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

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santoki
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WhiskeyAndCupcakes
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby WhiskeyAndCupcakes » Wed Jan 07, 2015 5:14 pm

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Nathanael
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby Nathanael » Wed Jan 07, 2015 5:15 pm

Last cycle ended with 592 applicants with a score in the top bracket. This YTD there are 372, meaning if there was a 20% drop last cycle YTD there should have been 465 applicants, 78.5% the final count. Am I missing something?

If we extrapolate from that, the cycle will end with about 474 applicants in the top LSAT score bracket, a drop of 118 applicants. It will be interesting to see if it plays out that way and if some of the T6 find it difficult to hold on to medians/75ths.

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Meow Meowsworth
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby Meow Meowsworth » Wed Jan 07, 2015 5:23 pm

Meow Meowsworth wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
LSCHI wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:Wow, there are currently fewer male applicants than female applicants due to the larger drop in male applicants. Is this the first year that female applicants have outnumbered male applicants? I wonder if it'll hold all cycle.


I'm near certain it is not, because I feel like that same fact was reported years ago at an LSAC Conference I attended. Karen?


Yeah, I wasn't sure if there were any years pre-2000 that had more female applicants than male applicants. The data since 2000 shows that there has consistently been more male applicants:

http://www.lsac.org/lsacresources/data/ ... ts/archive
http://www.lsac.org/lsacresources/data/ ... triculants

packer_22
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby packer_22 » Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:06 am

Nathanael wrote:Last cycle ended with 592 applicants with a score in the top bracket. This YTD there are 372, meaning if there was a 20% drop last cycle YTD there should have been 465 applicants, 78.5% the final count. Am I missing something?

If we extrapolate from that, the cycle will end with about 474 applicants in the top LSAT score bracket, a drop of 118 applicants. It will be interesting to see if it plays out that way and if some of the T6 find it difficult to hold on to medians/75ths.



Mike and Karen, as the number of takers continues to drop, won't it become MORE acceptable to drop a median point in favor of maintaining GPA? Won't this make high scores LESS valuable?

For example, if Harvard or Yale's median is going to drop to 172, doesn't a 173 become LESS valuable, not more? If the median drops a point, suddenly, the pool of at/above median expands, right? So, in theory, I should be rooting for medians to stay the same?

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RareExports
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby RareExports » Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:29 am

packer_22 wrote:
Nathanael wrote:Last cycle ended with 592 applicants with a score in the top bracket. This YTD there are 372, meaning if there was a 20% drop last cycle YTD there should have been 465 applicants, 78.5% the final count. Am I missing something?

If we extrapolate from that, the cycle will end with about 474 applicants in the top LSAT score bracket, a drop of 118 applicants. It will be interesting to see if it plays out that way and if some of the T6 find it difficult to hold on to medians/75ths.



Mike and Karen, as the number of takers continues to drop, won't it become MORE acceptable to drop a median point in favor of maintaining GPA? Won't this make high scores LESS valuable?

For example, if Harvard or Yale's median is going to drop to 172, doesn't a 173 become LESS valuable, not more? If the median drops a point, suddenly, the pool of at/above median expands, right? So, in theory, I should be rooting for medians to stay the same?

I think that's a valid argument. I'm more compelled to think, though, that schools will still be primarily motivated to get the highest LSATs possible, meaning that if Yale takes the top 200 LSAT scores (I know there's a lot more involved, but play along for sake of argument), regardless of what those 200 are, their chances are good. Now if you're sitting at a 173 and that would have in a past cycle given you a spot around #225, but would now place you at #175 (because the median dropped from 173 to 172), you're in a good position. The top-ranked school will always be the one with the highest median LSAT, and so on. So if the pool of total 175+ and 170+ scores drop, I would think that helps everyone, in the sense that everyone's LSAT "rank" will be pushed up. And I don't think that schools will substitute LSATs for GPAs, as that would create more convergence/potentially overcoming of LSAT scores, and I can't see a situation in which the #2 school has a higher/same median LSAT than the #1, and so on.

Edit to respond more directly to the quoted post: A 173 would become more valuable, as there are fewer scores at 173 and above, pushing up the LSAT score's rank among applicants.

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Auxilio
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby Auxilio » Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:33 am

packer_22 wrote:
Nathanael wrote:Last cycle ended with 592 applicants with a score in the top bracket. This YTD there are 372, meaning if there was a 20% drop last cycle YTD there should have been 465 applicants, 78.5% the final count. Am I missing something?

If we extrapolate from that, the cycle will end with about 474 applicants in the top LSAT score bracket, a drop of 118 applicants. It will be interesting to see if it plays out that way and if some of the T6 find it difficult to hold on to medians/75ths.



