Should I defer or not?

(Please Ask Questions and Answer Questions)

Defer or not?

Poll ended at Sun May 09, 2010 1:39 pm

Defer and retake the LSAT
4
20%
Take the scholarship and kill it in law school
16
80%
 
Total votes: 20

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Sakura3210
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Should I defer or not?

Postby Sakura3210 » Thu May 06, 2010 10:47 am

Alright, let me preface by saying this has been causing me some serious anxiety, and that I know no one can answer this other than me, but that I 'd still like to see what y'all think.

I've been accepted to a T6 with scholly money (a little more than 1/3 tuition for 3 years, no grade requirements). Recently, they asked if I wanted to defer, and said I could keep the money if I did (plus they'd add a little more for potential tuition increases, etc.). Now, my goal way always a T3, but I've struck out at two and have been waitlisted at one. I'm assuming that this was mostly due to my lsat scores (same score- 166 - on two tests), which never rose above my diagnostic.

So, my dilemma: Part of me thinks I should take the deferral and study hard-core for the October test. If the score goes up, retry for the T3. If it doesn't change, stick with my T6. The pros:possibly a better school, eliminating that feeling of "what-if", having some free time; the cons: if my score doesn't change, and I can't get a job (current one'll be done in June), I'll have wasted a year. If my score does change, and I reapply, I still may not get into a T3 and I'll have lost my T6. Also, I've already taken a year off, and not having anything lined up for the next year makes me nervous (I'm that type that always has a plan).

Sorry this is so long, any advice/feedback offered is greatly appreciated. I need to make this decision in the next 4 days. :shock:

edit: Decided to add a poll, thanks everybody!
Last edited by Sakura3210 on Thu May 06, 2010 1:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

alexyoshi
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Re: Should I defer or not?

Postby alexyoshi » Thu May 06, 2010 11:11 am

i wouldn't defer. the likelihood of getting significantly higher than your current score is somewhat low, and taking the test a third time doesn't always look great in the eyes of the admissions officers. plus there's always the chance of getting something like a 167, missing the T3 again and maybe losing a spot at a T6 (although i think that if they're willing to give you $ this time around, there's a decent chance that they'll admit you next cycle as well).

conclusion: i would take the money and run with it.

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Sakura3210
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Re: Should I defer or not?

Postby Sakura3210 » Thu May 06, 2010 1:43 pm

alexyoshi wrote:i wouldn't defer. the likelihood of getting significantly higher than your current score is somewhat low, and taking the test a third time doesn't always look great in the eyes of the admissions officers. plus there's always the chance of getting something like a 167, missing the T3 again and maybe losing a spot at a T6 (although i think that if they're willing to give you $ this time around, there's a decent chance that they'll admit you next cycle as well).

conclusion: i would take the money and run with it.


Thanks. I wouldn't reapply if I got less the 170, so that wouldn't be an issue, but it's true that I didn't consider the problems a third score could bring up.

Anyone else? At this point I've got 1 defer, 1 attend, and 1 undecided (I'm including opinions I've gotten IRL).

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cardnal124
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Re: Should I defer or not?

Postby cardnal124 » Thu May 06, 2010 1:53 pm

I'm assuming it's a non-binding deferral. If it is a binding deferral, definitely go to LS now unless you can do something meaningful over the next year. If non-binding, it's a somewhat tough decision, although it seems that you would need at least a 170+ to have a decent shot at HYS and higher to have a good chance.

If I were you, I would take the money at CCN and go to law school now. It won't look quite as good from a lay standpoint than HYS, but it will be cheaper and be almost as good for employment. Also, if you don't have anything to do for the next year that is meaningful, you may as well speed up the law process.

d34d9823
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Re: Should I defer or not?

Postby d34d9823 » Thu May 06, 2010 2:04 pm

The point about binding/non-binding deferral is a good one here.

I voted defer because the longer until 2L OCI ITE, the better your chances are.

