Unique GPA addendum and LOR "focus"

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JDndMSW
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Unique GPA addendum and LOR "focus"

Postby JDndMSW » Mon May 16, 2011 4:49 am

*After typing out a very detailed post I deleted it and therefore will be more brief and concise.

GPA:
Basically I flunked all of my first 13 units completed at an OOS school away from home in 2006. I took time off and did AmeriCorps and since then have been kicking ass (3.77) with a continued upper grade trend (did not get a B this entire year). I found out that my school from the past has a petition process to change these Fs to Ws. 10 of the units were approved but one professor denied my petition and therefore my transcript will read W W W F. Now I find it more complicated to find the words to describe the situation. What had actually happened is I should have withdrawn from the classes but I was stupid and did not realize that not attending classes past Nov meant that the instructor would just drop you from it. If they were all Fs or all Ws it would be easier to explain. Now I am wondering if it is best to explain that they were a retroactive drop or what?

LOR:
I am in a Bachelors of Social Work program and will be applying to many schools to the T30ish, some of which will be to joint MSW/JD programs and those without just JD with a public interest focus prominent in my apps. One of my SW instructors has also agreed to write me a letter but has asked me to email her with talking points or what she should focus on. I am unsure and I am wondering if anyone had any ideas of how I could have her tailor it so I could use just one letter for all of the different programs. (MSW/JD, JD, and for the MSW programs that ask for LOR).

Thanks... sorry if I left any important details out

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niederbomb
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Re: Unique GPA addendum and LOR "focus"

Postby niederbomb » Mon May 16, 2011 5:14 am

JDndMSW wrote:*After typing out a very detailed post I deleted it and therefore will be more brief and concise.

GPA:
Basically I flunked all of my first 13 units completed at an OOS school away from home in 2006. I took time off and did AmeriCorps and since then have been kicking ass (3.77) with a continued upper grade trend (did not get a B this entire year). I found out that my school from the past has a petition process to change these Fs to Ws. 10 of the units were approved but one professor denied my petition and therefore my transcript will read W W W F. Now I find it more complicated to find the words to describe the situation. What had actually happened is I should have withdrawn from the classes but I was stupid and did not realize that not attending classes past Nov meant that the instructor would just drop you from it. If they were all Fs or all Ws it would be easier to explain. Now I am wondering if it is best to explain that they were a retroactive drop or what?

LOR:
I am in a Bachelors of Social Work program and will be applying to many schools to the T30ish, some of which will be to joint MSW/JD programs and those without just JD with a public interest focus prominent in my apps. One of my SW instructors has also agreed to write me a letter but has asked me to email her with talking points or what she should focus on. I am unsure and I am wondering if anyone had any ideas of how I could have her tailor it so I could use just one letter for all of the different programs. (MSW/JD, JD, and for the MSW programs that ask for LOR).

Thanks... sorry if I left any important details out


I am not sure if it is neccessary to explain that they were retroactive drops. Either way, it's pretty obvious looking at a transcript of all W's or all W's and one F what happened. You better have a good addendum to write. Most schools ask you to write one if you academic career has been interrupted "for any reason." What is your cumulative GPA with just the one F?

If your GPA is over 3.6, you score over 170, and you have an excellent excuse for having dropped out of school (death of a family member, medical issues, etc.), some schools may overlook your past failings.

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JDndMSW
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Re: Unique GPA addendum and LOR "focus"

Postby JDndMSW » Mon May 16, 2011 1:01 pm

niederbomb wrote:
JDndMSW wrote:*After typing out a very detailed post I deleted it and therefore will be more brief and concise.

GPA:
Basically I flunked all of my first 13 units completed at an OOS school away from home in 2006. I took time off and did AmeriCorps and since then have been kicking ass (3.77) with a continued upper grade trend (did not get a B this entire year). I found out that my school from the past has a petition process to change these Fs to Ws. 10 of the units were approved but one professor denied my petition and therefore my transcript will read W W W F. Now I find it more complicated to find the words to describe the situation. What had actually happened is I should have withdrawn from the classes but I was stupid and did not realize that not attending classes past Nov meant that the instructor would just drop you from it. If they were all Fs or all Ws it would be easier to explain. Now I am wondering if it is best to explain that they were a retroactive drop or what?

