Are GPA differences irrelevant once reaching the 75th?

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alacrity
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Are GPA differences irrelevant once reaching the 75th?

Postby alacrity » Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:35 pm

I've been told that once a GPA has met the 75th percentile, the degree to which it exceeds the 75th percentile is irrelevant. So, all else equal, someone applying to Harvard or Stanford with a 4.13 would not be evaluated more favorably than someone with a 3.97 or a 4.0.

I'd like to get feedback from some more posters. Is what I've described above generally true?

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Are GPA differences irrelevant once reaching the 75th?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:39 pm

Check lawschoolnumbers.com, which suggests your theory isn't true. The benefit of a higher GPA tails off as you get further away from the median, but it does seem to exist even between a 3.97 and a 4.13.

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dingbat
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Re: Are GPA differences irrelevant once reaching the 75th?

Postby dingbat » Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:41 pm

alacrity wrote:I've been told that once a GPA has met the 75th percentile, the degree to which it exceeds the 75th percentile is irrelevant. So, all else equal, someone applying to Harvard or Stanford with a 4.13 would not be evaluated more favorably than someone with a 3.97 or a 4.0.

I'd like to get feedback from some more posters. Is what I've described above generally true?

For lesser schools this is absolutely true, but for Stanford (and Harvard) it does matter, because they get enough exceptional applicants that they can take a holistic approach.
What's your LSAT?

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TripTrip
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Re: Are GPA differences irrelevant once reaching the 75th?

Postby TripTrip » Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:42 pm

alacrity wrote: all else equal, someone applying to Harvard or Stanford with a 4.13 would not be evaluated more favorably than someone with a 3.97 or a 4.0.

That's not REALLY true. It doesn't make that much of a difference, but if there's two completely identical candidates with the same awesome PS and LoRs etc, then the .2+ to GPA might be the deciding factor.

However, if both candidates have the same LSAT and similar GPAs over the 75th, they'll probably either both get in or both get dinged together based on their LSAT.

alacrity
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Re: Are GPA differences irrelevant once reaching the 75th?

Postby alacrity » Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:46 pm

dingbat wrote:
alacrity wrote:I've been told that once a GPA has met the 75th percentile, the degree to which it exceeds the 75th percentile is irrelevant. So, all else equal, someone applying to Harvard or Stanford with a 4.13 would not be evaluated more favorably than someone with a 3.97 or a 4.0.

I'd like to get feedback from some more posters. Is what I've described above generally true?

For lesser schools this is absolutely true, but for Stanford (and Harvard) it does matter, because they get enough exceptional applicants that they can take a holistic approach.
What's your LSAT?


171 (I plan to retake)

I've noticed that in recent cycles Harvard applicants with a 171 still have a decent chance if they're above the GPA 75th, and I'm wondering if my 4.13 would give me any advantage over comparable applicants with the same LSAT and lower GPAs above the 75th (e.g. 3.97 or 4.0).

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Are GPA differences irrelevant once reaching the 75th?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:57 pm

The 171-172 crowd at Harvard seems to be the one most affected by having a GPA up over 4.0, rather than just over 3.9. But good on you for retaking.

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LexLeon
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Re: Are GPA differences irrelevant once reaching the 75th?

Postby LexLeon » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:24 pm

I think it probably depends on the undergraduate institution.

I believe that if a school offers A+s, a 3.97 would pale in comparison to a 4.22 from that very same school.

However, a 3.97-4.0 (basically only one A- or B+) from an institution that does not offer A+s probably suggests that the GPA would be in the 4.1-2 range if it did offer them.

In sum, I think 3.99s from institutions with no A+s are evaluated as comparable to 4.2's from institutions with A+s.

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RhymesLikeDimes
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Re: Are GPA differences irrelevant once reaching the 75th?

Postby RhymesLikeDimes » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:19 am

Yeah, once you get into >75th zone, schools can start to nitpick your transcripts. But, as long as your LSAT is ~median or better, it shouldn't make too much difference. The only time I can see it being all that important is in waitlist rankings.

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Unoriginalist
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Re: Are GPA differences irrelevant once reaching the 75th?

Postby Unoriginalist » Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:20 pm

LexLeon wrote:I think it probably depends on the undergraduate institution.

I believe that if a school offers A+s, a 3.97 would pale in comparison to a 4.22 from that very same school.

However, a 3.97-4.0 (basically only one A- or B+) from an institution that does not offer A+s probably suggests that the GPA would be in the 4.1-2 range if it did offer them.

In sum, I think 3.99s from institutions with no A+s are evaluated as comparable to 4.2's from institutions with A+s.


What's the support for this?

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sinfiery
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Re: Are GPA differences irrelevant once reaching the 75th?

Postby sinfiery » Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:49 pm

Unoriginalist wrote:
LexLeon wrote:I think it probably depends on the undergraduate institution.

I believe that if a school offers A+s, a 3.97 would pale in comparison to a 4.22 from that very same school.

However, a 3.97-4.0 (basically only one A- or B+) from an institution that does not offer A+s probably suggests that the GPA would be in the 4.1-2 range if it did offer them.

In sum, I think 3.99s from institutions with no A+s are evaluated as comparable to 4.2's from institutions with A+s.


What's the support for this?

Probably that the LSAC report shows the median GPA of your UG LS applicants on your report.


I always considered an LSAT or GPA above the 75% to be considered a soft bump. It won't make a dramatic difference like you'd statistically see with hitting a schools LSAT median, but you would probably see a similar bump in line with an Ivy undergrad or being tri-lingual.

cgw
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Re: Are GPA differences irrelevant once reaching the 75th?

Postby cgw » Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:09 pm

LexLeon wrote:I think it probably depends on the undergraduate institution.

I believe that if a school offers A+s, a 3.97 would pale in comparison to a 4.22 from that very same school.

However, a 3.97-4.0 (basically only one A- or B+) from an institution that does not offer A+s probably suggests that the GPA would be in the 4.1-2 range if it did offer them.

In sum, I think 3.99s from institutions with no A+s are evaluated as comparable to 4.2's from institutions with A+s.


As someone with a 3.9 from an institution that did not allow A+, I would certainly like to think so (esp. since I frequently had papers with superfluous pluses). But I doubt it.




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