Cancer/GPA Addendum - How should I approach it??

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speedyj88
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Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:18 pm

Cancer/GPA Addendum - How should I approach it??

Postby speedyj88 » Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:24 pm

I'm interested in writing a GPA addendum for my upcoming law school applications. I was diagnosed with cancer (luckily fully treated and healthy now) during my first semester of college. I ended up getting a 3.5(at a jc) and a 2.8(at my matriculating university), respectfully, my first two college semesters while undergoing surgery and treatments. My cumulative GPA is around a 3.5 (haven't sent in my transcripts to see what my LSAC GPA computes to but I assume it will be about the same), and I was wondering how I should approach writing the statement. According to one of the articles on this site, it is not always good to write a GPA addendeum and I was wondering if my situation (with the 3.5) is one that should. I appreciate any advice and comments.

P.S. Scored well on my LSAT and I'm planning on applying to T14 schools - with my GPA being the primary factor holding me back from acceptance to these schools.

Pearalegal
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Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:50 am

Re: Cancer/GPA Addendum - How should I approach it??

Postby Pearalegal » Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:25 pm

Sounds like you don't need an addendum....you have you PS right there that will serve as a much more powerful explanation of your circumstances and strength.

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Loyola Trojan
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Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:59 am

Re: Cancer/GPA Addendum - How should I approach it??

Postby Loyola Trojan » Thu Jul 01, 2010 2:20 am

Dude, it sounds like you have a hell of a lot to write about. I'm sure you will be fine in the end, with or without an addendum. Good luck!!

All the best,
Loyola Trojan 8)

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speedyj88
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Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:18 pm

Re: Cancer/GPA Addendum - How should I approach it??

Postby speedyj88 » Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:00 pm

Just wanted to bump this up to see if there were any other opinions on this.

If I choose to write my PS about this experience (it is one of my options), should I still be writing an addendum to clearly articulate why I believe it affected my GPA that year and point out the exact difference in my GPA from during/after the experience? Is that something I could do in my PS or should my PS focus on the experience of overcoming the mental, emotional, and physical hardships I endured during that time to still graduate successfully?

Thanks again for the help.

As an aside, do you guys know or have a guess of how much an addendum/PS explaining a shortfall in one's GPA would help in the application cycle? I'm assuming it varies from school to school but If you've heard any stories or know of anyone that's had it help their application, I'd love to hear it.

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hypothalamus
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Re: Cancer/GPA Addendum - How should I approach it??

Postby hypothalamus » Fri Jul 09, 2010 10:17 am

I think an addendum would be perfectly fine, even if you decide to write your PS on the subject. Just keep the addendum concise and factual - i.e. I was diagnosed on date X of my first semester and received treatment throughout the next X months, which prevented me from going to class, etc. I believe this seriously affected my grades throughout the first year of college. (They'll see your grades went up significantly after this, obviously.)

So, I do think it's a good idea to point the AdComm to considering the consequences of your experience specifically on your GPA, while the PS will show them some of your character in showing how you dealt with this difficult period.

Good luck with both your apps and your heath!




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