Is it worth the GPA bump?

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somepulp
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Is it worth the GPA bump?

Postby somepulp » Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:11 am

So my GPA is in the lower 3.6 range as of last semester (4.0). I could possibly bump it up by a few more hundredths to the upper 3.6 range. I am non-URM.

It looks like I'll be under every T14 median GPA-wise, and significantly under 25ths for T6.

Should I just finish this semester strong and just kill the LSAT? Is there a significant difference between an upper 3.6x and a 3.70/3.71 even though I'd still be significantly below medians and below 25ths?

I could shell out thousands of dollars more for summer classes but I'm already in my fifth year and I just want to graduate. I'm so burned out from my classes right now and I've basically taken everything I could, it would look super obvious that I'm staying for easy classes. I've noticed I cannot study for class and LSAT at the same time, so summer school would mean putting off LSAT once again.

I will be taking at least one year off before law school, but I just don't want to regret not doing more to increase my undergrad GPA to a 3.7something.

I have LG down to -0/-1 and I am finally seeing improvement in LR. Plan to take the exam in June and September/December if necessary. I'm at a point where I just want to study LSAT full-time.

Thanks.

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RareExports
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Re: Is it worth the GPA bump?

Postby RareExports » Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:05 pm

I would say my answer depends on what LSAT range you're testing in. If your LSAT is also under medians/25ths for T14, I don't see as much benefit in taking the extra classes. It also depends on what your finances look like. If the few thousand dollars is your life savings, my answer is going to be different than if you have a large safety net.

There certainly are benefits to be realized from a higher GPA (this is all, of course, assuming the courses do actually increase your GPA), and this may put you above medians if you're near them already. But it also sounds quite costly.

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Winston1984
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Re: Is it worth the GPA bump?

Postby Winston1984 » Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:30 pm

I would just graduate.

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Pneumonia
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Re: Is it worth the GPA bump?

Postby Pneumonia » Mon Feb 23, 2015 1:08 pm

T6 + H is doable with the right LSAT. I'd focus on that.

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Fiero85
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Re: Is it worth the GPA bump?

Postby Fiero85 » Mon Feb 23, 2015 1:27 pm

somepulp wrote:
I will be taking at least one year off before law school, but I just don't want to regret not doing more to increase my undergrad GPA to a 3.7something.

I have LG down to -0/-1 and I am finally seeing improvement in LR. Plan to take the exam in June and September/December if necessary. I'm at a point where I just want to study LSAT full-time.

Thanks.


This is good, LSAT is most important.

I'd go ahead and graduate, BUT I could understand this approach too (especially if 3.7 is a latin honors cut off or magna cut off at your school):

1) load up on easy classes over the summer such that a 3.7 cumulative is a reasonable goal (doublecheck the math - otherwise forget it)

2) graduate in August

3) study LSAT over summer to stay fresh

4) study full time for a few weeks before the Sept/October exam

5) retake in December if necessary

But that's really only for personal pride which is probably not worth the extra college tuition and stress. I just mention it because it is a plausible schedule, you seem to be pretty far along in LSAT competence, and a few good schools like Columbia and Cornell actually have 3.7ish medians.

somepulp
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Re: Is it worth the GPA bump?

Postby somepulp » Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:16 pm

Fiero85 wrote:
somepulp wrote:
I will be taking at least one year off before law school, but I just don't want to regret not doing more to increase my undergrad GPA to a 3.7something.

I have LG down to -0/-1 and I am finally seeing improvement in LR. Plan to take the exam in June and September/December if necessary. I'm at a point where I just want to study LSAT full-time.

Thanks.


This is good, LSAT is most important.

I'd go ahead and graduate, BUT I could understand this approach too (especially if 3.7 is a latin honors cut off or magna cut off at your school):

1) load up on easy classes over the summer such that a 3.7 cumulative is a reasonable goal (doublecheck the math - otherwise forget it)

2) graduate in August

3) study LSAT over summer to stay fresh

4) study full time for a few weeks before the Sept/October exam

5) retake in December if necessary

But that's really only for personal pride which is probably not worth the extra college tuition and stress. I just mention it because it is a plausible schedule, you seem to be pretty far along in LSAT competence, and a few good schools like Columbia and Cornell actually have 3.7ish medians.


Thanks Fiero. Just to add some details, I would have to max out my course load and pretty much get all As/A+s to make a meaning difference (push up to 3.7) it seems with my calculations. On top of tuition, I would have to pay for rent because I live on the opposite end of the country. Given the summer calendar at my school, I'd have to stay from May to August.

School doesn't have August graduation, only June or November. If I graduate in November, it seems to me that I'd be even more closer to the KJD bracket - something I don't quite want to be considering my GPA.

edit: my school has pretty bad grade deflation, our highest honors cutoff is 3.5 which is top 10% (school is huge) of graduating class.
Last edited by somepulp on Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ellewoods817
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Re: Is it worth the GPA bump?

