Transferred T2 to HYS, taking questions

A forum for those current students who are or may be transferring from one school to another. Post any questions, advice, or other transfer related comments here.
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mbstuff
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Re: Transferred T2 to HYS, taking questions

Postby mbstuff » Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:56 pm

Transferring is definitely a consideration if I go to the state school at the bottom of T1. The problem isn't so much the prestige or the education. I believe, as it seems you do, that the quality of the education isn't that different between the very top schools and the pretty good schools, even though the quality of your classmates and the alumni base are somewhat different and can be very influential for the rest of your life, at least from my undergraduate experience. The big problem with the state school is that it is very regional, and the school itself posts on its website that national opportunities are limited. So I would be committing to spending my career in my state, most likely at a law firm. I would much prefer to work in a larger company in tech or finance, or in government or a large NGO at some point. Basically I want maximum flexibility in career and geographical choice, and I'd also like the ability to put off career decisions at least until I have the first year of school under my belt.

This probably forces me to pursue a T14 school right now to the best of my ability, even if I have to wait out waiting list decisions. In my perfect scenario, I'd go to the state school for the first year, get acclimated to schooling, save money and then go to a national school. But now I'm thinking that the transfer is going to be risky. I may not have any sort of shot at T14 after 1L or get in again at USC. I have a pretty poor undergraduate GPA - in the low 3s, which in the grade-inflated Ivy League is closer to a C- average. (Does undergraduate GPA matter at all for a transfer?) In the intervening decade, I've of course grown up a bit and hope to be a better student this time around. Still, I can't fully predict what kind of a student I'm eventually going to be in law school.

Thanks for starting the thread and replying, especially for typing it out twice. It's been very helpful. I feel a little calmer.

maf70
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Re: Transferred T2 to HYS, taking questions

Postby maf70 » Mon Mar 21, 2011 3:03 pm

Wait out the waitlist for the T14 and go there. If you have to go to the state school do so, but note that you PROBABLY WILL NOT be able to transfer. Only a certain number of people are going to be in a position to make that jump and betting your entire future on that chance is simply ridiculous.

leppotse
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Re: Transferred T2 to HYS, taking questions

Postby leppotse » Mon Mar 21, 2011 3:06 pm

From what you've said here, it sounds like you should be targeting Northwestern--hard. If your LSAT is already 170 or above, you'd be a good candidate (depending on what your work experience has been--but I'm assuming you've been able to put food on the table since undergrad).

Going to the T1 should only be a consideration if you're comfortable with an 80% or greater chance that you'll be graduating from that school. I'm no psychologist, but I'm sensing from you that you would not be comfortable with that.

So, (assuming the waitlists don't work out) I would advise you to retake the LSAT (with some serious prep before) to give yourself an extra boost, and apply early to NW--maybe even ED, if they allow it. But now we're getting into territory where I don't feel as confident that I'm much of an expert!

ps. Undergrad GPA is not a factor at all for transfers, from what I can tell.

mbstuff wrote:Transferring is definitely a consideration if I go to the state school at the bottom of T1. The problem isn't so much the prestige or the education. I believe, as it seems you do, that the quality of the education isn't that different between the very top schools and the pretty good schools, even though the quality of your classmates and the alumni base are somewhat different and can be very influential for the rest of your life, at least from my undergraduate experience. The big problem with the state school is that it is very regional, and the school itself posts on its website that national opportunities are limited. So I would be committing to spending my career in my state, most likely at a law firm. I would much prefer to work in a larger company in tech or finance, or in government or a large NGO at some point. Basically I want maximum flexibility in career and geographical choice, and I'd also like the ability to put off career decisions at least until I have the first year of school under my belt.

