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

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secadc11
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby secadc11 » Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:11 am

storpappa wrote:Yes, a list of what kind of love to show would be great to see. Like positive, acceptable things such as this example --

Dear Admissions office,
I would like to schedule a visit to stop by and tour the school. What time does the Dean arrive, what is their preferred drink from Starbucks, donut or bagel, and Armor-All or Turtle Wax?

Thanks


:lol:

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:41 am

buckiguy_sucks wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:Would it be helpful if we wrote a blog on "how much love is too much to show" particularly for people who have not heard from a school or are on tne WL? Because I'm already starting to hear some crazy ideas.


Could it include other things people wait for as well? Like scholarship solicitation/negotiation emails.


If Karen can get to that too :P

But seriously we will see how it plays out. Scholarship negotiation can be so specific to schools, timing, leverage etc it is pretty hard to blog about for the masses. Although we do have a few up there, one on overall negotiation ("you are too nice) and one on schools playing hardball.

One thing to always remember in negotiation that I have never heard mentioned: it is not their money. In other words, you aren't asking Bob Smith for his money, but rather Dean Smith for some more -- and Dean Smith has admitted you already, he really wants you to attend.

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

Postby jenesaislaw » Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:38 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:In other words, you aren't asking Bob Smith for his money, but rather Dean Smith for some more -- and Dean Smith has admitted you already, he really wants you to attend.


Go Tar Heels!

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

Postby AccountExpired » Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:09 pm

Dear Spivey,

Do you think a school will have a soft quota for the number of international students (without GPA) in their class? I have a competitive LSAT for a school I want to go. However, I am a late January applicant and that school has already admitted an unusual number of international students this year. I am afraid they do not want any more internationals.

Thank you in advance for any input!

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:20 am

AccountExpired wrote:Dear Spivey,

Do you think a school will have a soft quota for the number of international students (without GPA) in their class? I have a competitive LSAT for a school I want to go. However, I am a late January applicant and that school has already admitted an unusual number of international students this year. I am afraid they do not want any more internationals.

Thank you in advance for any input!


Schools are always looking for a balance, but I would not say that they would turn away a strong applicant simply because there are enough of that type of applicant. Especially in a down cycle like this. From my perspective as a former admissions director, there is no real or perceived downside for having a large number of international students who are overall strong applicants. There are factors other than your LSAT and citizenship that will play a role in the decision.
Two thoughts on this: Do you really know that they have admitted an unusual number of international students? or is this based on information from outside sources (while generally reflect good information do not represent the totality of the information)?
The cycle is not over yet. It's still mid-March and there are thousands of decisions still to be made :)

Cheers,
KB

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Mar 20, 2015 11:29 am

AccountExpired wrote:Dear Spivey,

Do you think a school will have a soft quota for the number of international students (without GPA) in their class? I have a competitive LSAT for a school I want to go. However, I am a late January applicant and that school has already admitted an unusual number of international students this year. I am afraid they do not want any more internationals.

Thank you in advance for any input!


One more thing to add to this, Sir or Madaam AccountExpired, never use the word "quota" in speaking with an admissions officer. Not that I think you would, but for admissions peeps that is about the worst word you can ever utter. I can't stress this enough.

Good luck!

Mike

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

Postby NoOneImportant » Fri Mar 20, 2015 2:41 pm

Dear Spivey,

Through my own experiences with MA and PhD applications, I heard anecdotally that it was considered "incestuous" to go to the same school for undergrad and grad school. It was never directly stated by anyone in admissions or any professors, but it was more implied informally. The idea seemed to be that they wanted an incoming class of students that had diverse backgrounds including educationally, not just their own graduates in the class.

My question is: is this idea prevalent in law school admissions as well? If a student got his/her bachelor's from a school, is he/she generally discouraged from getting his/her law degree from the same school? If the student is accepted to the law school of his/her alma mater showing that the school themselves wants the student to attend, is it still frowned up by potential employers, etc. who see the student's resume and see the same school for undergrad and law school?

