Bad Grades History

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johnjolly
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Bad Grades History

Postby johnjolly » Mon Nov 25, 2013 4:15 pm

Hi all,

I have a question regarding the admissions process.

I first went to college in 2001. At that time, I wasn't really serious about school and, after a semester and a half, I wound up dropping out with a 1.7 GPA or thereabouts. In 2004, I started school again at another university on a part time basis (1 class per semester). I started fresh and never gave them my 2001 college transcript. By 2006, I accumulated about 12 credits (I know, very slow). In 2012, however, I transferred those credits to another school. I began studying really hard and I am currently maintaining a perfect GPA. I'm slated to graduate after the Fall 2014 semester.

My question is this: how much will that bad GPA from 2001 affect my chances of getting into a good law school? Is that information still retrievable? What do you recommend I do?


Best,
John

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midwest17
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Re: Bad Grades History

Postby midwest17 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 4:20 pm

You must submit all transcripts to LSAC. They will combine all of your grades into a single cumulative GPA, which is what law schools will look at.

You can do the math yourself to figure out what your actual cumulative GPA will be (or you can pay for CAS and start sending in transcripts now, and they'll compute it for you), but if you have 5 semesters at a 4.0 and 1.5 semesters at a 1.7 (you didn't say what your grades were for those 12 credits in between) you're probably looking at an LSAC GPA around 3.4-3.5. But that's making a lot of assumptions.

Once you figure out what your LSAC GPA will be, and get an idea of where you'll be capable of scoring on the LSAT (hint: you won't know that until you take timed practice tests under test conditions), you can get an idea of your chances at various schools at mylsn.info.

johnjolly
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Re: Bad Grades History

Postby johnjolly » Mon Nov 25, 2013 4:27 pm

Thanks a lot for the info! That sounds really bad. The 12 credits in between are also 4.0's but even with that, it will come out to 3.6.

Will have to try and do really well on the LSATs then!


Best,
John

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midwest17
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Re: Bad Grades History

Postby midwest17 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 4:36 pm

johnjolly wrote:Thanks a lot for the info! That sounds really bad. The 12 credits in between are also 4.0's but even with that, it will come out to 3.6.

Will have to try and do really well on the LSATs then!


Best,
John


I don't know what your financial situation is, but you could also try adding some more courses in, whether that means summer courses at a community college or deferring graduation for a semester or two. Do the math yourself, though, to figure out how much those options can actually help you.

One thing to keep in mind: it's possible that you'll slightly outperform your GPA due to the pretty dramatic upward trend. But to do that you'll need to write a convincing GPA addendum, and I would try to find something else to say than "I wasn't really serious about school." Plenty of people aren't serious about school and end up with GPAs significantly above 1.7.

johnjolly
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Re: Bad Grades History

Postby johnjolly » Mon Nov 25, 2013 5:02 pm

What I was trying to say was, I lost interest in school. I was lost...in a malaise. I gradually stopped going to class, until I completely stopped.

I'll definitely add a GPA addendum to somehow explain all of this. If I defer my graduation, and take 5 courses it will boost my gpa by .6...

How much would of a boost would be worth it?


Best,
John

wolfgang
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Re: Bad Grades History

Postby wolfgang » Mon Nov 25, 2013 5:14 pm

johnjolly wrote:What I was trying to say was, I lost interest in school. I was lost...in a malaise. I gradually stopped going to class, until I completely stopped.

I'll definitely add a GPA addendum to somehow explain all of this. If I defer my graduation, and take 5 courses it will boost my gpa by .6...

How much would of a boost would be worth it?


Best,
John


I hope you mean .06! a .6 boost would get you up to 4.2ish :)

Without all the information, I'd say that a .06 boost is almost always worth it and in some cases can be really, really worth it. But more specific advice can be given if you feel comfortable giving a general range (or, better yet, specific schools) that you're targeting?

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midwest17
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Re: Bad Grades History

Postby midwest17 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 5:17 pm

The decision also depends on your LSAT, and your financial situation matters. Play around with different ranges on myLSN and see what you get.

johnjolly
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Re: Bad Grades History

Postby johnjolly » Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:53 pm

Hi Wolfgang and Midwest,

Yes, definitely meant .06! :D I would love to go to Columbia or NYU since they are the most convenient. Though, I don't know when I'll be taking the LSATs because I work 45 hours a week and take a minimum of 18 credits per semester. I'm also a double major and minor and makes it a little difficult to study for the LSAT...even if I found a little bit of time, I don't know if I want to risk taking the LSAT unprepared. From what I gather, you're supposed to dedicate months to LSAT study.

