Application Strategy Help Needed

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
paulmoon
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Application Strategy Help Needed

Postby paulmoon » Wed Jan 07, 2015 2:30 am

If you don't have time to read the entire post, please read the following: my stats are going to be 176/3.35. I will be applying for the 2016 Fall admissions. Is there any way for me to get accepted to Stanford or Berkeley? If there's little chance, what application strategy should I take in order to guarantee my spot at a different T14 institution?

Long story short, I went through a very rough time during my sophomore year and because of those two semesters, I ended up receiving 3 Fs on my transcript. (If you would like to know my background story, you can read it at the end of the post)

Therefore, although my college GPA is 3.83, my LSDAS GPA is an embarrassing 3.22. I currently have three more semesters left (Spring, Summer, and Fall), and assuming that I get As on rest of the semesters taking 40 extra units over the 3 semesters, my LSDAS GPA will go up to 3.35 before I submit my applications.

I took the LSAT last year and thankfully, I was able to get a 176 on my first try. I am afraid to retake it because I might get a lower score than 176.

So, I am hoping that I can push myself a little bit more and submit applications with 176/3.35. My work experiences are 1.5 years at teleradiology firm and 2 years as an English teacher/tutor in Korea. My extra curricular activities are being a Cellist at UCI Symphony Orchestra, and MUN. With MUN, I received two awards, receiving distinguished delegate and honorable mention at two national conferences. My internship experience will be at the US Embassy in Seoul and I will be a policy analyst intern from May - August 2015.

I am a Korean American currently studying at UC Irvine.

My dream schools are Stanford and Berkeley, because I would like to work for Silicon Valley companies or law firms. However, after some research at TLS, I came to a conclusion that I have next to no chance of being accepted to those schools with my stats.

So, is there any way I can improve my chances of being accepted to Stanford/ Berkeley? If there's no way, then what application strategy should I take in order to get accepted to at least one solid T14. I would love to attend any T14 except for Mich, Duke, UVA, and Cornell. There's something I don't like about those cities, but that's just my humble opinion.

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Last edited by paulmoon on Wed Jan 07, 2015 4:32 am, edited 4 times in total.

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DrSpaceman
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Re: Application Strategy Help Needed

Postby DrSpaceman » Wed Jan 07, 2015 2:36 am

Your long story was made slightly too short there. Write a good addendum and have fun choosing between Stanford and Berkeley.

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whitespider
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Re: Application Strategy Help Needed

Postby whitespider » Wed Jan 07, 2015 2:40 am

Sorry, but you don't really have a shot at Stanford or Berkeley with a 3.35 LSDAS GPA.

They both have pretty strict GPA floors.

paulmoon
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Re: Application Strategy Help Needed

Postby paulmoon » Wed Jan 07, 2015 2:45 am

whitespider wrote:Sorry, but you don't really have a shot at Stanford or Berkeley with a 3.35 LSDAS GPA.

They both have pretty strict GPA floors.


Yeah... That's what I read as well... So I shouldn't get my hopes up and look for different options right? What are other law school options that I have in order for me to get hired by silicon valley companies? I really want to live in the bay area or near silicon valley, in the near future.

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Clearly
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Re: Application Strategy Help Needed

Postby Clearly » Wed Jan 07, 2015 2:48 am

These are two of the worst t14s to be applying to with a low GPA unfortunately. That said, you'll get T14s with your numbers. In my experience, splitters like us need to really put together a coherent application that stresses our strengths, so really think through everything your broadcasting in your application. Your GPA is what it is, and it might well be the case that if you don't have to disclose these issues in the C+F section, that you'd be better off not announcing them at all.

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Clearly
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Re: Application Strategy Help Needed

Postby Clearly » Wed Jan 07, 2015 2:49 am

DrSpaceman wrote:Your long story was made slightly too short there. Write a good addendum and have fun choosing between Stanford and Berkeley.


Why exactly would you do that to someone?

paulmoon
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Re: Application Strategy Help Needed

Postby paulmoon » Wed Jan 07, 2015 2:56 am

Clearly wrote:These are two of the worst t14s to be applying to with a low GPA unfortunately. That said, you'll get T14s with your numbers. In my experience, splitters like us need to really put together a coherent application that stresses our strengths, so really think through everything your broadcasting in your application. Your GPA is what it is, and it might well be the case that if you don't have to disclose these issues in the C+F section, that you'd be better off not announcing them at all.


Are the rumors of "GPA Floors" really true? If so, where can I find the GPA floors for the T14s. I know that I can't get a higher LSDAS GPA than 3.35 so I want to plan accordingly.

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whitespider
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Re: Application Strategy Help Needed

Postby whitespider » Wed Jan 07, 2015 2:59 am

paulmoon wrote:
Clearly wrote:These are two of the worst t14s to be applying to with a low GPA unfortunately. That said, you'll get T14s with your numbers. In my experience, splitters like us need to really put together a coherent application that stresses our strengths, so really think through everything your broadcasting in your application. Your GPA is what it is, and it might well be the case that if you don't have to disclose these issues in the C+F section, that you'd be better off not announcing them at all.


