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sinfiery
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Re: Does applying from a low-ranking college hurt my chances?

Postby sinfiery » Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:11 am

hoos89 wrote:Kind of missing the point. An average student at a top 10 school with a 3.5 gpa mean (i.e. someone with a 3.5) would not have a 3.0 at a low ranked school with a 3.0 average. They would more likely be in the 3.8-4.1 range. Why? Because it is WAY easier for an elite student to stand out at a lower ranked school (and yes, an average student at a top 10 school is "elite" by most standards). Someone who got straight As taking AP courses in high school will probably get straight As while competing against all the kids who got Bs in their easier courses.


The reverse of this scenario incorrectly assumes that a 4.0 (no A+s assumed) is only .5 points away from a 3.5 when considering GPA as an indicator for X and is equal to the difference between a 3.0 and 3.5.

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FKASunny
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Re: Does applying from a low-ranking college hurt my chances?

Postby FKASunny » Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:31 am

hoos89 wrote:Kind of missing the point. An average student at a top 10 school with a 3.5 gpa mean (i.e. someone with a 3.5) would not have a 3.0 at a low ranked school with a 3.0 average. They would more likely be in the 3.8-4.1 range. Why? Because it is WAY easier for an elite student to stand out at a lower ranked school (and yes, an average student at a top 10 school is "elite" by most standards). Someone who got straight As taking AP courses in high school will probably get straight As while competing against all the kids who got Bs in their easier courses.


There are very few courses in undergrad where you're competing for an A. Liberal arts courses at any school are about showing up, doing the work outlined on the syllabus, and getting an A. If you're median at an elite school, it most likely means you weren't motivated and would be median at a community college.

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Re: Does applying from a low-ranking college hurt my chances?

Postby jbagelboy » Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:11 pm

ლ(ಠ益ಠლ) wrote:
hoos89 wrote:Kind of missing the point. An average student at a top 10 school with a 3.5 gpa mean (i.e. someone with a 3.5) would not have a 3.0 at a low ranked school with a 3.0 average. They would more likely be in the 3.8-4.1 range. Why? Because it is WAY easier for an elite student to stand out at a lower ranked school (and yes, an average student at a top 10 school is "elite" by most standards). Someone who got straight As taking AP courses in high school will probably get straight As while competing against all the kids who got Bs in their easier courses.


There are very few courses in undergrad where you're competing for an A. Liberal arts courses at any school are about showing up, doing the work outlined on the syllabus, and getting an A. If you're median at an elite school, it most likely means you weren't motivated and would be median at a community college.


Lol no

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FKASunny
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Re: Does applying from a low-ranking college hurt my chances?

Postby FKASunny » Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:24 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
ლ(ಠ益ಠლ) wrote:
hoos89 wrote:Kind of missing the point. An average student at a top 10 school with a 3.5 gpa mean (i.e. someone with a 3.5) would not have a 3.0 at a low ranked school with a 3.0 average. They would more likely be in the 3.8-4.1 range. Why? Because it is WAY easier for an elite student to stand out at a lower ranked school (and yes, an average student at a top 10 school is "elite" by most standards). Someone who got straight As taking AP courses in high school will probably get straight As while competing against all the kids who got Bs in their easier courses.


There are very few courses in undergrad where you're competing for an A. Liberal arts courses at any school are about showing up, doing the work outlined on the syllabus, and getting an A. If you're median at an elite school, it most likely means you weren't motivated and would be median at a community college.


Lol no


lolkay

ZVBXRPL
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Re: Does applying from a low-ranking college hurt my chances?

Postby ZVBXRPL » Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:49 pm

I love how people state what may/may not be true based on a small amount of data as fact.

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UVAIce
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Re: Does applying from a low-ranking college hurt my chances?

Postby UVAIce » Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:51 pm

Just take a look at the kids who are at the top of your law school class. I am willing to bet that the majority come from top 25 undergrads. I know that the majority of the students on law review at UVA seem to come from "better" schools. I would be willing to be the same is true at other top law schools.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: Does applying from a low-ranking college hurt my chances?

