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

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Broncos15
Posts: 291
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2015 3:25 am

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

Postby Broncos15 » Wed Jun 10, 2015 5:30 pm

KarenButtenbaum wrote:
jetsfan1 wrote:
Broncos15 wrote:Hey Mike or Karen,

To what extent does the "highest score=most considered score" go as far as my case is concerned? I got a 154 the first time, now aiming for a score in the high 160's to low 170's

I'd imagine if you had an applicant scoring in the 130's the first time a stellar retake score would not erase some of the red flags a first take in the 130's would raise


Curious about this well, especially as it relates to the T6.


When I saw a jump in LSAT of more than 15 points on an application, I was instantly curious about the circumstances surrounding the first take..and then what happened in between the two takes. I have to say that statistically, this doesn't happen very often, fwiw.

I would suggest sending a very brief addendum that gives a good explanation of why there is such a big difference - I know I would want to know the reason if I were reading it. If there is a good reason, then the red flags might just go away. In any case, the highest score would be the one reported to the ABA -- always.

Cheers,
KB


Thanks! My problem was not a lack of studying, but a lack of understanding the material initially....I put in 4 months and got a 154 ( I'm not sure if that actually sounds worse than getting a 154 with minimal studying)

Unfortunately, the exam started to "click" for me just right after I took the Official test - Scored a 168 on a proctored exam 4 weeks after


I will have the benefit of time distance since it will be 2 years between first take and when i retake

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

Postby Talarose » Wed Jun 10, 2015 7:50 pm

KarenButtenbaum wrote:
Talarose wrote:If I am an extreme splitter, what is the latest date you suggest applying? I took the June LSAT. The only reason I registered for it was because I thought the June test date was the best option for applying early. That being said, I don't feel as if I was prepared for it, especially still being in school and dealing with finals. I anticipate a 170, but my goal was a 179/180. Do you recommend canceling my score? Is that even a factor in the admissions process? And if I take the October LSAT, should I wait to apply until I get my results? Will sending in my application with a 170 and then sending in the October Score make a difference? Sorry for the over abundance of questions. I'm just trying to understand the purpose of score canceling on the LSAT and how the October test will affect my admissions cycle. Thank you in advance!


In my experience, I would say that in most cases you shouldn't cancel your score. A cancelled score counts for a "take" in the LSAC calculation of the "three takes in two years." Schools will see that you took the test, but one cancelled score generally doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.

Submitting your application in September vs. submitting it at the end of October are both considered "early" applications, so the October test is still early in the process. And there really is no difference in results if you submit during that time frame. Most admissions offices don't even start reading applications until October anyway.

Cheers,
KB


Thank you so much for your response, I truly appreciate it. I was also wondering how late October submission plays into merit.

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Wed Jun 10, 2015 8:32 pm

Talarose wrote:Thank you so much for your response, I truly appreciate it. I was also wondering how late October submission plays into merit.


Submitting in October - even in November - is still considered "early" in the process. So there is no penalty for submitting late in October.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Jun 11, 2015 11:50 am

Coming today. I am going to dispel every law school myth ever created. More soon!

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

Postby storpappa » Thu Jun 11, 2015 11:52 am

MikeSpivey wrote:Coming today. I am going to dispel every law school myth ever created. More soon!

You post that so it must be true ... I am putting the popcorn in the microwave as soon as I post this comment

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

Postby MikeJD » Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:24 pm

Spivey are you surprised that top 20 schools haven't really increased their scholarship offers despite such a big decrease of high LSAT scores ??

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buckiguy_sucks
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Post removed.

Postby buckiguy_sucks » Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:27 pm

Post removed.
Last edited by buckiguy_sucks on Tue Sep 29, 2015 9:25 am, edited 2 times in total.

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

Postby Radioheader » Thu Jun 11, 2015 6:03 pm

What's your opinion on resources like mylsn.info? Do you think they can accurately capture one's chances on admission/scholarships, or does the fact that those statistics are self-selected make it a little unrepresentative and not worth the time looking at?

Furthermore, how would you recommend inputting the ranges on that site? For instance, I have a 3.59 GPA. How far below and above would I want to enter as a range in order to get the best picture of my chances?

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Jun 12, 2015 9:45 am

Here is the blog on how law admissions myths get started

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/dispel ... myth-ever/

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

Postby MurdockLLP » Fri Jun 12, 2015 12:30 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:Here is the blog on how law admissions myths get started

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/dispel ... myth-ever/


Don't want to be "that" guy, but you misspelled crisscross.

MikeSpivey wrote: From September through late November, most admissions officers are on the road. They chris-cross the nation visiting colleges and universities (which is a pretty wonderful way to get paid).

