3.75 GPA / 172 LSAT. Goal is NYU and Columbia with scholarship. Retake or apply?

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Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:12 am

3.75 GPA / 172 LSAT. Goal is NYU and Columbia with scholarship. Retake or apply?

Postby ditt0 » Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:23 am

3.75 GPA, although it likely will be 3.81-3.82 by the time the winter semester ends. I took in February and July, got 171 and 172. I'm PTing between 178-180, and haven't scored below 175 in over 25 practice tests, so I still feel like I can do much better but I'm feeling pretty defeated after July. Should I even bother with a retake, or should I go ahead and submit? I'm just an incredibly anxious test-taker (both times, my body physically shook with fear during the first sections and I could barely bubble in answers until I got really engaged in the test) and I'm not sure if that is something I can improve on no matter how much I study. I'm only interested in NYU or Columbia, hopefully with a scholarship, with UT and ASU as safeties.

Extra info: Non-URM, Female, LGBT+, J-KD, first in my family to go to college, 6 years of part-time work experience.


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Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:19 am

Re: 3.75 GPA / 172 LSAT. Goal is NYU and Columbia with scholarship. Retake or apply?

Postby lnjbt » Sun Sep 30, 2018 1:19 pm

I think the answer will be a little different for NYU vs. for CLS. What matters most is the quartile your LSAT and GPA falls in.

At NYU, your 172 is already at their 75th%. A higher LSAT score won't do a ton of good on that front (but might do a little good if very high). Getting your GPA over a 3.8, however, should be helpful because it would put you above their median. A median GPA and 75% LSAT is in the running for a little bit of scholarship money.

At CLS, your 172 puts you right at median. A 174+ would put you above their 75%, which would be a considerable boost. Same story for your GPA -- bumping it from a 3.75 (their median) to a 3.84 (their 75%) would be very helpful. Of course, every cycle these numbers tend to change a little, so don't stress about a 3.83 vs a 3.84 because you can never know where exactly the new mark will be.

There are two things about scholarships to mention. First, the full rides (Hamiltons, Vanderbilts, etc) will almost definitely require you to have both a 75% LSAT and GPA. (Source: I'm a 1L who got a full ride to one of these schools, and I just eeked out the 75% at that school on both LSAT and GPA. Other source: check Law School Numbers, where this is largely confirmed.) Once those bars are met, it becomes about other factors (recs, PS, urm, work history, interesting life story, etc).

Second, the non-full rides (combination of merit/need aid) also goes up and down according to stats. But on these awards, schools respond to negotiation. You put yourself in a better negotiating position by applying to more schools. Even if you truly would only go to NYU/CLS, apply widely. You might spend $500 more on application fees, but there's a moderately good chance that one of those schools could give you the leverage you need to get an extra 10-20k out of CLS/NYU. (Source: literally dozens of friends)

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