Benefits of retaking with a 3.3 GPA?

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msl1991

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Benefits of retaking with a 3.3 GPA?

Postby msl1991 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:41 pm

Wondering how useful people think retaking is with a ~3.3 GPA.

My personal situation: taken the test three times (10/2015, 09/2016, 12/2016) with the following scores: cancel, 161, 165.

My GPA is in the low 3.3s and I applied this past cycle. Mostly what I'm looking at is schools between 20-40 where I have anywhere between a 25%-75% tuition discount, including at a few schools that seem like good options for myself (UCD: ~75% off, UCI: ~55% off, BU: ~40%) and still waiting to hear back on scholarship reconsideration.

Don't have biglaw goals and am more focused on government work (maybe PI) at least at this point in my life. The amount of debt I am looking to take on for law school is somewhere between $60,000 - $80,000 (obviously less is more attractive) and the aforementioned schools (maybe not entirely BU) would allow me to get around that range. A portion of my COL will be paid for from my modest savings, if those numbers don't seem to fully make sense.

I could forgo Law School next year and take the LSAT again in September. I studied on and off for about a year and a half, and never had the time to completely devote all my life/time to studying. Have taken all the PTs in some form or another, which is a real bummer, with my highest PT being one 167 and one 168 (although I'm pretty sure they were on reused tests) and leading up to the December test my scores were pretty consistently around a 165.

I'd prefer to go to law school next year, but am not entirely opposing to waiting out another year. My only problem is that given my GPA and what I've seen on LSN my fortunes don't really improve too drastically with a reasonable LSAT bump. The idea of going T13 close to sticker doesn't seem like something that I'd really like to do. Besides UCLA/USC none of the other schools in that 14-20 grouping are a real draw for me and at those two schools it would still be pretty expensive to go factoring in COL in LA with maybe an okay scholarship (seems pretty hit or miss with my stats). I am also not certain how much I can bump up the scholarship money at the range of schools I am currently looking at. For BU I think I have some room for improvement, but for UCD and UCI (the two I am more strongly considering) it seems that they have a tiered system for the levels that they give out scholarships at and it would really take a big bump (170-175) to maybe get myself a larger offer (but it still seems that this is very subjective and more in line with a 20k to 40k bump than full ride).

All of this is really uncertain and as it currently stands I am unsure of what to do. Am I just talking myself out of a future retake or does any of this make any sense? Shoot me straight, thanks!
Last edited by msl1991 on Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Rigo

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Re: Benefits of retaking with a 3.3 GPA?

Postby Rigo » Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:45 pm

3-4 more points and WUSTL would likely be in play with decent money, but if that doesn't interest you and you want to stay in CA and do local/state government or PI then I tend to agree with you and say go to Davis or Irvine rather than a retake and wait another year probably all for naught.

USC & UCLA are very GPA heavy schools so you'd have to improve several points to have a real shot, and even then, I don't think the money would come through to make them worthwhile.

Irvine for SoCal, Davis for NorCal. Negotiate between the two. Enjoy.

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half moon

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Re: Benefits of retaking with a 3.3 GPA?

Postby half moon » Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:52 pm

My GPA is slightly lower than yours, and I applied this cycle. My guess would be that around a 168 would get you Vanderbilt/WUSTL/USC/UCLA, although hard to say on money. A 170+ gives you a good shot at a couple lower T14s with a little money, and probably decent scholarships at some in the 14-20 group.

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half moon

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Re: Benefits of retaking with a 3.3 GPA?

Postby half moon » Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:56 pm

msl1991 wrote:Don't have biglaw goals and am more focused on government work (maybe PI) at least at this point in my life.


Also, just saw this. If you're fully committed to PI/Gov work, look at the LRAP programs for the schools your interested in. Even $60-80k in debt would probably be tough on a PI salary, so there are cases where you might be in a better position by taking on more debt to go to a school with a stronger LRAP.
Last edited by half moon on Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Rigo

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Re: Benefits of retaking with a 3.3 GPA?

Postby Rigo » Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:02 pm

half moon wrote:
msl1991 wrote:Wondering how useful people think retaking is with a ~3.3 GPA.

Don't have biglaw goals and am more focused on government work (maybe PI) at least at this point in my life.


Also, just saw this. If you're fully committed to PI/Gov work, look at the LRAP programs for the schools your interested in. Even $60-80k in debt would probably be tough on a PI salary, so there are cases where you might be in a better position by taking on more debt to go to a school with a stronger LRAP.

After a pretty quick look, UCI seems to be better than UCD which has a low ceiling ($60k/yr salary).
Obviously dive deeper OP.

msl1991

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Re: Benefits of retaking with a 3.3 GPA?

Postby msl1991 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:03 pm

Rigo wrote:3-4 more points and WUSTL would likely be in play with decent money, but if that doesn't interest you and you want to stay in CA and do local/state government or PI then I tend to agree with you and say go to Davis or Irvine rather than a retake and wait another year probably all for naught.

USC & UCLA are very GPA heavy schools so you'd have to improve several points to have a real shot, and even then, I don't think the money would come through to make them worthwhile.

Irvine for SoCal, Davis for NorCal. Negotiate between the two. Enjoy.


Thank you for the advice, appreciate it!

msl1991

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Re: Benefits of retaking with a 3.3 GPA?

Postby msl1991 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:05 pm

half moon wrote:My GPA is slightly lower than yours, and I applied this cycle. My guess would be that around a 168 would get you Vanderbilt/WUSTL/USC/UCLA, although hard to say on money. A 170+ gives you a good shot at a couple lower T14s with a little money, and probably decent scholarships at some in the 14-20 group.


