I apologize in advance if my question has already been addressed -- I read through the first 30 pages of this thread and didn't see it, so I thought it wouldn't hurt to ask.
I'd like to know what you know about the correlation between residency in Virginia and admission at UVA, specifically as regards splitters.
My undergrad GPA, sadly, is lower than average (3.3) in a non-traditional major (music), but I anticipate a high-ish LSAT score. I am registered for the February test and have been scoring around 170 on the practice tests that I've taken and while I know that practice tests do not always reflect actual test scores, I hope to see similar marks. I still have two and a half months to study, so there is a chance that I will increase my score further (yesterday's test was a 171, woo hoo), but for argument's sake, let's say I score a 170.
3.3/170 is far from ideal and although some of my undergrad grades can be explained (I received Cs in choir for several semesters because I missed rehearsals in favor of performing at Ye Local Big Opera House, which I believe shows initiative and a commitment to learning), some of them are a result of me not giving a crap about my GPA. I had planned on going to graduate school in music where they don't care if you have the GPA of butter as long as you can sing, so it didn't matter all that much and I didn't put in as much effort as I could (should) have.
I regret it now, of course, that I've decided to pursue law instead of music, but there's no changing the past.
UVA is my top-choice school (I would be applying to begin in the fall of 2012), bar none. I love the school, I love the area, I love Charlottesville, I love the fact that y'all play softball, I love the weather, etc. I think that it's a place where I would thrive and I really hope that I would be able to matriculate there.
I plan on applying Early Decision, but even then I'm not sure that I would get in. That doubt has lead me to consider other options, namely gaining residency in Virginia since UVA is a state school and 40% of their slots are reserved for in-state students. I do not live there currently (I work these days as a nanny for an opera singer friend and am traveling 10 months out of the year, so I basically live in my suitcase), but I have given some thought to renting a room in some cheap Virginia town, getting a VA drivers license and paying VA state taxes so as to gain legal residency.
How much of a difference does residency make? Would it be advisable in my particular case?
I don't want to spend a bunch of money to move to Virginia if I don't have a shot anyway, you know? Alternately, I don't want to spend a bunch of money to move to Virginia when they might take me as an out-of-state Early Decision.