When to write an addendum?

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When to write an addendum?

Postby lawl92 » Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:16 am

Long story short (for anonymity) :

Prior to start of junior year : Cumulative GPA 3.75

Junior year : Difficulty concentrating, anxious, weak, frail, withdrawn (not the best when participation grades are extremely important)
Diagnosed with mental illness that reports highest mortality rate - end of spring semester
Exams are next week but I have a pretty good idea of my grades so projected cumulative GPA 3.5-3.6

GPA Addendum?

I'm thinking no because
1. If I score in my projected range on June LSAT I will still have a chance at MVP down. Even with addendum it probably wouldn't help that much for HYS (lulz) CCN.
2. Is it wise to draw attention to the illness? I don't want to be considered a liability when I'll be recovered by the time law school actually starts.
3. I'm extremely private about the whole entire affair, aside from close friends/professionals so I find having admissions offices know to be a bit intimidating.

But then thinking yes because
1. This is a decrease of .15-.25 in GPA which I know is pretty significant, especially at top schools.
2. The illness did impact my performance in academics

Any opinions, advice, or similar experiences? What would you do if you found yourself in a similar situation?

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Re: When to write an addendum?

Postby SLim1124 » Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:17 pm

I'd say yes. If you don't explain it they will be at liberty to assume the worst, especially if you haven't graduated by the time you submit your applications there is no way they can tell it won't be a persistent problem to your academic performance. Just make sure you're more positive than negative in your description of the incident, your reaction and resolve. Give them concrete reasons to see why you're not going to be a liability. You have a legitimate issue with a good track record - it's not something like your dog died and you had to miss finals for the funeral.

Try to overcome your shame before you start writing it. My GPA suffered because I was a victim of domestic violence and I had the same concerns about releasing that kind of sensitive information to a stranger who was literally there to judge me. Like most victims I blamed myself. I had to overcome that attitude before I could write a really good addendum.

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Re: When to write an addendum?

Postby TommyK » Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:21 pm

Nah, I wouldn't bother. You'll still be in range for the schools you would have otherwise been in the range for, and outside the range for those you would have been outside. I don't see it adding any value. It probably won't hurt you either... but why even agonize over writing a piece of paper that won't make an impact?

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Re: When to write an addendum?

Postby icecold3000 » Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:22 pm

NO, waste of time:

1. It will make no (read zero) difference in your cycle. Schools do not care if you have an eating disorder, autism, alzheimer's or whatever. They care about reporting to the US News and World with higher numbers in order to move up in the rankings. If anyone tells you different, they are either lying or misinformed.

2. .12-.25 is minor and within range of your previous GPA. How do you know that is was your illness that caused this minor fluctuation? Maybe a teacher or two just had it in for you and gave you a "B". GPA addendums are really meant for people who have a significant fluctuation in their grades. Like 4.0 every semester except one semester with a 2.0. That would need explaining. Although the explanation would make little difference (see number 1).

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Re: When to write an addendum?

Postby rinkrat19 » Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:26 pm

I wouldn't. Just guessing, but I think it has the potential to do more harm (create concern that you might not be able to handle law school) than good. Your GPA is still solid enough for some pretty good schools, and the schools above those wouldn't admit you with or without an addendum.

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Re: When to write an addendum?

Postby lawl92 » Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:48 pm

I figured that the consensus would be to not write an addendum, which I 95% agree with but just wanted to confirm my suspicions. Thanks!

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