TFA...wait a sec.....

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
abl
Posts: 734
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:07 pm

Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby abl » Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:46 pm

First, to answer the question of why TFA might matter more than some other "softs:"

1. TFA is a great signaler to adcoms. The TFA selection process is incredibly selective, even at top schools (I believe something like 2/3s of applicants at Harvard are denied). More specifically, however, TFA looks for qualities that law schools care about but don't have the time to really select for. In other words, TFA does a good job of doing some of the selection work that many law schools wish they could do. A student selected for TFA likely has great leadership experience/ability, is very good at working in groups, demonstrates perseverance in conflicts, etc, etc. I don't know of any other programs that are nearly as selective, or select for this particular set of "soft" character traits that law schools value.

2. The TFA experience is a relatively consistent and known value. In most cases, TFA is two years in some of the hardest schools in the country, with very high expectations for teacher and student achievement during those two years. Sure, a non-TFA teacher who teaches at a similarly troubled school and demonstrates a similar amount of commitment as is expected of TFA corps members might deserve a similar "bump." However, that teacher is going to have to work a lot harder to demonstrate that they are coming from a troubled area and are doing great things in the classroom than the TFA corps member will (because their commitment and achievements are not as neatly summarized by three letters).

3. Law schools now-a-days want to produce graduates who will go on to make the world a better place, and not just make lots of money. To this end, a TFA alum will receive a bit of a bump. Why? Most law school applicants write about their desire to work for the public good and most have some amount of experience to back it up with. However, few have "walked the walk" as TFA teachers have, moving to uncomfortable (and often unsafe) locations to do some of the most difficult work that one can do for two years while making very little pay. There are other great things people can do for "work experience," but few involve as much sacrifice as TFA. Furthermore, TFA as an organization does a great job tracking what its alums end up doing, and roughly half end up working in the educatio field in one way or another (whether as an advocate for education, a principal, a teacher, or in some other way). Those aren't bad odds. Now, while it may be true that other applicants who have "walked the walk" of public service (peacecorps, americorps, or other similar program alums) are just as (or more) likely to go into public service after law school, no other organization does as good of a job publicizing itself as TFA does. There are no statistics showing the likelihood of Americorps alums remaining in public service.

Now, I'd like to be clear--I'm not arguing that TFA alums should receive preference over alums of similar service activities. I just wanted to point out some reasons why TFA alums might receive preference over other alums of other activities.

User avatar
fluffy
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:01 pm

Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby fluffy » Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:04 pm

wiscgrl03 wrote:
fluffy wrote:
radical4peace wrote:
upsnyf wrote:TFA teachers do not need to let the administration or their students know that they are part of the TFA program. My son's principal and his students don't know. It is up to the teacher to disclose that.


The principal knows. When TFA partners with schools, part of the agreement is that partner schools pay a portion of the training cost for TFA corps members. Many schools are more than happy to do this because they believe that TFA teachers are better than most entering first-year teachers (and there is both subjective and objective data to back this up) and/or are in desperate need of warm bodies to fill classrooms. The principal knows, and if your son is one of several other corps members at his placement school, it is likely that most everyone else knows as well.


This I find very odd. Having been a teacher in a high-needs school and having worked on its hiring committee, we would never have had extra funds to hire someone from TFA, nor would we have wanted a teacher who will likely work for only two years. Perhaps New York is lucky to have other alt. certification programs, since they are essentially the same and also highly selective, but have the goal of placing energetic people in the classroom long-term.


I am confused how you would not have the funds to hire someone from TFA? They are paid the same salary. The school I teach in had to hire over 40 new teachers last year becauase the turnover rate is so high. Many classes now currently have permanent substitutes in them. I won't even address TFA's long-term mission and commitment to education despite not staying in the classroom for long periods of time.
With that said our superintendant loves loves loves TFA and tells anyone looking to contribute money to donate it to TFA, and not our school district. This pretty much doubled our corps members this year. He also requires TFA teachers in certain schools like mine.


yeah, I was referring to the bolded part above-- paying for training costs. I think NYC is a rare case then. Chicago has alt. certification programs too and I think larger cities are creating them.

