GPA Advice

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
AAyala
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GPA Advice

Postby AAyala » Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:47 pm

Hello Everyone!

A little background: I recently submitted my transcripts (both CC and UC) to LSAC and my "degree GPA" is 3.7, however, my "cum. GPA" is 2.9 (yikes!). Two reasons for this; one, my GPA tanked one of my semesters (B, D, F, W) because my sister had a brain aneurism and my family couldn't afford to hire a 24-hour nurse (which she needed) so we all adjusted our schedules to take care of her and I spent a considerable amount of time away from school due to this (in no way do I regret this though); two, my CC required three courses to be completed prior to me transferring to UC Riverside (where I am at currently) and each of the three courses were either Pass/Fail. I passed each one, however, LSAC converted those to C's :/ Currently, my transcript depicts and upward trend since arriving at UC Riverside (3.5, 4.0, 3.7 quarters) and I have been accepted into university honors.

I am scheduled for the October LSAT and plan to apply by Thanksgiving; however, should I wait until the end of my quarter to submit my fall quarter grades to be calculated into my "LSAC GPA"? If I did this I would probably be pushing my applications back until late December.

Thank you ahead of time for the input. Have a great day :)

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cutecarmel
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Re: GPA Advice

Postby cutecarmel » Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:52 pm

I think you have a valid excuse to write a GPA addendum. I would go ahead and apply after your LSAT score comes in. Your GPA won't significantly increase after 1 semester, and its likely that many schools won't get around to reading you application until after your GPA comes out anyway.

tabula rasa
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Re: GPA Advice

Postby tabula rasa » Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:30 pm

Apply as early in the cycle as you can. You should be ready to go with your apps when your October scores come in. If you need to retake, do everything you can to get 4.0s your last three quarters and apply during another cycle.

Do submit a GPA addendum.

Miracle
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Re: GPA Advice

Postby Miracle » Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:49 pm

I understand where you're coming from as I was in your position no to long ago. Your GPA is actually higher than mine when comparing at the time of the application. I agree with one of the posters before me, apply as intended (early) before thanksgiving, and update your grades when they come out. The schools most likely will not even evaluate your application by the time your grades come out. Also, please do not wait a cycle. There are enough people that got in G-town, UVA, Northwestern (splitter friendly schools) with your GPA (some even lower GPA's), and that should give you some hope. I'm attending G-town with a GPA lower than yours. If your cycle does not work out re-apply next cycle.

On the side note, why didn't you take any summer classes to boost your GPA? You could of taken 15-18 credit to boost your GPA.

AAyala
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Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:50 pm

Re: GPA Advice

Postby AAyala » Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:47 pm

Yeah, a GPA addendum should clear everything up. Having a some-what unique circumstance should be enough for them to look more towards the upward trend and high GPA (prior to LSAC conversion). I just can't believe how much of a drop it caused!

Yeah, I agree with you about the not waiting a year Miracle. I believe with explanation, the three letters of rec that I have, a solid personal statement, and 165+ LSAT score I should be ok. I am also an URM.

I couldn't take summer courses because I cannot afford them. I rely on financial aid to pay for most of my fees (which doesn't include summer) and work 30+ hours a week to make up for the rest.

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kwais
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Re: GPA Advice

Postby kwais » Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:54 pm

AAyala wrote:Yeah, a GPA addendum should clear everything up. Having a some-what unique circumstance should be enough for them to look more towards the upward trend and high GPA (prior to LSAC conversion). I just can't believe how much of a drop it caused!

Yeah, I agree with you about the not waiting a year Miracle. I believe with explanation, the three letters of rec that I have, a solid personal statement, and 165+ LSAT score I should be ok. I am also an URM.

I couldn't take summer courses because I cannot afford them. I rely on financial aid to pay for most of my fees (which doesn't include summer) and work 30+ hours a week to make up for the rest.


just to be clear. LSAT and URM will explain your law school admissions, not any GPA addendum. You should still write it if you like, but no adcomm will really care about upward trends or degree GPAs

AAyala
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Re: GPA Advice

Postby AAyala » Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:58 pm

kwais wrote:
AAyala wrote:Yeah, a GPA addendum should clear everything up. Having a some-what unique circumstance should be enough for them to look more towards the upward trend and high GPA (prior to LSAC conversion). I just can't believe how much of a drop it caused!