Are the rumors of "GPA Floors" really true? If so, where can I find the GPA floors for the T14s. I know that I can't get a higher LSDAS GPA than 3.35 so I want to plan accordingly.


I would just go to LSN and look at the Admit charts for each of the T14. You'll be able to see it pretty starkly across the chart and year to year.

paulmoon
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Re: Application Strategy Help Needed

Postby paulmoon » Wed Jan 07, 2015 3:04 am

whitespider wrote:
paulmoon wrote:
Clearly wrote:These are two of the worst t14s to be applying to with a low GPA unfortunately. That said, you'll get T14s with your numbers. In my experience, splitters like us need to really put together a coherent application that stresses our strengths, so really think through everything your broadcasting in your application. Your GPA is what it is, and it might well be the case that if you don't have to disclose these issues in the C+F section, that you'd be better off not announcing them at all.


Are the rumors of "GPA Floors" really true? If so, where can I find the GPA floors for the T14s. I know that I can't get a higher LSDAS GPA than 3.35 so I want to plan accordingly.


I would just go to LSN and look at the Admit charts for each of the T14. You'll be able to see it pretty starkly across the chart and year to year.


Thanks bro, you are the best.

js1663
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Re: Application Strategy Help Needed

Postby js1663 » Wed Jan 07, 2015 3:18 am

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Last edited by js1663 on Sat Jan 31, 2015 12:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Clearly
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Re: Application Strategy Help Needed

Postby Clearly » Wed Jan 07, 2015 3:25 am

It's a long shot, but look into a retroactive medical withdrawal

paulmoon
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Re: Application Strategy Help Needed

Postby paulmoon » Wed Jan 07, 2015 4:01 am

Clearly wrote:It's a long shot, but look into a retroactive medical withdrawal


I've already tried. Do you know what NYU (my previous institution before I transferred to UCI) said? NYU said because my depression and difficult circumstances began before the deadline to submit for withdrawal, it was my negligence that caused the F grades. Apparently, depression isn't considered as a medical emergency.

I was appalled, to say the least, with their reasoning and decided to transfer out immediately.

Since then, with help of many friends and professionals, I've improved my health significantly and was able to retain a decent GPA of 3.83.

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Clearly
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Re: Application Strategy Help Needed

Postby Clearly » Wed Jan 07, 2015 4:05 am

paulmoon wrote:
Clearly wrote:It's a long shot, but look into a retroactive medical withdrawal


I've already tried. Do you know what NYU (my previous institution before I transferred to UCI) said? NYU said because my depression and difficult circumstances began before the deadline to submit for withdrawal, it was my negligence that caused the F grades. Apparently, depression isn't considered as a medical emergency.

I was appalled, to say the least, with their reasoning and decided to transfer out immediately.

Since then, with help of many friends and professionals, I've improved my health significantly and was able to retain a decent GPA of 3.83.


I mean, you can't really fault them for that reasoning. Its a little callous, but its well-intentioned, it would be a disaster if retroactive withdrawals weren't very difficult to achieve, and depression as debilitating as it is, isn't the type of condition they are aiming to grant them for. I knew it was a huge long-shot when I brought it up, but I'm glad you looked into it.

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Clearly
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Re: Application Strategy Help Needed

Postby Clearly » Wed Jan 07, 2015 4:10 am

I can't stress what I said earlier enough. Apply STRONG. Don't tell your story from your angle, but rather think about the risk/reward that schools face in making decisions. Despite the fact that you have a good reason, and that its part of the story of your life, I might avoid bringing up why your GPA is low if you aren't required to disclose it. I know you mentioned apprehension in your earlier post, I just want to remind you as a similar applicant that you need to play this smart, play up your strengths and draw attention AWAY from the negatives.

paulmoon
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Re: Application Strategy Help Needed

Postby paulmoon » Wed Jan 07, 2015 5:55 am

Clearly wrote:I can't stress what I said earlier enough. Apply STRONG. Don't tell your story from your angle, but rather think about the risk/reward that schools face in making decisions. Despite the fact that you have a good reason, and that its part of the story of your life, I might avoid bringing up why your GPA is low if you aren't required to disclose it. I know you mentioned apprehension in your earlier post, I just want to remind you as a similar applicant that you need to play this smart, play up your strengths and draw attention AWAY from the negatives.


Thank you very much for your help. I will definitely apply strong and try to explain to the admissions why it will be worth taking a risk with me. I think it's one of the best advice I've ever received.

I have one last question. Since I will be applying for the Fall 2016 Admissions, it means that I have until February to submit my application. However, I've read from numerous sources that it's better to apply earlier than later.

The problem is, since I'm trying to improve my GPA as much as I can, I must add Fall 15-16 grades to my application. Yet, if I apply as early as possible, which I believe is early November, I won't be able to add my Fall grades.

Is it recommended that I submit my application after I receive my fall grades, or can I submit it first and update it later. If I update, will I be penalized in any way?




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