Postby ellewoods817 » Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:24 pm

xx
Last edited by ellewoods817 on Fri Aug 19, 2016 12:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Pneumonia
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Re: Is it worth the GPA bump?

Postby Pneumonia » Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:52 pm

In response to PM:

at NYU specifically you'd probably be in with a 172+
for Columbia and Chicago 174+
H 176+

These are numbers where I think you can entertain that you have a reasonable chance of admission. For scholarships I'd say that no matter what your LSAT you probably can't expect anything more than nominal money from CC (<10k/year). With a 99.9th LSAT there is potential for big money at NYU, like 2/3's of tuition or more. These numbers are ballpark and anecdotal, but there aren't really that many anecdotes in the 3.6/175+ range so they're all we've got.

I think a 3.6 / 172 is pretty close to a lock at NYU, but things may have changed since my cycle. To answer your question, yes, you're going to want to be above school's 75th to have a reasonable shot. There will be others in your position (not many though), so you want to be as high over as possible. In other words- shoot for 180.

If these LSAT scores seem unattainable, please realize that you've got a great shot at great money at the rest of the T14 once you're into the 170's range generally.

somepulp
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Re: Is it worth the GPA bump?

Postby somepulp » Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:56 pm

Pneumonia wrote:In response to PM:

at NYU specifically you'd probably be in with a 172+
for Columbia and Chicago 174+
H 176+

These are numbers where I think you can entertain that you have a reasonable chance of admission. For scholarships I'd say that no matter what your LSAT you probably can't expect anything more than nominal money from CC (<10k/year). With a 99.9th LSAT there is potential for big money at NYU, like 2/3's of tuition or more. These numbers are ballpark and anecdotal, but there aren't really that many anecdotes in the 3.6/175+ range so they're all we've got.

I think a 3.6 / 172 is pretty close to a lock at NYU, but things may have changed since my cycle. To answer your question, yes, you're going to want to be above school's 75th to have a reasonable shot. There will be others in your position (not many though), so you want to be as high over as possible. In other words- shoot for 180.

If these LSAT scores seem unattainable, please realize that you've got a great shot at great money at the rest of the T14 once you're into the 170's range generally.


Pneumonia, many thanks! Definitely will blanket the T14 next cycle.

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Fiero85
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Re: Is it worth the GPA bump?

Postby Fiero85 » Mon Feb 23, 2015 3:49 pm

ellewoods817 wrote:
somepulp wrote:
Fiero85 wrote:
somepulp wrote:
I will be taking at least one year off before law school, but I just don't want to regret not doing more to increase my undergrad GPA to a 3.7something.

I have LG down to -0/-1 and I am finally seeing improvement in LR. Plan to take the exam in June and September/December if necessary. I'm at a point where I just want to study LSAT full-time.

Thanks.


This is good, LSAT is most important.

I'd go ahead and graduate, BUT I could understand this approach too (especially if 3.7 is a latin honors cut off or magna cut off at your school):

1) load up on easy classes over the summer such that a 3.7 cumulative is a reasonable goal (doublecheck the math - otherwise forget it)

2) graduate in August

3) study LSAT over summer to stay fresh

4) study full time for a few weeks before the Sept/October exam

5) retake in December if necessary

But that's really only for personal pride which is probably not worth the extra college tuition and stress. I just mention it because it is a plausible schedule, you seem to be pretty far along in LSAT competence, and a few good schools like Columbia and Cornell actually have 3.7ish medians.


Thanks Fiero. Just to add some details, I would have to max out my course load and pretty much get all As/A+s to make a meaning difference (push up to 3.7) it seems with my calculations. On top of tuition, I would have to pay for rent because I live on the opposite end of the country. Given the summer calendar at my school, I'd have to stay from May to August.

School doesn't have August graduation, only June or November. If I graduate in November, it seems to me that I'd be even more closer to the KJD bracket - something I don't quite want to be considering my GPA.


I think that it would be a better use of your time to focus on studying for the LSAT. The combination of cost of tuition, course load, rent, and timing makes me think that studying while gaining a bit of work experience would be the better option in your case!


I agree in light of the new info. Good luck, study hard!

jrc223
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Re: Is it worth the GPA bump?

Postby jrc223 » Mon Feb 23, 2015 4:37 pm

somepulp wrote:
Pneumonia wrote:In response to PM:

at NYU specifically you'd probably be in with a 172+
for Columbia and Chicago 174+
H 176+

These are numbers where I think you can entertain that you have a reasonable chance of admission. For scholarships I'd say that no matter what your LSAT you probably can't expect anything more than nominal money from CC (<10k/year). With a 99.9th LSAT there is potential for big money at NYU, like 2/3's of tuition or more. These numbers are ballpark and anecdotal, but there aren't really that many anecdotes in the 3.6/175+ range so they're all we've got.

