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

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whitespider
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby whitespider » Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:28 pm

No worries! I won't be applying for another month and a half, so no rush at all.

And please, ignore the whole thing if it puts you in an uncomfortable position with your business!

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:08 am

whitespider wrote:Question for the much appreciated Mike and Karen:

I'm targeting a couple of strong regional schools for full tuition schollys, but I've noticed something peculiar. When looking through their LSN pages, it seems that some schools pretty much offer full rides to anyone who meets a certain LSAT/GPA combination. On the other hand, some schools seem way more random in determining which candidates are awarded such strong scholarships. Are those schools taking a more holistic approach?



Thanks for your patience, Spider.

What you are looking at is the end game results, not the process. So what is likely going on is some schools give their best offer based on numbers (be it through an algorithm or just eyeballing and knowing projected or targeted medians) and the game is essentially over. Maybe you can get 5k more as time goes on, but it is really a numbers thing.

For the schools with the high degree of Variance, you are likely seeing negotiation and melting. So, school loses people to higher ranked school, and person with x amount of money asks at the right time and then gets x+y money. Other people do not ask at all, or at the right time, and stay at x.

I hope that helps!

Pau.C.
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby Pau.C. » Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:57 am

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Last edited by Pau.C. on Sun Jul 17, 2016 6:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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theramblingfool
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby theramblingfool » Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:34 am

Hey Spivey,

I am targeting NU and UChicago (will be applying other places, but would only matriculate to one of these two, because of geographical limitations) and my LSAT is above/at median for both. My GPA, however, is below 25th percentile for both. I have a non-traditional background/adversity (homeless and on my own at 14, not only 1st generation college grad, but 1st generation high school grad) which at the least makes my application more interesting. (Not URM though)

My GPA was in the 3.7/3.8 range until mid junior year when my son's mother and I separated and she moved out. I took the situation pretty hard and it affected my GPA in a really bad way (-0.35 or so). I've since recovered and have been working in software engineering for 2 years since graduating. My question to you is this: Should I send my applications as-is, simply presenting my downward slope in GPA? Or should I write an addendum? I am partially wary that my status as a single father will inadvertently hurt my application, so I am reluctant to mention it. Is my assumption wrong?

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:42 am

Pau.C. wrote:Hello again,

I asked this earlier, but this post may have gotten lost in the shuffle.

I have a question about targeted LORs. My recommender has offered to write me some targeted LORs for certain schools that I really want to go to.

Do schools appreciate them, and do they make a difference? I know Stanford likes them, but what about Harvard, and other schools in the T-14? Basically I'm wondering if it is even worth making him go through the trouble. And if so, is there anything specific that he should include?

Thanks so much!


I'm not aware of any school other than SLS that seems to really care, or express caring, if the letter is made put to "Dear Dean Spivey" or "Dear Harvard Law" versus "Dear Admissions Committee" ...I guess arguably it shows a bit of yield protection but schools can't really expect you to apply to 10 places and have you ask your busy recommender come up with 10 letters, so this isn't really an issue that I am aware of.

Sorry for the delay!

Mike

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:02 pm

theramblingfool wrote:Hey Spivey,

I am targeting NU and UChicago (will be applying other places, but would only matriculate to one of these two, because of geographical limitations) and my LSAT is above/at median for both. My GPA, however, is below 25th percentile for both. I have a non-traditional background/adversity (homeless and on my own at 14, not only 1st generation college grad, but 1st generation high school grad) which at the least makes my application more interesting. (Not URM though)

My GPA was in the 3.7/3.8 range until mid junior year when my son's mother and I separated and she moved out. I took the situation pretty hard and it affected my GPA in a really bad way (-0.35 or so). I've since recovered and have been working in software engineering for 2 years since graduating. My question to you is this: Should I send my applications as-is, simply presenting my downward slope in GPA? Or should I write an addendum? I am partially wary that my status as a single father will inadvertently hurt my application, so I am reluctant to mention it. Is my assumption wrong?


I think your assumption is wrong. In my opinion, this deserves an addendum. Try to stay on the short side of things and not make it an essay, but an explanation. Good luck!