User avatar
20160810
Posts: 19648
Joined: Fri May 02, 2008 1:18 pm

Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby 20160810 » Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:16 pm

I think we're taking on some degree of faith, as Corsair pointed out, that TFA applicants do get a substantial admissions boost. I have yet to get into a school that wouldn't be in play due to my GPA and LSAT score alone.

abl
Posts: 734
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:07 pm

Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby abl » Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:19 pm

Now, I'd like to clear up some misunderstandings that have cropped up here about TFA.

1. Whether TFA members are required (or even able to) receive a Masters is entirely dependent on their placement region. Some regions may require and pay for it. In other regions it is not even possible to get one if you want one. Some placements subsidize extra coursework and professional development, and others don't. Generally, this is dependent on the school district and state requirements, and not on TFA.

2. I believe the median TFA member says around 2 years. Obviously some stay longer and some stay shorter. Nationally, I believe the median for new teachers in low income high needs areas is very similar (if not a little shorter). In some regions--especially on the Reservations--the median for non-TFA teachers is around 1 year. While it would be ideal for TFA corps members to stay longer (better for the schools, the students, and the corps members), in most cases TFA teachers are staying longer (albeit only a little bit longer) than non-TFA teachers would in those spots.

3. There are some studies that compare TFA members effectiveness in the classroom to other teachers. I believe someone posted at least one of them above, and from what I recall, the studies tend to show that TFA corps members are generally more effective than non-TFA teachers. Obviously there will be differences in this based on placement region, subject area, and grade level placement.

4. In most of the TFA placement regions, TFA members are not taking spots that would otherwise be filled by qualified teachers. While there may be a debate over whether a TFA corps member would be a better fit in a classroom than a non-TFA teacher, I think there's no question that TFA corps members will do more good in a school than a non-certified long term sub (or in some cases, nobody--I know of schools that would send the "math" class to the gym every day because there was no math teacher).

5. TFA Corps Members are paid by their school/district and not by TFA. Their pay scale is set by the school/district, and not by TFA. I believe--and I may be wrong here--that also additional TFA training costs are dependent on the school/district, and not on TFA National.

6. Whether the principal, other teachers, or students know that a corps member is part of TFA is dependent on the school and the corps member. Sometimes all of the TFA arrangements are done on the district level, and nobody at the school will necessarily know that the corps member is part of TFA. However, in most cases the principal will know, and frequently the CM's fellow teachers and students will as well. Sometimes this is a good thing and sometimes it is not--at different schools and in different regions, TFA will have different relationships with the schools/communities.

User avatar
wiscgrl03
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2008 11:20 pm

Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby wiscgrl03 » Tue Feb 03, 2009 3:04 pm

quote="wiscgrl03"]
fluffy wrote:
radical4peace wrote:
upsnyf wrote:TFA teachers do not need to let the administration or their students know that they are part of the TFA program. My son's principal and his students don't know. It is up to the teacher to disclose that.


The principal knows. When TFA partners with schools, part of the agreement is that partner schools pay a portion of the training cost for TFA corps members. Many schools are more than happy to do this because they believe that TFA teachers are better than most entering first-year teachers (and there is both subjective and objective data to back this up) and/or are in desperate need of warm bodies to fill classrooms. The principal knows, and if your son is one of several other corps members at his placement school, it is likely that most everyone else knows as well.


This I find very odd. Having been a teacher in a high-needs school and having worked on its hiring committee, we would never have had extra funds to hire someone from TFA, nor would we have wanted a teacher who will likely work for only two years. Perhaps New York is lucky to have other alt. certification programs, since they are essentially the same and also highly selective, but have the goal of placing energetic people in the classroom long-term.


