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

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sasquatchsam
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby sasquatchsam » Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:39 pm

I have a question regarding how schools value applicants. It would seem to me that as long as you are at or above the 75th percentile at a school it would not matter how high above the 75th percentile your GPA or LSAT score places you. For example, looking at mylsn.info a 3.96+/173 has almost exactly the same chance of admittance as a 4.0+/175. Is this really how admissions officers will look at it?

Chill_Out
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Chill_Out » Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:04 am

MikeSpivey wrote:I could have sworn that I saw a post earlier today asking me how important a PS is? Or did I fall asleep at my desk for a few minutes and dream it?

Either way, the answer is 7.7.



I did ask that question but you already addressed it on the first page so I deleted my post.

Youppi!
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Youppi! » Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:19 am

sasquatchsam wrote:I have a question regarding how schools value applicants. It would seem to me that as long as you are at or above the 75th percentile at a school it would not matter how high above the 75th percentile your GPA or LSAT score places you. For example, looking at mylsn.info a 3.96+/173 has almost exactly the same chance of admittance as a 4.0+/175. Is this really how admissions officers will look at it?


Similarly, how much does it matter if one of your #s is below the 25th percentile? E.g., a gpa of 2.9 when the school's 25th% is 3.33. (Assume another #, like LSAT, is at or > the 75th%.) Is this no worse than a 3.2?

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed Jul 24, 2013 8:36 am

sasquatchsam wrote:I have a question regarding how schools value applicants. It would seem to me that as long as you are at or above the 75th percentile at a school it would not matter how high above the 75th percentile your GPA or LSAT score places you. For example, looking at mylsn.info a 3.96+/173 has almost exactly the same chance of admittance as a 4.0+/175. Is this really how admissions officers will look at it?


Mostly true. It still somewhat depends on the school, and somewhat depends on if they have a faculty admissions committee (faculty do not track where your median is at through admit data on a daily basis and tend to over-emphasis LSAt scores), but in the not so discerning eyes of USNWR, a 3.96/173 is exactly the same as a 4.0/175 for just about every school.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed Jul 24, 2013 10:01 pm

PW comments aside, here is my answer to "Hey Spivey, how do I get get Yale?" (of technically it should be median not average). Also, sorry for some slow PM responses I have been slammed busy but will get back at it early next week and with some interesting new blogs.

Image

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helix23
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby helix23 » Thu Jul 25, 2013 3:04 am

Hi Mike,

How do admissions officers generally look at reapplicants who were accepted but for compelling reasons decide to wait a year and reapply? Is a personal or family reason not good enough? Do serious changes need to be made to their application over the course of the year (more experience, new LSAT score)?

Thank you.

ZVBXRPL
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby ZVBXRPL » Thu Jul 25, 2013 10:27 am

helix23 wrote:Hi Mike,

How do admissions officers generally look at reapplicants who were accepted but for compelling reasons decide to wait a year and reapply? Is a personal or family reason not good enough? Do serious changes need to be made to their application over the course of the year (more experience, new LSAT score)?

Thank you.

+1

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Jul 25, 2013 11:29 am

ZVBXRPL wrote:
helix23 wrote:Hi Mike,

How do admissions officers generally look at reapplicants who were accepted but for compelling reasons decide to wait a year and reapply? Is a personal or family reason not good enough? Do serious changes need to be made to their application over the course of the year (more experience, new LSAT score)?

Thank you.

+1


I spent good money on that stupid shirt just for this board and no one will +1 it. :/

Ok, back to the serious stuff. They will likely be curious as to why you did not ask for a deferral so you will need to have a compelling reason for that more so than not attending law school this past year. That said, if you were admitted it is always highly likely you will be admitted again, and I do not think they will be too skeptical of your application but, rather, happy that you are reapplying. Keep in mind that every application helps their selectivity.

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helix23
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby helix23 » Thu Jul 25, 2013 3:36 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
ZVBXRPL wrote:
helix23 wrote:Hi Mike,

How do admissions officers generally look at reapplicants who were accepted but for compelling reasons decide to wait a year and reapply? Is a personal or family reason not good enough? Do serious changes need to be made to their application over the course of the year (more experience, new LSAT score)?

Thank you.

