Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

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jeffyl00b
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby jeffyl00b » Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:13 pm

I have two really terse queries which I hope hasn't been asked yet.

Schools take your highest LSAT score, but what about the two writing samples, do they only look at the highest score sample? I absolutely hate my higher score sample(I think my blood sugar was going at the end of that test) and liked my lower score test writing sample.

Also, I'm studying and thinking about taking the test again in July, although I've already applied to quite a few schools. If I get accepted, do a seat deposit, etc, do I get to "negotiate" the scholarships to where it should be, or am I locked in for this cycle? I'm an older student who had multiple issues at test time that hampered my preparation the other time around.

SPerez
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:21 pm

justonemoregame wrote:Dean Perez,

Hail Mary!

I was wondering if there is any way you could share some data re: the performance of high LSAT scorers relative to much lower-scoring students. Like low 160s vs. 150/151.


This is going to vary by school, but overall the predictive value of the LSAT of first year performance has a correlation coefficient of about .45 (more or less). According to my over-simplified understanding of stats, this is actually pretty strong. (A "perfect" correlation, i.e. it predicts perfectly, would be 1.0.) When you combine LSAT and UGPA, it goes up to 0.49.

Every year we (and all law schools, I would guess) provide the first year grades for our last class to LSAC and their statisticians give us back a report on how well the LSAT and GPA predicted how well those students did. (They use that to continuously improve and refine the value of the LSAT.)

What you would see is a scatterplot with a general relationship, but not perfect. So the person with the best combined stats in the class is virtually never ranked #1 in the class after the first year, but they're also virtually never outside the top 25%, either. On the other side, the person with the weakest LSAT/GPA combo isn't a lock to flunk out, but also almost never gets the grades to be in the top half of the class.

Everyone starts off equal in law school. 170 doesn't get you extra points on your law school exams and doesn't guarantee you will make law review. I've seen people with LSATs in the high 140s make law review, and I've seen people in the mid-160s flunk out. There's no substitute for hard work, which is why I often see very hard working 152-155/3.6-3.9 types eat the lunch of 160-164/3.1-3.3 types in law school. The first group is smart "enough" and has the attitude and work ethic to squeeze every bit of potential out of themselves. The latter group is very smart and gifted, but has usually cruised by on talent without ever being pushed to actually work hard.

Dean Perez

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:02 pm

wannabelawstudent wrote:But seriously, my "friend" has a 167/2.5. What advice would you give my "friend" on applying/convincing law schools that I've gotten my act together.


This is a tougher one. Nothing beats actual evidence. The best thing is an upward trend, the lower the early grades the better the later grades have to be. LORs from professors commenting specifically on your academic abilities--analytical/critical thinking, insightfulness, writing ability, contribution to classroom, etc. Many LORs from professors for low-GPA students tend to be silent on all those issues, with comments on things like punctuality or personality. (I've read this several times this year, and I always think how bad is the state of UG education when professors are praising the fact that students are on time for morning classes and turn in their assignments on time?)

LSAC stops calculating GPA after the first bachelor's degree is conferred. If that hasn't happened, you could consider the GPA version of "retake", which is delay graduation to amass more A's and raise that GPA. The point here isn't so much increasing your LSAC GPA - at that point 30 hours won't have much impact on the other 120 - but it's more to prove, have evidence to back up your assertion, that you're a different applicant. That said, most people opt for studying more for the LSAT b/c conventional (and incorrect in my opinion, or at least not the universal Truth most make it seem) "wisdom" around here is that anyone can just study their way to a 180.

Another option we commonly suggest is getting a graduate degree. This gives you another opportunity to prove you can excel (gotta be in the 3.7-4.0 range since most grad schools just give A's or B's) at graduate level work. This takes time and money, another reason most people opt to put their time into the LSAT. This is more of an option for people with horrible grades AND a horrible LSAT (and often ALSO poor writing skills). Another plus is more profs to write LORs for you.

Besides all that, there's really nothing else but time to help a file that looks immature. I read a lot of essays that SAY they've changed, matured, are ready to work hard, etc. But it's all just words. I'm supposed to believe all of a sudden you're going to flip a switch and do as well as a high LSAT suggests you can? Nah, B. It can happen, but a lot of the things that lead students to very good grades in UG and law school are study habits developed over time. Even worse are those that point to some time in their UG when the supposed epiphany happened, but there wasn't actually any improvement in performance.