I'm taking a look at MyLSN right now...trying to figure it out. Chrome seems to be having problems with it.

Thanks again!

Best,
John

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Tom Joad
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Re: Bad Grades History

Postby Tom Joad » Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:55 pm

I wouldn't sweat it too much. Law school classes are much different than history classes.

johnjolly
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Re: Bad Grades History

Postby johnjolly » Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:59 pm

Tom Joad wrote:I wouldn't sweat it too much. Law school classes are much different than history classes.


haha sorry for the bad title!

wolfgang
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Re: Bad Grades History

Postby wolfgang » Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:00 pm

midwest17 wrote:The decision also depends on your LSAT, and your financial situation matters. Play around with different ranges on myLSN and see what you get.


^yep. drat! I meant to write these, but forgot! good catch

HYSenberg
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Re: Bad Grades History

Postby HYSenberg » Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:46 am

johnjolly wrote:I wasn't really serious about school and, after a semester and a half, I wound up dropping out with a 1.7 GPA or thereabouts. In 2004, I started school again at another university on a part time basis (1 class per semester). I started fresh and never gave them my 2001 college transcript.


I was under the impression that if you had any university grades from attending full-time, you were obliged to enroll in a new university only as a transfer and could not simply "start over." Am I mistaken?

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midwest17
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Re: Bad Grades History

Postby midwest17 » Tue Nov 26, 2013 2:11 am

HYSenberg wrote:
johnjolly wrote:I wasn't really serious about school and, after a semester and a half, I wound up dropping out with a 1.7 GPA or thereabouts. In 2004, I started school again at another university on a part time basis (1 class per semester). I started fresh and never gave them my 2001 college transcript.


I was under the impression that if you had any university grades from attending full-time, you were obliged to enroll in a new university only as a transfer and could not simply "start over." Am I mistaken?


I'm guessing it varies by school? I can't think of why there would be a uniform rule about this...

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IgosduIkana
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Re: Bad Grades History

Postby IgosduIkana » Tue Nov 26, 2013 3:44 am

Sorry to hear about your malaise...I dealt with some emotional turmoil after a breakup my last year of college and it definitely did a number on my GPA. Ah well. Learn from your mistakes or whatever factor caused your malaise and keep doing awesome.

johnjolly
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Re: Bad Grades History

Postby johnjolly » Tue Nov 26, 2013 9:25 am

IgosduIkana wrote:Sorry to hear about your malaise...I dealt with some emotional turmoil after a breakup my last year of college and it definitely did a number on my GPA. Ah well. Learn from your mistakes or whatever factor caused your malaise and keep doing awesome.


Was it much harder for you to apply/get into a top law school because of your malaise?

johnjolly
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Re: Bad Grades History

Postby johnjolly » Tue Nov 26, 2013 9:34 am

midwest17 wrote:The decision also depends on your LSAT, and your financial situation matters. Play around with different ranges on myLSN and see what you get.


I played around with myLSN, and wow, that .06 would make a difference! I just ordered my transcript from my old school so I'll see what I actually have...hope it's not too bad!

I did see some low GPA's out there, as low as 3.29...but then again, I don't know what their circumstances were like.

What's weird is that the scholarship graph shows students with 161/3.0 being given $75,000 scholarships. How is that possible?

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Pneumonia
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Re: Bad Grades History

Postby Pneumonia » Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:41 am

johnjolly wrote:
midwest17 wrote:The decision also depends on your LSAT, and your financial situation matters. Play around with different ranges on myLSN and see what you get.


I played around with myLSN, and wow, that .06 would make a difference! I just ordered my transcript from my old school so I'll see what I actually have...hope it's not too bad!

I did see some low GPA's out there, as low as 3.29...but then again, I don't know what their circumstances were like.

What's weird is that the scholarship graph shows students with 161/3.0 being given $75,000 scholarships. How is that possible?


The LSN numbers are self-reported. Outliers on the extreme ends are mostly considered to be fabrications. If the numbers above were for Columbia/NYU then they'd probably fall into that category.

johnjolly
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Re: Bad Grades History

Postby johnjolly » Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:08 am

Makes sense. Thanks!




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