I've been to a few undergraduate institutions. Will this hurt me in admissions?

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onesundaymorning

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I've been to a few undergraduate institutions. Will this hurt me in admissions?

Post by onesundaymorning » Thu Jul 30, 2020 7:04 am

Without getting into specifics, various points in my life have led me to move around a lot. As a result, I've gone to four undergraduate institutions (I am graduating from the fourth). Will this matter for adcomms? I have a fairly good GPA (3.83 lsac, 4.0 actual) and a really strong work ethic, school switches aside!

I'm terribly afraid schools will look at me as flakey when that is not the case. It actually gives me a minor stomach ache when I think about applying to law school because of it. My job requires me to move a lot but I am now in a position where I no longer do that.

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cavalier1138

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Re: I've been to a few undergraduate institutions. Will this hurt me in admissions?

Post by cavalier1138 » Thu Jul 30, 2020 8:19 am

No. I would submit an addendum briefly explaining why you went to so many different schools because, as you note, it's a little odd without explanation. But it won't hurt you.

One other note on GPA:
onesundaymorning wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 7:04 am
3.83 lsac, 4.0 actual
You have a 3.83 GPA. Get used to framing your numbers that way; your LSAC GPA is your actual GPA for admissions purpose. There is no "but my major GPA is [blank]" or "but my school counts Bs as As." It's relatively important for you to think about it in these terms, because if your LSAT is high enough, people's advice on this site regarding your chances at scholarships, etc. will change based on how you frame that GPA.

onesundaymorning

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Re: I've been to a few undergraduate institutions. Will this hurt me in admissions?

Post by onesundaymorning » Thu Jul 30, 2020 2:19 pm

Thank you!

I was already aware of the GPA distinction. It just hurts me that it dropped so much in conversion... :mrgreen:

JS623

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Re: I've been to a few undergraduate institutions. Will this hurt me in admissions?

Post by JS623 » Thu Jul 30, 2020 11:31 pm

Hmm, this did not even occur to me when I was applying. I had credits on my transcript from 5 institutions, but I was at the same full-time university each year. I had dual-credit transfer credits from high school and a few different community colleges I used for cheap summer credits. If it hurt my admission results, I could not tell. An addendum couldn't hurt though.

onesundaymorning

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Re: I've been to a few undergraduate institutions. Will this hurt me in admissions?

Post by onesundaymorning » Fri Jul 31, 2020 6:13 am

Thank you for sharing your experience!

So basically this is my history:

1) SUNY school on Long Island for 1 year - left after a year because I didn't want to graduate with $60,000 (at the time) in loans for all four years. At 18 that amount of debt felt insurmountable to me.

2) CUNY Queens - attended full time while also working full time and living at home, thus no more loans. This was a brutal time because working full time at an office and going to school full time was HARD! But I did it :)

3) Moved abroad for work --> enrolled in a Pennsylvania public university online in order to continue my studies and also be able to continue my professional trajectory which makes me travel often. Eventually stopped attending this school because I realized they don't give A+s and I was counting on some for my LSAC grade.

4) Currently attend Indiana University online. Pulling straight A+s. Will graduate from here in December. Still abroad, still traveling for work.

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polareagle

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Re: I've been to a few undergraduate institutions. Will this hurt me in admissions?

Post by polareagle » Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:57 am

onesundaymorning wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 6:13 am
Thank you for sharing your experience!

So basically this is my history:

1) SUNY school on Long Island for 1 year - left after a year because I didn't want to graduate with $60,000 (at the time) in loans for all four years. At 18 that amount of debt felt insurmountable to me.

2) CUNY Queens - attended full time while also working full time and living at home, thus no more loans. This was a brutal time because working full time at an office and going to school full time was HARD! But I did it :)

3) Moved abroad for work --> enrolled in a Pennsylvania public university online in order to continue my studies and also be able to continue my professional trajectory which makes me travel often. Eventually stopped attending this school because I realized they don't give A+s and I was counting on some for my LSAC grade.

4) Currently attend Indiana University online. Pulling straight A+s. Will graduate from here in December. Still abroad, still traveling for work.
So if you write an addendum (which probably isn't necessary if you have gotten good grades throughout), there are ways to message this. 1 --> 2 is financial reasons (and say that 2 allowed me to live at home and work full time while still continuing my education). 2-->3 is about an opportunity you got to work abroad and about continuing your education during that time. 3-->4 is about the program offering superior academic opportunities or something like that. You know this, but I would not come out and say that you changed from 3--4 to game LSAC's GPA calculation.

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