I am confused how you would not have the funds to hire someone from TFA? They are paid the same salary. The school I teach in had to hire over 40 new teachers last year becauase the turnover rate is so high. Many classes now currently have permanent substitutes in them. I won't even address TFA's long-term mission and commitment to education despite not staying in the classroom for long periods of time.
With that said our superintendant loves loves loves TFA and tells anyone looking to contribute money to donate it to TFA, and not our school district. This pretty much doubled our corps members this year. He also requires TFA teachers in certain schools like mine.[/quote]

yeah, I was referring to the bolded part above-- paying for training costs. I think NYC is a rare case then. Chicago has alt. certification programs too and I think larger cities are creating them.[/quote]

I guess it depends on how that alt. cert. program works. We have one here, but honestly most of the people that come through it are recent grads here who couldn't get in to other jobs (from my experience). A lot of them don't last very long and the classes get subs. They also have even less training then TFA corps members, only one week in the summer. I am going to speculate that is why they tend to not last very long because they come in really overwhelmed with very little support. At least when I had problems in my class I had TFA staff support as well as my other corps members.
Don't get me wrong though there are soem really good teachers that have come through our alt. cert. program, most of them had other jobs and decided to make a switch to teaching.

User avatar
radical4peace
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:49 pm

Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby radical4peace » Tue Feb 03, 2009 3:06 pm

abl wrote:Now, I'd like to clear up some misunderstandings that have cropped up here about TFA.

1. Whether TFA members are required (or even able to) receive a Masters is entirely dependent on their placement region. Some regions may require and pay for it. In other regions it is not even possible to get one if you want one. Some placements subsidize extra coursework and professional development, and others don't. Generally, this is dependent on the school district and state requirements, and not on TFA.

2. I believe the median TFA member says around 2 years. Obviously some stay longer and some stay shorter. Nationally, I believe the median for new teachers in low income high needs areas is very similar (if not a little shorter). In some regions--especially on the Reservations--the median for non-TFA teachers is around 1 year. While it would be ideal for TFA corps members to stay longer (better for the schools, the students, and the corps members), in most cases TFA teachers are staying longer (albeit only a little bit longer) than non-TFA teachers would in those spots.

3. There are some studies that compare TFA members effectiveness in the classroom to other teachers. I believe someone posted at least one of them above, and from what I recall, the studies tend to show that TFA corps members are generally more effective than non-TFA teachers. Obviously there will be differences in this based on placement region, subject area, and grade level placement.

4. In most of the TFA placement regions, TFA members are not taking spots that would otherwise be filled by qualified teachers. While there may be a debate over whether a TFA corps member would be a better fit in a classroom than a non-TFA teacher, I think there's no question that TFA corps members will do more good in a school than a non-certified long term sub (or in some cases, nobody--I know of schools that would send the "math" class to the gym every day because there was no math teacher).

5. TFA Corps Members are paid by their school/district and not by TFA. Their pay scale is set by the school/district, and not by TFA. I believe--and I may be wrong here--that also additional TFA training costs are dependent on the school/district, and not on TFA National.

6. Whether the principal, other teachers, or students know that a corps member is part of TFA is dependent on the school and the corps member. Sometimes all of the TFA arrangements are done on the district level, and nobody at the school will necessarily know that the corps member is part of TFA. However, in most cases the principal will know, and frequently the CM's fellow teachers and students will as well. Sometimes this is a good thing and sometimes it is not--at different schools and in different regions, TFA will have different relationships with the schools/communities.


Good points all 'round.

User avatar
hiromoto45
Posts: 881
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 2:05 pm

Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby hiromoto45 » Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:15 pm

I read through the thread and I also have friends in the program. But I'm still not sold on it.

User avatar
NU_Jet55
Posts: 977
Joined: Fri Dec 11, 2009 6:54 pm

Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby NU_Jet55 » Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:16 pm

Holy bump.

