5 years of undergrad- minus, or addendum?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
User avatar
LogicalBaozi
Posts: 63
Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2010 7:44 am

5 years of undergrad- minus, or addendum?

Postby LogicalBaozi » Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:32 pm

Is taking 5 years to graduate from UG a minus? I did not have poor grades, and actually finished one major by the end of my 3rd year (I could have graduated a year early), but decided to stay in order to add an extra minor (mathematics), and picked up a second bachelors in the process (instead of earning a BS with double major, earning a BS with major/minor and a BA with other major).

In some ways I feel sort of stupid; the entire point of staying an extra year was to finish up a year-long sequence in higher mathematics (real analysis) before I went to grad school, but now that I'm applying to law school, taking more mathematics is superfluous at best. Nevertheless, having moved my graduation date a year back and not knowing my LSAT score (and thus whether or not law school is a winning proposition) until after I must register for fall classes, I'm going to be stuck going the extra year, whether I like it or not.

Will law schools look poorly on taking an extra year to graduate? Should I explain why in an addendum? Or should I hope it would be evident from my transcript that I could have graduated at any time, and simply chose to remain to study more math?

Ironically, higher mathematics was the sole reason for the destruction of my 3.99. If I had only known I would apply to law school, I could have just taken the BS double major and be graduating now with a 3.99 and having taken the LSAT in Jun or Dec 09, both PTs I took and high 170s on. Live and learn, eh? But will law schools hold it against me?

User avatar
KingJames6
Posts: 90
Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2010 9:43 pm

Re: 5 years of undergrad- minus, or addendum?

Postby KingJames6 » Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:37 pm

No.

User avatar
Cactus
Posts: 120
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 7:05 pm

Re: 5 years of undergrad- minus, or addendum?

Postby Cactus » Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:46 pm

No, but losing that 3.99 is a tragedy.

User avatar
vespertiliovir
Posts: 327
Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2008 6:52 pm

Re: 5 years of undergrad- minus, or addendum?

Postby vespertiliovir » Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:46 pm

it won't matter that you took another year -- just make sure your grades don't suffer in the extra time.

User avatar
KingJames6
Posts: 90
Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2010 9:43 pm

Re: 5 years of undergrad- minus, or addendum?

Postby KingJames6 » Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:53 pm

What class was your A- in?

User avatar
kazu
Posts: 1602
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 9:35 pm

Re: 5 years of undergrad- minus, or addendum?

Postby kazu » Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:55 pm

Cactus wrote:No, but losing that 3.99 is a tragedy.

+1

A year extra won't matter, whether or not you could've graduated at the end of 4 years or not. I guess you could write an addendum if you wanted to, but I don't think you need to.

Losing the 3.99 is definitely a huge tragedy though.

User avatar
LogicalBaozi
Posts: 63
Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2010 7:44 am

Re: 5 years of undergrad- minus, or addendum?

Postby LogicalBaozi » Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:51 am

KingJames6 wrote:What class was your A- in?


Believe it or not, it was in a Chinese class. It was ironic, since the teacher told me it wasn't because I did poorly, but because I did too well- after spending a summer there, I never did anything I was *supposed to*, insisting on using more advanced forms that had not been taught. Nevertheless, since I didn't prove what I was supposed to, he couldn't give the points.

So, two days later I went ahead and tested out of the entire year plus the next year, straight into graduate level courses.

Which I took four of, and didn't get credit since I wasn't enrolled as a graduate student, which took up lots of time I should have spent on math.

Cactus wrote:No, but losing that 3.99 is a tragedy.


Should I write an addendum? I basically jumped straight into honors level advanced calculus for math majors. The problem was I hadn't taken a any real math course since I tested out of AB/BC AP Calc as a junior in high school, meaning I was jumping in for four years after no math.

I did great on the logical portions of the course (proofs), but I failed miserably at remembering the 10000 different ways to integrate particularly weird functions. It killed my GPA the entire year, until I finished that sequence; however, my math grades showed progression afterwards (I moved up to a B in linear algebra, then an A in differential equations, since by that time I had relearned the math). It also cost me a B in another class or two, since re-learning mathematics and taking Chinese grad classes for no credit plus working 20 hours a week were major time sinks. Given those circumstances, would an addendum be worthwhile? My GPA is still above medium for everything but HYS, but given I would rather go to Columbia or NYU, and my GPA is just at/above median for those schools, would explaining those poor grades in that particular year be worthwhile? No space in the PS, but just attaching a paragraph to the back of my resume?

