Low GPA, High LSAT

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LSAT_Victim
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Low GPA, High LSAT

Postby LSAT_Victim » Mon Mar 05, 2007 9:57 am

Just got my February LSAT score: 173. It's the only official LSAT I have and I'm definitely not retaking. This puts me in an odd spot. My GPA is 2.76 and my LSAT is 173. Does anyone know how schools view this? I've heard that schools apply a formula and if your number falls above their 75% range you automatically get in. This makes me a shoo-in for a number of schools, but when there's such a discrepancy between LSAT and GPA, do the schools just blindly apply some formula, or do they consider the applicant differently?

The fact that my undergraduate degree is from MIT may make a difference. On the other hand, my GPA puts me in the bottom 14% according to my LSDAS report. The average GPA at MIT is 3.24--3.27. MIT has grade inflation just like any other top tier school.

Anyway, that's my dillemma. Anyone have any experience or insight that may be useful?

LSAT_Victim
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Postby LSAT_Victim » Mon Mar 05, 2007 10:02 am

who's corsair and how do I contact him?

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longodds
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Postby longodds » Mon Mar 05, 2007 10:19 am

LSAT, first of all congratulations on the great LSAT score. You obviously worked very hard to get such an impressive score. Some scores are more lenient towards high LSAT/low GPA students than others. The California schools are notorious for weighing GPA more heavily than LSAT scores, and so is UNC, but other schools will sometimes take a chance on a student with a high LSAT score.

As people have said in the past, you'll have to use the shotgun approach when applying to schools. Pick a few high rated schools and hope one takes a chance on you, a few schools that your LSAT is well above their 75th percentile, but GPA is below their 25th, and a few safety schools. Corsair can probably elaborate his approach better.

mcb
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Postby mcb » Mon Mar 05, 2007 10:47 am

Cast a wide net, apply to Northwestern and Michigan...have a good explanation for your gpa. Take a year off and get some WE. You should get into a t25

jmckechnie
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Postby jmckechnie » Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:17 pm

Corsair is coming...I can feel movement in the splitter force!

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R-A
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Postby R-A » Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:30 pm

LSAT_Victim, do your grades show signs of improving as you progressed through school? Sometimes when a student tanks their first or second year and then pulls things together their final years, adcoms like to see that.

I am in a similar boat as well in that my LSDAS GPA is only 3.3 thanks to my first two mediocre years at community college. However, on my applications I'm going to try to highlight my final junior and senior year GPA of 3.65.

Check out this website to see how other applicants faired with their splits: http://www.lawschoolnumbers.com

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lawdog
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Postby lawdog » Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:51 pm

Since you havent applied you can talk to your school and see about retaking a few classes you totally bombed. 16-20 hrs and you make be right around 3.ish gpa

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Slash2049
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Postby Slash2049 » Mon Mar 05, 2007 3:44 pm

Do you have any work experience?

If you have anything significant there, there are some top ranked schools, like NU, that highly value work experience, and this can take some weight off your UGPA.

Halcyonnwar
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Postby Halcyonnwar » Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:25 pm

This is kind of where I'm at now.

I got a 174 and I have a 3.3 is that a low gpa? I really want to go to Yale. I know they take 35 undergrads from yale to yls every year... or so I've heard. Hopefully that'll be enough for me.

I'm a mathematics and philosophy major with a lot of graduate level courses, does that make up for my not so stellar gpa?

Eremite
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Postby Eremite » Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:45 pm

Pick a few high rated schools and hope one takes a chance on you, a few schools that your LSAT is well above their 75th percentile, but GPA is below their 25th, and a few safety schools.


True. You may also consider applying to A LOT in each category. Don't be afraid to ask for fee waivers, with your LSAT, you will probably be granted several.

By the way, the only reliable way to summon Corsair is to allow the Gate Keeper to open a portal to the...oh...Corsaaaair. I thought we were talking about Gozar.

homeless
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Postby homeless » Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:52 pm

Halcyonnwar:

1) Your graduate studies have virtually no impact on your admission chances.

2) 3.3 is very very low for Yale. You are probably not going to get it. YSH will be your reach schools It is worth applying though... just for the hell of it.

3) With a 174 you are sure to get into 2 of CCN. Which is dang good. Columbia, Chicago, NYU will be your target schools along with Penn and Michigan.

4) Be sure to write an academic addendum. Be sure to mention your graduate GPA in it (if it is high).

5) You have a better chance at Harvard than at Yale, since Harvard likes high LSATs... but your chances are still not good.

6) Safety Schools will be Northwestern-range (10-14 or so).

Eremite
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Postby Eremite » Tue Mar 06, 2007 3:43 pm

Your graduate studies have virtually no impact on your admission chances.


Graduate studies and taking graduate level classes as an undergraduate are two different things.

At many (if not all schools) your application will be placed in a stack with people who have similar number. If you had a PhD, well then, you would be the person in that stack who had a PhD, which, in many cases, would not hurt your chances (unless your PS is schmarmy and arrogant--Ivey talks about this).

homeless
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Postby homeless » Tue Mar 06, 2007 3:49 pm

Eremite: good points. All I am saying is that your LSAT/GPA combo is the paramount factor in admissions. The rest of it is ancillary. Graduate classes are nice... but are not going to overcome a GPA that is completely out of sync with what the school wants.

