thoughts on my chances (lgbt, first gen, poc, plagiarism!)

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nothanks777

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thoughts on my chances (lgbt, first gen, poc, plagiarism!)

Post by nothanks777 » Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:45 pm

Hi all,

Any idea if my application is going to be worth it?

UGPA: 3.62 (double major from a top 5 LAC in the northeast: economics and biochemistry)
LSAT: 175
Current work (not sure if that matters): Bulge bracket investment bank (one of these GS, JPM, MS, Citi, Barclays)
Diversity: gay, Muslim from a South Asian country (International student). First-gen undergrad and (hopefully) grad school.
Extenuating circumstances: Broke my backbone (during college, since recovered). Father's heart attack (during college). convicted of plagiarism (non-intentional, the college agreed that it was not intentional but college policies don't discriminate between intentional and non-intentional. That said, I plan on having a letter of support from the head of the department who has already indicated that they will be happy to provide one so I hope this isn't too big a deal since it wasn't even plagiarism!).

my thoughts are as follows: Targets (NYU, Columbia, UPenn, Michigan, Duke, etc.). Reaches (HYS). No safties and no plan on applying outside of T10.

Thoughts? Would bringing my LSAT up help?

nixy

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Re: thoughts on my chances (lgbt, first gen, poc, plagiarism!)

Post by nixy » Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:27 pm

You should absolutely blanket the T14 to get scholarship offers you can leverage at other schools. There’s no reasonable distinction between T10 and T14 here.

nothanks777

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Re: thoughts on my chances (lgbt, first gen, poc, plagiarism!)

Post by nothanks777 » Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:32 pm

Thanks! I'll definitely think about that, the limiting factor being application fees. Nonetheless, do I even have a shot at t10?

The Lsat Airbender

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Re: thoughts on my chances (lgbt, first gen, poc, plagiarism!)

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:38 pm

Agree with nixy that you should blanket the T14. Absolutely no reason to exclude Northwestern and Berkeley from a list that includes Michigan and Duke. I can sorta see the argument for skipping Cornell and/or Georgetown but, if you do, you're leaving $10,000's of potential upside on the table.

As for chances, you have a solid shot at all of these schools (Yale and Stanford a long shot with that GPA) and could realistically get a huge scholarship at one or two.

eta: not worthwhile to retake a 175

nothanks777

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Re: thoughts on my chances (lgbt, first gen, poc, plagiarism!)

Post by nothanks777 » Wed Jul 29, 2020 6:45 pm

thank you for the amazing insights! My thinking was that I'm aiming for need-based financial aid and t10 are most likely to give that + need-based aid is usually not up for negotiation as different schools will have different formulas to determine that! But you're right, no point is limiting my pool I guess.

On a side note, how worried about the plagiarism should I be? I do have good explanations and institutional support to back me up. But will school's but look at the plagiarism and deny me automatically? Also, will something like plagiarism have any impact on financial aid?

Also, my GPA was heavily impacted by my health, my father's health, and lastly the fact that I double majored in 2 very different subjects. Would HYS or Columbia/NYU factor that? Or is my 3.62 going to be considered in a similar manner to someone with a 3.62 GPA as a single poly sci/international relations/history major(not that these are "easy" majors but a double major in 2 completely different subjects, especially biochemisty, does make getting a 4.0 hard!). My econ major GPA was 3.92 (but schools don't look at imajor GPA's right?).

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LandCrabLaw

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Re: thoughts on my chances (lgbt, first gen, poc, plagiarism!)

Post by LandCrabLaw » Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:12 pm

I agree with everything that was said before but I just want to emphasize do not retake. Unless a school like Yale is going for a 176+ 75th percentile (which why would they since the 75th percentile doesn't matter) then a higher LSAT won't make a difference.

nothanks777

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Re: thoughts on my chances (lgbt, first gen, poc, plagiarism!)

Post by nothanks777 » Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:21 pm

(Wrote a reply but it wasn't approved by a moderator I think) anyway,

Thank you for the insightful answers!

A couple of follow-ups if I may:
1) Would plagiarism be ground for automatic rejection at t10? Or would it make me less competitive with someone with similar statistics (even if it is well explained)?
2) Will the fact that I double majored in 2 very different subjects be factored in when it comes to my GPA? Given that one of the majors is STEM and my econ standalone GPA is 3.92.
3)Does my "diversity" significantly help my application? I usually try to highlight my academic/professional success rather than my diversity but not opposed to it if it helps!

Thanks!

dvlthndr

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Re: thoughts on my chances (lgbt, first gen, poc, plagiarism!)

Post by dvlthndr » Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:05 pm

Your major will not factor into your GPA. The fact that you studied some quantitative fields with low averages is only a “soft” factor that slightly tilts things in your favor.

Similarly, you are “diverse,” but you are not one of the “underrepresented” minorities that get a substantial boost in admissions. This is another soft factor that will tilt things only slightly in your favor. You should still write an optional diversity statement/essay for the schools that give you the opportunity to do so.

The fact that you have somebody who will vouch for you about the plagiarism issue helps. I don’t think this will disqualify you from any of the schools you are applying to. At worst, it’s another soft factor that tilts against you.

It’s hard to overstate how much of admission is driven by how your LSAT and GPA numbers compare to the medians at a given school. Fortunately, there are several schools in the T14 that like to see a high LSAT score and are more “forgiving” about the GPA. For example, you have a very good chance of getting in at Columbia or NYU, and could probably get a scholarship at several schools in the lower T14.

nixy

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Re: thoughts on my chances (lgbt, first gen, poc, plagiarism!)

Post by nixy » Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:08 pm

I think the plagiarism thing will probably be okay, depending on the circumstances (if you were a freshman that looks different than if it was in your last semester; what was the penalty? flunked the assignment, flunked the class, put on probation, nothing?). Lots of people make one mistake, especially in adjusting to college; it would be something suggesting a pattern that would be problem, or something particularly egregious/intentional that, say, got you kicked out. It's possible it might in theory give the edge to another otherwise comparable candidate, but people are rarely that easily comparable.

Your GPA will be your GPA. Yes, a 4.0 in basketweaving is more valuable to schools than a 3.6 in molecular biochemical engineering. On the flipside of the above, if the only difference between you and another candidate is that their 3.62 is in something that looks particularly un-challenging from directional state U, you might get the nod. But overall, the number is the number.

Your diversity probably won't give the kind of clearly measurable boost seen in some URM applications, but it might help. You don't have to make it either academic accomplishments or diversity - you can write a diversity statement in addition to the rest of your application.

nothanks777

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Re: thoughts on my chances (lgbt, first gen, poc, plagiarism!)

Post by nothanks777 » Thu Jul 30, 2020 6:14 pm

Thanks for the insights!

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