In your, er, your friend's case, a 167 is one giant Febreeze can all over the steamy pile that is a bad GPA. You're going to have choices among some very good schools. The trick will be to realize and appreciate how good those choices are and not get caught up in the pervasive one-upmanship/never-good-enough attitude that's so prevalent these days.

Dean Perez

wannabelawstudent
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby wannabelawstudent » Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:13 pm

Thanks for that Dean (And sorry for calling you a female in another thread). Also, you said you did sectioning at another school. How do schools determine sections? I assume its more than drawing names out of a hat.

SPerez
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:51 pm

Crowing wrote:Dean Perez -

I understand that choice of major plays little to no role in the admissions process, but just out of curiosity I was wondering if distinctions between hard/soft majors were fairly static or flexible? That is, is it possible to break common majors down into a sort of tiered system for RIGOR and do adcoms actually go in-depth enough to look into the strength or particular programs at particular UGs? Also, I was wondering how double (or higher-order) majors are typically viewed with respect to single majors.

Thanks for taking the time to do this!


Ideally, it would be cool if this were possible, but practically speaking it isn't. I mean, some uber-researchers out there could probably create some sort of sliding scale conversion GPA if given enough grade information from enough schools and enough majors with enough information about the students to control for all the stuff one would need to control for, but no individual school could or would take on that project. Also, I think academics (or maybe just people generally) are pretty comfortable making decisions based on "common knowledge" or anecdote, accurate or not.

Since the vast majority of law schools are regional and therefore get their students from a relatively small group of undergrads, adcoms will be mostly familiar with those schools. Remember also that most adcoms are likely to have college-age kids so they probably learned a bit more about the programs at various schools through that process, too. But no single person can be versed enough in enough programs at enough schools to do any in-depth comparison of the performance between applicants.

There are certainly some majors who do significantly better on the LSAT than others, and majors with much higher average GPA's that others, but that's why we don't look at any single metric. That sort of thing does come into play when candidates happen to be borderline at a given school.

For example, I've denied applicants with 4.0 GPAs in majors like Journalism or Communications who had average LSATs (150-152ish, which while low for the schools I've been at, isn't "bad"; see my other post re: splitters). I denied them because their writing was absolutely atrocious. Just because they had the numbers, didn't mean they actually had the ability to back them up. And while I didn't regard majors like COMM all that highly to begin with, I certainly remembered this applicant and what school they went to.

On the other hand, I've admitted students with low GPAs in similarly soft majors but at elite schools because they're writing was excellent (and perhaps they also had other outside factors that influenced their grades like family issues or full-time work). After doing this a while, it can be pretty clear who's got the goods and who doesn't, no matter what the numbers are.

So what I'm saying is there are all sorts of combinations: hard major/soft school, soft major/hard school, soft major/soft school/Honors College, etc. You can't do anything about how schools treat any of it. All you can do as an applicant is do your best. The rest will sort itself out. I know that's a really tough philosophy for most Type-A future law students and TLS'ers, but I think it makes for a less stressful life.

As for double vs. single majors, I couldn't care less about that in and of itself. I care more about the substance of the courses and the performance than I do about how exactly all the credits happened to be arranged. E.g. single Neuroscience degree more impressive than double major Crim Justice/Comm.

And as a bonus, you know what else I don't care about? Graduating in three years. Maybe that used to mean something, but with how easy it is for most students to graduate from high school with a ridiculous number of credits, it's not actually that hard. (Again, there are situations where that MIGHT be impressive, but just saying by itself it usually isn't.) Plus, the files I typically see generally have little to no campus involvement or other experiences. I get it if it's a financial decision, but hell, college is FUN (or at least it should be if you're doing it right). Why make it end sooner if you can afford it?

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bluepenguin
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby bluepenguin » Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:22 pm

Thanks for answering all these questions Dean Perez!

I have a couple questions about the personal statement. About what percentage of the PS's that make it to your desk are actually 100% free of typos or grammar/spelling/syntax errors and the like (to the extent you notice them as a reader).

Also, what's your view of errors that convey lack of attention to detail (e.g. typos) vs those that seem to indicate a lack of writing ability or command of English (e.g. comma abuse, run on sentences).

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Yukos
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby Yukos » Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:33 pm

bluepenguin wrote:Thanks for answering all these questions Dean Perez!

