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

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

Postby candidlatke » Fri Dec 18, 2015 5:37 am

If our transcripts get updated/we get academic distinctions in the meantime as fall quarter for most UG schools is drawing to a close, should we email the schools that have yet to make a decision proactively and let them know about this update? (perhaps send an updated resume?)

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Dec 18, 2015 10:42 am

All, just an fyi -- it is really difficult for us to answer specifically individualized binary type questions e.g. "should I do this exact thing or that exact thing" here or over PM. When I hit the lotto, I will come on here and that is all I will do. But just to explain our reasoning it isn't really fair to our current clients. Sorry for that!

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Dec 18, 2015 10:42 am

candidlatke wrote:If our transcripts get updated/we get academic distinctions in the meantime as fall quarter for most UG schools is drawing to a close, should we email the schools that have yet to make a decision proactively and let them know about this update? (perhaps send an updated resume?)


Especially if your grades go up I would, yes.

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

Postby monceau » Fri Dec 18, 2015 2:53 pm

Hi all,

I just had a quick question. Recently (within the past week) I was deferred to regular decision by the school I applied ED to. At this point, would it be a good idea to send a LOCI? Thanks so much!

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

Postby candidlatke » Fri Dec 18, 2015 3:41 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
candidlatke wrote:If our transcripts get updated/we get academic distinctions in the meantime as fall quarter for most UG schools is drawing to a close, should we email the schools that have yet to make a decision proactively and let them know about this update? (perhaps send an updated resume?)


Especially if your grades go up I would, yes.


Would this be of sufficient importance to warrant emailing them this/next week or would it be better to wait until after the holidays?

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john1990
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby john1990 » Fri Dec 18, 2015 9:55 pm

LMD wrote:Hi Mike,

Perhaps too personal for this board, but I have what I think is a fairly unique situation. 177/3.68.

I applied last year ED to NU, got in, then withdrew with permission the next day as my spouse got a job as a professor at a low Top 50 school, where I am currently enrolled as a 1L.

Unfortunately, my spouse and I are getting divorced. I currently have two grades, both A+, and I anticipate the other two will be in the A range.

I contacted two schools I would be targeting in the T14 and both said I would be allowed to reapply as a 1L but I wouldn't get any credit for my current classes.

I have no interest in staying where I am and am either going to finish the year and transfer, or quit now and reapply as 1L. If I transfer, though, I'm going to be paying sticker at somewhere like Harvard, whereas if I drop out now, I will likely get a decent amount from other T14 schools so long as I really can reapply as a 1L and not have my history held against me.

Do you have any recommendations on this? How bad of shape would I be admissions-wise if I do decided to reapply to top schools as a 1L instead of finishing the year where I'm at and transferring?

Thank you for any advice you can provide.


Ive noticed that it is tough to get into good schools after dropping out twice. You might want to apply before dropping out so that if you dont get in anywhere you can just stay at your current school

ftge232
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby ftge232 » Sun Dec 20, 2015 11:10 pm

Question about most recent blog post concerning admissions data as of 12/11/2015: Why do you report a 16% increase in the 175-180 band (320 this year vs 272 last year) when the 272 number for last year was reported with as-of-11/28/2014 data?

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Dec 21, 2015 10:22 am

ftge232 wrote:Question about most recent blog post concerning admissions data as of 12/11/2015: Why do you report a 16% increase in the 175-180 band (320 this year vs 272 last year) when the 272 number for last year was reported with as-of-11/28/2014 data?



I asked a friend, (Dean Z at Michigan) if she could explain the (sometimes) discrepancies in LSAC reporting. She asked LSAC who said (and I paraphrase a bit):
The files are usually different dates and may have slightly different qualifiers based on changes to the system. Also, some candidates withdraw their application or make other changes which will be reflected this year’s update but not in last year’s file

So that is the answer I have. LSAC does say in these reports "based on this time last year" etc etc so I have always assumed even if they release the data on different dates (keep in mind this isn't my data, I'm just reporting what only they have and release) they are comparing precise data dates. My assumption is based on the fact that the data becomes much less relevant if they are not.

ftge232
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby ftge232 » Mon Dec 21, 2015 2:23 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
ftge232 wrote:Question about most recent blog post concerning admissions data as of 12/11/2015: Why do you report a 16% increase in the 175-180 band (320 this year vs 272 last year) when the 272 number for last year was reported with as-of-11/28/2014 data?



I asked a friend, (Dean Z at Michigan) if she could explain the (sometimes) discrepancies in LSAC reporting. She asked LSAC who said (and I paraphrase a bit):
The files are usually different dates and may have slightly different qualifiers based on changes to the system. Also, some candidates withdraw their application or make other changes which will be reflected this year’s update but not in last year’s file

So that is the answer I have. LSAC does say in these reports "based on this time last year" etc etc so I have always assumed even if they release the data on different dates (keep in mind this isn't my data, I'm just reporting what only they have and release) they are comparing precise data dates. My assumption is based on the fact that the data becomes much less relevant if they are not.


