American_in_China wrote:Kabuo wrote:American_in_China wrote:I still dont understand this line of reasoning- why would admissions officers stop caring once you're above the 75th- any points above still pull up the median, and allow the school to take a number of reverse splitters (which are more common than splitters) and still balance at the medians.
I think you're confusing median with average. And if not, I think you're proving my point. Someone at median and someone 12 pts higher both affect the median the same.
You are indeed correct; I was confusing median with mean. I see your rationale now. Question- is it also the median that matters for GPA? If so, wouldn't the same rationale work in reverse- once I'm below the 25th, why does it matter?
I'm just a splitter applying this year as well, so I'm not going to pretend to be really authoritative here, but this is a good point. I think what it comes down to is that, as much as we talk about US News rankings here, and as important as they truly are, schools also rely on GPA/LSAT because they do see them as a way to judge applicants. It's not a 100% cynical game. Especially because of the way the LSAT is curved, there is less difference in raw score at the higher range of the LSAT, so a school is looking at a 3.3/178 and a 3.9/174, they have a pretty legitimate reason to see the LSATS as essentially equal but with one GPA considerably higher (I won't open the can of worms about comparing GPAs. As a splitter who worked hard for his 3.3 in a good program, I'm full of impotent rage that I'm competing with 4.0 kinesiologists from the University of Southeastern Lower Tennessee).
Regarding medians, I think you're actually right as well. Yes, one outlying high score doesn't affect the median, but if a school wants to move its medians up, it has to let in a class where half the students have higher LSATS than the target median. So I think having a super high GPA or LSAT probably does have value to the extent that medians are not totally static and schools try to improve them.
Again, on an individual level it doesn't make a difference, but that's where you're right that there should theoretically be no problem with letting in a 180/2.1, which again, I think, brings us back to the idea that it's not purely US News cynicism that drives admissions, especially at the better schools, and they really do believe that your GPA and LSAT say something about you as a student.