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  1. #1
    Ace of the Staff JeterRodriguezSheff's Avatar
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    What is considered a good college gpa these days?

    I am still waiting for a 3 grades back before I graduate on Sunday. Depending on what those grades are Ill have anywhere between a 3.58 and 3.6 which doesnt make much difference.

    Normally I would consider that a very good GPA but I am a little depressed as it would have been significantly higher if not for one c- I received(I had a time conflict with work which occurred after the day to withdraw passed so I ended up not going to class for half the semester, I am amazed I even passed).

    Also there tends to be a lot of grade inflation at schools these days and it was hard to find the stats for St. John's which is where I went. Its hard to get an accurate gauge of how competitive Ill be for jobs. All I know is that if I decide on law school I am already out at Harvard, Yale and Stanford and would need to ace the lsat to get in at Columbia down. Maybe that has skewed my sense of reality. I dont know.

  2. #2
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    Re: What is considered a good college gpa these days?

    It depends on what you're doing afterwards. For Professional/Graduate schools(over the master's level) I'd say 3.6 is the minimum. Also, I don't know if St. John's would be an inflater or a deflater in terms of GPA, but assuming that its neither, you're fine. Couple a 3.6 with a 160+ LSAT score (or 30+ MCAT, 1300+ GRE for other types of programs) and you'll get into any of those top tier Ivy programs.

    But if you're just looking to work, I'd guess that around 3.0 is fine. Some Master's programs are around there too depending on what the degree entails.

    Congrats on Graduating and good luck with Law School. The LSAT is an absolutely boring exam.
    Crush it with your mind vice.

  3. #3
    NYYF Cy Young


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    Re: What is considered a good college gpa these days?

    The majority of grad schools will weight your letters of reccomendation, and major GPA over your overall GPA. My overall GPA in undergrad was only a 2.9 but I had glaring reccomendation letters and my major GPA was 3.9. Got into a very good PhD program that way too.

  4. #4

    Re: What is considered a good college gpa these days?

    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Empire View Post
    It depends on what you're doing afterwards. For Professional/Graduate schools(over the master's level) I'd say 3.6 is the minimum. Also, I don't know if St. John's would be an inflater or a deflater in terms of GPA, but assuming that its neither, you're fine. Couple a 3.6 with a 160+ LSAT score (or 30+ MCAT, 1300+ GRE for other types of programs) and you'll get into any of those top tier Ivy programs.

    But if you're just looking to work, I'd guess that around 3.0 is fine. Some Master's programs are around there too depending on what the degree entails.

    Congrats on Graduating and good luck with Law School. The LSAT is an absolutely boring exam.
    You'd almost certainly need an LSAT score higher than 160 to get into a T-14 law school.

    One of the (many) oddities about law school admissions is that quality of undergraduate institution is rarely weighted significantly, if at all. My undergrad GPA of 3.3 was actually high for the institution I attended, but not so great relative to all undergraduate GPAs. A 3.6 won't kill you, and since I assume you still have a year left (or are otherwise wayyy behind in the admission process), there's time to boost your GPA a bit.

    Nail the LSAT and you won't have to worry much. It is (despite what they say) a very learnable test.


  5. #5
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    Re: What is considered a good college gpa these days?

    Quote Originally Posted by MoVaughnEatsAlot View Post
    The majority of grad schools will weight your letters of reccomendation, and major GPA over your overall GPA. My overall GPA in undergrad was only a 2.9 but I had glaring reccomendation letters and my major GPA was 3.9. Got into a very good PhD program that way too.
    Yes - your major GPA does carry a lot of weight. When you're applying to college out of high school, the overall GPA determines whether you'll get accepted (along with SAT/ACT scores). Once you head to grad school, the fact that you may have had a "C" in a subject outside of your major doesn't mean your chances of getting into a top tier grad program are gone. Go ahead and apply to Harvard, Standford, Yale and/or Columbia (I couldn't tell from your post if you decided not to or had, but were not accepted). You might get a pleasant surprise. You're graduating with honors - that's not something to sneeze at!
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  6. #6
    NYYF Cy Young


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    Re: What is considered a good college gpa these days?

