GPA Addendum Work + Sexual Assault

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iykyk2019

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GPA Addendum Work + Sexual Assault

Postby iykyk2019 » Tue May 07, 2019 11:12 am

TLDR: I got hit with a big financial crisis sophomore year and then found out I was sexually assault in my junior year, tried dealing with it into my senior year. I am now going to be paralegaling at a law firm after graduation and have managed to get into therapy. I have a 3.1x GPA. My diagnostic is in the mid 160s. I am really hoping I can get into the 170s with a lot of hard work (I know it isn't easy and I will work very hard!!). Do we think this addendum makes sense with the rest of my application? I am hoping for T20 or T30.

In the fall of my sophomore year, my dad told me he had forgotten to fill out my FAFSA for that year. I then discovered that this resulted in me losing my significant scholarship to (undergrad university) and forced me to take on significantly more work hours, to the point that I was working forty hours a week, or more, across several different jobs. My parents also asked that I attempt to transfer universities, which was a difficult process to take on in addition to increased work hours and my typical class load. This increased strain on my life resulted in a 2.65 GPA for the fall semester.

However, during that spring of 2017, I was sexually assaulted. It was my friend’s brother had come to visit us on campus. I do not remember much of the evening. When I told my friend, he told me a complicated series of lies, supposedly to help fill in my memory, that I would find out to be untrue toward the end of Spring of 2018. These lies made it nearly impossible for me to report, adding to the trauma of the event. I tried to seek out therapy in the Fall of 2018, but my campus’ counseling and mental health services were overwhelmed and unaccommodating. The lack of mental health assistance, as well as my continued 40+ hour work schedule to minimize my debt, and significant extracurricular burdens, resulted in a 3.1 and a 2.3 GPA for Spring 2018 and Fall 2018, respectively.

I have made appropriate steps to get into therapy off campus and plan to continue should I attend law school at (insert intended law school). I believe that my resumé and LSAT score are representative of my potential in law school.

iykyk2019

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Re: GPA Addendum Work + Sexual Assault

Postby iykyk2019 » Tue May 07, 2019 11:43 am

Additional info: I have really great softs including some pretty prestigious internships, campus leadership positions, etc. I am not URM.

cavalier1138

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Re: GPA Addendum Work + Sexual Assault

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue May 07, 2019 12:00 pm

First, sorry for what you've been through.

But as to the content of your addendum(s): you need to tighten up your writing. A lot. You include a lot of extraneous details, and your syntax makes it difficult to follow the sequence of events. Keep these things short and to-the-point. For example, "In [semester], my father's error on FAFSA paperwork resulted in me losing a scholarship and having to take on a full-time job to cover the cost of attendance." You don't need to get into all the extra stuff that may be relevant for you but doesn't inform the reader of why your GPA might be lower for that semester.

And with regards to the sexual assault, the timeline you give is confusing. If I understand correctly, you did not know you had been assaulted during the initial semester (resulting in a fairly average GPA), but once you discovered what had happened, your GPA (understandably) dropped. Again, I'd leave out the extra details; your assailant's behavior isn't relevant to a GPA addendum. I'd probably leave out discussing it as relevant to your GPA during the average semester, because it doesn't sound like a 3.1 was an anomalous semester for you.

Overall, the addendum isn't going to do a lot, but your situation at least justifies writing one. Keep it short and simple, and focus on the facts that are important for the purposes of the addendum. You don't need to tell them the entire story, just the parts that explain the low GPA.

iykyk2019

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Re: GPA Addendum Work + Sexual Assault

Postby iykyk2019 » Tue May 07, 2019 12:06 pm

Thank you for all the help! It's definitely a *rough* draft but I will be working on it! Your feedback was very constructive.

albanach

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Re: GPA Addendum Work + Sexual Assault

Postby albanach » Tue May 07, 2019 12:31 pm

Sorry you had to go through this. I'd suggest tightening the writing to be something more like this. This is a five-minute edit, I've no doubt it can be further improved upon.

In the fall of my sophomore year, my father forgot to complete my FAFSA. This resulted in my losing a significant scholarship to (undergrad university) and required me to work significant additional hours across several jobs. Additionally, family circumstances caused me to transfer university, resulting in an additional burden and which cumulatively resulted in a 2.65 GPA for the fall semester.

During that spring of 2017, I was sexually assaulted. While I attempted to seek therapy I found my campus counseling and mental health services to be overwhelmed and unaccommodating. The lack of mental health assistance, as well as my continued 40+ hour work schedule to minimize my debt, and significant extracurricular burdens, resulted in a 3.1 and a 2.3 GPA for Spring 2018 and Fall 2018, respectively.

I am now in regular therapy (is this true?) which has significantly helped, as seen in my XXX (e.g. improved GPA after x semester). I believe that my recent GPA improvement, resumé and LSAT score are representative of my potential in law school.
[/quote]

Try to strengthen the last part as best you can. You want to show separation from whatever issues you are claiming affected your GPA.

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Re: GPA Addendum Work + Sexual Assault

Postby LSATWiz.com » Tue May 07, 2019 12:37 pm

Congrats on your great diagnostic and overcoming a lot of hardship.

Echo the need to clean up your writing. You want to present yourself clearly and concisely. Some of these sentences read as if you were trying to communicate straightforward information in the most confusing way possible. I'd install grammarly or something, and rewrite it.