This probably forces me to pursue a T14 school right now to the best of my ability, even if I have to wait out waiting list decisions. In my perfect scenario, I'd go to the state school for the first year, get acclimated to schooling, save money and then go to a national school. But now I'm thinking that the transfer is going to be risky. I may not have any sort of shot at T14 after 1L or get in again at USC. I have a pretty poor undergraduate GPA - in the low 3s, which in the grade-inflated Ivy League is closer to a C- average. (Does undergraduate GPA matter at all for a transfer?) In the intervening decade, I've of course grown up a bit and hope to be a better student this time around. Still, I can't fully predict what kind of a student I'm eventually going to be in law school.

Thanks for starting the thread and replying, especially for typing it out twice. It's been very helpful. I feel a little calmer.

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Wholigan
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Re: Transferred T2 to HYS, taking questions

Postby Wholigan » Mon Mar 21, 2011 3:13 pm

mbstuff wrote:I would much prefer to work in a larger company in tech or finance


I don't mean to preempt the OP's response, as I'm sure he/she is more qualified to answer. But these careers you'd prefer do not require a law degree. In fact, I don't know that a JD would help you one bit in getting or advancing a career in those fields. Really, although perhaps one could help, these careers don't require a JD either:

mbstuff wrote:in government or a large NGO at some point.


I don't know that law school, even at a T-14 would be reccomended for "career flexibility." You really don't learn very much which could be considered multidisciplinary in law school. I would think hard about my career goals before spending three years in my thirties studying something which could prove costly and useless for my ultimate career goals.

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Re: Transferred T2 to HYS, taking questions

Postby mbstuff » Mon Mar 21, 2011 3:47 pm

Thanks for the last few replies - they've all been very helpful. Unfortunately, I didn't go about the application process in the best way. I quit my job a while back, so I'm pretty much stuck going to whatever law school I can go to in the fall of 2011. I didn't apply to Northwestern or Cornell due to the weather. I'm waiting on Georgetown, UVA and UCLA decisions. Duke and Georgetown are my top choices, purely based on school and job prospects, but UCLA and USC are right there based on the consideration of living in a warm weather city. Are job opportunities really that worse relatively between UCLA/USC and a T14 school? Hopefully, I can get into Georgetown and UCLA so I can have a full spectrum of choices. While reading through this forum all day, I have received a half off tuition from one of the schools based on need, my first need-based aid decision. Maybe the out-of-state schools won't cost as much as I feared.

Wholigan, you are absolutely correct in your assessment. A JD doesn't much help an engineer or a derivatives trader. I should have elaborated a bit. I have a good deal of intellectual interest in many fields of law - property law, intellectual property, constitutional, immigration, environmental etc. I also spent the last three plus years at a company trying to win government contracts, writing proposals for public bids. The array of different jurisdictions, laws, regulations and requirements when you're in the private sector trying to win public contracts is very wide ranging. There is a lot of opportunity in that line of work, which I might or might not want to pursue for myself or in a job. I also am looking at a JD as an eventual path to working in legal departments in large companies and potentially to high level management - I may be overly optimistic with this outlook, but my law school decision doesn't hinge on it.

Plus I love Law and Order, and isn't that what really counts? It's true that I don't have a definite career goal in mind with law, only a range of interests. It's a problem, which is why going cheaply to a state school hasn't been eliminated as an option.

P.S. Wow, it's easy to lose typed text. The log-in times out and doesn't save the text when it asks you for the log-in again. Had to go back on the browser a few clicks.

keg411
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Re: Transferred T2 to HYS, taking questions

Postby keg411 » Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:18 pm

leppotse wrote:ps. Undergrad GPA is not a factor at all for transfers, from what I can tell.


I really really hope this is true.

Also, mbstuff, you need to go to a law school where you would be comfortable graduating from (and there is no problem at all if that is your cheap T1 state school; you just have to understand the limitations on the degree as opposed to a T13 or T10 degree). There is a 80-90% chance you won't be able to transfer to a T14 from wherever you pick and those odds are not good. Also, LSAT/GPA are not flawless predictors of how you do in law school -- a lot of it just depends on whether you "get it" or not and you won't know that until after you get your first semester grades (and long after you choose your law school).

leppotse
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Re: Transferred T2 to HYS, taking questions

Postby leppotse » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:31 am

There's a lot in your post, but some of it is I think out of my depth. That said, there are a couple of things I wanted to mention.

