Semester Abroad helpful or hurtful?

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Eric8923
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Semester Abroad helpful or hurtful?

Postby Eric8923 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:54 pm

I will be getting a B.A. in Economics with a minor in Mandarin.

I am considering spending Spring '18 in a language intensive program in Shanghai for hours towards my minor. I think it would be an enjoyable and unique experience and the hours earned will go towards my minor.

The other option would be to stay at my current University that Spring and earn the minor the traditional route and maybe add a few filler classes to ensure as high a term GPA as possible.

My dilemma is that I speny 6 years Active Duty and out of a class room. I was advised to attempt college as a full time soldier. That was an illadvised decision and I got 7 hours worth of Fs from Troy University.

When I started at my current school, i struggled to transition from the workforce to an academic environment. My grades during that time were a testament to that.

Now if I can maintain a 3.5 GPA between now and when I submit my application in spring '19, I will be at a LSAC GPA of about 2.45. A 4.0 GPA would get my LSAC GPA just south of 2.7.

Fall '16 and Spring '17 are both >3.40 term GPAs. So I'm confident maintaining a >3.5 GPA from here on out is very feasable.

UT is my top choice but that's a long long shot at this point. SMU and UH are my more likely targets.

My concern is about the detriment a 3.0 spring '18 GPA for 17 hours would impact my overall GPA.

The language course is worth 17 hours, and the GPA is provided by letter grade recommendation from the Chinese instructors at the host school. It's well know how seriously Chinese citizens take their academics. Seeing how it will either be a 3.0 or 4.0 for those 17 hours and nothing between, should I still pursue the course?

A 3.0 GPA wouldn't necessarily kill my chances at the 2.45 LSAC GPA but it leaves little room for error over the other few semesters.

Would the semester abroad have a positive impact on my application? Would it be worth it to risk the possibility of a 3.0 term GP?

Alpal29
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Re: Semester Abroad helpful or hurtful?

Postby Alpal29 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:58 pm

So you need to definitely do what you can to get your GPA up and delay graduation until that's done. Take easy CC classes and get A's in them. Also see if you can do retroactive withdrawal's for the Fs.

I wouldn't study abroad if your goal is a high GPA, to risky in an already really risky position. 2.45 isn't even an "oh it's a low GPA and you're going to be unpredictable but its okayish" GPA. It's a GPA that gets you on academic probation and then dismissed at a lot of undergraduate institutions. It will kick your ass in law school admissions. You need a 2.7 minimum.

lakers180
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Re: Semester Abroad helpful or hurtful?

Postby lakers180 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:05 pm

Alpal29 wrote:So you need to definitely do what you can to get your GPA up and delay graduation until that's done. Take easy CC classes and get A's in them. Also see if you can do retroactive withdrawal's for the Fs.

I wouldn't study abroad if your goal is a high GPA, to risky in an already really risky position. 2.45 isn't even an "oh it's a low GPA and you're going to be unpredictable but its okayish" GPA. It's a GPA that gets you on academic probation and then dismissed at a lot of undergraduate institutions. It will kick your ass in law school admissions. You need a 2.7 minimum.


My initial instinct is to disagree with this, I haven't analyzed the data that closely, but my guess is that there isn't a substantial difference between a 2.45 and a 2.6 or even 2.3. Your best chance at law school would be based on the LSAT and getting a high score. I think so long as you are bringing your GPA up a bit, do what you would most enjoy doing and then get ready to study hard for the LSAT.

Alpal29
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Re: Semester Abroad helpful or hurtful?

Postby Alpal29 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:19 pm

lakers180 wrote:
Alpal29 wrote:So you need to definitely do what you can to get your GPA up and delay graduation until that's done. Take easy CC classes and get A's in them. Also see if you can do retroactive withdrawal's for the Fs.

I wouldn't study abroad if your goal is a high GPA, to risky in an already really risky position. 2.45 isn't even an "oh it's a low GPA and you're going to be unpredictable but its okayish" GPA. It's a GPA that gets you on academic probation and then dismissed at a lot of undergraduate institutions. It will kick your ass in law school admissions. You need a 2.7 minimum.


My initial instinct is to disagree with this, I haven't analyzed the data that closely, but my guess is that there isn't a substantial difference between a 2.45 and a 2.6 or even 2.3. Your best chance at law school would be based on the LSAT and getting a high score. I think so long as you are bringing your GPA up a bit, do what you would most enjoy doing and then get ready to study hard for the LSAT.


I think you're correct normally but also I slightly disagree in this case.

