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Credit Stuffing for GPA / What are my chances?

Posted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 2:36 pm
by glbtrottr
Thanks for your replies.

I am a non traditional student over 45. When I was young (read 18-20) I got about 70 units of 2.0 quality work.

I completed all of my upper division work at a local State University with a 4.0. I also completed about 60 units of additional community college work with all A's with only one B in two. Perhaps 2. My GPA is presently a 3.4 blended, and I am continuing classes to move that up.

I will complete another 24 units of community college also with a 4.0 (yes, already see the path). I am adding about 63 units this summer to continue to bring it up. The cost of community college is not an issue, including text books.

Why? To raise the GPA so I can be as close to T3/T14 as possible.
Ideally Top 3.

Softs? I am without a doubt a URM. I am also a prior military service combat US Marine. I have not taken my LSAT, but will begin preparing for it in May.

What say you? At what point is the law of diminishing returns applicable? I noticed Yale took a 3.43 this year, even though their 25 percentile median is 3.83. My goal is to reduce the number of Favors and Asks I make of a University, particularly when I'd like a free ride if possible.

Lastly: Yes, I know the LSAT is important. I plan on making range for any of the schools I apply for, regardless of how much test prep I have to accomplish.

Feel free to provide as many qualified opionions as possible. Why T3, Why Law School over 45, I don't need help with that - simply the chances at T3 / T14.

Cheers!

Re: Credit Stuffing for GPA / What are my chances?

Posted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 2:59 pm
by sparkytrainer
have you graduated with a ba/bs at any time? Any credits added after your 1st bachelors is conferred are not counted. So this post was unclear, but it sounds like you graduated years ago. That is the GPA that counts. Any credits after that mean nothing.

Re: Credit Stuffing for GPA / What are my chances?

Posted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 3:41 pm
by glbtrottr
Im sorry for the omission. No, i specifically left out one history class once I was cleared to graduate so I could continue accumulating credits at a community college. As soon as I file that history class, I will graduate.

Re: Credit Stuffing for GPA / What are my chances?

Posted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 3:41 pm
by sparkytrainer
Even if you get all those credits by the way, you are out at Yale. Yale isn't going to take lightly to clearly manipulating the system for an increase in GPA. I further think Stanford and H will obviously care. The chances of you getting into all three even best case with your GPA and a 180 lsat are 0% given your broader academic record.

Re: Credit Stuffing for GPA / What are my chances?

Posted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 4:21 pm
by Wipfelder
sparkytrainer wrote:Even if you get all those credits by the way, you are out at Yale. Yale isn't going to take lightly to clearly manipulating the system for an increase in GPA. I further think Stanford and H will obviously care. The chances of you getting into all three even best case with your GPA and a 180 lsat are 0% given your broader academic record.


I doubt they would care very much about the "quality" of the credits. Poster meets the veteran "check the box", and the URM "check the box", with a great LSAT, they have a chance at the top 3. The low GPA number is a big hindrance, the fact many of those credits are from a CC is a tertiary concern at best.

Poster is very likely in at all of the T-14 outside the top 3 if they get an LSAT score close to or above those school's median. The top 3 is just kind of a crap shoot.

Re: Credit Stuffing for GPA / What are my chances?

Posted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 4:32 pm
by sparkytrainer
Wipfelder wrote:
sparkytrainer wrote:Even if you get all those credits by the way, you are out at Yale. Yale isn't going to take lightly to clearly manipulating the system for an increase in GPA. I further think Stanford and H will obviously care. The chances of you getting into all three even best case with your GPA and a 180 lsat are 0% given your broader academic record.


I doubt they would care very much about the "quality" of the credits. Poster meets the veteran "check the box", and the URM "check the box", with a great LSAT, they have a chance at the top 3. The low GPA number is a big hindrance, the fact many of those credits are from a CC is a tertiary concern at best.

Poster is very likely in at all of the T-14 outside the top 3 if they get an LSAT score close to or above those school's median. The top 3 is just kind of a crap shoot.


