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Accepted by U Chicago but denied by University of Michigan. How in the world does that work???

combsnicombsni Free Trial Member
in General 652 karma

So yesterday I received an acceptance notification from UChicago and a denial from The University of Michigan. By all accounts, Chicago is a much better law school so how was I outright denied by U-M but accepted by Chicago?


  • BenjaminSFBenjaminSF Alum Member Inactive ⭐
    457 karma

    Congrats on Chicago!

    I can relate to this experience in undergrad. I was turned down by a state school that by all accounts I should have gotten into, and the same week I got into a much better school.

    At the end of the day, there are so many factors that schools take into account, including all of the other applicants. Without speaking to the individuals who personally handled your app, I don't know that you will ever get a satisfactory answer. Each reviewer has their own preferences for what they want in a prospective student, and we all roll the dice to some degree with apps.

  • jknaufjknauf Alum Member
    1741 karma

    Basically, admissions officers do whatever they want.

  • MampMMampM Free Trial Member
    1 karma

    When did you apply?

  • SherryS1SherryS1 Member
    477 karma

    @combsni It may be that U of M felt your application would be more competitive amongst the T5 and wanted to yield protect.

    Either way, congratulations :smile:! U Chicago is such a wonderful school. A few members of my family are alums there (not the law school) and they all just love it.

  • combsnicombsni Free Trial Member
    652 karma

    Thank you guys!

  • danielznelsondanielznelson Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    4181 karma

    I thought the alleged practice of yield protecting was really only implemented by waitlisting. I don't think they'd want to straight up deny you just because they're thinking you might go elsewhere.

    The cycle is primarily a numbers game, though so many other factors come into play. Expressed interest and your individual profile, for example, can get you into schools you didn't think you'd get into and be denied by schools you thought you had a better shot at. If this were purely a numbers game and a predictable one at that, there'd be no sense in working so hard on the other parts of our applications.

    As the cycle has progressed for me as well, I've definitely seen how seemingly unpredictable your prospects can be - at least when looking only at numbers. But it also depends on what your numbers were. If yours were on the lower end, it'd make more sense that one denied you and the other accepted, even if the latter is a much harder school to get into (not only is it higher ranked and with higher medians, it has a notably smaller class size!). If your numbers were at or above the Michigan medians, for example, then even I would be a bit surprised that you weren't at least waitlisted. But different admissions officers look for and like different things about applicants and the same body of students aren't all applying to the same schools necessarily.

    So while surprising, it isn't crazy unusual. I hope Michigan wasn't your preferred choice! Regardless, Chicago?? That's amazing! CONGRATULATIONS!! Seriously, getting into such a top-ranked, small-sized school is just incredible.

  • dantlee14dantlee14 Free Trial Member
    617 karma

    humblebrag ;)

  • SherryS1SherryS1 Member
    477 karma

    @danielznelson said:
    I thought the alleged practice of yield protecting was really only implemented by waitlisting. I don't think they'd want to straight up deny you just because they're thinking you might go elsewhere.

    I was kind of thinking that if you're at above the 75th percentile they might?

    Now if only that hypothetical applied to my life and University of Michigan was a safety school for me :smile:

  • SprinklesSprinkles Alum Member
    11542 karma

    @jknauf said:
    Basically, admissions officers do whatever they want.

    Lol. Yup.

  • TheMikeyTheMikey Alum Member
    4196 karma

    because they can do whatever they want, lmao

  • BryantFuBryantFu Alum Member
    72 karma

    Congrats on getting into Chicago! Will you now attempt the the rejection of the rejection letter?

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