User avatar
prezidentv8
Posts: 2821
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 5:33 am

Re: 5 years of undergrad- minus, or addendum?

Postby prezidentv8 » Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:56 am

I stayed on another year for a stats minor. Didn't mention why I stayed, don't think anyone cared. But I will say that the minor has helped think about law topics in different ways, which has been nice.

Enjoy the extra year.

User avatar
Haribo
Posts: 193
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2007 10:47 pm

Re: 5 years of undergrad- minus, or addendum?

Postby Haribo » Thu Jun 24, 2010 2:10 am

Don't write an addendum. With a 3.7 it sounds petty. Plus your reasons aren't great.

wildflower
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 1:01 am

Re: 5 years of undergrad- minus, or addendum?

Postby wildflower » Thu Jun 24, 2010 2:16 am

You're essentially expressing FEAR about a college track record bringing you down but that record can only be described as an extra-prodigious intellectual undertaking cramming what some people do in 8 into 5 years..... expressing FEAR that going down from a 3.99 is gonna hurt you...to what.. still a very high GPA, all the while likely scoring in the upper 170s?

Dude. The highest 75 percentile mark there IS is 176. at Harvard and Yale. With 'upper 170s' you're already in their upper quarter of acceptances. And a 3.7 with that LSAT would still leave you having a shot there. As you said, if you want to be at Columbia/similar, then, MOOT POINT. You're golden there already.

All I'm saying is, you've obviously lived a blessed life and also work hard. People would kill to be where you are, almost NO ONE, even the people giving you ADVICE HERE, is in as good a spot as you..

I think deep down you know it, that you're in a good position, but your insecurity demands affirmation. Well, I'm here to tell you. You're as damn smart and in as damn good a position as anyone could ask for. Now believe it about yourself and dont ask other people to reflect on it.. its very unattractive to be a beautiful woman complaining about her appearance or a smart person complaining about a B.

hsprophet
Posts: 161
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:42 am

Re: 5 years of undergrad- minus, or addendum?

Postby hsprophet » Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:15 am

I spent 5 years on my undergrad because college was fun and I wanted to stay longer, and it didn't make any difference to the law schools. Of course my records don't say "he was here for fun." I did an engineering co-op for nine months and got a minor.

Addendums are to explain obvious and otherwise unexplained trends in your academic records. Like quickly going from a 3.99 to a 2.99. Or because it took you 5 years because you sat out a year with nothing in your records to show what you were doing.

User avatar
LogicalBaozi
Posts: 63
Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2010 7:44 am

Re: 5 years of undergrad- minus, or addendum?

Postby LogicalBaozi » Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:48 am

wildflower wrote:You're essentially expressing FEAR about a college track record bringing you down but that record can only be described as an extra-prodigious intellectual undertaking cramming what some people do in 8 into 5 years..... expressing FEAR that going down from a 3.99 is gonna hurt you...to what.. still a very high GPA, all the while likely scoring in the upper 170s?

Dude. The highest 75 percentile mark there IS is 176. at Harvard and Yale. With 'upper 170s' you're already in their upper quarter of acceptances. And a 3.7 with that LSAT would still leave you having a shot there. As you said, if you want to be at Columbia/similar, then, MOOT POINT. You're golden there already.

All I'm saying is, you've obviously lived a blessed life and also work hard. People would kill to be where you are, almost NO ONE, even the people giving you ADVICE HERE, is in as good a spot as you..

I think deep down you know it, that you're in a good position, but your insecurity demands affirmation. Well, I'm here to tell you. You're as damn smart and in as damn good a position as anyone could ask for. Now believe it about yourself and dont ask other people to reflect on it.. its very unattractive to be a beautiful woman complaining about her appearance or a smart person complaining about a B.


Hmm, good point. Still, dropping from a bunch of As-> getting a C would be a red flag (downward trend?) for some adcomms?

Plus, I haven't gotten the high 170s yet (or any real LSAT score)- even though I did that on most PTs, it was because just about the *only* real prep I did was taking 4 PTs in the week before the actual test (it fell on the Monday of finals week, when I had two finals scheduled for that day...). For all of those PTs, they had easy LG sections, so I kinda breezed on through, nailed the RC (Dec 2009 was the only exam I missed more than one), and missed one or two LRs due to dumb mistakes/misreading prompt/not knowing question types. Not nailing the last game on June 2009 could easily what would have been a 176-178 down 4 or 5 points into the the low 170s, in which case GPA would count for more, and an unexpected drop from a 3.99 to a 3.7 (on its way back up) might be alarming, since they would only see the improvement in one year.

