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

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:10 pm

As you may know, we are doing a bit of travel in the next few weeks. I'll be in Pittsburgh March 11-14 and have reached out to some folks about speaking but nothing is coming together just yet. Anyone at University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon or Duquesne (or other school?) interested in gathering a group to chat? Feel free to PM me or email me at karen@spiveyconsulting.com.

Also, in case you didn't see Mike's blog about his trip next week (and a pricing change)
http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/speaki ... -deadline/

Cheers,
Karen

rdelaney
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby rdelaney » Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:30 pm

I have a question about the Character and Fitness section...

I took two semesters off from my undergraduate career due to personal reasons, not any sort of discipline. I do explain this in an academic addendum, but the questions ask if I have ever been "suspended, requested or advised to discontinue your studies." I did not enroll in my classes that semester and simply worked at my full time job.

Would I need to respond to this question by saying yes, as there isn't any sort of institutional paperwork on this issue? Or can I simply say no and submit my addendum?

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:55 pm

rdelaney wrote:I have a question about the Character and Fitness section...

I took two semesters off from my undergraduate career due to personal reasons, not any sort of discipline. I do explain this in an academic addendum, but the questions ask if I have ever been "suspended, requested or advised to discontinue your studies." I did not enroll in my classes that semester and simply worked at my full time job.

Would I need to respond to this question by saying yes, as there isn't any sort of institutional paperwork on this issue? Or can I simply say no and submit my addendum?


Each school will ask this question slightly differently, so be careful if you are applying to several schools with similar-looking questions. You can answer 'no' to what you describe as the question above, but many schools will ask about time off in general.

Cheers,
KB

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Sat Mar 01, 2014 2:12 am

MikeSpivey wrote:Just a quick note on PM's. I'm getting a ton of late, many that read "here are all of my specifics, can you give me a binary answer on what I should do."

Without a contract it's really difficult for me to do this, FYI. There are long-term implications. The last time I posted something like this I got a bunch more PMs "hey Spivey, here's a $100 can you answer now" :) I appreciate that but I don't mean money -- I mean a legal contract. Our business model isn't really to answer one question.

Hmm, maybe we could do that though, an admissions hotline open a day a week or something. But until then apologies in advance if I can't answer your specific inquiry.


Speak of the devil. Sigh

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=225467&p=7513488#p7513488

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BLUERUFiO
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby BLUERUFiO » Sat Mar 01, 2014 2:30 am

Yeah, I feel bad about that. My bad :(

Also, an admissions hotline sounds like a wise idea.

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paully
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby paully » Sat Mar 01, 2014 3:45 am

Apologies if this has been asked before:

In your opinion, will next cycle be favorable to splitters (2.xx, 170+) as it has been the last two years (specifically Northwestern)? I know that applications are still plummeting, so I'm assuming the answer is yes. I plan on applying very early into the 2015-16 cycle.

Thank you, and many thanks for providing much needed information. I plan on utilizing your service for my upcoming applications.

Pure Protein
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby Pure Protein » Sat Mar 01, 2014 2:03 pm

Mike and Karen,

I have a question regarding LoRs that I'm hoping you can touch on. I will be re-taking the LSAT in June and might sit out this cycle if it continues to go poorly for me. The LoRs that I used this cycle and hope to use next cycle were submitted to LSAC in 2012 and I'm not sure if using what will then be 2 year old recommendations will raise any red flags during the admissions process. Do you think that older LoRs will be an issue?

Thank you!

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:22 am

paully wrote:Apologies if this has been asked before:

In your opinion, will next cycle be favorable to splitters (2.xx, 170+) as it has been the last two years (specifically Northwestern)? I know that applications are still plummeting, so I'm assuming the answer is yes. I plan on applying very early into the 2015-16 cycle.

Thank you, and many thanks for providing much needed information. I plan on utilizing your service for my upcoming applications.


I think that if things stay even, or obviously if they drop, it will be just as splitter friendly. I continue to think that some top 14-20 schools are going to drop their floor for gpas for people above their 75th LSAT, and have already seen this for this cycle. If you have a high LSAT score and apply early cycle before much data is out for that cycle, I suspect very splitter friendly.

GL!

Mike

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:23 am

Pure Protein wrote:Mike and Karen,

I have a question regarding LoRs that I'm hoping you can touch on. I will be re-taking the LSAT in June and might sit out this cycle if it continues to go poorly for me. The LoRs that I used this cycle and hope to use next cycle were submitted to LSAC in 2012 and I'm not sure if using what will then be 2 year old recommendations will raise any red flags during the admissions process. Do you think that older LoRs will be an issue?

