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emilystudent

Help to improve my 2021 Application

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I applied General for September 2020 to Queens, Western, Osgoode, Ottawa, and UBC; and was rejected everywhere except Ottawa where I was waitlisted. My CGPA is 3.27, I think my B2/L2 is 3.4 ish, and my LSAT scores are 165 and 166. I’m 3 years out of undergrad but had decent ECs, great post-grad volunteer experience, and various other financial accreditations and am currently working for an in house legal department.
 

I want to apply again for 2021 and I know I need to improve my PS but I’m looking for advice about whether it would be worth it for me to quit my job and take a full undergraduate course load online for fall and possibly winter to improve my B2/L2. I am waiting to hear from the law school admissions teams about how this move could impact my application but I would also like to hear what the forum has to say.

 

I didn’t put enough work in to my undergrad studies because I had no plans for any further education. Terrible excuse I know, but that’s why I believe going back and taking more courses could really be beneficial because I believe I could get a much higher gpa by applying myself. Obviously nothing is guaranteed and maybe I will come out with the same results but I truly believe if I take more classes I could come out with a gpa closer to 3.8 for the new courses. 
 

I’m super open to applying more widely for 2021 if I’m being too optimistic, quitting my job to increase my gpa, or anything that could help. My biggest concern is that I don’t want to wait and be rejected again, so I’m open to any guidance other than to wait for another two years and apply as a mature student. If you have any insight or experience in this area I would appreciate any help I can get. I would even consider hiring an application consultant if those are helpful, though from what I’ve read here it sounds like they’re generally not worth the investment. Thank you!

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Are you able to start school in Ottawa if you get an offer after August 27, 2020?

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Yes, absolutely! Is there something special about that date? Do I need to let the school know I am available to start if I am accepted after then? 

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, emilystudent said:

Yes, absolutely! Is there something special about that date? Do I need to let the school know I am available to start if I am accepted after then? 

Ottawa has given out offers up til first week of classes in previous years

I guess this year may be different because of Covid-19 and on line classes.

Your GPA is low for Ottawa but your LSAT and other factors may make a difference.

For the next cycle, you may want to consider Ryerson, Windsor and  Lake head and schools outside Ontario  that have drops. 

I don't think taking more courses will do much and if choose to do that, you should check if schools will accept courses taken after your first degree.

You can apply as mature with 5 years working experience. I think you are 2 years away to meet that criteria.

Edited by Luckycharm

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That’s great to hear - I will hold out a small glimmer of hope for this year. 
 

Assuming I am not accepted this year, your recommendation is to apply more broadly and not to take more coursework, correct? 

 

I’m happy to do that as I really want to avoid waiting to apply as a mature student if possible. I would rather go out of province than continue to wait. 
 

Thanks so much, @Luckycharm

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On a very similar track! I'm taking extra classes to boost my GPA and have emailed a few schools to confirm if they will accept these grades. You can PM if you like :) 

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18 minutes ago, Dreamchaser said:

On a very similar track! I'm taking extra classes to boost my GPA and have emailed a few schools to confirm if they will accept these grades. You can PM if you like :) 

I think you will help more applicants by posting them here.

 I like to know too.

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1 hour ago, emilystudent said:

That’s great to hear - I will hold out a small glimmer of hope for this year. 
 

Assuming I am not accepted this year, your recommendation is to apply more broadly and not to take more coursework, correct? 

 

I’m happy to do that as I really want to avoid waiting to apply as a mature student if possible. I would rather go out of province than continue to wait. 
 

Thanks so much, @Luckycharm

Did anything happened during your undergrad that may have an impact on your grades? 

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1 hour ago, Luckycharm said:

I think you will help more applicants by posting them here.

 I like to know too.

Oh yeah for sure!

I emailed Queens, Ottawa, Windsor, Western, Osgoode and Calgary to inquire if they will consider courses taken post-graduation in calculating L2/GPA.

I received the following responses:

Windsor:

"University of Windsor takes a holistic approach regarding admissions.  There is not just one factor, ie GPA or courses taken upon completion of an undergraduate degree, that is considered by the Admissions Committee. All seven criteria are considered."

Calgary:

"Courses completed prior to December 31 of the year of your application will be considered in the GPA calculation. The GPA calculation is based on your last 20 half courses, or 60 credit equivalents. We also count spring/summer courses and undergraduate courses taken after you have completed your degree. 

The average GPA of our first-year class tends to be about 3.6, with an LSAT of 161. You may refer to the following for our 5 year admission statistics for additional information.

