University officials said they hope to increase the number of students participating in the six-year bachelor’s and law degrees program next year.
The BA/JD program, in its second year, has five students enrolled this year and hopes to attract 15 incoming freshmen to participate in the program next year, Admissions Director Kathryn Napper said.
“We had 273 applications from which 15 students were selected,” Napper said, referring to figures for the program’s current participants. “Of the 15, five accepted their position in the program.”
Besides offering students the opportunity to graduate in six years, as opposed to what would take a traditional undergraduate and law school student seven, GW has advertised the program as a way for students to avoid taking the Law School Admission Test – though this may no longer be the case.
Roger Trangsrud, senior associate dean of academic affairs for the Law School, said a requirement by the American Bar Association could force the University to require all students, including those enrolled in the program, to take the LSAT.
An accreditation process by the ABA requires that all students in the Law School take the LSAT.
Last year the University used the SAT and students’ grade point averages as minimum requirements for the highly selective program.
Despite the rigors of maintaining a 3.7 grade point average once accepted in the program, participants said they enjoy the opportunity to receive a BA and JD in six years.
“The idea of a 3.7 GPA does sound a little daunting, especially after I discovered that it takes two As to cancel out a B-plus,” said freshman Amber Lewis, who is enrolled in the program.
“As long as it’s mathematically possible . I don’t concern myself with it very much,” said Lewis, who wants to pursue a career in politics upon graduation.
“I’ve wanted to be a lawyer as long as I can remember,” said freshman Diana Bardes, who is also in the program. “This program is the reason I came to GW – automatic acceptance to a good law school, bypassing the entire admissions process and the LSAT, while graduating a year early.”