The average Law School Admission Test score for first-year GW law students dropped only slightly in a year when the college saw a surprising surge in enrollment.
The average LSAT score – the standardized test typically considered the most important admissions factor – dropped two points to 165, while the class’ average GPA increased from 3.60 to 3.71, according to data released Monday.
The 22 percent increase in first-year students this fall brought into question whether the college lowered admissions standards to bring in a larger class, after several years of slumping law school enrollment. But the college appears to have maintained its standards.
Rich Collins, the associate vice president for law development, told The Hatchet last month that the law school weighed applicants’ GPAs more heavily this year.
Law schools’ average LSAT scores and GPAs are weighted about 12.5 percent and 10 percent, respectively, in the annual U.S. News & World Report Ranking. Colleges must submit the data to the American Bar Association each year.
The No. 21-ranked law school enrolled 481 students in its class this year, a jump of about 80 more full-time students than last year at a time when applications to law schools are dropping nationally.
The move to enroll a larger is a shift away from former law school dean Paul Schiff Berman’s strategy – as well as several other top law schools – to shrink the size of classes to reflect job market and national trends. Downsizing, however, would also take away tuition dollars to fund academic programs.
Collins said last month that interim dean Gregory Maggs tried to pull in a larger class “to make the place run.”
The school also enrolled a record number of females this fall, making up 53 percent of the class. It also increased the number of minority students in the class, from 31 percent to 37 percent.