Terrible Community college grades.

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bchirco
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Terrible Community college grades.

Postby bchirco » Fri Jun 11, 2010 1:43 am

Hey all,

*I'm not sure if this should go in the admissions section, so if this is the incorrect spot I'll post it there.*

I'm prepping up for the Oct. LSAT and was reading over the LSDAS FAQs and noticed that Law schools take ALL of your undergraduate work. This completely makes sense but I didn't think about it before now. I am at UC San Diego with a poli sci major (they rank 7th in the nation for poli sci) and I have a 3.5 gpa. My CC grades however, I think I had a ~3.0 give or take a point (pretty sure I only got into UCSD because of my personal statement as a friend of mine with a 3.6 applied the same year and was rejected). I had 2 Fs that I retook and it took my four years to get out of the CC all together. I am a white male 24 years old and grew up extremely poor. During my time at the college I've been student council president, volunteered over 1000 hours, and have been working part time.

So I guess my question is how big of an impact are my CC grades going to be? I've been testing ~170 (168 is now my lowest) on my PTs and I really wanted to go to a t20 school. Should I aim lower? Obviously this is contingent upon my LSAT but I wanted to see if anyone had any idea how important CC grades are to Law schools.

My dream school would be Cornell (super long shot I know). :)

Thanks in advance

(love the site btw super helpful)

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vespertiliovir
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Re: Terrible Community college grades.

Postby vespertiliovir » Fri Jun 11, 2010 1:47 am

sorry bchirco, but your lsdas gpa is based on every grade you've earned. it looks like you took a lot of hours at your cc, so expect that gpa to be a lot lower than you might like :?

this is a pretty common problem though, and i'd recommend writing an addendum. though it won't by any means erase the low gpa, it will at least make adcomms look at you a little more favorably.

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im_blue
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Re: Terrible Community college grades.

Postby im_blue » Fri Jun 11, 2010 1:49 am

You'll have to calculate your overall LSDAS GPA using both your CC and UCSD grades, including the original F's for retakes (both the original and new grades count). It sounds like you'll actually end up with a ~3.2 rather than a 3.5, so that will really hurt you for T20 schools.

bchirco
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Re: Terrible Community college grades.

Postby bchirco » Fri Jun 11, 2010 1:59 am

Thanks for the quick responses! Man that is very disheartening. I wish I would have taken CC more seriously, lesson learned!

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Ragged
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Re: Terrible Community college grades.

Postby Ragged » Fri Jun 11, 2010 2:29 am

Sorry man. But CC grades are every bit as important as regular. Welcome to the club.

bchirco
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Re: Terrible Community college grades.

Postby bchirco » Fri Jun 11, 2010 2:35 am

Ragged wrote:Sorry man. But CC grades are every bit as important as regular. Welcome to the club.


Yea that's a killer :( Will my upward academic trend offset them much??

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Ragged
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Re: Terrible Community college grades.

Postby Ragged » Fri Jun 11, 2010 2:36 am

bchirco wrote:
Ragged wrote:Sorry man. But CC grades are every bit as important as regular. Welcome to the club.


Yea that's a killer :( Will my upward academic trend offset them much??


No. Although people say that they do note it.

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flyingpanda
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Re: Terrible Community college grades.

Postby flyingpanda » Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:09 am

IF you get a 168, you will at least get WUSTL.

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im_blue
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Re: Terrible Community college grades.

Postby im_blue » Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:49 am

flyingpanda wrote:IF you get a 168, you will at least get WUSTL.

A 167 should get both WUSTL and Illinois.

http://washu.lawschoolnumbers.com/appli ... ,8&type=jd

bchirco
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Re: Terrible Community college grades.

Postby bchirco » Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:01 pm

I would be more than content with either of those schools. I was also thinking UC Davis. Would BU be a possibility?

Also update MY CC gpa was 3.214. I also just got my grades at UCSD for this quarter and I'm at 3.658.

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flyingpanda
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Re: Terrible Community college grades.

