Mdenis1 wrote:Yes! I was aware of the whole curve concept. Except of course for law schools who have given up the whole grading system (Yale, Harvard, Stanford and Berkeley, as far as I know these are the only ones that do it.). However, I had never heard about the part where the curve was calculated ONLY out of your section (Although I had never specifically researched the issue).,
Is it only at UM, or is it common at American law schools?
No, I'm pretty sure at Miami that the entire class is taken into consideration for your ranking. However, your first year you take all of your classes with the same students, called your "section." I couldn't quickly find Miami's section info, but IIRC there are about 500 students every year, which probably means 4-5 sections at least. Now, if they place the scholarship recipients evenly among the sections (so if 30% of the students have a scholarship, then 30% of every section would be scholarship recipients) then you would stand a fighting chance of keeping your scholarship.
However, if two sections were "stacked" so that all of the scholarship recipients were placed between one of two sections (so you'd have two sections with, say, 50% of the students as scholarship recipients for simplicity) then chances are that you're going to force out at least
thirteen percent of the scholarship recipients right off the bat because the odds are that 63% of every section will not be in the top 37% of the total class. That doesn't mean it will add up exactly evenly (one section might have a slightly higher average GPA or a slightly lower one) but mathematically things tend to come out as a wash.
DISCLAIMER: I know nothing about the specifics of UM and I'm not saying that they section stack. I'm just explaining the concept and how it's done.