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Splitopia

~2.9GPA +175 LSAT. What would you recommend?

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My GPA isn't fully closed off, but it's very difficult to improve after taking 4 years of credits. Realistically might be able to get it to 3.1 or 3.15 if I ace a term. Only way I'm acing a term is if I take it elsewhere though which I'm not sure if it's a problem (is it?). Trying my absolute hardest I'll get B+/A- average in a term in my current school realistically. GPA is bad all throughout my degree except the first year where I was at a reasonable grading school (I think it was ~3.7 that first year?). So no upward trend or best 3 to save me.


Worth trying to take some more classes before I go through my convocation? Only reason I haven't closed the degree is I know my gpa is set in stone the moment I do. Would getting to a 3.1 or 3.2 substantially change my prospects or is it same crap either way?

 

Lsat is 176. I'm guessing a 179 or 180 wouldn't help my prospects (I've heard retaking high enough is more of a detriment regardless of what your second score is).

 

Wondering what I can realistically get into. ECs aren't very interesting and work experience is dead end basic white collar. My whole profile sucks outside my LSAT basically. I know that's a more salvageable situation in the US (which I wouldn't mind working in actually), but I wonder what kind of schools I have a reasonable shot of in Canada. Anything established/reputable or am I stuck to new schools?

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6 minutes ago, Splitopia said:

My GPA isn't fully closed off, but it's very difficult to improve after taking 4 years of credits. Realistically might be able to get it to 3.1 or 3.15 if I ace a term. Only way I'm acing a term is if I take it elsewhere though which I'm not sure if it's a problem (is it?). Trying my absolute hardest I'll get B+/A- average in a term in my current school realistically. GPA is bad all throughout my degree except the first year where I was at a reasonable grading school (I think it was ~3.7 that first year?). So no upward trend or best 3 to save me.


Worth trying to take some more classes before I go through my convocation? Only reason I haven't closed the degree is I know my gpa is set in stone the moment I do. Would getting to a 3.1 or 3.2 substantially change my prospects or is it same crap either way?

 

Lsat is 176. I'm guessing a 179 or 180 wouldn't help my prospects (I've heard retaking high enough is more of a detriment regardless of what your second score is).

 

Wondering what I can realistically get into. ECs aren't very interesting and work experience is dead end basic white collar. My whole profile sucks outside my LSAT basically. I know that's a more salvageable situation in the US (which I wouldn't mind working in actually), but I wonder what kind of schools I have a reasonable shot of in Canada. Anything established/reputable or am I stuck to new schools?

With 176 LSAT you are in UBC if your GPA after drops is above 74%.

179 or 180 LSAT will help you for UBC admissions as well.

You may have a shot at UVic as well.

 

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2 hours ago, Splitopia said:

Anything established/reputable or am I stuck to new schools?

All Canadian law schools are reputable law schools, we don't have a tiered system like the states. You aren't "stuck" with new schools, you have an LSAT that is going to allow you to go to law school

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No Canadian school prioritizes LSAT the way a lot of US schools do, but many treat it equally to GPA - so your 175 there is really helpful. You'd certainly be in at Manitoba (with an early offer), and have other chances too - depending on your L2 you should be borderline at Alberta. Could have options at UBC, and I'd expect at least a waitlist if not better at UVic. 

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Just wanted to confirm the schools mentioned are the only ones that might accept me right? So I'm likely able to make it to UBC or UoM and a maybe on UVIC or UoA. Is there any other ones that are possible with a GPA that low? Additionally do my options open up anymore if I can raise my GPA to 3.1-3.2? If tiered system doesn't matter than specialty or location will be more interesting that's why I'm just trying to gauge what are my possibilities. Are there any 'hail mary' law schools beyond the four listed given my current stats that I might as well apply for? Been chasing down LoRs and now looking to submit stuff. 

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17 minutes ago, Splitopia said:

Just wanted to confirm the schools mentioned are the only ones that might accept me right? So I'm likely able to make it to UBC or UoM and a maybe on UVIC or UoA. Is there any other ones that are possible with a GPA that low? Additionally do my options open up anymore if I can raise my GPA to 3.1-3.2? If tiered system doesn't matter than specialty or location will be more interesting that's why I'm just trying to gauge what are my possibilities. Are there any 'hail mary' law schools beyond the four listed given my current stats that I might as well apply for? Been chasing down LoRs and now looking to submit stuff. 

The schools you listed are probably the most amenable to splitters. But occasionally low gpa-high lsat splitters have gotten into other law schools like Western. Doesn't hurt to apply and see what happens, if you don't mind the apapplication fees. 

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@Splitopia  Are you applying in the current cycle or next year?  If this year, you should check the deadlines for apps. Ontario apps are closed. And if you are looking at schools with a December 1 deadline, you are very late asking for LORs. Typically, you should allow about 4-6 weeks for a prof to write one. 

