How AdComs look at UGPA/ Splitter Status

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rosieposie12
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:49 pm

How AdComs look at UGPA/ Splitter Status

Postby rosieposie12 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:39 pm

Hello everyone, I am in somewhat of a unique situation GPA-wise , and I was hoping to gain some insight as to how admissions committees will treat my case. My first two years of college were kinda rough, I went to a small, not well known liberal arts school with a penchant for grade deflation (Dean's list was a 3.0) and did "okay." My poor performance was due primarily to an undiagnosed chronic illness that severely impacted my ability to perform academically, to the point where after being diagnosed, my doctor recommended that I do not take a full-course load (advice which I foolishly did not follow). I ended up transferring at the end of my sophomore year for personal reasons, and this transfer coincided with a serious breakthrough with my health. At my new school (a significantly larger, more competitive and well-regarded school, if that has any bearing) I ended up graduating with a cumulative GPA of 3.931 (Summa Cum Laude). Overall, my LSAC GPA is a 3.5, which is not terrible by any standards, but also nowhere near the level of performance I demonstrated in my final two years of college. I am obviously planning to write an addendum to address this, but I was wondering how much of a difference a stark upward trend on a transcript makes. TL;DR Will AdComs look at a 3.5 that comes from a change in performance
of "average/ below average" to "stellar" (Almost all As, with several A-) differently than a 3.5 that shows no trend in improvement (you got basically a 3.5 every semester)...especially if there is a valid reason for the initial mediocre performance?

As for the LSAT, I'm planning on applying to schools having scored at least a 170. (Yes, I know I cannot guarantee a 170+ LSAT performance, but I have been diligently studying for over a year and feel very confident I will be able to reach that goal/ I probably won't apply until I get that).


I am planning to apply (and hopefully be accepted into) to competative law schools, and I feel like my GPA may be a total blind spot for gauging my chances with admissions, as if there is a difference with how my GPA will be viewed, LSN and similar sites don't take that into account.

I haven't looked where my softs stand in terms of being strong vs. weak, but from what I understand, softs don't make a HUGE difference (you won't get rejected because of bad softs, but they can help you). I am a URM though.

Sorry this is kind of convoluted and confusing, but I'm just hoping to get a better picture of my situation, especially now that my GPA is finalized, and no longer an "if".

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Platopus
Posts: 1134
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:20 pm

Re: How AdComs look at UGPA/ Splitter Status

Postby Platopus » Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:29 pm

As far as gauging admittance chances, you have a 3.5 and should set the expectation that you will not receive any "bump", except perhaps the URM "bump" you would normally get. That said, having an undiagnosed medical condition your first two years of college is a very reasonable explanation for your lower grades. Definitely write an addendum, and make it clear that you have since dealt with the issue in one way or another. As a word of caution, if your medical condition is in any way related to mental health, you need to tread very cautiously in your addendum. The strong upward GPA trend will help you, but only minimally, and at the margins where you compete with similar numbers.

Focus on the LSAT and do your best to crack 170+, if not higher. In part, your chances are going to depend on your URM status. In general, a 170+ will make you competitive at the lower half of the T-13, with a chance at CCN. HYS are probably going to be out unless you really kill the LSAT.

rosieposie12
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:49 pm

Re: How AdComs look at UGPA/ Splitter Status

Postby rosieposie12 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:22 am

Thanks for the response. It was definitely the answer I was anticipating, but not what I wanted to hear. I also have to say, I find it so odd that the LSAC asks you what your GPA from your degree granting institution is since they/schools barely care about it, only the overall GPA.


Also, my illness was not related to mental health. I had/have a pretty severe case of myalgic encephalomyelitis. If you look it up, you'll see that it is like the kiss of death for college students and their GPAs...especially when undiagnosed/ not treated :(




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