Thanks for the response. The numbers for the 175-180 seem to be all over the place - I guess I'll just accept the huge increase this year!

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Mon Dec 21, 2015 4:14 pm

woc wrote:hello!

i'm planning to apply for a certain scholarship. the essay prompt for this scholarship essentially calls for what i've written in my diversity statement. i'm wondering if it's OK to recycle my diversity statement for this scholarship, given (i assume? i hope?) that the essays will be reviewed by different committees? along the same lines, what if i simply tailored the diversity statement to address more specifically the scholarship essay prompt? (would that be considered plagiarizing myself...?)

thank you!


You can always call the school and ask to be sure -- it is likely that you could use one essay for both.

Cheers,
KB

Po$eidon
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby Po$eidon » Mon Dec 21, 2015 4:16 pm

Do Character and Fitness issues cause the processing and review of an application to take longer?

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Mon Dec 21, 2015 4:17 pm

roranoa wrote:Hi,

I have another question about personal statements.

Is there something in particular that admissions officers are looking for when evaluating a PS from an older student who has been out of school for awhile? Do you expect to see in their PS something about what they've been doing while they were out of school?

I have a PS written about my passion for [hobby] and how that influenced my perspective of life. A very cliche' topic, yes. That's what I'm worried about. But I'm also worried about whether if admissions officers prefer some other topic if you are NOT a kJD.

Thanks.


Admissions officers what to know about you. If this hobby is something that does a good job if describing your outlook or perspective, then it is likely a good choice. No real expectation of a difference from K-JD or not -- it all depends on the applicant's experiences and what they want the admissions office to know about.

Cheers,
KB

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Mon Dec 21, 2015 4:19 pm

Po$eidon wrote:Do Character and Fitness issues cause the processing and review of an application to take longer?


It is possible -- depending on the severity of the offense. It is possible that more opinions are necessary if it is something quite serious.

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Mon Dec 21, 2015 4:28 pm

LMD wrote:Hi Mike,

Perhaps too personal for this board, but I have what I think is a fairly unique situation. 177/3.68.

I applied last year ED to NU, got in, then withdrew with permission the next day as my spouse got a job as a professor at a low Top 50 school, where I am currently enrolled as a 1L.

Unfortunately, my spouse and I are getting divorced. I currently have two grades, both A+, and I anticipate the other two will be in the A range.

I contacted two schools I would be targeting in the T14 and both said I would be allowed to reapply as a 1L but I wouldn't get any credit for my current classes.

I have no interest in staying where I am and am either going to finish the year and transfer, or quit now and reapply as 1L. If I transfer, though, I'm going to be paying sticker at somewhere like Harvard, whereas if I drop out now, I will likely get a decent amount from other T14 schools so long as I really can reapply as a 1L and not have my history held against me.

Do you have any recommendations on this? How bad of shape would I be admissions-wise if I do decided to reapply to top schools as a 1L instead of finishing the year where I'm at and transferring?

Thank you for any advice you can provide.


Sorry to hear about the divorce.
You are correct with your options -- stay for a year and transfer (you'd get the same fin aid at HYS that you would if you applied as a 1L since it is all need-based). Your chances for admission as a transfer are very much correlated to your performance in law school, so you'll need to continue to perform well. It's still a bit of a gamble, though, because the transfer window is quite narrow, and there is no guaranteeing anything, and hten there's the fin aid to consider.
Otherwise, you can re-apply as a 1L. You'd have some explaining to do in your re-applications, but as long as the tone and reasoning and everything else looks good, there may not be an issue with re-applying as a 1L to some of the other t14.
If you perform badly in law school, that makes it more difficult, but your circumstances for reapplying are not related to law school performance, so that's a bit of a plus.

It's really up to you if you can stick it out for another semester and perform well or if you are willing to give up what you've worked on so far and start all over again. Keep in mind the cost of both as well.

Good luck!

Cheers,
KB

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

Postby Egzon » Wed Dec 23, 2015 4:13 am

KarenButtenbaum wrote:
Po$eidon wrote:Do Character and Fitness issues cause the processing and review of an application to take longer?


It is possible -- depending on the severity of the offense. It is possible that more opinions are necessary if it is something quite serious.


What would you consider "serious issues"? I have a couple of warnings from my college which is the least severe sanction but I still feel as if schools are taking a longer time to get back to me and I already got waitlisted at Duke...

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Mon Dec 28, 2015 3:59 pm

Egzon wrote:
KarenButtenbaum wrote:
Po$eidon wrote:Do Character and Fitness issues cause the processing and review of an application to take longer?


It is possible -- depending on the severity of the offense. It is possible that more opinions are necessary if it is something quite serious.