On a separate note, these addendums do not present you well at all - specifically, the part about FAFSA. While I have no doubts that being sexually assaulted would impact anyone's GPA, you imply that your parents and working during college were the sole reasons for your low GPA. However, no adcom is going to buy that, because many applicants worked through college and you were the one who had to write the tests/turn in the papers.

You want to imply that you take responsibility for your performance and leave it up to the reader to say, "No, it's not your fault". Have you ever told someone what to think or feel? It generally doesn't go well.

I'd leave out everything about your family, because and no offense, it makes you sound spoiled. You're saying your dad forgetting to fill out a form and your parents encouraging you to transfer contributed to a bad GPA. Your parents seem to have been a little negligent and controlling, but don't appear to have been abusive in any way.

Additionally, while being sexually assaulted is absolutely something that may have harmed your academic performance, I'd avoid casting blame on your university's counseling system because it takes away from the potency of that event and its relationship to your GPA. It essentially comes across as blaming everyone for your GPA instead of the one person who was blameworthy (the assaulter).

I'm not sure if you need to include the assault went unreported, but maybe others will have differing opinions. I think it's well-known that most sexual assaults go unreported and doubt anyone will investigate further but I'd also avoid your friend's lies because your friend being a bad person isn't really the addendum worthy issue - it's being sexually assaulted. The more you add, the less powerful that fact is.

"In the fall of 2017, due to sudden financial hardship, I had to work full time through college and it took me some time to adjust to being both a full-time employee and student simultaneously. In addition, I was sexually assaulted early in the spring semester of 2018, which I believe may have negatively impacted my ability to perform academically for some time thereafter as I tried to suppress the event. I subsequently enrolled in therapy in ____ to help me fully heal from the event. This has coincided with an improved GPA, which I am confident is more representative of my academic potential."

iykyk2019

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Re: GPA Addendum Work + Sexual Assault

Postby iykyk2019 » Tue May 07, 2019 1:02 pm

@albanach I am in therapy now and it's going really well! I'm going to be doing it remotely starting in June because I'm relocating after graduation. I did have to go off campus, which was irritating and took a lot of hurdle jumping, but I'm glad I did it. Thank you for the quick edit, that looks so much better!

@LSATWiz.com Thanks for all the advice! I definitely appreciate everyone reading through it because I don't want to come off as spoiled and that's my fear! It helps to have other people's eyes on it.

I'm not sure how to include this part, but before heading off to college, my uncle had agreed to pay for school. He suffered a heart attack late in the spring of my freshman year. This is how the burden for school shifted to my parents, who really couldn't afford it without me working through school. I don't want to make my addendum super long so I'm not sure if this sudden change in circumstances is worth including. Let me know all your thoughts!

albanach

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Re: GPA Addendum Work + Sexual Assault

Postby albanach » Tue May 07, 2019 2:39 pm

iykyk2019 wrote:@albanach I am in therapy now and it's going really well! I'm going to be doing it remotely starting in June because I'm relocating after graduation. I did have to go off campus, which was irritating and took a lot of hurdle jumping, but I'm glad I did it. Thank you for the quick edit, that looks so much better!

@LSATWiz.com Thanks for all the advice! I definitely appreciate everyone reading through it because I don't want to come off as spoiled and that's my fear! It helps to have other people's eyes on it.

I'm not sure how to include this part, but before heading off to college, my uncle had agreed to pay for school. He suffered a heart attack late in the spring of my freshman year. This is how the burden for school shifted to my parents, who really couldn't afford it without me working through school. I don't want to make my addendum super long so I'm not sure if this sudden change in circumstances is worth including. Let me know all your thoughts!


Either ignore it altogether - finances are tough for lots of students - or say illness of a family member required you to change schools.

To be honest, this addendum isn't going to make a great deal of difference. It may tip the balance at the margins.

Assuming you're aiming for a top school, you're likely to be well below their GPA 25th percentile. You need to focus all your time and energy on the LSAT and look to blow through the 75th percentile for your target schools.

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Re: GPA Addendum Work + Sexual Assault

Postby LSATWiz.com » Tue May 07, 2019 6:06 pm

iykyk2019 wrote:@albanach I am in therapy now and it's going really well! I'm going to be doing it remotely starting in June because I'm relocating after graduation. I did have to go off campus, which was irritating and took a lot of hurdle jumping, but I'm glad I did it. Thank you for the quick edit, that looks so much better!

@LSATWiz.com Thanks for all the advice! I definitely appreciate everyone reading through it because I don't want to come off as spoiled and that's my fear! It helps to have other people's eyes on it.

I'm not sure how to include this part, but before heading off to college, my uncle had agreed to pay for school. He suffered a heart attack late in the spring of my freshman year. This is how the burden for school shifted to my parents, who really couldn't afford it without me working through school. I don't want to make my addendum super long so I'm not sure if this sudden change in circumstances is worth including. Let me know all your thoughts!

I don't know if it seems spoiled so much as not taking accountability for your actions. I also think and granted, this is a darker perspective and I don't mean to offend. Your sexual assault is unreported. I'd imagine their tendency is to take the word of the victim at face value, because again most sexual assaults go unreported. While that's a perfectly justifiable reason for your GPA, your parents urging you to transfer colleges the previous year is not. The fact you accredit each of them with a diminished GPA does equate them to some extent and given the latter is bogus, it makes the former less credible. I'm just saying how it would come across to a fact finder but I'd leave that stuff out of it because they seem like random excuses as opposed to a legitimate excuse.



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