Or maybe I'm just panicking while waiting for scores to come out. I'm going to go read a book on the Oval once the sun comes out (after checking the killing time thread and scores thread in the LSAT prep forum, of course while kicking myself for not taking a quarter off to prepare for the LSAT or something).

Thanks for the advice though, kind of puts it into context ^^ I actually feel kinda douchey now, especially if I actually do manage to pull a decent LSAT.*



*LSAT gods: Do not give me a low LSAT just to make me feel less douchey about worrying about this kind of thing. I will accept the humiliation of a high LSAT with humility and grace, if you feel I am worthy.

wildflower
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 1:01 am

Re: 5 years of undergrad- minus, or addendum?

Postby wildflower » Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:47 pm

LogicalBaozi wrote:
wildflower wrote:You're essentially expressing FEAR about a college track record bringing you down but that record can only be described as an extra-prodigious intellectual undertaking cramming what some people do in 8 into 5 years..... expressing FEAR that going down from a 3.99 is gonna hurt you...to what.. still a very high GPA, all the while likely scoring in the upper 170s?

Dude. The highest 75 percentile mark there IS is 176. at Harvard and Yale. With 'upper 170s' you're already in their upper quarter of acceptances. And a 3.7 with that LSAT would still leave you having a shot there. As you said, if you want to be at Columbia/similar, then, MOOT POINT. You're golden there already.

All I'm saying is, you've obviously lived a blessed life and also work hard. People would kill to be where you are, almost NO ONE, even the people giving you ADVICE HERE, is in as good a spot as you..

I think deep down you know it, that you're in a good position, but your insecurity demands affirmation. Well, I'm here to tell you. You're as damn smart and in as damn good a position as anyone could ask for. Now believe it about yourself and dont ask other people to reflect on it.. its very unattractive to be a beautiful woman complaining about her appearance or a smart person complaining about a B.


Hmm, good point. Still, dropping from a bunch of As-> getting a C would be a red flag (downward trend?) for some adcomms?

Plus, I haven't gotten the high 170s yet (or any real LSAT score)- even though I did that on most PTs, it was because just about the *only* real prep I did was taking 4 PTs in the week before the actual test (it fell on the Monday of finals week, when I had two finals scheduled for that day...). For all of those PTs, they had easy LG sections, so I kinda breezed on through, nailed the RC (Dec 2009 was the only exam I missed more than one), and missed one or two LRs due to dumb mistakes/misreading prompt/not knowing question types. Not nailing the last game on June 2009 could easily what would have been a 176-178 down 4 or 5 points into the the low 170s, in which case GPA would count for more, and an unexpected drop from a 3.99 to a 3.7 (on its way back up) might be alarming, since they would only see the improvement in one year.

Or maybe I'm just panicking while waiting for scores to come out. I'm going to go read a book on the Oval once the sun comes out (after checking the killing time thread and scores thread in the LSAT prep forum, of course while kicking myself for not taking a quarter off to prepare for the LSAT or something).

Thanks for the advice though, kind of puts it into context ^^ I actually feel kinda douchey now, especially if I actually do manage to pull a decent LSAT.*



*LSAT gods: Do not give me a low LSAT just to make me feel less douchey about worrying about this kind of thing. I will accept the humiliation of a high LSAT with humility and grace, if you feel I am worthy.






Don't feel douchey about it, just use my advice to not do it again. Trust me, I am a born affirmation seeker. But I just finished Americorps working with teenagers and listen, America has at least 30% of its population without good education, without good parenting thus no work ethic (and you cant even blame the kid, or the parent because oftentimes the reason they didnt parent is because they have to work 2 jobs). But anyway, I face these kids and realize they are going to really struggle to have food on the table and be happy, healthy, and wise.
With you or me, if you dropped us with none of our resources, nothing, somewhere, and told us we could never have professional degrees and should just start working, we have the smarts and the knowledge about where to find help that we could easily, you know, work our way into bank branch management or something. Nothing exciting. I'm just saying- we're going to be fine because we are already prepared above 95% of everyone else. We are some of la creme de la creme, so the least we can do is enjoy it and take a breath. After all, everyone else on earth looks to people like you and says "If only I was in their position, I could relax..." so enjoy it... whats the point of being a great success and then just dropping dead without ever smelling the roses?

wildflower
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 1:01 am

Re: 5 years of undergrad- minus, or addendum?

