Graduating AA Male, 3.65 GPA, 4 Extra Classes for 3.7?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )

Should I Risk Taking 4 Additional Classes for 3.7?

Yes
5
56%
No
4
44%
 
Total votes: 9

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WhipIt
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Graduating AA Male, 3.65 GPA, 4 Extra Classes for 3.7?

Postby WhipIt » Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:42 am

Hello,

I'm a AA Male at a Top 10 Public University. I'm graduating a year early this quarter with a 3.65 GPA (Cum Laude; Departmental Honors). I haven't taken a diagnostic LSAT yet, but I'm registered for a solid prep course and plan to take the exam in October.

Would you recommend I take 16 additional units (four classes) over the summer to boost my LSAC GPA to a 3.7 (if I earn A's, which I haven't earned anything other than over the past year)? Keep in mind I'll have to take out loans/opportunity costs in order to do that.

Perhaps it would be a better idea to dedicate that time to LSAT prep/polishing my applications instead?

FWIW: somewhere in the T14 is my goal, but if I were fortunate enough to be selective, my top choices would be Harvard, Stanford, and Berkeley.

:arrow: Any and all feedback is appreciated! :)

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jbagelboy
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Re: Graduating AA Male, 3.65 GPA, 4 Extra Classes for 3.7?

Postby jbagelboy » Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:38 am

Why would you ever graduate early at all unless you had maxed out your GPA? If you graduate this spring, your CC classes over the summer won't count towards your LSAC GPA.

Stay in school, don't graduate now. Undo the bad decision and finish college in 4 years with as many aceable courses as possible.

Also graduating early? With a 4.0 or close, I get it. But in your position? less coursework, less experience, less to show an admissions committee, worse application.. and most importantly, less time in college!! work life fucking sucks compared to college. You don't realize it until you're out but man, you are making a mistake. I don't get it. never have never will.

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WhipIt
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Re: Graduating AA Male, 3.65 GPA, 4 Extra Classes for 3.7?

Postby WhipIt » Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:47 am

jbagelboy wrote:Why would you ever graduate early at all unless you had maxed out your GPA? If you graduate this spring, your CC classes over the summer won't count towards your LSAC GPA.

Stay in school, don't graduate now. Undo the bad decision and finish college in 4 years with as many aceable courses as possible.

Also graduating early? With a 4.0 or close, I get it. But in your position? less coursework, less experience, less to show an admissions committee, worse application.. and most importantly, less time in college!! work life fucking sucks compared to college. You don't realize it until you're out but man, you are making a mistake. I don't get it. never have never will.


Thanks for your input!
I have financial constraints and thus I'm trying to be as frugal as possible with spending unnecessary money on undergrad. I'm under the impression that I stand a good chance of being accepted to a T14 school with my current GPA and a 158-160+ LSAT score, correct? So I don't think my decision to graduate early is as horrendous or impractical as you make it seem.

I don't have the funding/funds to spend another year in college, and there are no guarantees that I'll continue making straight A's or raising my GPA, although that is possible. FWIW, I wasn't planning to take CC classes, but rather courses through my university that I believe would still apply to my GPA, as graduating =/= commencing.

I guess the underlying question I'm pondering here is whether or not a 3.7 is worth the additional costs/efforts/risks over a 3.65, or if an even more solid LSAT score (as improved with that time otherwise spent completing four additional courses) would more than make up for that difference...

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bizzybone1313
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Re: Graduating AA Male, 3.65 GPA, 4 Extra Classes for 3.7?

Postby bizzybone1313 » Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:56 am

WhipIt wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:Why would you ever graduate early at all unless you had maxed out your GPA? If you graduate this spring, your CC classes over the summer won't count towards your LSAC GPA.

Stay in school, don't graduate now. Undo the bad decision and finish college in 4 years with as many aceable courses as possible.

Also graduating early? With a 4.0 or close, I get it. But in your position? less coursework, less experience, less to show an admissions committee, worse application.. and most importantly, less time in college!! work life fucking sucks compared to college. You don't realize it until you're out but man, you are making a mistake. I don't get it. never have never will.


Thanks for your input!
I have financial constraints and thus I'm trying to be as frugal as possible with spending unnecessary money on undergrad. I'm under the impression that I stand a good chance of being accepted to a T14 school with my current GPA and a 158-160+ LSAT score, correct? So I don't think my decision to graduate early is as horrendous or impractical as you make it seem.

