Effects of Smaller App. Pool

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WhiteGuy5
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Effects of Smaller App. Pool

Postby WhiteGuy5 » Tue Nov 01, 2011 8:21 pm

I'm wondering what you guys think what effect the size of the applicant pool will have on the 2011 admissions cycle:

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It seems like there will be less people applying. Does this ever make a difference? And in what way?

Since the LSAT is graded on a fixed curve, each year the same percentage of people receive any particular score. Therefore, Less test takers = less people scoring 170+. If schools are trying to maintain their medians AND their class sizes, shouldn't this make this year's cycle less competitive?

I also remember somebody posting here that this year has seen the greatest drop in the number of applicants in over a decade. Is this true?

MrAnon
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Re: Effects of Smaller App. Pool

Postby MrAnon » Tue Nov 01, 2011 8:23 pm

Dumber pool of students. LSAT will be higher because people are taking it repeatedly and the bar for prep has been raised across the board, but overall persons who might have other options are looking into other professions. For years and years we've heard people are going to law school to wait out the economy. Economy is no better / smarter students are just starting to wise up that its a bad investment.

Also you'll see LSAC come up with other gimmicks (take the test as many times as you want!) in order to make profits that they are losing from not having the numbers from the peak years.

Law schools will become more desperate to keep their average scores and what not higher. Situations like Illinois fudging the numbers will become more commonplace as a result.

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WhiteGuy5
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Re: Effects of Smaller App. Pool

Postby WhiteGuy5 » Tue Nov 01, 2011 8:28 pm

MrAnon wrote:Dumber pool of students. LSAT will be higher because people are taking it repeatedly and the bar for prep has been raised across the board, but overall persons who might have other options are looking into other professions. For years and years we've heard people are going to law school to wait out the economy. Economy is no better / smarter students are just starting to wise up that its a bad investment.

Also you'll see LSAC come up with other gimmicks (take the test as many times as you want!) in order to make profits that they are losing from not having the numbers from the peak years.

Law schools will become more desperate to keep their average scores and what not higher. Situations like Illinois fudging the numbers will become more commonplace as a result.


This sounds like what you think will be a TREND. Do you think this applies to this year's cycle specifically? And what implications do these things have re: admissions?

American_in_China
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Re: Effects of Smaller App. Pool

Postby American_in_China » Tue Nov 01, 2011 9:03 pm

[quote="MrAnon"]Dumber pool of students. LSAT will be higher because people are taking it repeatedly and the bar for prep has been raised across the board, but overall persons who might have other options are looking into other professions. /quote]

Wrong. Even though the LSAT is equated before the test, the variation in scores over the last twenty years has essentially been insignificant; i.e. the average score is not increasing. I don't have the data on hand, but it seems that the number of 180s scored each year corresponds almost directly with the number of test takers.

Look at it this way (I'm sure hoping I'm right)- LSAT scores are a normal distribution, while GPAs are heavily inflated and have a retiredly high mean. If the pool of applicants fall, you'll see better outcomes for high LSATs, and worse outcomes for high GPAs.

For example; let's say that 3 years ago there were 100,000 test takes, with a total of 100 180 scores. If that ratio holds, and the number of test takers falls to 80,000, then there are only 80 180s, so competition to get them becomes much more intense.

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smokeylarue
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Re: Effects of Smaller App. Pool

Postby smokeylarue » Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:30 pm

It should mean it will be less competitive than the most competitive years. Less applicants = less 180's, less 179's, less 178's, less 177's, less 160's .... and so forth. It means medians for this year will probably remain the same and not go up. Doubtful they will ever go down.

tennisking88
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Re: Effects of Smaller App. Pool

Postby tennisking88 » Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:38 pm

smokeylarue wrote:It means medians for this year will probably remain the same and not go up. Doubtful they will ever go down.


Not quite sure why. Medians dropped at a bunch of schools in 2010-2011 (Fordham, ND, W&L, Emory, Illinois) without a big drop in applications. Some schools (George mason) could shrink their class sizes to maintain medians. But if some schools want to maintain their class sizes, some will be forced to take ppl with lower qualifications than the year before, no?
Last edited by tennisking88 on Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MrAnon
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Re: Effects of Smaller App. Pool

Postby MrAnon » Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:40 pm

smokeylarue wrote:It should mean it will be less competitive than the most competitive years. Less applicants = less 180's, less 179's, less 178's, less 177's, less 160's .... and so forth. It means medians for this year will probably remain the same and not go up. Doubtful they will ever go down.


