174 / 3.45 GPA splitter - UChicago?

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theramblingfool
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174 / 3.45 GPA splitter - UChicago?

Postby theramblingfool » Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:02 pm

My undergraduate GPA was an underwhelming 3.45 and I don't yet have my LSAT score, as I took the December test. However, by the end of my PTing I was getting 175+ on all of my tests, and I can say with a fair amount of confidence that I scored between 174 and 176 on the real thing.

I am very set on UChicago, so I'm wondering what my chances there are, assuming my 174-176 estimate is accurate.

A quick bit of background: I'm not a URM, but I do have an interesting background of diversity. I have been on my own since I was 14 and was homeless periodically in my teens. I turned that experience into what I think is a fairly strong personal statement about my tenacity and ability to overcome obstacles and thrive under pressure. Otherwise, just the 3.45 GPA in Psychology at the University of Illinois (some softs, but I don't know how impressive they are) and 1.5 years of experience as a software engineer post graduation.
Last edited by theramblingfool on Mon Dec 09, 2013 5:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Tanicius
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Re: UChicago splitter

Postby Tanicius » Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:04 pm

theramblingfool wrote:My undergraduate GPA was an underwhelming 3.45 and I don't yet have my LSAT score, as I took the December test. However, by the end of my PTing I was getting 175+ on all of my tests, and I can say with a fair amount of confidence that I scored between 174 and 176 on the real thing.

I am very set on UChicago, so I'm wondering what my chances there are, assuming my 174-176 estimate is accurate.

A quick bit of background: I'm not a URM, but I do have an interesting background of diversity. I have been on my own since I was 14 and was homeless periodically in my teens. I turned that experience into what I think is a fairly strong personal statement about my tenacity and ability to overcome obstacles and thrive under pressure. Otherwise, just the 3.45 GPA in Psychology at the University of Illinois (some softs, but I don't know how impressive they are) and 1.5 years of experience as a software engineer post graduation.


You'll have good chances at Chicago.

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Puffin
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Re: UChicago splitter

Postby Puffin » Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:04 am

If you're exceptionally wealthy or your loved ones are taking on your debt load (neither of which seem to apply here but alas) ED 3.45 175 is a shoe in for acceptance. Because of your background I might look into EDing NU RDing UChi because of their full-ride program and although unusual I'm recollecting someone getting in last year with ~3.5 ~175.

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Re: UChicago splitter

Postby midwest17 » Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:19 am

Puffin wrote:If you're exceptionally wealthy or your loved ones are taking on your debt load (neither of which seem to apply here but alas) ED 3.45 175 is a shoe in for acceptance. Because of your background I might look into EDing NU RDing UChi because of their full-ride program and although unusual I'm recollecting someone getting in last year with ~3.5 ~175.


Chicago gives a good shot at BigLaw, so paying sticker isn't crazy, if you want to do that. They also have good LRAP, so if you want to go into PI there's always that.

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theramblingfool
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Re: UChicago splitter

Postby theramblingfool » Mon Dec 09, 2013 2:19 am

I can't early decision anywhere, as it's already December, I just took my LSAT, and to my knowledge I won't be seeing that score until the beginning of January. So really, that factor only hurts my chances, yes?

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Re: UChicago splitter

Postby lawschool22 » Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:16 pm

theramblingfool wrote:I can't early decision anywhere, as it's already December, I just took my LSAT, and to my knowledge I won't be seeing that score until the beginning of January. So really, that factor only hurts my chances, yes?


Honestly yes, it does hurt your chances (marginally). But if you score where you say you will be scoring, you should still be in pretty good shape. By all accounts the number of top scores (173+) are down again this year, and credible sources say that schools are really eating them up. So get your app completely ready to go, and hit the button as soon as that score comes in. You should be okay.

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Re: UChicago splitter

Postby Pishee77 » Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:59 pm

lawschool22 wrote:
theramblingfool wrote:I can't early decision anywhere, as it's already December, I just took my LSAT, and to my knowledge I won't be seeing that score until the beginning of January. So really, that factor only hurts my chances, yes?


Honestly yes, it does hurt your chances (marginally). But if you score where you say you will be scoring, you should still be in pretty good shape. By all accounts the number of top scores (173+) are down again this year, and credible sources say that schools are really eating them up. So get your app completely ready to go, and hit the button as soon as that score comes in. You should be okay.

+1

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Re: 174 / 3.45 GPA splitter - UChicago?