I think my concern with OPs GPA isn't that he did a radical shift from poor grades to maintaining above a 3.7 GPA, he's only maintaining at a 3.4ish. Perhaps there are things not disclosed in the post that explain this, like the classes are incredibly difficult or whatever, but the upward swing it's great and if he's not going to put distance between undergrad and law school to get away from the GPA I really think the higher the better.

Data wise in terms of what the schools report, you're correct, there's not a substantial difference. But with GPAs that low you really have to convince a school to take a chance on you, and with what is currently presented, failed the first round which I think is perfectly excusable given circumstance, and then when starting school again failing until it took some time to adjust, and then the upward trend not being incredibly strong, I see no reason a school would take a chance. Time between a low GPA and application would also absolutely help.

I still vote retroactive withdrawals if possible, those are much easier to explain in an addendum "I was active duty military, was not able to complete the courses to my satisfaction" than all Fs. Even when the explanation is the same.

Eric8923
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Re: Semester Abroad helpful or hurtful?

Postby Eric8923 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:49 pm

I will call Troy about the retroactive withdrawal, but it is transferred over to my TTU transcript. Will TTU remove it if Troy does?


Also would a 75% < LSAT erase concerns? Currently PTing in the 160 range, which is around median for SMU.

Will continue to practice and aiming for Sept LSAT. I also anticipate targeting my weaknesses on the first LSAT and giving a 2nd attempt in June-September '18.

Alpal29
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Re: Semester Abroad helpful or hurtful?

Postby Alpal29 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:59 pm

Eric8923 wrote:I will call Troy about the retroactive withdrawal, but it is transferred over to my TTU transcript. Will TTU remove it if Troy does?


Also would a 75% < LSAT erase concerns? Currently PTing in the 160 range, which is around median for SMU.

Will continue to practice and aiming for Sept LSAT. I also anticipate targeting my weaknesses on the first LSAT and giving a 2nd attempt in June-September '18.


Yes call Troy, if they grant it have them send over an updated transcript to TTU and then work with them to get it to W's on your TTU transcript.

For LSAT you need to shoot for literally a 180. You normally score a bit below your PTs which means you're going to be in the high 150s unless you're one of the weird people who do better on test day, in which case awesome.

You do need to score over the 75 percentile for whatever school you're trying to get into to give yourself the best chance. That will get their attention at least. A 75% LSAT might ease concerns, but for SMU that's a 163. Really to show improvement and that you can handle it you need above a 170. If you were already graduated from undergrad. and there were some years between you and your GPA, like you got a 2.7 in 2012, and then in 2016 decided to take the LSAT and got a 165 so you became a splitter for SMU they would see the score as more relevant to your abilities right now and possibly forgive the 2.7.

Thats not the case here. You don't have a strong upward trend, you're maintaining at 3.4-3.5, and if you get a 165 on the LSAT to put you over their 75 they'll go "Okay, yeah but why are you not doing better in school if this is indicative of your abilities, why aren't you able to pull 3.7+?" Same goes if you score above a 170 but they may be more inclined to ignore it for their numbers.

Npret
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Re: Semester Abroad helpful or hurtful?

Postby Npret » Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:34 pm

How will Mandarin help you with a legal career or another job if you don't go to law school?

Eric8923
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Re: Semester Abroad helpful or hurtful?

Postby Eric8923 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:40 am

Alpal29, Just spoke with Troy and we got the ball rolling on retroactively withdrawing from that 7 hour semester. Thanks for all the advice, I'll just approach each semester as 4.0 is a must.


As far as chinese being helpful for a law career? I don't think it would, but my BA requires a minor and I have enjoyed and gotten A's in both courses taken.

At this point if I switch minors I would be adding unnecessary workload to my degree plan.

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BasilHallward
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Re: Semester Abroad helpful or hurtful?

Postby BasilHallward » Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:12 am

Why law school, OP? You're way behind the 8 ball as it is, and you're considering schools where you will have a 10-20% shot a financially good outcome. You will not be getting big money or full rides to these schools, barring a score near 170 or above. So, what's your goal in attending law school?

Npret
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Re: Semester Abroad helpful or hurtful?

Postby Npret » Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:23 am

Eric8923 wrote:Alpal29, Just spoke with Troy and we got the ball rolling on retroactively withdrawing from that 7 hour semester. Thanks for all the advice, I'll just approach each semester as 4.0 is a must.


As far as chinese being helpful for a law career? I don't think it would, but my BA requires a minor and I have enjoyed and gotten A's in both courses taken.

At this point if I switch minors I would be adding unnecessary workload to my degree plan.

Don't go to school abroad then. You need to focus on other things about your application. You should also look at other potential careers.




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