You're right. I wasn't thinking clearly. Moreover to my point this serves to mask the weaknesses in the student body at the very top end and on down the pool.

To the other poster, if you are worried about what this means for next year's cycle you are missing the larger picture here.

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WhiteGuy5
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Re: Effects of Smaller App. Pool

Postby WhiteGuy5 » Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:56 pm

MrAnon wrote:
smokeylarue wrote:It should mean it will be less competitive than the most competitive years. Less applicants = less 180's, less 179's, less 178's, less 177's, less 160's .... and so forth. It means medians for this year will probably remain the same and not go up. Doubtful they will ever go down.



To the other poster, if you are worried about what this means for next year's cycle you are missing the larger picture here.


What do you mean?

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smokeylarue
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Re: Effects of Smaller App. Pool

Postby smokeylarue » Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:58 pm

tennisking88 wrote:
smokeylarue wrote:It means medians for this year will probably remain the same and not go up. Doubtful they will ever go down.


Not quite sure why. Medians dropped at a bunch of schools in 2010-2011 (Fordham, ND, W&L, Emory, Illinois) without a big drop in applications. Some schools (George mason) could shrink their class sizes to maintain medians. But if some schools want to maintain their class sizes, some will be forced to take ppl with lower qualifications than the year before, no?


You're probably right some medians may drop then. For the T-14 I doubt it though.

iamrobk
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Re: Effects of Smaller App. Pool

Postby iamrobk » Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:10 pm

smokeylarue wrote:
tennisking88 wrote:
smokeylarue wrote:It means medians for this year will probably remain the same and not go up. Doubtful they will ever go down.


Not quite sure why. Medians dropped at a bunch of schools in 2010-2011 (Fordham, ND, W&L, Emory, Illinois) without a big drop in applications. Some schools (George mason) could shrink their class sizes to maintain medians. But if some schools want to maintain their class sizes, some will be forced to take ppl with lower qualifications than the year before, no?


You're probably right some medians may drop then. For the T-14 I doubt it though.

Well, even for the T14, something's gotta drop. Either the matriculation rate or the medians.

minnesotamike
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Re: Effects of Smaller App. Pool

Postby minnesotamike » Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:40 am

What is implied by "LSATs administered/end of year/2010-2011" ?

Presumably end of year is a specific date. Is the "end of year" date for the final column Dec. 31, 2011? If so, are the numbers including December LSAT-takers, even though that test obviously has not yet been administered?

iamrobk
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Re: Effects of Smaller App. Pool

Postby iamrobk » Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:53 pm

Where is the chart in the first post from, anyway?

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WhiteGuy5
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Re: Effects of Smaller App. Pool

Postby WhiteGuy5 » Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:01 pm

iamrobk wrote:Where is the chart in the first post from, anyway?


Here you go pal: http://www.lsac.org/LSACResources/Data/ ... ummary.asp

iamrobk
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Re: Effects of Smaller App. Pool

Postby iamrobk » Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:08 pm

WhiteGuy5 wrote:
iamrobk wrote:Where is the chart in the first post from, anyway?


Here you go pal: http://www.lsac.org/LSACResources/Data/ ... ummary.asp

Ah, thanks! I figured it was from the LSAC website but I couldn't find it.

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medialoop
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Re: Effects of Smaller App. Pool

Postby medialoop » Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:33 pm

It could also be that medians won't drop but that schools won't take softs into account as much... so maybe it's good news for those with higher/medium numbers, but bad news who were hoping to wow adcomms with a great story/accomplishments/etc.? That's just a guess, though.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Effects of Smaller App. Pool

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:34 pm

iamrobk wrote:Well, even for the T14, something's gotta drop. Either the matriculation rate or the medians.


Or they could just worry less about soft factors.

Scooped.

iamrobk
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Re: Effects of Smaller App. Pool

Postby iamrobk » Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:37 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
iamrobk wrote:Well, even for the T14, something's gotta drop. Either the matriculation rate or the medians.