That said, I would need a reason to think I could do better on the LSAT to take the deferral. If you're scoring at your PTs, it's not magically going to go up. To retake, I would need either:
- a conviction that your score undersells your intellectual ability
- an identified improvement in preparation technique

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lostjake
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Re: Should I defer or not?

Postby lostjake » Thu May 06, 2010 2:08 pm

I would ask for more $$$ from the school before I made any decision. Many schools give full scholly to deferals.

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Sakura3210
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Re: Should I defer or not?

Postby Sakura3210 » Thu May 06, 2010 2:21 pm

d34dluk3 wrote:The point about binding/non-binding deferral is a good one here.

I voted defer because the longer until 2L OCI ITE, the better your chances are.

That said, I would need a reason to think I could do better on the LSAT to take the deferral. If you're scoring at your PTs, it's not magically going to go up. To retake, I would need either:
- a conviction that your score undersells your intellectual ability
- an identified improvement in preparation technique


Yeah, I hadn't though about the state of the economy... as for retaking, it's not just that I scored at my PT's, it's that I had no improvement over the first time I ever sat down and took a practice test. I'm thinking that maybe my study methods were weak.

lostjake wrote:I would ask for more $$$ from the school before I made any decision. Many schools give full scholly to deferals.

I saw that this occured at some lower-ranked schools; do you think a T6 would be willing to do that though? How would I even go about asking them about it?

yabbadabbado
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Re: Should I defer or not?

Postby yabbadabbado » Thu May 06, 2010 2:25 pm

Defer, but not to retake the LSAT. Defer because it will allow more time for the economy to improve, plus they are giving you a little extra $. I really don't see the downside.

Continue working at your job. If you can't extend it, get another job. If that isn't an option, are you able to live at home rent free? If so, do it and do some legal volunteer work or just any kind of volunteer work to keep you busy.

yabbadabbado
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Re: Should I defer or not?

Postby yabbadabbado » Thu May 06, 2010 2:27 pm

Sakura3210 wrote:[
I saw that this occured at some lower-ranked schools; do you think a T6 would be willing to do that though? How would I even go about asking them about it?


I highly doubt they are going to give you a full ride to defer. Top schools have enough people waiting in line that they don't need to hand out full rides just to get people to defer.

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Sakura3210
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Re: Should I defer or not?

Postby Sakura3210 » Thu May 06, 2010 2:33 pm

yabbadabbado wrote:
Sakura3210 wrote:[
I saw that this occured at some lower-ranked schools; do you think a T6 would be willing to do that though? How would I even go about asking them about it?


I highly doubt they are going to give you a full ride to defer. Top schools have enough people waiting in line that they don't need to hand out full rides just to get people to defer.


I wasn't thinking I'd get a free ride, but maybe a bit more money? I don't know...

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lostjake
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Re: Should I defer or not?

Postby lostjake » Thu May 06, 2010 2:38 pm

They have plenty of people waiting, but they also offered her a seat. Now they don't have enough seats for the people they offered to, so they want people to defer.

OP:

I would be polite and say that you're excited to attend your T6 and that you're considering the offer for deferal seriously, but that you're not sure that the economic oppurtunity cost associated with waiting out a year would be worth it and that more $$$ would probably presaude you to defer. Or something like that. It won't hurt to ask, like I said, they already offered you a seat and the worse they can say is no.

d34d9823
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Re: Should I defer or not?

Postby d34d9823 » Thu May 06, 2010 2:40 pm

Sakura3210 wrote:Yeah, I hadn't though about the state of the economy... as for retaking, it's not just that I scored at my PT's, it's that I had no improvement over the first time I ever sat down and took a practice test. I'm thinking that maybe my study methods were weak.


This doesn't seem average. Most people on here that I've seen have been able to improve their score by 5+ points. Do you redo your tests? Analyze your thought patterns that are causing you to miss questions?

Edit: typo
Last edited by d34d9823 on Thu May 06, 2010 2:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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lostjake
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Re: Should I defer or not?

Postby lostjake » Thu May 06, 2010 2:42 pm

Just as a follow up they have to find people to defer.