User avatar
capitalacq
Posts: 639
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:42 am

Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby capitalacq » Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:36 pm

hiromoto45 wrote:I read through the thread and I also have friends in the program. But I'm still not sold on it.

thanks for your valuable input.

rundoxierun
Posts: 1893
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2008 1:46 am

Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby rundoxierun » Thu Jul 08, 2010 3:11 pm

capitalacq wrote:
hiromoto45 wrote:I read through the thread and I also have friends in the program. But I'm still not sold on it.

thanks for your valuable input.


I dont know about admissions but I can tell you one thing... this whole idea of TFA being super competitive is crap. I know about 10 people in the program and 9 of them are extremely average students with nothing really exceptional on their resumes. The fact that everyone and their mother applies to TFA with their 2.75 gpa does not make TFA super competitive. Its like saying some Tier 2 law school is super competitive just because it has a 30% admissions rate.

User avatar
capitalacq
Posts: 639
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:42 am

Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby capitalacq » Thu Jul 08, 2010 3:13 pm

tkgrrett wrote:
capitalacq wrote:
hiromoto45 wrote:I read through the thread and I also have friends in the program. But I'm still not sold on it.

thanks for your valuable input.


I dont know about admissions but I can tell you one thing... this whole idea of TFA being super competitive is crap. I know about 10 people in the program and 9 of them are extremely average students with nothing really exceptional on their resumes. The fact that everyone and their mother applies to TFA with their 2.75 gpa does not make TFA super competitive. Its like saying some Tier 2 law school is super competitive just because it has a 30% admissions rate.

it's not super competitive. it's just what those rejected (I haven't met any) say to console themselves and what those accepted say to boost their already-inflated views of themselves

regardless, the program still has a good relationship with many law schools so its certainly a help.

User avatar
20160810
Posts: 19648
Joined: Fri May 02, 2008 1:18 pm

Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby 20160810 » Thu Jul 08, 2010 3:45 pm

Since we're bumping this: TFA won't do much to get you into law school. Do it for other reasons entirely, or don't do it at all.

I didn't really love teaching, but I met some awesome people and don't regret spending the 2 years.

As for it being a competitive program to get into... it depends. If you have decent grades and know how to say what they want in the interview, you'll be fine, but I know some really exceptional students from Cal and UCLA who didn't get in (and I know a lot of pretty dumb people who did, so, it's a mixed bag).

User avatar
hiromoto45
Posts: 881
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 2:05 pm

Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby hiromoto45 » Thu Jul 08, 2010 5:50 pm

tkgrrett wrote:
capitalacq wrote:
hiromoto45 wrote:I read through the thread and I also have friends in the program. But I'm still not sold on it.

thanks for your valuable input.


I dont know about admissions but I can tell you one thing... this whole idea of TFA being super competitive is crap. I know about 10 people in the program and 9 of them are extremely average students with nothing really exceptional on their resumes. The fact that everyone and their mother applies to TFA with their 2.75 gpa does not make TFA super competitive. Its like saying some Tier 2 law school is super competitive just because it has a 30% admissions rate.


I'm not interested in how or why TFA gets a boost for law school. My issue with the program is that it selected people that "looked" like the community/students regardless of objective factors. This happened on my campus. There were some passionate non-minority students that wanted TFA but were flat out rejected. Another issue that they have people teaching subjects they don't have expertise in. Fine arts majors teaching high school science or math doesn't serve the students. I just feel like its drop by service. 2 years and out, not sure how that makes a major difference.

User avatar
NU_Jet55
Posts: 977
Joined: Fri Dec 11, 2009 6:54 pm

Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby NU_Jet55 » Thu Jul 08, 2010 5:55 pm

hiromoto45 wrote:My issue with the program is that it selected people that "looked" like the community/students regardless of objective factors. This happened on my campus. There were some passionate non-minority students that wanted TFA but were flat out rejected. Another issue that they have people teaching subjects they don't have expertise in. Fine arts majors teaching high school science or math doesn't serve the students. I just feel like its drop by service. 2 years and out, not sure how that makes a major difference.


