Early Graduation

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toofiredup
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Early Graduation

Postby toofiredup » Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:00 pm

Hey guys, I have a bit of a conundrum. I'm sitting currently at a 3.3 GPA in my 2nd year of college but I have the potential for it to be a 3.6 by the end of my 3rd year. I took a bunch of summer and winter classes and will probably continue to do so I'll be graduating w/ a B.A. in 3 years (rather than the 4 years). I've already taken the LSAT and scored a 178 (Powerscore LSAT prep, I love you). I probably shot myself in the foot by taking so many classes my first year hence the low GPA..

So my question is, should I apply for law school AFTER my 3rd year and then just waste an entire year till law school or apply at the start of my 3rd year (but with a weaker GPA)? I'm really confused about this, all advice would be appreciated!

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Early Graduation

Postby Doorkeeper » Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:12 pm

If law school is your goal, you shouldn't graduate in 3 years if it's financially possible. That 4th year can really help to boost your GPA. Graduating with a 3.5/3.6 vs. +3.7 makes a difference when you have a 178.

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Perdevise
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Re: Early Graduation

Postby Perdevise » Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:56 pm

3.6/178 = CCN
3.8/178 = YHS

(roughly). I think it'd be worth another year.

ahnhub
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Re: Early Graduation

Postby ahnhub » Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:01 pm

If you can find something interesting/resume-building to do that year after graduating, that will be another plus.

KingsBench
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Re: Early Graduation

Postby KingsBench » Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:22 pm

Perdevise wrote:3.6/178 = CCN
3.8/178 = YHS

(roughly). I think it'd be worth another year.


I'm usually a proponent of graduating early (contrary to TLS general wisdom), but I agree with this. Your LSAT is stellar but a higher GPA would put you in HYS running - why waste it by graduating early? Take the extra year and stack up on As, it'll pay dividends in the future!

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yuzu
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Re: Early Graduation

Postby yuzu » Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:01 pm

KingsBench wrote:Your LSAT is stellar but a higher GPA would put you in HYS running - why waste it by graduating early? Take the extra year and stack up on As, it'll pay dividends in the future!


I don't get this. A Harvard degree is not better than a Columbia degree enough to waste a year of your life on. If OP actually wanted the extra year of classes for personal development, etc., I'd totally support it. But in my view, taking classes you don't want just to gun for a HYS degree with mildly better career prospects is a waste of a year of your life. (Unless you want to work in academia or something - if you want academia go to HYS.)

If you really want "dividends," let's do a financial analysis. If you're like most HYSCCN students, you'll work for biglaw either way. The biglaw pay scales/career paths for HYS/CCN/etc. are identical. But by starting a year earlier, you will get an extra year's salary ($160k) plus you'll be at higher pay scales for each year you advance (say, $20k/yr for 10 years.) Plus you might spend $40k or so for the fourth year of undergrad tuition.

Add it up - the year costs you $400k. Is an HYS degree really worth $400k more than a CCN degree? Mix in the uncertainty of whether OP, despite past grades, will get a 4.0 from now on, and HYS may not be in the cards anyway.


(I know, pre-tax salaries and all - you can argue with the numbers but the fact is another year college has financial impacts far beyond tuition. There are great reasons to wait a year but IMHO gunning for HYS prestige isn't one of them.)

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Killingly
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Re: Early Graduation

Postby Killingly » Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:03 pm

I graduated only a semester early and regret it every day.

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sunynp
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Re: Early Graduation

Postby sunynp » Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:16 pm

yuzu wrote:
KingsBench wrote:Your LSAT is stellar but a higher GPA would put you in HYS running - why waste it by graduating early? Take the extra year and stack up on As, it'll pay dividends in the future!


I don't get this. A Harvard degree is not better than a Columbia degree enough to waste a year of your life on. If OP actually wanted the extra year of classes for personal development, etc., I'd totally support it. But in my view, taking classes you don't want just to gun for a HYS degree with mildly better career prospects is a waste of a year of your life. (Unless you want to work in academia or something - if you want academia go to HYS.)