First, half-off makes things much less dangerous--so congratulations on that. USC at half price might not be such a bad choice (I wouldn't do it, but I have relatively low risk-tolerance).

Second, you should be careful about planning to enter large corporate legal departments. Those are very desirable (and thus competitive) jobs, and they generally go to former biglawyers with at least 3 or 4 years of transactional experience in a large firm. Lower T14s puts the biglaw dream within your grasp, but it's far from assured. Biglaw placement at Georgetown is under 50% right now. I do know one guy who went straight from median at a T2 to a non-legal job at a large bank, but his situation is highly anomalous, if not entirely idiosyncratic.

Third, there is a pretty big difference in job opportunities between T14s and UCLA/USC (moreso the latter).

Fourth, be careful talking on here about law & order influencing your decision to go to law school. That's going to make some people crawl out of the woodwork and call you a dummy (you aren't a dummy--but some people just really love to hate on law & order viewers).

mbstuff wrote:Thanks for the last few replies - they've all been very helpful. Unfortunately, I didn't go about the application process in the best way. I quit my job a while back, so I'm pretty much stuck going to whatever law school I can go to in the fall of 2011. I didn't apply to Northwestern or Cornell due to the weather. I'm waiting on Georgetown, UVA and UCLA decisions. Duke and Georgetown are my top choices, purely based on school and job prospects, but UCLA and USC are right there based on the consideration of living in a warm weather city. Are job opportunities really that worse relatively between UCLA/USC and a T14 school? Hopefully, I can get into Georgetown and UCLA so I can have a full spectrum of choices. While reading through this forum all day, I have received a half off tuition from one of the schools based on need, my first need-based aid decision. Maybe the out-of-state schools won't cost as much as I feared.

Wholigan, you are absolutely correct in your assessment. A JD doesn't much help an engineer or a derivatives trader. I should have elaborated a bit. I have a good deal of intellectual interest in many fields of law - property law, intellectual property, constitutional, immigration, environmental etc. I also spent the last three plus years at a company trying to win government contracts, writing proposals for public bids. The array of different jurisdictions, laws, regulations and requirements when you're in the private sector trying to win public contracts is very wide ranging. There is a lot of opportunity in that line of work, which I might or might not want to pursue for myself or in a job. I also am looking at a JD as an eventual path to working in legal departments in large companies and potentially to high level management - I may be overly optimistic with this outlook, but my law school decision doesn't hinge on it.

Plus I love Law and Order, and isn't that what really counts? It's true that I don't have a definite career goal in mind with law, only a range of interests. It's a problem, which is why going cheaply to a state school hasn't been eliminated as an option.

P.S. Wow, it's easy to lose typed text. The log-in times out and doesn't save the text when it asks you for the log-in again. Had to go back on the browser a few clicks.

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Re: Transferred T2 to HYS, taking questions

Postby TheCaptain » Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:06 pm

OP, thanks for your contributions. This thread has been really helpful.

You've mentioned a few times that UG GPA is not a factor in transfer admissions. May I ask how you know this or what gives you this impression?

It makes sense that they wouldn't really care about that number... I'm just extra curious because my grades weren't that good in undergrad. Thanks!

leppotse
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Re: Transferred T2 to HYS, taking questions

Postby leppotse » Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:48 pm

TheCaptain wrote:OP, thanks for your contributions. This thread has been really helpful.

You've mentioned a few times that UG GPA is not a factor in transfer admissions. May I ask how you know this or what gives you this impression?

It makes sense that they wouldn't really care about that number... I'm just extra curious because my grades weren't that good in undergrad. Thanks!


