Do Grade Trends Really Make a Difference?

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Joed1887
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Do Grade Trends Really Make a Difference?

Postby Joed1887 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:40 pm

I'm not an URM with an UGPA of 3.1 and a 170 LSAT. Softs include: VP of Fraternity, GM of a large-scale nightclub, and have worked as a paralegal for the past year.

Over the last 2 years of undergrad I got a 3.75, but with working full time and being an idiot at 19 and 20 my first 2 years weren't nearly as good. Is the strong finish at the end of college enough to put me into a T25 school or possibly a low-end T14? I plan on applying as soon as this cycle opens and doing an early decision at a T25. If you have any advice I'd greatly appreciate it.

Thanks

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beachbum
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Re: Do Grade Trends Really Make a Difference?

Postby beachbum » Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:43 pm

They can help, but probably not to the point of overcoming a weak GPA. Fortunately, your GPA isn't THAT bad and you should have some good options (i.e. Northwestern ED, UVA ED) if you put together a solid application and apply early.

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FeelTheHeat
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Re: Do Grade Trends Really Make a Difference?

Postby FeelTheHeat » Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:43 pm

You will have a decent chance at the general areas of schools you mentioned, but it will have nothing to do with your GPA trend. One thing you'll learn on TLS is that everyone has an upward grade trend and strong softs.

If you can continue working as a full-time paralegal, an early decision to NW should be the ticket.

Abazu
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Re: Do Grade Trends Really Make a Difference?

Postby Abazu » Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:32 pm

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Last edited by Abazu on Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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gbpackerbacker
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Re: Do Grade Trends Really Make a Difference?

Postby gbpackerbacker » Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:38 pm

So what are your GPA and LSAT?

FloridaCoastalorbust
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Re: Do Grade Trends Really Make a Difference?

Postby FloridaCoastalorbust » Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:42 pm

Somewhat similar situation. I have received a 4.0 every semester except for my second semester freshman year (3.3ish) and will finish with a 3.89. Will my 3.89 be somewhat be better than a 3.89 as my trend is 4.0? Will adcomms consider that one poor semester and weigh my GPA slightly higher?

aliarrow
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Re: Do Grade Trends Really Make a Difference?

Postby aliarrow » Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:44 pm

Joed1887 wrote:I'm not an URM with an UGPA of 3.1 and a 170 LSAT. Softs include: VP of Fraternity, GM of a large-scale nightclub, and have worked as a paralegal for the past year.

Over the last 2 years of undergrad I got a 3.75, but with working full time and being an idiot at 19 and 20 my first 2 years weren't nearly as good. Is the strong finish at the end of college enough to put me into a T25 school or possibly a low-end T14? I plan on applying as soon as this cycle opens and doing an early decision at a T25. If you have any advice I'd greatly appreciate it.

Thanks


NU and WUSTL
/thread

FloridaCoastalorbust
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Re: Do Grade Trends Really Make a Difference?

Postby FloridaCoastalorbust » Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:12 pm

bump

firemed
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Re: Do Grade Trends Really Make a Difference?

Postby firemed » Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:22 pm

Apply to NU.

While upward trends don't hurt, they don't really help either. They just keep you from being dismissed out of hand like someone with a downward trend would be.

Fark-o-vision
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Re: Do Grade Trends Really Make a Difference?

Postby Fark-o-vision » Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:31 pm

Talked to a couple people who volunteered around admissions offices (no actual counselors or deans) about the subject and they seemed to indicate that grade trend in only two situations. The first being that you're a borderline candidate from a numbers perspective. Upward trend might push you in, letting your GPA fall apart spring semester of senior year might push you out. Also, if they were considering two candidates with identical numbers. Upward trend might push you ahead.

I've also heard that the second scenario rarely occurs in reality, so much so that it might altogether be a myth of discussion board hypothetical making. For whatever its worth, I had a strong upward trend through most of college and then let my GPA fall completely apart spring semester of senior year (younger, burnt out, already in graduate school) and I think a lot of schools didn't appreciate that. Earned me a couple dings and wait list responses that I didn't see coming.

Joed1887
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Re: Do Grade Trends Really Make a Difference?

Postby Joed1887 » Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:48 pm

Thank you everyone for the information, it has been a great help for where to narrow my search. As of now I plan on applying to:
- Duke (either Duke or NW ED)
- Northwestern
- Cornell
- UCLA
- USC
- WUSL
- Boston College
- Boston
- Florida
- UMiami
Given my numbers (3.1/170) are there any schools I should completely write off this list? Or any places in the T25 range that I should give another look at?

Any info is greatly appreciated

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Nicholasnickynic
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Re: Do Grade Trends Really Make a Difference?

Postby Nicholasnickynic » Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:55 pm

FloridaCoastalorbust wrote:Somewhat similar situation. I have received a 4.0 every semester except for my second semester freshman year (3.3ish) and will finish with a 3.89. Will my 3.89 be somewhat be better than a 3.89 as my trend is 4.0? Will adcomms consider that one poor semester and weigh my GPA slightly higher?