Postby crazyvix » Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:53 pm

UChicago pays special attention to UGPA, 3.45 is below their 25% percentile, but I'd definitely recommend you at least trying. I know a couple of friends who got into UChicago with a 170 and 3.89, yet another one got dinged with a 175 and 3.41

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Re: 174 / 3.45 GPA splitter - UChicago?

Postby lawschool22 » Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:55 pm

crazyvix wrote:UChicago pays special attention to UGPA, 3.45 is below their 25% percentile, but I'd definitely recommend you at least trying. I know a couple of friends who got into UChicago with a 170 and 3.89, yet another one got dinged with a 175 and 3.41


This is true. I think the feeling this cycle is that they may not be able to be as picky w/ UGPA due to yet another decrease in top scores.

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Re: 174 / 3.45 GPA splitter - UChicago?

Postby midwest17 » Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:57 pm

lawschool22 wrote:
crazyvix wrote:UChicago pays special attention to UGPA, 3.45 is below their 25% percentile, but I'd definitely recommend you at least trying. I know a couple of friends who got into UChicago with a 170 and 3.89, yet another one got dinged with a 175 and 3.41


This is true. I think the feeling this cycle is that they may not be able to be as picky w/ UGPA due to yet another decrease in top scores.


They still have the Rubies though, so...

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lawschool22
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Re: 174 / 3.45 GPA splitter - UChicago?

Postby lawschool22 » Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:02 pm

midwest17 wrote:
lawschool22 wrote:
crazyvix wrote:UChicago pays special attention to UGPA, 3.45 is below their 25% percentile, but I'd definitely recommend you at least trying. I know a couple of friends who got into UChicago with a 170 and 3.89, yet another one got dinged with a 175 and 3.41


This is true. I think the feeling this cycle is that they may not be able to be as picky w/ UGPA due to yet another decrease in top scores.


They still have the Rubies though, so...


Oh they'll get some amazing LSAT/GPA combos for sure. They'll probably just have fewer apps to choose from when giving out the $$$.

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Re: UChicago splitter

Postby theramblingfool » Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:38 am

lawschool22 wrote:By all accounts the number of top scores (173+) are down again this year, and credible sources say that schools are really eating them up.


I wasn't actually aware of this. How significant is this trend? Why is it occurring? Is there a thread or any other useful source where I can read about this?

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Re: UChicago splitter

Postby lawschool22 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:53 am

theramblingfool wrote:
lawschool22 wrote:By all accounts the number of top scores (173+) are down again this year, and credible sources say that schools are really eating them up.


I wasn't actually aware of this. How significant is this trend? Why is it occurring? Is there a thread or any other useful source where I can read about this?


We don't really have "hard numbers" yet, but here is a sampling of quotes from Mike Spivey, a well-respected admissions consultant (emphasis mine):

Mike Spivey wrote:At most places where i consistently speak with admissions friends application are down or level. The one school I know of where applications are up is WUSTL, which makes a good deal of sense given that they gave out so an unprecedented amount of money last cycle. Almost categorically schools seem acutely worried about a dearth in LSAT scores and that their medians will drop, including way up towards the top.

That is what I know, hopefully we will get some data soon.

Mike Spivey wrote:I can't give specifics for confidentiality reasons, with both clients and friends who are in the admissions world, but what we seem to be seeing early on, even at the top (which always trickles down so will impact middle of tier 1) is the strong*potential* (still early but growing evidence) that floors on gpa will be lowered or considerably lowered for a mad LSAT free for all AND that top schools may be offering substantial money early. The scholarship early part would be a boon for leveraging offers before the LSAC date when schools can say "accept our money or we can rescind your offer" .

So again, early indication is very good news for you dashing folks. This could be about the best cycle ever for applicants.

Mike Spivey wrote:My prediction 3 weeks ago was that we would see a good deal more admits at previously established floors, but not a lowering of the floors. So the early evidence is I was off and there may be a more seismic change.

Mike Spivey wrote:Yep, "mad LSAT free for all" as in trying to gobble up LSATs at the top because they are in short supply rather than the LSAT scores are angry from lack of company. (although that might apply here too)

Mike Spivey wrote:...I mean LSAT scores in the 173+ range.

For schools I think just about everyone is going to be impacted although t3 perhaps less so than the others. Still, even at a t3 I think there already might be some shift in strategy. No mas on this!


