians Revealed

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Sun Sep 25, 2011 1:00 am

thelaststraw05 wrote:If the applicant pool remains smaller this year and next year it will be interesting to see if schools will be able to maintain the smaller class sizes and the lost revenue or if they will sacrifice their numbers to maintain the revenue stream. One would suspect that if class sizes continue to drop you would either see tuition spike at places like GMU or you would see a lot of professors thrown out on the street.

Having worked at a couple of universities with serious funding issues, I can tell you they will do almost anything to avoid firing tenured and tenure-track faculty. Although they also won't raise fees, because that would lead to a further drop in applicants.

If application numbers drop significantly this year, law schools outside the top few will lower their medians, many law schools will stop hiring new faculty, and the worse affected will get rid of adjuncts and temporary faculty. I hope none of you are planning on becoming academics!

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westinghouse60
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Re: ITT: New School Medians Revealed

Postby westinghouse60 » Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:40 am

UNC- 3.51 and 163- no change in either, but 8 few seats since we're talking about that ITT.

Edit: class size went from 256-248, so that's not a really significant difference IMO.

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SisterRayVU
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Re: ITT: New School Medians Revealed

Postby SisterRayVU » Sun Sep 25, 2011 11:57 am

Any news on Cornell or UVA or GULC?


If schools receive less applicants, wouldn't it make sense that they go one of two ways? Either maintain class size by lowering medians (by how much depends on the school on an individual nature, maybe some people will be more likely to go to one school over another even if they have stats above median for both because they don't feel like waiting out a WL for a higher ranked school) or lower class size to maintain medias. I know that's obvious, but it doesn't seem like looking at last year's numbers will really do all that much in predicting behavior. Just because a class size increased 2% doesn't necessarily mean they'll accept 2% less. An increase like that can easily be more people matriculating there rather than an increase in acceptance. If they accept less people to 'correct' for that and less people choose to matriculate there because they were more selective and some of those will attend higher ranked schools, they just messed up their class sizes and medians based on a prediction out of a small and quite possible unrepresentative number set. Idk if any of that makes sense, but yeah :/

I do agree that something like GMU does suggest an attempt to protect medians. But I think there's a big distinction between that and something like a 2% fluctuation that could easily be an anomaly or even expected.

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Robespierre
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Re: ITT: New School Medians Revealed

Postby Robespierre » Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:07 pm

More detailed info on William & Mary: http://law.wm.edu/admissions/classprofile/index.php

LSAT median was the same but the 25th and 75th were both up a point. GPA median was up .03 and the 75th was up slightly, although the 25th was down .01. Class did not shrink. One reason they did so well seems to be that applications were 5,939, down only 5.5% from the previous year's 6,291, compared to the national drop in applicants of 10%. Impressive.

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romothesavior
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Re: ITT: New School Medians Revealed

Postby romothesavior » Tue Sep 27, 2011 5:35 pm

Word is that Colorado is 164/3.64.

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Bobeo
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Re: ITT: New School Medians Revealed

Postby Bobeo » Tue Sep 27, 2011 8:32 pm

I'm still wondering about GW if anyone has the numbers.

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KremeCheez
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Re: ITT: New School Medians Revealed

Postby KremeCheez » Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:16 pm

AntipodeanPhil wrote:
thelaststraw05 wrote:If the applicant pool remains smaller this year and next year it will be interesting to see if schools will be able to maintain the smaller class sizes and the lost revenue or if they will sacrifice their numbers to maintain the revenue stream. One would suspect that if class sizes continue to drop you would either see tuition spike at places like GMU or you would see a lot of professors thrown out on the street.

Having worked at a couple of universities with serious funding issues, I can tell you they will do almost anything to avoid firing tenured and tenure-track faculty. Although they also won't raise fees, because that would lead to a further drop in applicants.

If application numbers drop significantly this year, law schools outside the top few will lower their medians, many law schools will stop hiring new faculty, and the worse affected will get rid of adjuncts and temporary faculty. I hope none of you are planning on becoming academics!


Anyone seen any indication about schools cutting back on scholarships - either in the past cycle or the upcoming cycles(s)?