I think a 3.6 / 172 is pretty close to a lock at NYU, but things may have changed since my cycle. To answer your question, yes, you're going to want to be above school's 75th to have a reasonable shot. There will be others in your position (not many though), so you want to be as high over as possible. In other words- shoot for 180.

If these LSAT scores seem unattainable, please realize that you've got a great shot at great money at the rest of the T14 once you're into the 170's range generally.


Pneumonia, many thanks! Definitely will blanket the T14 next cycle.


I'm only one data point, so take this with a grain of salt, but I've been accepted to three of the T14 this cycle, including a T6, with your GPA and only a 171 LSAT. Non URM.

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ChemEng1642
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Re: Is it worth the GPA bump?

Postby ChemEng1642 » Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:27 pm

Pneumonia wrote:In response to PM:

at NYU specifically you'd probably be in with a 172+
for Columbia and Chicago 174+
H 176+

These are numbers where I think you can entertain that you have a reasonable chance of admission. For scholarships I'd say that no matter what your LSAT you probably can't expect anything more than nominal money from CC (<10k/year). With a 99.9th LSAT there is potential for big money at NYU, like 2/3's of tuition or more. These numbers are ballpark and anecdotal, but there aren't really that many anecdotes in the 3.6/175+ range so they're all we've got.


Hi - 3.6<X<3.65, 175 LSAT here. I disagree with the bolded statement above. In at all the above schools, 75K at NYU (total not per year) and Butler at Columbia. Your GPA is not going to hold you back that much if you have a good LSAT score. But I will add that I do have some substantial work experience (albeit less than 2 years of it though). If you're going to spend an extra year doing something, work instead of increasing your GPA a couple hundredths of points.

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Pneumonia
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Re: Is it worth the GPA bump?

Postby Pneumonia » Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:33 pm

ChemEng1642 wrote: I disagree with the bolded statement above. In at all the above schools, 75K at NYU (total not per year) and Butler at Columbia. Your GPA is not going to hold you back that much if you have a good LSAT score. But I will add that I do have some substantial work experience (albeit less than 2 years of it though). If you're going to spend an extra year doing something, work instead of increasing your GPA a couple hundredths of points.


Dang a Butler is a good outcome for that GPA. I had similar numbers and got nothing from Columbia (my GPA was lower though). 100% agreed that work experience is worth lots more than .03 GPA bump.

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ChemEng1642
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Re: Is it worth the GPA bump?

Postby ChemEng1642 » Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:39 pm

Pneumonia wrote:
ChemEng1642 wrote: I disagree with the bolded statement above. In at all the above schools, 75K at NYU (total not per year) and Butler at Columbia. Your GPA is not going to hold you back that much if you have a good LSAT score. But I will add that I do have some substantial work experience (albeit less than 2 years of it though). If you're going to spend an extra year doing something, work instead of increasing your GPA a couple hundredths of points.


Dang a Butler is a good outcome for that GPA. I had similar numbers and got nothing from Columbia (my GPA was lower though). 100% agreed that work experience is worth lots more than .03 GPA bump.


I'm still shocked (in a good way) by how my entire cycle is turning out. I also wrote a Why Columbia essay which might have helped? But anyway - good luck OP!

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Ohiobumpkin
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Re: Is it worth the GPA bump?

Postby Ohiobumpkin » Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:42 pm

Would you take the summer classes after graduation? I know that LSAC only counts your GPA based on any classes you took prior to your first bachelor degree being conferred. So you graduate this spring semester, then taking summer classes afterward won't help.

somepulp
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Re: Is it worth the GPA bump?

Postby somepulp » Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:57 pm

Thank you all so much for the insights.

Ohiobumpkin wrote:Would you take the summer classes after graduation? I know that LSAC only counts your GPA based on any classes you took prior to your first bachelor degree being conferred. So you graduate this spring semester, then taking summer classes afterward won't help.


If I take summer school, I would defer graduation to this November. I would really prefer not to and just finish this semester and graduate in June because I'm in my fifth year as it is.

JFO1833
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Re: Is it worth the GPA bump?

Postby JFO1833 » Mon Feb 23, 2015 6:03 pm

I'd say graduate and work on the LSAT. You also don't know for sure how your GPA will come out of LSACs formula which might through off your calculations.

Here is how I'd look at it, Berkeley is a particular GPA focused school (virtually every other school ways the LSAT even more heavily). Their published index formula is:

.871 * LSAT + 23.487 * GPA + 8.474

Under this formula, each LSAT point is worth .037 GPA points. 2-3 points on the LSAT will make up for all the difference in the GPA.




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