Postby flyingpanda » Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:35 pm

bchirco wrote:I would be more than content with either of those schools. I was also thinking UC Davis. Would BU be a possibility?

Also update MY CC gpa was 3.214. I also just got my grades at UCSD for this quarter and I'm at 3.658.


That's not bad at all, your chances at those schools is still very much alive.

mas1987
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Re: Terrible Community college grades.

Postby mas1987 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:35 pm

I'm currently in somewhat the same situation, but I have another issue:

I Failed/dropped out of 3 schools in a different state before getting my life together. I don't attend or go to any of those three schools. If I don't report these schools will the LSDAS find these grades and factor them in? That right there is 14 F's and pretty much would keep me out of any respectable law school anywhere.

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Bildungsroman
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Re: Terrible Community college grades.

Postby Bildungsroman » Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:40 pm

mas1987 wrote:I'm currently in somewhat the same situation, but I have another issue:

I Failed/dropped out of 3 schools in a different state before getting my life together. I don't attend or go to any of those three schools. If I don't report these schools will the LSDAS find these grades and factor them in? That right there is 14 F's and pretty much would keep me out of any respectable law school anywhere.


You have to send LSAC transcripts from all of the colleges/universities you've attended, even if you dropped out.

Don't think about trying to withhold that information. You will eventually be found out, which would torch your chances of ever being allowed to practice law.

09042014
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Re: Terrible Community college grades.

Postby 09042014 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:42 pm

mas1987 wrote:I'm currently in somewhat the same situation, but I have another issue:

I Failed/dropped out of 3 schools in a different state before getting my life together. I don't attend or go to any of those three schools. If I don't report these schools will the LSDAS find these grades and factor them in? That right there is 14 F's and pretty much would keep me out of any respectable law school anywhere.


See if you can't manage to get retroactive withdrawals from those courses.

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Bildungsroman
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Re: Terrible Community college grades.

Postby Bildungsroman » Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:48 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
mas1987 wrote:I'm currently in somewhat the same situation, but I have another issue:

I Failed/dropped out of 3 schools in a different state before getting my life together. I don't attend or go to any of those three schools. If I don't report these schools will the LSDAS find these grades and factor them in? That right there is 14 F's and pretty much would keep me out of any respectable law school anywhere.


See if you can't manage to get retroactive withdrawals from those courses.

Keeping in mind that if the university denotes it as a punitive withdrawal then it will be calculated by LSAC the same way as an F. Be sure to ask if they will be denoted in any way as punitive (e.g. "Withdrawn Failing").

mas1987
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Re: Terrible Community college grades.

Postby mas1987 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:51 pm

If I can get them retroactively withdrawn and the grades just say "W" or "Withdrawn" will it be assumed they were not punitive?

Also, one of the schools was an art school, not accredited, can I withhold those grades?

09042014
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Re: Terrible Community college grades.

Postby 09042014 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:57 pm

mas1987 wrote:If I can get them retroactively withdrawn and the grades just say "W" or "Withdrawn" will it be assumed they were not punitive?

Also, one of the schools was an art school, not accredited, can I withhold those grades?


You can't withhold anything. Schools can find out.

BenJ
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Re: Terrible Community college grades.

Postby BenJ » Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:22 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
mas1987 wrote:If I can get them retroactively withdrawn and the grades just say "W" or "Withdrawn" will it be assumed they were not punitive?

Also, one of the schools was an art school, not accredited, can I withhold those grades?


You can't withhold anything. Schools can find out.


Not quite true. There's been evidence in the past that unaccredited trade schools (art institutes, music conservatories, culinary schools, etc.) do not count. Ask LSAC.

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vespertiliovir
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Re: Terrible Community college grades.

Postby vespertiliovir » Tue Jun 22, 2010 3:09 pm

mas1987 wrote:If I can get them retroactively withdrawn and the grades just say "W" or "Withdrawn" will it be assumed they were not punitive?

Also, one of the schools was an art school, not accredited, can I withhold those grades?

lsac counts w's as punitive no matter what, i believe -- though i'm not entirely sure about that.

mas1987
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Re: Terrible Community college grades.

