GPA weight corresponding to school?

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swong1267

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GPA weight corresponding to school?

Postby swong1267 » Sat Nov 17, 2018 3:37 am

Hey everyone,

Just curious -- would the same GPA from different (undergrad) schools be weighted differently? Does undergrad make a difference, and if so how much?

AJordan

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Re: GPA weight corresponding to school?

Postby AJordan » Sat Nov 17, 2018 7:27 am

Short answer: no. Because of the reliance on reportable numbers a GPA is a GPA.

Long answer: it depends on both institutions. HLS may have more respect for a Harvard degree but it’s not like they’re going to prioritize a 3.5 from a tough liberal arts school over a 3.95 from random state.

All things equal it’s another factor to consider. It could be double-sides I guess. They might expect your written materials to be better and, as such, more likely to be disappointed in their content. This is all speculation, though. Everyone with the numbers gets considered minus some glaring flaw. It’s probably not worth getting hung up about unless there’s some sort of direct connection between the undergrad and the law school.

QContinuum

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Re: GPA weight corresponding to school?

Postby QContinuum » Sat Nov 17, 2018 11:34 pm

In general, GPA is GPA regardless of undergrad institution. Two exceptions:

  • Graduating from an unaccredited institution would very likely raise a yellow/red flag in adcoms' eyes.
  • Graduating from HYP (or an equivalently "elite" institution) would likely confer a small "boost" around the edges. This means that, all else being equal (same LSAT, same softs, same LORs, same PS, same (lack of) URM status), a 3.8 from Yale would almost certainly have the edge over a 3.8 from Big State U. But a 3.8 from Big State U would almost certainly outperform a 3.7 from Yale, again assuming all else being equal.
In short, it's not necessary by any stretch to attend an "elite" undergrad to get into a T13 law school.

swong1267

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Re: GPA weight corresponding to school?

Postby swong1267 » Sun Nov 18, 2018 12:40 am

I see, thanks!

Npret

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Re: GPA weight corresponding to school?

Postby Npret » Mon Nov 19, 2018 4:45 am

QContinuum wrote:In general, GPA is GPA regardless of undergrad institution. Two exceptions:

  • Graduating from an unaccredited institution would very likely raise a yellow/red flag in adcoms' eyes.
  • Graduating from HYP (or an equivalently "elite" institution) would likely confer a small "boost" around the edges. This means that, all else being equal (same LSAT, same softs, same LORs, same PS, same (lack of) URM status), a 3.8 from Yale would almost certainly have the edge over a 3.8 from Big State U. But a 3.8 from Big State U would almost certainly outperform a 3.7 from Yale, again assuming all else being equal.
In short, it's not necessary by any stretch to attend an "elite" undergrad to get into a T13 law school.

I don’t agree. I feel that while numbers are reported for rankings - undergrad matters. I feel certain that a good percentage of T6 students come from other top schools. I don’t think a 3.6 from state u is better than a 3.5 from Yale.
I don’t know how to research this or I guess I’m too lazy, but it should be easy to see where the incoming students of T6 (or more) schools went to undergrad.
Yes, the lower GPA gets reported for those obnoxious rankings, but it’s something ad coms can calculate to be sure to hit their numbers. I feel they may prefer a lower GPA from Yale and simply balance it out, rather than automatically preferring a slightly higher GPA from a state college.

nixy

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Re: GPA weight corresponding to school?

Postby nixy » Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:12 am

I think on the extreme margins it makes a small difference, but otherwise not. I think there are other factors that also go into students from elite undergrads ending up at elite law schools, not favoring an elite GPA over another school’s GPA (i.e. it’s correlation not pure causation). For instance, where softs take on greater importance (the very top schools), students from top undergrads will benefit due to the opportunities they provide.

To the extent undergrad makes a difference, I don’t think it should alter in any way where someone decides to apply or their application strategy, which should be driven by your numbers. Don’t not apply somewhere because you think your undergrad is unworthy; also don’t expect to get in somewhere otherwise out of reach because of your undergrad.

albanach

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Re: GPA weight corresponding to school?

Postby albanach » Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:31 am

Npret wrote:I don’t agree. I feel that while numbers are reported for rankings - undergrad matters. I feel certain that a good percentage of T6 students come from other top schools.