If you really want "dividends," let's do a financial analysis. If you're like most HYSCCN students, you'll work for biglaw either way. The biglaw pay scales/career paths for HYS/CCN/etc. are identical. But by starting a year earlier, you will get an extra year's salary ($160k) plus you'll be at higher pay scales for each year you advance (say, $20k/yr for 10 years.) Plus you might spend $40k or so for the fourth year of undergrad tuition.

Add it up - the year costs you $400k. Is an HYS degree really worth $400k more than a CCN degree? Mix in the uncertainty of whether OP, despite past grades, will get a 4.0 from now on, and HYS may not be in the cards anyway.


(I know, pre-tax salaries and all - you can argue with the numbers but the fact is another year college has financial impacts far beyond tuition. There are great reasons to wait a year but IMHO gunning for HYS prestige isn't one of them.)


It is an interesting question - how will graduating early affect your admissions? There is a general feeling that schools are looking for people who have done more than K-JD and that employers seem to prefer students with some life experience, or at least people with work experience might have a boost at OCI. Might graduating early make you look young in comparison, or will admissions look at graduating early as an achievement? I don't know the answer to that question.

My advice would be to go to school and take all the stuff you want to take for fun. Get good grades. Maybe only take 14 hours. Get some solid work experience - internship or externship. Pick up some life skills and also some stuff for your resume.

I'm not sure what the rush is to get into law school.

As to the financials, I'm not sure of exact cutoffs for each school, but a higher GPA should place you in the running for more scholarship money. It isn't just admissions that are at stake with your GPA.

By the way, it isn't true that CCN and HYS have the same job prospects.

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spleenworship
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Re: Early Graduation

Postby spleenworship » Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:18 pm

Do a fourth year, take wasteful classes like "Sociology of Gaming" (actual class) and graduate with a 3.8 if you can swing it. Take 12 hours a semester and find some extracurricular stuff so you aren't totally devoid of softs. Seriously, I would shoot my mother in the effing leg to have had a 178. Don't waste that!

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Perdevise
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Re: Early Graduation

Postby Perdevise » Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:44 am

I don't get this. A Harvard degree is not better than a Columbia degree enough to waste a year of your life on. If OP actually wanted the extra year of classes for personal development, etc., I'd totally support it. But in my view, taking classes you don't want just to gun for a HYS degree with mildly better career prospects is a waste of a year of your life. (Unless you want to work in academia or something - if you want academia go to HYS.)


By the way, it isn't true that CCN and HYS have the same job prospects.


You are significantly more likely to score biglaw/article III clerkship from HYS than CCN. The benefits are far more tangible than improved academia. On these fora I've read that people at Yale and Stanford can stumble into biglaw, and I think Harvard is largely the same. A near-consensus holds that these schools hold more value down the line for exit-options as well. Finally, you have less stress from grades. I think spending another year as an undergrad maximizing GPA is worth it to get HYS.

http://harvard.lawschoolnumbers.com/app ... ,7&type=jd

With a 3.8, odds are pretty good for Harvard, the most predictable of the T-3. A 3.85 seems pretty close to a lock.

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kwais
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Re: Early Graduation

Postby kwais » Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:03 am

there is a tremendous amount of bizarre information in this thread. First, whoever said waiting a year will cost OP 400k is on crack. Delay a (potential) biglaw salary for one year, maybe. Cost 400k, ridiculous. Second, the assumption that OP, with a 3.3, is going to graduate with 3.7 is a stretch. I think OP should stop getting ahead of themselves and actually see if they can get the grades. Lastly, the idea that Harvard is a guarantee for a K-Jd with a 3.7 is also a stretch, even with a 178. My advice, stay in school, get the grades, take a year or two, get interesting work experience and then use that 178 to TRY to get into HYS. What is the rush to go to law school at 20? (sorry if I incorrectly assumed your age)

zanzbar
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Re: Early Graduation