If you wish to raise your GPA to make your application more competitive, you may take additional undergraduate courses, through either a degree or open studies program. Please note that continuing education, diploma, certificate, and graduate courses cannot be used in the GPA calculation."

Western:

"Thank you for your interest in Western Law. All undergraduate courses will be included in your cumulative GPA calculation. Western also focuses on your last two years, so any undergraduate courses taken after you completed your degree would be used in your ‘last two’ GPA calculation as well. Kindly note that continuing education courses and masters courses are not included.

If you are trying to increases your cumulative GPA, we do expect the courses to be at the upper year level. We recommend taking courses that are of interest to you that you will excel in. Only repeat a course if you want to gain more from the class and you expect to receive a high mark. If you do successfully repeat a course, both marks will be included in your cGPA calculation. Your old mark does not drop off."

Ottawa:

"All courses taken at the undergraduate level will go into the calculation of your CGPA in OLSAS.

If repeat courses will replace the original course in your transcript, then this is an efficient way of erasing lower marks. However, this is not typically the case. As the Admissions Committee does not look for specific courses taken at the undergraduate level, retaking old courses and taking new courses will be considered in the same way, if they do not have different effects on your CGPA.

Your CGPA will be calculated by OLSAS and will be taken into consideration, however the Committee will also look through your transcripts. A recent upward trend in marks may be to your advantage, no matter which courses it is that you have taken."

Queens:

"Queen’s Law looks at your best 2 years. We define a “best year” as your highest scoring Fall & Winter terms that were completed at a full load. Queen’s Law considers an average of 4/5 classes per term over the fall and winter terms to still be a full load. This includes courses taken after graduation. Meaning, you can take 3 in one term and 5 in the other and still meet the average of 4. We will use your 2 best years to calculate your competitive GPA. Summer terms and those done on an exchange are not factored into this average. If a course is repeated, both scores are factored into your CGPA. Only grades that appear in your best 2 years are factored into your GPA."

Osgoode:

Never responded to my email 😭

I hope this helps those who are wondering how these schools view courses taken to boost GPA after completing undergrad. 

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41 minutes ago, Dreamchaser said:

Oh yeah for sure!

I emailed Queens, Ottawa, Windsor, Western, Osgoode and Calgary to inquire if they will consider courses taken post-graduation in calculating L2/GPA.

I received the following responses:

Windsor:

"University of Windsor takes a holistic approach regarding admissions.  There is not just one factor, ie GPA or courses taken upon completion of an undergraduate degree, that is considered by the Admissions Committee. All seven criteria are considered."

Calgary:

"Courses completed prior to December 31 of the year of your application will be considered in the GPA calculation. The GPA calculation is based on your last 20 half courses, or 60 credit equivalents. We also count spring/summer courses and undergraduate courses taken after you have completed your degree. 

The average GPA of our first-year class tends to be about 3.6, with an LSAT of 161. You may refer to the following for our 5 year admission statistics for additional information.

If you wish to raise your GPA to make your application more competitive, you may take additional undergraduate courses, through either a degree or open studies program. Please note that continuing education, diploma, certificate, and graduate courses cannot be used in the GPA calculation."

Western:

"Thank you for your interest in Western Law. All undergraduate courses will be included in your cumulative GPA calculation. Western also focuses on your last two years, so any undergraduate courses taken after you completed your degree would be used in your ‘last two’ GPA calculation as well. Kindly note that continuing education courses and masters courses are not included.

If you are trying to increases your cumulative GPA, we do expect the courses to be at the upper year level. We recommend taking courses that are of interest to you that you will excel in. Only repeat a course if you want to gain more from the class and you expect to receive a high mark. If you do successfully repeat a course, both marks will be included in your cGPA calculation. Your old mark does not drop off."

Ottawa:

"All courses taken at the undergraduate level will go into the calculation of your CGPA in OLSAS.

If repeat courses will replace the original course in your transcript, then this is an efficient way of erasing lower marks. However, this is not typically the case. As the Admissions Committee does not look for specific courses taken at the undergraduate level, retaking old courses and taking new courses will be considered in the same way, if they do not have different effects on your CGPA.

Your CGPA will be calculated by OLSAS and will be taken into consideration, however the Committee will also look through your transcripts. A recent upward trend in marks may be to your advantage, no matter which courses it is that you have taken."

Queens:

"Queen’s Law looks at your best 2 years. We define a “best year” as your highest scoring Fall & Winter terms that were completed at a full load. Queen’s Law considers an average of 4/5 classes per term over the fall and winter terms to still be a full load. This includes courses taken after graduation. Meaning, you can take 3 in one term and 5 in the other and still meet the average of 4. We will use your 2 best years to calculate your competitive GPA. Summer terms and those done on an exchange are not factored into this average. If a course is repeated, both scores are factored into your CGPA. Only grades that appear in your best 2 years are factored into your GPA."