Thank you!


I'd try to have at least 1 new one, but I don't think it is critical. 9/10 times LORs themselves are not that critical.

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haus
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby haus » Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:36 am

At a high level, how important is it to the admissions staff at a given school to try to position the school to hold ground or increase ranking on USNWR?

Along this same line, how much of a shake up would it be for a common tier 1 admissions office if USNWR went out of business, or completed upended their methodology (e.g. 70% weighting on employment outcomes for students, or something even crazier happiness of graduates)?

Baby_Got_Feuerbach
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby Baby_Got_Feuerbach » Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:45 am

What would be your impression of someone who applies on the last day possible and without a reported LSAT score? Asking for a me. (The score is coming very soon, I HOPE.)

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:55 am

haus wrote:At a high level, how important is it to the admissions staff at a given school to try to position the school to hold ground or increase ranking on USNWR?

Probably very important to the dean of admissions. His/her job would suffer if a school had one very off cycle or several slightly off cycles. 50% of the class will be below *some* median (that is awkwardly worded but I have been up since 5am, you know what I mean) so they realize this. Early on though, the rankings are prominent in their mind.

Along this same line, how much of a shake up would it be for a common tier 1 admissions office if USNWR went out of business, or completed upended their methodology (e.g. 70% weighting on employment outcomes for students, or something even crazier happiness of graduates)?


It would be dramatic. The vast majority of admissions offices would love it.

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paully
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby paully » Sun Mar 02, 2014 3:54 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
paully wrote:Apologies if this has been asked before:

In your opinion, will next cycle be favorable to splitters (2.xx, 170+) as it has been the last two years (specifically Northwestern)? I know that applications are still plummeting, so I'm assuming the answer is yes. I plan on applying very early into the 2015-16 cycle.

Thank you, and many thanks for providing much needed information. I plan on utilizing your service for my upcoming applications.


I think that if things stay even, or obviously if they drop, it will be just as splitter friendly. I continue to think that some top 14-20 schools are going to drop their floor for gpas for people above their 75th LSAT, and have already seen this for this cycle. If you have a high LSAT score and apply early cycle before much data is out for that cycle, I suspect very splitter friendly.

GL!

Mike

That is very reassuring to hear! Thanks, again.

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cotiger
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby cotiger » Sun Mar 02, 2014 4:29 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
haus wrote:At a high level, how important is it to the admissions staff at a given school to try to position the school to hold ground or increase ranking on USNWR?

Probably very important to the dean of admissions. His/her job would suffer if a school had one very off cycle or several slightly off cycles. 50% of the class will be below *some* median (that is awkwardly worded but I have been up since 5am, you know what I mean) so they realize this. Early on though, the rankings are prominent in their mind.

Along this same line, how much of a shake up would it be for a common tier 1 admissions office if USNWR went out of business, or completed upended their methodology (e.g. 70% weighting on employment outcomes for students, or something even crazier happiness of graduates)?


It would be dramatic. The vast majority of admissions offices would love it.


I imagine it would be bad for applicants, though. Less weight on entrance numbers means less bargaining power.

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W$RKliveWELL
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby W$RKliveWELL » Sun Mar 02, 2014 5:07 pm

Quick question what is the protocol for sending a LOCI to a school you've already applied to but haven't received a decision? I want to send them out to Berkeley, Columbia & NYU updating them on a slight increase in LSAT score then the one they have on file and restating their my top choices. I applied in Oct if that matters.

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Sun Mar 02, 2014 5:08 pm

Baby_Got_Feuerbach wrote:What would be your impression of someone who applies on the last day possible and without a reported LSAT score? Asking for a me. (The score is coming very soon, I HOPE.)


Well, the scores are out, so you will have a score by the time someone reads your file! A good application submitted on the last possible day is still a good application -- especially in this climate of down apps.

hope that helps!
Good luck!
KB

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redsox
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby redsox » Sun Mar 02, 2014 6:51 pm

W$RKliveWELL wrote:Quick question what is the protocol for sending a LOCI to a school you've already applied to but haven't received a decision? I want to send them out to Berkeley, Columbia & NYU updating them on a slight increase in LSAT score then the one they have on file and restating their my top choices. I applied in Oct if that matters.


Are you going to tell them they're all in your top 3, or just lie and tell each that it's your top choice?