I can't say that they never matter, because I don't have any insider info on that. However, in my case they can't have mattered, because mine were pretty weak. Certainly weak enough that I would have been auto-reject at my HYS for 1L admission, even with a 180 LSAT (which I didn't have either, of course). If you had a 4.0 from MIT but you somehow ended up at a T2, your UGPA would matter, for sure. Likewise, if you had a 1.5 from Dogshit State, but somehow got into a T2 and did well, you might encounter somewhat more skepticism than someone within a more "normal" range. But for UGPAs above 2.8 or so (but not extraordinarily good), I can't imagine it making any difference at all.

Please note that this post is somewhat more speculative than other posts I've made in this thread. I stand behind it, but I just wanted to make sure that people can appropriately weigh my value as a source on this topic.
Last edited by leppotse on Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Lawschool1L
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Re: Transferred T2 to HYS, taking questions

Postby Lawschool1L » Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:49 pm

Hello! First off, thanks for taking the time here to help us.

I was wondering, it seems like you believe that UCLA/USC grads dont fair that well in the "biglaw" market after graduation?

When you say biglaw, how big do you mean? 1,000 att. +? 500+? 150+?

I was strongly considering transfering at the beginning of the year and after I got my 1st sem grades.My school is a T2, 70-80s and I didn't even really do that well, top 25%.

However, I ended up with a SA job at one of the top 5 largest firms in my region. (Where I want to practice after Im out)


Anyways, I was thinking about transfering to UCLA/USC/Davis/maybe UW. If I could get into them, do you even think it would be worth going?

One of the main reasons I wanted to transfer was so I could get a job at a large firm. Also, I don't really like my school or the location. (Nowhere close to where I want to practice once I grad)

However, seeing as I managed to get an offer from one of the largest firms in my region, coming from this school, it would probably be dumb to transfer to one of those other schools and pay a ton more money right?

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Re: Transferred T2 to HYS, taking questions

Postby leppotse » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:07 pm

Your situation is hard for me to analyze out of context, but I'll do my best.

First of all, congrats on the 1L SA position. When I'm talking about biglaw, the big really refers to money more than anything else. There are quite a few large firms included in, for example, the NLJ 250 that do not pay at the commonly understood "biglaw" level (i.e., $145k base or higher in major markets, somewhat less elsewhere). And there are quite a few firms that pay biglaw scale or higher that do not have enough attorneys to be NLJ 250 (although few of those take an appreciable number of SAs or inexperienced recent grads).

So, if your 1L SA position pays on that scale, you really did well for yourself, and you are probably a masterful interviewer. If that position comes with a likely offer for full time employment at the end, then you would crazy to transfer--there would be a large cost and very little benefit to switch to the schools you mentioned.

The harder question is whether you should consider transferring if your 1L firm isn't likely to give you an offer (which could be the case). I still think you would not be helping yourself, because none of those schools provide great prospects at their medians, which is where you would be lumped in from the point of view of prospective employers.

Sorry I can't offer more direct advice. In general, though, my view is that transferring is not worth the hassle if it won't get you into at least the T10. So, that view would counsel against a transfer in your case.

Lawschool1L wrote:Hello! First off, thanks for taking the time here to help us.

I was wondering, it seems like you believe that UCLA/USC grads dont fair that well in the "biglaw" market after graduation?

When you say biglaw, how big do you mean? 1,000 att. +? 500+? 150+?

I was strongly considering transfering at the beginning of the year and after I got my 1st sem grades.My school is a T2, 70-80s and I didn't even really do that well, top 25%.

However, I ended up with a SA job at one of the top 5 largest firms in my region. (Where I want to practice after Im out)


Anyways, I was thinking about transfering to UCLA/USC/Davis/maybe UW. If I could get into them, do you even think it would be worth going?

One of the main reasons I wanted to transfer was so I could get a job at a large firm. Also, I don't really like my school or the location. (Nowhere close to where I want to practice once I grad)

However, seeing as I managed to get an offer from one of the largest firms in my region, coming from this school, it would probably be dumb to transfer to one of those other schools and pay a ton more money right?

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Re: Transferred T2 to HYS, taking questions

Postby Lawschool1L » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:20 pm

Ok, I guess this would be considered a biglaw firm then. Thanks, I think I just happened to get pretty lucky.