Postby zanzbar » Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:25 pm

kwais wrote:there is a tremendous amount of bizarre information in this thread. First, whoever said waiting a year will cost OP 400k is on crack. Delay a (potential) biglaw salary for one year, maybe. Cost 400k, ridiculous. Second, the assumption that OP, with a 3.3, is going to graduate with 3.7 is a stretch. I think OP should stop getting ahead of themselves and actually see if they can get the grades. Lastly, the idea that Harvard is a guarantee for a K-Jd with a 3.7 is also a stretch, even with a 178. My advice, stay in school, get the grades, take a year or two, get interesting work experience and then use that 178 to TRY to get into HYS. What is the rush to go to law school at 20? (sorry if I incorrectly assumed your age)


I think if he followed your advice his score might lapse. If you can load up on easy classes do it because the money you will spend in tuition to increase your GPA will probably be less then the scholarship you get as a result. Also the 400k made me laugh, worst case scenario he is out about 180k 14-15 years from now.

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Perdevise
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Re: Early Graduation

Postby Perdevise » Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:31 pm

Kwais is prob. right regarding how difficult it would be to increase a GPA so significantly, and yes, 3.7 is not a lock to Harvard.

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20130312
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Re: Early Graduation

Postby 20130312 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:35 pm

Why do people want to graduate early? College is FUN. Graduating early DOES NOT improve your career prospects. If anything, it hurts them.

There's no advantage to graduating early, except for saving the tuition money.

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eaper
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Re: Early Graduation

Postby eaper » Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:43 pm

InGoodFaith wrote:Why do people want to graduate early? College is FUN. Graduating early DOES NOT improve your career prospects. If anything, it hurts them.

There's no advantage to graduating early, except for saving the tuition money.


This. Unless you can't afford that extra semester (Yet can still afford law school, somehow), or are really dying to start your work life that early, just sit back and enjoy it. You only get to go to undergrad once (for most people), so why cut it short when you don't have to?

madvillain
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Re: Early Graduation

Postby madvillain » Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:43 pm

I am going to graduate with my BA in three years as well. My LSAT score is basically the same as yours (179). My cycle has not gone as well as it should have. Rejected at Y, held at H, WL'd by Chicago, only NYU has accepted me so far from the T6. My GPA was a 3.86 but I am convinced that graduating early played a role in my subpar results. I would wait another year if I were you.

062914123
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Re: Early Graduation

Postby 062914123 » Sat Feb 18, 2012 7:38 pm

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Last edited by 062914123 on Sun Jun 29, 2014 7:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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howlery
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Re: Early Graduation

Postby howlery » Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:33 pm

bee wrote:
madvillain wrote:I am going to graduate with my BA in three years as well. My LSAT score is basically the same as yours (179). My cycle has not gone as well as it should have. Rejected at Y, held at H, WL'd by Chicago, only NYU has accepted me so far from the T6. My GPA was a 3.86 but I am convinced that graduating early played a role in my subpar results. I would wait another year if I were you.


JFC this scares me.


To be clear: theres no way graduating early would count against you with 1-2 years WE, right? I'm also planning on graduating a year early if I have around a 3.8 (sitting on ~3.5+ now with all BS classes out of the way) by then, but definitely want to work for a while. My degree will be less practical/useful than most, so I figure that extra year can be spent building actual work history outside of internships.

I'm a bit scared now :shock:

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kwais
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Re: Early Graduation

Postby kwais » Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:40 pm

howlery wrote:
bee wrote:
madvillain wrote:I am going to graduate with my BA in three years as well. My LSAT score is basically the same as yours (179). My cycle has not gone as well as it should have. Rejected at Y, held at H, WL'd by Chicago, only NYU has accepted me so far from the T6. My GPA was a 3.86 but I am convinced that graduating early played a role in my subpar results. I would wait another year if I were you.