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

Postby storpappa » Fri Jun 12, 2015 12:36 pm

MurdockLLP wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:Here is the blog on how law admissions myths get started

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/dispel ... myth-ever/


Don't want to be "that" guy, but you misspelled crisscross.

MikeSpivey wrote: From September through late November, most admissions officers are on the road. They Kris Kross the nation visiting colleges and universities (which is a pretty wonderful way to get paid).



FTFY

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Jun 12, 2015 1:04 pm

MurdockLLP wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:Here is the blog on how law admissions myths get started

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/dispel ... myth-ever/


Don't want to be "that" guy, but you misspelled crisscross.

MikeSpivey wrote: From September through late November, most admissions officers are on the road. They chris-cross the nation visiting colleges and universities (which is a pretty wonderful way to get paid).


Not that guy at all, I appreciate the heads-up. I blame Karen even though I wrote the article.

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Fri Jun 12, 2015 1:23 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:Not that guy at all, I appreciate the heads-up. I blame Karen even though I wrote the article.


hey now..

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

Postby Indifference » Fri Jun 12, 2015 4:09 pm

Broncos15 wrote:
KarenButtenbaum wrote:
jetsfan1 wrote:
Broncos15 wrote:Hey Mike or Karen,

To what extent does the "highest score=most considered score" go as far as my case is concerned? I got a 154 the first time, now aiming for a score in the high 160's to low 170's

I'd imagine if you had an applicant scoring in the 130's the first time a stellar retake score would not erase some of the red flags a first take in the 130's would raise


Curious about this well, especially as it relates to the T6.


When I saw a jump in LSAT of more than 15 points on an application, I was instantly curious about the circumstances surrounding the first take..and then what happened in between the two takes. I have to say that statistically, this doesn't happen very often, fwiw.

I would suggest sending a very brief addendum that gives a good explanation of why there is such a big difference - I know I would want to know the reason if I were reading it. If there is a good reason, then the red flags might just go away. In any case, the highest score would be the one reported to the ABA -- always.

Cheers,
KB


Thanks! My problem was not a lack of studying, but a lack of understanding the material initially....I put in 4 months and got a 154 ( I'm not sure if that actually sounds worse than getting a 154 with minimal studying)

Unfortunately, the exam started to "click" for me just right after I took the Official test - Scored a 168 on a proctored exam 4 weeks after


I will have the benefit of time distance since it will be 2 years between first take and when i retake


Not sure if this helps at all, but I went 163, 164, 177 (June, Sept, Dec, 2014). I only wrote addenda on my scores for the schools that explicitly asked for it: UChi and Yale -- and even then I did not see anything in any applications. Didn't seem to hurt my outcome this cycle, but I suppose other factors mean YMMV -- maybe my anecdata is useless. I dunno, just thought I would put my bit in.

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

Postby Panoptikon » Sat Jun 13, 2015 4:58 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:Here is the blog on how law admissions myths get started

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/dispel ... myth-ever/


I've taken a handful of 1, 2, and 3 (semester) unit courses which are graded on a P/NP basis only. Will admissions be able to tell the difference between these and regular (graded) courses which are taken P/NP? Many thanks!

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

Postby Iwanttolawschool » Sat Jun 13, 2015 5:22 pm

Dear Mike or Karen,

I have a question I've been curious about regarding admissions and scholarship money.
At the beginning of a cycle, is admissions/financialaid told "we have X amount of dollars to give OUT for the year"
OR is it told "we have X quota of tuition money to bring IN for the year"

I sort of just assumed the former, but doesn't the latter actually make more sense considering the scholarship money isn't actual real money given, its just a discount on the tuition. Thought I'd ask the experts. Thanks!

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

Postby RareExports » Sat Jun 13, 2015 6:09 pm

Iwanttolawschool wrote:Dear Mike or Karen,

I have a question I've been curious about regarding admissions and scholarship money.
At the beginning of a cycle, is admissions/financialaid told "we have X amount of dollars to give OUT for the year"
OR is it told "we have X quota of tuition money to bring IN for the year"

I sort of just assumed the former, but doesn't the latter actually make more sense considering the scholarship money isn't actual real money given, its just a discount on the tuition. Thought I'd ask the experts. Thanks!

Great question. I think there's a large disconnect between what applicants think/what admissions tries to portray and what actually is the case. Obviously it varies school to school, but it can't plausibly be that there's x money to give out, regardless of what schools say, because it would imply a) any time a 20k/30k/etc. scholarship is turned down, that that money is "back in the pot," and b) ultimately the schools aren't focusing on revenue/profit but rather on costs solely.