Yeah thanks for the insight. I don't have a real interest in the Midwest or South, but USC and UCLA would be great, the only thing is they are really expensive schools and it seems like my GPA may disclude me from good scholarship money.

msl1991

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Re: Benefits of retaking with a 3.3 GPA?

Postby msl1991 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:07 pm

Rigo wrote:
half moon wrote:
msl1991 wrote:Wondering how useful people think retaking is with a ~3.3 GPA.

Don't have biglaw goals and am more focused on government work (maybe PI) at least at this point in my life.


Also, just saw this. If you're fully committed to PI/Gov work, look at the LRAP programs for the schools your interested in. Even $60-80k in debt would probably be tough on a PI salary, so there are cases where you might be in a better position by taking on more debt to go to a school with a stronger LRAP.

After a pretty quick look, UCI seems to be better than UCD which has a low ceiling ($60k/yr salary).
Obviously dive deeper OP.


Thanks for taking a quick look :D

From what I have seen the UCI and UCD LRAPs dont seem terrible, but it's hard to tell with the uncertainty surrounding the PSLF/government loan forgiveness programs.

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Re: Benefits of retaking with a 3.3 GPA?

Postby Rigo » Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:12 pm

Irvine's actually seems pretty sweet for a regional school.
http://www.law.uci.edu/admission/tuitio ... elines.pdf
Includes undergrad loans too.

msl1991

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Re: Benefits of retaking with a 3.3 GPA?

Postby msl1991 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:24 pm

Rigo wrote:Irvine's actually seems pretty sweet for a regional school.
http://www.law.uci.edu/admission/tuitio ... elines.pdf
Includes undergrad loans too.


Wow, cool. Forgive me if this sounds dumb, but is the general way LRAP works is that the school gives you the amount you would pay under an income based loan repayment program and if you stay in an eligible position (i.e. public service/under 60k) you don't have to pay back the school?

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Re: Benefits of retaking with a 3.3 GPA?

Postby Rigo » Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:27 pm

msl1991 wrote:
Rigo wrote:Irvine's actually seems pretty sweet for a regional school.
http://www.law.uci.edu/admission/tuitio ... elines.pdf
Includes undergrad loans too.

Wow, cool. Forgive me if this sounds dumb, but is the general way LRAP works is that the school gives you the amount you would pay under an income based loan repayment program and if you stay in an eligible position (i.e. public service/under 60k) you don't have to pay back the school?

Essentially. After 10 years you will apply for Public Service Loan Forgiveness and the balance still owed after 120 qualifying payments will be forgiven.

So if the first 10 years of your employment you make less than [$60k+whatever allowances the school gives you] and stay in qualifying employment, you will pay nothing out of pocket towards your loans and your loans will be forgiven.

msl1991

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Re: Benefits of retaking with a 3.3 GPA?

Postby msl1991 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:39 pm

Rigo wrote:
msl1991 wrote:
Rigo wrote:Irvine's actually seems pretty sweet for a regional school.
http://www.law.uci.edu/admission/tuitio ... elines.pdf
Includes undergrad loans too.

Wow, cool. Forgive me if this sounds dumb, but is the general way LRAP works is that the school gives you the amount you would pay under an income based loan repayment program and if you stay in an eligible position (i.e. public service/under 60k) you don't have to pay back the school?

Essentially. After 10 years you will apply for Public Service Loan Forgiveness and the balance still owed after 120 qualifying payments will be forgiven.

So if the first 10 years of your employment you make less than [$60k+whatever allowances the school gives you] and stay in qualifying employment, you will pay nothing out of pocket towards your loans and your loans will be forgiven.


Yeah that seems like a pretty good deal for people interested in in Public Service or Interest positions. Hopefully the government doesn't get rid of it!

snowball17

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Re: Benefits of retaking with a 3.3 GPA?

Postby snowball17 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:13 pm

I have a similar GPA and 168 LSAT. Got almost full ride from WUSTL, 80% from UCI & UCD, and 50% from UCLA. If you weren't PI oriented I'd recommend retake, but given your goals, both Irvine and Davis seem like fine options :D

msl1991

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Re: Benefits of retaking with a 3.3 GPA?

Postby msl1991 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 3:44 pm

snowball17 wrote:I have a similar GPA and 168 LSAT. Got almost full ride from WUSTL, 80% from UCI & UCD, and 50% from UCLA. If you weren't PI oriented I'd recommend retake, but given your goals, both Irvine and Davis seem like fine options :D


Thanks for the input. Mind sharing what your COA at UCLA is if you've calculated it?

snowball17

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Re: Benefits of retaking with a 3.3 GPA?

Postby snowball17 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 3:57 pm

msl1991 wrote:
snowball17 wrote:I have a similar GPA and 168 LSAT. Got almost full ride from WUSTL, 80% from UCI & UCD, and 50% from UCLA. If you weren't PI oriented I'd recommend retake, but given your goals, both Irvine and Davis seem like fine options :D


Thanks for the input. Mind sharing what your COA at UCLA is if you've calculated it?


About 160K - definitely still a scary number :lol:

msl1991

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Re: Benefits of retaking with a 3.3 GPA?

Postby msl1991 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 4:25 pm

snowball17 wrote:
msl1991 wrote:
snowball17 wrote:I have a similar GPA and 168 LSAT. Got almost full ride from WUSTL, 80% from UCI & UCD, and 50% from UCLA. If you weren't PI oriented I'd recommend retake, but given your goals, both Irvine and Davis seem like fine options :D


Thanks for the input. Mind sharing what your COA at UCLA is if you've calculated it?


About 160K - definitely still a scary number :lol:


Thanks for sharing! Just sent you a PM.



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