Spivey Consulting Q&A with Adcoms from Yale, Harvard, Penn, Chicago etc.

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Baby_Got_Feuerbach
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby Baby_Got_Feuerbach » Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:40 pm

Mike, have you heard yet whether apps are down significantly even at the top schools this year? (Granted, there will always be demand for HYS degrees.) So we'll say the t50. Perhaps we're only seeing fewer likely low-scorers take the test? I imagine you have good reason to believe this is still an applicant's market. What's on the minds of your friends still running admissions depts?

MikeSpivey wrote:
altoid99 wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:I got the first round of Oct LSAT test taker data :-)

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/oct-ls ... by-region/

That is mildly interesting. Of acute interest will be the bandwidth data, which we will blog the second it is released to admissions deans.


Hi Mike,

Just wondering if this bandwidth data has been released yet. Would be really interesting to see if the large drop in high scorers continued for the October test.

Thanks!


I check with my source(s) about twice a week, I'll ping 'em tomorrow to see if they are available. I'm curious too!!!

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Dec 03, 2013 9:32 am

Feuerback,

At most places where i consistently speak with admissions friends application are down or level. The one school I know of where applications are up is WUSTL, which makes a good deal of sense given that they gave out so an unprecedented amount of money last cycle. Almost categorically schools seem acutely worried about a dearth in LSAT scores and that their medians will drop, including way up towards the top.

That is what I know, hopefully we will get some data soon.

Mike

LawwwYeaa
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby LawwwYeaa » Tue Dec 03, 2013 1:24 pm

Mike and Karen - thanks for the amazing FAQ, it was wonderful reading material to kill time during my holiday travels. Couple questions:

If a binding ED applicant is a splitter on the bubble for a school, then all other things equal, does timing matter? In particular, would a Sept/Oct app have a better shot than a November app?

I read in the FAQ that admissions officers compare applicants in the same applicant pool. Based on this, would it be fair to say that, in the ED app pool, splitters are really just competing among themselves? My thinking is that schools can only take so many GPAs below median, so schools will compare the splitters' softs to differentiate them and pick the most compelling ones.

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:40 pm

LawwwYeaa wrote:Mike and Karen - thanks for the amazing FAQ, it was wonderful reading material to kill time during my holiday travels. Couple questions:

If a binding ED applicant is a splitter on the bubble for a school, then all other things equal, does timing matter? In particular, would a Sept/Oct app have a better shot than a November app?

I read in the FAQ that admissions officers compare applicants in the same applicant pool. Based on this, would it be fair to say that, in the ED app pool, splitters are really just competing among themselves? My thinking is that schools can only take so many GPAs below median, so schools will compare the splitters' softs to differentiate them and pick the most compelling ones.


If you are asking strictly based on ED, I don't think timing matters at all during the ED application window. They most likely aren't diving into reading all of the files until close to the deadline anyway.
The good news with the ED pool is that if you are passed over for admission ED, you generally still have a shot with the regular applicant pool, which may be to your favor this year since apps are likely to be down again.

Hope that helps!
Cheers,
KB

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:32 pm

altoid99 wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:I got the first round of Oct LSAT test taker data :-)

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/oct-ls ... by-region/

That is mildly interesting. Of acute interest will be the bandwidth data, which we will blog the second it is released to admissions deans.


Hi Mike,

Just wondering if this bandwidth data has been released yet. Would be really interesting to see if the large drop in high scorers continued for the October test.

Thanks!


Update on this.

I just asked, people are checking.

If I get them I will post in a blog and then tweet when the blog is up. To answer is a few questions about this protocol (which is what I always try to do).

(1) Is this an unapologetic attempt to get a more robust twitter page? Yes. Except I do kind of apologize (see (3)).

(2) Should (1) really bother anyone? When I think about it, I am not sure why it would. People (including the hip people on TLS) keep telling me that part of having a successful business today is having a strong social media presence and to do things exclusively in different venues. And we spend 0$ on advertising to keep our rates down. But everyone is entitled to their own opinion, of course :)

(3) Will I likely post almost immediately to TLS after tweeting? Seems likely, I do it all the time because of the apology in (1) :). The only thing I've ever managed to exclusively break on twitter were the USWR rankings last year.

So hopefully soon, if they are out!

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outlawscr10
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby outlawscr10 » Tue Dec 03, 2013 8:48 pm

Spivey Consulting ‏@SpiveyConsult 21h
We are beginning to see what looks to be a seismic shift in admissions strategy at the top which would make this a truly incredible cycle.

Expound!

... sir.

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IgosduIkana
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby IgosduIkana » Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:58 pm

outlawscr10 wrote:Spivey Consulting ‏@SpiveyConsult 21h
We are beginning to see what looks to be a seismic shift in admissions strategy at the top which would make this a truly incredible cycle.

Expound!

... sir.