JFC this scares me.


To be clear: theres no way graduating early would count against you with 1-2 years WE, right? I'm also planning on graduating a year early if I have around a 3.8 (sitting on ~3.5+ now with all BS classes out of the way) by then, but definitely want to work for a while. My degree will be less practical/useful than most, so I figure that extra year can be spent building actual work history outside of internships.

I'm a bit scared now :shock:


I can't say for sure, but I think that with 2 years WE, you completely avoid the pitfalls of graduating early. It's not that law schools don't like those who graduate early, it's more likely that they are skeptical of 20 year olds.

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howlery
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Re: Early Graduation

Postby howlery » Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:05 pm

kwais wrote:
howlery wrote:
bee wrote:
madvillain wrote:I am going to graduate with my BA in three years as well. My LSAT score is basically the same as yours (179). My cycle has not gone as well as it should have. Rejected at Y, held at H, WL'd by Chicago, only NYU has accepted me so far from the T6. My GPA was a 3.86 but I am convinced that graduating early played a role in my subpar results. I would wait another year if I were you.


JFC this scares me.


To be clear: theres no way graduating early would count against you with 1-2 years WE, right? I'm also planning on graduating a year early if I have around a 3.8 (sitting on ~3.5+ now with all BS classes out of the way) by then, but definitely want to work for a while. My degree will be less practical/useful than most, so I figure that extra year can be spent building actual work history outside of internships.

I'm a bit scared now :shock:


I can't say for sure, but I think that with 2 years WE, you completely avoid the pitfalls of graduating early. It's not that law schools don't like those who graduate early, it's more likely that they are skeptical of 20 year olds.


That makes sense, thanks.

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ilovesf
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Re: Early Graduation

Postby ilovesf » Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:10 pm

I don't get why people here said doing a fourth year of college is a "waste." College is awesome. If you aren't having fun in college, you're doing it wrong. As soon as you start law school, you're REALLY going to regret not having a better time beforehand. Just enjoy it dude and take some easy classes for your gpa. There's really no reason to rush into law school.

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howlery
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Re: Early Graduation

Postby howlery » Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:28 pm

ilovesf wrote:I don't get why people here said doing a fourth year of college is a "waste." College is awesome. If you aren't having fun in college, you're doing it wrong. As soon as you start law school, you're REALLY going to regret not having a better time beforehand. Just enjoy it dude and take some easy classes for your gpa. There's really no reason to rush into law school.


I think there are valid reasons for graduating early besides saving money. Not everyone's college experience is "awesome" or has the potential for "awesome"-ness no matter how great yours was. Seems like it is a largely romanticized thing IMO.

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20130312
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Re: Early Graduation

Postby 20130312 » Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:14 pm

THE REAL WORLD SUCKS

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Tadatsune
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Re: Early Graduation

Postby Tadatsune » Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:12 am

howlery wrote:I think there are valid reasons for graduating early besides saving money. Not everyone's college experience is "awesome" or has the potential for "awesome"-ness no matter how great yours was. Seems like it is a largely romanticized thing IMO.


This. Some people do three years and want to get the fuck out. I'm not one of them, nor do I understand the feeling, but I've seen it happen.

I liked college, so my instinct is to say "stay for all 4 years"... but there are lots of reasons why the OP might want to graduate early (and -1 year of tuition +1 year of biglaw salary is a *very* compelling reason, if you ask me - especially for someone who wants to get on with his life. I don't think taking Columbia over Harvard would hurt much here (though the loss of potential merit $$ might change the equation).

Edit: Oops. Misread the OP. Fixed now.

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20130312
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Re: Early Graduation

Postby 20130312 » Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:18 am

You don't get +1 years of biglaw, because you're only going to do max 7 years there no matter what (unless you make partner, which you won't, or take an of counsel position).




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