Should I bother with a GPA addendum?

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jcschrock
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Should I bother with a GPA addendum?

Postby jcschrock » Sat Feb 27, 2010 4:50 pm

As for the numbers...graduated in 2005 with a 3.14 and scored a 170 on the LSAT this past December.

The reason behind the low GPA? I simply didn't care. During undergrad, I had absolutely no intention of ever going back to school after I got my BS. I figured out how hard I needed to work to keep my grades above a 3.0 and left it at that. I was also involved in several extra-curriculars but I'm not going to use that as an excuse.

Thankfully, despite my poor work ethic in undergrad I managed to land in a field that I enjoy and care about deeply. This, along with a few years to further mature have changed me quite a bit(my PS is focused around this point). Should a GPA addendum only be written if you had a legit reason(death in family, illness, etc.) behind poor grades?

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autarkh
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Re: Should I bother with a GPA addendum?

Postby autarkh » Sat Feb 27, 2010 5:01 pm

If I were in your situation, I would probably write one -- provided you did not already discuss it at length in your PS.

You can spin your lack of effort as resulting from your not having well-defined goal, which working has now given you. Successfully holding a job for a few years puts some distance between you and your middling GPA. It shows personal growth, and lessens the impact compared to someone with the same numbers coming straight out of undergrad.

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bees
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Re: Should I bother with a GPA addendum?

Postby bees » Sat Feb 27, 2010 5:04 pm

I wouldn't write one. You don't have a reason for the low GPA other than not caring. Anything you write will likley look more like an excuse (which it is) than anything else. An adcom is going to read an addendum about someone with a low GPA because both their parents died while they were working 60 hours a week to pay for school while taking care of their siblings and then they are going to pick up your file next and you will look like a tool.

narkizopoint
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Re: Should I bother with a GPA addendum?

Postby narkizopoint » Sat Feb 27, 2010 5:18 pm

bees wrote:I wouldn't write one. You don't have a reason for the low GPA other than not caring. Anything you write will likley look more like an excuse (which it is) than anything else. An adcom is going to read an addendum about someone with a low GPA because both their parents died while they were working 60 hours a week to pay for school while taking care of their siblings and then they are going to pick up your file next and you will look like a tool.


Dude, I don't remember posting my addendum here...

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Grizz
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Re: Should I bother with a GPA addendum?

Postby Grizz » Sat Feb 27, 2010 5:20 pm

Writing an addendum because you were okay with mediocrity is not a good idea, and under no circumstances should you do this.

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autarkh
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Re: Should I bother with a GPA addendum?

Postby autarkh » Sat Feb 27, 2010 5:57 pm

rad law wrote:Writing an addendum because you were okay with mediocrity is not a good idea, and under no circumstances should you do this.


LOL. I'm not suggesting that he do that either. But there's nothing wrong with giving an adcomm an insight into how you've learned and coped with your past idiocy.

jcschrock
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Re: Should I bother with a GPA addendum?

Postby jcschrock » Sat Feb 27, 2010 6:11 pm

autarkh wrote:
rad law wrote:Writing an addendum because you were okay with mediocrity is not a good idea, and under no circumstances should you do this.


LOL. I'm not suggesting that he do that either. But there's nothing wrong with giving an adcomm an insight into how you've learned and coped with your past idiocy.


This was my reasoning as well. My gpa doesn't reflect my academic potential at this point whatsoever. Perhaps I should just let the rest of my application speak for itself?

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autarkh
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Re: Should I bother with a GPA addendum?

Postby autarkh » Sat Feb 27, 2010 6:18 pm

jcschrock wrote:
autarkh wrote:
rad law wrote:Writing an addendum because you were okay with mediocrity is not a good idea, and under no circumstances should you do this.


LOL. I'm not suggesting that he do that either. But there's nothing wrong with giving an adcomm an insight into how you've learned and coped with your past idiocy.


This was my reasoning as well. My gpa doesn't reflect my academic potential at this point whatsoever. Perhaps I should just let the rest of my application speak for itself?


Ultimately, it's your call. Do your best to write a persuasive case that explains what happened to you. Approach it with humility and sincerity. Have someone else read it and give you their impressions. Then decide what you want to do. There's no single correct formula.

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bees
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Re: Should I bother with a GPA addendum?

Postby bees » Sat Feb 27, 2010 6:20 pm

jcschrock wrote:
autarkh wrote:
rad law wrote:Writing an addendum because you were okay with mediocrity is not a good idea, and under no circumstances should you do this.


LOL. I'm not suggesting that he do that either. But there's nothing wrong with giving an adcomm an insight into how you've learned and coped with your past idiocy.


This was my reasoning as well. My gpa doesn't reflect my academic potential at this point whatsoever. Perhaps I should just let the rest of my application speak for itself?


Let it speak for itself.

The problem with writing a "persuasive case" is that you don't have one. You were lazy in UG. So was I. Don't write an addendum highlighting this.

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Grizz
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Re: Should I bother with a GPA addendum?

Postby Grizz » Sat Feb 27, 2010 6:23 pm

jcschrock wrote:
autarkh wrote:
rad law wrote:Writing an addendum because you were okay with mediocrity is not a good idea, and under no circumstances should you do this.


LOL. I'm not suggesting that he do that either. But there's nothing wrong with giving an adcomm an insight into how you've learned and coped with your past idiocy.


This was my reasoning as well. My gpa doesn't reflect my academic potential at this point whatsoever. Perhaps I should just let the rest of my application speak for itself?


I don't think realizing that mediocrity won't cut it is a stunning revelation or shows a ton of personal growth. Don't write this addendum. It will sound idiotic.

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im_blue
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Re: Should I bother with a GPA addendum?

Postby im_blue » Sat Feb 27, 2010 6:54 pm

jcschrock wrote:Should a GPA addendum only be written if you had a legit reason(death in family, illness, etc.) behind poor grades?


Absolutely. What's the point of an addendum unless you have a legitimate reason beyond your control?




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