You can read more over in this thread around page 62 onward: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=197451&start=1525

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Re: UChicago splitter

Postby Ti Malice » Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:07 pm

lawschool22 wrote:
theramblingfool wrote:I can't early decision anywhere, as it's already December, I just took my LSAT, and to my knowledge I won't be seeing that score until the beginning of January. So really, that factor only hurts my chances, yes?


Honestly yes, it does hurt your chances (marginally). But if you score where you say you will be scoring, you should still be in pretty good shape. By all accounts the number of top scores (173+) are down again this year, and credible sources say that schools are really eating them up. So get your app completely ready to go, and hit the button as soon as that score comes in. You should be okay.


It will likely hurt much more than marginally. Yes, the number of top scorers continues to decline, but this is not exactly new, and there's no indication that Chicago is likely to suddenly scrap its admissions approach. A tiny class size also insulates Chicago from the pressure to take large numbers of splitters.

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Re: UChicago splitter

Postby lawschool22 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:14 pm

Ti Malice wrote:
lawschool22 wrote:
theramblingfool wrote:I can't early decision anywhere, as it's already December, I just took my LSAT, and to my knowledge I won't be seeing that score until the beginning of January. So really, that factor only hurts my chances, yes?


Honestly yes, it does hurt your chances (marginally). But if you score where you say you will be scoring, you should still be in pretty good shape. By all accounts the number of top scores (173+) are down again this year, and credible sources say that schools are really eating them up. So get your app completely ready to go, and hit the button as soon as that score comes in. You should be okay.


It will likely hurt much more than marginally. Yes, the number of top scorers continues to decline, but this is not exactly new, and there's no indication that Chicago is likely to suddenly scrap its admissions approach. A tiny class size also insulates Chicago from the pressure to take large numbers of splitters.


I agree with this, and that's why I think the timing will not make a huge difference. With UChi's approach and small class size, they are going to admit or deny him based on his numbers (and the relative quality of this year's applicant pool), regardless of whether he applied in October or December. The main variable will not be his timing, but whether there are enough top LSATs this year for Chicago to maintain it's high GPA standards.

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Re: 174 / 3.45 GPA splitter - UChicago?

Postby Ti Malice » Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:34 pm

We might be talking past each other a little bit. The timing of his app will probably hurt less than in years past (though Chicago has historically admitted most of its class early). I was replying with chances of an ED vs. RD app in mind. With those hypothetical stats, OP would essentially be a lock with an ED app, but he's likely out via RD.

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Re: 174 / 3.45 GPA splitter - UChicago?

Postby lawschool22 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:36 pm

Ti Malice wrote:We might be talking past each other a little bit. The timing of his app will probably hurt less than in years past (though Chicago has historically admitted most of its class early). I was replying with chances of an ED vs. RD app in mind. With those hypothetical stats, OP would essentially be a lock with an ED app, but he's likely out via RD.


Yeah I think we're pretty much on the same page. If he wanted Chicago, ED would have been great.

But OP I think you'll have some nice options this cycle, so I would apply and see what comes your way. How does NYU sound? :)

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Re: 174 / 3.45 GPA splitter - UChicago?

Postby theramblingfool » Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:46 pm

Well, that is not good news. I may have to tailor my plans to these expectations and anticipate sitting out a cycle....

Here's the thing: I *really* need to be in Chicago. UChicago appeals to me for many reasons, but additionally I am a single father with less pull than my son's mother. We live in Illinois and if I were to move away for law school, I would be sacrificing too much.

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Re: 174 / 3.45 GPA splitter - UChicago?

Postby lawschool22 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:49 pm

theramblingfool wrote:Well, that is not good news. I may have to tailor my plans to these expectations and anticipate sitting out a cycle....

Here's the thing: I *really* need to be in Chicago. UChicago appeals to me for many reasons, but additionally I am a single father with less pull than my son's mother. We live in Illinois and if I were to move away for law school, I would be sacrificing too much.


How do you feel about sitting out a cycle? Also, what about Northwestern? I think you have a good shot there. The chart below is for apps submitted starting in December onward. It also includes the slightly less favorable 2011-2012 cycle. So Northwestern looks pretty good, and you have a 1/3 shot at UChi:

Image

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theramblingfool
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Re: 174 / 3.45 GPA splitter - UChicago?

Postby theramblingfool » Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:05 pm

Obviously, I would very much like to start law school this coming year. But I'm 23 years old... I'm not going anywhere. So I know that being patient and sitting out a cycle isn't the end of the world. That being said, I will certainly be applying to both UChicago and Northwestern. The most difficult decision for me would be if I got accepted into Northwestern but not into UChicago. Would I sit out and try for UChicago again next year, or would I take my opportunity to attend Northwestern? That's a bridge I'll cross if I get there.

