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

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

Postby sneezus » Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:28 pm

Hi all, thanks for doing this. I have a question about waitlist movement this cycle.

Given the sizable drop in applicants with 170+ LSAT, how much waitlist movement might you all predict this cycle in the T14, particulary the T6? Or is this just impossible to predict?

I have had a nice cycle, but I was waitlisted at the one CCN school that I really wanted. I was a splitter there: LSAT at 75th, GPA at 25th. I'm hanging onto the hope that they might end up needing my LSAT as they lose admits with higher numbers to HYS, who may be scrambling with the decrease in 170+ LSATs up for grabs.

If this is not predictable, I definitely get that. Thanks in advance.

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:55 pm

dlj4292 wrote:Hi! Posted this in another forum but wanted to post here, too. Is taking June LSAT in hopes of a higher score is a viable way to receive increased merit aid from schools that have already offered me a scholarship? Thanks!

There are many variables (which school, etc.) but it can help under the right circumstances. And this is a year where it might be more viable than in previous years.

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

Postby buckiguy_sucks » Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:59 pm

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Last edited by buckiguy_sucks on Tue Sep 29, 2015 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Wed Feb 25, 2015 4:42 pm

buckiguy_sucks wrote:
KarenButtenbaum wrote:
dlj4292 wrote:Hi! Posted this in another forum but wanted to post here, too. Is taking June LSAT in hopes of a higher score is a viable way to receive increased merit aid from schools that have already offered me a scholarship? Thanks!

There are many variables (which school, etc.) but it can help under the right circumstances. And this is a year where it might be more viable than in previous years.


Does one need to be double deposited for this strategy to work? Or is the threat of sitting out the cycle your bargaining chip? Most schools have had their second deposit deadline by then and a lot are moving towards the "depositing requires you to withdraw from everywhere else" or the "double depositing forfeits your scholarship"

I don't think that you need to be double deposited for this to work. Your leverage may be not attending and their incentive is your new score

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

Postby buckiguy_sucks » Wed Feb 25, 2015 4:47 pm

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Last edited by buckiguy_sucks on Tue Sep 29, 2015 2:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:39 pm

keosu11 wrote:Mike please correct me if I am wrong, but schools only see who you have deposited at not when you deposit?

If I deposited at school A, but then School B gave me a scholarship I couldn't turn down and it had specific language that said I must withdraw and cannot double deposit at another school. I could withdraw from school A, prior to depositing at school B. Would I still show up in the May 15 reports as having deposited at multiple schools?

If that is the case, schools are opening a huge can of worms with that specific language.


To echo Karen, we don't see a likely upgrade where schools get data on when someone deposits, so we are very confident the answer is "no." We won't know until May 15thish though, when we see the first such report.

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

Postby HalfStudent » Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:52 pm

Spivey do you have a list of schools of which schools are up in apps so far in this cycle?

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed Feb 25, 2015 7:12 pm

HalfStudent wrote:Spivey do you have a list of schools of which schools are up in apps so far in this cycle?


Only LSAC does and they don't even share that internally. So unless there is a major policy change we never will during the cycle. I know of a few schools who are up but I have been asked not to share. Here is why: if a school is up and that gets out, they worry applicants will worry that it is tougher going at that school and thus won't apply, stalling out their gains. So, basically we are all in a similar boat until the cycle is over. Wish I did have a list!

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

Postby spencercross » Thu Feb 26, 2015 12:22 pm

I'm curious if it's possible to negotiate merit aid and need-based aid separately? For example, if one school gives me need-based aid but no merit aid, and a lower ranked school gives me both but not as much need-based aid, should I inform the lower ranked school of the bigger need-based offer from the higher ranked school? Or will the lower ranked school only be concerned about my total aid package (including both) from the higher ranked? I got my need-based offer from one of my schools and it included the language "We very much hope you find this offer competitive with others you have received. Please feel free to let us know," and the need-based offer and merit offer come from two separate people. This leads me to wonder if I can leverage need-based offers against one another without regard to merit.

gatorgirl94
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby gatorgirl94 » Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:12 pm

Hello there! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions :)

I have a few question about letters of recommendation. I am concerned that a letter of recommendation of mine is may be late for a school's deadline. However, I really do want this person's recommendation (took 3 classes with them, spent time in office hours, etc.) and have been told last week that the letter will be in and not to worry, but I am nervous as the deadline is a few days away. Should I email the schools after submitting my applications (I'm waiting for the February LSAT score) about the potential delay, or is there another way to go about handling this without it being detrimental to me? If the letter is late at schools that require LORs, as in, past the school's application deadline but all of my other materials are good to go, does my file just get held or does it reflect poorly on me?