Self Selection. I suspect students already at a top undergraduate are much more likely to either already be thinking about a career as a lawyer - they excelled through high school and likely come from a comparatively wealthy family. So there's always going to be an element of self-selection. They're probably much more likely to have a lawyer in the family, or have family members who have used lawyers in a positive way.

Having attended a top undergraduate college, they're also going to be more focused on school rank. I think it would be hard to overestimate the number of people who enroll at a local lowly ranked law school because they performed next to no research into its outcomes vs. those of other law schools.

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Re: GPA weight corresponding to school?

Postby QContinuum » Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:50 am

nixy wrote:To the extent undergrad makes a difference, I don’t think it should alter in any way where someone decides to apply or their application strategy, which should be driven by your numbers. Don’t not apply somewhere because you think your undergrad is unworthy; also don’t expect to get in somewhere otherwise out of reach because of your undergrad.

This is the right takeaway in the end. Someone at Big State U shouldn't rule out the T13 merely because Big State U isn't prestigious. A HYP undergrad with a 3.1 shouldn't think they're the best thing since sliced bread simply because, hey, HYP!

albanach wrote:Self Selection. I suspect students already at a top undergraduate are much more likely to either already be thinking about a career as a lawyer - they excelled through high school and likely come from a comparatively wealthy family. So there's always going to be an element of self-selection. They're probably much more likely to have a lawyer in the family, or have family members who have used lawyers in a positive way.

Having attended a top undergraduate college, they're also going to be more focused on school rank. I think it would be hard to overestimate the number of people who enroll at a local lowly ranked law school because they performed next to no research into its outcomes vs. those of other law schools.

This is also correct, IMO. Many, many students at low-ranked colleges have simply never considered attending a T13. They've always planned on staying in their home city/state. They may not even be aware of the upper "hump" of the bimodal legal salary distribution.

Npret wrote:I don’t agree. I feel that while numbers are reported for rankings - undergrad matters. I feel certain that a good percentage of T6 students come from other top schools. I don’t think a 3.6 from state u is better than a 3.5 from Yale.
I don’t know how to research this or I guess I’m too lazy, but it should be easy to see where the incoming students of T6 (or more) schools went to undergrad.

Not sure why you think the law students with elite undergrad degrees have subpar GPAs. There are certainly more than enough 3.7+ GPA grads from the elite undergrads to fill T6 classes several times over. Remember, undergrad classes are much bigger than law school classes, and there are way more elite undergrad institutions than, well, the six T6s. Plus, of course, elite undergrads with lower GPAs can also be splitters, with high LSATs.

thepokerchef

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Re: GPA weight corresponding to school?

Postby thepokerchef » Mon Nov 19, 2018 1:05 pm

I came here to ask the same question. I got a 3.38 from a top 15 school. Is that really going to be worse than a 3.8 from a school outside the top 50? :oops:

Wubbles

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Re: GPA weight corresponding to school?

Postby Wubbles » Mon Nov 19, 2018 1:34 pm

Also note that the reason a lot of t6 students went to better undergrads is because high LSAT scores concentrate a bit higher at better undergrads. It seriously is about GPA and LSAT. I got into a T6 with an okay LSAT score, so my high GPA definitely was not looked down upon coming out of a party school

QContinuum

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Re: GPA weight corresponding to school?

Postby QContinuum » Mon Nov 19, 2018 2:29 pm

thepokerchef wrote:I came here to ask the same question. I got a 3.38 from a top 15 school. Is that really going to be worse than a 3.8 from a school outside the top 50? :oops:

Yes.

Of course, that doesn't mean you're locked out of the T13, or even the T6. You'll just need to do very well on the LSAT and get in as a "splitter," which is entirely doable.

zwcai

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Re: GPA weight corresponding to school?

Postby zwcai » Thu Nov 29, 2018 12:17 pm

I know for sure my school does. My undergrad is infamous for grade deflation, and our law school has an unrealistically high gpa for our undergrad students. So, us undergrads get a 0.2 discount

cavalier1138

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Re: GPA weight corresponding to school?

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Nov 29, 2018 4:55 pm

zwcai wrote:I know for sure my school does. My undergrad is infamous for grade deflation, and our law school has an unrealistically high gpa for our undergrad students. So, us undergrads get a 0.2 discount


Wait, wouldn't that show that your law school doesn't account for your undergraduate grading policies? If they did, you'd expect to see anomalous GPAs from your undergrad compared to the law school's 25/50/75 numbers.

zwcai

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Re: GPA weight corresponding to school?