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Re: 174 / 3.45 GPA splitter - UChicago?

Postby Ti Malice » Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:05 pm

theramblingfool wrote:Obviously, I would very much like to start law school this coming year. But I'm 23 years old... I'm not going anywhere. So I know that being patient and sitting out a cycle isn't the end of the world. That being said, I will certainly be applying to both UChicago and Northwestern. The most difficult decision for me would be if I got accepted into Northwestern but not into UChicago. Would I sit out and try for UChicago again next year, or would I take my opportunity to attend Northwestern? That's a bridge I'll cross if I get there.


Honestly, there's a good chance that your (hypothetical) numbers would make choosing Chicago over Northwestern an exceedingly poor decision.

You will probably receive $90-135K in scholarship money at NU. You're unlikely to receive much of anything if you're admitted to Chicago, especially if you ED. That means that you would probably owe somewhere between $110K and $165K less at the beginning of repayment out of NU than you would out of Chicago.

Chicago is not worth those amounts over NU under any circumstances. And for legal employment in Chicago, UChi's advantage over NU is smaller than it is anywhere else.

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Re: 174 / 3.45 GPA splitter - UChicago?

Postby lawschool22 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:08 pm

Ti Malice wrote:
theramblingfool wrote:Obviously, I would very much like to start law school this coming year. But I'm 23 years old... I'm not going anywhere. So I know that being patient and sitting out a cycle isn't the end of the world. That being said, I will certainly be applying to both UChicago and Northwestern. The most difficult decision for me would be if I got accepted into Northwestern but not into UChicago. Would I sit out and try for UChicago again next year, or would I take my opportunity to attend Northwestern? That's a bridge I'll cross if I get there.


Honestly, there's a good chance that your (hypothetical) numbers would make choosing Chicago over Northwestern an exceedingly poor decision.

You will probably receive $90-135K in scholarship money at NU. You're unlikely to receive much of anything if you're admitted to Chicago, especially if you ED. That means that you would probably owe somewhere between $110K and $165K less at the beginning of repayment out of NU than you would out of Chicago.

Chicago is not worth those amounts over NU under any circumstances. And for legal employment in Chicago, UChi's advantage over NU is smaller than it is anywhere else.


Exactly. Yeah OP, if you want to work in Chicago, NU is going to be the better choice with your numbers.

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Re: 174 / 3.45 GPA splitter - UChicago?

Postby theramblingfool » Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:48 pm

That makes sense from that perspective.

What if I was interesting in more than just speed of repayment with biglaw salary, though? I am really passionate about socioeconomic issues, especially dealing with the philosophy of policy and how it relates to that. I am very academically minded. Additionally, I feel that my interests may ultimately lead to policy and or politics.

With this in mind, is there a clear advantage to any certain decision over another?

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Re: 174 / 3.45 GPA splitter - UChicago?

Postby lawschool22 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:52 pm

theramblingfool wrote:That makes sense from that perspective.

What if I was interesting in more than just speed of repayment with biglaw salary, though? I am really passionate about socioeconomic issues, especially dealing with the philosophy of policy and how it relates to that. I am very academically minded. Additionally, I feel that my interests may ultimately lead to policy and or politics.

With this in mind, is there a clear advantage to any certain decision over another?


If you want to get involved in policy and politics eventually, it sounds like that will naturally start out for you in the context of Chicago, since you seem to have ties to the area, and move up from there. If that is the case then no, I don't think one really has an advantage over the other. You will get into politics/policy by networking with people, getting involved in the community, etc. Where you went to law school in the sense of one top Chicago school vs the other will probably make little to no difference for those goals.

Besides, the freedom and flexibility of lower debt will give you the ability to leave big law sooner and pursue something that doesn't have the big law salary (which would be required to pay back that big Chicago debt you would accrue).

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Re: 174 / 3.45 GPA splitter - UChicago?

Postby theramblingfool » Tue Dec 10, 2013 5:08 pm

That makes a lot of sense. I'm not just concerned with prestige and what that will do for me, though. I am more interested in the actual substance. I want to make the decision that will benefit me the most in terms of strengthening my mind.

As this is all uncharted territory for me, I don't know if UChicago and Northwestern vary to any significant degree in this regard.




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