LM10JV
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby LM10JV » Fri Mar 20, 2015 2:55 pm

This is an incredible source of information - thank you so much for taking the time to answer questions!

I was wondering if you could give me some advice on a scholarship negotiation timeline. I have merit offers from Penn and Cornell, but I won't know anything about my aid package from Duke for at least for another 2-3 weeks. My Cornell offer is extremely generous, and I'd like to use that offer to make tuition more feasible at Penn. My question is this: should I wait until I hear from Duke to contact Penn? The Cornell offer is double what I received from Penn, but I'm not sure if its worth showing my hand before I see the river card, so to speak. Does Penn typically negotiate with Cornell offers, or should I wait for an offer from Duke to make my position a little stronger? I'm also not sure if timing plays a factor; i.e. should I talk to Penn as early as possible, or should I wait until some of their 6-digit scholarship offers have been declined after the deposit deadline?

Thank you for any advice you might be able to give me!

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Sat Mar 21, 2015 11:52 am

Hi all,

Here is a question I got last night over email from an admissions committee member and my word for word response. I thought this might interest everyone:

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/admiss ... an-adcomm/

We will try to write that blog mentioned above this weekend/early this week. And get to questions.

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

Postby DCfilterDC » Sat Mar 21, 2015 12:01 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:Hi all,

Here is a question I got last night over email from an admissions committee member and my word for word response. I thought this might interest everyone:

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/admiss ... an-adcomm/

We will try to write that blog mentioned above this weekend/early this week. And get to questions.



Interesting question from an adcomm. Columbia admitted me and I'm below both 2014 medians. Not at all a special applicant so my only guess is their lsat median is gonna dip a point.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Sat Mar 21, 2015 12:05 pm

DCfilterDC wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:Hi all,

Here is a question I got last night over email from an admissions committee member and my word for word response. I thought this might interest everyone:

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/admiss ... an-adcomm/

We will try to write that blog mentioned above this weekend/early this week. And get to questions.



Interesting question from an adcomm. Columbia admitted me and I'm below both 2014 medians. Not at all a special applicant so my only guess is their lsat median is gonna dip a point.


Interesting question from an adcomm.

Maybe more than you realize. Or you crushed an interview.

Makes sense though, not so much in that "why" part of the answer they are looking for but the "do they, " in other words, schools often worry they are the only ones doing this and thus hurting themselves. We many of the questions we get from deans and admissions offices are about "are we the only ones doing this?"

Not at all a special applicant

Maybe more than you realize. Or you crushed an interview.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Sat Mar 21, 2015 12:09 pm

Also, any theories on why my website just went down :( I heard a rumor that's not good for business.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Sat Mar 21, 2015 12:31 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:Also, any theories on why my website just went down :( I heard a rumor that's not good for business.



Apparently my host has an issue at Cluster 8. Kinda sounds like an Alien Invasion, which would be awesome.

Also, I guess they will fix and we will be back in business, which is good because I almost applied for this: http://www.spelmanandjohnson.com/higher ... ithaca-ny/

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lawschool1741
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby lawschool1741 » Sat Mar 21, 2015 12:55 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:Hi all,

Here is a question I got last night over email from an admissions committee member and my word for word response. I thought this might interest everyone:

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/admiss ... an-adcomm/

We will try to write that blog mentioned above this weekend/early this week. And get to questions.

At least from LSN, it appears most below-median (non-urm) applicants that are admitted are relatively close to that median, is there any reason for this? Essentially, once you fill up exactly half of your class with median/above median apps, why not dip low in the numbers and grab more 'special snowflake' applicants?

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:04 pm

lawschool1741 wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:Hi all,

Here is a question I got last night over email from an admissions committee member and my word for word response. I thought this might interest everyone:

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/admiss ... an-adcomm/

We will try to write that blog mentioned above this weekend/early this week. And get to questions.

At least from LSN, it appears most below-median (non-urm) applicants that are admitted are relatively close to that median, is there any reason for this? Essentially, once you fill up exactly half of your class with median/above median apps, why not dip low in the numbers and grab more 'special snowflake' applicants?