Seems like I've heard this somewhere before...

Lolschool
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:40 pm

Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby Lolschool » Thu Jul 08, 2010 6:25 pm

capitalacq wrote:
tkgrrett wrote:
capitalacq wrote:
hiromoto45 wrote:I read through the thread and I also have friends in the program. But I'm still not sold on it.

thanks for your valuable input.


I dont know about admissions but I can tell you one thing... this whole idea of TFA being super competitive is crap. I know about 10 people in the program and 9 of them are extremely average students with nothing really exceptional on their resumes. The fact that everyone and their mother applies to TFA with their 2.75 gpa does not make TFA super competitive. Its like saying some Tier 2 law school is super competitive just because it has a 30% admissions rate.

it's not super competitive. it's just what those rejected (I haven't met any) say to console themselves and what those accepted say to boost their already-inflated views of themselves

regardless, the program still has a good relationship with many law schools so its certainly a help.



Hold on. It is, of course, competitive. But it sounds like you're using a metric (GPA) that in entirely inapplicable to teaching in a classroom. Obviously, a stellar GPA on college level classes does not translate in to a more skilled third grade math teacher. Some unquantifiable things, like passion for teaching, perseverance and work ethic, are extremely important and rated as such by TFA in their hiring process.

Still, TFA does openly prefer higher performing students from top universities (look at what schools they're actively recruiting and hiring from). Last year 12% of all Ivy League students applied to TFA.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124061253951954349.html

Lolschool
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:40 pm

Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby Lolschool » Thu Jul 08, 2010 6:27 pm

I haven't read every single post on this thread, so I apologize if this has been answered, but what is the TLS collective wisdom on the "TFA bump"? Is it merely a strong soft, or something like 1 LSAT point or .1 GPA?

Can anyone with personal experience speak to this?

User avatar
capitalacq
Posts: 639
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:42 am

Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby capitalacq » Thu Jul 08, 2010 7:03 pm

Lolschool wrote:I haven't read every single post on this thread, so I apologize if this has been answered, but what is the TLS collective wisdom on the "TFA bump"? Is it merely a strong soft, or something like 1 LSAT point or .1 GPA?

Can anyone with personal experience speak to this?

good soft, not quantitative.

User avatar
capitalacq
Posts: 639
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:42 am

Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby capitalacq » Thu Jul 08, 2010 7:08 pm

Lolschool wrote:Hold on. It is, of course, competitive. But it sounds like you're using a metric (GPA) that in entirely inapplicable to teaching in a classroom. Obviously, a stellar GPA on college level classes does not translate in to a more skilled third grade math teacher. Some unquantifiable things, like passion for teaching, perseverance and work ethic, are extremely important and rated as such by TFA in their hiring process.

Still, TFA does openly prefer higher performing students from top universities (look at what schools they're actively recruiting and hiring from). Last year 12% of all Ivy League students applied to TFA.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124061253951954349.html

I never mentioned GPA, but it's not overly competitive. As SBL said, you'll get exceptional students mixed with pretty dumb people. The people I know IRL in it really aren't impressive at all by any metric... it was really just a way for them to delay getting a job/taking the LSAT... however I wouldn't be surprised if participants at other schools where there are more applications are more competitive

User avatar
kaydish21
Posts: 300
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 3:51 pm

Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby kaydish21 » Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:01 pm

capitalacq wrote:
Lolschool wrote:Hold on. It is, of course, competitive. But it sounds like you're using a metric (GPA) that in entirely inapplicable to teaching in a classroom. Obviously, a stellar GPA on college level classes does not translate in to a more skilled third grade math teacher. Some unquantifiable things, like passion for teaching, perseverance and work ethic, are extremely important and rated as such by TFA in their hiring process.