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Mon Aug 05, 2013 2:01 pm

ლ(ಠ益ಠლ) wrote:
hoos89 wrote:Kind of missing the point. An average student at a top 10 school with a 3.5 gpa mean (i.e. someone with a 3.5) would not have a 3.0 at a low ranked school with a 3.0 average. They would more likely be in the 3.8-4.1 range. Why? Because it is WAY easier for an elite student to stand out at a lower ranked school (and yes, an average student at a top 10 school is "elite" by most standards). Someone who got straight As taking AP courses in high school will probably get straight As while competing against all the kids who got Bs in their easier courses.


There are very few courses in undergrad where you're competing for an A. Liberal arts courses at any school are about showing up, doing the work outlined on the syllabus, and getting an A. If you're median at an elite school, it most likely means you weren't motivated and would be median at a community college.


I'm just going to hazard a guess here: You were a STEM major with between a 3.0 and a 3.5, and you found your coursework difficult. You took somewhere between two and four 100-level "liberal arts" courses in your freshman and sophomore year and did well. You then met some liberal arts majors you thought were dumb, but nonetheless had a high GPA, and thus concluded it couldn't be that difficult.

Even if science majors do tend to have slightly lower GPAs than humanities majors (and I don't know if that's true), that does not imply a) That those classes are a cakewalk or b) That half of HYP is just not motivated enough to be above median.

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Re: Does applying from a low-ranking college hurt my chances?

Postby FKASunny » Mon Aug 05, 2013 2:05 pm

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
ლ(ಠ益ಠლ) wrote:
hoos89 wrote:Kind of missing the point. An average student at a top 10 school with a 3.5 gpa mean (i.e. someone with a 3.5) would not have a 3.0 at a low ranked school with a 3.0 average. They would more likely be in the 3.8-4.1 range. Why? Because it is WAY easier for an elite student to stand out at a lower ranked school (and yes, an average student at a top 10 school is "elite" by most standards). Someone who got straight As taking AP courses in high school will probably get straight As while competing against all the kids who got Bs in their easier courses.


There are very few courses in undergrad where you're competing for an A. Liberal arts courses at any school are about showing up, doing the work outlined on the syllabus, and getting an A. If you're median at an elite school, it most likely means you weren't motivated and would be median at a community college.


I'm just going to hazard a guess here: You were a STEM major with between a 3.0 and a 3.5, and you found your coursework difficult. You took somewhere between two and four 100-level "liberal arts" courses in your freshman and sophomore year and did well. You then met some liberal arts majors you thought were dumb, but nonetheless had a high GPA, and thus concluded it couldn't be that difficult.

Even if science majors do tend to have slightly lower GPAs than humanities majors (and I don't know if that's true), that does not imply a) That those classes are a cakewalk or b) That half of HYP is just not motivated enough to be above median.



No, I was a liberal arts major and I did pretty well in my upper level courses. My contention wasn't that liberal arts courses are necessarily easy; it's that, for the most part, anyone can get an A if they focus and stay organized in each course. I think it's wrong to frame it as students competing with other students for A's in liberals arts classes. Those classes are not curved. You're competing against yourself and whatever rubric the professor is using to measure your competence.

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Re: Does applying from a low-ranking college hurt my chances?

Postby Uncle Lou » Mon Aug 05, 2013 2:13 pm

Jesus, liberal arts classes with no curve at all? As in, every person in a class can get an A? My at-median GPA and I picked the wrong college. :cry: :cry:

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FKASunny
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Re: Does applying from a low-ranking college hurt my chances?

Postby FKASunny » Mon Aug 05, 2013 2:17 pm

Uncle Lou wrote:Jesus, liberal arts classes with no curve at all? As in, every person in a class can get an A? My at-median GPA and I picked the wrong college. :cry: :cry:

If I could go back in time and tell my 17-year-old self just one thing, it would be, "pick a school that gives A+s!"

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Re: Does applying from a low-ranking college hurt my chances?

Postby abl » Mon Aug 05, 2013 2:34 pm

In Berkeley world, Oberlin > Yale. My mind is full of fuck. Also, my UG, which has never been in the USNWR top 20, gets one of the top ten biggest boosts for non-LACs, over half the Ivies and Stanford. Huh?