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

Postby bsdfree » Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:56 pm

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Last edited by bsdfree on Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Fri Feb 27, 2015 10:32 am

gatorgirl94 wrote:Hello there! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions :)

I have a few question about letters of recommendation. I am concerned that a letter of recommendation of mine is may be late for a school's deadline. However, I really do want this person's recommendation (took 3 classes with them, spent time in office hours, etc.) and have been told last week that the letter will be in and not to worry, but I am nervous as the deadline is a few days away. Should I email the schools after submitting my applications (I'm waiting for the February LSAT score) about the potential delay, or is there another way to go about handling this without it being detrimental to me? If the letter is late at schools that require LORs, as in, past the school's application deadline but all of my other materials are good to go, does my file just get held or does it reflect poorly on me?


Usually the 1L application deadline (transfer is different) means that you need to submit your application by that date - not that all materials need to be in by a certain date. To be completed, the school will likely require a minimum number of letters of rec. So, if this is the second letter and the school requires two letters, your app will be delayed in being completed. But it sounds like that will only be a matter of days, so I would not be too concerned about it.
Can you check with the recommender to make sure it has been submitted? If s/he told you last week that it would be in and you gave him/her a deadline, it sounds like everything should be fine. Don't worry about the LOR getting in before the application deadline.

Cheers,
KB

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:46 pm

sneezus wrote:Hi all, thanks for doing this. I have a question about waitlist movement this cycle.

Given the sizable drop in applicants with 170+ LSAT, how much waitlist movement might you all predict this cycle in the T14, particulary the T6? Or is this just impossible to predict?

I have had a nice cycle, but I was waitlisted at the one CCN school that I really wanted. I was a splitter there: LSAT at 75th, GPA at 25th. I'm hanging onto the hope that they might end up needing my LSAT as they lose admits with higher numbers to HYS, who may be scrambling with the decrease in 170+ LSATs up for grabs.

If this is not predictable, I definitely get that. Thanks in advance.


it is hard to say because it is hard to ascertain if schools admitted at past cycle rates, or anticipated greater number of admits this cycle. Also, there seems to have been a bit of a surge of applications of late, which may have an impact.

All of that said, I anticipate there will be more WL movement than in the past year at the top. I'd be surprised if there weren't.

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

Postby PeanutsNJam » Sat Feb 28, 2015 3:28 am

Is it better to submit a video or use an essay when given the option?

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Sat Feb 28, 2015 10:31 am

PeanutsNJam wrote:Is it better to submit a video or use an essay when given the option?


I think a good video is more differentiated, interesting, and memorable than an essay.

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

Postby bsdfree » Mon Mar 02, 2015 9:44 pm

Mike and Karen,

As you might already know, Columbia just "held" a number of applicants today. From the TLS thread, it seems like many of these applicants have one (or more) numbers over the median. Also, the letter provides instructions to submit a LOCI (whereas Columbia usually discourages pending applicants from submitting them). Thus, the "hold" wave seems to have been done for yield protection. I may be wrong, but this cycle seems to be the first time that a school so highly ranked has practiced yield protection.

I know you don't like to comment on specific schools, but I was wondering what your thoughts were on the growing YP trend. Is YP good for applicants? For schools? Should the value that yield measures (i.e., selectivity) be a factor in law school rankings?

Apologies if you've already answered this question in a post or blog, but I think it's a pretty interesting development in law school admissions.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Mar 03, 2015 10:14 am

bsdfree wrote:Mike and Karen,

As you might already know, Columbia just "held" a number of applicants today. From the TLS thread, it seems like many of these applicants have one (or more) numbers over the median. Also, the letter provides instructions to submit a LOCI (whereas Columbia usually discourages pending applicants from submitting them). Thus, the "hold" wave seems to have been done for yield protection. I may be wrong, but this cycle seems to be the first time that a school so highly ranked has practiced yield protection.

I know you don't like to comment on specific schools, but I was wondering what your thoughts were on the growing YP trend. Is YP good for applicants? For schools? Should the value that yield measures (i.e., selectivity) be a factor in law school rankings?

Apologies if you've already answered this question in a post or blog, but I think it's a pretty interesting development in law school admissions.


Well, to be fair CLS did some YP last cycle via interviews, and have done so already this cycle. But this was a surprisingly large batch and it does look like they aren't soft pedaling it anymore but diving full into that game. Which likely also means they will need to admit more "held" applicants -- so I would put great care into the LOCI and contact with them going forward.

