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GPA Addendum - Help?

Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:16 pm
by libdemjenn

Re: GPA Addendum - Help?

Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:38 pm
by SMA22
Tackle this head on, and do not use anything that is less than straightforward for your case as to why a school should overlook your UGPA. Try this, (in your own words.)

I believe my calculated UGPA does not accurately reflect my abillity as a student and would like to provide an explanation. From 1998-2001, I spent the majority of my early studies on academic probation; I was an immature student who cut class regularly and did not belong in school. I was asked to leave in X year.

I grew up five years later, realized what a terrible mistake I had made, reenrolled at a X university in 2006, and graduated with a 3.83 after taking X credits. I believe my later undergraduate work is a far stronger predictor of the type of work I will produce in law school. If you have any questions regarding my academic history, do not hesitate to contact me.

Re: GPA Addendum - Help?

Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 4:09 pm
by LogosEther
I wrote a GPA addendum and I was pretty happy with my admission results. The following is just my opinion, take it for what it's worth...

I think you have the right idea, which is to avoid whining and excuses. Still, I think that you're being a little too bold with this one.

Your personal statement is where you want to be prominent and creative. By how you wrote this addendum, you seem to be a good writer who will be able to catch the attention of the admissions people with your PS.

With your GPA addendum, however, you might want to tone it down. The admissions officers don't know you. You may be certain that you matured, but for the admissions officers, your GPA is likely to be a really strong point of concern. I think you definitely want to keep your addendum short and straightforward, as it is now, but make it less boisterous.

For example, don't mention skipping classes. It may be true that you did skip classes (don't get me wrong, I did too), but these admissions people are academics; saying that would leave a really bad taste in their mouth and honesty alone wouldn't be able to negate that. I'd also leave out "It is a source of embarrassment and pride," and some of the similar statements. Believe me, I get it, I was proud of my crappy GPA too, because to me, it was a manifestation of that fact that I enjoyed college. But the admissions won't see it that way, especially without in-depth explanation.

Lastly, they will be looking to see if you would make a good professional lawyer. Creativity is good if you're a lawyer, but it's only good when it's appropriate (like an opening/closing statement in litigation). You have to know when to turn it on or off in professional situations. Some situations require dry and mechanical writing without creativity, and an explanation of a mistake or deficiency is definitely one of those situations.

I considered writing an addendum much like yours. But in the end, I think that it's wiser to take the more conservative approach. So maybe something like this (I just hammered this out in a few minutes, sorry if it sucks, you'll get the idea at least):

"I have neither an excuse nor a justification for my earlier GPA. At that point in time, I did not grasp the value of my education, and instead of looking out for my future, I chose to neglect my academics. Instead of making excuses about the unchangeable past, I would like to address the issue from a prospective and practical view.

I am now a far stronger student. I have learned from my past failures and I have matured immensely. I have absolutely no apprehension about my ability to succeed academically, and I hope that my recent grades (which cumulate in a 3.83 GPA) might serve as assurances of my future success. I realize that not everyone gets a second chance, and I know that, if given one, I would not take it for granted."

Re: GPA Addendum - Help?

Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:16 pm
by libdemjenn
Thank you for the responses. I'm glad I asked for the advice! I will write something more straightforward and repost.