Slimpee wrote: traehekat wrote:
LiveFree wrote:Does anyone think it's possible that Iowa actually increases its ranking? It's been dropping for the past couple years...
Well, I definitely think they are trying too boost their LSAT median, given the fact they are handing out a lot of full rides to high LSAT scorers. It has always been a mystery to me why Iowa is so high ranked, given its relatively lower LSAT median for a T30 school. I suspect it has a lot to do with their library, and possibly their legal writing program/clinics (although I admit I have no idea what actually goes into consideration for lawl skool rankings, aside from LSAT/GPA medians).
Dean Byrd indicated that he has been successful raising medians (and boosting rankings) in the past at previous schools. My guess is that he'll do a good job of stabilizing Iowa...
I think they increased two spots last year, but really that is meaningless the way the rankings work.
However, the reason that Iowa is consistently ranked in the T30 is its reputation. Reputation from peers and practitioners are the two biggest components of the rankings and Iowa is almost always in the top 20 in those rankings.
Also Byrd has been at Iowa for 5+ years and in his time the rank is lower overall, not in a significant way, but still lower. The new Dean that is coming in from Kansas does, however, have a record of increasing rankings.
The problem is that the higher you get, the hard it is to increase rankings over a short period of time (i.e. higher lsat and ugpa medians). The only good news is that since Iowa is starting lower in those areas, it can receive a bigger boost from raising those since the formula uses the percentiles associated with the score, not the score. Meaning if a 164 is 90th percentile and 165 is 92rd percentile, raising a median from 164 to 165 gets 2 points. Since the LSAT is based off a curve, the closer a schools median is to the actual LSAT median (154 ish) the more a one point jump will mean. A jump from 154 to 155 can mean a 4 point jump, but a 170 to a 171 is only worth 0.5 points in the formula. So if Iowa raises its median LSAT one point and so do the schools around it in ranking, Iowa will benifit more because it has a starting LSAT median closer to the LSAT median. That is probably why Indiana boosted its ranking so much over the last year. They threw scholarship money at high LSAT scorers and have raised their median. I think that is what Iowa is doing this year with their scholarships.