I have a couple questions about the personal statement. About what percentage of the PS's that make it to your desk are actually 100% free of typos or grammar/spelling/syntax errors and the like (to the extent you notice them as a reader).

Also, what's your view of errors that convey lack of attention to detail (e.g. typos) vs those that seem to indicate a lack of writing ability or command of English (e.g. comma abuse, run on sentences).


This is a really awesome question(s) :)

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cahwc12
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby cahwc12 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:11 am

Dean Perez,

Do you have any information (even anecdotal) about IP placement specifically? Also, according to LST, 75% of employed graduates find work in Texas. Do you have any kind of statistical split by city/area? How many graduates end up in DFW? Houston? Austin? etc?

Lastly, I know your school is very rare in that you actually post highly detailed employment information on your website. But in the spirit of encouraging a general shift toward transparency, would you consider submitting the school's NALP report(s) to Law School Transparency? Many people, when looking at law schools, don't initially look at each school's website, but rather aggregate sites like LST (now that it exists).

Thanks for your reply.

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:27 pm

jeffyl00b wrote: Schools take your highest LSAT score, but what about the two writing samples, do they only look at the highest score sample? I absolutely hate my higher score sample(I think my blood sugar was going at the end of that test) and liked my lower score test writing sample.


This will vary not only by school, but also by reviewer. Some people read them, some don't. Personally, I've never even looked at which sample went with which score. I'm just scrolling down the PDF reading things in order. You can't do anything about it so no sense in worrying about it.

jeffyl00b wrote: Also, I'm studying and thinking about taking the test again in July, although I've already applied to quite a few schools. If I get accepted, do a seat deposit, etc, do I get to "negotiate" the scholarships to where it should be, or am I locked in for this cycle? I'm an older student who had multiple issues at test time that hampered my preparation the other time around.


Whether or not you are able to negotiate your scholarship is completely up to the school. Most will likely have a policy that has little to do with your LSAT score. In a normal year, I'd say no way and not to even bother. It will be only a few weeks before Orientation at most schools before you even get your scores. The vast majority of schools will have their classes fairly set and likely not really need another person, especially one that isn't even committing but is wanting to "negotiate". This year, though, you might get lucky and have your school be in need of you such that they would be willing to give you a scholarship. I would suggest knowing exactly what your plan is if you don't do better on the LSAT and/or you don't get a scholarship offer because those are the two most likely scenarios, and you will need to move fast if you put off your decision that long.

Dean Perez

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Sun Feb 24, 2013 1:50 pm

wannabelawstudent wrote: How do schools determine sections? I assume its more than drawing names out of a hat.


I can't say how other schools do sectioning, but I can't say I can think of any other way of doing it than the way I do it.

Essentially, my overarching goal is to make sure the sections are as balanced as I can get them. First and foremost by (predicted) academic ability, but also demographically.

Academically, not only would it be bad for students if all the "top" students (I put that in quotes b/c we never know which students will actually end up on top) are in the same section b/c of the curve, but putting all the "weaker" students in the same section would also create a burden on those professors as they try to make sure everyone learns.

Demographically, it's better if the sections have roughly the same proportional representations of women, URMs, huge undergrad feeders, non-residents, etc. Then there's all these little specific cases that are dictated by school policy, e.g. what you do with 2 married students (same or different sections), students repeating a 1L class (different prof), or students who have personal relationships with 1L professors (put in another section).

Mechanically, I just spend a lot of time with an Excel spreadsheet I've developed over time specifically for this purpose. When you're talking about 4 sections and then 3 LRW sections within each large section, there's a lot of moving parts. I guess bigger/richer schools might have a computer program that takes care of it all, but I don't know for sure. I do a first big sort by something that should give me a random output, then I start with the balancing. I'm not really looking at names or specific people ever, it's really just the criteria I need to adjust and who meets those criteria.

Dean Perez

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:55 pm

bluepenguin wrote:About what percentage of the PS's that make it to your desk are actually 100% free of typos or grammar/spelling/syntax errors and the like (to the extent you notice them as a reader).