GL!

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

Postby AquafiNa » Tue Mar 03, 2015 10:54 am

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Last edited by AquafiNa on Wed Mar 04, 2015 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Mar 03, 2015 11:05 am

AquafiNa wrote:I am a candidate for a Darrow scholarship. My stats are above both 75th percentiles. Michigan is my top choice but it's been just over 3 weeks since the interview. They said it takes ~2 weeks to hear back but consensus seems to be it takes longer. Should I send them an email restating how interested I am in them? I don't want them to think that I am just trying to use the Darrow to negotiate, but at the same time I don't want to be lowballed because they are my #1 choice. Thanks!


Did you send an email after the interview thanking them?

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

Postby AquafiNa » Tue Mar 03, 2015 11:18 am

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Last edited by AquafiNa on Wed Mar 04, 2015 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Mar 03, 2015 12:31 pm

AquafiNa wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
AquafiNa wrote:I am a candidate for a Darrow scholarship. My stats are above both 75th percentiles. Michigan is my top choice but it's been just over 3 weeks since the interview. They said it takes ~2 weeks to hear back but consensus seems to be it takes longer. Should I send them an email restating how interested I am in them? I don't want them to think that I am just trying to use the Darrow to negotiate, but at the same time I don't want to be lowballed because they are my #1 choice. Thanks!


Did you send an email after the interview thanking them?


Yep!



Not to sound too much like a consultant here, but it is a really fine needle to thread between sounding spunky and interested versus neurotic and anxious. The wait doesn't sound like it is idiosyncratic to you. So will the email be value-add? Well, I think it can be but you need to be concise and enthusiastic in a sophisticated manner. If you can pull that off go for it but just know there is some risk here.

Broncos15
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby Broncos15 » Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:32 pm

Hello,

I am new to this forum and had a few questions regarding Law School admissions

I am gathering information on admissions and currently an undergrad ( Senior),...one of the options I am looking at is a dual degree in which case I would graduate with one degree in December and get my second undergrad degree later.....As I have read LSAC stops calculating GPA after you get your first degree, and anything after the first degree, the transcripts would still need to be sent in, but I have read the impact of your GPA after the first degree is somewhat minimal in admissions

Does this advice even hold true for "splitters"?.....I am at a 3.6 GPA right now and my concern is more hedged around if the GPA dropped in the second degree ( because if it stayed the same or rose it could only be good)

If in a Hypo my LSAC GPA at graduation of the first degree was a 3.6....but my second UG degree after the first was a 3.3 .......Would I be basically looked at as a 3.6 candidate? ...or would the lower second degree have Admissions officers view me as a 3.45 which is a bit below many of the T14's lower 25%


Thanks! Wondering as this is one of the ( several) factors I am weighing out in this

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

Postby bsdfree » Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:39 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
bsdfree wrote:Mike and Karen,

As you might already know, Columbia just "held" a number of applicants today. From the TLS thread, it seems like many of these applicants have one (or more) numbers over the median. Also, the letter provides instructions to submit a LOCI (whereas Columbia usually discourages pending applicants from submitting them). Thus, the "hold" wave seems to have been done for yield protection. I may be wrong, but this cycle seems to be the first time that a school so highly ranked has practiced yield protection.

I know you don't like to comment on specific schools, but I was wondering what your thoughts were on the growing YP trend. Is YP good for applicants? For schools? Should the value that yield measures (i.e., selectivity) be a factor in law school rankings?

Apologies if you've already answered this question in a post or blog, but I think it's a pretty interesting development in law school admissions.


Well, to be fair CLS did some YP last cycle via interviews, and have done so already this cycle. But this was a surprisingly large batch and it does look like they aren't soft pedaling it anymore but diving full into that game. Which likely also means they will need to admit more "held" applicants -- so I would put great care into the LOCI and contact with them going forward.

GL!



Thanks for the advice! What are your thoughts on the practice of yield protection in general? Obviously it is done to influence law school rankings, but can any silver lining be found for applicants?

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rion91
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby rion91 » Tue Mar 03, 2015 5:10 pm

Any idea if # of LSATs administered this FEB were down this cycle?

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

Postby waterandparchedearth » Tue Mar 03, 2015 5:46 pm

Thanks for answering these questions! Further on the point of sending LOCIs pre-decision, if you went Complete in December at one of the CCN schools and are below medians and still haven't heard anything, is this technique a good idea? Or are certain tiers of schools more averse to this type of thing? The school in question is my first choice and scholarship negotiation is not an issue, as I would be able and willing to attend this school at sticker.


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