Cheers,
KB

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theramblingfool
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby theramblingfool » Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:45 pm

KarenButtenbaum wrote:
theramblingfool wrote:Hey Spivey,

I am targeting NU and UChicago (will be applying other places, but would only matriculate to one of these two, because of geographical limitations) and my LSAT is above/at median for both. My GPA, however, is below 25th percentile for both. I have a non-traditional background/adversity (homeless and on my own at 14, not only 1st generation college grad, but 1st generation high school grad) which at the least makes my application more interesting. (Not URM though)

My GPA was in the 3.7/3.8 range until mid junior year when my son's mother and I separated and she moved out. I took the situation pretty hard and it affected my GPA in a really bad way (-0.35 or so). I've since recovered and have been working in software engineering for 2 years since graduating. My question to you is this: Should I send my applications as-is, simply presenting my downward slope in GPA? Or should I write an addendum? I am partially wary that my status as a single father will inadvertently hurt my application, so I am reluctant to mention it. Is my assumption wrong?


I think your assumption is wrong. In my opinion, this deserves an addendum. Try to stay on the short side of things and not make it an essay, but an explanation. Good luck!

Cheers,
KB


Thank you so much for the quick and very useful response!

Pau.C.
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby Pau.C. » Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:12 pm

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Last edited by Pau.C. on Sun Jul 17, 2016 6:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Pau.C.
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby Pau.C. » Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:41 am

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Last edited by Pau.C. on Sun Jul 17, 2016 6:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:07 am

One thing on scholarship. Karen and I are at a conference in a scholarship session with several admissions deans. A central point expressed is that both patience (especially) and kindness go a long way to get more scholarship money at many schools. It was also noted that in some cases of the opposite of the above, scholarship offers can be rescinded. Just something to note.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Sep 12, 2014 1:58 pm

Guess what? Sept LSAT registrations are down!

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whitespider
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby whitespider » Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:06 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:It was also noted that in some cases of the opposite of the above, scholarship offers can be rescinded. Just something to note.


Hey Mike! I'm curious what kind of behavior could cause a school to revoke a scholarship offer. Are you implying that a school might rescind an offer for some reason other than misconduct from an applicant?

Thanks as always for being such an incredible resource!!

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Rigo
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby Rigo » Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:13 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:Guess what? Sept LSAT registrations are down!


This makes me so happy as a December taker.
Do you know by how much?
Some people will still withdraw before Midnight of the 26th, so it will fall even more.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:48 pm

Dirigo wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:Guess what? Sept LSAT registrations are down!


This makes me so happy as a December taker.
Do you know by how much?
Some people will still withdraw before Midnight of the 26th, so it will fall even more.


I do, but I also asked if I could share and was in turn ask not to give the specific amount (I guess because of that reason, people can/will cancel and no show and then the number I give will be lower than the real number.) so, keeping with my policy to try to be a decent human I can't share yet. It's down enough to make you folks happy, but not a cray cray amount :-)

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Rigo
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby Rigo » Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:57 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
Dirigo wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:Guess what? Sept LSAT registrations are down!


This makes me so happy as a December taker.
Do you know by how much?
Some people will still withdraw before Midnight of the 26th, so it will fall even more.


I do, but I also asked if I could share and was in turn ask not to give the specific amount (I guess because of that reason, people can/will cancel and no show and then the number I give will be lower than the real number.) so, keeping with my policy to try to be a decent human I can't share yet. It's down enough to make you folks happy, but not a cray cray amount :-)

Fair enough.Thanks for sharing! :D
Any decrease would make me/us happy when combined with June decrease.

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BananaSplit626
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby BananaSplit626 » Fri Sep 12, 2014 5:12 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:One thing on scholarship. Karen and I are at a conference in a scholarship session with several admissions deans. A central point expressed is that both patience (especially) and kindness go a long way to get more scholarship money at many schools. It was also noted that in some cases of the opposite of the above, scholarship offers can be rescinded. Just something to note.


Hi Mike,

Can I ask if a "Why X" essay would ever play into scholarship considerations? Or would it just be for admission purposes?

dabigchina
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby dabigchina » Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:05 am

Hey Mike, I understand if you do not have much visability on this topic, but how many people do you think Duke will reject after being provisionally admitted for Priority Track. The pessimist in me suspects my provisional acceptance isn't all that secure given the numbers i have.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:46 am

BananaSplit626 wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:One thing on scholarship. Karen and I are at a conference in a scholarship session with several admissions deans. A central point expressed is that both patience (especially) and kindness go a long way to get more scholarship money at many schools. It was also noted that in some cases of the opposite of the above, scholarship offers can be rescinded. Just something to note.