No. The only reason they care about your gpa is because of USNWR. They wouldn't care if you had a 1.0 your first semester as long as your next semester was a 7.0 and you ended with a 4.0.

All they care about is the absolute #.

While I'm at it... they don't care about your softs, your p.s., or your letters of reccomendation.

To them, you are two things: An lsat and a gpa score.


=)

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beachbum
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Re: Do Grade Trends Really Make a Difference?

Postby beachbum » Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:58 pm

Joed1887 wrote:Thank you everyone for the information, it has been a great help for where to narrow my search. As of now I plan on applying to:
- Duke (either Duke or NW ED)
- Northwestern
- Cornell
- UCLA
- USC
- WUSL
- Boston College
- Boston
- Florida
- UMiami
Given my numbers (3.1/170) are there any schools I should completely write off this list? Or any places in the T25 range that I should give another look at?

Any info is greatly appreciated


Duke, Cornell, UCLA, and USC are going to be extremely difficult. You might want to add a few more of the Midwestern splitter-friendly schools (i.e. Illinois, Minnesota). Northwestern ED is probably your best bet.

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BruceWayne
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Re: Do Grade Trends Really Make a Difference?

Postby BruceWayne » Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:59 pm

Your LSAT makes up for it. You will struggle with HYS but other than that you will probably have a decent shot at any school you apply to.

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ThomasMN
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Re: Do Grade Trends Really Make a Difference?

Postby ThomasMN » Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:05 am

Nicholasnickynic wrote:
FloridaCoastalorbust wrote:Somewhat similar situation. I have received a 4.0 every semester except for my second semester freshman year (3.3ish) and will finish with a 3.89. Will my 3.89 be somewhat be better than a 3.89 as my trend is 4.0? Will adcomms consider that one poor semester and weigh my GPA slightly higher?


No. The only reason they care about your gpa is because of USNWR. They wouldn't care if you had a 1.0 your first semester as long as your next semester was a 7.0 and you ended with a 4.0.

All they care about is the absolute #.

While I'm at it... they don't care about your softs, your p.s., or your letters of reccomendation.

To them, you are two things: An lsat and a gpa score.


=)


There is some truth to this - just check out Law School Numbers and it is hard to deny. Personally, I think some of it is because most people really don't have "softs." A lot of people think that being president of club X or being a member of an honor society are good softs. In my opinion real softs are interesting employment, such as being a member of the peace corps, or doing original research. Being a stellar student and an active member of your UG are not "softs," but just a demonstration of the fact that you were an active student.

That being said, I know a few individuals with "real softs" and they placed in law schools where they made the median GPA, but were no where near the median LSAT. I know that is anecdotal evidence, but it convinced me.

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ThomasMN
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Re: Do Grade Trends Really Make a Difference?

Postby ThomasMN » Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:06 am

As an add on, Minnesota has seemed to be taking anyone or thing with an LSAT of 167 and above this year, which would indicate to me that they are in a poor position to maintain their median this year. They would most likely give you a lot of money, but I don't know how averse you are to the frozen tundra.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Do Grade Trends Really Make a Difference?

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:16 am

BruceWayne wrote:Your LSAT makes up for it. You will struggle with HYS but other than that you will probably have a decent shot at any school you apply to.

Think you misread- he said not urm.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Do Grade Trends Really Make a Difference?

Postby JamMasterJ » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:45 pm

Joed1887 wrote:Thank you everyone for the information, it has been a great help for where to narrow my search. As of now I plan on applying to:
- Duke (either Duke or NW ED)
- Northwestern
- Cornell
- UCLA
- USC
- WUSL
- Boston College
- Boston
- Florida
- UMiami
Given my numbers (3.1/170) are there any schools I should completely write off this list? Or any places in the T25 range that I should give another look at?

Any info is greatly appreciated

T20s in California will be tough because they are gpa heavy. Boston U might be a surprise waitlist, but the other schools from WUSTL on down should be solid. I'd ED either Northwestern or your dream school very early, and if nothing seems to be going well, ED UVA later because they allow ED's after you will probably know how your cycle is shaking out, but only do this if your ok with sticker. The bottom half of the T14 is worth the outside shot, but it will likely be about getting one to bite (read: luck)

Enjoy WUSTL

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Stringer Bell
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Re: Do Grade Trends Really Make a Difference?

Postby Stringer Bell » Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:02 pm

Upward trend is really only going to distinguish you from other people with comparable numbers.

Don't waste an ED at Duke. They are pretty GPA whorish. If you are down to pay sticker at a t13 and if you have been out of school more than 2 years then ED at UVA or NU. If you haven't, ED at UVA. You also may as well apply to GULC even though it will be tough.

I would also throw SMU into your list of schools to apply to if the idea of working in Texas doesn't bother you.




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