Low GPA Addendum/PS

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fcf3536

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Low GPA Addendum/PS

Postby fcf3536 » Wed Jan 23, 2019 2:50 pm

Hey guys,

I'm looking for some guidance on what I should include in my addendum vs what should go into my personal statement. To start I've dealt with a chronic illness for years and only got a formal diagnosis at the start of my senior year in college but symptoms go back to at least my senior year in highschool. Things just got to a point where I could no longer ignore the symptoms and almost died. In addition to that my father passed away when I was 13 and my grandpa passed away right around the time of my formal diagnosis and my grandma (dads side) also passed away at the beginning of my last semester in college.

My undergrad gpa is not good. I was planning on writing a health addendum to explain why I did so poorly and add all challenges that came with having multiple deaths in the family into my personal statement. For example my dad and my grandma both died without wills and it was solely up to me to settle both of their estates while in college. Not to mention the emotional distress of having to deal with all this.

What do you guys recommend?

albanach

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Re: Low GPA Addendum/PS

Postby albanach » Wed Jan 23, 2019 5:13 pm

fcf3536 wrote:Hey guys,

I'm looking for some guidance on what I should include in my addendum vs what should go into my personal statement. To start I've dealt with a chronic illness for years and only got a formal diagnosis at the start of my senior year in college but symptoms go back to at least my senior year in highschool. Things just got to a point where I could no longer ignore the symptoms and almost died. In addition to that my father passed away when I was 13 and my grandpa passed away right around the time of my formal diagnosis and my grandma (dads side) also passed away at the beginning of my last semester in college.

My undergrad gpa is not good. I was planning on writing a health addendum to explain why I did so poorly and add all challenges that came with having multiple deaths in the family into my personal statement. For example my dad and my grandma both died without wills and it was solely up to me to settle both of their estates while in college. Not to mention the emotional distress of having to deal with all this.

What do you guys recommend?


What is "not good"? Does your LSAT compensate? Unless you're a splitter, I don't see what you gain from this - a school that's above both your numbers isn't going to admit you on the basis of an addendum.

I wouldn't highlight the death. Not meaning to be harsh, but a significant percentage of college students will lose a family member during those four years.

For the illness, if you're highlighting it, it's important to show how the diagnosis has allowed you to better manage the symptoms. Otherwise you're unnecessarily drawing attention to a negative.

fcf3536

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Re: Low GPA Addendum/PS

Postby fcf3536 » Wed Jan 23, 2019 5:23 pm

albanach wrote:
fcf3536 wrote:Hey guys,

I'm looking for some guidance on what I should include in my addendum vs what should go into my personal statement. To start I've dealt with a chronic illness for years and only got a formal diagnosis at the start of my senior year in college but symptoms go back to at least my senior year in highschool. Things just got to a point where I could no longer ignore the symptoms and almost died. In addition to that my father passed away when I was 13 and my grandpa passed away right around the time of my formal diagnosis and my grandma (dads side) also passed away at the beginning of my last semester in college.

My undergrad gpa is not good. I was planning on writing a health addendum to explain why I did so poorly and add all challenges that came with having multiple deaths in the family into my personal statement. For example my dad and my grandma both died without wills and it was solely up to me to settle both of their estates while in college. Not to mention the emotional distress of having to deal with all this.

What do you guys recommend?


What is "not good"? Does your LSAT compensate? Unless you're a splitter, I don't see what you gain from this - a school that's above both your numbers isn't going to admit you on the basis of an addendum.

I wouldn't highlight the death. Not meaning to be harsh, but a significant percentage of college students will lose a family member during those four years.

For the illness, if you're highlighting it, it's important to show how the diagnosis has allowed you to better manage the symptoms. Otherwise you're unnecessarily drawing attention to a negative.


Bad as in 2.9, I haven't taken the LSAT yet but I'm studying for it now. Planning on taking it this July.

As far as the deaths go, I was planning on using those to answer the "Why Law" question as I had to jump through some hoops getting both estates settled.

And as far as the illness goes, I'm now taking medication that has stabilized my condition and improved my quality of life to a point where I'm basically 100%. This was not the case before my diagnosis and took some time to get there while I went through different types of medication that worked for me.

Moderator note: Edited per OP's request. -QContinuum

albanach

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Re: Low GPA Addendum/PS

Postby albanach » Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:16 pm

fcf3536 wrote:
Bad as in 2.9, I haven't taken the LSAT yet but I'm studying for it now. Planning on taking it this July.


2.9 is unfortunate, because 3.0 is a bit of a hard floor at most top schools, unless you're a URM.

If you can truly master the LSAT, your cycle looks something like this:

Image

You can pretty much forget about the T-13, but there are some strong regional schools there that are absolutely worth attending if you can get some scholarship dollars. Notice though that the numbers here are small so there's a high margin of error. Most folk with a 2.9 GPA do not end up with an LSAT score in the top 2-3% of test takers.

fcf3536 wrote:As far as the deaths go, I was planning on using those to answer the "Why Law" question as I had to jump through some hoops getting both estates settled.


Fine. If you can manage it in two sentences inside your regular personal statement. This shouldn't be in an addendum.

fcf3536 wrote:And as far as the illness goes, I'm now taking medication that has stabilized my condition and improved my quality of life to a point where I'm basically 100%. This was not the case before my diagnosis and took some time to get there while I went through different types of medication that worked for me.


Would your physician provide a letter backing this up? That would certainly carry some weight. It's not likely to persuade a T-13 school to drop below their floor, but would provide reassurance to a different T-1 school that might be wavering.

fcf3536

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Re: Low GPA Addendum/PS

Postby fcf3536 » Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:33 pm

albanach wrote: You can pretty much forget about the T-13, but there are some strong regional schools there that are absolutely worth attending if you can get some scholarship dollars. Notice though that the numbers here are small so there's a high margin of error. Most folk with a 2.9 GPA do not end up with an LSAT score in the top 2-3% of test takers.


My goal is Fordham, I have COL covered within NYC but I would give that up if I managed to get into a better school. I can't afford to be picky I get that.


albanach wrote:Would your physician provide a letter backing this up? That would certainly carry some weight. It's not likely to persuade a T-13 school to drop below their floor, but would provide reassurance to a different T-1 school that might be wavering.


Got it, I can definitely get my physician to write a letter explaining that I'm now in remission. Carrying some weight is better than nothing.

So basically my chances at a T1 hinge on me crushing the LSAT.

albanach

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Re: Low GPA Addendum/PS

Postby albanach » Wed Jan 23, 2019 7:22 pm

fcf3536 wrote:So basically my chances at a T1 hinge on me crushing the LSAT.


In my opinion, yes.

The LSAT forum here is a great resource. Plan on spending the next 6-12 months there. The test is learnable - don't be afraid of delaying admission by a year if that's what it takes to master the test.



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