lymenheimer wrote:Likely, but nobody here is going to know. Ask in the admission officer thread and see if spivey et al can answer
TLS 1, Me 0.
I am traveling like a madman this week and vowed not to post from my iPhone, but I've been getting a lot of pings about this so you all win. The nuances here can be vast but I will be brief. If you still want a more thorough answer let me know and I will blog it with some other former or current admissions officers.
The short answer is "yes, but not very much and mostly at the bookend schools."So, at the most extreme example Princeton is not only an incredibly prestigious and difficult to get admitted to and thus highly intellectually challenging school vis-a-vis classmates, but also has fought grade inflation for many years now. In fact, Princeton applicants come with a letter from the school about said lack of inflation up until 2013. So when I speak at Princeton to the pre-law society I tell them "you already have an elevating admissions factor that I don't get to say at every school, by the very nature of being at this one." How elevating is it? Like most things "soft" in admissions it starts off not very much at all as law school early look for the coveted applications above their medians. As the cycle progresses and that group wears out rather quickly, it takes more significance. It becomes a differentiating factor and differentiation is how you get admitted -- early on by numbers and later with strong soft applications.
But keep in mind a 3.9 from Northern Westeros is no different for USNWR than a 3.9 from Princeton. Which is why early cycle the "super elite school" bump hardly exists. Also keep in mind that until relatively recently, many schools had faculty admissions committees. I will politely say that faculty "care deeply about undergraduate school prestige" so back in the day what school you attended received more of a bump than it does now. Faculty admissions commitees have been dying off for years now.
On the flip side, there were some schools where applicants always seemed to have 4.0s from (and you get data on where they stand versus their classmates so you learn quickly which schools have the most inflation year in and out) AND where the applications seemed to be rife with grammatical errors and lack of sophistication. At that end, I think there are likely some school that consciously or subconsciously de-elevate an application.
But for the vast majority of applicants, the school you are at plays very little role relative to how well you did and how involved you have been during that time.
I hope this helps!