Postby zwcai » Thu Nov 29, 2018 6:14 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
zwcai wrote:I know for sure my school does. My undergrad is infamous for grade deflation, and our law school has an unrealistically high gpa for our undergrad students. So, us undergrads get a 0.2 discount


Wait, wouldn't that show that your law school doesn't account for your undergraduate grading policies? If they did, you'd expect to see anomalous GPAs from your undergrad compared to the law school's 25/50/75 numbers.

That's exactly what I'm saying here. My school's career service told me that the GPA requirement for our undergrads is about 0.2 lower than our law school's median GPA

cavalier1138

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Re: GPA weight corresponding to school?

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:10 pm

zwcai wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
zwcai wrote:I know for sure my school does. My undergrad is infamous for grade deflation, and our law school has an unrealistically high gpa for our undergrad students. So, us undergrads get a 0.2 discount


Wait, wouldn't that show that your law school doesn't account for your undergraduate grading policies? If they did, you'd expect to see anomalous GPAs from your undergrad compared to the law school's 25/50/75 numbers.

That's exactly what I'm saying here. My school's career service told me that the GPA requirement for our undergrads is about 0.2 lower than our law school's median GPA


I'm deeply skeptical. Undergraduate advisors are notoriously bad at knowing how law school admissions work.

QContinuum

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Re: GPA weight corresponding to school?

Postby QContinuum » Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:06 am

cavalier1138 wrote:I'm deeply skeptical. Undergraduate advisors are notoriously bad at knowing how law school admissions work.

+1. I'm even more skeptical that every law school across the board would apply the exact same alleged 0.2 GPA boost to graduates from zwcai's school.

Npret

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Re: GPA weight corresponding to school?

Postby Npret » Fri Nov 30, 2018 8:12 am

QContinuum wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:I'm deeply skeptical. Undergraduate advisors are notoriously bad at knowing how law school admissions work.

+1. I'm even more skeptical that every law school across the board would apply the exact same alleged 0.2 GPA boost to graduates from zwcai's school.

Princeton is notorious for grade deflation. I think their grads typically get boosts. I don’t know any other school that would get a boost. Princeton obviously doesn’t have a law school, so I am a bit skeptical as well.

Maybe he meant undergrads from his school get a boost at their own law school, which could easily be true.

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Re: GPA weight corresponding to school?

Postby albanach » Fri Nov 30, 2018 8:59 am

zwcai wrote:That's exactly what I'm saying here. My school's career service told me that the GPA requirement for our undergrads is about 0.2 lower than our law school's median GPA


I can believe a law school might give undergraduates from the same University a boost.

However, I do wonder if your careers service realizes that the median gpa is not an admissions requirement? In fact, a full 50% of the admitted class have that gpa or lower.

Given the statement about a 0.2 boost appears to come from the undergraduate careers office, I'd retain some skepticism. It would be much more reassuring to hear something from law school admissions, even if it's a non-committal recognition that your school has gpa's that are a bit below what other schools hand out for equivalent performance.

Nonetheless remember that your law school is still being judged by the US News and gets no credit for being nice or fair.

cavalier1138

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Re: GPA weight corresponding to school?

Postby cavalier1138 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:03 am

Npret wrote:Maybe he meant undergrads from his school get a boost at their own law school, which could easily be true.


I'd buy that if the the law school admitted very few students from its own undergrad. But if they're any significant portion of the admitted student pool, I think it would noticeably drag down the 25th for the school.

Unless the boost isn't literally a 0.2 credit on the GPA, which I could easily buy.

zwcai

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Re: GPA weight corresponding to school?

Postby zwcai » Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:42 am

QContinuum wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:I'm deeply skeptical. Undergraduate advisors are notoriously bad at knowing how law school admissions work.

+1. I'm even more skeptical that every law school across the board would apply the exact same alleged 0.2 GPA boost to graduates from zwcai's school.

I never claimed that this is true for every law school. This is just for our school’s own law school, which knows our undergrads very well. Our undergrads career service is one of the best in the country, and the one I talked to is the director of our law career program, who used to work for yls and works directly with our law school, so it is unlikely my data is off. 0.2 is more of an estimate, so let’s just just say that our law school’s median gpa is roughly higher than the 95%tile of the undergrads gpa and our law school admissions synpathesize with us and believe that the top 25% or so should already suffice, though that’s about 0.2 lower than their median and evenlower than their 25%tile

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Re: GPA weight corresponding to school?