As for the offer, they said that they won't be able to extend offers of 2L employment or future employment to me at the end of the 1L summer, but said assuming everything went well, they would strongly encourage me to apply for the 2L summer(where they do extend offers at the end of the summer)

So I guess it would be a waste for me to transfer, seeing as this is one of the firms I could easily see myself working at after graduation?

I guess I just figured that going from a 70-80s school to a top 30 would be helpful to me in trying to get biglaw jobs? Especially since I am not even in the top 5-10% of my school right now.


Thanks again

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Re: Transferred T2 to HYS, taking questions

Postby leppotse » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:25 pm

Lawschool1L wrote:Ok, I guess this would be considered a biglaw firm then. Thanks, I think I just happened to get pretty lucky.

As for the offer, they said that they won't be able to extend offers of 2L employment or future employment to me at the end of the 1L summer, but said assuming everything went well, they would strongly encourage me to apply for the 2L summer(where they do extend offers at the end of the summer)

So I guess it would be a waste for me to transfer, seeing as this is one of the firms I could easily see myself working at after graduation?

I guess I just figured that going from a 70-80s school to a top 30 would be helpful to me in trying to get biglaw jobs? Especially since I am not even in the top 5-10% of my school right now.


Thanks again


Yeah, I don't think that transferring up to a T30 would be worth much of anything to you. Congrats again, and good luck!

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Re: Transferred T2 to HYS, taking questions

Postby mbstuff » Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:55 pm

I'm grappling with the idea that USC, at rank 18, provides such diminished top job prospects that even if it were to offer me half-off tuition, the risk increase caused by lowered job prospects outweigh the risk reduction created by the lower costs. I guess I just have to accept the fact that if I want the career prospects, I have to go hard for the T14 and give up on the niceties of living in L.A. I'm thinking of camping out at the admissions office at Duke like a Cameron Crazy camping out for Duke basketball tickets.

I don't expect favorable odds of entering large legal departments, just a long-term goal to work towards. Law & Order was a (bad) joke, even if I do love Ben, Claire, Jack and Lenny. :)

leppotse, I'm not sure if you'll be back for another day of wisdom, but thanks for all the advice. I'm very grateful.

leppotse wrote:
First, half-off makes things much less dangerous--so congratulations on that. USC at half price might not be such a bad choice (I wouldn't do it, but I have relatively low risk-tolerance).

Second, you should be careful about planning to enter large corporate legal departments. Those are very desirable (and thus competitive) jobs, and they generally go to former biglawyers with at least 3 or 4 years of transactional experience in a large firm. Lower T14s puts the biglaw dream within your grasp, but it's far from assured. Biglaw placement at Georgetown is under 50% right now. I do know one guy who went straight from median at a T2 to a non-legal job at a large bank, but his situation is highly anomalous, if not entirely idiosyncratic.

Third, there is a pretty big difference in job opportunities between T14s and UCLA/USC (moreso the latter).

Fourth, be careful talking on here about law & order influencing your decision to go to law school. That's going to make some people crawl out of the woodwork and call you a dummy (you aren't a dummy--but some people just really love to hate on law & order viewers).

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Re: Transferred T2 to HYS, taking questions

Postby leppotse » Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:29 pm

I'm taking questions again if anyone's interested!

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Re: Transferred T2 to HYS, taking questions

Postby leppotse » Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:00 pm

leppotse wrote:I'm taking questions again if anyone's interested!


Still here--maybe this thread has run its course, though.

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Ty Webb
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Re: Transferred T2 to HYS, taking questions

Postby Ty Webb » Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:06 pm

How did you like Boston?

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Wholigan
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Re: Transferred T2 to HYS, taking questions

Postby Wholigan » Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:10 pm

I apologize if this was already asked, but what can you say about the undergrad prestige of your transfer class? I am getting the sense that transfer applications are much more "holistic" than the regular application cycle and I wonder how much stock they put into having attended an elite undergrad?