Or they could just worry less about soft factors.

Scooped.

I mean, I suppose it's a possibility, but just by looking at LSN, there's always a pretty clear cutoff. Not many people they seem to be rejecting (or accepting) just because of softs, at least not enough to make up for a 10% drop in applications (2-3%, sure, but not 10%). Just a guess, but I'd say that GPA medians will drop more than LSAT ones, since higher LSAT's will become rarer due to the inherent curve (and less people taking it). Perhaps we'll see less people waitlisted?

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Hawkeye Pierce
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Re: Effects of Smaller App. Pool

Postby Hawkeye Pierce » Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:39 pm

TBF, most schools don't care about softs very much in the first place so I don't find that to be very compelling.

freestallion
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Re: Effects of Smaller App. Pool

Postby freestallion » Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:44 pm

Do you think some schools that supposedly care more about softs, like Berkeley or Northwestern (quality of WE?) would become more numbers based? Or no?

Another possibility is some schools that previously highly preferred optional essays- like UVA, Michigan, Penn, etc - would now reduce the emphasis on that and admit people solely because of numbers...

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NiccoloA
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Re: Effects of Smaller App. Pool

Postby NiccoloA » Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:46 pm

medialoop wrote:It could also be that medians won't drop but that schools won't take softs into account as much... so maybe it's good news for those with higher/medium numbers, but bad news who were hoping to wow adcomms with a great story/accomplishments/etc.? That's just a guess, though.



People liek me can only hope.

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: Effects of Smaller App. Pool

Postby crumpetsandtea » Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:50 pm

freestallion wrote:Do you think some schools that supposedly care more about softs, like Berkeley or Northwestern (quality of WE?) would become more numbers based? Or no?

Maybe...I think some schools (ie NU) are trying to preserve both by changing up their tactics (ie NU's new ED program...BU has also instituted a new ED program).

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Effects of Smaller App. Pool

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:01 pm

Hawkeye Pierce wrote:TBF, most schools don't care about softs very much in the first place so I don't find that to be very compelling.


Look at all of the people waitlisted with an LSAT score right at the median. The better the school, the more likely this is to be the case. HTH.

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Hawkeye Pierce
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Re: Effects of Smaller App. Pool

Postby Hawkeye Pierce » Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:39 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
Hawkeye Pierce wrote:TBF, most schools don't care about softs very much in the first place so I don't find that to be very compelling.


Look at all of the people waitlisted with an LSAT score right at the median. The better the school, the more likely this is to be the case. HTH.


Right, so we can generalize and say that borderline candidates will get some help. But there's no way in hell we can say that they'll care less about softs. They already don't care about them. They'll just relax the numbers requirements. HTH

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Robespierre
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Re: Effects of Smaller App. Pool

Postby Robespierre » Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:40 pm

Just because there was a 10% drop in applicants last year and June LSATs taken were down 18.7% this year, we can't assume there will be a sharp decrease in applicants for Fall '12. I mean, it's likely, but no one knows for sure in this crazily volatile economy and we need to see the October LSATs figure at least. That should become available shortly.

Personal prediction - Same as last year, applicants will be down about 10% again. That will leave the Top 6 unscathed; the rest of Tier 1 with a grab bag of smaller classes, fewer soft factor admissions, and very slightly decreased medians; Tiers 2 and 3 with significant median decreases; and Tier 4 scrambling for students.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Effects of Smaller App. Pool

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:48 pm

Hawkeye Pierce wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
Hawkeye Pierce wrote:TBF, most schools don't care about softs very much in the first place so I don't find that to be very compelling.


Look at all of the people waitlisted with an LSAT score right at the median. The better the school, the more likely this is to be the case. HTH.


Right, so we can generalize and say that borderline candidates will get some help. But there's no way in hell we can say that they'll care less about softs. They already don't care about them. They'll just relax the numbers requirements. HTH


But this won't necessarily lead to reduced medians. Schools will let in a few more borderline candidates who would have been rejected/waitlisted in the past (because of softs or whatever else), reduce class sizes by 5-10%, and then finally start lowering medians when other options have been exhausted.




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