What a quote! I am definitely interested in hearing what's up. I hope this "top" includes schools in the middle of T1..and that it's incredible for us! Thanks again Mike, I like that you and Karen have matching avs, with Karen sporting the pink.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Dec 03, 2013 11:06 pm

IgosduIkana wrote:
outlawscr10 wrote:Spivey Consulting ‏@SpiveyConsult 21h
We are beginning to see what looks to be a seismic shift in admissions strategy at the top which would make this a truly incredible cycle.

Expound!

... sir.


What a quote! I am definitely interested in hearing what's up. I hope this "top" includes schools in the middle of T1..and that it's incredible for us! Thanks again Mike, I like that you and Karen have matching avs, with Karen sporting the pink.


I can't give specifics for confidentiality reasons, with both clients and friends who are in the admissions world, but what we seem to be seeing early on, even at the top (which always trickles down so will impact middle of tier 1) is the strong*potential* (still early but growing evidence) that floors on gpa will be lowered or considerably lowered for a mad LSAT free for all AND that top schools may be offering substantial money early. The scholarship early part would be a boon for leveraging offers before the LSAC date when schools can say "accept our money or we can rescind your offer" .

So again, early indication is very good news for you dashing folks. This could be about the best cycle ever for applicants.

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lawschool22
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby lawschool22 » Tue Dec 03, 2013 11:15 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
IgosduIkana wrote:
outlawscr10 wrote:Spivey Consulting ‏@SpiveyConsult 21h
We are beginning to see what looks to be a seismic shift in admissions strategy at the top which would make this a truly incredible cycle.

Expound!

... sir.


What a quote! I am definitely interested in hearing what's up. I hope this "top" includes schools in the middle of T1..and that it's incredible for us! Thanks again Mike, I like that you and Karen have matching avs, with Karen sporting the pink.


I can't give specifics for confidentiality reasons, with both clients and friends who are in the admissions world, but what we seem to be seeing early on, even at the top (which always trickles down so will impact middle of tier 1) is the strong*potential* (still early but growing evidence) that floors on gpa will be lowered or considerably lowered for a mad LSAT free for all AND that top schools may be offering substantial money early. The scholarship early part would be a boon for leveraging offers before the LSAC date when schools can say "accept our money or we can rescind your offer" .

So again, early indication is very good news for you dashing folks. This could be about the best cycle ever for applicants.


Wow great news.

drevo
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby drevo » Tue Dec 03, 2013 11:18 pm

That just made me quite excited. Let's hope this trend is indeed a reality when all is said and done. 8)

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IgosduIkana
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby IgosduIkana » Tue Dec 03, 2013 11:18 pm

That is crazy. I don't think I even fully quite understand how beneficial this is for most of us, given that this is my first cycle. Sounds like really, really amazing news. Gah!

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lawschool22
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby lawschool22 » Tue Dec 03, 2013 11:23 pm

It's especially great news for semi-splitters like myself. Early on I wasn't sure how schools would react. Would they simply accept a "new normal" of lower lsat medians across the board, so as to not sacrifice GPA floors? Or would a good lsat be a top commodity that they would trip over to secure? Based on Mike's comments it seems to be trending towards the latter.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Dec 03, 2013 11:31 pm

lawschool22 wrote:It's especially great news for semi-splitters like myself. Early on I wasn't sure how schools would react. Would they simply accept a "new normal" of lower lsat medians across the board, so as to not sacrifice GPA floors? Or would a good lsat be a top commodity that they would trip over to secure? Based on Mike's comments it seems to be trending towards the latter.


My prediction 3 weeks ago was that we would see a good deal more admits at previously established floors, but not a lowering of the floors. So the early evidence is I was off and there may be a more seismic change.

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lawschool22
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby lawschool22 » Tue Dec 03, 2013 11:37 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
lawschool22 wrote:It's especially great news for semi-splitters like myself. Early on I wasn't sure how schools would react. Would they simply accept a "new normal" of lower lsat medians across the board, so as to not sacrifice GPA floors? Or would a good lsat be a top commodity that they would trip over to secure? Based on Mike's comments it seems to be trending towards the latter.


My prediction 3 weeks ago was that we would see a good deal more admits at previously established floors, but not a lowering of the floors. So the early evidence is I was off and there may be a more seismic change.


I really hope you're right, especially in light of an upcoming interview with HLS I have :D. Is Harvard exempt from this potential change? I'm not sure how specific your info is.

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cannibal ox
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby cannibal ox » Tue Dec 03, 2013 11:45 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:I can't give specifics for confidentiality reasons, with both clients and friends who are in the admissions world, but what we seem to be seeing early on, even at the top (which always trickles down so will impact middle of tier 1) is the strong*potential* (still early but growing evidence) that floors on gpa will be lowered or considerably lowered for a mad LSAT free for all AND that top schools may be offering substantial money early. The scholarship early part would be a boon for leveraging offers before the LSAC date when schools can say "accept our money or we can rescind your offer" .


