Things that can be done about a low gpa?

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PeanutsNJam
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Things that can be done about a low gpa?

Postby PeanutsNJam » Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:10 pm

By low I mean in the 2's.

I'm currently a senior sitting on a 2.4 cumulative through my junior year. I'm doing markedly better my senior year. However, what are things we can do to offset the disadvantage of our gpa? Assume I have a 180 or something (as in, LSAT score is not the issue).

WE? Can I do a 5th year, take more classes, and raise my gpa that way? Would that be worth it in order to match my LSAT score?
Last edited by PeanutsNJam on Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

T14hoping
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Re: Things that can be done about a low gpa?

Postby T14hoping » Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:11 pm

4.0 the rest of your time. Maybe drag out your BA a fifth year. WE definitely, if it's good.

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Br3v
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Re: Things that can be done about a low gpa?

Postby Br3v » Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:14 pm

Best bet is high lsat.

But load up on classes (online?) and maybe take a 5th year. 4.0 it out.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Things that can be done about a low gpa?

Postby rinkrat19 » Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:15 pm

You can do more years in undergrad as long as your school does NOT award your first bachelor's degree. After that degree is awarded, your GPA is locked in forever.

Obviously if you're taking out huge loans to continue, it might not be worth staying an extra year+.

You can take some CC classes over the summer, too. (Cheaper.)

Keep in mind that you may have to make arrangements to make sure your undergrad doesn't graduate you as soon as your last required credit is completed. My UG told us that we would absolutely not graduate if we didn't apply for a sort of audit to make sure we'd filled all our requirements, paid all our bills, hadn't stolen any library books, etc. I did NOT apply, stayed an extra term, and it turned out they'd graduated me the previous term anyway, without me knowing. So my last term of As didn't count toward my LSAC GPA. Bummer.

After a sub 3.0 GPA is locked in, about the only thing you can do is get some work experience, do well on the LSAT, and apply to Northwestern.

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TheThriller
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Re: Things that can be done about a low gpa?

Postby TheThriller » Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:30 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:You can do more years in undergrad as long as your school does NOT award your first bachelor's degree. After that degree is awarded, your GPA is locked in forever.

Obviously if you're taking out huge loans to continue, it might not be worth staying an extra year+.

You can take some CC classes over the summer, too. (Cheaper.)

Keep in mind that you may have to make arrangements to make sure your undergrad doesn't graduate you as soon as your last required credit is completed. My UG told us that we would absolutely not graduate if we didn't apply for a sort of audit to make sure we'd filled all our requirements, paid all our bills, hadn't stolen any library books, etc. I did NOT apply, stayed an extra term, and it turned out they'd graduated me the previous term anyway, without me knowing. So my last term of As didn't count toward my LSAC GPA. Bummer.

After a sub 3.0 GPA is locked in, about the only thing you can do is get some work experience, do well on the LSAT, and apply to Northwestern.


Not to highjack this thread, but what if you are locked in on a gpa marginally above 3.0? Any other schools options at all?

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Blumpbeef
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Re: Things that can be done about a low gpa?

Postby Blumpbeef » Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:46 pm

Miller, UVA ED. Most top 14s will consider you if you have a solid LSAT. Also, there are worse things in the world than Northwestern :wink:

Op, how much can you realistically change your GPA? I doubt schools will care much about the difference between a 2.4 and a 2.8. Many will just dismiss your app regardless and the ones that actually consider you have probably already decided to judge you on your other merits.

So WE helps. And LSAT score is really what it comes down to. A 172 should be about the minimum you want to get.

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PeanutsNJam
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Re: Things that can be done about a low gpa?

Postby PeanutsNJam » Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:28 pm

Will it mean nothing to them if the see a huge bump in my GPA that coincides with a high LSAT score as a "I got my shit together my senior year" thing?

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Blumpbeef
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Re: Things that can be done about a low gpa?

Postby Blumpbeef » Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:42 pm

PeanutsNJam wrote:Will it mean nothing to them if the see a huge bump in my GPA that coincides with a high LSAT score as a "I got my shit together my senior year" thing?


