Penn State branch campuses and law school

<p>I know someone who is transferring from a community college to one of Penn State's branch campuses. He's there partly for financial reasons. It's slightly cheaper than Main Campus, and he can commute.</p>

<p>He thinks the branch campuses are as prestigious as Main Campus because you get the same degree. I thought Main Campus carries far more weight, and that employers and grad schools will ask whether you went to Main Campus. IIRC, I read something along those lines here. Who's right?</p>

<p>And what kinds of law schools are realistic for branch campus graduate? T14? Tier 1?</p>

<p>Finally, if he cannot get into Main Campus, is Temple better for law school admissions than a Penn State branch campus?</p>

<p>Thanks in advance!</p>

<p>As long as his LSAT score is proportionate to the level of his academic accomplishment, he should be fine.</p>

<p>The main campus is stronger but a good student can do very well and get into law school by going to one of the branch campuses.</p>

<p>Penn State has a 2+2 program where you spend 2 years at a branch campus and then transfer to University Park for the final 2 years and you get a main campus degree if your grades are satisfactory. (read that when I stopped by the PSU table at my college fair) So that could be an option for your friend. They say that 60% of students follow the 2+2 plan.</p>

<p>Penn</a> State's 2+2 Plan - Penn State Undergraduate Admissions</p>

<p>If he does the 2+2 plan, that would be awesome. If not, he'd probably be better off at Temple.</p>

<p>In PA often people will ask what campus you went to if it's not explicitly listed on your resume. My experience outside PA, though, is that most people don't know there are 20-something PSU campuses. I did my master's at the Great Valley campus because that's the only campus (including main) that offered my program.</p>

<p>As long as you have a good GPA and LSAT score, law schools won't care if you were on a branch campus or not.</p>

<p>Here are also some great alternatives to going to a PSU branch campus:</p>

<p>California University Of PA
Indiana University Of PA
Kutztown University Of PA
Slippery Rock University Of PA
University Of Pittsburgh - Bradford
University Of Pittsburgh - Johnstown</p>

<p>@pierre0913: He is entering the Penn State system as a transfer from a community college. Can he still use the 2+2 program to ultimately move to University Park? Or is it realistically too late? I followed your link, and it doesn't appear to state whether the 2+2 program is only for freshman applicants.</p>

<p>It seems that you think Temple is stronger than the Penn State branch campuses. Where I can't tell whether you're joking or not is when you compare the lower-tier schools you list in post #7 favorably to the branch campuses. Do you seriously think these schools are better than Penn State's branch campuses? Or is this facetious?</p>

<p>@nyyankees2012: He didn't have the best GPA at community college. I can't get a straight answer on just how low it was. Is it realistically too late to get into a good law school even if he gets a better GPA wherever he goes next?</p>

<p>hmm I don't know whether it's too late to do 2+2. That's something I would ask about further.</p>

<p>I'm not joking. Those schools are also great schools. If you think about it, the Penn state branch campuses are also "lower-tier" schools. Just some more options to think about. I'm not gonna say whether they are better or not but they are great public school options.</p>

<p>Most of those schools are better than PSU branches when you look at the actual numbers. In fact, everyone in the list above is ranked in their particular category by US News whereas no PSU branch is ranked. Temple, like PSU-main, is on a completely different level than any PSU branch.</p>

<p>To do it objectively, here's how the branches compare in admission standards according to the 2009 common data sets for each. You can see how far the numbers drop from PSU-main for each branch.</p>

<p>The numbers following the branch's name are in the following order:</p>

<p>% applicants admitted, SAT 25-75 percentile, Top 10% of H.S. class, average GPA</p>

<p>University Park (main): 51.6%, 1630-1940, 49.82%, 3.55
Abington: 84.3%, 1240-1580, 6.18%, 2.98
Altoona: 87.5%, 1340-1650, 6.19%, 3.04
Beaver: 93%, 1240-1570, 6.19%, 2.91
Berks: 83.5%, 1330-1640, 6.08%, 2.97
Brandywine: 85.3%, 1260-1600, 8.25%, 2.96
Dubois: 91.8%, 1200-1510, 4.52%. 2.83
Erie: 86.8%, 1380-1690, 14.1%, 3.21
Fayette: 92.5%, 1180-1530, 11.79%, 3.00
Greater Allegheny: 86.1%, 1180-1570, 9.09%, 2.85
Harrisburg: 86.2%, 1360-1690, 9.83%, 3.08
Hazelton: 91.9%, 1200-1550, 7.54%, 2.33
Lehigh Valley: 93.6%, 1260-1610, 7.91%, 2.81
Mont Alto: 90%, 1230-1580, 9.28%, 2.93
New Kensington: 88.7%, 1260-1580, 7.24%, 2.87
Schuykill: 85.7%, 1100-1430, 5.4%, 2.74
Shenango: 77.3%, 1210-1520, 2.68%, 2.86
Wilkes-Barre: 91%, 1260-1590, 4.42%, 2.95
Worthington Scranton: 88.7%, 1190-1520, 3.76%, 2.83
York: 87.4%, 1265-1625, 8.46%, 2.91</p>

<p>Just for interest, and because PSU never reports this, the numbers across the entirety of Penn State are below. (weighted appropriately for the number of students at university park and all the branches but not including numbers for their on-line World Campus or Penn Tech) </p>

<p>Applicants admitted: 72.3%
SAT 25-75 percentiles: 1427-1747
top 10% of HS class: 25.6%
average GPA: 3.20</p>

<p>@pierre0913: I was afraid you weren't joking. The concern isn't that the schools you mentioned or the Penn State branch campuses are "better" or "worse" per se, but whether they are adequate to get into a good law school.</p>

<p>@wgmcp101: That's some really useful hard data there. I figured the branch campuses weren't quite at the level of Main Campus, but I didn't realize just how far beneath Main Campus they were.</p>

<p>Is Temple significantly better than either the Penn State branch campuses or the schools pierre0913 listed? Thing is, this person is really hung up on whether he can commute from home. He has to pay for school himself, but I suspect he also doesn't qualify for much financial aid. It wouldn't be an easy commute to Temple, but it could be done. Or if he simply needs to come up with the money for better schools than are available within an easy commute from home, blunt honesty in that regard would be good too.</p>

<p>Hypothetical: Assume that someone has a composite GPA of 3.0 with an upward trend. Said person graduates from a school which is no better than Tier 3 (e.g., the 3.0 GPA wasn't even at a top school.) Regardless, they manage to get a solid LSAT score. What kind of law schools can they realistically get into?</p>

<p>well I would think that if a school is better than the other, that would mean that they would be more than adequate to get into a good law school?</p>

<p>maybe my logic isn't right but that is what I'm thinking.</p>

<p>Temple's admission numbers are middle SAT: 1500-1810, 21% in to 10% of hs, and a 3.41 average GPA. I would say Temple generally has a better reputation than most of the above schools except PSU-main.</p>

<p>However, you are talking about Law School admissions and really need to seek advice of people with more expertise in that area than I have, and, if possible, particularly the law schools the person is interested in applying to in order to determine what criteria they value. As mentioned by someone else above, I would imagine law admission is going to come down mostly to your LSATs and college transcript (GPA).</p>