Lets assume that the average person at a T6 expects to make $160 when they graduate. This is not the oppurtunity cost of not going to school that year, the cost is what you'll make 1 year before you retire, which for many T6 people I'll assume they think thats going to be around 400-500K. That means that the T6 would have to offer that much to said student to make it worth their while. Giving this girl $45 more scholly is only 10% of said value, and most people at T6 would understand that. What makes this case different is that she has a reason not to want to go there and if the T6 can up the $$$ her oppurtunity cost will be less than the 400K.

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Sakura3210
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Re: Should I defer or not?

Postby Sakura3210 » Thu May 06, 2010 3:02 pm

d34dluk3 wrote:
Sakura3210 wrote:Yeah, I hadn't though about the state of the economy... as for retaking, it's not just that I scored at my PT's, it's that I had no improvement over the first time I ever sat down and took a practice test. I'm thinking that maybe my study methods were weak.


This doesn't seem average. Most people on here that I've seen have been able to improve their score by 5+ points. Do you redo your tests? Analyze your thought patterns that are causing you to miss questions?

Edit: typo


Yeah, that's the main reason I'm not happy w/my score - no improvement seems weird. I took a bunch of tests (though I probably could've done more) and reviewed the questions I got wrong, but never analyzed my thought patterns (primarily b/c I wasn't sure how to - when I've tried it in the past for other tests, my scores have tended to drop :? )

I'm thinking I'll asking about them upping the money if I defer; it should make the decision a bit easier if they say yes.

d34d9823
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Re: Should I defer or not?

Postby d34d9823 » Thu May 06, 2010 3:28 pm

Sakura3210 wrote:
d34dluk3 wrote:
Sakura3210 wrote:Yeah, I hadn't though about the state of the economy... as for retaking, it's not just that I scored at my PT's, it's that I had no improvement over the first time I ever sat down and took a practice test. I'm thinking that maybe my study methods were weak.


This doesn't seem average. Most people on here that I've seen have been able to improve their score by 5+ points. Do you redo your tests? Analyze your thought patterns that are causing you to miss questions?

Edit: typo


Yeah, that's the main reason I'm not happy w/my score - no improvement seems weird. I took a bunch of tests (though I probably could've done more) and reviewed the questions I got wrong, but never analyzed my thought patterns (primarily b/c I wasn't sure how to - when I've tried it in the past for other tests, my scores have tended to drop :? )

I'm thinking I'll asking about them upping the money if I defer; it should make the decision a bit easier if they say yes.


Heh, now you've made me sound all pretentious. :D

What's helped my PT scores is finding a good reason why I missed the question and remembering not to think that way in the future. Two examples:
- On questions that ask "which, if true, would support?", do NOT pick an answer that is clearly not true, but would in fact support IF true.
- On questions that ask "which is an assumption/ which would support most strongly", do NOT pick answers that support at a basic philosophical level. Instead, look for more specific answers that fill a gap in the line of reasoning given.

I have a bunch of these that I keep in mind. The other huge thing is mental discipline. In reading questions and answers, approaching questions objectively, working at a good pace, not missing clauses, conditionals or negations, discipline is huge. Honestly, I think the only difference between 170 and 180 is discipline in most cases. Below 170, there's more room for conceptual improvement, but sloppy guys who understand everything get 170s.

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Sakura3210
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Re: Should I defer or not?

Postby Sakura3210 » Fri May 07, 2010 10:30 am

3 days everyone! Please vote/tell me what your think (as they say, the more the merrier)!

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haroldfordIII
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Re: Should I defer or not?

Postby haroldfordIII » Fri May 07, 2010 10:43 am

Wait. Wouldn't the defer be binding? i.e. you'd have to sign something that said "I would definitely be a part of the c/o 2014"? If so, could you even apply to other schools? I remember forms asking if you were currently defered at another school before submitting.