I think this also factors into waitlist decisions. I'm of the impression that when someone gets off of a waitlist, it's not necessarily because a spot "freed up" but because the school extended more scholarship money and needs to compensate with a profitable, low/no scholarship waitlist acceptance. If you give more money to an above median candidate, you can admit a profitable waitlist candidate without affecting the medians (and hopefully still turning a profit). This should be the strategy of admissions offices, if it is not already.

I'm also interested in this answer and discussion, so thank you for asking it.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Sun Jun 14, 2015 9:45 am

RareExports wrote:
Iwanttolawschool wrote:Dear Mike or Karen,

I have a question I've been curious about regarding admissions and scholarship money.
At the beginning of a cycle, is admissions/financialaid told "we have X amount of dollars to give OUT for the year"
OR is it told "we have X quota of tuition money to bring IN for the year"

I sort of just assumed the former, but doesn't the latter actually make more sense considering the scholarship money isn't actual real money given, its just a discount on the tuition. Thought I'd ask the experts. Thanks!

Great question. I think there's a large disconnect between what applicants think/what admissions tries to portray and what actually is the case. Obviously it varies school to school, but it can't plausibly be that there's x money to give out, regardless of what schools say, because it would imply a) any time a 20k/30k/etc. scholarship is turned down, that that money is "back in the pot," and b) ultimately the schools aren't focusing on revenue/profit but rather on costs solely.

I think this also factors into waitlist decisions. I'm of the impression that when someone gets off of a waitlist, it's not necessarily because a spot "freed up" but because the school extended more scholarship money and needs to compensate with a profitable, low/no scholarship waitlist acceptance. If you give more money to an above median candidate, you can admit a profitable waitlist candidate without affecting the medians (and hopefully still turning a profit). This should be the strategy of admissions offices, if it is not already.

I'm also interested in this answer and discussion, so thank you for asking it.


It is a wonderful question. I can't speak for every school, but I have been on budget committees and obviously in admissions, and I have spoken with numerous deans of law schools about this very topic, especially those law schools we have consulted for.

So from the above it works like this. The dean has either a CFO type or a budget committee (or both). They set the target revenue goal each year (and this budget accordingly), the vast majority of which is provided by tuition dollar. The dean then meets with the dean of admission and it basically is the dean saying "I want you to enroll this number"...followed by admissions saying "can we OFFER this much scholarship (remission as you aptly suggest it isn't real money but discounted money) to GIVE this much money?" I capitalize those letters because much of the stress in the life of an admissions dean comes from the difference between the two. The admissions dean also will likely say, "it looks like others schools we compete with offer x much a year" or "based on this reports I have put together from the ABA, etc, their averge FTE gets 40% remission." Fun stuff like this.

What happens during the cycle though is that, of late, an admissions dean may report to the dean "you asked me to enroll 250 but to do that we are going to take a 2 point hit in median LSAT....if I can enroll 220 it will only be a 1 point hit" and it seems as if most law schools have been tilting towards the lost in revenue over the potential loss in rankings. Admissions may also ask for more scholarship money although I think this cycle what we saw was larger initial pots of scholarship from the deans office to admissions but with a decree that no more is coming.

That's what I got. I hope it helps!

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

Postby RareExports » Sun Jun 14, 2015 1:43 pm

Hi Mike, could you speak a little bit to the second part of my post above? Is it fair to categorize waitlist behavior as being at least significantly motivated by revenue (perhaps even as opposed to being motivated by medians)?

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

Postby chaitealatte » Mon Jun 15, 2015 10:18 am

mujiali wrote:
Broncos15 wrote:
KarenButtenbaum wrote:
jetsfan1 wrote:
Broncos15 wrote:Hey Mike or Karen,

To what extent does the "highest score=most considered score" go as far as my case is concerned? I got a 154 the first time, now aiming for a score in the high 160's to low 170's

I'd imagine if you had an applicant scoring in the 130's the first time a stellar retake score would not erase some of the red flags a first take in the 130's would raise


Curious about this well, especially as it relates to the T6.


When I saw a jump in LSAT of more than 15 points on an application, I was instantly curious about the circumstances surrounding the first take..and then what happened in between the two takes. I have to say that statistically, this doesn't happen very often, fwiw.

I would suggest sending a very brief addendum that gives a good explanation of why there is such a big difference - I know I would want to know the reason if I were reading it. If there is a good reason, then the red flags might just go away. In any case, the highest score would be the one reported to the ABA -- always.