+1


I spent good money on that stupid shirt just for this board and no one will +1 it. :/

Ok, back to the serious stuff. They will likely be curious as to why you did not ask for a deferral so you will need to have a compelling reason for that more so than not attending law school this past year. That said, if you were admitted it is always highly likely you will be admitted again, and I do not think they will be too skeptical of your application but, rather, happy that you are reapplying. Keep in mind that every application helps their selectivity.


Thanks, Mike. So would it be enough to use the same application but attach an addendum of sorts that explains the reason for reapplying?

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Jul 25, 2013 4:00 pm

helix23 wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
ZVBXRPL wrote:
helix23 wrote:Hi Mike,

How do admissions officers generally look at reapplicants who were accepted but for compelling reasons decide to wait a year and reapply? Is a personal or family reason not good enough? Do serious changes need to be made to their application over the course of the year (more experience, new LSAT score)?

Thank you.

+1




Thanks, Mike. So would it be enough to use the same application but attach an addendum of sorts that explains the reason for reapplying?


They archive your old application and *likely* won't compare, and even if they did compare won't really care. The addendum will have you covered. That said, read over the new application and make sure you read it carefully because it may be different from this past year. Good luck! Be Better than Median!

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bouleversement
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby bouleversement » Thu Jul 25, 2013 4:14 pm

Hi Mike,

Since receiving conflicting information from LSAC on this I thought you could settle the debate. Does the five year score expiration policy refer to calendar dates or full LSAT cycles? For example, would a June 2008 score expire exactly five years later in June 2013 or would it not expire until the end of the full LSAT cycle five years hence (i.e. February 2014)?

Once a score expires does it completely disappear from the score report? Is there no way for admission committees to learn of it? (Assuming a first-time application. To continue the above example, if one applied in 2012 with a 2008 score and then reapplied after the score had expired, committees would presumably be able to see the score from the earlier application even if it is no longer currently displayed on the score report. Is this correct?)

Thanks. And great t-shirt by the way. ;)

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helix23
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby helix23 » Thu Jul 25, 2013 5:15 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
They archive your old application and *likely* won't compare, and even if they did compare won't really care. The addendum will have you covered. That said, read over the new application and make sure you read it carefully because it may be different from this past year. Good luck! Be Better than Median!


Thank you!

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:14 pm

bouleversement wrote:Hi Mike,

Once a score expires does it completely disappear from the score report? Is there no way for admission committees to learn of it? (Assuming a first-time application. To continue the above example, if one applied in 2012 with a 2008 score and then reapplied after the score had expired, committees would presumably be able to see the score from the earlier application even if it is no longer currently displayed on the score report. Is this correct?)

Thanks. And great t-shirt by the way. ;)


I think the reason why you got conflicting answers is that the correct answer is "Yes, the score will be on your CAS report, but only if you request for it to be." The default is that it will not.

I verified this with two deans of admissions because you liked my shirt, or pretended to like my shirt so I would have a flawless answer for you. Which I do :)

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bouleversement
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby bouleversement » Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:34 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
bouleversement wrote:
I verified this with two deans of admissions because you liked my shirt, or pretended to like my shirt so I would have a flawless answer for you. Which I do :)


Many thanks Mike! And my comment on your shirt was genuine! I think I may buy one actually...

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:57 pm

bouleversement wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
bouleversement wrote:
I verified this with two deans of admissions because you liked my shirt, or pretended to like my shirt so I would have a flawless answer for you. Which I do :)


Many thanks Mike! And my comment on your shirt was genuine! I think I may buy one actually...


Make sure it says, "be better than median" please!

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bouleversement
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby bouleversement » Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:46 am

Mike,

I know you speak in general terms but IIRC you mentioned upthread that some applications are not read in total. Do you know if this occurs at, say, the top 10 schools? If so, are you able to provide some kind of guide to know if we are wasting time/money/effort making applications that will not be given a fair shake?

Thanks for your time.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Jul 30, 2013 3:57 pm

Just an FYI but this Friday (or very soon thereafter) I should have some big news that I can share with everyone that I hope will add a great deal of value for those that are on here. Sorry to be mysterious, and of course I am obligated to say I will break it on twitter first :)

Also, it has nothing to do with the applicant pool, but should increase what I can share and the value I can bring to you all ten-fold.

