Does GPA become less of a factor farther out of undergrad?

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sc-123
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Does GPA become less of a factor farther out of undergrad?

Postby sc-123 » Fri Mar 29, 2013 3:32 pm

Hey all,

I have a 3.18/178 and am having a disappointing cycle, to say the least. Dinged at NYU, H, Berkeley; WL at Penn, UVa, Michigan; Pending at CLS; in at Georgetown.

My question is basically: should I work for a few more years, hoping that extra work experience will balance out my crap GPA, and then re-apply? I figured this year would be very splitter-friendly due to low application volume, but that has not proven to be the case for me at least. I'm hesitant to go to Georgetown at sticker, although I would not be going into debt.

Advice much appreciated.

Ti Malice
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Re: Does GPA become less of a factor farther out of undergrad?

Postby Ti Malice » Fri Mar 29, 2013 3:42 pm

Your cycle isn't far from what one should expect with your numbers. The only surprising result is the outright ding at NYU. With that GPA, you never had a shot at H or B. CLS is also very unlikely. Did you write "Why X?" essays for MVP? Have you sent LOCIs? Did you not apply to Northwestern?

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sinfiery
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Re: Does GPA become less of a factor farther out of undergrad?

Postby sinfiery » Fri Mar 29, 2013 3:46 pm

Depends. Some schools have GPA floors that only very good softs/URM status can overcome.

Your best bet in the T14 is UVA (possibly ED), Northwestern(with WE), or gtown

WE can definitely help an applicant outperform their numbers but your numbers seem to constraint you to a set of schools that even consider someone with such a GPA



ETA: NYU seems possible. When did you apply? An early app plus a year of WE could maybe get you in there

sc-123
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Re: Does GPA become less of a factor farther out of undergrad?

Postby sc-123 » Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:12 pm

sinfiery wrote:Depends. Some schools have GPA floors that only very good softs/URM status can overcome.

Your best bet in the T14 is UVA (possibly ED), Northwestern(with WE), or gtown

WE can definitely help an applicant outperform their numbers but your numbers seem to constraint you to a set of schools that even consider someone with such a GPA



ETA: NYU seems possible. When did you apply? An early app plus a year of WE could maybe get you in there


I applied ED to NYU and am now almost 2 years out of undergrad. Any point in adding more WE?

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sinfiery
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Re: Does GPA become less of a factor farther out of undergrad?

Postby sinfiery » Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:18 pm

Nope, sorry. Applied to NU?

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nygrrrl
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Re: Does GPA become less of a factor farther out of undergrad?

Postby nygrrrl » Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:19 pm

I was a non-trad, out of UG over 15 years with a similar GPA.
Sadly, it was still a factor. (I was told that point-blank by an admissions director: 'I wish it didn't matter and we all know that it shouldn't, but it does. Numbers matter.')

On the up side, there are schools like Northwestern that will lurv you with a couple of years' WE; WE helped me overcome my gpa without a doubt.

Best of luck!

sbma04
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Re: Does GPA become less of a factor farther out of undergrad?

Postby sbma04 » Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:22 pm

sc-123 wrote:
sinfiery wrote:Depends. Some schools have GPA floors that only very good softs/URM status can overcome.

Your best bet in the T14 is UVA (possibly ED), Northwestern(with WE), or gtown

WE can definitely help an applicant outperform their numbers but your numbers seem to constraint you to a set of schools that even consider someone with such a GPA



ETA: NYU seems possible. When did you apply? An early app plus a year of WE could maybe get you in there


I applied ED to NYU and am now almost 2 years out of undergrad. Any point in adding more WE?



Maybe. 176/3.1 4 years (good) WE and my cycle went better than yours. In at NYU, NU, Michigan ($), Gtown. If you make the most out of the work experience it could be a small boost.

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sinfiery
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Re: Does GPA become less of a factor farther out of undergrad?

Postby sinfiery » Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:26 pm

http://myLSN.info/mxgxys


NYU, UVA, Mich, NU, Gtown are the possible. With the ed app thrown at NYU this year, I don't know what one more year of similar WE will add.

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somewhatwayward
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Re: Does GPA become less of a factor farther out of undergrad?

