How does UG affect admissions? Some data.

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bernaldiaz
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How does UG affect admissions? Some data.

Postby bernaldiaz » Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:02 pm

I just picked up a list of the results for people from my UG applying to law schools in the last five years. I go to a national top 20 undergrad (think Vanderbilt, Notre Dame, Georgetown). The data is far from perfect; the sample size is relatively small and the data is given in means instead of medians. However, I think this at least helps to answer a couple questions that are asked over and over again. It at least gives a little bit of substance to a debate that normally has very little.

Obviously I can only give a little perspective from my portion of the spectrum: not a truly elite (HYPS, Columbia, MIT, etc.) and not a school where people ask if it would hurt their chances for admissions. I encourage other people to go to their pre-law adviser and get these reports. They are from the LSAC and I believe every school has them.

1) Does UG prestige matter in admissions?

From what I can tell, it totally depends on the school. Some schools seem more perceptible to whatever prestige my UG has. For example our average Penn matriculant is 166.6/ 3.78, Georgetown is 167.6/ 3.7, and Michigan 166.5/3.78- a ways below those schools' medians. Columbia and Chicago also appear that they may look at a good undergrad favorably. The average accepted applicant from Columbia and Chicago (note: not average matriculated, so these numbers are presumably higher than the average matriculated, but there were not enough matriculants to report those averages) are 170/ 3.77 and 170.6/3.85.

I am no stats major, but I did a quick calculation. The average LSAT for students from my UG were 2.73 points lower than the reported schools' medians (with an n of only 57 though). I didn't do GPA but if there is enough interest I'll do it.

2) Do law schools favor their own undergraduates?

It appears at least at my school they do. The average matriculant had about a 163.5 LSAT and 3.57 GPA. This represents about a 3.5 point boost on the LSAT.

Not to rehash this tired debate, but I thought people might appreciate a little bit of actual data instead of just anecdotes.
Last edited by bernaldiaz on Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

RPK34
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Re: How does UG affect admissions? Some data.

Postby RPK34 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:07 pm

What's the sample size? It looks pretty small since all the LSAT means are all fairly even numbers.

Also mean is going to make it a lot more susceptible to URM numbers. Comparing means and medians when there are large outliers is useless

VasaVasori
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Postby VasaVasori » Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:29 pm

.
Last edited by VasaVasori on Sat May 02, 2015 10:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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pacifica
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Re: How does UG affect admissions? Some data.

Postby pacifica » Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:46 pm

Thanks for the post; very interesting points! I'd very very curious to know about the GPA"handicaps", because I would have thought that since LSAT is the same for everyone, the GPA is the one spot where there might be a favorability bias.

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bernaldiaz
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Re: How does UG affect admissions? Some data.

Postby bernaldiaz » Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:40 pm

VasaVasori wrote:
bernaldiaz wrote:The average accepted applicant from Columbia and Chicago (note: not average matriculated, so these numbers are presumably lower higher than the average matriculated, but there were not enough matriculants to report those averages) are 170/ 3.77 and 170.6/3.85.

The numbers are probably higher than the average of the matriculated folks, because the people at the bottom end of the accepted pool are more likely to matriculate (because they are less likely to have received acceptances elsewhere or to higher ranked schools).

Thanks for the post, though. Interesting information. Unfortunately my UG has a relatively bad reputation, though according to US news we're a top 50 school, so I think this might hurt me.


Right that's what I meant. So in reality the matriculants were probably like 169/3.8 to both of those schools. The pattern was roughly the matriculants were 1.5 LSAT points lower or so than the overall pool of people accepted.

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Lavitz
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Re: How does UG affect admissions? Some data.

Postby Lavitz » Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:56 pm

Very interesting post. I've been wondering about the true effects of UG prestige for a while; I think TLS underestimates the impact a bit.

If I were still in UG, I'd go to the pre-law adviser for this data, but I think it'd probably just depress me more than anything. I think the last time Harvard accepted someone from my UG was in the 1980s lol. Don't even think anyone's gotten into Columbia in the past 5 years either.

Betharl
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Re: How does UG affect admissions? Some data.

Postby Betharl » Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:33 pm

RPK34 wrote:What's the sample size? It looks pretty small since all the LSAT means are all fairly even numbers.