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Re: Transferred T2 to HYS, taking questions

Postby leppotse » Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:30 pm

Ty Webb wrote:How did you like Boston?


Haha. Wait, what?

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Re: Transferred T2 to HYS, taking questions

Postby leppotse » Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:33 pm

Wholigan wrote:I apologize if this was already asked, but what can you say about the undergrad prestige of your transfer class? I am getting the sense that transfer applications are much more "holistic" than the regular application cycle and I wonder how much stock they put into having attended an elite undergrad?


Undergrad prestige probably matters a little bit, in the sense that you mention. That said, my transfer class would not provide support for the argument. There were some prestigious undergrads in there, but I would say the average was probably at or below that of the regular student body at my HYS.

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Ty Webb
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Re: Transferred T2 to HYS, taking questions

Postby Ty Webb » Mon Apr 04, 2011 4:31 pm

Wholigan wrote:I apologize if this was already asked, but what can you say about the undergrad prestige of your transfer class? I am getting the sense that transfer applications are much more "holistic" than the regular application cycle and I wonder how much stock they put into having attended an elite undergrad?


I'm not sure any of this is true.

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Re: Transferred T2 to HYS, taking questions

Postby Wholigan » Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:11 pm

Ty Webb wrote:
Wholigan wrote:I apologize if this was already asked, but what can you say about the undergrad prestige of your transfer class? I am getting the sense that transfer applications are much more "holistic" than the regular application cycle and I wonder how much stock they put into having attended an elite undergrad?


I'm not sure any of this is true.


Maybe... but how else would you explain the seemingly well-documented "randomness" of the transfer cycle, e.g. people regularly getting accepted at higher ranked schools and rejected at lower ones? Don't you think they are putting more emphasis on softs than we are used to with the regular cycle? Or are they just throwing darts?

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introversional
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Re: Transferred T2 to HYS, taking questions

Postby introversional » Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:19 pm

OP is living the dream at Stanford. I know this b/c he seems too helpful/unpretentious to be from either Y or H.

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Re: Transferred T2 to HYS, taking questions

Postby keg411 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:25 pm

Wholigan wrote:
Ty Webb wrote:
Wholigan wrote:I apologize if this was already asked, but what can you say about the undergrad prestige of your transfer class? I am getting the sense that transfer applications are much more "holistic" than the regular application cycle and I wonder how much stock they put into having attended an elite undergrad?


I'm not sure any of this is true.


Maybe... but how else would you explain the seemingly well-documented "randomness" of the transfer cycle, e.g. people regularly getting accepted at higher ranked schools and rejected at lower ones? Don't you think they are putting more emphasis on softs than we are used to with the regular cycle? Or are they just throwing darts?


I think these are the primary reasons based on things I've read in the past:
1) Raw GPA's. Some people are in the top 5% with a 3.5 and some people are in the top 10% with a 3.8. There seems to be a pure advantage to have a high numerical GPA, especially when a number of schools don't really rank or have confusing ranking systems or cut-offs.

2) Location. T14's have certain "feeder" schools and are more likely to take someone from the area then outside of the area. Also, if a school has taken other transfers from your school, it's usually a plus.

3) The PS sales job. They don't just want to know why you want to go to transfer, they want to know why you specifically want to transfer to their school, and moreso, what can you bring that they don't already have.

4) When you apply. Like in the regular application cycle, the earlier, the better.

I'm guessing they put very little emphasis on UG, WE, etc.

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Re: Transferred T2 to HYS, taking questions

Postby Vronsky » Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:54 pm

I apologize if this has already been answered, but what is the reasonable cut off for a transfer app to H from a T2? (I say H b/c it offers better odds than Y or S.)

IIRC, OP mentioned that s/he was either #1 in the class or very, very close. Would it still be worth it for a T2 student, within, say, the top 10 students (i.e. top 2-3%)? I'm already applying to a number of T4-14 schools, but also thinking about applying to H if just for a lil bit of extra motivation going into finals season. If you need more specifics, let me know and I shall provide.




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