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bouleversement
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby bouleversement » Tue Jul 30, 2013 5:47 pm

Mike,

Are you of the belief this cycle may prove more GPA-lenient than those of recent years? There is some talk perhaps of GPA medians dropping in order to maintain LSAT medians. Do you believe this will happen to any appreciable extent at HYS?

Thank you!

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Jul 30, 2013 5:52 pm

bouleversement wrote:Mike,

Are you of the belief this cycle may prove more GPA-lenient than those of recent years? There is some talk perhaps of GPA medians dropping in order to maintain LSAT medians. Do you believe this will happen to any appreciable extent at HYS?

Thank you!


I think atmospheric pressures that continue to be placed on law schools due to declining applicants may very well lead to this, yes, even at the top. To quote someone though "prediction is difficult, especially when it involves the future" and we need Oct data before we can say with greater confidence.

thora
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby thora » Wed Jul 31, 2013 2:42 am

MikeSpivey wrote:For WL folks I have a new feature on my twitter account where I announce the week's WL activity from low (meaning not much movement off WL), moderate, intense, and big-bucks/no-whammies (meaning people are getting $$$ off the WL).

https://twitter.com/SpiveyConsult

This is more of a pain to compile than it may seem so I hope it helps.


Hello! Thanks for this forum! This feature is awesome. Just wondering how you get the WL movement data--- and is this for the top schools or all law schools in the US?

Thank you!

thora
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby thora » Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:37 am

Hi:
I have a question:

Is there anything one can do this late in the waitlist game? (Already have done the LOCI thing, etc.)

Thank you SO much!

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:26 am

thora wrote:Hi:
I have a question:

Is there anything one can do this late in the waitlist game? (Already have done the LOCI thing, etc.)

Thank you SO much!


Yep, there is. I can't get into too much detail because I am helping clients with just this but I would say call them! Have your name fresh on their minds. There are a lot of reasons why the may take someone late game that have little to do with test-score/gpa. Good luck!

thora
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby thora » Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:18 am

.
Last edited by thora on Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ZVBXRPL
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby ZVBXRPL » Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:21 am

Mike,

Thank you for Twitter linking (Twinking??) the article that concludes (based on research) that M.B.A. applicants with high grades were much more likely to be offered admission than their counterparts with lower grades. Do you agree with the article's findings?

In response to that article and grade inflation, check out the first link below.

Grade inflation article: http://www.gradeinflation.com/

Original article, courtesy of Mike: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013 ... M.facebook

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:03 am

ZVBXRPL wrote:Mike,

Thank you for Twitter linking (Twinking??) the article that concludes (based on research) that M.B.A. applicants with high grades were much more likely to be offered admission than their counterparts with lower grades. Do you agree with the article's findings?

In response to that article and grade inflation, check out the first link below.

Grade inflation article: http://www.gradeinflation.com/

Original article, courtesy of Mike: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013 ... M.facebook


I mostly do agree with the research finding of the MBA analysis as they relate to law school admissions. Generally speaking, admissions officers look at the static uGPA first and foremost, then may or may not look at the schools grading standards per their CAS report (side-note, I had dinner last week with the former #2 person at LSAC who recently retired and she and I repeatedly kept calling it the LSDAS report...old habits die hard).

But note the following from the article you linked (thanks...I think i'll tweet that. Also thanks for following me on twitter I'm only 720 away from my gioal after which I will never mention twitter on here again!):

"The three schools on the far right of the figure are notable. For two decades, Reed has made a significant effort to keep its grades in check. That effort has been successful. Princeton began to control its grades this decade. First Princeton went public with its data. Then it implemented a university-wide policy. As a result, grades have gone down significantly at Princeton over the last several years. Wellesley had a GPA of 3.55 in 2000, the highest GPA I can find anywhere from that year; in 2004, it implemented a new policy on grades. Wellesley's GPA for 2007-2008 was 3.31. When people say that grade inflation is a problem too difficult to solve, I have to disagree. It can be done. It has been done."

The salient part of this is that when I was in admissions and reading applications I indeed knew of both Princeton and Wellesley's commitment to fight grade inflation and because I knew it, looked at their applications in a bit of a different (and positive) light. The again, this was in the law application go-go years and we had more leeway to do so.


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