Cheers,
KB


Thanks! My problem was not a lack of studying, but a lack of understanding the material initially....I put in 4 months and got a 154 ( I'm not sure if that actually sounds worse than getting a 154 with minimal studying)

Unfortunately, the exam started to "click" for me just right after I took the Official test - Scored a 168 on a proctored exam 4 weeks after


I will have the benefit of time distance since it will be 2 years between first take and when i retake


Not sure if this helps at all, but I went 163, 164, 177 (June, Sept, Dec, 2014). I only wrote addenda on my scores for the schools that explicitly asked for it: UChi and Yale -- and even then I did not see anything in any applications. Didn't seem to hurt my outcome this cycle, but I suppose other factors mean YMMV -- maybe my anecdata is useless. I dunno, just thought I would put my bit in.


Can I ask what schools you applied to/were accepted at? I'm also considering a third take and I'd imagine my numbers are similar to yours.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Jun 15, 2015 9:14 pm

I'll try to jump on the remaining unanswered questions by Wednesday. Karen is at a law admissions/pre-law conference and I am working on a couple of major projects and still depressed about the Game of Thrones finale , so running a bit slowly. Apologies.

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

Postby Indifference » Tue Jun 16, 2015 7:57 am

chaitealatte wrote:
mujiali wrote:
Broncos15 wrote:
KarenButtenbaum wrote:
jetsfan1 wrote:
Broncos15 wrote:Hey Mike or Karen,

To what extent does the "highest score=most considered score" go as far as my case is concerned? I got a 154 the first time, now aiming for a score in the high 160's to low 170's

I'd imagine if you had an applicant scoring in the 130's the first time a stellar retake score would not erase some of the red flags a first take in the 130's would raise


Curious about this well, especially as it relates to the T6.


When I saw a jump in LSAT of more than 15 points on an application, I was instantly curious about the circumstances surrounding the first take..and then what happened in between the two takes. I have to say that statistically, this doesn't happen very often, fwiw.

I would suggest sending a very brief addendum that gives a good explanation of why there is such a big difference - I know I would want to know the reason if I were reading it. If there is a good reason, then the red flags might just go away. In any case, the highest score would be the one reported to the ABA -- always.

Cheers,
KB


Thanks! My problem was not a lack of studying, but a lack of understanding the material initially....I put in 4 months and got a 154 ( I'm not sure if that actually sounds worse than getting a 154 with minimal studying)

Unfortunately, the exam started to "click" for me just right after I took the Official test - Scored a 168 on a proctored exam 4 weeks after


I will have the benefit of time distance since it will be 2 years between first take and when i retake


Not sure if this helps at all, but I went 163, 164, 177 (June, Sept, Dec, 2014). I only wrote addenda on my scores for the schools that explicitly asked for it: UChi and Yale -- and even then I did not see anything in any applications. Didn't seem to hurt my outcome this cycle, but I suppose other factors mean YMMV -- maybe my anecdata is useless. I dunno, just thought I would put my bit in.


Can I ask what schools you applied to/were accepted at? I'm also considering a third take and I'd imagine my numbers are similar to yours.


Don't want to derail this excellent thread, so I'll just point you to my forum profile for your answers. All my info is there, unadulterated.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:51 pm

Panoptikon wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:Here is the blog on how law admissions myths get started

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/dispel ... myth-ever/


I've taken a handful of 1, 2, and 3 (semester) unit courses which are graded on a P/NP basis only. Will admissions be able to tell the difference between these and regular (graded) courses which are taken P/NP? Many thanks!


I spoke with several admissions officers about this. Our collective belief is that for almost all schools it will be notated on the transcript such that they will be able to see, but we can't guarantee that for every undergraduate school. Sorry to not have a 100% answer for every school.

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

Postby zaetoroftheprotoss » Tue Jun 16, 2015 8:58 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:Here is the blog on how law admissions myths get started

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/dispel ... myth-ever/

"is it true that if you go to Westeros College it is much more difficult to get admitted to Westeros Law School?"


Is Westeros College the undergraduate campus of the Citadel in Oldtown? Anyone have the admissions numbers? I have to guess that legacies like
[+] Spoiler
Samwell Tarly
get in for free, but what about the common people?

In all seriousness, though, this is a fantastic blog post. Thanks for sharing!!

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:15 pm

zaetoroftheprotoss wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:Here is the blog on how law admissions myths get started

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/dispel ... myth-ever/

"is it true that if you go to Westeros College it is much more difficult to get admitted to Westeros Law School?"


Is Westeros College the undergraduate campus of the Citadel in Oldtown? Anyone have the admissions numbers? I have to guess that legacies like
[+] Spoiler
Samwell Tarly
get in for free, but what about the common people?

In all seriousness, though, this is a fantastic blog post. Thanks for sharing!!


Our pleasure -- we like the protoss!


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