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W$RKliveWELL
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby W$RKliveWELL » Sun Mar 02, 2014 7:48 pm

redsox wrote:
W$RKliveWELL wrote:Quick question what is the protocol for sending a LOCI to a school you've already applied to but haven't received a decision? I want to send them out to Berkeley, Columbia & NYU updating them on a slight increase in LSAT score then the one they have on file and restating their my top choices. I applied in Oct if that matters.


Are you going to tell them they're all in your top 3, or just lie and tell each that it's your top choice?


I've never heard of anyone telling a school it's in their top 3. Definitely top choice. Any advice?

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The-Specs
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby The-Specs » Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:01 pm

W$RKliveWELL wrote:
redsox wrote:
W$RKliveWELL wrote:Quick question what is the protocol for sending a LOCI to a school you've already applied to but haven't received a decision? I want to send them out to Berkeley, Columbia & NYU updating them on a slight increase in LSAT score then the one they have on file and restating their my top choices. I applied in Oct if that matters.


Are you going to tell them they're all in your top 3, or just lie and tell each that it's your top choice?


I've never heard of anyone telling a school it's in their top 3. Definitely top choice. Any advice?


I don't know but looking at the LA and Boston Avatars in this conversation just leaves me expecting a fistfight.

acat10
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby acat10 » Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:39 pm

maybe a silly question about app deadlines...:shock:

What happens if you try to apply to a school whose deadline has already passed? Does anyone get admitted that way? Will it be unfavorable to you if you then apply to that school in the next cycle, because they remember that you tried to apply late last cycle? Or will you not be able to submit a late app on LSAC at all?

I'm curious because I applied late this cycle and didn't apply to as many schools as I probably should have. There's a good chance that I might wait for the next cycle instead. I was toying with the idea of throwing some late apps at schools where deadlines already passed, if it does any good, and if it doesn't do any harm for next cycle.

manu6926
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Postby manu6926 » Sun Mar 02, 2014 9:59 pm

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Last edited by manu6926 on Sun May 25, 2014 10:33 am, edited 2 times in total.

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logicspeaks
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby logicspeaks » Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:05 pm

A couple of questions:

1) How is work experience during undegrad viewed? It's retail, but I've been working 30 hours a week since I started school.
2) How valuable is overcoming adversity, really? I made an effort to make sure my PS and DS didn't sound like a sob story, but I did make references to poverty, homelessness, and lack of a high school diploma.

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sandwich
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby sandwich » Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:06 pm

acat10 wrote:maybe a silly question about app deadlines...:shock:

What happens if you try to apply to a school whose deadline has already passed? Does anyone get admitted that way? Will it be unfavorable to you if you then apply to that school in the next cycle, because they remember that you tried to apply late last cycle? Or will you not be able to submit a late app on LSAC at all?

I'm curious because I applied late this cycle and didn't apply to as many schools as I probably should have. There's a good chance that I might wait for the next cycle instead. I was toying with the idea of throwing some late apps at schools where deadlines already passed, if it does any good, and if it doesn't do any harm for next cycle.



Interested in this as well. I assume this is implied by the question, but just to be clear, since I know that some schools have a "deadline" but then say that they will look at 'late' apps but won't promise a response by any date, I'm mostly interested in schools that actually say "we don't accept late apps" (i.e. Boalt, etc).

I will also likely not apply next year and enroll in law school instead. But, like the OP, I'm now wishing I would have applied to more schools, if only to know about scholarships. So I have less to lose, but I wouldn't want to waste the app fee if they would NEVER look at it.

Thanks Mike and Karen!

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W$RKliveWELL
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby W$RKliveWELL » Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:00 am

W$RKliveWELL wrote:Quick question what is the protocol for sending a LOCI to a school you've already applied to but haven't received a decision? I want to send them out to Berkeley, Columbia & NYU updating them on a slight increase in LSAT score then the one they have on file and restating their my top choices. I applied in Oct if that matters.


Mike & Karen bless me with your words of wisdom on this pls

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:21 am

W$RKliveWELL wrote:
W$RKliveWELL wrote:Quick question what is the protocol for sending a LOCI to a school you've already applied to but haven't received a decision? I want to send them out to Berkeley, Columbia & NYU updating them on a slight increase in LSAT score then the one they have on file and restating their my top choices. I applied in Oct if that matters.


Mike & Karen bless me with your words of wisdom on this pls


You can certainly send them an update to alert them that a new LSAT score is coming. They will get an automatic update from LSAC, but an email letting them know the score and reaffirming your sincere interest in the school is a good move.

Send 'em in! and congrats on the better score!
KB


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