Summer School to boost gpa or study abroad?

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OliveBC
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Summer School to boost gpa or study abroad?

Postby OliveBC » Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:55 am

I know it is looked down upon to post anything on TLS regarding hypothetical situations, but I have to make the decision to either accept a study abroad invitation or decline asap.

My LSAC GPA is a 3.69-I am a Junior (transferred from community college with a 3.3, past 1.5 years at big10 UG cumulative GPA 3.94)
I was planning on taking summer classes this summer to boost my lsac GPA (along with sitting out a year before applying to LS so that my GPA will include my grades from all of senior year)

Unfortunately I've gotten to the point that I have taken so many classes that 15-18 more credit hours of As won't make that much of a difference in the long run (literally like .02 or something according to the lsac calculator)

The only way the summer school classes would be worth it is if I got straight A+ (4.33) grades. (this would be more like a .07 difference)

Studying abroad I would only take 2 courses, and I'm sure it would be an amazing experience. However, I don't want to pass up the chance to add .07 to my GPA if it could seriously help me get acceptances/scholarships.

Should I risk missing out on the study abroad opportunity to try to boost my GPA while I still can? Or will adding .03-.07 max not make enough of a difference that it would be worth passing up a summer in Amsterdam?

PS: I probably wouldn't write an addendum for my freshman year GPA, unless anyone thinks that I should. (There is no compelling reason whatsoever, I was working basically full time and taking 17 credit hours...but I am sure there are plenty of other people who worked all through UG AND still got 4.0s)

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moonman157
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Re: Summer School to boost gpa or study abroad?

Postby moonman157 » Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:11 am

This is an incredibly personal decision. I've studied abroad and it was the most amazing experience of my life, and many people I'e spoken to who have also studied abroad cite it as their best experience in college. While a high GPA is very important for law school admissions, you have a solid GPA, summer classes won't help a whole lot, and this really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I would study abroad, but it's really up to you.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Summer School to boost gpa or study abroad?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:18 am

Appears that you understand the choices & possible consequences of those choices well enough to make your own decision. I, too, have studied abroad several times. If it's in your blood, now is the time to enjoy the experience. Which country or countries are you considering ?

P.S. Definitely study abroad if it is to enhance your foreign language proficiency.

P.P.S. Just read through your prior 5 TLS posts. If Amsterdam is your intended destination for the summer (to study social policy & conflict resolution), then you may be better off staying at home to increase your undergradute GPA (unless it's at The Hague, of course). Every tenth of a point increase can be significant for admission & scholarship considerations if it places you above that law school's median GPA. Not sure that "study" abroad in Amsterdam creates a positive impression in the minds of adcomms--some might perceive it as a slight negative. The assumption being that you had the opportunity to study anywhere in the world, but chose to smoke weed in Amsterdam instead. Right or wrong, some are likely to think that thought.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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OliveBC
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Re: Summer School to boost gpa or study abroad?

Postby OliveBC » Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:32 am

It is not to enhance language proficiency. I do understand the consequences, and I lean toward studying abroad, I'm just afraid of regretting it later when applying to schools if I don't end up with the scholarships/acceptances I hope for. I don't want to feel like I didn't do everything in my power to give myself the best options, you know?

And the program I'd be doing is a month abroad in Amsterdam at the university there studying social policy and conflict resolution. (Added bonus is that my uncle has a house right outside Amsterdam that is empty and he would allow me to stay in for the entire summer/use as a home base if I wanted to travel around Europe before or after the actual program is over)

Basically there is not really any true academic gain from doing this, it's mostly just the only chance I think I will get any time in the near future to be able to spend an entire summer in Europe.

I really want to study abroad but I guess I am afraid of feeling guilty about it later. It seems that no one who has studied abroad before has ever really regretted it though so maybe I am just over thinking it.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Summer School to boost gpa or study abroad?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:35 am

If you concerned about scholarship aid to law schools, then compare your GPA to your targeted law schools' median GPAs. You want to be above those medians in order to enhance your chances for scholarship grant money from law schools.

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OliveBC
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Re: Summer School to boost gpa or study abroad?

Postby OliveBC » Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:37 am

Yeah I am afraid of that. I could also study in Copenhagen. The reputation that Amsterdam has literally has nothing to do with my decision, I just have family from the Netherlands. Also a family connection (important person in the government there who could possibly get me an internship for the summer)

But yeah, I've been going back and forth about it for a long time. Maybe I should just do the summer school and try to convince my uncle to let me come stay at his house all summer after UG for a graduation present :)

PS: Thanks for the input by the way, hearing someone else's opinion can make the decision seem a lot more clear sometimes

CanadianWolf
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Re: Summer School to boost gpa or study abroad?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:46 am

Make a decision & don't look back with regret. Just focus on the experience that you select as a way to enhance your law school application--either, presumably, a higher GPA if you stay or as a broadening experience if you study in Europe.

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nickb285
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Re: Summer School to boost gpa or study abroad?

Postby nickb285 » Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:05 am

Having studied abroad twice, I would say do it. It's by far the most worthwhile and rewarding thing I did as an undergrad. There are a lot of things I would do differently if I had the chance as a result of seeing the limitations of my crap GPA, but study abroad is not one of them. The caveat here is that I don't care about biglaw or HYS, so your mileage may vary. But study abroad is one of the most amazing ways you can grow as a person while in school, and travel in general is always worthwhile, and skipping out on that for .2 points on your GPA would be just pathetic IMO.

As for Amsterdam's rep as a party town, I wouldn't worry about it too much. Amsterdam is an awesome city and it's actually sort of sad that people miss out on it because they're stoned and drunk the whole time they visit. If you're really worried about it, write your PS about your study abroad experience and mention your family and potential internship.

Although Copenhagen would be sweet too.
Last edited by nickb285 on Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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OliveBC
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Re: Summer School to boost gpa or study abroad?

Postby OliveBC » Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:42 am

Thanks for the input! This is the general advice I've been hearing from family and friends as well.
I'm really hoping I can find some 4 wks classes to do before I would leave for study abroad. If I can make the schedule work out I think I could possibly do both, which would really be the best of both worlds in my opinion.

I would only have 3 months abroad instead of 4, but I wouldn't have to feel any regret about missing out on the chance to boost my GPA.

If not though, I'm leaning towards study abroad anyway. I'm not HYS/Biglaw or bust either, I just want to go to the best school that I can get into with the most scholarships.




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