Mediocre GPA from elite undergrad institution

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Carpin
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Mediocre GPA from elite undergrad institution

Postby Carpin » Tue Mar 17, 2015 4:27 pm

Hi all, I'm an international student with a BA and an MA in philosophy from Britain's two elite institutions, but my GPAs are mediocre. (They are British-style grades, which probably translate to about 3.3-3.4 at undergrad, and about 3.6 at MA level.) Suppose these are coupled with 170 in LSAT. Do you think I stand a chance for being half-funded at a T14 school? How far do you think the reputation of undergrad institution will compensate for low GPA?

Views much appreciated. Thanks!

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DCfilterDC
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Re: Mediocre GPA from elite undergrad institution

Postby DCfilterDC » Tue Mar 17, 2015 4:30 pm

Carpin wrote:Hi all, I'm an international student with a BA and an MA in philosophy from Britain's two elite institutions, but my GPAs are mediocre. (They are British-style grades, which probably translate to about 3.4-3.5 at undergrad, and about 3.6 at MA level.) Suppose these are coupled with 170 in LSAT. Do you think I stand a chance for being half-funded at a T14 school? How far do you think the reputation of undergrad institution will compensate for low GPA?

Views much appreciated. Thanks!


Why suppose? If you don't have an LSAT score yet the question is pretty moot.

Half funded is tough with a 3.4 UGPA, but a high 170s maybe.

Alan Grant
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Re: Mediocre GPA from elite undergrad institution

Postby Alan Grant » Tue Mar 17, 2015 4:58 pm

DCfilterDC wrote:
Carpin wrote:Hi all, I'm an international student with a BA and an MA in philosophy from Britain's two elite institutions, but my GPAs are mediocre. (They are British-style grades, which probably translate to about 3.4-3.5 at undergrad, and about 3.6 at MA level.) Suppose these are coupled with 170 in LSAT. Do you think I stand a chance for being half-funded at a T14 school? How far do you think the reputation of undergrad institution will compensate for low GPA?

Views much appreciated. Thanks!


Why suppose? If you don't have an LSAT score yet the question is pretty moot.

Half funded is tough with a 3.4 UGPA, but a high 170s maybe.


It's my understanding that grade inflation is much more significant in the States than across the pond in the UK, so I would suggest making sure that in one or two of your letters of recommendation you have your professors address the average GPA at those institutions, noting that there is little grade inflation. UG grades are usually the only ones that really matter. Also, if LSAC does not convert your grades to the American style, your law school may not have to report them, so they won't care for ranking purposes.

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Winston1984
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Re: Mediocre GPA from elite undergrad institution

Postby Winston1984 » Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:21 pm

Alan Grant wrote:
DCfilterDC wrote:
Carpin wrote:Hi all, I'm an international student with a BA and an MA in philosophy from Britain's two elite institutions, but my GPAs are mediocre. (They are British-style grades, which probably translate to about 3.4-3.5 at undergrad, and about 3.6 at MA level.) Suppose these are coupled with 170 in LSAT. Do you think I stand a chance for being half-funded at a T14 school? How far do you think the reputation of undergrad institution will compensate for low GPA?

Views much appreciated. Thanks!


Why suppose? If you don't have an LSAT score yet the question is pretty moot.

Half funded is tough with a 3.4 UGPA, but a high 170s maybe.


It's my understanding that grade inflation is much more significant in the States than across the pond in the UK, so I would suggest making sure that in one or two of your letters of recommendation you have your professors address the average GPA at those institutions, noting that there is little grade inflation. UG grades are usually the only ones that really matter. Also, if LSAC does not convert your grades to the American style, your law school may not have to report them, so they won't care for ranking purposes.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought only US/Canadian schools had a numerical gpa. The others were superior and such.

BigZuck
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Re: Mediocre GPA from elite undergrad institution

Postby BigZuck » Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:22 pm

Not much TLS can help you with here, just send your transcripts to LSAC and take the LSAT

Alan Grant
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Re: Mediocre GPA from elite undergrad institution

Postby Alan Grant » Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:37 pm

BigZuck wrote: Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought only US/Canadian schools had a numerical gpa. The others were superior and such.


Not sure. Maybe you are right. I am only going off what the OP said, and the fact that grades--even if they are non numerical--tend to be compartively lower in the UK than in the US. In either case, it should be a benefit to him.

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Winston1984
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Re: Mediocre GPA from elite undergrad institution

Postby Winston1984 » Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:57 pm

Why does BZ get credit for my quote?

BigZuck
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Re: Mediocre GPA from elite undergrad institution

Postby BigZuck » Tue Mar 17, 2015 6:24 pm

Winston1984 wrote:Why does BZ get credit for my quote?

If it makes you feel any better, I was thinking the same thing

Alan Grant
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Re: Mediocre GPA from elite undergrad institution

Postby Alan Grant » Tue Mar 17, 2015 6:36 pm

Winston1984 wrote:
Winston1984 wrote:Why does BZ get credit for my quote?

If it makes you feel any better, I was thinking the same thing


No idea how that happened. I have given you credit for both quotes above (one of which is his) as compensation for your undue suffering.