I don't have the funding/funds to spend another year in college, and there are no guarantees that I'll continue making straight A's or raising my GPA, although that is possible. FWIW, I wasn't planning to take CC classes, but rather courses through my university that I believe would still apply to my GPA, as graduating =/= commencing.

I guess the underlying question I'm pondering here is whether or not a 3.7 is worth the additional costs/efforts/risks over a 3.65, or if an even more solid LSAT score (as improved with that time otherwise spent completing four additional courses) would more than make up for that difference...


With your GPA, Harvard becomes a realistic shot with about a 165ish. I have a AA female friend that did a dual MBA/JD at Harvard and had about a 3.5-3.6ish and a 164ish. You shouldn't be shooting for only a 160. We obviously all want 180's but back on planet Earth most of us score lower than that. This doesn't mean one should be happy with a 160. A 165 is a very realistic goal for most people. Your realistic goal should be score in the high 160's.

If you don't get into Yale (pipe dream for the vast majority of LS applicants in the whole world), Harvard or Stanford (very difficult due to their small class size and GPA whoreish tendencies), 9 times out of 10 you should probably take the most amount of $$$ awarded by a T-14 school with the exception of Georgetown due to their poor employment numbers. This is why getting a 160 is a bad idea. A 160ish would probably get you into a number of T-14 schools, but you will be attending at sticker or with very little $$.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Graduating AA Male, 3.65 GPA, 4 Extra Classes for 3.7?

Postby jbagelboy » Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:02 am

WhipIt wrote:Thanks for your input!
I have financial constraints and thus I'm trying to be as frugal as possible with spending unnecessary money on undergrad. I'm under the impression that I stand a good chance of being accepted to a T14 school with my current GPA and a 158-160+ LSAT score, correct? So I don't think my decision to graduate early is as horrendous or impractical as you make it seem.

I don't have the funding/funds to spend another year in college, and there are no guarantees that I'll continue making straight A's or raising my GPA, although that is possible. FWIW, I wasn't planning to take CC classes, but rather courses through my university that I believe would still apply to my GPA, as graduating =/= commencing.


If you receive your UG degree, that is, you walk and you are awarded your BA or BS, then no further courses, even if they are taken at the same university, will count towards your GPA. I think if you have signed the necessary papers to walk at commencement and you have completed all the graduation requirements, your grades will not carry over. LSAC rules state very clearly that no grades after you've "received" your degree will count. So yes, commencing = graduating as far as that's concerned, unless you can correct me with specific LSAC language/reference.

And your approach to the bolded is a classic mistake. How much does your UG cost per year -- $25K? How much would it actually cost you to attend for a senior year? Do you realize how much money you could save with a stronger application/higher GPA applying in 2014? Probably two to three times as much when interest is compounded. Not only could you get into a better school, you would have vastly superior scholarship opportunities. If your family can't afford to pay for your UG, they certainly can't afford law school, so even if you gain admittance to a T14 you will be shouldered with $270,000 sticker price. A substantial GPA increase (3.65->3.75), more time to mature, develop, study for LSAT, gain possible WE, could save you $20K/year in law school. So your financial calculations and priorities are way off here. Understand that you will be loaning out hundreds of thousands of dollars for law school, the same dollars you would spend or borrow for a senior year.

As for other parts of senior year...thesis will suck, but since you evidently completed your requirements, you could take courses that would be interesting, look good on your application, and be achievable with all the major recs done. Also, your chances at good exiting jobs are weaker w/ only 3 years (unless you already managed to line up something awesome), and you'll want a backup employment option in case you strike out on your first LSAT take and have to reapply.

Lastly, aim for 165+ and you'll be looking at CCN or big $$ at lower T14; with 170, HYS. You shouldn't be shooting for 160.

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WhipIt
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Re: Graduating AA Male, 3.65 GPA, 4 Extra Classes for 3.7?

Postby WhipIt » Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:10 am

bizzybone1313 wrote:
WhipIt wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:Why would you ever graduate early at all unless you had maxed out your GPA? If you graduate this spring, your CC classes over the summer won't count towards your LSAC GPA.

Stay in school, don't graduate now. Undo the bad decision and finish college in 4 years with as many aceable courses as possible.

Also graduating early? With a 4.0 or close, I get it. But in your position? less coursework, less experience, less to show an admissions committee, worse application.. and most importantly, less time in college!! work life fucking sucks compared to college. You don't realize it until you're out but man, you are making a mistake. I don't get it. never have never will.