Postby Npret » Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:49 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
Npret wrote:Maybe he meant undergrads from his school get a boost at their own law school, which could easily be true.


I'd buy that if the the law school admitted very few students from its own undergrad. But if they're any significant portion of the admitted student pool, I think it would noticeably drag down the 25th for the school.

Unless the boost isn't literally a 0.2 credit on the GPA, which I could easily buy.

I’m pretty sure schools have algorithms to balance this stuff out with other admissions.its probably worth it to take their own undergrads.

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Re: GPA weight corresponding to school?

Postby albanach » Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:23 pm

zwcai wrote:Our undergrads career service is one of the best in the country, and the one I talked to is the director of our law career program, who used to work for yls and works directly with our law school, so it is unlikely my data is off. 0.2 is more of an estimate, so let’s just just say that our law school’s median gpa is roughly higher than the 95%tile of the undergrads gpa and our law school admissions synpathesize with us and believe that the top 25% or so should already suffice, though that’s about 0.2 lower than their median and evenlower than their 25%tile


I would have expected most of the T-14 law schools to have a median GPA above the 90th percentile of their undergraduate school. The mean ug gpa at uva is 3.42 for females, 3.36 for men (I haven't seen undergraduate percentiles anywhere). The law school's 25th, 50th and 75th percentiles are 3.59, 3.89, 3.97.

The idea that a law school would accept the entire top 25th percent of graduates seems really unusual. The number of applicants would be hugs (assuming this was a T-14 school) because many of the class wouldn't be competitive elsewhere. If they were accepted, the US News algorithms would then punish the law school.
Last edited by albanach on Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Npret

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Re: GPA weight corresponding to school?

Postby Npret » Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:29 pm

albanach wrote:
zwcai wrote:Our undergrads career service is one of the best in the country, and the one I talked to is the director of our law career program, who used to work for yls and works directly with our law school, so it is unlikely my data is off. 0.2 is more of an estimate, so let’s just just say that our law school’s median gpa is roughly higher than the 95%tile of the undergrads gpa and our law school admissions synpathesize with us and believe that the top 25% or so should already suffice, though that’s about 0.2 lower than their median and evenlower than their 25%tile


I would have expected most of the T-14 law schools to have a median GPA above the 90th percentile of their undergraduate school. The mean ug gpa at uva is 3.42 for females, 3.36 for men. The law school's 25th, 50th and 75th percentiles are 3.59, 3.89, 3.97.

The idea that a law school would accept the entire top 25th percent of graduates seems really unusual. The number of applicants would be hugs (assuming this was a T-14 school) because many of the class wouldn't be competitive elsewhere. If they were accepted, the US News algorithms would then punish the law school.

I’m sure they still have LSAT requirements or maybe they accept juniors. It sounds more like a state school to me or maybe BU,Notre Dame, etc. Every Ivy school except Princeton is known more for grade inflation I think. Not sure about Cornell because I always forget it.

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Re: GPA weight corresponding to school?

Postby QContinuum » Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:01 pm

Npret wrote:
albanach wrote:I would have expected most of the T-14 law schools to have a median GPA above the 90th percentile of their undergraduate school. The mean ug gpa at uva is 3.42 for females, 3.36 for men. The law school's 25th, 50th and 75th percentiles are 3.59, 3.89, 3.97.

The idea that a law school would accept the entire top 25th percent of graduates seems really unusual. The number of applicants would be hugs (assuming this was a T-14 school) because many of the class wouldn't be competitive elsewhere. If they were accepted, the US News algorithms would then punish the law school.

I’m sure they still have LSAT requirements or maybe they accept juniors. It sounds more like a state school to me or maybe BU,Notre Dame, etc. Every Ivy school except Princeton is known more for grade inflation I think. Not sure about Cornell because I always forget it.

But zwcai's post strongly suggested that the law school takes the entire top quarter of their university's undergrads - not only those members of the top quarter who kill it on the LSAT (in which case they could simply be admitted as regular splitters - they wouldn't even need a GPA boost).

I agree that the law school is unlikely to be in the T13, or even the T20.

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Re: GPA weight corresponding to school?

Postby Kaziende » Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:09 pm

QContinuum wrote:I agree that the law school is unlikely to be in the T13, or even the T20.


I have a feeling it's Berkeley, actually.



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