Also mean is going to make it a lot more susceptible to URM numbers. Comparing means and medians when there are large outliers is useless


This is exactly what I was going to post. Small sample size + looking at means instead of medians with URMs in the mix could drastically throw off the numbers.

Also, for people from expensive private schools, money is probably not as big an issue compared to other applicants. This might mean, relative to other applicants, applicants from those schools are more likely to go to "reach" schools where their numbers are relatively weaker as they care less about scholarship money (when looking at matriculated students).

EDIT: I guess you are looking mainly at accepted students though.
EDIT Again: It looks like the first numbers you gave were looking at matriculants, so maybe the previous point should be considered...
Last edited by Betharl on Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bernaldiaz
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Re: How does UG affect admissions? Some data.

Postby bernaldiaz » Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:36 pm

Betharl wrote:
RPK34 wrote:What's the sample size? It looks pretty small since all the LSAT means are all fairly even numbers.

Also mean is going to make it a lot more susceptible to URM numbers. Comparing means and medians when there are large outliers is useless


This is exactly what I was going to post. Small sample size + looking at means instead of medians with URMs in the mix could drastically throw off the numbers.

Also, for people from expensive private schools, money is probably not as big an issue compared to other applicants. This might mean, relative to other applicants, applicants from those schools are more likely to go to "reach" schools where their numbers are relatively weaker as they care less about scholarship money (when looking at matriculated students).


I mean I mentioned both of those limitations in the OP. I just looked at what I was given. It would be nice to have more data, certainly.

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Kionaltski
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Re: How does UG affect admissions? Some data.

Postby Kionaltski » Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:30 pm

yeah, from what I've seen, you can get a boost equivalent to +2-3 lsat points. Certain feeder schools it counts more than others

Wahoos
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Re: How does UG affect admissions? Some data.

Postby Wahoos » Sat Sep 22, 2012 9:36 am

Getting in before people who went to bad undergrads start criticizing this thread....


This is interesting to see and not really surprising. Sit down and chat with any T-14 admissions official. They will acknowledge it. No idea how the TLS meme of "Undergrad doesn't matter!!!" emerged

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Ruxin1
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Re: How does UG affect admissions? Some data.

Postby Ruxin1 » Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:02 am

Wahoos wrote:Getting in before people who went to bad undergrads start criticizing this thread....


This is interesting to see and not really surprising. Sit down and chat with any T-14 admissions official. They will acknowledge it. No idea how the TLS meme of "Undergrad doesn't matter!!!" emerged


(Is pissed UVA isn't an ivy)

(Calls it a public ivy)

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IAFG
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Re: How does UG affect admissions? Some data.

Postby IAFG » Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:16 am

Wahoos wrote:Getting in before people who went to bad undergrads start criticizing this thread....


This is interesting to see and not really surprising. Sit down and chat with any T-14 admissions official. They will acknowledge it. No idea how the TLS meme of "Undergrad doesn't matter!!!" emerged

Because patterns do not emerge on LSN and OP's lack of exclusion of URMs and use of averages makes it not terribly useful either.

onionz
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Re: How does UG affect admissions? Some data.

Postby onionz » Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:21 am

You really can't compare median with averages like that and make such strong conclusions. Think about how much further a schools 25th is from the median than the 75th too- it's likely most schools have an average below the median, especially schools at the high end. If your median is 170 then a 174 won't push the average the same way those few 162s do.

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IAFG
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Re: How does UG affect admissions? Some data.

Postby IAFG » Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:39 am

You know what I'd find more interesting is a percentage or headcount of people with one or both numbers below their matriculating school's medians. If that number or headcount were high, that would be far more compelling. Or if schools were more willing to take reverse splitters from T20 UGs.

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Bildungsroman
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Re: How does UG affect admissions? Some data.

Postby Bildungsroman » Sat Sep 22, 2012 12:09 pm

(Notre Dame)

Taus11
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Re: How does UG affect admissions? Some data.

Postby Taus11 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:34 am

The dean showed me medians of applicants from our school, both including and excluding URMs, who got into specific law schools. The LSAT median is consistently 2 or 3 (even 4) lower than the national medians and the GPA is lower for every single T14 as well.

This is from a top ten UG on the US News national rankings, but not HYP.

I am not sure how much we can conclude from this because there are some other factors that must be considered. Does this mean that the prestige value of the brand name itself matters? Our GPAs are more "proven" than others'? Who knows, but it sure did make me feel better.
Last edited by Taus11 on Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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02889
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Re: How does UG affect admissions? Some data.