Correlation with both bar passage and 1st year GPA maybe?

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lawschool1741
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby lawschool1741 » Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:13 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
lawschool1741 wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:Hi all,

Here is a question I got last night over email from an admissions committee member and my word for word response. I thought this might interest everyone:

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/admiss ... an-adcomm/

We will try to write that blog mentioned above this weekend/early this week. And get to questions.

At least from LSN, it appears most below-median (non-urm) applicants that are admitted are relatively close to that median, is there any reason for this? Essentially, once you fill up exactly half of your class with median/above median apps, why not dip low in the numbers and grab more 'special snowflake' applicants?


Correlation with both bar passage and 1st year GPA maybe?

Ah, bar passage is fair...didn't think of that. This, combined with accounting for sample size/type on LSN/TLS, makes sense.

Is projected 1st year GPA really an admissions factor? Aren't all grades curved, so no matter who you admit, you'll have the same spread of grades - and therefore perceived OCI/etc outcome?

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:22 pm

Not so much projected GPA but more along the lines of "are we setting this person up to fail?"

I can think of two former professional athletes, both of whom visited the school I was at and both of whom we really really like especially after their visit, who we never could pull the trigger on because the combination of our class with their low GPA and test scores were just too worrisome.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:24 am

NoOneImportant wrote:Dear Spivey,

Through my own experiences with MA and PhD applications, I heard anecdotally that it was considered "incestuous" to go to the same school for undergrad and grad school. It was never directly stated by anyone in admissions or any professors, but it was more implied informally. The idea seemed to be that they wanted an incoming class of students that had diverse backgrounds including educationally, not just their own graduates in the class.

My question is: is this idea prevalent in law school admissions as well? If a student got his/her bachelor's from a school, is he/she generally discouraged from getting his/her law degree from the same school? If the student is accepted to the law school of his/her alma mater showing that the school themselves wants the student to attend, is it still frowned up by potential employers, etc. who see the student's resume and see the same school for undergrad and law school?


I get asked this all of the time and I'm unsure if I have the best answer. On the plus side, you are more likely to yield, and they know your school well. Simply put, you are comfortable for them.

On the negative side they get more applications from their school than any other -- likely by far. I've said an incalculable number if times that law admissions is about differentiation, and this does not help.

I wouldn't say "discouraged" at all --I'm just not certain if it is elevating.

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

Postby storpappa » Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:11 pm

Dean Spivey,

Have you ever done a "Spivey rules on deposits" post?

Do or don't double deposit
Schools will know or can't tell if you deposit elsewhere
Do or don't deposit if you need more merit to attend
A missed deposit is a hard withdrawal, your shop has sailed
A deposit extension request is how bad on the kiss from your grandmother to a kiss from Michael to Fredo scale

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rainmaker12
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby rainmaker12 » Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:46 pm

Hi Spivey!

Hoping for some help as I attempt to cope with my neurosis (apologies in advance if you've answered this question already). I applied late this cycle (like February late) after what I can only describe as a series of LSAT fiascos and lack of foresight on my part. I have somehow already used up my 3 test takes this year with a 164, 165 and cancelled score in hopes of scoring closer to my PTs (170+). Still, I applied this cycle because I had a few waivers and was hoping my decent score and 3.6 GPA from a T10 could help me get into my dream school(s), especially as a URM in a down cycle. Needless to say, I've only heard from one T20 (accepted) and one T10 (rejected), and after pouring over these forums, fear I'm destined to rejections and waitlists, and I'm not holding my breath for any scholly money.

I am seriously considering re-applying in hopes of improving my chances not only for admission to the school I want, but ideally for some scholarship money. I know I have hardly seen how this cycle will play out but in looking at late applicants with similar stats, I am bracing myself for the worst and want to be prepared in the likely event I have to reapply. My question is - do you think applying early next cycle is sufficient to improve my chances (going for a T6 with $) or would it be wiser to continuing studying, retake the LSAT and reapply early in 2016? Thanks in advance!

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Tue Mar 24, 2015 11:13 am

storpappa wrote:Dean Spivey,

Have you ever done a "Spivey rules on deposits" post?