Mike and Karen, as the number of takers continues to drop, won't it become MORE acceptable to drop a median point in favor of maintaining GPA? Won't this make high scores LESS valuable?

For example, if Harvard or Yale's median is going to drop to 172, doesn't a 173 become LESS valuable, not more? If the median drops a point, suddenly, the pool of at/above median expands, right? So, in theory, I should be rooting for medians to stay the same?


if you are at a school's median/75 then yes, you're ideal situation is for them to be straining to keep it (just barely, so they have to accept you).

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DetroitRed
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby DetroitRed » Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:19 am

packer_22 wrote:
Nathanael wrote:Last cycle ended with 592 applicants with a score in the top bracket. This YTD there are 372, meaning if there was a 20% drop last cycle YTD there should have been 465 applicants, 78.5% the final count. Am I missing something?

If we extrapolate from that, the cycle will end with about 474 applicants in the top LSAT score bracket, a drop of 118 applicants. It will be interesting to see if it plays out that way and if some of the T6 find it difficult to hold on to medians/75ths.



Mike and Karen, as the number of takers continues to drop, won't it become MORE acceptable to drop a median point in favor of maintaining GPA? Won't this make high scores LESS valuable?

For example, if Harvard or Yale's median is going to drop to 172, doesn't a 173 become LESS valuable, not more? If the median drops a point, suddenly, the pool of at/above median expands, right? So, in theory, I should be rooting for medians to stay the same?


I don't think schools view it that way, chiefly because they can't guarantee that their competitors will drop their medians. If they all colluded to drop their medians, his might make sense. But the sense I get is that it's an LSAT arms race out there. (And to a lesser extent, a GPA arms race as well.)

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:52 am

DetroitRed wrote:
packer_22 wrote:
Nathanael wrote:Last cycle ended with 592 applicants with a score in the top bracket. This YTD there are 372, meaning if there was a 20% drop last cycle YTD there should have been 465 applicants, 78.5% the final count. Am I missing something?

If we extrapolate from that, the cycle will end with about 474 applicants in the top LSAT score bracket, a drop of 118 applicants. It will be interesting to see if it plays out that way and if some of the T6 find it difficult to hold on to medians/75ths.



Mike and Karen, as the number of takers continues to drop, won't it become MORE acceptable to drop a median point in favor of maintaining GPA? Won't this make high scores LESS valuable?

For example, if Harvard or Yale's median is going to drop to 172, doesn't a 173 become LESS valuable, not more? If the median drops a point, suddenly, the pool of at/above median expands, right? So, in theory, I should be rooting for medians to stay the same?


I don't think schools view it that way, chiefly because they can't guarantee that their competitors will drop their medians. If they all colluded to drop their medians, his might make sense. But the sense I get is that it's an LSAT arms race out there. (And to a lesser extent, a GPA arms race as well.)


Started a long response to this, realized it is so fascinating (at least to me), I should blog it. Detroit got it, and there is more going on than just that. I'll try to get that blog up today if you guys are interested in the more detailed answer but again Detroit has it right.

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santoki
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Postby santoki » Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:07 pm

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LSCHI
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby LSCHI » Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:26 pm

Is there any data on the number of applicants with 170+ and 3.8+?

foles
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby foles » Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:56 pm

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Jan 09, 2015 12:58 pm

foles wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
Started a long response to this, realized it is so fascinating (at least to me), I should blog it. Detroit got it, and there is more going on than just that. I'll try to get that blog up today if you guys are interested in the more detailed answer but again Detroit has it right.


Pretty interested in this as well, thanks! If you weren't planning on already, would you mind also touching on how how the high LSAT drop will affect the upper T14 this cycle?


I'm trying to collect some data on a case study of one school on this so apologies for the delay. Also, I've received 6 million PM's in the last two days so that is slowing me down a bit too.

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santoki
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Postby santoki » Fri Jan 09, 2015 1:07 pm

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Jan 09, 2015 1:41 pm

santoki wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
I'm trying to collect some data on a case study of one school on this so apologies for the delay. Also, I've received 6 million PM's in the last two days so that is slowing me down a bit too.

seems like a stretch! :lol:
im probably buried in there


often I get 6 million and 6 confused. I currently have $6 in my checking account.