Postby 02889 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:00 am

Taus11 wrote:The dean showed me medians of applicants from our school, both including and excluding URMs, who got into specific law schools. The LSAT median is consistently 2 or 3 (even 4) lower than the national medians and the GPA is lower for every single T14 as well.

This is from a top ten UG on the US News national rankings, but not HYP.

I am not sure how much we can conclude from this because there are some there are other factors that must be considered. Does this mean that the prestige value of the brand name itself matters? Our GPAs are more "proven" than others'? Who knows, but it sure did make me feel better.

Any idea what the sample size is like per year? I wonder how top law schools can afford to compromise on numbers for applicants from top undergrads, without risking having lower medians as a result.

Taus11
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Re: How does UG affect admissions? Some data.

Postby Taus11 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:31 am

02889 wrote:
Taus11 wrote:The dean showed me medians of applicants from our school, both including and excluding URMs, who got into specific law schools. The LSAT median is consistently 2 or 3 (even 4) lower than the national medians and the GPA is lower for every single T14 as well.

This is from a top ten UG on the US News national rankings, but not HYP.

I am not sure how much we can conclude from this because there are some there are other factors that must be considered. Does this mean that the prestige value of the brand name itself matters? Our GPAs are more "proven" than others'? Who knows, but it sure did make me feel better.

Any idea what the sample size is like per year? I wonder how top law schools can afford to compromise on numbers for applicants from top undergrads, without risking having lower medians as a result.

Not sure about the sample size - I do know approximately how many people from our UG apply every year, including those who have graduated already. He said the data was a compilation. I never asked how many years though.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: How does UG affect admissions? Some data.

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:49 am

I think I can shine a bit of light on the notion that UG prestige can give you a bump or as we said in the admissions world, is an elevating factor.

For starters, far and away the most important factors are LSAT and uGPA (graduate gpa helps very very little they are all strong and not reported to ABA thus U.S. News).

For splitters, waitlisted folks, and some others-- yes UG prestige as well as your gpa reflected on your LSAC report relative to your colleges gpa percentiles can matter. My experience is that when faculty admissions committees are involved (the trend it away from this over the 12 years I have been in law school administration, fyi) prestige of undergraduate degree takes on added significance. When the admissions decision are handled inside the admissions office entirely, I think in general prestige of UG matters most late game when the medias are secure and they are admitting off the waitlist.

So in other words, if the school you are applying to has a faculty admissions committee you should see a bump. If not, you may have to wait 'till late game for said bump.
Last edited by MikeSpivey on Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Bill Cosby
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Re: How does UG affect admissions? Some data.

Postby Bill Cosby » Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:17 pm

Wahoos wrote:Getting in before people who went to bad undergrads start criticizing this thread....


This is interesting to see and not really surprising. Sit down and chat with any T-14 admissions official. They will acknowledge it. No idea how the TLS meme of "Undergrad doesn't matter!!!" emerged


Probably because they often don't matter. Even if Georgetown/Notre Dame/Vanderbilt UG is a boost, that doesn't mean there is a difference between UF and UCF.

HeavenWood
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Re: How does UG affect admissions? Some data.

Postby HeavenWood » Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:22 am

Wahoos wrote:Getting in before people who went to bad undergrads start criticizing this thread....


This is interesting to see and not really surprising. Sit down and chat with any T-14 admissions official. They will acknowledge it. No idea how the TLS meme of "Undergrad doesn't matter!!!" emerged

The argument is not that going to a top university can't help you, but rather, being an alumnus of a middle-of-the-road college doesn't really hurt. There are close to a dozen Penn Staters in my class. As long as you go to a school that's good enough and make the most of your resources, and get a good GPA/LSAT score, you'll be in a fine position. If you know you want to attend law school from the get-go, an Ivy/equivalent pedigree is not worth the extra debt.


bernaldiaz wrote:I just picked up a list of the results for people from my UG applying to law schools in the last five years. I go to a national top 20 undergrad (think Vanderbilt, Notre Dame, Georgetown). The data is far from perfect; the sample size is relatively small and the data is given in means instead of medians. However, I think this at least helps to answer a couple questions that are asked over and over again. It at least gives a little bit of substance to a debate that normally has very little.