Still, TFA does openly prefer higher performing students from top universities (look at what schools they're actively recruiting and hiring from). Last year 12% of all Ivy League students applied to TFA.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124061253951954349.html

I never mentioned GPA, but it's not overly competitive. As SBL said, you'll get exceptional students mixed with pretty dumb people. The people I know IRL in it really aren't impressive at all by any metric... it was really just a way for them to delay getting a job/taking the LSAT... however I wouldn't be surprised if participants at other schools where there are more applications are more competitive


As a TFA Alum who just finished my 3rd year in a 6th grade urban classroom, I would like to clear up just a few questions raised in this thread that have been either ignored or in some cases butchered already.

A) TFA is a good soft, yet probably overly thought of just due to its recognition. I think it is along the lines of or even slightly below the benefit one might see from a Rhodes/Fulbright and probably about as competitive as Trumans (although I only say this from anecdotal evidence, nothing empirical). Personally, I did not get into any schools that my numbers did not dictate I should have or receive higher merit scholarships than numbers would suggest. I did also take the LSAT twice and apply a bit later in the cycle so maybe it evened out? Who knows?

B) The reason you don't see as much commentary about the bump a regular teacher from a low income or Abbott district is many of them are career educators and not freshly out of college. Also the vast majority of teachers are still coming from a traditional 4 year undergrad with an education degree and plan on becoming teachers. They aren't looking at law school while many TFA teachers want to go into teaching for a few years, but are planning to move on to get a professional masters degree or other opportunities. In addition most teachers in the areas I am familiar with (solely the Northeast) are older and did not have the same options for employment when they began teaching. Although sort of obvious, the point is that there are not a huge number of non TFA or TFA style program teachers that are looking to get into law schools. This results in much less dialogue about the bump a low income teacher would receive when applying to law school.

C) The work is incredibly demanding and some schools believe that being successful shows some type of resilience and work ethic along with the general bump someone receives from work experience and this is why law schools value it. True Story: Dean Diller of Cardozo told me they loved TFA graduates since they tend to make terrific law school students. This is only offered to show a potential mentality among law school administrators.

D) The school does not agree to pay any of the funding for the training of TFA teachers. The district may or may not be involved in training of TFA teachers. In many districts however the teacher is not even hired until after the Summer Training Institute. The regional TFA offices will then have some type of continued development or training which will be divided in cost between the Corps Member, region, and training center. Also TFA receives the vast majority of its funding from the federal government as an Americorps program, yet also gets something like 25%-30% (I used to know the exact number, but it changes all the time) from corporate donations and personal donations.

E) There is a noteworthy difference between programs like TFA/Peace Corps/NY Teaching Fellows and Americorps. Americorps is the umbrella organization these programs operate under and receive funding from, but it does not define what they are. The Americorps programs (AmeriCorps State and National, AmeriCorps VISTA, and AmeriCorps NCCC) are available to high school students on up and can be anything from construction projects to tutoring in the burbs. The extra attention given to the TFA/Peace Corps style programs is due to a much more defined and challenging work subject along with higher entrance standards. On that note, and this is pure personal conjecture, it is easier to enter Peace Corps than TFA/NY Teaching Fellows, and this may result in more of a seemingly "magical" education program bump.

F) As with all organizations, there are going to be amazing people and those who seem either mundane or unmotivated or whatever. I can attest that overall I have been extremely impressed with the dedication of many of the TFA members in my region although this will obviously vary some across regions. I have been additionally impressed by many full time teachers in my region so to say that "TFA teachers are the saving grace in this world, omg all hail TFA" is just plain stupid and an attitude that can be perpetuated by some in TFA which just makes the whole organization look like a massive pile of douche. Either way, most of the people are pretty fantastic and their selection committee has a very in depth process that seemed to weed out most of those who would not be able to handle the job or were there for the wrong reasons. As always the disclaimer that this is just from personal experience.

My bad about the long post, feel free to PM me if anyone has questions or wants advice about how to use the experience in admissions.

On that note a good-natured meme!


