Penn and UVA vs NYU and Columbia Admissions

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CALJR11

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Penn and UVA vs NYU and Columbia Admissions

Post by CALJR11 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:02 pm

Hi, I currently am an undergraduate looking at law schools. 2 schools that I'm particularly interested in are Penn and UVA. When I plug in stats that I anticipate having come application time (3.75 - 3.85 GPA and 171-175 LSAT) on https://mylsn.info/2zlfe5/, it appears that applicants have much more success at NYU and Columbia than Penn and UVA. I know that the acceptance rates at these schools are slightly lower than Columbia and a decent amount lower than NYU, but I don't think it adequately explains how large the differences are in the acceptance rates for people with the stats I listed, especially given Columbia and NYU's slight advantage in prestige. It seems that the people who don't get into Penn and UVA, however, are almost always waitlisted rather than rejected, so is this just Penn and UVA assuming that students with very competitive stats will choose to go somewhere else like Columbia or NYU? If so, what are the best ways to show interest so that an applicant does not only get into these schools, but with significant scholarship money? Also while on the topic, how generous does Penn and UVA tend to be with scholarships? I know that ED would be the best way to show interest, but obviously it would likely take away significant scholarship opportunities. Sorry for how wordy this is, and any insight would be greatly appreciated!

The Lsat Airbender

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Re: Penn and UVA vs NYU and Columbia Admissions

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Tue Jun 30, 2020 10:30 am

Your priorities right now should be 1) getting your GPA as high as possible before graduating (there's a significant difference between 3.75 and 3.85 for schools in this range) and 2) getting your LSAT as high as possible, which can be left till after college if needed (ditto for the delta from 171–175). It's not productive to worry this much about subtle admissions strategies when you don't even have numbers yet; moreover, rankings and medians can change a little in the next few years so you'll have to re-learn things then.

To answer your question, NYU and especially Columbia historically have somewhat higher LSAT medians than UVA and Penn. This has implications for someone with, say, a 3.75/173: that applicant is in-demand at Columbia, which is striving for a 173 median, but at Penn they're no more appealing than a 3.75/170, which is much more abundant, so they need to distinguish themselves in some other way to get accepted and not waitlisted. There might be other stuff going on, like yield or "fit" considerations, but the main difference is this relative emphasis on LSAT scores.

Again, what you need to focus on is getting yourself to 3.85/174 so that you can get a huge scholarships at one or more of these schools.

CALJR11

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Re: Penn and UVA vs NYU and Columbia Admissions

Post by CALJR11 » Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:44 am

The Lsat Airbender wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 10:30 am
Your priorities right now should be 1) getting your GPA as high as possible before graduating (there's a significant difference between 3.75 and 3.85 for schools in this range) and 2) getting your LSAT as high as possible, which can be left till after college if needed (ditto for the delta from 171–175). It's not productive to worry this much about subtle admissions strategies when you don't even have numbers yet; moreover, rankings and medians can change a little in the next few years so you'll have to re-learn things then.

To answer your question, NYU and especially Columbia historically have somewhat higher LSAT medians than UVA and Penn. This has implications for someone with, say, a 3.75/173: that applicant is in-demand at Columbia, which is striving for a 173 median, but at Penn they're no more appealing than a 3.75/170, which is much more abundant, so they need to distinguish themselves in some other way to get accepted and not waitlisted. There might be other stuff going on, like yield or "fit" considerations, but the main difference is this relative emphasis on LSAT scores.

Again, what you need to focus on is getting yourself to 3.85/174 so that you can get a huge scholarships at one or more of these schools.
Thanks! The one thing i don't understand from what you said, however, is why wouldn't Penn be more attracted to a 173 LSAT than a 170 LSAT? Wouldn't Penn want to work on raising their median if it's a little low relative to peer schools? And my main priority obviously is just to achieve at the high end at the stats I listed, but school is over and I'm starting to look at law schools so I was just curious.

The Lsat Airbender

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Re: Penn and UVA vs NYU and Columbia Admissions

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:51 pm

CALJR11 wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:44 am
Thanks! The one thing i don't understand from what you said, however, is why wouldn't Penn be more attracted to a 173 LSAT than a 170 LSAT? Wouldn't Penn want to work on raising their median if it's a little low relative to peer schools? And my main priority obviously is just to achieve at the high end at the stats I listed, but school is over and I'm starting to look at law schools so I was just curious.
A key factor here is that LSATs get scarcer as you go up into the 170's. There are about as many people with a 169 as there are in the entire 173-180 band (~0.9% of all test-takers). It's therefore really hard to raise or maintain your LSAT median, especially in the T14. UVA getting to 170 was a "wow" moment when it happened recently, and they're probably just barely on the bubble there. It would be a massive achievement for any of the schools currently at 170 to get to 171.

Ceteris paribus, yeah, they'd prefer the 173 to the 170. But they'd much prefer a 170 with an above-median GPA, or who seems like a great fit for Penn.

CALJR11

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Re: Penn and UVA vs NYU and Columbia Admissions

Post by CALJR11 » Tue Jun 30, 2020 1:24 pm

The Lsat Airbender wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:51 pm
CALJR11 wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:44 am
Thanks! The one thing i don't understand from what you said, however, is why wouldn't Penn be more attracted to a 173 LSAT than a 170 LSAT? Wouldn't Penn want to work on raising their median if it's a little low relative to peer schools? And my main priority obviously is just to achieve at the high end at the stats I listed, but school is over and I'm starting to look at law schools so I was just curious.
A key factor here is that LSATs get scarcer as you go up into the 170's. There are about as many people with a 169 as there are in the entire 173-180 band (~0.9% of all test-takers). It's therefore really hard to raise or maintain your LSAT median, especially in the T14. UVA getting to 170 was a "wow" moment when it happened recently, and they're probably just barely on the bubble there. It would be a massive achievement for any of the schools currently at 170 to get to 171.

Ceteris paribus, yeah, they'd prefer the 173 to the 170. But they'd much prefer a 170 with an above-median GPA, or who seems like a great fit for Penn.
Ok, that makes sense. Thanks for the help!

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