In Berkeley world (circa 1997), a 3.8 GPA from Oberlin is more impressive than a 3.8 GPA from Yale. That's very different from "Oberlin > Yale." What Berkeley did is attempt to create a "true" grade inflation list --- one that recognizes that a 3.8 from a grade inflated school filled with really smart people may yet be more impressive than a 3.8 from a lousy school without grade inflation. That's why schools like Swarthmore and Williams come up top --- those are the schools with the smartest students that nevertheless don't have super-inflated grades. I would wager that the average GPA at Swarthmore/Williams is significantly higher than, say, ASU, but because the students are of a so much higher caliber, Berkeley still recognizes that their grades are deflated relative to ASU. Nevertheless, it recognizes that some top schools inflate grades SO much that it doesn't make up for the relatively quality of the student body --- see, e.g., Stanford.

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Re: Does applying from a low-ranking college hurt my chances?

Postby Balthy » Mon Aug 05, 2013 3:26 pm

FWIW, I went to TTT state school but also took courses at a couple of top schools (real courses, not the gimmicky continuing education kind). In my experience, the upper level lib arts courses at my state school were just as hard as those at top schools. The difference was that, at my state school, 90% of the students had no clue what was going on and did poorly. Maybe other shit schools are different; I have a friend who took courses at another campus in our school's system and I've heard the classes are ridiculously easy there, sort of like a community college courses. I was also in the honors program so maybe that made a difference. I took numerous courses where only 1-2 people made As and some where there were no As given. I imagine the same courses with the same standards would have yielded more As at a top school.


Edit: I prob shouldn't call my UG a TTT. It's still a tier 1 school, just TTT by TLS standards.

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Re: Does applying from a low-ranking college hurt my chances?

Postby jbagelboy » Mon Aug 05, 2013 5:32 pm

ლ(ಠ益ಠლ) wrote:
Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
ლ(ಠ益ಠლ) wrote:
hoos89 wrote:Kind of missing the point. An average student at a top 10 school with a 3.5 gpa mean (i.e. someone with a 3.5) would not have a 3.0 at a low ranked school with a 3.0 average. They would more likely be in the 3.8-4.1 range. Why? Because it is WAY easier for an elite student to stand out at a lower ranked school (and yes, an average student at a top 10 school is "elite" by most standards). Someone who got straight As taking AP courses in high school will probably get straight As while competing against all the kids who got Bs in their easier courses.


There are very few courses in undergrad where you're competing for an A. Liberal arts courses at any school are about showing up, doing the work outlined on the syllabus, and getting an A. If you're median at an elite school, it most likely means you weren't motivated and would be median at a community college.


I'm just going to hazard a guess here: You were a STEM major with between a 3.0 and a 3.5, and you found your coursework difficult. You took somewhere between two and four 100-level "liberal arts" courses in your freshman and sophomore year and did well. You then met some liberal arts majors you thought were dumb, but nonetheless had a high GPA, and thus concluded it couldn't be that difficult.

Even if science majors do tend to have slightly lower GPAs than humanities majors (and I don't know if that's true), that does not imply a) That those classes are a cakewalk or b) That half of HYP is just not motivated enough to be above median.



No, I was a liberal arts major and I did pretty well in my upper level courses. My contention wasn't that liberal arts courses are necessarily easy; it's that, for the most part, anyone can get an A if they focus and stay organized in each course. I think it's wrong to frame it as students competing with other students for A's in liberals arts classes. Those classes are not curved. You're competing against yourself and whatever rubric the professor is using to measure your competence.


Lol I never took a class where everyone got an A. In fact, one of my LoR writers was known for never giving A's. The first class I took with him, one person in ~15 got an A; the second time, no one did. I got an A- both times, and that was a rarity.

He was a history professor. He didn't need a curve, he just gave out one or two A's a year because he could. A curved course, you know there will be A's. My "top" college had some grade inflation but still, the average grade in a history, phil, ect. class was B or B+ at best - I took an analytic philosophy course where the professor stated she maintained a B average in that class each year, and we were curved accordingly. Only in English, sociology, and ethnic studies classes were A's and A-'s truly rained down upon the students.

Some classes are bullshit in every major. When you summarize ("the liberal arts"... laughable), you aren't helping your case. It's a ludicrous claim that goes to show you either didn't attend a competitive/prestigious university, or you searched out the most bullshit curriculum, which was doable at any institution. I was a STEM major and I found my math classes much easier to get an A in than my history or other humanities courses. In fact, in all the courses I took for my history minor, I only got a solid A once, whereas I aced a number of my upper division applied math courses. My curved Financial Analysis class was the easiest "A" I took in college.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: Does applying from a low-ranking college hurt my chances?