Postby mas1987 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 3:17 pm

I was curious so I checked out the LSAC's web page (specifically: http://www.lsac.org/Policies/transcript ... zation.asp), here is what I found:

How Grades Are Converted
Grades are converted to a standard 4.0 system in order to furnish law schools with a uniform basis for comparing applicants.
LSAC-member schools have selected a common set of numerical values to represent the various grading systems used by US/Canadian institutions. LSAC makes no attempt to assess the value of grades earned at different colleges. Each law school sets its own rules for interpretation of applicants’ grade-point averages; members of law school admission committees understand that a particular grade earned at one college may not have the same meaning as the identical grade at another. In all cases, a copy of each transcript(s) is sent to law schools along with LSAC’s Law School Report.
Grades Excluded From Conversion
Withdraw, Withdraw/Pass—only if the issuing school considers the grade nonpunitive.
Incomplete—only if the issuing school considers the grade nonpunitive.
Those given for remedial courses only if the transcript clearly indicates they are remedial.
Those awarded after the first undergraduate degree was received.
Those assigned no measure of credit by the issuing institution, regardless of the grade. Physical Education, Practical Art, Practical Music, and ROTC courses that are assigned credit will be included in the academic summary, even if the issuing institution does not include these courses in its calculation of a GPA.
Passing grades from systems of one or two passing grades (e.g., Pass/Fail, Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory, Credit/No Credit, or Honors/Pass/Fail, High Pass/Pass/Fail), and those for which conversion rules cannot be formulated, including courses for which a transcript gives only narratives or descriptions. Credits for the work in these courses are totaled and reported separately as unconverted credits.
Grade symbols that have multiple meanings at the issuing school, and the issuing school’s registrar is unable to confirm whether course credit was attempted (such as NC=either No Credit Attempted or No Credit Awarded, etc.). The total number of credits usually assigned to the particular type of course will appear on the applicant’s academic summary but will not be included in the GPA calculation.
Withdrawal grades that signify failure (such as WF=Withdraw/Fail, WU=Withdrew Unsatisfactory, WNP=Withdrew Not Passing) if the issuing school considers the grade nonpunitive. The total number of credits assigned to these grades will appear on the applicant’s academic summary, but will not be included in the GPA calculation.
The original grade for a repeated course when the transcript does not show both the grade and the units for the original attempt. The total number of credits assigned to these grades will appear on the applicant’s academic summary, but will not be included in the GPA calculation.
A No Credit grade that does not signify failure and for which no attempt at credit was made (e.g., NC=No Credit/Withdraw, or NC=No Credit Attempted).
Failing Grades
Any grade notation that signifies failure (such as No Credit, No Credit/Fail, Not Passing, Incomplete/Fail, Withdraw/Fail, Unsatisfactory, Fail, etc.) is converted to zero on the 4.0 scale and is included in the calculation of the GPA, even if the issuing school considers the grade to be nonpunitive. Failure is defined as credit attempted but not earned. If a transcript is not clear about credit attempted, LSAC staff will contact the registrar at the issuing school to confirm whether course credit was attempted. Incomplete and Withdraw grades considered punitive by the issuing school will be included in the conversion. The only exception to this policy is for No Credit, Withdraw/Fail, repeated courses, and incomplete grades specifically explained in Grades Excluded From Conversion.
Repeated Courses
All grades and credits earned for repeated courses will be included in the GPA calculation if the course units and grades appear on the transcript. A line drawn through course information or a grade does not eliminate the course from GPA calculation if the course units appear on the transcript.
Academic Notes
If a transcript contains academic notes such as dean’s list, study-abroad credits, academic probation, suspension, dismissal, warning, and so on, these notes will appear on your law school report.

Transcript notations such as dean’s list, Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude, and the like will be included on the report as “Academic Honors.” Academic honors not included on your official transcript will be noted on the Law School Report if an official, sealed letter sent from the registrar is received by LSAC.