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Rigo
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby Rigo » Fri Jan 09, 2015 1:46 pm

:mrgreen:
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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:18 pm

Here you all go. Cliff notes: early = still emphasis on high LSAT, mid/late = flip=floppery

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/applic ... his-cycle/

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storpappa
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby storpappa » Fri Jan 09, 2015 7:36 pm

Just finished the PDF - great information, thanks for compiling and sharing

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Big Red
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby Big Red » Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:22 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:Here you all go. Cliff notes: early = still emphasis on high LSAT, mid/late = flip=floppery

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/applic ... his-cycle/


Great read, thanks so much for doing this.

So I'm curious how this affects those sitting for the February LSAT and applying this cycle. If I'm understanding correctly, many schools will know by the time scores release - for better or worse - where their medians will lie. Would this mean that a retake that pushes an applicant to or above a school's median actually would have less value, especially compared to uGPA and strong softs?

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Attax
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby Attax » Sat Jan 10, 2015 6:46 am

I know you've posted it before, but considering that schools are taking smaller 1L classes, lets talk transfers. Where would you say a student who took the money at a T20 or T50 school should be for (1) HYS, (2) CCN, (3) MVPB, (4) DCNG?

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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby MattM » Sat Jan 10, 2015 12:19 pm

Hello,

I am interested in Penn Law as one of my top choices and had a few questions about their admissions process and waitlisting

Based off of websites like myLSN it seems like Penn Law does quite a bit of waitlisting....Could you give some insight as to why they waitlist a bit more than peer schools with someone with my stats. I am slightly above lower 25%GPA and at 75% LSAT based off practice tests ( obviously just practice but I feel in good shape with great scores 9-11 months out from the LSAT).

Does Penn WL a bit for Yield protect purposes as a candidate may go to higher ranked schools such as CCN and therefore would hurt Penn in the rankings if I got accepted to Penn but chose one of CCN to attend isntead...or do they waitlist more so because of the lower GPA?

And if so what is the best way to get off the WL if my first choice is Penn but live far from PA.....Are Letters of Continued Interest my best call ( I think that could be the way to go if I am on the WL for Yield protect)

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willio
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby willio » Mon Jan 12, 2015 3:28 pm

I have a general question about timing of decisions. Why do you think the T14 vary so greatly in their turn around time? You have schools like Duke and Virginia that have an extremely short time between application complete and the applicant notified of the decision (this is especially true for top candidates), whereas schools like Columbia and Stanford seem to sit on applications and only begin to release decisions in January.

What are the reasons that schools sit on applications and release decisions late in the cycle? In your opinion, which is the better strategy, releasing decisions quickly, especially for top applicants, or waiting to release decisions until after you have a better understanding of the applicant pool?

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Jan 13, 2015 10:22 am

willio wrote:I have a general question about timing of decisions. Why do you think the T14 vary so greatly in their turn around time? You have schools like Duke and Virginia that have an extremely short time between application complete and the applicant notified of the decision (this is especially true for top candidates), whereas schools like Columbia and Stanford seem to sit on applications and only begin to release decisions in January.

What are the reasons that schools sit on applications and release decisions late in the cycle? In your opinion, which is the better strategy, releasing decisions quickly, especially for top applicants, or waiting to release decisions until after you have a better understanding of the applicant pool?


There are a lot of factors at play. Volume of applications, size of admissions staff/resources, how important they internally emphasize getting admits out (UVA and Duke were good examples of offices that out this as a higher priority), how risky averse versus risk taking their admissions and scholarship rates want to be, etc etc.

I'm not certain what the right answer is, i.e. I don't know if getting admits out quickly really matters. Every cycle I see people on here and elsewhere exasperated with the slowness of some schools, but in the endgame does that really matter? For example, one might say "well sure I'll wait for Yale but Cornell for me is a bubble school and if they take any longer I am going to drop them"...but if Cornell was indeed a bubble school you likely would not have gone there anyway? I'm not stating these as facts, I just think they make for interesting considerations.

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appind
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby appind » Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:52 am

Hello former admission officers,
If one made an error in the submitted ps or ds that botches a sentence due to some missing word(s), do you recommend they email an updated statement to the school or would it just draw more attention? If one sends the updated version, is it a good idea to use the opportunity to include a few changes or improvements other than the error to the statement since submission in the update? Thanks.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed Jan 14, 2015 12:57 pm

appind wrote:Hello former admission officers,
If one made an error in the submitted ps or ds that botches a sentence due to some missing word(s), do you recommend they email an updated statement to the school or would it just draw more attention? If one sends the updated version, is it a good idea to use the opportunity to include a few changes or improvements other than the error to the statement since submission in the update? Thanks.



Yes, for certain resubmit with all of the changes.

Indeed, I am struggling to think of a scenario where you wouldn't want to resubmit if there are botches and an admission decision hasn't been rendered.


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