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M20009
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Postby M20009 » Tue Mar 06, 2007 4:31 pm

[If Victim has already graduated this would be pointless from an admissions standpoint. Your LSDAS GPA is calculated on all classes taken before your first Bachelors degree.]

That is reassuring. I took two classes after I graduated to pass the time until I left for Peace Corps. And I could not for the life of me figure out why the LSDAS wouldn't allow me to put that I attended school after I graduated.

This is good news.
Last edited by M20009 on Tue Mar 06, 2007 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Halcyonnwar
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Postby Halcyonnwar » Tue Mar 06, 2007 4:34 pm

even though I have a strange major? Mathematics and Philosophy?

Plus, I know yale gives a lot of preference to yale undergrads, and gives a bit of benefit of doubt to their gpas.

I have a recommendation from the head of grad studies in philosophy and logic, who happens to be married to a big wig at the law school.

should I still write an addendum?

spursfaninla
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Postby spursfaninla » Tue Mar 06, 2007 4:34 pm

My splitter stats:

3.05 ugpa
3.66 MA (darn)
173 LSAT (164 first)
(urm, non-trad)


so far:

full ride, southwestern (3rd tier) 99% chiatsu
25 grand Loyola LA (rank 65) 96%
wait list Duke (t14) 30's%
accepted ($?) USC (16) 32%
pending UCLA (14) 23
pending chicago (5) 10
pending columbia(5) 10

I didn't really apply to any target schools, because of my location. Ideally, I should have gotten money from some schools in the 20's and 30's, which might have been useful to put pressure on USC to give me money.

Hope my case history helps future splitters know what to shoot for.

homeless
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Postby homeless » Tue Mar 06, 2007 4:53 pm

Halcyonn:

There are many people with much better numbers than you who ALSO have great majors/personal stories.

Go look at last years's LSN profile graph for Yale. Is there ANYONE with a 3.3 who got in who is not a URM?

Do you really think none of those people were at least as interesting as you are or attended an Ivy?

By all means, apply... just understand that it is a long long long shot. And YES you need an academic addendum because a 3.3 GPA is garbage when applying to top 10 schools.

I had a 3.43 and a 174 and a very unique non-trad background to include leadership experience in the military and private sector.

I was quickly admitted to Columbia and NYU. Deferred at Harvard.

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Corsair
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Postby Corsair » Tue Mar 06, 2007 5:10 pm

..

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capnjack
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Postby capnjack » Tue Mar 06, 2007 5:23 pm

Another example:

LSAT 175, ugpa 3.3

BUT: my undergrad is split into 2 very distinct periods:
1. start college barely age 17 = immature

result? gpa over 1st 2 years = 2.75

2. take off 4 years, travel around, work, etc. return to school older and more mature

result? gpa over last 2 years = 3.85

plus, undergrad at an ivy, plus grad degree (ma, not phd) w/ 3.85 gpa (which probably doesn't matter to law schools), plus some more time off with unconventional work experience;
plus an odd/slightly disadvantaged childhood story.

results so far:

in at UVA, Gtown, Berkeley, and NYU;

waitlisted at Columbia;

no word yet from Harvard, Yale, or Stanford.

I think I have a decent chance at one of the 4 schools that I'm not into yet. We'll see . . .

littleone
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Postby littleone » Tue Mar 06, 2007 5:52 pm

On Yale's website, it lists the number of applicants over the past three years with their numbers and how many were admitted:

http://www.law.yale.edu/admissions/howw ... ations.htm

For those with a 3.25-3.49 and 170-174, 244 applied and 3 were admitted, so it's possible.

As for writing an addendum, I too have a "garbage" GPA of 3.3, but I don't plan on making excuses for it because I worked for those grades. If you have a valid reason for the low GPA then by all means, explain it, but if you're just going to be grasping for reasons, I don't know that it's worth it.

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Corsair
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Postby Corsair » Tue Mar 06, 2007 5:54 pm

..

homeless
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Postby homeless » Tue Mar 06, 2007 6:07 pm

For top-10 schools, anything below a 3.5 is "garbage".

My 3.43 cetainly is.

3/244 is not exactly good odds.

Eremite
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Postby Eremite » Tue Mar 06, 2007 6:10 pm

The amazing thing is that the +3.75, +175 crowd at Yale, still has less than a 50% chance at acceptance.

Chilling. :shock:

Halcyonnwar
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Postby Halcyonnwar » Tue Mar 06, 2007 6:32 pm

does it matter that I'm going to graduate at 20? I'm 19 now.

Halcyonnwar
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Postby Halcyonnwar » Tue Mar 06, 2007 6:39 pm

I don't know. A lot of people told me I wouldn't get in Yale undergrad with my crappy sats and poor grades. But I did.

Do you guys know how they admit at Yale? Four professors read your application. Random ones. That's why it's such a crapshoot.

I don't know what to make of this, other than if they don't accept me it's their loss and I'll just go somewhere else.




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