What would you consider "serious issues"? I have a couple of warnings from my college which is the least severe sanction but I still feel as if schools are taking a longer time to get back to me and I already got waitlisted at Duke...


I don't think that warnings rise to the level of "serious issues" unless they indicate a pattern of behavior that may be concerning to the admissions committee. Warnings are just that -- a slap-on-the-wrist that says "don't do that again or else..." If you never got to the "or else" part, then you are probably on the less serious side of things. Hard to say in the abstract, but that's my two cents.

Cheers,
KB

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mist4bison
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby mist4bison » Tue Dec 29, 2015 2:17 pm

Hi there,

This was asked in another thread recently and I figured it was worth asking here as well.

As far as personal statements, I've noticed a number of schools do not have page limits listed. For those schools, can I use my current PS (3 pages), or should I shorten it to 2 pages, which seems to be the magic number most TLS users throw out?

Thanks!

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Tue Dec 29, 2015 2:56 pm

mist4bison wrote:Hi there,

This was asked in another thread recently and I figured it was worth asking here as well.

As far as personal statements, I've noticed a number of schools do not have page limits listed. For those schools, can I use my current PS (3 pages), or should I shorten it to 2 pages, which seems to be the magic number most TLS users throw out?

Thanks!

If there is no page limit specified, there is no need to shorten a 3 page PS unless you think there is fluff to cut :)
Two pages works for many schools, but there is no good reason to shorten a polished PS to two pages when it is otherwise unnecessary.

Cheers,
KB

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mist4bison
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby mist4bison » Wed Dec 30, 2015 1:11 pm

KarenButtenbaum wrote:
mist4bison wrote:Hi there,

This was asked in another thread recently and I figured it was worth asking here as well.

As far as personal statements, I've noticed a number of schools do not have page limits listed. For those schools, can I use my current PS (3 pages), or should I shorten it to 2 pages, which seems to be the magic number most TLS users throw out?

Thanks!

If there is no page limit specified, there is no need to shorten a 3 page PS unless you think there is fluff to cut :)
Two pages works for many schools, but there is no good reason to shorten a polished PS to two pages when it is otherwise unnecessary.

Cheers,
KB


Thanks!

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tflan19
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby tflan19 » Wed Dec 30, 2015 7:07 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
candidlatke wrote:If our transcripts get updated/we get academic distinctions in the meantime as fall quarter for most UG schools is drawing to a close, should we email the schools that have yet to make a decision proactively and let them know about this update? (perhaps send an updated resume?)


Especially if your grades go up I would, yes.


Sorry if this is too specific - should we reach out to schools that we have been accepted to but not yet heard back from on scholarships with such updates? Or save this information for scholarship negotiations? Thank you so much for your help!

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

Postby sydneyjjj » Wed Dec 30, 2015 9:10 pm

I want to thank you for providing a lot of helpful information. I have two questions to ask, and I want to clarify first that I am an international applicant and therefore have no GPA.
1. Since I am a K-JD (no WE), I think I am in a bad position. Do you think speaking 3 or more languages can be a meaningful soft factor? Since I am definitely sure of my soft factors being below average, I am really worried about it. Also I want to know which things can be meaningful soft factors for K-JD applicants to be considered as at least 'average'.


Thank you for any advice you provide.
Last edited by sydneyjjj on Wed Aug 17, 2016 12:22 am, edited 2 times in total.

Jrr13
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby Jrr13 » Thu Dec 31, 2015 4:36 am

Hey Spivey!

2 questions

(1) Do schools use the LSAT writing sample and weigh it well if the sample is written well? And, do you know if schools even generally read them?

(2) I have poor hand writing and fear that most of the admissions reps would look at my writing sample and either give up at attempting to read it or laugh. Would it be a good idea to send in an addenda transcribing word for word what I wrote onto a word document? I went complete on all of my apps late November/early December so I am not sure it is the best idea to send this as extra

Thanks for all that you do!

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

Postby salander » Thu Dec 31, 2015 3:39 pm

Happy New Year's Eve!

Out of curiosity, when schools report their GPA medians, do they factor in a KJD's GPA at the time of admittance or do they use the students' updated grades at the end of senior year?

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gamerish
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Postby gamerish » Fri Jan 01, 2016 3:19 pm

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Jan 01, 2016 7:21 pm

gamerish wrote:Hey, everyone (happy new year!). I asked a question elsewhere that wasn't answered so I figured I'd pose it to the greats:

Would it be a bad idea to email admissions my optional essay as an app update (I don't have a decision yet, I just went complete a few days ago)? I messed up and totally didn't realize that I forgot to actually hit the attach button when I uploaded it (I guess that's what happens when you apply at 3am). The school in question is Northwestern if that matters.

Thanks



Not a bad idea -- it is a legit reason to update them and get eyes on your file. Go for it.


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