Death in Family- Addendum Needed?

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eml256
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 5:36 pm

Death in Family- Addendum Needed?

Postby eml256 » Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:46 pm

First, I won't be applying until next cycle, so I have some time to think about this, but I am looking for some feedback. This May, I'll be graduating with (hopefully) about a 3.9 GPA, and my LSAC GPA should be the same. I have maintained a 4.0 since my sophomore year. My only non-A grades are from my freshman year. Here's the thing: my father passed away right after spring finals of my freshman year. He had been diagnosed with cancer about a week before I started the fall semester my freshman year, so he was struggling with cancer for my entire freshman year. During the fall semester, my GPA was about a 3.8, but that spring my GPA was about a 3.2. I attend school out-of-state, so on top of the emotional toll having a sick father took, I was also flying home much more often as his condition worsened. At the end of the spring semester, especially during finals week, I was almost entirely focused on getting home ASAP because we knew that his condition was deteriorating.

I'm not sure if I should address this in an addendum when I apply to schools, though, for a few reasons. First, my GPA will be at (or above) the 75% at nearly any school I apply to, so attaching a GPA addendum seems unnecessary. Second, I have an upward trend anyway, and I doubt that my poor freshman grades will really make much of a difference. I think admissions officers are used to seeing poor freshman grades, and I think my grades since more than make up for it. Third, the classes that I did poorly in were general requirements outside my major (hard sciences) that, to be honest, I probably would have done poorly in anyway, although I might have done better than a C+. I really can't know. Finally, I don't want to write the addendum and appear as though I'm just seeking pity, especially given that my GPA is quite good already. And I know this isn't really a consideration, but my father's death did motivate me to put more effort into life, if that makes sense. If it were not for my father's passing, I think I would have taken school far less seriously because his death really forced me to mature.

So, what do you all think I should do? I do think that my GPA would have been better, though not significantly, if I hadn't been dealing with my father's illness. On the other hand, I have a 3.9, and I really don't need to make apologies for a GPA that high at any school I apply to. Is it worth is to write an addendum?

equestrian22
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:29 am

Re: Death in Family- Addendum Needed?

Postby equestrian22 » Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:59 pm

First off, I'm sorry for your loss. I'm applying next cycle with a uGPA of 3.8 and a 3.85 LSAC GPA and I'm including an addendum to HYS (if I get an LSAT score that will make me competitive) because I worked nearly full time while in school and dealt with an hour long commute each way for 2 years of school. That being said, I certainly think what you dealt with warrants an addendum. I don't think it is NEEDED since your GPA is wonderful, but it won't hurt and certainly might help.

That being said, I'm interested in knowing if anyone in school or this cycle added an addendum for a good GPA that they thought could have been better.

twopoodles
Posts: 107
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2009 1:42 pm

Re: Death in Family- Addendum Needed?

Postby twopoodles » Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:03 pm

My advice would be to include it, particularly, as previous poster mentioned, if applying to the T14...but BE BRIEF. There is no need to explain every detail about how his death impacted your grades, just mention that your father's health was failing during that semester and you did a lot of traveling back and forth...or something really short like that. I am convinced by this board that the longer the addendum, the more whining/excuse-making it sounds. The shorter, the more a legitimate inclusion of information that should be considered.

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danidancer
Posts: 841
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 9:46 pm

Re: Death in Family- Addendum Needed?

Postby danidancer » Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:31 pm

I think with your GPA, you're probably fine without it, but a short addendum also wouldn't hurt you. You could also consider addressing it in your personal statement and letting the adcoms connect the dots themselves?

eml256
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 5:36 pm

Re: Death in Family- Addendum Needed?

Postby eml256 » Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:30 am

Thanks for the advice! I think I'll include a brief addendum at my reach schools, but exclude it from the others. I don't want to come off as whiny or pity-seeking when it's not necessary.

blawblawblaw
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:32 pm

Re: Death in Family- Addendum Needed?

Postby blawblawblaw » Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:19 am

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