Postby wildflower » Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:52 pm

I should add though that I understand that living in the real world/having goals, you just have to get into them and use stress to get you through them. So I do live 90% of my life the same way. I am not a zen guru.. I dont feel relaxed every moment.. but its just taking 10 minutes a day to enjoy a nice walk and just say "Damn.. good job, me.. and what a nice day outside" and then that is just a very good use of time. Then, when you find stressed out self spinning out of control, its easier to get out of that hole and remind oneself of just how good one's position is, by drawing on all those moments one has used thinking that way.

User avatar
LogicalBaozi
Posts: 63
Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2010 7:44 am

Re: 5 years of undergrad- minus, or addendum?

Postby LogicalBaozi » Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:31 pm

wildflower wrote:I should add though that I understand that living in the real world/having goals, you just have to get into them and use stress to get you through them. So I do live 90% of my life the same way. I am not a zen guru.. I dont feel relaxed every moment.. but its just taking 10 minutes a day to enjoy a nice walk and just say "Damn.. good job, me.. and what a nice day outside" and then that is just a very good use of time. Then, when you find stressed out self spinning out of control, its easier to get out of that hole and remind oneself of just how good one's position is, by drawing on all those moments one has used thinking that way.


Amen to both your posts. Though I was in good faith seeking advice; I already have the addendum written, I just wasn't aware how inappropriate it would seem. Thanks again for your good advice, I'm very new to the idea of law school, and not very cognizant of what they want in an applicant, having geared myself almost exclusively for econ graduate studies until about three or four months ago, when I fell in love with a law textbook (we're going steady now, but I've been dallying around with some other law texts on the side, since she couldn't satisfy me alone).

So, would the addendum then be counterproductive were it to be included? Do they look closely enough at transcripts to realize, for example, that all less-than-ideal grades occurred in tougher classes? Would they notice that, for example, all econ classes were calculus-based, rather than taking non-math based watered-down versions? Or would they just look at the GPA and do no more unless it came down to the wire? Would applying ED help increase the chances of them taking a closer look at the transcript?

Thanks again for your help!

wildflower
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 1:01 am

Re: 5 years of undergrad- minus, or addendum?

Postby wildflower » Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:23 am

LogicalBaozi wrote:
wildflower wrote:I should add though that I understand that living in the real world/having goals, you just have to get into them and use stress to get you through them. So I do live 90% of my life the same way. I am not a zen guru.. I dont feel relaxed every moment.. but its just taking 10 minutes a day to enjoy a nice walk and just say "Damn.. good job, me.. and what a nice day outside" and then that is just a very good use of time. Then, when you find stressed out self spinning out of control, its easier to get out of that hole and remind oneself of just how good one's position is, by drawing on all those moments one has used thinking that way.


Amen to both your posts. Though I was in good faith seeking advice; I already have the addendum written, I just wasn't aware how inappropriate it would seem. Thanks again for your good advice, I'm very new to the idea of law school, and not very cognizant of what they want in an applicant, having geared myself almost exclusively for econ graduate studies until about three or four months ago, when I fell in love with a law textbook (we're going steady now, but I've been dallying around with some other law texts on the side, since she couldn't satisfy me alone).

So, would the addendum then be counterproductive were it to be included? Do they look closely enough at transcripts to realize, for example, that all less-than-ideal grades occurred in tougher classes? Would they notice that, for example, all econ classes were calculus-based, rather than taking non-math based watered-down versions? Or would they just look at the GPA and do no more unless it came down to the wire? Would applying ED help increase the chances of them taking a closer look at the transcript?

Thanks again for your help!





Honestly I would start with two things to move on from here...
1) Get a copy of your official transcript from your school. Read it. See if it communicates any of the above you're concerned about it showing.
2) Find out LSAT score and how competitive you are
From there decide whether your LSAT score would make it ludicrous to send an addendum or not. If you still cant live without it just write it but have someone read it first to make sure nothing in it can be twisted as just a pompous display. In my personal opinion though, I would imagine if applying to Harvard Yale Stanford Columbia....they would understand an addendum because they are pretty into being selective and see themselves as the top and see why you would want to make absolutely every factor clear..but if you've got a smashing lSAT score and a still great Gpa it would just be snooty at nyu i would think, for example.. what would happen there is theyd take you for sure, and then you could let them in on the details while vying for scholarships : )

User avatar
capitalacq
Posts: 639
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:42 am

Re: 5 years of undergrad- minus, or addendum?

Postby capitalacq » Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:36 am

wtf happened here

anyway, no addendum. good day




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Alexa [Bot], BuddyHoller, hogscienceavatarlost, lawlzi, Mr. Archer and 5 guests