When exactly is this date?

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outlawscr10
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby outlawscr10 » Tue Dec 03, 2013 11:46 pm

Should we take from what you said that a high GPA will be less valuable than before?

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Dec 03, 2013 11:55 pm

outlawscr10 wrote:Should we take from what you said that a high GPA will be less valuable than before?


I doubt that. Maybe not easy valuable early as a high GPA but schools that sell out (and lose) for a high LSAT will scramble for high gpas.

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outlawscr10
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby outlawscr10 » Tue Dec 03, 2013 11:57 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
outlawscr10 wrote:Should we take from what you said that a high GPA will be less valuable than before?


I doubt that. Maybe not easy valuable early as a high GPA but schools that sell out (and lose) for a high LSAT will scramble for high gpas.


Excitement is in the air.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Dec 03, 2013 11:57 pm

Data update!

Data not in as of tonight. Someone checked the history - the first current volume summary of the new cycle typicaly comes out in the last week of nov or first week of dec. in past years it was around thanksgiving, but last year it was dec 7.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:00 am

outlawscr10 wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
outlawscr10 wrote:Should we take from what you said that a high GPA will be less valuable than before?


I doubt that. Maybe not easy valuable early as a high GPA but schools that sell out (and lose) for a high LSAT will scramble for high gpas.


Excitement is in the air.


That should read "as valuable" ...the research that you can not multi task seems to apply well to me.

Baby_Got_Feuerbach
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby Baby_Got_Feuerbach » Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:21 am

Sorry, what data would this be? # of apps?

MikeSpivey wrote:Data update!

Data not in as of tonight. Someone checked the history - the first current volume summary of the new cycle typicaly comes out in the last week of nov or first week of dec. in past years it was around thanksgiving, but last year it was dec 7.

pancho
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby pancho » Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:23 am

Are schools able to see whether we have registered for a future LSAT? If so, why do they ask this in the application?

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drawstring
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby drawstring » Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:27 am

MikeSpivey wrote:
IgosduIkana wrote:
outlawscr10 wrote:Spivey Consulting ‏@SpiveyConsult 21h
We are beginning to see what looks to be a seismic shift in admissions strategy at the top which would make this a truly incredible cycle.

Expound!

... sir.


What a quote! I am definitely interested in hearing what's up. I hope this "top" includes schools in the middle of T1..and that it's incredible for us! Thanks again Mike, I like that you and Karen have matching avs, with Karen sporting the pink.


I can't give specifics for confidentiality reasons, with both clients and friends who are in the admissions world, but what we seem to be seeing early on, even at the top (which always trickles down so will impact middle of tier 1) is the strong*potential* (still early but growing evidence) that floors on gpa will be lowered or considerably lowered for a mad LSAT free for all AND that top schools may be offering substantial money early. The scholarship early part would be a boon for leveraging offers before the LSAC date when schools can say "accept our money or we can rescind your offer" .

So again, early indication is very good news for you dashing folks. This could be about the best cycle ever for applicants.


Do you know if the mad LSAT rush includes schools going heavy on admitting people with median LSATS (e.g. Columbia being GPA lenient for a 171), or are they mainly aiming above current medians at this stage?

drevo
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby drevo » Wed Dec 04, 2013 1:51 am

Quick question. I have been looking through old threads and the PDF and individual schools websites and such but I can't seem to find a solid answer. Right now my applications are ready to go with the exception of my second letter of rec. My professor was supposed to do a couple weeks ago but his wife got in a car crash so it isn't done quite yet. I talked to him today and he said he will try to get it done tomorrow but at the absolute latest he will have it by Sunday. I told him the importance of getting my apps in ASAP now that it's December and he is an awesome guy so I am confident he will have it done and electronically uploaded no later than Sunday.

Since my apps are done now except for that should I pay for and submit the apps? I have read that schools that require 2 letters will see that one letter is assigned but pending and thus it's fine because LSAC will automatically update them. I'm just getting a little anxious and with your recent statement regarding the outlook for this cycle I really want to get my apps at least paid for and submitted as soon as possible. FWIW I'm 3.6x/175 so the focus on high LSATs vs. GPA at some of the top schools would be amazing.

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neprep
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby neprep » Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:06 am

lawschool22 wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:I can't give specifics for confidentiality reasons, with both clients and friends who are in the admissions world, but what we seem to be seeing early on, even at the top (which always trickles down so will impact middle of tier 1) is the strong*potential* (still early but growing evidence) that floors on gpa will be lowered or considerably lowered for a mad LSAT free for all AND that top schools may be offering substantial money early. The scholarship early part would be a boon for leveraging offers before the LSAC date when schools can say "accept our money or we can rescind your offer" .

So again, early indication is very good news for you dashing folks. This could be about the best cycle ever for applicants.


Wow great news.


Indeed.

Not sure what counts as a "mad LSAT" (173 vs 177 vs 180); but still, a rising will lift all boats, so Image


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