Hi Mike,

Can I ask if a "Why X" essay would ever play into scholarship considerations? Or would it just be for admission purposes?


Yes, it certainly could be. We were just at a scholarship session and both admissions deans talked about how a merit scholarship can be increased or decreased because if their feelings on the candidate -- how they fit in, present themselves, etc.

I would assume that every interaction you have with a school can impact scholarship.

Adrian Monk
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby Adrian Monk » Mon Sep 15, 2014 1:24 pm

Hey Spivey and Karen!

sorry, if this has been asked so many times. I really really feel dec is when i will really hit my peek with my lsat, been styding for a while,but a bit of a late bloomer, so many concepts is just starting to click for me now. but im still taking the sep test though, miraculously if i exceed my expectations (highly unlikely, but whatever) then i will be ecstatic but still planning to take dec, only thing im 100 sure is that im applying this cycle. so sending my apps soon after sep score and then informing schools to hold out their dececsion until my dec score is not a terrible idea right? and another good thing to come out of it is that my gpa which is already above median for my target schools, will get even more of a slight bump by jan. any thoughts? so i realise that my entire app package being ready only after dec scores comes out is kinda "late", but what do u think abt the tradeoff that my gpa will get a slight bump, and my lsat score being possibly a little bit better. Thanks so much!

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Sep 16, 2014 10:21 am

Pau.C. wrote:Another LOR related question. As a reapplicant, will the AdComms read my old LOR's as well as my new ones? Or just my new ones?

For example, if I had the option of re-sending a great LOR from a professor that they have already seen last year, or a new LOR from an employer that they have never seen, which would AdComms prefer: a duplicate or a new LOR from a non-academic source?

Thanks!


They will likely read both, old and new. I doubt they will prefer one over the other and even particularly notice, fyi. although if you asked them I'm sure you would get a spiel about "yes we would note the newer ones and give them preference"

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Sep 16, 2014 10:27 am

dabigchina wrote:Hey Mike, I understand if you do not have much visability on this topic, but how many people do you think Duke will reject after being provisionally admitted for Priority Track. The pessimist in me suspects my provisional acceptance isn't all that secure given the numbers i have.


I have no real data or inside info on this, but I would guess very few. Likely you would have to give them a really big concern about your employability, or act really entitled as in "yea I like Duke and all but it's no Chicago...which should be admitting me soon" (don't laugh, it happens).

Pau.C.
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby Pau.C. » Tue Sep 16, 2014 11:14 am

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Last edited by Pau.C. on Sun Jul 17, 2016 6:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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february1
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby february1 » Tue Sep 16, 2014 12:07 pm

[Removed]
Last edited by february1 on Tue Jul 21, 2015 3:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Wed Sep 17, 2014 3:12 pm

Adrian Monk wrote:Hey Spivey and Karen!

sorry, if this has been asked so many times. I really really feel dec is when i will really hit my peek with my lsat, been styding for a while,but a bit of a late bloomer, so many concepts is just starting to click for me now. but im still taking the sep test though, miraculously if i exceed my expectations (highly unlikely, but whatever) then i will be ecstatic but still planning to take dec, only thing im 100 sure is that im applying this cycle. so sending my apps soon after sep score and then informing schools to hold out their dececsion until my dec score is not a terrible idea right? and another good thing to come out of it is that my gpa which is already above median for my target schools, will get even more of a slight bump by jan. any thoughts? so i realise that my entire app package being ready only after dec scores comes out is kinda "late", but what do u think abt the tradeoff that my gpa will get a slight bump, and my lsat score being possibly a little bit better. Thanks so much!


Submit your app and let them know that you are retaking in December - it's not a terrible idea at all. You will be able to update them with a new score and a new GPA, and they'll take another look at your file.
Good luck!
Cheers,
KB

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WichitaShocker
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby WichitaShocker » Thu Sep 18, 2014 4:25 pm

Hello Spivey,
I have a question regarding taking the LSAT multiple times. I've taken the LSAT three times. Increasing my score with each retake by 8 and 7 points. However since my three takes have been over 3 years I am eligible to take the test again. I am applying this cycle and attending next year. I have already submitted my apps, but have not indicated on any a plan to retake. My question is, how will adcomms view 4 takes, and how will they react if my December score is lower than my highest?

Thank you for doing this Q&A!


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