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Ersatz Haderach
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Re: ITT: New School Medians Revealed

Postby Ersatz Haderach » Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:12 pm

Case Western:

LSAT: 158 (-2)
GPA: 3.48 (-0.02)
Class Size: 192 (-40(!), target for this year was 200)
Average Age: 24 (same)

http://law.case.edu/Admissions/ClassProfile.aspx
Last edited by Ersatz Haderach on Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Helmholtz
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Re: ITT: New School Medians Revealed

Postby Helmholtz » Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:13 pm

Ersatz Haderach wrote:Case Western:

LSAT: 158 (-1?)
GPA: 3.48 (+0.02?)
Class Size: 192 (-40(!), target for this year was 200)
Average Age: 24 (same)

http://law.case.edu/Admissions/ClassProfile.aspx


That's surprising. For some reason, I always through Case had at least a 160 LSAT.

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: ITT: New School Medians Revealed

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:22 pm

Helmholtz wrote:
Ersatz Haderach wrote:Case Western:

LSAT: 158 (-1?)
GPA: 3.48 (+0.02?)
Class Size: 192 (-40(!), target for this year was 200)
Average Age: 24 (same)

http://law.case.edu/Admissions/ClassProfile.aspx


That's surprising. For some reason, I always through Case had at least a 160 LSAT.


The ABA law school guide data from last year had Case at 3.5/160 (it doesn't have a part time program so that wouldn't be an issue).

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Ersatz Haderach
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Re: ITT: New School Medians Revealed

Postby Ersatz Haderach » Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:29 pm

Thanks, I just checked - it's actually -2, because we were 160 median last year. Also, the GPA is down, not up. Sigh.

For those who are amused by such things, Case Western is now more diverse than its neighbor, Cleveland State, and the number of applications to the two schools was virtually identical, which probably counts as a mark against Case and a vote in favor of "If I want to work in Cleveland, I may as well not pay $42k."

Applications at Case (2010): 2,193
Applications (2011): 1,655
(-24.5%)

About the only thing that's improved is bar passage, which got way better.

071816
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Re: ITT: New School Medians Revealed

Postby 071816 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:50 am

USC's class decreased from 220 last year to 199 this year if anyone cares.

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Mickey Quicknumbers
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Re: ITT: New School Medians Revealed

Postby Mickey Quicknumbers » Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:08 am

Emory's new medians are 165 (-1) and 3.7(+.16) with a class of 245, which I believe shrunk by about 40 kids but is still larger than any other class size before that.

Sandro
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Re: ITT: New School Medians Revealed

Postby Sandro » Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:45 am

Mickey Quicknumbers wrote:Emory's new medians are 165 (-1) and 3.7(+.16) with a class of 245, which I believe shrunk by about 40 kids but is still larger than any other class size before that.


Wowwwww.

Trequartista
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Re: ITT: New School Medians Revealed

Postby Trequartista » Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:59 am

From Cornell's Website

"Overview of Fall 2011 entering class:
5,556 applications were received.
Median LSAT score was 168, with the 25th and 75th percentiles for the class falling at 166 and 169, respectively.
Median GPA was 3.66, with the 25th and 75th percentiles falling at 3.51 and 3.77, respectively."

http://www.lawschool.cornell.edu/admissions/FAQ/admission_and_preparation.cfm

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minnbills
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Re: ITT: New School Medians Revealed

Postby minnbills » Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:40 pm

It seems that so many schools have decreased class sizes that the explanation: "oh, we just overenrolled the past few years" seems a bit tenuous.

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coldshoulder
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Re: ITT: New School Medians Revealed

Postby coldshoulder » Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:41 pm

Trequartista wrote:From Cornell's Website

"Overview of Fall 2011 entering class:
5,556 applications were received.
Median LSAT score was 168, with the 25th and 75th percentiles for the class falling at 166 and 169, respectively.
Median GPA was 3.66, with the 25th and 75th percentiles falling at 3.51 and 3.77, respectively."

http://www.lawschool.cornell.edu/admissions/FAQ/admission_and_preparation.cfm


Damn, I'm stoked now. If I score over 170 I'll have a kickass shot at Cornell.




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