--ImageRemoved--

User avatar
Eugenie Danglars
Posts: 2353
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:04 pm

Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby Eugenie Danglars » Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:05 pm

The disagreement seems to be not whether TFA is awesome/good for you and the world at large/helpful in applying, but why TFA helps more than than other projects with similar qualities.

I think if a non-TFA teacher from a low-performing school who worked hard and had a great PS to show it decided to apply to law school, he or she would get a TFA-sized boost. I don't think it's as important that "you did TFA" as that "you worked in a low-income school and made a difference."

The reason people say "TFA helps your app" and not "teaching in a low-performing school helps your app" is very few non-TFA teachers from the school in question are likely to apply to law school.

Everyone's got their panties in a wad needlessly, I think :-)

User avatar
kaydish21
Posts: 300
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 3:51 pm

Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby kaydish21 » Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:07 pm

Eugenie Danglars wrote:The disagreement seems to be not whether TFA is awesome/good for you and the world at large/helpful in applying, but why TFA helps more than than other projects with similar qualities.

I think if a non-TFA teacher from a low-performing school who worked hard and had a great PS to show it decided to apply to law school, he or she would get a TFA-sized boost. I don't think it's as important that "you did TFA" as that "you worked in a low-income school and made a difference."

The reason people say "TFA helps your app" and not "teaching in a low-performing school helps your app" is very few non-TFA teachers from the school in question are likely to apply to law school.

Everyone's got their panties in a wad needlessly, I think :-)


Completely agree with this, and I tried to suggest it above although may have failed miserably.
Last edited by kaydish21 on Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

czelede
Posts: 689
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:54 pm

Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby czelede » Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:38 pm

kaydish21 wrote:
A) TFA is a good soft, yet probably overly thought of just due to its recognition. I think it is along the lines of or even slightly below the benefit one might see from a Rhodes/Fulbright and probably about as competitive as Trumans (although I only say this from anecdotal evidence, nothing empirical). Personally, I did not get into any schools that my numbers did not dictate I should have or receive higher merit scholarships than numbers would suggest. I did also take the LSAT twice and apply a bit later in the cycle so maybe it evened out? Who knows?



While I think the merits of TFA are often grossly underestimated, I would definitely not put TFA on the same level as Rhodes/Fulbright. At or below the same level as Peace Corps is more like it.

User avatar
prezidentv8
Posts: 2821
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 5:33 am

Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby prezidentv8 » Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:40 pm

Wow, I can't believe this got bumped.

lawls
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 1:52 am

Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby lawls » Fri Jul 09, 2010 6:43 am

czelede wrote:
kaydish21 wrote:
A) TFA is a good soft, yet probably overly thought of just due to its recognition. I think it is along the lines of or even slightly below the benefit one might see from a Rhodes/Fulbright and probably about as competitive as Trumans (although I only say this from anecdotal evidence, nothing empirical). Personally, I did not get into any schools that my numbers did not dictate I should have or receive higher merit scholarships than numbers would suggest. I did also take the LSAT twice and apply a bit later in the cycle so maybe it evened out? Who knows?



While I think the merits of TFA are often grossly underestimated, I would definitely not put TFA on the same level as Rhodes/Fulbright. At or below the same level as Peace Corps is more like it.


Not even close to a Rhodes. That is a million kinds of absurd. Well below most Fulbrights as well, though Fulbrights are themselves often over-rated (depending on region).

User avatar
20160810
Posts: 19648
Joined: Fri May 02, 2008 1:18 pm

Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby 20160810 » Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:13 pm

TFA doesn't give you an app boost - period. It got me WLed everywhere, but in nowhere, and even then it might just be because those schools thought my TFA-based PS was well-written. It's nothing like a Rhodes or curing AIDS or anything else. Thousands of people leave TFA every year, and like 20% of them apply to law school. It isn't special. At all.

Anyone who spends 2 years in TFA for any reason other than wanting to work with kids is either masochistic or stupid.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests