Beating the odds: Columbia Reserve c/o 2016

Share Your Experiences, Read About Other Experiences. Please keep posts organized by school and expected year of graduation.

will you beat the odds?

yes
38
48%
yes
22
28%
yes
20
25%
 
Total votes: 80

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Tekrul
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Re: Beating the odds: Columbia Reserve c/o 2016

Postby Tekrul » Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:14 pm

We went over some interview stuff a few pages back. Be ready to explain your lower percentile, your resume topics, and talking points from any of your ps/ds/addenda/loci. I'd give each of these forms another look over to prep.

Most important, as you might have guessed, is commitment to attend if admitted. I'd start looking at a scenario of the school you're deposited at now with whatever $($$) you have there vs. Columbia at sticker. Do It now because deadlines to respond have been getting shorter so if you are admitted, you may not have the adequate time to think it through.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: Beating the odds: Columbia Reserve c/o 2016

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Fri Jun 21, 2013 6:36 pm

There are no trick questions, and there are no gimmicks. It is a straightforward interview in which they want to a) Let you explain yourself further and b) Gauge your interest in attending.

I went over threads referencing interviews (they're all over this site, play around with the search function) and my resume, PS, addendum and LOCI to prep. You want them to know that there is a "story" to you. Make a list of talking points, and include everything about why you're awesome and what cool things you could tell the other students about. This isn't you just answering their questions, it's also your only chance to tell them everything you want to tell them about yourself. So be proactive. I had one talking point that I didn't manage to slip into my answers to the interviewer's questions, so before the interview ended I just jumped in and said "Before you go, there's one more thing I'd like to talk about..." Be enthusiastic about telling your interview everything you want to tell them.

You will certainly be asked about the following things:
-What you're up to now
-The two or three most prominent things in your resume/PS
-Why you want to study law and what areas of law interest you
-Why you chose your UG (I was also asked why I chose my major and what my favorite class was)
-Why your below-median number is not instead above-median
-Whether you would attend if offered admission

There may be other questions that are more specific to you. When it's over, you'll thank them profusely for giving you the chance to talk to them, and then you'll wait for a period of time that will be excruciating, no matter how short it actually is, at which time you'll either be admitted or asked to continue on reserve. If you're admitted, you will have 48 hours (or less, as the cycle goes on) to make a decision. Word of advice: That is not enough to properly weigh CLS sticker versus whatever your Plan B is, so do that now. Be sure by interview time you would absolutely attend CLS if offered admission, or your wishy-washyness will stick out like a sore thumb.

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StillIll
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Re: Beating the odds: Columbia Reserve c/o 2016

Postby StillIll » Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:09 pm

Mine was:

Why Columbia
Why Law in general
Explain GPA
Could I continue upward academic trend for 3 more year?
Would I commit?

Pretty simple. I'll add something if I realize I left it out.

lunaraeon
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Re: Beating the odds: Columbia Reserve c/o 2016

Postby lunaraeon » Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:11 pm

Thanks, all three of you. Even at sticker it's my top choice, so hopefully that will come across in a sincere way. I'll read through this topic again and any materials I've sent them during the process, along with the various interview threads. :)

The Bean
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Re: Beating the odds: Columbia Reserve c/o 2016

Postby The Bean » Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:18 pm

I don't know how helpful I can be about the interview - no surprising questions or anything. Phone interviews are always kinda awkward because you can't see the person and they make me much more nervous than regular ones, but I must not have done anything too terrible. I talked mostly about my work experience. Didn't ask about my GPA, but did ask why I took the LSAT so many times.

If you get in, it's worth it to apply for aid (have all the necessary documents ready to go and get thee to a fax machine as soon as you know you're in) because I actually got substantial aid that made UPenn and CLS even in COA. They turned it around in less than a day which was nice so I had 24 hours to consider knowing my aid award.

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StillIll
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Re: Beating the odds: Columbia Reserve c/o 2016

Postby StillIll » Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:04 pm

The Bean wrote:I don't know how helpful I can be about the interview - no surprising questions or anything. Phone interviews are always kinda awkward because you can't see the person and they make me much more nervous than regular ones, but I must not have done anything too terrible. I talked mostly about my work experience. Didn't ask about my GPA, but did ask why I took the LSAT so many times.

If you get in, it's worth it to apply for aid (have all the necessary documents ready to go and get thee to a fax machine as soon as you know you're in) because I actually got substantial aid that made UPenn and CLS even in COA. They turned it around in less than a day which was nice so I had 24 hours to consider knowing my aid award.


That's a great point. Have your and your parents tax returns on hand to fax over to them ASAP. If you haven't already, send your updated fafsa and needaccess to columbia right now. Then you will just need to request and fill out the simple questionnaire. Also, you may even be able to request the questionnaire now, and have it in just in case. I would recommend this to all upcoming phone interviewees. I got in Friday, got all of my materials over to them Friday evening (but it was after 5:00 eastern) and I got a tentative award on Monday.

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Dmini7
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Re: Beating the odds: Columbia Reserve c/o 2016

Postby Dmini7 » Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:49 pm

Best of luck to everyone on reserve! I just withdrew from the second reserve group. I thought long and hard about it and I have no interest in being in NYC, so I could not come up with anything that really drew me to the school besides employment numbers. I realized I would not be a strong candidate for Columbia because of that and therefore withdrew. So, I guess that is one less person for you to compete against :).

nextstep222
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Re: Beating the odds: Columbia Reserve c/o 2016

Postby nextstep222 » Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:07 pm

So, those of you who got interviews may have no idea why, but if you have any advice for people in reserve purgatory about LOCIs, or following up, please PM/share with the forum! I'm particularly interested in skimming LOCIs written by applicants who were successful, if you're willing to message them.

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JuniperCreekEsq
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Re: Beating the odds: Columbia Reserve c/o 2016

Postby JuniperCreekEsq » Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:44 pm

nextstep222 wrote:So, those of you who got interviews may have no idea why, but if you have any advice for people in reserve purgatory about LOCIs, or following up, please PM/share with the forum! I'm particularly interested in skimming LOCIs written by applicants who were successful, if you're willing to message them.


+1

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Tekrul
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Re: Beating the odds: Columbia Reserve c/o 2016

Postby Tekrul » Sun Jun 23, 2013 12:17 pm

Well, you're right to guess that I have no idea what got me an interview. I was an ED applicant, so perhaps that gave them indication that it really was my top choice and I would attend if admitted. My LOCI was fairly simple - it was sent upon being put on Hold status rather than Reserve status.

I wrote about:

1) a reaffirmation that CLS was my top choice and despite offers XYZ and school ABC, I was unreservedly committed to attending if admitted.

2) an update as to my activities since my application in October. This involved a new job that shared a theme of education and sports education that I had already developed.

3) an update to the continued expansion of my online business - which serves a need in a sports community on an international scale - to more countries. the legal issues i've had to deal with in these endeavors. my continued interest in law.

4) my desire to pursue coursework in a specific center at CLS, how this center separates CLS, and the expression of as much earnest desire in not missing out on this opportunity as I could muster with my writing. I really, really, did not want to miss out on it and miss out on the professors in it.

In addition to this LOCI, I sent in an updated resume to reflect these changes at the same time. I also sent in an updated transcript to reflect the conferral of my bachelor's degree (when I purchased CAS and sent in my first one, it had not yet been conferred even though I had successfully completed all required courses/credits)

I forgot to mention in the LOCI/resume my work on an android/iOS application that recently became available on both stores but I mentioned it during my interview when asked to elaborate on my activities since the application date.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: Beating the odds: Columbia Reserve c/o 2016

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Sun Jun 23, 2013 1:33 pm

Tekrul wrote:Well, you're right to guess that I have no idea what got me an interview. I was an ED applicant, so perhaps that gave them indication that it really was my top choice and I would attend if admitted. My LOCI was fairly simple - it was sent upon being put on Hold status rather than Reserve status.

I wrote about:

1) a reaffirmation that CLS was my top choice and despite offers XYZ and school ABC, I was unreservedly committed to attending if admitted.

2) an update as to my activities since my application in October. This involved a new job that shared a theme of education and sports education that I had already developed.

3) an update to the continued expansion of my online business - which serves a need in a sports community on an international scale - to more countries. the legal issues i've had to deal with in these endeavors. my continued interest in law.

4) my desire to pursue coursework in a specific center at CLS, how this center separates CLS, and the expression of as much earnest desire in not missing out on this opportunity as I could muster with my writing. I really, really, did not want to miss out on it and miss out on the professors in it.

In addition to this LOCI, I sent in an updated resume to reflect these changes at the same time. I also sent in an updated transcript to reflect the conferral of my bachelor's degree (when I purchased CAS and sent in my first one, it had not yet been conferred even though I had successfully completed all required courses/credits)

I forgot to mention in the LOCI/resume my work on an android/iOS application that recently became available on both stores but I mentioned it during my interview when asked to elaborate on my activities since the application date.


If the sheer breadth of all that intimidated you as much as it intimidated me, I promise you don't have to do all of that to get an interview.

My LOCI talked about an overseas internship I started a few weeks prior to sending it (mid-May). Looked something like this:

1. I'm in [city], and this has been a great opportunity to live on my own for the first time and become fluent in [language]
2. The internship had given me my first real experience with legal work, and I thought it was really cool, and it reaffirmed my interest in being a lawyer
3. And oh by the way, the place I want to do that is Columbia, which I'll attend if offered admission

Three paragraphs. Nothing extravagant, but I fully believe it helped my chances of getting an interview (they implied during the interview that this was the case). The later in the cycle you go, the more important yield becomes. Don't be the guy they're not sure will attend if offered, when they know there are hundreds of reserve candidates who will swim through sulfuric acid to pay sticker.

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Tekrul
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Re: Beating the odds: Columbia Reserve c/o 2016

Postby Tekrul » Sun Jun 23, 2013 1:50 pm

I'm sorry, I never intended to have a negative influence / intimidate anyone. I wrote in full candor and disclosed as much as I felt comfortable to assist those who asked as much as possible. I wanted to be thorough to include any and all details that may help you secure an interview since I'm at a loss as to what determines selection. If it helps, I had zero internships during UG. My resume during those years is like a barren desert. And outside of entrepreneurship, I have almost nill WE, less than 1 year. And I explained away a low gpa by blaming it on sports - I'm sure they get that a lot and gave me an eye roll lol.

Sorry again, it was only my intention to help. If I had to bring It down to a single item, I would say a commitment to attend is the most important thing to include in a LOCI.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: Beating the odds: Columbia Reserve c/o 2016

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Sun Jun 23, 2013 3:56 pm

No need to justify yourself, because obviously it worked. Just don't want anyone thinking they're dead in the water because they don't operate a business in their early twenties :D

The above is a good example of how, when the reserve list is full of people with similar numbers, the strengths and weaknesses of your softs become relevant, although as Tekrul mentioned, the most important thing is making sure they trust you not to screw up their yield.

For example, I had relatively few ECs and no full-time WE, but I did have several good internships, and an actually good explanation for a below-25th GPA--I graduated in five semesters with a double major, so I wound up with semesters of 18, 19, 19 and 21 credits, and two summers of night classes concurrent with full-time internships. I was able to point to those workloads to make the case that a) I was prepared to handle a 1L workload in a way most other students weren't, and b) Because the relationship between my credit hours and my GPA each semester was strongly negative, I would likely do better taking the 14 credit hours per semester CLS requires.

Point being, everyone has reserve has strengths and weaknesses in their numbers, and most people have strengths and weaknesses in their softs. You can't go on forever wishing that Part X of your application was stronger, so use the LOCI to say "Here's all the awesome things I've done since we last talked, also I still love you."

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Tekrul
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Re: Beating the odds: Columbia Reserve c/o 2016

Postby Tekrul » Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:46 pm

Good luck to lunaraeon and anyone else that's got interviews this Wednesday through Friday. Kick ass.

Lurkasaurus
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Re: Beating the odds: Columbia Reserve c/o 2016

Postby Lurkasaurus » Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:48 pm

Following a phone interview last week, I got in off the Columbia reserve! Huzzah! I was also recently admitted off the UChicago waitlist with a small scholarship, and I'm currently deposited at one of the MVP tier schools with $30k, which, combined with lower cost of attendance, add up to a $60k difference in cost of attendance compared with Columbia at sticker.

My deadline to accept or decline at Columbia is tomorrow (Tuesday) at 4 pm. They're getting my financial aid info to me "as quickly as possible" but so far I'm assuming I'll get no need-based aid. I withdrew from Chicago, only to receive an email asking if financial aid was a factor and if I'd like to have my application reconsidered for further scholarships. I'm going to see what they can offer.

Columbia is my first choice, but I think there's probably an undetermined amount of scholarship money where, for me, it would just be prudent to go to Chicago. My real question is: if Columbia gives me nothing in terms of aid, does anybody think there's any wiggle room to negotiate on this issue? Will Columbia take into account scholarship money from Chicago, considering how close they are in rankings?

Any advice is appreciated! Thanks in advance.

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JuniperCreekEsq
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Re: Beating the odds: Columbia Reserve c/o 2016

Postby JuniperCreekEsq » Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:07 pm

Lurkasaurus wrote:Following a phone interview last week, I got in off the Columbia reserve! Huzzah! I was also recently admitted off the UChicago waitlist with a small scholarship, and I'm currently deposited at one of the MVP tier schools with $30k, which, combined with lower cost of attendance, add up to a $60k difference in cost of attendance compared with Columbia at sticker.

My deadline to accept or decline at Columbia is tomorrow (Tuesday) at 4 pm. They're getting my financial aid info to me "as quickly as possible" but so far I'm assuming I'll get no need-based aid. I withdrew from Chicago, only to receive an email asking if financial aid was a factor and if I'd like to have my application reconsidered for further scholarships. I'm going to see what they can offer.

Columbia is my first choice, but I think there's probably an undetermined amount of scholarship money where, for me, it would just be prudent to go to Chicago. My real question is: if Columbia gives me nothing in terms of aid, does anybody think there's any wiggle room to negotiate on this issue? Will Columbia take into account scholarship money from Chicago, considering how close they are in rankings?

Any advice is appreciated! Thanks in advance.


You've got great options! Did you send in more than one LOCI or visit CLS before the interview?

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: Beating the odds: Columbia Reserve c/o 2016

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:15 pm

Lurkasaurus wrote:Following a phone interview last week, I got in off the Columbia reserve! Huzzah! I was also recently admitted off the UChicago waitlist with a small scholarship, and I'm currently deposited at one of the MVP tier schools with $30k, which, combined with lower cost of attendance, add up to a $60k difference in cost of attendance compared with Columbia at sticker.

My deadline to accept or decline at Columbia is tomorrow (Tuesday) at 4 pm. They're getting my financial aid info to me "as quickly as possible" but so far I'm assuming I'll get no need-based aid. I withdrew from Chicago, only to receive an email asking if financial aid was a factor and if I'd like to have my application reconsidered for further scholarships. I'm going to see what they can offer.

Columbia is my first choice, but I think there's probably an undetermined amount of scholarship money where, for me, it would just be prudent to go to Chicago. My real question is: if Columbia gives me nothing in terms of aid, does anybody think there's any wiggle room to negotiate on this issue? Will Columbia take into account scholarship money from Chicago, considering how close they are in rankings?

Any advice is appreciated! Thanks in advance.


Make your decision assuming you get nothing until you hear otherwise. But yes, Columbia will listen if you tell them you have UChi $.

Lurkasaurus
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Re: Beating the odds: Columbia Reserve c/o 2016

Postby Lurkasaurus » Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:38 pm

Juniper Creek: I didn't send any LOCI to Columbia, but I did visit while I was in town and sign in at the admissions office. I also told them in the phone interview that Columbia was my top choice, but I couldn't make any firm commitments without information about financial aid. I guess that was sufficient to demonstrate my interest? Honestly, I thought my interview went terribly, and am still in shock that they admitted me after I flubbed my way through 15 painful minutes.

Monochromatic Oeuvre: thanks for the sensible advice about $, and, this is somewhat belated, but thanks for answering my question about timing last week - getting a response, even though it confirmed that post-interview limbo was a possibility, was strangely comforting.

lunaraeon
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Re: Beating the odds: Columbia Reserve c/o 2016

Postby lunaraeon » Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:42 pm

Thanks, Tekrul :) Nervous, but getting as prepared as I can be.
Speaking of which, Lurk, if you happen to remember your interview, did any question(s) come up that was different from what other people had? I've been having a friend go over my LOCI/resume and ask things about them, but never hurts to have more info.

(I'll add LOCI details later once I've seen if they were a good idea :P)

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StillIll
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Re: Beating the odds: Columbia Reserve c/o 2016

Postby StillIll » Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:50 pm

Oh I just remember that in addition to having my explain my low GPA, I also was asked to explain a gap year that I had between my first and second years of college.

Also, I was asked sort of in passing if I would be receptive to a sort of deferred acceptance, where I'd be accepted for the class of 2017, to begin in Fall of 2014. I said I'd have to think about it, but probably would say yes. Honestly, a gap year with Columbia guaranteed on the horizon (granted that you don't screw up big) would not be the worst thing at all.

Now I think that's everything we went over in my interview.

Mostly, there's probably a reason you were put on reserve instead of accepted, and if you know what it is (GPA, retakes, etc) then you will probably be asked about that, though I'm not sure what specific resume questions were asked... I didn't encounter those questions.

Also interestingly enough, I had some minor (I'd say minor but non negligible) things on my C&F besides the gap year, interestingly enough I was not asked about them.

Good luck. If you are getting interviewed that is a good sign, going entirely off of anecdotal evidence at least 80%+ of interviewees have gotten in so far. If you don't want to go that far, it has definitely been >50%. Obviously, this is far from a scientific sample, but for what it's worth.

Also, I had almost a two week wait before I heard back in the affirmative. So don't give up hope if it takes a while.
Last edited by StillIll on Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Lurkasaurus
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Re: Beating the odds: Columbia Reserve c/o 2016

Postby Lurkasaurus » Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:52 pm

lunaraeon wrote:Thanks, Tekrul :) Nervous, but getting as prepared as I can be.
Speaking of which, Lurk, if you happen to remember your interview, did any question(s) come up that was different from what other people had? I've been having a friend go over my LOCI/resume and ask things about them, but never hurts to have more info.

(I'll add LOCI details later once I've seen if they were a good idea :P)



My interview was totally standard, which is why it's so embarrassing that I blew it. They only had time to ask me four questions because I babbled on for so long, but they were very general, about my college grades, job (I've been out for two years), personal statement, and how much I wanted to attend CLS. If anything, you should take comfort in knowing that apparently you can bomb the interview and still have a chance at getting admitted off the reserve list. I was just too nervous to really say anything coherent. Best of luck!

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Re: Beating the odds: Columbia Reserve c/o 2016

Postby jbagelboy » Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:03 pm

Lurkasaurus wrote:Following a phone interview last week, I got in off the Columbia reserve! Huzzah! I was also recently admitted off the UChicago waitlist with a small scholarship, and I'm currently deposited at one of the MVP tier schools with $30k, which, combined with lower cost of attendance, add up to a $60k difference in cost of attendance compared with Columbia at sticker.

My deadline to accept or decline at Columbia is tomorrow (Tuesday) at 4 pm. They're getting my financial aid info to me "as quickly as possible" but so far I'm assuming I'll get no need-based aid. I withdrew from Chicago, only to receive an email asking if financial aid was a factor and if I'd like to have my application reconsidered for further scholarships. I'm going to see what they can offer.

Columbia is my first choice, but I think there's probably an undetermined amount of scholarship money where, for me, it would just be prudent to go to Chicago. My real question is: if Columbia gives me nothing in terms of aid, does anybody think there's any wiggle room to negotiate on this issue? Will Columbia take into account scholarship money from Chicago, considering how close they are in rankings?

Any advice is appreciated! Thanks in advance.


off both the UChi and CLS WL's in the same week.. damn thats huge!!! Congrats man. What are your stats?

WL dreams really can come true, esp. in these volatile times

lunaraeon
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Re: Beating the odds: Columbia Reserve c/o 2016

Postby lunaraeon » Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:14 pm

Thanks, both of you! I'll make sure to have a reasonable answer for anything expected/standard.

StillIll wrote: Also, I was asked sort of in passing if I would be receptive to a sort of deferred acceptance, where I'd be accepted for the class of 2017, to begin in Fall of 2014. I said I'd have to think about it, but probably would say yes. Honestly, a gap year with Columbia guaranteed on the horizon (granted that you don't screw up big) would not be the worst thing at all.

It's interesting they would be considering this. Good to know.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: Beating the odds: Columbia Reserve c/o 2016

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:41 pm

Asking above-median LSATs to defer unprompted = Not at all confident about next year's applicant crop, right?

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JuniperCreekEsq
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Re: Beating the odds: Columbia Reserve c/o 2016

Postby JuniperCreekEsq » Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:44 pm

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:Asking above-median LSATs to defer unprompted = Not at all confident about next year's applicant crop, right?


my gut reaction is that it means the class has been (over) filled. anyone's guess is as good as mine.




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