Actually, there is significant evidence that Yale and S at a minimum care about the quality of the credits. Yale and S build classes from prestigious schools where the applicant was a 3.9+ student at a top 10 undergraduate. The amount of law students at Yale with 60+ community college credits is going to be 0. Also, OP points out the low GPA Yale took. By all accounts that happened to be the GPA of some current Vice President's daughter. Unless OP is the child of someone at that level, the chances Yale reaches down for a sub 3.8 GPA, even for an URM, is 0%. I'm not hating, just trying to give realistic analysis.

The best bet for the top 3 is Harvard given the class size is almost triple Yale or Stanford's. But an URM with a 3.5 and a 174 is not a lock at H, they also have a GPA floor, albeit a softer one.

Re: Credit Stuffing for GPA / What are my chances?

Posted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:03 pm
by DerKatze
Actually, there is significant evidence that Yale and S at a minimum care about the quality of the credits. Yale and S build classes from prestigious schools where the applicant was a 3.9+ student at a top 10 undergraduate. The amount of law students at Yale with 60+ community college credits is going to be 0. Also, OP points out the low GPA Yale took. By all accounts that happened to be the GPA of some current Vice President's daughter. Unless OP is the child of someone at that level, the chances Yale reaches down for a sub 3.8 GPA, even for an URM, is 0%. I'm not hating, just trying to give realistic analysis.

The best bet for the top 3 is Harvard given the class size is almost triple Yale or Stanford's. But an URM with a 3.5 and a 174 is not a lock at H, they also have a GPA floor, albeit a softer one.[/quote]

This post is objectively wrong. Yale is probably out, but not because of some elitist disregard for CC classes. Yale simply gets so many students applying with numbers above their medians that softs have to play a much bigger factor. Sparkytrainer purports the existence of "significant evidence," yet offers none. In fact, they offer a bogus conspiracy theory about how Mike Pence's daughter got into Yale. They also claim that Yale takes no one with a GPA below 3.8. Let me point you to actual evidence, which says otherwise.

Yale's entering class profile says that the 25% GPA was 4.83. For what sparky says to be true, 25% of Yale's entering class has to have a GPA between 3.80 and 3.83. The thought of that is absurd. While the OP's GPA still probably precludes him from Yale, I think he still has a chance. I furthermore want to debunk this claim that Yale only takes from top 10 schools. People go to CC and lower ranked colleges from plenty of reasons, especially cost. Most community colleges have fine academics. There are plenty CCs that have more rigorous courses than some 4-year colleges. Here, too, I want to provide some significant evidence. Yale's entering class profile lists 73 different undergraduate institutions. A number of these institutions are outside the top 10. 63, in fact.

Re: Credit Stuffing for GPA / What are my chances?

Posted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:55 am
by glbtrottr
Further clarification from OP:
Bad GPA was from 1985-1989. Early on, OP was member / president of the Honor Society. Mother had cancer.
1990 OP took a nice all paid expense vacation to a sandy place in the Middle East courtesy of Uncle Sam.

OP then went on to a career in the single most aggressive sales organization in the world.
OP's brother was a victim of some interesting circumstances, making OP choose Law School.

The Credit stuffing isn't fivolous; OP's major is Criminology / Administration of Justice. Originally OP was going to take a major of Economics / Business Law. Most of the credits were AA completion in that realm; OP changed his mind, and decided to move to Administration of Justice. OP also has a background in Computer Science, which is where some of the recent credits came from. Why? OP may choose to do the Patent Bar. Rules of Evidence, Forensics, Corretional Law, Law Enforcement Writing, Real Estate Law, Real Estate Finance, Gangs, Criminal Theory, Criminal Diversity, Logic, Business, Accounting...would that seem frivolous to anyone?

Re: Credit Stuffing for GPA / What are my chances?

Posted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:18 am
by nixy
Okay, so referring to yourself in the 3rd person is weird.

But it sounds like you'll be able to make a compelling case for why your more recent courses are more representative of your potential ability to succeed in law school, and anecdotally some non-trads have reported out-performing their very old GPAs. If you get a very high LSAT you'll be a splitter, and splitters' cycles are inherently unpredictable (does the school need your LSAT to maintain medians? how under their 25th percentile is your GPA?). So I can't give you any chances - you need to actually go get the high LSAT score, come back (and then likely write a compelling application and see what happens).