    Quote Originally Posted by 35Knucklecurve View Post
    Yes - your major GPA does carry a lot of weight. When you're applying to college out of high school, the overall GPA determines whether you'll get accepted (along with SAT/ACT scores). Once you head to grad school, the fact that you may have had a "C" in a subject outside of your major doesn't mean your chances of getting into a top tier grad program are gone. Go ahead and apply to Harvard, Standford, Yale and/or Columbia (I couldn't tell from your post if you decided not to or had, but were not accepted). You might get a pleasant surprise. You're graduating with honors - that's not something to sneeze at!
    High school is definitely a different story, but from going to undergrad to grad, at least in my field, I'd say cumulative GPA is one of the least important factors as far as all the factors go, and I've been told that as well. I got into Duke with a 2.9 cumulative GPA and a GRE score of 1150. I did have 3 years lab experience though, three publications, a major GPA of 3.9, and glaring reccomendations. I'm just saying that there are other things that can outweigh a less than average cumulative GPA and that a lot of departments would rather have someone with experience and already established noteworthy work, than someone with a 4.0 GPA and absolutely no outside experience. Again, I realize this probably varies from major to major.

  7. #7

    Re: What is considered a good college gpa these days?

    Law school admission offices consider LSAT score and undergraduate GPA almost exclusively.

    If you're interested in fiddling with some numbers, check out these sites:

    http://www.lawschoolnumbers.com/

    http://www.hourumd.com/

    Edit: The websites will give you a general idea of where to apply based on your scores. If you can afford paying for a bunch of application fees, it can't hurt to send out a few "reaches" and hope your soft factors or background earns you an acceptance.


  8. #8
    Ace of the Staff JeterRodriguezSheff's Avatar
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    Re: What is considered a good college gpa these days?

    Im graduating this Sunday. I had planned to take a year off and take the LSAT during this year as taking 18 credits(commuting about an hour each way), working what is essentially a full time job(Im considered part time but they put me like one hour below full time and I usually work 8 on Sunday which doesnt count towards that because it is time and a half) and hardcore studying for the Lsat probably would have resulted in my suicide. I did some light studying and Im almost positive I am good with with the Logical reasoning and reading comprehension. One of the things being a philosophy major helped me out with is that I had to take a few logic courses.

    But Im not sure if I even want to go to law school anymore. It is very expensive and there are a lot of people who cant find good work even if they go to the top schools. Even at Columbia which is the Mecca of biglaw only the top half of the class typically gets big law. And even if I do Ace the Lsat go to a top school and do well and get big law, pretty much everyone from what I read hates it and dips after they paid off their loans. The problem is there arent a lot of alternatives to big law to help pay off law school debt which is insane these days.

    I am thinking maybe I should work for a few years and then try to go to business school. My GPA is right around the medians of the top schools, and a lot of times you can get your company to help pay for tuition or so I read. The problem would be finding a relevant job with a philosophy degree. There is always the military officer route which I hear business schools like but that is also a large commitment.

    I feel like I am exactly where I started on my first day of college, except now I hold a piece of paper that left me 20,000 in debt. I have no clue as to what to do.

  9. #9
    NYYF Cy Young

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    Re: What is considered a good college gpa these days?

    Quote Originally Posted by JeterRodriguezSheff View Post
    I am thinking maybe I should work for a few years and then try to go to business school. My GPA is right around the medians of the top schools, and a lot of times you can get your company to help pay for tuition or so I read. The problem would be finding a relevant job with a philosophy degree. There is always the military officer route which I hear business schools like but that is also a large commitment.

    I feel like I am exactly where I started on my first day of college, except now I hold a piece of paper that left me 20,000 in debt. I have no clue as to what to do.
    I feel pretty much the same... Just graduated this winter, I'm working but its just a temporary thing and isn't what I want to do at all. I'm interest in graduate school to get my masters, but haven't got around to researching yet. And the prospect of going through school again and all the expenses that go along with it... bleh.

    I've also talked to people who have had their employers pay for them to get graduate degrees, but I don't know how that actually works. Would be nice, though...
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  10. #10

    Re: What is considered a good college gpa these days?

    Ah, I see. Taking a year off sounds like a great idea, whatever you decide to do.

    I feel like I am exactly where I started on my first day of college, except now I hold a piece of paper that left me 20,000 in debt. I have no clue as to what to do.
    I know that feeling. FWIW, I graduated near the top of my class from a Tier 1 law school and didn't find immediate work (though I'm admittedly picky). I also amassed over $100,000 in debt.

    Anyway, I'd be happy to talk to you candidly about law school and all that jazz if it would help.


  11. #11
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    Re: What is considered a good college gpa these days?

    Not to long ago, I saw an article in the paper which stated that these days, majoring in something like General Studies could be to your advantage. I see a trend toward incoming freshman who're gravitating toward a concentration within General Studies (i.e. Sociology or Crimnal Justice). It gives you exposure to a wider range of subjects, which could come in handy if you get out there with that diploma and can't find something in your area of interest right away.

