2 Addenda or 1 combined one?

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DreamShake
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Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 11:03 pm

2 Addenda or 1 combined one?

Postby DreamShake » Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:14 pm

I have two issues that I need to address: a criminal record and a weak period of GPA. Basically, I started college with straight A's, was arrested 2nd semester of freshman year, bombed to a 2.0 during sophomore year, and made straight A's the last couple years. The 2.0 definitely stems from the arrest/origin of the arrest. Two options:

1) Write one addendum that encompasses both, which will run a little less than 1.5 double-spaced pages; or
2) Write one addendum for the criminal record (exactly 1 page) and another addendum for the GPA (little less than 1/2 a page).

Any opinions, insights? I know some schools will have apps that require them to be split up, but others won't. I mostly dread submitting one of those seemingly never-ending apps. Nobody wants to be that dude...so which seems more aesthetically pleasing?

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ArchRoark
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Re: 2 Addenda or 1 combined one?

Postby ArchRoark » Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:02 am

I would usually say split them up, but in your case it seems they are inherently related. I am on the fence. The important thing is just to stick to the facts.

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2ofspades
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Re: 2 Addenda or 1 combined one?

Postby 2ofspades » Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:12 am

I had one addendum, but with multiple sections. Each section just had a bold header - i.e. GPA - to split it up. I thought that effecting organization within one document would enable the information to affect my readers better.

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Marionberry
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Re: 2 Addenda or 1 combined one?

Postby Marionberry » Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:51 pm

It's worth considering, too, that some schools may require different addendums than others. I don't know the specifics of your arrest, but if it didn't result in a conviction there are some applications that wouldn't ask you to disclose it. In that case, it might be helpful to have an addendum that solely addresses the academic stuff without mentioning the legal stuff.

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Dany
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Re: 2 Addenda or 1 combined one?

Postby Dany » Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:16 pm

I say combine them; one clear addendum (showing cause -> effect -> maturity) will be better. Just my opinion, but too many additional things would look to me like Exception #1! Excuse #2! I think one nicely written addendum that covers your bases will tie up loose ends without seeming like you're going on and on - page after page - with too much information.

That being said, you really need to get it down to one page. I promise you it can be done.

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Marionberry
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Re: 2 Addenda or 1 combined one?

Postby Marionberry » Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:32 pm

I used a consultant, and this was her advice: The criminal history addendum should be short and factual. Basically, the date of the offense, brief description, and final disposition. After that, maybe a couple sentences paragraph stating what you have done, if anything, to address the problem. This document should be titeld "Answer to application question x", since in the app they will specifically ask that you explain why you answered yes to that question in a separate document.

The academic addendum can be lengthier, and provide a more detailed explanation of your circumstances and why they shouldn't be cause for concern when considering your application to their school. If the subject of the criminal addendum is the same as the academic addendum, as is often the case with drugs and alcohol issues, you can use the academic addendum to address the question posed by the criminal stuff too, and jsut leave the criminal addendum for dates, descriptions, charges, and dispositions. Short and sweet is the name of the game on the criminal addendum.




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