It will mean nothing to their rankings. Neither will a jump from 2.4 to 2.8. You're still at their probably 2nd or 3rd percentile in both cases (just a guess), and well below the 25th.

The other thing is that a lot of people have a positive grade trend, so it's not a completely unique achievement.

It's better than nothing though, and you definitely don't want to be applying to law school with senior year grades of below a 3.0 (or 3.5).

The way I think of it is:

75% of people who apply to a given school are qualified to go there. About a third of qualified people will raise the school's ranking, and they're the ones who actually get in.

A positive grade trend will prevent the school from flat out thinking you're unqualified to be there, but you still need to give them an LSAT score that will make it worth their while to give you an acceptance.

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John Mill
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Re: Things that can be done about a low gpa?

Postby John Mill » Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:19 pm

What is the opposite is true? Can you offset a low LSAT score with a high GPA? Idk if I should make a separate thread for this or if its cool to ask here.

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nickb285
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Re: Things that can be done about a low gpa?

Postby nickb285 » Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:28 pm

John Mill wrote:What is the opposite is true? Can you offset a low LSAT score with a high GPA? Idk if I should make a separate thread for this or if its cool to ask here.


To a degree yes, but the standard (and correct) response here will be that there's no reason to accept a lower LSAT score than absolutely necessary. Unlike a UGPA, you can retake the LSAT. And since it's a learnable test, if you don't like the score you get the first time or two, take a prep class and study your ass off and get a better score the next time. Then you have a high GPA and a high(er) LSAT score, which will do a hell of a lot more for you than trying to offset a bad LSAT with a good GPA.

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John Mill
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Re: Things that can be done about a low gpa?

Postby John Mill » Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:47 pm

Well it was my understanding that they averaged the scores. So if you do too terribly the first time, couldnt that still count against you, even if you come back and do stellar the next?

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Re: Things that can be done about a low gpa?

Postby rebexness » Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:50 pm

Last edited by rebexness on Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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nickb285
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Re: Things that can be done about a low gpa?

Postby nickb285 » Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:52 pm

John Mill wrote:Well it was my understanding that they averaged the scores. So if you do too terribly the first time, couldnt that still count against you, even if you come back and do stellar the next?


That used to be the case, and a couple schools still take the average, but as of a few years ago most schools take only the highest score into consideration. Even if you get a school or adcomm who averages, better to have a 160+170/2=165 than just a 160.

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cinephile
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Re: Things that can be done about a low gpa?

Postby cinephile » Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:54 pm

John Mill wrote:What is the opposite is true? Can you offset a low LSAT score with a high GPA? Idk if I should make a separate thread for this or if its cool to ask here.


But there are millions of people with 4.0s. But as a standardized test, there can only be so many people who get a 180. You're better off having a higher LSAT than a higher GPA.

That being said, a lot of people my year who had a high 160s LSAT score but a 3.9x got off waitlists at T14s close to matriculation time.

afitouri
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Re: Things that can be done about a low gpa?

Postby afitouri » Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:01 am

PeanutsNJam wrote:Will it mean nothing to them if the see a huge bump in my GPA that coincides with a high LSAT score as a "I got my shit together my senior year" thing?


If you want to go to a good law school you need to just not graduate and keep taking full time classes for a year or so more, and get all A's. With 2 years (this year and next year) of straight A's you should be above a 3.0, which is significant.

Then, you'll need to score above probably a 171 on the LSAT to get into anywhere decent. To get into T14, look at 173+

Nothing is impossible. You can be great, you just need patience and perseverance.

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Tom Joad
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Re: Things that can be done about a low gpa?

Postby Tom Joad » Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:07 am

cinephile wrote:But there are millions of people with 4.0s. But as a standardized test, there can only be so many people who get a 180. You're better off having a higher LSAT than a higher GPA.

You are mostly right, but it does depend on your career goals. Somebody with a 4.0/165 can probably get quite a few full rides from respectable lower ranked schools. Someone with a 3.0/173 would struggle to get into NU or UVA.




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