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3 hours ago, Splitopia said:

Just wanted to confirm the schools mentioned are the only ones that might accept me right? So I'm likely able to make it to UBC or UoM and a maybe on UVIC or UoA. Is there any other ones that are possible with a GPA that low? Additionally do my options open up anymore if I can raise my GPA to 3.1-3.2? If tiered system doesn't matter than specialty or location will be more interesting that's why I'm just trying to gauge what are my possibilities. Are there any 'hail mary' law schools beyond the four listed given my current stats that I might as well apply for? Been chasing down LoRs and now looking to submit stuff. 

if you take another year (5yr) can't you increase your top 3 (for uoft) or last-2yr gpa? cuz there's some schools that look at those, forgetting cgpa. 

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On 11/30/2019 at 5:16 PM, SweetPotato said:

The schools you listed are probably the most amenable to splitters. But occasionally low gpa-high lsat splitters have gotten into other law schools like Western. Doesn't hurt to apply and see what happens, if you don't mind the apapplication fees. 

All the resources I know for seeing where people with particular stats get in are US based. And predictive calculators (of which I've seen a couple for Canadian law schools) always have a disclaimer saying they are really inconsistent for 'extreme' splitters. I feel like I must just be failing in my research, but I'm not seeing any big body of results to fall back on for an idea of where splitters occasionally get in and the relative likelihood of it (as well as the hard cut offs). I'll definitely apply either way, but better history of data would maybe let me make a smarter decision about whether my outcomes will change if I manage to drag up my GPA a little bit.

 

On 11/30/2019 at 5:21 PM, erinl2 said:

@Splitopia  Are you applying in the current cycle or next year?  If this year, you should check the deadlines for apps. Ontario apps are closed. And if you are looking at schools with a December 1 deadline, you are very late asking for LORs. Typically, you should allow about 4-6 weeks for a prof to write one. 

Yeah I was surprised by how early the cycle in Canada cuts off. Either way I was planning on applying in next years admissions. Now I'm just in the process of determining if taking another semester in the summer to up GPA a bit makes sense. If it doesn't change what schools I have a shot at and those schools are already likely to take me than I'm not sure quitting my FT work to up my GPA makes sense. I could keep FT job too but then acing a full time course load sounds unlikely. 

 

On 11/30/2019 at 8:03 PM, laststarr said:

if you take another year (5yr) can't you increase your top 3 (for uoft) or last-2yr gpa? cuz there's some schools that look at those, forgetting cgpa. 

I'm well beyond 5yr at this point. I thought I could improve my GPA if I took my school slower... didn't really work out. Or maybe it did, but if it did it still wasn't worth the lost years for what's still a bad GPA

I've come to terms with it. I sincerely was not smart enough to ever have more than a B+ average in my program and getting that would have killed me. Maybe if I wasn't working but certainly not while working +25 hour weeks. I don't even have shame in it anymore. I studied every single hour I wasn't working in the last two years and the result was lower than my cgpa. I just wish I knew to stay in a community college and get an A range average just showing up to class like I did for first year. Speaking of which my best year was probs high 3.7X? But it was a long long time ago at a different school than I'm graduating from. I guess it might help me in some best 3 systems idk?

Sorry to rant. Long story short my cgpa is basically my gpa in any year. No upwards trend to speak of, possibly downwards. Last two isn't saving me unless I take a full year in a different program or school... which I suppose is a possibility.

I assume I have to close off my undergrad to apply? If not I could do a Summer and Fall term that would finish before all their decisions had been completed. If I just went into debt to do like 6-7 courses a term (not working) and averaged like 3.5 or whatever than L2 schools might be totally doable for me. But I'm guessing degree has to be completed for me to submit my application to schools before Nov 1st next year which would only let me do a summer term. That actually is kinda encouraging, although I'm not sure law schools would look favorably on me doing two terms of school at a different school than where I graduate with the obvious purpose of boosting GPA.

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First, and this is a valuable point to reiterate for others with GPA issues: not every school uses the same method of calculating your GPA. Your institution's calculation of your GPA may be very different from the stat a prospective school looks at. In Ontario, there are three common GPA metrics: cGPA (e.g. Ottawa, Osgoode), L2/B2 (e.g. Western, Queen's), and B3 (i.e. Toronto). Even if a school only uses cGPA, if they are at least partially holistic, then an upward trend (like a great L2) may be taken into account -- especially if you draw attention to it in your personal statement as evidence of overcoming a problem. Outside Ontario, many schools also either only look at certain years (e.g. L2 at Dalhousie and Alberta) or drop some of your lowest courses (e.g. Manitoba drops ~8 worst classes, UBC drops ~4, UVIC drops ~6, UNB 25% of your worst classes!!!). If your GPA is low because you failed / got Cs in a couple courses but otherwise had high marks, then a school that has drops will treat you well; if your bad grades were confined to one or two years, then L2 schools may be best. In addition, some schools will convert your grades to their system, such as the OLSAS scale for Ontario grades (OLSAS treats my bad grade in organic chemistry that was weighted as 4 credits at my institution as equal to my normal 3-credit courses!) or Manitoba's (e.g. my B- is treated as a 3.0 instead of a 2.7). Also keep in mind that UBC converts 'A's on a 4.0 scale to 86%, so you may be at a disadvantage if 'A's are the highest letter grade your school issues.