Thanks for your input!
I have financial constraints and thus I'm trying to be as frugal as possible with spending unnecessary money on undergrad. I'm under the impression that I stand a good chance of being accepted to a T14 school with my current GPA and a 158-160+ LSAT score, correct? So I don't think my decision to graduate early is as horrendous or impractical as you make it seem.

I don't have the funding/funds to spend another year in college, and there are no guarantees that I'll continue making straight A's or raising my GPA, although that is possible. FWIW, I wasn't planning to take CC classes, but rather courses through my university that I believe would still apply to my GPA, as graduating =/= commencing.

I guess the underlying question I'm pondering here is whether or not a 3.7 is worth the additional costs/efforts/risks over a 3.65, or if an even more solid LSAT score (as improved with that time otherwise spent completing four additional courses) would more than make up for that difference...


With your GPA, Harvard becomes a realistic shot with about a 165ish. I have a AA female friend that did a dual MBA/JD at Harvard and had about a 3.5-3.6ish and a 164ish. You shouldn't be shooting for only a 160. We obviously all want 180's but back on planet Earth most of us score lower than that. This doesn't mean one should be happy with a 160. A 165 is a very realistic goal for most people. Your realistic goal should be score in the high 160's.


Yes, I understand this. My aforementioned statement of a 158-160 LSAT + my GPA was in reference to admittance to a T14, whether that be Cornell, Northwestern, etc., not necessarily Harvard. For HYS, I'd imagine a 168+ should be around where I'm aiming For scholarships at lower T14 schools, I'd imagine 165+ would do the trick. Based on precedence, I perform well on standardized tests, and based on sample LSAT sets I've done, only the analytical reasoning section is proving to be a head-scratcher; I hear it's the easiest section to practice/improve on, thankfully.

Even if I take 20 units per quarter + summer session for an additional year and receive straight A's, my GPA would be right around a 3.75. Once again though, that's not guaranteed. There aren't* many "fluff/filler" courses at my school and I've been known to be an A- student...

Moreover, is there some type of T14/T6 barrier/grouping at 3.7+ that I wouldn't be considered for in the 3.6 range :?:
Last edited by WhipIt on Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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bizzybone1313
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Re: Graduating AA Male, 3.65 GPA, 4 Extra Classes for 3.7?

Postby bizzybone1313 » Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:15 am

WhipIt wrote:
bizzybone1313 wrote:
WhipIt wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:Why would you ever graduate early at all unless you had maxed out your GPA? If you graduate this spring, your CC classes over the summer won't count towards your LSAC GPA.

Stay in school, don't graduate now. Undo the bad decision and finish college in 4 years with as many aceable courses as possible.

Also graduating early? With a 4.0 or close, I get it. But in your position? less coursework, less experience, less to show an admissions committee, worse application.. and most importantly, less time in college!! work life fucking sucks compared to college. You don't realize it until you're out but man, you are making a mistake. I don't get it. never have never will.


Thanks for your input!
I have financial constraints and thus I'm trying to be as frugal as possible with spending unnecessary money on undergrad. I'm under the impression that I stand a good chance of being accepted to a T14 school with my current GPA and a 158-160+ LSAT score, correct? So I don't think my decision to graduate early is as horrendous or impractical as you make it seem.

I don't have the funding/funds to spend another year in college, and there are no guarantees that I'll continue making straight A's or raising my GPA, although that is possible. FWIW, I wasn't planning to take CC classes, but rather courses through my university that I believe would still apply to my GPA, as graduating =/= commencing.

I guess the underlying question I'm pondering here is whether or not a 3.7 is worth the additional costs/efforts/risks over a 3.65, or if an even more solid LSAT score (as improved with that time otherwise spent completing four additional courses) would more than make up for that difference...


With your GPA, Harvard becomes a realistic shot with about a 165ish. I have a AA female friend that did a dual MBA/JD at Harvard and had about a 3.5-3.6ish and a 164ish. You shouldn't be shooting for only a 160. We obviously all want 180's but back on planet Earth most of us score lower than that. This doesn't mean one should be happy with a 160. A 165 is a very realistic goal for most people. Your realistic goal should be score in the high 160's.


