2 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
Re: Low-GPA Profile Evaluation
First thing, congrats on the A. That does matter.
If your letter writers tell you a top 30 is possible, that could mean anywhere in the top 30. But it's often code for the top 20 is pretty unlikely and 20-30 would be a good shot but not guaranteed. You should try to elicit more information from your letter writers. They are in the best position to evaluate your chances and you know they are on your side.
One strategy that can help in being tactful is to write out a list of places you are thinking of applying to and then ask each letter writer to cross off ones they think are too aggressive and to add some they think are safe.