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Hand
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Re: Mediocre GPA from elite undergrad institution

Postby Hand » Tue Mar 17, 2015 6:42 pm

Alan Grant wrote:
Winston1984 wrote:
Winston1984 wrote:Why does BZ get credit for my quote?

If it makes you feel any better, I was thinking the same thing


No idea how that happened. I have given you credit for both quotes above (one of which is his) as compensation for your undue suffering.


Winston here is right though, international degrees don't get GPA equivalents, only superior/above average/average/below average. OP, you'll either get superior or above average (I *believe* they go simply by degree classification for BA's, although I might be wrong - 1 and 2.1 get superior, 2.2 above average, 3 you don't wanna know). For a sense of what to expect in terms of scholarships with an international degree and an LSAT range, see the comments spreadsheet in the international applicants thread.

ETA: just do really well on the LSAT and you'll be ok

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Winston1984
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Re: Mediocre GPA from elite undergrad institution

Postby Winston1984 » Tue Mar 17, 2015 7:44 pm

Alan Grant wrote:
Winston1984 wrote:
Winston1984 wrote:Why does BZ get credit for my quote?

If it makes you feel any better, I was thinking the same thing


No idea how that happened. I have given you credit for both quotes above (one of which is his) as compensation for your undue suffering.

Thanks bro.

Broncos15
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Re: Mediocre GPA from elite undergrad institution

Postby Broncos15 » Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:52 pm

Can someone correct me if I'm wrong?

The conventional wisdom I have read is that GPA matters a lot less ( if at all) because it does not factor in the UNSWR rankings....so its possible the only numerical factor that may matter is LSAT

TLDR : Crush the LSAT because that's the ticket to admission.

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Winston1984
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Re: Mediocre GPA from elite undergrad institution

Postby Winston1984 » Tue Mar 17, 2015 11:13 pm

Broncos15 wrote:Can someone correct me if I'm wrong?

The conventional wisdom I have read is that GPA matters a lot less ( if at all) because it does not factor in the UNSWR rankings....so its possible the only numerical factor that may matter is LSAT

TLDR : Crush the LSAT because that's the ticket to admission.

Do you mean international gpas?

Carpin
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Re: Mediocre GPA from elite undergrad institution

Postby Carpin » Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:22 am

Thanks everyone for your input!

I see - so international transcripts are evaluated only as "superior", "above average", "average", etc. Do schools still pay any attention to actual numbers in your transcripts though? Or do they just ignore the numbers altogether and focus on the "superior"/"average" categories?

And just one more question: Does "above average" signify above average RELATIVE to students at the institution that you attended? Or does it signify above average relative to US law school applicants as a whole?

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Hand
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Re: Mediocre GPA from elite undergrad institution

Postby Hand » Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:17 am

Carpin wrote:Thanks everyone for your input!

I see - so international transcripts are evaluated only as "superior", "above average", "average", etc. Do schools still pay any attention to actual numbers in your transcripts though? Or do they just ignore the numbers altogether and focus on the "superior"/"average" categories?

And just one more question: Does "above average" signify above average RELATIVE to students at the institution that you attended? Or does it signify above average relative to US law school applicants as a whole?


No idea whether they look at what's on your actual transcript, but as to your second question: it signifies neither - it means superior in your native grading system, and thus superior (etc.) relative to other students from your country.

musedreverie
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Re: Mediocre GPA from elite undergrad institution

Postby musedreverie » Thu Mar 19, 2015 7:27 pm

I assume by mediocre, it's low-mid 2:1? No matter, the LSAC evaluates your grade according to degree classification so first is superior, 2:1 is above average, 2:2 is average etc.

But I think the institutions in the States know it's hard to get firsts especially if you read essay-based rather than quantitative subject--this topic came up in all 3 of my interviews. Also I was given the impression that people took into account individual grades for each subjects when evaluating the totality of the value of your transcripts.

If I were you I would concentrate on acing LSAT seeing as how you're already a competent candidate with great undergrad credentials. Try to push it above 75th percentile of the schools you're aiming for.

Carpin
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Re: Mediocre GPA from elite undergrad institution

Postby Carpin » Sat Mar 21, 2015 3:07 pm

musedreverie wrote:I assume by mediocre, it's low-mid 2:1? No matter, the LSAC evaluates your grade according to degree classification so first is superior, 2:1 is above average, 2:2 is average etc.

But I think the institutions in the States know it's hard to get firsts especially if you read essay-based rather than quantitative subject--this topic came up in all 3 of my interviews. Also I was given the impression that people took into account individual grades for each subjects when evaluating the totality of the value of your transcripts.

If I were you I would concentrate on acing LSAT seeing as how you're already a competent candidate with great undergrad credentials. Try to push it above 75th percentile of the schools you're aiming for.


Thanks a lot, musedreverie. That's very helpful. By mediocre I mean a mid 2:1 at undergrad, and a High Pass (borderline Merit) at master's level. (A Merit is 70-74, and a Distinction is 75 upwards, in my program.)




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