UChicago 3.86, 164; Interesting Situation

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GodlikeAchilles
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Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:29 pm

UChicago 3.86, 164; Interesting Situation

Postby GodlikeAchilles » Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:42 pm

Hello TLS people,

I am in an interesting predicament and I need a little bit of advice. After looking through these boards, I decided that my questions could be best answered in this section, but I don't think this is going to be a typical "here are my numbers, what are my chances at Harvard?" thread...

I just finished my sophomore year at UChicago and for several reasons, I am probably going to be graduating in three years rather than four, finishing up in the spring of 2011. I have not taken the LSAT, but one practice test without any sort of preparation (essentially the first time I ever saw any LSAT questions) resulted in a 164. I think with a few months of preparation I can get that up to 170 to hopefully take it in the fall of 2010.

Despite the seemingly good numbers, several things scare me about applying to a law school program. Firstly, I am going to be someone with only three years of undergraduate experience, and I have absolutely no idea of how this factors into the admissions process. Secondly, I am a Political Science major but am not planning on writing a BA thesis (thus I will only graduate with general Honors from the college and not Honors in my major). I have *heard* from academic advisers that law school adcoms like seeing lengthy writing samples from students, and that a BA thesis is the best way to demonstrate that to the committee. I will, however, be required to write a twenty-page paper in order to fulfill my graduation requirements...again, I don't know how this will impact my overall application. Finally, connecting to the first point, I am going to be very young - just 21 when applying and 22 when entering (this is probably the least important of my three concerns).

Another issue is money (I'm not wealthy in the least - single-parent home and my mom is unemployed), so I am looking to get the best possible merit/need-based award possible. I'm from North Carolina, so I have been looking at the following schools: Wake Forest, UNC, Duke, Emory, Vanderbilt, UVA.

I have been told that Wake Forest especially has *very good* merit-based aid for top entering students, and on their scholarships page, they list several full tuition with stipend scholarship programs. I doubt anyone has specific knowledge of the caliber applicants that WFU looks for to award such scholarships to, but if anyone has any insight regarding Wake's scholarships or full-tuition law school scholarships in general, I'd greatly appreciate it. I'd really love to go to Wake for free, but I don't know how the above circumstances will affect my eligibility for these types of awards.

Thanks much guys!

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vespertiliovir
Posts: 327
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Re: UChicago 3.86, 164; Interesting Situation

Postby vespertiliovir » Sun Aug 01, 2010 12:11 am

First: Take the LSAT seriously, and study hard. You clearly have a lot of potential, so don't waste it. The scholarships you get will depend almost entirely (with a few exceptions) on your LSAT and GPA. I doubt Wake is much more generous with money than anyone else, probably less so than a lot of the schools you listed.

Second: Almost all the advice you've received is incorrect. It won't matter too much that you graduated in 3 years, or that you didn't write a thesis -- law schools don't require a true writing sample, just a personal statement. If you were to enter at 22, you'd essentially be in the company of everyone who went straight from undergrad, which is a substantial portion of the class.

Good luck!

Al Prufrock
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Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 5:05 am

Re: UChicago 3.86, 164; Interesting Situation

Postby Al Prufrock » Sun Aug 01, 2010 5:08 am

Stan?

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kazu
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Re: UChicago 3.86, 164; Interesting Situation

Postby kazu » Sun Aug 01, 2010 6:46 am

Everything else does not matter. Just get the best LSAT that you can, the higher it is the more $ you will get from better schools. For instance, if you get mid-170s I'm pretty sure Columbia/NYU/CCN will throw you some money, perhaps even full scholarships.

Again, don't worry about everything else. Thesis, age etc., will not matter. Just concentrate on that LSAT.

GodlikeAchilles
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:29 pm

Re: UChicago 3.86, 164; Interesting Situation

Postby GodlikeAchilles » Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:52 am

Thanks for the tips guys.

I'm no expert at looking through law school statistics, but when I _do_ check out the top programs, like the ones mentioned by kazu, I see that only a very small percentage (in Columbia's case, 2.2% of the class of 2009 receives a full tuition scholarship while 8.1% is on half-tuition) received a lot of $ for attending.

I've always been under the impression that these places are so difficult to get into that receiving merit-based aid when every other student had a 3.9 and at least a 171 becomes _extremely_ difficult. Again, I don't really have any evidence to support this claim, but I suspect that it wouldn't be a walk in the park to get a considerable amount of money from top programs.

I will definitely "carpetbomb" (I've seen term used a bunch of times on this forum and it's pretty hilarious) the T14 if I get above 172 and see what sort of money I'm offered, but I'm not even sure I _want_ to go to a law program like Columbia's...I've been surrounded by wunderkinds for a few years and it doesn't really make for fun and exciting times. ;-)

Al Prufrock - that's me, who the heck are you?

pelmen74
Posts: 156
Joined: Fri Dec 25, 2009 4:41 pm

Re: UChicago 3.86, 164; Interesting Situation

Postby pelmen74 » Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:04 am

You got a 164 without ever seeing the test and you are trying for a 170? Raising your score 10-15 points should be no problem for anyone who puts in a decent effort. I raised my score 15 points, I know others who have raised theirs' even more. Study, get that LSAT up to the mid 170's, and you can get a full scholarship at some T-10 schools. Of what I have seen so far, the only people who get significant scholarships at Columbia have 175+ so even that is not out of the question for someone doing 164 cold.
Finally, graduating in three years, without honors, means nothing. Anyone can write a thesis but not everyone can take enough credits to graduate that quickly. Just don't apply to Northwestern.

GodlikeAchilles
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Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:29 pm

Re: UChicago 3.86, 164; Interesting Situation

Postby GodlikeAchilles » Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:12 am

I hate Northwestern - won't be a problem. :lol:

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rayiner
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Re: UChicago 3.86, 164; Interesting Situation

Postby rayiner » Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:31 am

What do you want to do, and why do you need a scholarship? You can get loans to cover all your costs, and if you get 171+, you'll get into Chicago/NYU and be in a great position to pay them off.

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Shaggier1
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Re: UChicago 3.86, 164; Interesting Situation

Postby Shaggier1 » Sun Aug 01, 2010 2:31 pm

Stan?


Haha. Cool.

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Na_Swatch
Posts: 472
Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 4:40 pm

Re: UChicago 3.86, 164; Interesting Situation

Postby Na_Swatch » Sun Aug 01, 2010 2:41 pm

yeah shoot for a 173+ OP, with that score and UChicago, 3.86 you should have a great chance at Harvard or large scholarships at lower T14 schools.

Also, HYS offer need based financial aid which can help in ur situation or with a great LSAT score u'll qualify for stuff like a the deferred full tuition scholarship to Northwestern.

crossingforHYS
Posts: 702
Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:23 pm

Re: UChicago 3.86, 164; Interesting Situation

Postby crossingforHYS » Sun Aug 01, 2010 3:04 pm

see what you get on the lsat...had a friend score a 164 on a pt and end up with a 166 on the lsat.....you never know what will happen/




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