    I truly feel for those who're facing massive debt for an education. At least when you go into debt buying a home or a car, you have something to live in and drive. What students are paying for books now is what a semester used to cost back when I went to college. Unreal.
    September 28, 2008 - the day the HOF got a wake-up Moose call.

  12. #12
    Tends to be difficult JL25and3's Avatar
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    Re: What is considered a good college gpa these days?

    Quote Originally Posted by MoVaughnEatsAlot View Post
    The majority of grad schools will weight your letters of reccomendation, and major GPA over your overall GPA. My overall GPA in undergrad was only a 2.9 but I had glaring reccomendation letters and my major GPA was 3.9. Got into a very good PhD program that way too.
    At the grad school I went to, the third-year students served as part of the admissions committee, so I learned a bit about how the process went. There, recommendations mostly just served to demonstrate that you could find three people to say enthusiastic things about you. If you couldn't, that was a problem, but beyond that the content generally didn't count for all that much.

    So I guess it depends on the program.
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  13. #13
    Ace of the Staff JeterRodriguezSheff's Avatar
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    Re: What is considered a good college gpa these days?

    Haha so I just went through my unofficial transcript online the trend is pretty depressing.

    First semester: 3.32(I didnt care my first semester and I thought a B+ average was good, I would kill to be able to do this semester over)

    Second Semester: 3.60(I was a legal studies major and had two professors decide they were going to grade on a bell curve like in law school)

    third semester: 3.88(switched my major to philosophy)

    fourth semester: 3.78

    fifth semester: 3.78(I was at a 3.68 overall and thought for sure I would be graduating magna cum laude)

    sixth semester: 3.52(I started to get cocky and I thought I could handle more hours at work)

    seventh semester: 3.08(The C- killed me, between 42 hours of work and an intro to art professor who gave the workload of a graduate level course I buckled, for the first time since my second semester I was below a 3.6 cumulative)

    This semester is looking like its going to be another 3.78. It kinda sucks to know that 2 semesters killed your GPA, but I guess you live and you learn.

  14. #14
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    Re: What is considered a good college gpa these days?

    Quote Originally Posted by JeterRodriguezSheff View Post
    I feel like I am exactly where I started on my first day of college, except now I hold a piece of paper that left me 20,000 in debt. I have no clue as to what to do.
    What helped me was thinking back to why you wanted to be a lawyer (or any career) in the first place. If its a reason that you still believe in, or cannot achieve in any other way, then stick with it. If you're hearts not fully in it, you're gonna hate yourself in 3 years (or worse, 20 years).

    Two years ago, I took the LSATS and was ready to go to a non T-14 law school, but I realized (after interning and doing a lot of research) that it wasn't for me. Like you said, you live and learn, but I'm certainly glad I wasn't in law school,flunking out of it, or defending someone's life when I realized that I wasn't really into it.
    Crush it with your mind vice.

  15. #15
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    Re: What is considered a good college gpa these days?

    My friend's kid is a senior at Villanova. He's extremely smart (like his parents). As a senior, he has already been offered a job at Lockheed-Martin and they have already agreed to send him/pay for his grad school. Nice gig.

  16. #16
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    Re: What is considered a good college gpa these days?

    I debated long and hard between law school and working after college, then going to B-school. I did the latter (Harvard) and it was the best decision of my life.

    A Fortune 500 CEO told me as I was making this decision: "A lawyer is like a drillpress. You need a certain hole, you just go and get the best tool for making that hole. Go to B-school, you get to decide where the hole is and what it does."

    Apologies to the lawyers out there, this is true. Many lawyers will admit it.
    "Deep to left! Yastrzemski will not get it! It's a home run! A three-run homer by Bucky Dent! And the Yankees now lead by a score of 3-2!" - New York Yankees announcer Bill White (October 2, 1978)

  17. #17
    Ace of the Staff JeterRodriguezSheff's Avatar
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    Re: What is considered a good college gpa these days?

    If you dont mind me asking, what type of work experience did you have?

  18. #18

    Re: What is considered a good college gpa these days?

    This is what I keep telling my parents... they think that if I go to law school that i'm set for life, while I tend to think the opposite. To be saddled with that much debt for something i'm not even sure I want to do... it just doesn't seem like the best option on the table. I'm a Poli Sci major graduating from Maryland this Thursday and I currently have a 3.5, but I have not spoken to one person who is happy with the decision to go to law school. The problem for me is that I don't think business school is really an option, as the highest math course I took was Stat, but at this point, it does seem infinitely more appealing than Law School. I'm taking the LSAT in June and applying out to every job I can find, so in the mean time I will also bide my time for a year or two.

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