Osgoode:

Never responded to my email 😭

I hope this helps those who are wondering how these schools view courses taken to boost GPA after completing undergrad. 

Excellent post

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5 hours ago, Luckycharm said:

Did anything happened during your undergrad that may have an impact on your grades? 

I had some personal issues through my final two years of school but I’m not sure if I want that to be a part of my application. 

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1 hour ago, emilystudent said:

I had some personal issues through my final two years of school but I’m not sure if I want that to be a part of my application. 

If they really impacted your grades and you can corroborate your claim - I would advise rethinking your reluctance. 

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Doing another year of undergrad courses is a one way to go about it. Or you could also wait two more years and apply as a mature student.

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14 hours ago, Dreamchaser said:

Oh yeah for sure!

I emailed Queens, Ottawa, Windsor, Western, Osgoode and Calgary to inquire if they will consider courses taken post-graduation in calculating L2/GPA.

I received the following responses:

Windsor:

"University of Windsor takes a holistic approach regarding admissions.  There is not just one factor, ie GPA or courses taken upon completion of an undergraduate degree, that is considered by the Admissions Committee. All seven criteria are considered."

Calgary:

"Courses completed prior to December 31 of the year of your application will be considered in the GPA calculation. The GPA calculation is based on your last 20 half courses, or 60 credit equivalents. We also count spring/summer courses and undergraduate courses taken after you have completed your degree. 

The average GPA of our first-year class tends to be about 3.6, with an LSAT of 161. You may refer to the following for our 5 year admission statistics for additional information.

If you wish to raise your GPA to make your application more competitive, you may take additional undergraduate courses, through either a degree or open studies program. Please note that continuing education, diploma, certificate, and graduate courses cannot be used in the GPA calculation."

Western:

"Thank you for your interest in Western Law. All undergraduate courses will be included in your cumulative GPA calculation. Western also focuses on your last two years, so any undergraduate courses taken after you completed your degree would be used in your ‘last two’ GPA calculation as well. Kindly note that continuing education courses and masters courses are not included.

If you are trying to increases your cumulative GPA, we do expect the courses to be at the upper year level. We recommend taking courses that are of interest to you that you will excel in. Only repeat a course if you want to gain more from the class and you expect to receive a high mark. If you do successfully repeat a course, both marks will be included in your cGPA calculation. Your old mark does not drop off."

Ottawa:

"All courses taken at the undergraduate level will go into the calculation of your CGPA in OLSAS.

If repeat courses will replace the original course in your transcript, then this is an efficient way of erasing lower marks. However, this is not typically the case. As the Admissions Committee does not look for specific courses taken at the undergraduate level, retaking old courses and taking new courses will be considered in the same way, if they do not have different effects on your CGPA.

Your CGPA will be calculated by OLSAS and will be taken into consideration, however the Committee will also look through your transcripts. A recent upward trend in marks may be to your advantage, no matter which courses it is that you have taken."

Queens:

"Queen’s Law looks at your best 2 years. We define a “best year” as your highest scoring Fall & Winter terms that were completed at a full load. Queen’s Law considers an average of 4/5 classes per term over the fall and winter terms to still be a full load. This includes courses taken after graduation. Meaning, you can take 3 in one term and 5 in the other and still meet the average of 4. We will use your 2 best years to calculate your competitive GPA. Summer terms and those done on an exchange are not factored into this average. If a course is repeated, both scores are factored into your CGPA. Only grades that appear in your best 2 years are factored into your GPA."

Osgoode:

Never responded to my email 😭

I hope this helps those who are wondering how these schools view courses taken to boost GPA after completing undergrad. 

Extremely helpful and thank you for sharing this information!

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3 hours ago, herpsderps123 said:

Doing another year of undergrad courses is a one way to go about it. Or you could also wait two more years and apply as a mature student.

I’m leaning towards doing this and taking a full 5 course fall semester. From the sounds of Dreamchaser’s post it will make a measurable difference to Western and UOttawa, and Queens if I take a winter semester and submit those grades afterwards as well. Thanks! 

 

10 hours ago, theboy said:

If they really impacted your grades and you can corroborate your claim - I would advise rethinking your reluctance. 

I have decided to submit the issues to UOttawa admissions in case they will consider it for this year and will include the information in my 2021 application. My grades didn’t drop significantly but what happened set me back significantly from achieving that upswing in grades that I should have in my later years. 

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