Low-tier GPA equivalence?

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sethc
Posts: 208
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 1:55 pm

Low-tier GPA equivalence?

Postby sethc » Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:43 pm

[Note: I was going to post this in the "Cooley" thread because it seemed the most active/appropriate, but I know a lot of people are getting annoyed by it. Here makes a little more sense.]

With regard to low-tier schools that have GPA scales/formulas similar to Cooley et. al (or any other T3 or T4 school) - it's difficult to tell what the "Median" 1L GPA is because of the fluctuating # of students and also how GPA is calculated.. and as far as I know, there's no online source (even many of the school's websites) that shows graduates and/or 1L median. Most of everything I have found is concerned about incoming UGPA of applicants. I went to my school's registrar and investigated some other possible places, but the only GPA #s/stats/rankings they post are ones from the immediately preceding class (i.e. Fall 2010 will be posted soon until Spring 2010's #s are up and so on.)

WITHOUT taking T14/T25 into consideration -- Can any of you provide some anecdotal evidence of what, say, a 2.75 to 3.00 GPA at a low-tier school (Appalachian/Cooley/TJSL/Valpo etc.) would approximately equate to at a "regular" Tier-1 school (like Kentucky/NKU/Bama/any southern school, really) at least with regard to 1L ?? I know that's a very subjective question to ask and there's no clear answer, but my goal has been to transfer if at all possible after my first year. I'm still waiting on a couple of grades, but I SHOULD come away with HOPEFULLY nothing less than Summer '09 median 1L GPA (~2.6 maybe? rough estimate).

Basically I'm just trying to get a gauge on what schools I would be limited to & should be looking it provided I can maintain the same type of grades (or better) for this term. I know each school has specific criteria, but is the best bet to just call each one and ask them if <X> GPA is/will be enough? That seems a bit daunting.. and I don't mind to do it at all, I just want to know which ones it should be narrowed down/limited to.

I'll undoubtedly get insulted, but if anyone has any genuine advice on GPA equivalence from low-tier to mid-lower Tier-1 I would appreciate it. Speculation is certainly helpful, but if anyone has anything more I'd appreciate it (PM is fine).

Thanks guys - you've been a big help for me so far!

random5483
Posts: 684
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:17 pm

Re: Low-tier GPA equivalence?

Postby random5483 » Sat Jan 22, 2011 12:56 am

There is no GPA equivalence between schools in various tiers. The closest you can do is compare class rank percentage. For instance a student in a lower T1 school can transfer to a T14 school with grades in the top 10-15% of his class. A student from Cooley or another T4 would likely have to be in the top 1-2% of his class for similar chances.


Does that equate a top 1% rank from a T4 to a top 10% rank from a lower T1? Probably not. But transfer wise your chances are about the same (probably in favor of the T1 student).


GPA rarely matters. Class rank is the important metric. Some T4 schools have harsher curves than others. A 3.5 from Cooley is much better than a 3.5 from a T4 school with a 3.3 curve (no idea if one exists). However, top 1% between T4s will be substantially similar for transfer chances. Not sure if Cooley is at a disadvantage compared to other T4s due to the huge class sizes and attrition rate. Basically, someone in the top 10% at Cooley after 1 semester will likely be lower ranked after a year due to the crazy attrition rate compared to other T4s. With that said, I know very little about Cooley so I could be wrong. The takeaway though is that class rank and school rank are the important criteria when it comes to jobs or transfers.

sethc
Posts: 208
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 1:55 pm

Re: Low-tier GPA equivalence?

Postby sethc » Sat Jan 22, 2011 6:07 pm

Interesting, thanks for putting that in perspective.. it'll definitely make me feel a little better if my rank/GPA isn't what I am aiming for & encourage me to try harder to bring it up.

Just to be clear, I'm not aiming at T25 at all. If it came about that I somehow had a snowball's chance in hell, I'd sure throw an application in but outside of that I just decent vertical transfer that's a little closer to home. I just know that many schools/adcomm's "say" they have certain criteria like 2.7GPA & no less than 25 credits (UK's criteria as per their website) so I guess what I was getting at was that if those stated criterion is hard-and-fast as in if I'm even a smidge below either or both, then there's no point in sending in an app? Or are they a little more flexible as long as your close?

pandacot
Posts: 167
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 11:39 pm

Re: Low-tier GPA equivalence?

Postby pandacot » Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:07 pm

2.75-3.0? That's a really low GPA.

From what I have surmised, top 5-10% at a T3-4 will do nearly as well at a T14. After the top 5-10%, there is a steep decline at T3/4 schools, and those students wouldn't fare well at higher ranked schools.

There is a lot of talk about prestige on these boards, but a top 5% student at T3/4 equates roughly to top 5-10% at T14.

random5483
Posts: 684
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:17 pm

Re: Low-tier GPA equivalence?

Postby random5483 » Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:24 pm

From what I heard, Cooley has a sub 2.5 curve, so a 3.0 in Cooley might be reasonably high. As I said before, I know very little about Cooley outside of things posted on these forums.

If you don't want to transfer and are looking at job prospects, a few employers require certain GPA cut offs (mainly some government employers). For those jobs, the harsh curve at Cooley will likely disqualify more students. But the government agencies with GPA cut offs tend to be the more prestigious ones which will be hard to get into from a lower ranked school.


For transfer purposes and most firm job purposes, your class rank and school rank are the main criteria. Most employers know that each school has its own curve and are likely to compare two graduates from substantially similar schools based on their class rank percentage.




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