Postby somewhatwayward » Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:33 pm

I'd reapply and maybe consider EDing to Penn although I am always loathe to suggest paying sticker. Penn has good employment prospects, about equivalent to NYU (unless you are interested in PI).

The thing is that once you get above the median LSAT (or maybe the 75th percentile to the extent schools care), adding extra points doesn't really help you. As I am sure you realize, a 175/3.5 is in better shape that you are for NYU and CLS (not a definite at the latter, though) because they are also above the 75th and their GPA is much higher. CLS seems to have a hard 3.5 floor. NYU I have seen accept people with your numbers in the past.

Regardless for the reason, you don't have good options on the table right now. Wait to see how the cycle plays itself out, but don't attend Georgetown without a very large scholarship. You may be forced to reapply for lack of options this year. At least you don't have to retake, though!

eric922
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Re: Does GPA become less of a factor farther out of undergrad?

Postby eric922 » Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:38 pm

Something else you may want to consider. There could be something wrong with another portion of your app, like your Personal Statement, that is making your underperform your numbers.

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b123
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Re: Does GPA become less of a factor farther out of undergrad?

Postby b123 » Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:34 pm

Any potential character & fitness issues?

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Clearly
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Re: Does GPA become less of a factor farther out of undergrad?

Postby Clearly » Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:18 am

retake.

leo2013
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Re: Does GPA become less of a factor farther out of undergrad?

Postby leo2013 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:31 am

Clearlynotstefan wrote:retake.


Seriously? OP has a 178 and even if he gets a 180 in retaking, I can't see how that will improve his chances significantly. He would still be a super splitter in the eyes of adcomm of top law schools.

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ArchieHicox
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Re: Does GPA become less of a factor farther out of undergrad?

Postby ArchieHicox » Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:51 am

Clearlynotstefan wrote:retake.

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guano
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Re: Does GPA become less of a factor farther out of undergrad?

Postby guano » Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:28 am

nygrrrl wrote:I was a non-trad, out of UG over 15 years with a similar GPA.
Sadly, it was still a factor. (I was told that point-blank by an admissions director: 'I wish it didn't matter and we all know that it shouldn't, but it does. Numbers matter.')

On the up side, there are schools like Northwestern that will lurv you with a couple of years' WE; WE helped me overcome my gpa without a doubt.

Best of luck!

At some schools work experience can help, but it really depends on the experience.
Flipping burgers or cleaning toilets - no use whatsoever
Founding a tech or non-profit - might make a bit of a difference
Captain in the army - go to the front of the line

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howlery
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Re: Does GPA become less of a factor farther out of undergrad?

Postby howlery » Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:45 am

guano wrote:
nygrrrl wrote:I was a non-trad, out of UG over 15 years with a similar GPA.
Sadly, it was still a factor. (I was told that point-blank by an admissions director: 'I wish it didn't matter and we all know that it shouldn't, but it does. Numbers matter.')

On the up side, there are schools like Northwestern that will lurv you with a couple of years' WE; WE helped me overcome my gpa without a doubt.

Best of luck!

At some schools work experience can help, but it really depends on the experience.
Flipping burgers or cleaning toilets - no use whatsoever
Founding a tech or non-profit - might make a bit of a difference
Captain in the army - go to the front of the line


Are you saying that 1 or 2 years of retail experience, for example, is viewed the same as K-JD? Or do you mean that kind of experience wouldn't offer an discernible admissions boost relative to I-banking or something similar?

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guano
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Re: Does GPA become less of a factor farther out of undergrad?

Postby guano » Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:54 am

howlery wrote:
Are you saying that 1 or 2 years of retail experience, for example, is viewed the same as K-JD? Or do you mean that kind of experience wouldn't offer an discernible admissions boost relative to I-banking or something similar?

I'm not an admissions officer, so take that into consideration, but my guess is working retail is no better than k-JD.
Quite a large proportion of law students have some work experience (I believe more than a third at most reputable schools), and, really, it is rare to be able to do something impressive in the 2 or 3 years people usually wait. Ibanking might give a small boost, though I doubt it'll make an appreciable difference.
On the other hand, everyone I know of who has substantial/impressive experience got somewhat of a boost at some schools. How much of a boost varied, though one person's LSAT was 10 points below median and the GPA was .5 below. That is an extreme, but true, example. More realistic might be a 1-2 point / 0.1-0.3 GPA nudge

Edit: if you're far below both 25% you'll still be unlikely to get in, but barely below work experience might let you sneak through

sc-123
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Re: Does GPA become less of a factor farther out of undergrad?

Postby sc-123 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:53 pm

No c&f issues. I saw 2 of my 3 Letters of Recommendation, and neither one was bad; possible but doubtful that the 3rd was. I've been working as a paralegal for almost 2 years, would definitely find a different job for 1 or 2 years if I decide to forgo Georgetown this year.

In the meantime I'm crossing my fingers for a miracle at CLS, getting off the WL at Penn or UVa, or finding a great job over the summer that convinces me to forgo Georgetown. Another option is Georgetown and hoping to transfer (I know, I know).

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Tim0thy222
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Re: Does GPA become less of a factor farther out of undergrad?

Postby Tim0thy222 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:59 pm

sc-123 wrote:No c&f issues. I saw 2 of my 3 Letters of Recommendation, and neither one was bad; possible but doubtful that the 3rd was. I've been working as a paralegal for almost 2 years, would definitely find a different job for 1 or 2 years if I decide to forgo Georgetown this year.

In the meantime I'm crossing my fingers for a miracle at CLS, getting off the WL at Penn or UVa, or finding a great job over the summer that convinces me to forgo Georgetown. Another option is Georgetown and hoping to transfer (I know, I know).


I was in a similar situation to you. 177/3.2. The best school I was accepted to was GULC (after I was dinged ED to NYU), so I sat out a year and was accepted ED to UVA. Basically I'd say ED your favorite of MVP (which for me was V). Of course, you'll be paying sticker, so you have to decide how you feel about that, but I'd say it's better than sticker at GULC and worth the wait.

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Clearly
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Re: Does GPA become less of a factor farther out of undergrad?

Postby Clearly » Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:09 pm

Tim0thy222 wrote:
sc-123 wrote:No c&f issues. I saw 2 of my 3 Letters of Recommendation, and neither one was bad; possible but doubtful that the 3rd was. I've been working as a paralegal for almost 2 years, would definitely find a different job for 1 or 2 years if I decide to forgo Georgetown this year.

In the meantime I'm crossing my fingers for a miracle at CLS, getting off the WL at Penn or UVa, or finding a great job over the summer that convinces me to forgo Georgetown. Another option is Georgetown and hoping to transfer (I know, I know).


I was in a similar situation to you. 177/3.2. The best school I was accepted to was GULC (after I was dinged ED to NYU), so I sat out a year and was accepted ED to UVA. Basically I'd say ED your favorite of MVP (which for me was V). Of course, you'll be paying sticker, so you have to decide how you feel about that, but I'd say it's better than sticker at GULC and worth the wait.


What cycle was this?

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Tim0thy222
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Re: Does GPA become less of a factor farther out of undergrad?

Postby Tim0thy222 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:08 pm

ED NYU was 11-12 cycle, ED UVA was 12-13 cycle. I'm starting at UVA this fall.

Sgttpc
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Re: Does GPA become less of a factor farther out of undergrad?

Postby Sgttpc » Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:50 pm

How does work experience like law enforcement play into app process? I saw an earlier post about Army Captain going to e front of the line. I am coming off a 23.5 yr career as a Captain of a Highway Patrol, good GPA, low LSAT.
Yes, I realize I can retake which seems to be a theme on here, but I am unsure if I will.

Ti Malice
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Re: Does GPA become less of a factor farther out of undergrad?

Postby Ti Malice » Sun Apr 07, 2013 3:39 pm

Sgttpc wrote:How does work experience like law enforcement play into app process? I saw an earlier post about Army Captain going to e front of the line. I am coming off a 23.5 yr career as a Captain of a Highway Patrol, good GPA, low LSAT.
Yes, I realize I can retake which seems to be a theme on here, but I am unsure if I will.


That earlier comment was an overstatement. An Army Captain will probably outperform his/her numbers a bit on average (to the tune of a point or two on the LSAT), but numbers are still paramount. Your WE is not going to have a significant impact. You will have to retake and achieve a much higher score for law school to make any sense for you at all.




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