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Mon Aug 05, 2013 5:38 pm

abl wrote:
In Berkeley world, Oberlin > Yale. My mind is full of fuck. Also, my UG, which has never been in the USNWR top 20, gets one of the top ten biggest boosts for non-LACs, over half the Ivies and Stanford. Huh?


In Berkeley world (circa 1997), a 3.8 GPA from Oberlin is more impressive than a 3.8 GPA from Yale. That's very different from "Oberlin > Yale." What Berkeley did is attempt to create a "true" grade inflation list --- one that recognizes that a 3.8 from a grade inflated school filled with really smart people may yet be more impressive than a 3.8 from a lousy school without grade inflation. That's why schools like Swarthmore and Williams come up top --- those are the schools with the smartest students that nevertheless don't have super-inflated grades. I would wager that the average GPA at Swarthmore/Williams is significantly higher than, say, ASU, but because the students are of a so much higher caliber, Berkeley still recognizes that their grades are deflated relative to ASU. Nevertheless, it recognizes that some top schools inflate grades SO much that it doesn't make up for the relatively quality of the student body --- see, e.g., Stanford.


I get that they're trying to make an apples-to-apples comparison, I just think something about that particular adjustment is way off. Oberlin is a good, but by no means great, LAC. If you were to line up all the schools in order of how impressive a 3.8 is, I could see you taking Swarthmore/Amherst/Williams/Pomona and some of the stiffer graders in the upper echelon--Chicago, Duke, MIT, Princeton--but I wouldn't put more than a dozen schools ahead of Yale, compared to the thirty-something they did. I attended one of the schools listed as having a higher "adjustment" and got a 3.45--if it came down to identical resumes with me and a Yale grad, I'm taking the Yale grad every single time. Some of the choices are weird, too--for example, UVA has been known for grade inflation for a long time (and it would have been quite prominent in the late 90s) and never had a median LSAT that compares to the very best, but is listed as getting a great adjustment.

But the data's old and at the idea of the day I'm not obligated to care what Berkeley thinks.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: Does applying from a low-ranking college hurt my chances?

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Mon Aug 05, 2013 5:48 pm

Also, if I were an admissions officer, I would put a little more stock in the humanities, honestly, assuming the goal was trying to guess who was going to make the best lawyers. If someone has a good GPA from a writing-intensive major (English, Philosophy, History and Poli Sci/Government were the four that were traditionally praised by the field), then they almost assuredly have the requisite writing skills to be successful in law school. STEM majors are a bit riskier in that respect only because they're less proven--they tend to outperform non-STEM students on the LSAT, but more often can't write for shit. That's not to suggest STEM majors can't be good writers, just that they have less demonstrated experience in the type of writing that figures prominently in law school.

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Re: Does applying from a low-ranking college hurt my chances?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Aug 05, 2013 6:14 pm

I've said this somewhere before, but I think the thing with humanities courses is that if you go to class and do the work, it's hard to really tank your GPA the way you still can in some STEM classes - put in a good faith effort, you'll probably get some variety of B (whereas that doesn't seem to hold true for something like organic chemistry). But it's not easy to get the straight A based on just showing up and doing the work; in fact, I'd say it's probably easier in some ways to get a straight A in a more objective subject like math, because if you get the material, there's a right answer and a wrong answer (whereas in the humanities there are clearly wrong answers, but then there's a huge range of right/less right/more right answers).

(This is based on doing a lot of grading in the humanities. The vast majority of my students who got Cs and below just didn't do all the work. But the students who got As did stellar work.)

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sinfiery
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Re: Does applying from a low-ranking college hurt my chances?

Postby sinfiery » Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:27 pm

At some point, you have to accept the difference between the GPAs of GRADUATING students between these two institutions.

I mean, the amount of people at your local state U that don't graduate but who have accumulated sub 2.5 GPAs is astounding. This doesn't happen as you move up the scale in the same proportions and further inflates the numbers.


At the end of the day, you can make the argument that colleges are graded on merit alone and thus explains the difference in median GPA or you can make the argument that everything is curved against a more difficult class and it's way harder at a top scchool.