I've never been asked this, but it is an AWESOME question. I've never done an actual count, but I'd say the number of technically perfect essays is less than 35%. Yeah, that bad. Professors and LRW profs are always bemoaning the horrible state of writing training most undergrads receive (or don't, as is happens). We see a pretty wide cross section of all applicants, with our distribution pretty closely mirroring the national applicant pool. I assume (and hope) that the pool for a T14 school would have a higher proportion, although I can tell you every year I "hold my nose" as I admit someone with stellar numbers with a crappy PS.

I'm not a law review/writing nerd by any stretch of the imagination (although I have a definite opinion on the Oxford comma, I never remember whether punctuation goes in or out of quotation marks), but even I get annoyed and frustrated by it sometimes. There's the simple stuff that's is probably just the person not being taught the correct use (e.g. punctuation stuff), but then there's the wholesale lack of ability to construct understandable sentences and paragraphs. Last year I denied someone with a 3.9 in Journalism (supposedly a writing-intensive major) because the writing was so bad.

bluepenguin wrote:Also, what's your view of errors that convey lack of attention to detail (e.g. typos) vs those that seem to indicate a lack of writing ability or command of English (e.g. comma abuse, run on sentences).


I hate 'em all! Haha...But for reals, they're both bad. You're either lazy or lack ability. With the second, there's only so much basic writing skills you can learn in LRW, and poor writers seldom do well in law school. Bad writing is something that gets people with borderline numbers denied and people with good numbers no scholarship. Good writing gets borderline people in.

And I'm just talking technical construction. Content, organization, chosen topic, pace, tone, etc. are the next level. Even fewer essays are actually interesting or memorable.

Dean Perez

doorsal
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby doorsal » Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:11 pm

^Great thread, thank you!

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:27 pm

Hey Perez, do you know if LSAC still has that mail delivering robot, and if so do you know what they named it? I asked two admissions friends (politely stated, of course :) and neither knew.

I think I may just break down and ask someone at LSAC.

Hope all is well, man.

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby wannabelawstudent » Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:49 pm

Haha....Mike is the best

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John_rizzy_rawls
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby John_rizzy_rawls » Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:59 pm

Hey Dean Perez,

It's me again lol

Again, thanks a bunch for taking questions.

I've asked Mike Spivey these as well but would like both your takes. So two questions -

1) How much does transcript matter? For example, I'm a CC--->T20 transfer. During one bad semester (of which I actually have a very legit addendum for) I got 2 Fs. Other than that my GPA is ~3.9. To make up for the Fs I've taken quite a few less rigorous classes at my UG and a CC to boost my GPA as high as possible. I'll end up with a ~3.5/3.6. How heavily is this taken into account? Is it looked down on?

2) I'm applying this upcoming cycle (c/o 2017). Gunning hard for HYS. Would you recommend applying the day apps are open with a 3.5x/172ish or mid-December with a 3.6x/172ish? Is the time trade-off worth the small GPA boost. I know I can wait for Yale without penalty so I'm moreso asking for Harvard and Stanford (throw in CCN, Berkeley, and Penn as well). I've heard applying day 1 then updating with my transcripts is the best option, I'm just paranoid at being rejected before I have a chance to update with Fall grades in mid-December and Winter grades in late January.

I ask because my stats + URM register as almost auto-admit everywhere but Yale on myLSN but when I look beyond the numbers most applicant with my LSAT break the 3.6 threshold. So I'm just not sure how much those extra few points matter compared to the early application boost at rolling-admissions schools.

For the record if you don't remember I'm AA male URM with pretty above average softs (lower than Olympian/Rhodes, higher than TFA/WE/campus involvement) and no C&F.

Thanks!

SPerez
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:33 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:Hey Perez, do you know if LSAC still has that mail delivering robot, and if so do you know what they named it? I asked two admissions friends (politely stated, of course :) and neither knew.

I think I may just break down and ask someone at LSAC.

Hope all is well, man.


I received a private diplomatic cable today indicating the mail robot's name is "Flash" and is still in operation.

This whole thing reminds me of that Martin Short joke from "Three Amigos" where he says, "How can you tell it's a mail plane?"... haha.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:56 am

I wonder if we asked the same person at LSAC, and if so, if there head is spinning with conspiracy theories.

Apparently there was a contest to name it. I would have entered AWESOM-O 4000.

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TripTrip
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby TripTrip » Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:48 am

There was a contest and the best they could come up with is "Flash"? That's disappointing.

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TheRedBlueBerry
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby TheRedBlueBerry » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:09 am

TripTrip wrote:There was a contest and the best they could come up with is "Flash"? That's disappointing.