If you question a transcript notation of academic action, you should contact the institution directly and resolve the matter as soon as possible. Please note that a discrepancy between your answer to a law school application academic record question and notations on your transcript(s) could result in a misconduct and irregularities investigation.
Advanced Placement (AP) or College Level Examination Programs (CLEP)
AP or CLEP courses are summarized and included in the GPA if the undergraduate school transcript shows grades and credits for them. (See “Unconverted Credits” for transcripts showing credits but no grades.)
Grade-Point Average (GPA)
LSAC calculates a GPA for each year and a cumulative GPA for each undergraduate institution that issued a transcript for you. A cumulative GPA that includes all undergraduate work is also calculated and reported. A cumulative GPA for a school within an institution cannot be calculated.

In calculating a GPA, LSAC uses the grades and credits for every course that can be converted to the 4.0 scale, although the institution issuing the transcript may exclude some of the courses from its own calculations. Courses excluded from the academic summary are not included in the GPA calculation.

There may be some variation between the GPAs calculated by LSAC and those calculated by colleges or students; however, the variation is rarely substantial. Because the law schools that use LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service understand its procedures, a slight variation in GPA is not likely to affect a law school’s admission decision.
Course Credits
All credits are reported in terms of semester hours. All earned credits not reported in semester hours are converted to that system. Trimester hours are treated as semester hours; quarter hours are multiplied by .67 to arrive at semester hours. Credits recorded in other units are converted to semester hours using the formula supplied by the college issuing the transcript.
Unconverted Credits
Although passing grades for courses with only one or two passing grades are not converted to the 4.0 scale, credit is given for them in the Credential Assembly Service summary (see “Grades Excluded From Conversion,” for examples). These courses, and any course for which the transcript shows credit but no grade, appear in the Unconverted Credit Hours section of the law school report.
NOTE: Some universities do not notify students when they are placed on academic probation or when other academic action is taken. Before completing your law school applications, be sure to request a copy of your official transcripts for your own use and review them for any information that may help you respond to law school application questions. Although LSAC will forward your transcripts to the law schools to which you apply, you should be careful to answer questions on the application forms completely and accurately to avoid a review by the LSAC Misconduct and Irregularities Subcommittee.

09042014
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Re: Terrible Community college grades.

Postby 09042014 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 3:21 pm

vespertiliovir wrote:
mas1987 wrote:If I can get them retroactively withdrawn and the grades just say "W" or "Withdrawn" will it be assumed they were not punitive?

Also, one of the schools was an art school, not accredited, can I withhold those grades?

lsac counts w's as punitive no matter what, i believe -- though i'm not entirely sure about that.

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Canarsie
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Re: Terrible Community college grades.

Postby Canarsie » Tue Jun 22, 2010 3:28 pm

mas1987 wrote:Grades Excluded From Conversion
Withdraw, Withdraw/Pass—only if the issuing school considers the grade nonpunitive.


tada!

DanInALionsDen
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Re: Terrible Community college grades.

Postby DanInALionsDen » Tue Jun 22, 2010 3:34 pm

I say, take a year or two off and work while studying the LSAT like crazy, then get a score in the low 170s, then apply to Northwestern.

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jmhendri
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Re: Terrible Community college grades.

Postby jmhendri » Tue Jun 22, 2010 3:37 pm

Wow, exact same situation... I went to UCSD, graduated Magna Cum Laude, Intnl Sudies Poli Sci, but I had crap JC grades.

It def hurt me during my cycle but the record of improvement was definitely acknowledged by the schools that did want me. I ended up with an acceptance to a school that I shouldn't have had much of a shot at with money.

My advice is to apply everywhere.

BenJ
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Re: Terrible Community college grades.

Postby BenJ » Tue Jun 22, 2010 3:37 pm

Canarsie wrote:
mas1987 wrote:Grades Excluded From Conversion
Withdraw, Withdraw/Pass—only if the issuing school considers the grade nonpunitive.


tada!


This means that the school has to explicitly tell LSAC that it is non-punitive, however. (Some schools do this in a letter with the transcript automatically, but you may have to ask.)




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