But when you do both at once and use anecdotes as the driving force behind your arguments, it becomes ridiculous. And there are an infinite amount of splitters (especially when you account for the 161-165 LSAT medians at these "top" schools) that went to TTTs to show some pretty strong anecdotal evidence against the whole "median student would 100% get a 4.33333 no problem" shitck. You don't know that.
Uncle Lou wrote:Jesus, liberal arts classes with no curve at all? As in, every person in a class can get an A? My at-median GPA and I picked the wrong college. :cry: :cry:


This is all semantics and based on no practical difference. If a state UG class gave all its students an A, there is zero chance it would year after year.

My school released grade distributions for all classes and I'd never seen one with more than 35% given As and the average being around 12-20%.

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hoos89
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Re: Does applying from a low-ranking college hurt my chances?

Postby hoos89 » Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:20 am

/
Last edited by hoos89 on Fri Jul 04, 2014 1:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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sinfiery
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Re: Does applying from a low-ranking college hurt my chances?

Postby sinfiery » Tue Aug 06, 2013 4:09 am

hoos89 wrote:
The lower you go in undergrad quality, the fewer high LSATs there are, and the drop in average LSAT can be substantial. Unless you want to argue that a disproportionately higher number of high LSATs at lower tier schools also have bad GPAs, then it stands to reason that there simply aren't as many splitters at TTTs as at better schools.

That is exactly what I am arguing. With half the class at n
top schools and likely a very large below median bunch hovering around median at or near 3.5, the sheer volume of non splitters at the school skew the proportions in favor of non elite schools.

The mere fact that some exist does not prove your anything relative to this argument. I presume that a median student at a top 10 school puts forth at least a reasonable amount of effort in most cases, while a splitter from a TTT likely either did close to 0 work while also going to a diminutive number of classes or had some sort of illness.

Every single statistic on this phenomenon comes to the conclusion that on average, a student at a top school will have a significantly higher GPA than a TTT. The only counter presented are anecdotes and theories based on said anecdotes. So the sheer fact that those students exist is most definitely relevant as it directly counters anecdota vs anecdote. If you'd like to just look at statistics, I'd be down.

The point is that a typical, average student at a top 10 school would excel at a bad school in spite of the lower GPA average. You are pulling a pretty absurd straw man here by saying that I'm arguing that a median student would always end up with a 4.333. I said nothing of the sort. In fact I specifically said "They would more likely be in the 3.8-4.1 range," which is far less stringent in both respects.

Also, my understanding is that professors are generally told to shoot for certain percentages of As, Bs, etc. or to hit a certain GPA average. In order to do that, the test needs to not be too difficult or too easy for the student body to perform at that level. It stands to reason that the lower the quality of the student body, the easier the test needs to be to hit a given distribution.

This is exactly what I'm talking about. You literally did it in back to back statements. A) the student quality is higher a elite universities and B) professors are told to curve grades so X get a/b/cs to adjust for student quality thereby no longer makivn it relevant


You aren't allowed to argue both sides at once dude, they counteract each other
You can argue the student body is better and so because it isn't graded on a curve, of course more people get As at an elite university OR the work is adjusted to be easier at lower universities so it makes sense to adjust have grade inflation because we learn harder shit

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John_rizzy_rawls
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Re: Does applying from a low-ranking college hurt my chances?

Postby John_rizzy_rawls » Tue Aug 06, 2013 4:22 am

Oh good, another UG prestige circle-jerk.

The impact is very minimal, LSAT/GPA/URM comprise ~90% of an app's weight.

/thread

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hoos89
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Re: Does applying from a low-ranking college hurt my chances?

Postby hoos89 » Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:01 am

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Last edited by hoos89 on Fri Jul 04, 2014 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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FKASunny
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Re: Does applying from a low-ranking college hurt my chances?

Postby FKASunny » Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:52 am

John_rizzy_rawls wrote:Oh good, another UG prestige circle-jerk.

I want you to sit next to me

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Re: Does applying from a low-ranking college hurt my chances?

Postby ZVBXRPL » Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:17 pm

Aspirant. wrote:A classmate of mine from a no-name Christian liberal arts school went to Yale. He had a 4.0, not sure what his LSAT was. If the stats are there undergrad doesn't matter.

Friend of mine--T100 Regional Universities (North), 4.03, 174, and non URM-----HLS. Weeeeeeeee.




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