+1

DiegoWolfe
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby DiegoWolfe » Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:38 pm

Dean Perez,

I appreciate the honest and thoughtful answers, I have a few questions regarding the Summer Entry Program at TTU and how one wins you and the admissions committee over after being waitlisted. I speculate that it may often just be purely numbers based but does taking a visit to the school without being accepted or sending in multiple LOCI’s really help ones cause? I understand that every case is different but perhaps you could shed some light on how one can demonstrate sincere interest without overdoing it? Regarding the Summer Entry Program, could you provide a few details about the typical process and dates that students are expected to be in Lubbock.

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Fri Mar 08, 2013 6:36 pm

cahwc12 wrote:Do you have any information (even anecdotal) about IP placement specifically?


Unfortunately, I don't know about our IP placement. (CSO's avoid the word "placement" these days b/c they feel like it suggests their offices simply "place" students in jobs rather than students earning the jobs themselves. You'll notice virtually no schools have the word in the office name anymore. It's all "Services" and "Development".) That's a really niche area at almost every law school, though, so I would imagine the overall employment success would be more probative.

cahwc12 wrote:Do you have any kind of statistical split by city/area? How many graduates end up in DFW? Houston? Austin? etc?

All that is actually on the link you put in your own post. Click on the specific year and scroll all the way down...

lnh819
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby lnh819 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:23 pm

Can you tell me about the Presidential Scholarship? I was the nominee from my college! I'm mainly curious if there are any stipulations attached to this scholarship and if it applies in addition to whatever scholarship offer I already have from Tech. I'd also like to know when I should expect to hear whether or not I actually got it.

Super excited for the Accepted Students Weekend!

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby togepi » Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:51 am

.

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby wert3813 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:21 am

John_rizzy_rawls wrote:Hey Dean Perez,

It's me again lol

Again, thanks a bunch for taking questions.

I've asked Mike Spivey these as well but would like both your takes. So two questions -

1) How much does transcript matter? For example, I'm a CC--->T20 transfer. During one bad semester (of which I actually have a very legit addendum for) I got 2 Fs. Other than that my GPA is ~3.9. To make up for the Fs I've taken quite a few less rigorous classes at my UG and a CC to boost my GPA as high as possible. I'll end up with a ~3.5/3.6. How heavily is this taken into account? Is it looked down on?

2) I'm applying this upcoming cycle (c/o 2017). Gunning hard for HYS. Would you recommend applying the day apps are open with a 3.5x/172ish or mid-December with a 3.6x/172ish? Is the time trade-off worth the small GPA boost. I know I can wait for Yale without penalty so I'm moreso asking for Harvard and Stanford (throw in CCN, Berkeley, and Penn as well). I've heard applying day 1 then updating with my transcripts is the best option, I'm just paranoid at being rejected before I have a chance to update with Fall grades in mid-December and Winter grades in late January.

I ask because my stats + URM register as almost auto-admit everywhere but Yale on myLSN but when I look beyond the numbers most applicant with my LSAT break the 3.6 threshold. So I'm just not sure how much those extra few points matter compared to the early application boost at rolling-admissions schools.

For the record if you don't remember I'm AA male URM with pretty above average softs (lower than Olympian/Rhodes, higher than TFA/WE/campus involvement) and no C&F.

Thanks!


TL;DR Dean Perez, can you again confirm that I'm awesome? It's been a couple months.

I kid, but like two months ago you asked something to the effect of what is the process is like for people who, like me, are basically auto-admits to HYS type schools. And Dean Perez nicely laughed it off and told you to chill. Maybe keep chilling dude?

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John_rizzy_rawls
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby John_rizzy_rawls » Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:30 am

wert3813 wrote:TL;DR Dean Perez, can you again confirm that I'm awesome? It's been a couple months.

I kid, but like two months ago you asked something to the effect of what is the process is like for people who, like me, are basically auto-admits to HYS type schools. And Dean Perez nicely laughed it off and told you to chill. Maybe keep chilling dude?


Nah they're legit questions. Spivey answered them though so I think I got the answer I needed.

Playing it cool looks nice I guess but everyone who cares enough wants to know as much as they possibly can about this process to discern every advantage possible. And having a current AdComm here taking questions goes a long way to understanding little things - like the trade off effect between a slight GPA boost to early app boost.




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