Obviously I can only give a little perspective from my portion of the spectrum: not a truly elite (HYPS, Columbia, MIT, etc.) and not a school where people ask if it would hurt their chances for admissions. I encourage other people to go to their pre-law adviser and get these reports. They are from the LSAC and I believe every school has them.

1) Does UG prestige matter in admissions?

From what I can tell, it totally depends on the school. Some schools seem more perceptible to whatever prestige my UG has. For example our average Penn matriculant is 166.6/ 3.78, Georgetown is 167.6/ 3.7, and Michigan 166.5/3.78- a ways below those schools' medians. Columbia and Chicago also appear that they may look at a good undergrad favorably. The average accepted applicant from Columbia and Chicago (note: not average matriculated, so these numbers are presumably higher than the average matriculated, but there were not enough matriculants to report those averages) are 170/ 3.77 and 170.6/3.85.

I am no stats major, but I did a quick calculation. The average LSAT for students from my UG were 2.73 points lower than the reported schools' medians (with an n of only 57 though). I didn't do GPA but if there is enough interest I'll do it.

2) Do law schools favor their own undergraduates?

It appears at least at my school they do. The average matriculant had about a 163.5 LSAT and 3.57 GPA. This represents about a 3.5 point boost on the LSAT.

Not to rehash this tired debate, but I thought people might appreciate a little bit of actual data instead of just anecdotes.

Did you control for other factors, such as URM status?

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IAFG
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Re: How does UG affect admissions? Some data.

Postby IAFG » Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:39 am

HeavenWood wrote:
Wahoos wrote:Getting in before people who went to bad undergrads start criticizing this thread....


This is interesting to see and not really surprising. Sit down and chat with any T-14 admissions official. They will acknowledge it. No idea how the TLS meme of "Undergrad doesn't matter!!!" emerged

The argument is not that going to a top university can't help you, but rather, being an alumnus of a middle-of-the-road college doesn't really hurt. There are close to a dozen Penn Staters in my class. As long as you go to a school that's good enough and make the most of your resources, and get a good GPA/LSAT score, you'll be in a fine position. If you know you want to attend law school from the get-go, an Ivy/equivalent pedigree is not worth the extra debt.


To be fair, that's not really the TLS CW.

This all bloomed from "what are my chances" boards, which back in the day, had more to say than "go check out LSN bro." In those days, people would come and say, "I went to Darthmouth/Northwestern/Georgetown, have a 3.6 and 166, will my UG help me get T14?" and people would explain that school is not a game changer and your numbers still have to be there.

People ITT seem to be disputing that, but again, it's not what those of us who have spent years watching cycles have seen. Could it help you get off a WL? Maybe. Could it help reverse splitters? Probably. Are people below both medians consistently getting in by virtue of their UG? I've never seen any evidence to suggest that's happening, and I wish I could see the raw data from the people who claim it is.

shntn
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Re: How does UG affect admissions? Some data.

Postby shntn » Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:05 pm

My UG's associated law school has something of a reputation for liking to accept its own. There is no empirical evidence of this except for grads of my UG being the most represented among matriculating students.

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altoid99
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Re: How does UG affect admissions? Some data.

Postby altoid99 » Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:56 pm

shntn wrote:My UG's associated law school has something of a reputation for liking to accept its own. There is no empirical evidence of this except for grads of my UG being the most represented among matriculating students.


I mean that could just be because grads of your UG represent the highest number of applicants from a particular college. So it makes sense they're also the most represented among the accepted/matriculants. This doesn't necessarily mean that your university's law school favors its UG's in any way.

I find it hard to believe that schools would take into account any factor that isn't a part of US News's calculation. Unless maybe if they're deciding between you and another applicant with similar/same numbers.

shntn
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Re: How does UG affect admissions? Some data.

Postby shntn » Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:07 pm

altoid99 wrote:
shntn wrote:My UG's associated law school has something of a reputation for liking to accept its own. There is no empirical evidence of this except for grads of my UG being the most represented among matriculating students.


I mean that could just be because grads of your UG represent the highest number of applicants from a particular college. So it makes sense they're also the most represented among the accepted/matriculants. This doesn't necessarily mean that your university's law school favors its UG's in any way.

I find it hard to believe that schools would take into account any factor that isn't a part of US News's calculation. Unless maybe if they're deciding between you and another applicant with similar/same numbers.

Like I said, it's just a reputation with no real evidence.




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