Question from an irregular undergrad

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skaxfif
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Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 12:36 pm

Question from an irregular undergrad

Postby skaxfif » Sat May 22, 2010 1:05 pm

It has taken my 8.5 years and two schools to finish my undergrad. Broadly my academic problems can be filed under the heading of immaturity: never had to work hard in HS, got into a private Midwestern University and wasn't ready. I compounded my problems by rushing into a nearby SUNY school when I returned home, and again did poorly. I took some time off and worked full-time in various fields (retail, politics) for three semesters before I recommitted myself to finishing my degree. My final GPA from the same SUNY school will be around 3.4-3.5 (with a few "I"s from my aborted start a few years ago).

Academically, I've performed very well despite the fact that since I'm a little older, I had to work full-time. I've received two writing awards for research papers I wrote (I am a History major), and have many professors willing to write (what I hope are) glowing letters of recommendation. I was selected for an internship at a local museum this summer, and I'm taking a Princeton Review class starting in mid-July with the goal of taking the October LSAT.

Outside of structured review sessions I've been prepping on my own and have taken a few practice tests whenever the various test prep companies made such sessions available. In these three practice test I've scored 166, 164 and 167. Who knows how this translates into the actual test, but assuming that I earn a 165, what schools are in range?

I'm from Western New York and would like to attend UB, but I am also interested in Chicago schools like DePaul, Loyola and Chicago-Kent. What are my chances?

Thanks for all the help!

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vanwinkle
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Re: Question from an irregular undergrad

Postby vanwinkle » Sat May 22, 2010 1:20 pm

LSAC GPA will be calculated from all schools you attended up until you received your first bachelor's degree. Even if your SUNY GPA was a 3.4 or 3.5, you're going to end up with a much lower overall GPA. It's all evenly weighted; they just add up all the grade-hours you've accumulated and divide by the number of hours you took in total. This means you'll have to add in the grades from the midwestern university you requested. You're potentially facing a 3.0 or lower GPA if your first few years of college were really that bad.

(If you fail to disclose attendance at the midwestern university or provide a proper and full transcript, this can have extremely bad consequences, including failing the bar once you graduate law school for having lied on your application. If you can't pass the bar your law degree is pretty worthless, so don't even think about not disclosing your attendance and full transcript as required.)

People are not going to be willing to help you regarding LSAT score, mostly because there's no real way to help you without an actual LSAT score. Even a few points' difference can be huge in terms of what schools are options for you, and since you're months away from test day and still studying there's no way to predict where you'll test at.

However, the good news i this: If you can get into the 170+ range, you can very likely get into several T30 schools and maybe even a few T14 schools if you play your cards right. You've got a few months left so hitting 170 shouldn't be too difficult if you keep working at it since you're already in the mid-160s. You'll probably have to ED to one of the lower T14 in that case; I'd start looking at schools like Michigan, Penn, UVA, and Duke now to think about which ones you'd like attending if you have that chance. ED means you're binding yourself to attend if you graduate, which is why you should be sure you want to attend before you apply. You'll have much better odds of getting in if you ED, no matter how high your LSAT is, due to your low GPA.

I recommend you get started immediately on getting all your transcripts sent to LSAC. Once they have all of them, they can calculate your official LSAC GPA, which is what law schools will see. Then we'll have an idea what your GPA is and can make better recommendations. If you're above 3.0 you're in a much better position; if you're below 3.0 you're in a much worse position. But that's information you need before anyone can really help you here.

If you can get into the 170s, forget about Loyola, DePaul, and Kent. You'll have a real shot at schools like UIUC or IU-B, or maybe WUSTL (which throws $$ at high LSAT scores). Since you have work experience, Northwestern will probably really like you, and if you want Chicago, you should really consider EDing there if you get 170+ on the LSAT. NU loves high LSAT scores and work experience, and is one of the few top schools to forgive sub-3.0 GPAs for folks that have those things. It seems like it'd be ideal for you, and there's a real shot you can get in.

skaxfif
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 12:36 pm

Re: Question from an irregular undergrad

Postby skaxfif » Sat May 22, 2010 4:31 pm

If I decide that I want to work in Chicago, UIUC is my preferred school. But my sense is that due to my GPA, any financial aid I would be awarded would be modest. Controlling costs is very important to me, which is why I think that a year at a UB (very affordable) is a good idea. Is it not?

Also, Do schools like UIUC or Northwestern typically grant generous financial aid packages for students that transfer in? I'm prone to think no since schools in the upper echelons are inundated with students in my situation, looking to move up between 1L and 2L.

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1ferret!
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Re: Question from an irregular undergrad

Postby 1ferret! » Sat May 22, 2010 4:37 pm

generally not gettin any scolly help if you transfer in...goin on loans or private/outside schollies.

If it makes you feel better my LSAC transcript included two classes I enrolled in at a community college while in high school that I never bothered going to...

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kalvano
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Re: Question from an irregular undergrad

Postby kalvano » Sat May 22, 2010 4:38 pm

Planning to transfer is stupid. Don't do it.

And I believe most schools don't grant financial aid to transfers anyway.

09042014
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Re: Question from an irregular undergrad

Postby 09042014 » Sat May 22, 2010 4:44 pm

skaxfif wrote:If I decide that I want to work in Chicago, UIUC is my preferred school. But my sense is that due to my GPA, any financial aid I would be awarded would be modest. Controlling costs is very important to me, which is why I think that a year at a UB (very affordable) is a good idea. Is it not?

Also, Do schools like UIUC or Northwestern typically grant generous financial aid packages for students that transfer in? I'm prone to think no since schools in the upper echelons are inundated with students in my situation, looking to move up between 1L and 2L.


No merit aid for transfers, and I'm guessing no need aid at these two schools. You'll probably get some money from UIUC if you swing a 170 plus.

You'll never get shit from Northwestern. You can probably get in with a 172+ plus a couple years post grad work experience if you ED.

Also theses two schools in particular are filled with people like you. Many of them are probably smarter. Counting on dominating 1L when you can't get better than 3.4 at Suny is retarded.

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TCScrutinizer
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Re: Question from an irregular undergrad

Postby TCScrutinizer » Sat May 22, 2010 6:15 pm

skaxfif wrote:If I decide that I want to work in Chicago, UIUC is my preferred school. But my sense is that due to my GPA, any financial aid I would be awarded would be modest. Controlling costs is very important to me, which is why I think that a year at a UB (very affordable) is a good idea. Is it not?

Also, Do schools like UIUC or Northwestern typically grant generous financial aid packages for students that transfer in? I'm prone to think no since schools in the upper echelons are inundated with students in my situation, looking to move up between 1L and 2L.


3.3/171 with $30,000 a year at UIUC here. So you might have a chance.

As for maturity issues, that's what the personal statement is for. I had some maturity issues of my own (exemplified by a steep downward GPA trend in UG) that were corrected sharply by the realities of rent. If you can demonstrate that you've learned something from past failures, you take the largest step towards countering their negative effects.




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