Yes, I understand this. My aforementioned statement of a 158-160 LSAT + my GPA was in reference to admittance to a T14, whether that be Cornell, Northwestern, etc., not necessarily Harvard. For HYS, I'd imagine a 168+ should be around where I'm aiming For scholarships at lower T14 schools, I'd imagine 165+ would do the trick. Based on precedence, I perform well on standardized tests, and based on sample LSAT sets I've done, only the analytical reasoning section is proving to be a head-scratcher; I hear it's the easiest section to practice/improve on, thankfully.

BTW, @Bizzybone, even if I take 20 units per quarter + summer session for an additional year and receive straight A's, my GPA would be right around a 3.75

Moreover, is there some type of T14/T6 barrier/grouping at 3.7+ that I wouldn't be considered for in the 3.6 range :?:


I added two minors to my already bloated major to get my GPA up in undergrad, so I don't blame you for doing something similar. I probably should even taken another semester or two of courses, but I was so burnt out during that time that I wanted to jump off a cliff. At some point, you just have to graduate and focus your attention on the LSAT. The LSAT matters a whole lot more than the GPA. Scoring high on the LSAT is far more difficult than getting good grades in my opinion. The inability to score high on the LSAT is the main reason people get locked out of the T-14 every year. High GPA's are a dime in a dozen.

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WhipIt
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Re: Graduating AA Male, 3.65 GPA, 4 Extra Classes for 3.7?

Postby WhipIt » Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:26 am

jbagelboy wrote:
If you receive your UG degree, that is, you walk and you are awarded your BA or BS, then no further courses, even if they are taken at the same university, will count towards your GPA. I think if you have signed the necessary papers to walk at commencement and you have completed all the graduation requirements, your grades will not carry over. LSAC rules state very clearly that no grades after you've "received" your degree will count. So yes, commencing = graduating as far as that's concerned, unless you can correct me with specific LSAC language/reference.

And your approach to the bolded is a classic mistake. How much does your UG cost per year -- $25K? How much would it actually cost you to attend for a senior year? Do you realize how much money you could save with a stronger application/higher GPA applying in 2014? Probably two to three times as much when interest is compounded. Not only could you get into a better school, you would have vastly superior scholarship opportunities. If your family can't afford to pay for your UG, they certainly can't afford law school, so even if you gain admittance to a T14 you will be shouldered with $270,000 sticker price. A substantial GPA increase (3.65->3.75), more time to mature, develop, study for LSAT, gain possible WE, could save you $20K/year in law school. So your financial calculations and priorities are way off here. Understand that you will be loaning out hundreds of thousands of dollars for law school, the same dollars you would spend or borrow for a senior year.

As for other parts of senior year...thesis will suck, but since you evidently completed your requirements, you could take courses that would be interesting, look good on your application, and be achievable with all the major recs done. Also, your chances at good exiting jobs are weaker w/ only 3 years (unless you already managed to line up something awesome), and you'll want a backup employment option in case you strike out on your first LSAT take and have to reapply.

Lastly, aim for 165+ and you'll be looking at CCN or big $$ at lower T14; with 170, HYS. You shouldn't be shooting for 160.


Actually, I switched up the two terms, but still, to my knowledge, graduation =/= commencing at my university. For example, to commence (the ceremony in which students participate whom are eligible to graduate) requires 130+ units, no stipulations about college or major pre-requisites/requirements. Whereas to graduate from my university, one must complete 180+ units as well as all of the graduation requirements. So courses one takes after commencing are still calculated into their final GPA after graduating, when he/she receives his/her diploma.

As for how much I could save, I'm not a fan of making decisions based on so many speculations. Your claim seems to fail to consider that it's possible for me to earn a scholarship at a T14 w/ my GPA + the right LSAT score. I inquired about this topic initially seeking insights into the importance of <.5 GPA differences vs. effort/time towards the LSAT and a potentially higher score. There's no guarantee that I'll be loaning out hundreds of thousands of dollars for law school if I score well on the LSAT, but if I spend another year in undergrad, that debt is cemented and definitely something I can't afford.

As for post-grad jobs outside of law, I currently have a few options, but all of them have <$50k pay and poor benefits. If I strike out on my LSAT in October, then I plan to retake it in December.

Once again, I thoroughly appreciate the time you've taken to assess this situation and the insights you've provided me with :mrgreen:

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Dr. Dre
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Re: Graduating AA Male, 3.65 GPA, 4 Extra Classes for 3.7?

Postby Dr. Dre » Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:29 am

jbagelboy — every time you poast, you write novels

learn to shorten your stuff, bruh




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