Do or don't double deposit
Schools will know or can't tell if you deposit elsewhere
Do or don't deposit if you need more merit to attend
A missed deposit is a hard withdrawal, your shop has sailed
A deposit extension request is how bad on the kiss from your grandmother to a kiss from Michael to Fredo scale


We did this blog last year and most of it is still applicable this year: http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/the-mu ... ot-happen/
The schools will be able to see the multiple deposits after May 15, which will give you a little more time to make up your mind. The double deposit is less leverage this year than it is just giving you more time to decide.
Missing a deposit deadline and requesting deposit extensions both vary from school to school depending on circumstances. But it never hurts to ask as long as you ask nicely :)

Hope that is helpful!
Cheers,
KB

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tk17
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby tk17 » Tue Mar 24, 2015 11:16 am

Mike or Karen,

Apologies if you've answered this before.

What's your opinion on negotiating scholarships in person? I live close enough to a couple of the schools I'm considering that it would be reasonable (logistically) for me to show up at the financial aid office and start talking with someone. I would generally prefer a face to face conversation, but I don't know how the people in the financial aid office will feel about it.

Thanks!!

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Tue Mar 24, 2015 11:30 am

rainmaker12 wrote:Hi Spivey!

Hoping for some help as I attempt to cope with my neurosis (apologies in advance if you've answered this question already). I applied late this cycle (like February late) after what I can only describe as a series of LSAT fiascos and lack of foresight on my part. I have somehow already used up my 3 test takes this year with a 164, 165 and cancelled score in hopes of scoring closer to my PTs (170+). Still, I applied this cycle because I had a few waivers and was hoping my decent score and 3.6 GPA from a T10 could help me get into my dream school(s), especially as a URM in a down cycle. Needless to say, I've only heard from one T20 (accepted) and one T10 (rejected), and after pouring over these forums, fear I'm destined to rejections and waitlists, and I'm not holding my breath for any scholly money.

I am seriously considering re-applying in hopes of improving my chances not only for admission to the school I want, but ideally for some scholarship money. I know I have hardly seen how this cycle will play out but in looking at late applicants with similar stats, I am bracing myself for the worst and want to be prepared in the likely event I have to reapply. My question is - do you think applying early next cycle is sufficient to improve my chances (going for a T6 with $) or would it be wiser to continuing studying, retake the LSAT and reapply early in 2016? Thanks in advance!


Given all that I have seen and my limited knowledge of your application, I am not convinced that an early application this year would have resulted in different outcomes. Sure, it is possible that a reapp next year will yield different results, but this cycle isn't over yet and there are still thousands of decisions left to be made. Nobody can say for certain if this year is the bottom of the law school application dip, but there are indications that we are there. Schools may secure their numbers early in the cycle next year because they will be so close to knowing how this year played out, but I think if you fell into that category of "we want to secure him/her" they will come to that same conclusion this year.

Hang in there! The waiting is the hardest part!

KB

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Tue Mar 24, 2015 11:36 am

tk17 wrote:Mike or Karen,

Apologies if you've answered this before.

What's your opinion on negotiating scholarships in person? I live close enough to a couple of the schools I'm considering that it would be reasonable (logistically) for me to show up at the financial aid office and start talking with someone. I would generally prefer a face to face conversation, but I don't know how the people in the financial aid office will feel about it.

Thanks!!


This totally depends on what you are like in person :)
Seriously, the tone of the conversation (in person or in writing) needs to be right, and that isn't always easy to do. I would suggest arranging a meeting ahead of time (not just showing up - I'm sure that's what you meant but wanted to be clear for others who read this). I suspect that the fin aid people are used to talking about this in person, but will deliver a decision via email. And they will likely want something in writing from you in addition to your in-person conversation. And remember, it's not their money. You aren't asking the financial aid officer for a personal loan, but they are responsible for a budget.

Cheers,
KB

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:00 pm

Off Topic:

Does anyone know how to block spam referrals on google analytics, eg. "social-buttons" etc etc. Thanks!!


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