Also keep in mind, for more holistic schools, there may be considerations about the (perceived) difficulty of your degree -- an admissions officer would likely be more forgiving (rightfully or wrongfully) if you studied engineering or hard science at a top-tier school versus dance at a community college, especially if that degree adds perspective or diversity to the admissions cohort. That would be more of a soft factor, but it could give a boost if GPA is the only weakness in the application.

Here is what I did: enter all your grades into an Excel spreadsheet as they appear on your transcript. Review how GPA is calculated or looked at by every school that potentially interests you, and then use Excel to calculate what your GPA would be regarded as by each school (e.g. B3 w/ OLSAS conversion for Toronto, % scale with drops for UBC, 25% drops at UNB, Manitoba conversion and drops, etc). From there, with public information about the median LSAT at each school, you can get a pretty solid gauge of (1) your chances (how far under the median is your GPA, how far above the median is your LSAT?) and (2) how your GPA as calculated by that school would change if your transcript changed by doing more undergrad (and how that affects your chances). Often, students don't bother getting into those details about how GPA is calculated, so they end up either missing a school that may treat them well or wasting their application fee and time. At the very least, it's a good starting place to help decide your options and where to bother taking a shot at applying 

For autoadmit schools like Manitoba, UBC, and UVIC, knowing how they'd calculate your GPA lets you calculate your index score and know whether it's likely in your favor. For others, you can play with some stats if you are so inclined, but remember to manage your expectations!

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2 hours ago, Splitopia said:

All the resources I know for seeing where people with particular stats get in are US based. And predictive calculators (of which I've seen a couple for Canadian law schools) always have a disclaimer saying they are really inconsistent for 'extreme' splitters. I feel like I must just be failing in my research, but I'm not seeing any big body of results to fall back on for an idea of where splitters occasionally get in and the relative likelihood of it (as well as the hard cut offs). I'll definitely apply either way, but better history of data would maybe let me make a smarter decision about whether my outcomes will change if I manage to drag up my GPA a little bit.

 

Yeah I was surprised by how early the cycle in Canada cuts off. Either way I was planning on applying in next years admissions. Now I'm just in the process of determining if taking another semester in the summer to up GPA a bit makes sense. If it doesn't change what schools I have a shot at and those schools are already likely to take me than I'm not sure quitting my FT work to up my GPA makes sense. I could keep FT job too but then acing a full time course load sounds unlikely. 

 

I'm well beyond 5yr at this point. I thought I could improve my GPA if I took my school slower... didn't really work out. Or maybe it did, but if it did it still wasn't worth the lost years for what's still a bad GPA

I've come to terms with it. I sincerely was not smart enough to ever have more than a B+ average in my program and getting that would have killed me. Maybe if I wasn't working but certainly not while working +25 hour weeks. I don't even have shame in it anymore. I studied every single hour I wasn't working in the last two years and the result was lower than my cgpa. I just wish I knew to stay in a community college and get an A range average just showing up to class like I did for first year. Speaking of which my best year was probs high 3.7X? But it was a long long time ago at a different school than I'm graduating from. I guess it might help me in some best 3 systems idk?

Sorry to rant. Long story short my cgpa is basically my gpa in any year. No upwards trend to speak of, possibly downwards. Last two isn't saving me unless I take a full year in a different program or school... which I suppose is a possibility.

I assume I have to close off my undergrad to apply? If not I could do a Summer and Fall term that would finish before all their decisions had been completed. If I just went into debt to do like 6-7 courses a term (not working) and averaged like 3.5 or whatever than L2 schools might be totally doable for me. But I'm guessing degree has to be completed for me to submit my application to schools before Nov 1st next year which would only let me do a summer term. That actually is kinda encouraging, although I'm not sure law schools would look favorably on me doing two terms of school at a different school than where I graduate with the obvious purpose of boosting GPA.

Yeah there isn't a big body of data for splitters in Canada. But UVic, UBC, and Manitoba seem to be mostly index-based. Your very high lsat will probably give you an index that is on par with that of most applicants. Not to mention that they will also drop some of your worst marks (as the user above mentioned). If you completed 120 credits, UVic drops the 18 worst, UBC drops the 12 worst, and Manitoba drops the 30 worst. Even if you didn't boost your gpa, I would be surprised if you didn't get in anywhere in Canada. 

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