Re: Credit Stuffing for GPA / What are my chances?

Posted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:54 am
by glbtrottr
Fair enough.

Some of you were referring to "OP" as though if I didn't start the thread and wasn't present, so I continued the thread as such.

In March of last year I had 70 or so Community College and no degree. A year later, I have a couple of Associates, I'll claim the bachelor's in Summer (only because I delayed graduating to improve GPA), and I will have completed the LSAT while working full time. I personally think that the amount of work put into this project was not triviial at all; it surprises me that the logic is that law schools only care about GPA and not as much origin and content. My undergrad work was chemistry, physics, biology, geography; currently it's Criminal Justice / Law / Economics and the like. We'll see where I land...

My question was really aimed at...by improving the GPA, I saw it as a mechanism to fall within a school's median, thus not asking for a favor by not having admission look the other way on my old GPA. By the time I graduate, I will comfortably have a 3.6/3.7/3.8 depending on how many classes i choose to take or not take; we're talking about 180/190 semester units IN TOTAL including the 70 from 3 years ago, where 140 for a dual bachelor's is not uncommon and my graduation would have happened at 150/160 due to a change in major.

Thank you again for all your help - please keep your opinions coming. Again, the hope is T3, and your collective point seems to be to score a high LSAT. By high LSAT you're implying merely within their medians, is what I seem to get...and I'm not sure how much of a splitter I will really be when Harvard's 25% MEDIAN sits at 3.76. (God! Boston. Do I *really* want to live in Boston again???)

If Yale wouldn't have me, I was really hoping Stanford...

Re: Credit Stuffing for GPA / What are my chances?

Posted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:26 am
by nixy
If you’re below their 25th percentile in GPA (I don’t know what a 25% median is), and above their 75th percentile LSAT, you’re a splitter for that school (here, Harvard, if you get the LSAT score you’re aiming for). It doesn’t mean your GPA is bad and it doesn’t mean they won’t accept you, it just means it’s hard to predict (or harder than usual. Yale and Stanford are particularly hard bc high numbers on their own won’t get you in the door).

Yale and Stanford might care somewhat about the kind of courses you take, but they don’t get to annotate GPAs with majors/institutions when they report them to USNWR. So most schools don’t care except on the margins.

Don’t get me wrong, I think you have the makings of a good application. I don’t think the community college thing will matter much. It’s just hard to gauge chances without a final GPA and LSAT score.

Re: Credit Stuffing for GPA / What are my chances?

Posted: Tue May 01, 2018 5:46 pm
by DerKatze
If your major is criminal justice, that is more concerning. While law schools don't really care where you get the credits or what degree you get, criminal justice is one of the few majors that get discounted by law schools. If you look at the average LSAT scores by major, "prelaw" and criminal justice are at the very bottom. Furthermore, most criminal justice programs have rampant grade inflation, and a lot of people who choose these majors do so because they don't want to put in the work necessary/can't succeed in more rigorous majors. For these reasons, if a significant amount of your more recent credits are criminal justice related, I would be very surprised if you get in at a top 6 school. You could still get into a T14, but even that becomes more of a stretch.

Re: Credit Stuffing for GPA / What are my chances?

Posted: Tue May 15, 2018 4:11 pm
by Wipfelder
DerKatze wrote:If your major is criminal justice, that is more concerning. While law schools don't really care where you get the credits or what degree you get, criminal justice is one of the few majors that get discounted by law schools. If you look at the average LSAT scores by major, "prelaw" and criminal justice are at the very bottom. Furthermore, most criminal justice programs have rampant grade inflation, and a lot of people who choose these majors do so because they don't want to put in the work necessary/can't succeed in more rigorous majors. For these reasons, if a significant amount of your more recent credits are criminal justice related, I would be very surprised if you get in at a top 6 school. You could still get into a T14, but even that becomes more of a stretch.


Do you have any proof that CJ majors get discounted by law schools? This seems ridiculous.