Yeah, I agree with you about the not waiting a year Miracle. I believe with explanation, the three letters of rec that I have, a solid personal statement, and 165+ LSAT score I should be ok. I am also an URM.

I couldn't take summer courses because I cannot afford them. I rely on financial aid to pay for most of my fees (which doesn't include summer) and work 30+ hours a week to make up for the rest.


just to be clear. LSAT and URM will explain your law school admissions, not any GPA addendum. You should still write it if you like, but no adcomm will really care about upward trends or degree GPAs


Now, how do I express that I am an URM? Do I simply check a box or is there an essay that accompanies my application?

AAyala
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Re: GPA Advice

Postby AAyala » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:11 am

Also, from what I gather, one could update their application (ie. GPA) continuously until the law school reviews your application? My perception was that one you submit the application it's dead-locked.

Miracle
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Re: GPA Advice

Postby Miracle » Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:46 pm

AAyala wrote:Also, from what I gather, one could update their application (ie. GPA) continuously until the law school reviews your application? My perception was that one you submit the application it's dead-locked.


That is correct. For example, I sent mine, and then took two one credit classes that ended around october 25th, and I updated it with two new credit classes. You can continue to upgrade it as you choose, throughout your application cycle. Then, when you get your new fall grades upgrade it again.

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Nova
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Re: GPA Advice

Postby Nova » Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:49 pm

AAyala wrote:Now, how do I express that I am an URM? Do I simply check a box or is there an essay that accompanies my application?


Check the box (necessary) and write a diversity statement (optional).

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JDizzle2015
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Re: GPA Advice

Postby JDizzle2015 » Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:51 pm

AAyala wrote:Now, how do I express that I am an URM? Do I simply check a box or is there an essay that accompanies my application?

There will be a box/boxes on the application form for you to identify your race/nationality. A diversity statement won't hurt.

ETA: scooped.

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MrSparkle
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Re: GPA Advice

Postby MrSparkle » Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:04 am

I also vote to write the GPA addendum. Law adcomms aren't robots, they really do care for your story, some schools are even famous for this and have admitted people outside of their numbers "floors" (I personally know someone at Berkeley who had a (really) hard life and got in with a 160 and a below-mediocre GPA).

Take as much time as you need to perfect your app, and submit as early as possible.

Good luck.

AAyala
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Re: GPA Advice

Postby AAyala » Thu Jul 05, 2012 4:11 am

MrSparkle wrote:I also vote to write the GPA addendum. Law adcomms aren't robots, they really do care for your story, some schools are even famous for this and have admitted people outside of their numbers "floors" (I personally know someone at Berkeley who had a (really) hard life and got in with a 160 and a below-mediocre GPA).

Take as much time as you need to perfect your app, and submit as early as possible.

Good luck.


Yeah, I can't imagine that adcomms are as rigid as some may make them out to be. I have a legit excuse and the only dip in my entire college career was during that semester (described above) -- every other semester/quarter went very well.

When I spoke to the people a Loyola (LA) about this, they seemed to be very understanding :)

Thank you btw!

bp shinners
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Re: GPA Advice

Postby bp shinners » Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:03 pm

AAyala wrote:Yeah, I can't imagine that adcomms are as rigid as some may make them out to be.


Most people think this because most people don't have a story that qualifies them to be considered special; however, those same people think they have a story that qualifies them as such. So they see their outcome largely determined by the numbers, and they assume that that's all that the adcomms care about, instead of the equally-likely explanation that their extra-number factors were average.

Two things:
1) Write the addendum. Not only is it a legitimate reason for a low GPA for a semester, it is a good story and one that shows you in a positive light.
2) Call up LSAC and ask them about those Passes as C's. You might be able to get them off your transcript - LSAC usually doesn't count Passes as anything.

AAyala
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Re: GPA Advice

Postby AAyala » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:22 pm

BP - thanks for the advice! I called LSAC and they said they will make the change!
Last edited by AAyala on Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bp shinners
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Re: GPA Advice

Postby bp shinners » Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:53 am

AAyala wrote:BP - thanks for the advice! I called LSAC and they said they will be make the change!


Awesome! My good deed is done for the day.




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