I also agree about the 3 score thing (some schools like to average) and being that you have two of the exact score, it looks pretty indicative of your ability (i.e. they'd be more prone to average). Plus, the whole T3 thing is a giant gamble (unless you get like a 175+ and do something amazing in the off year). This is all given that my point # 1 isn't an issue.

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Sakura3210
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Re: Should I defer or not?

Postby Sakura3210 » Fri May 07, 2010 10:59 am

haroldfordIII wrote:Wait. Wouldn't the defer be binding? i.e. you'd have to sign something that said "I would definitely be a part of the c/o 2014"? If so, could you even apply to other schools? I remember forms asking if you were currently defered at another school before submitting.


Right, I'm saying I would withdraw from the school completely before I submit new apps. I'd essentially be making pretty big gamble.


haroldfordIII wrote:I also agree about the 3 score thing (some schools like to average) and being that you have two of the exact score, it looks pretty indicative of your ability (i.e. they'd be more prone to average). Plus, the whole T3 thing is a giant gamble (unless you get like a 175+ and do something amazing in the off year). This is all given that my point # 1 isn't an issue.

Yeah, if I didn't get at least a 173, I wouldn't bother reapplying. Even w/that, though, it's a gamble (my weird cycle has been proof of that), which is why this decision has been so nerve-wracking.:( Thanks for the input!

ughOSU
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Re: Should I defer or not?

Postby ughOSU » Fri May 07, 2010 4:48 pm

Yea, iirc Harvard averages (so you're screwed) and YS claim to be "wholistic", but would likely look at the lower two scores unless you were at mid to high 170s. If you don't want to waste a year, I vote take the money.

Also, in regards to how far away from ITE you can get for legal hiring to get back to a reasonable level, you may want to consider that it's possible there is a big surge in legal hiring circa c/o 2013. There has been a void in legal hiring for a few years now, and c/o 2013 may be the beneficiaries of an expansion in biglaw hiring as business picks up and firms try to fill the void left by laid off associates and the lack of hiring. Basically nobody knows that 2014 will be better than 2013. IMO it probably will be, but not enough to make sitting out another year worth it (to me at least). Just some thoughts.

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im_blue
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Re: Should I defer or not?

Postby im_blue » Fri May 07, 2010 6:56 pm

What are your numbers, so we can figure out if you have a shot at T3 with or w/o a retake? H is likely out since they average scores, and S is likely out if you already applied and got rejected this year with decent T6+$$$ numbers. Would you wait a year for a slim shot at Y (or possibly another CCN)?

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Sakura3210
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Re: Should I defer or not?

Postby Sakura3210 » Sat May 08, 2010 1:57 am

im_blue wrote:What are your numbers, so we can figure out if you have a shot at T3 with or w/o a retake? H is likely out since they average scores, and S is likely out if you already applied and got rejected this year with decent T6+$$$ numbers. Would you wait a year for a slim shot at Y (or possibly another CCN)?


My bad not to mention - GPA is 3.83
And what you've said is exactly why I've lost faith in predicting cycles (at least for non-superstar URMs) - Yale rejected me pretty fast, Stanford held out to the very end to reject, and Harvard (score averaging and all) ended up waitlisting me. :?

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voice of reason
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Re: Should I defer or not?

Postby voice of reason » Sat May 08, 2010 3:06 am

lostjake wrote:Just as a follow up they have to find people to defer.

Lets assume that the average person at a T6 expects to make $160 when they graduate. This is not the oppurtunity cost of not going to school that year, the cost is what you'll make 1 year before you retire, which for many T6 people I'll assume they think thats going to be around 400-500K. That means that the T6 would have to offer that much to said student to make it worth their while. Giving this girl $45 more scholly is only 10% of said value, and most people at T6 would understand that. What makes this case different is that she has a reason not to want to go there and if the T6 can up the $$$ her oppurtunity cost will be less than the 400K.


You have to take the present discounted value of that future income. Assuming a 40 year career, $400K income, and a 7% discount rate, the lost year of income ($400,000 in 40 years) is worth about $27K today. Under those assumptions, the opportunity cost (to income) of deferring is $27K.




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