LOR:
I am in a Bachelors of Social Work program and will be applying to many schools to the T30ish, some of which will be to joint MSW/JD programs and those without just JD with a public interest focus prominent in my apps. One of my SW instructors has also agreed to write me a letter but has asked me to email her with talking points or what she should focus on. I am unsure and I am wondering if anyone had any ideas of how I could have her tailor it so I could use just one letter for all of the different programs. (MSW/JD, JD, and for the MSW programs that ask for LOR).

Thanks... sorry if I left any important details out


I am not sure if it is neccessary to explain that they were retroactive drops. Either way, it's pretty obvious looking at a transcript of all W's or all W's and one F what happened. You better have a good addendum to write. Most schools ask you to write one if you academic career has been interrupted "for any reason." What is your cumulative GPA with just the one F?

If your GPA is over 3.6, you score over 170, and you have an excellent excuse for having dropped out of school (death of a family member, medical issues, etc.), some schools may overlook your past failings.


My overall GPA will be a 3.65~ and as I am taking a blue print in class, class. I do not have a very good excuse for dropping out but it was good enough and i have shown so much improvement that I was able to write a compelling enough letter to have 3/4 of the professors change my grade. What happened was that I moved in with my estranged bio dad far away from home hoping that we could repair our relationship. It didn't work out that way and I just wasn't ready for school at that time and honestly just didn't understand the "drop" process. I know it's not much of an excuse but I did take 2 years off of school which I worked and like I previously mentioned did 10 months of full time service with AmeriCorps NCCC. I also will be receiving my degree a semester early while working ~25 hours.
You seem really pessimistic about this which somewhat surprises me. I read post on here ALL the time that state that what is really MOST important is your LSAC GPA. Since this will still be at a 3.65 will they care THAT much about some grades that are obviously not reflective of my abilities?

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RareBreed
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Re: Unique GPA addendum and LOR "focus"

Postby RareBreed » Mon May 16, 2011 3:19 pm

10 W's is a lot. Regardless of how it happened, it shows a lack of focus and commitment. It's not going to look good on your application no matter how you word it, and will hurt you, but assuming you do well on the LSAT, you can get into some great, possibly even T14, schools.

albanach
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Re: Unique GPA addendum and LOR "focus"

Postby albanach » Mon May 16, 2011 3:54 pm

RareBreed wrote:10 W's is a lot. Regardless of how it happened, it shows a lack of focus and commitment. It's not going to look good on your application no matter how you word it, and will hurt you, but assuming you do well on the LSAT, you can get into some great, possibly even T14, schools.


W's spread over the course of a degree is a lot and going to be a cause for concern. Yours are all at the start, just out of high school and five years ago. Very different.

I'd be relaxed about it. Include a very short addendum that mentions whatever your reasoning was - difficulty adjusting right out of school, etc and draw attention to your subsequent success. Just two or three sentences should be sufficient. Given you're still left with a half decent GPA, I doubt it will have any significant impact.

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JDndMSW
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Re: Unique GPA addendum and LOR "focus"

Postby JDndMSW » Mon May 16, 2011 4:04 pm

RareBreed wrote:10 W's is a lot. Regardless of how it happened, it shows a lack of focus and commitment. It's not going to look good on your application no matter how you word it, and will hurt you, but assuming you do well on the LSAT, you can get into some great, possibly even T14, schools.


10 UNITS of W, it was just one semester a 4 unit math class (which I think was a remedial class) and two 3 unit honors classes. The F was in a basic English class.

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JDndMSW
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Re: Unique GPA addendum and LOR "focus"

Postby JDndMSW » Mon May 16, 2011 4:11 pm

albanach wrote:
RareBreed wrote:10 W's is a lot. Regardless of how it happened, it shows a lack of focus and commitment. It's not going to look good on your application no matter how you word it, and will hurt you, but assuming you do well on the LSAT, you can get into some great, possibly even T14, schools.


W's spread over the course of a degree is a lot and going to be a cause for concern. Yours are all at the start, just out of high school and five years ago. Very different.

I'd be relaxed about it. Include a very short addendum that mentions whatever your reasoning was - difficulty adjusting right out of school, etc and draw attention to your subsequent success. Just two or three sentences should be sufficient. Given you're still left with a half decent GPA, I doubt it will have any significant impact.


Thanks, that is what I hoped for, I do not have ANY others Ws and only 1 C besides this semester. I am wondering if you had any idea on how to word this. Should I use the words failed of withdrew. Or should it just be something like, Right out of high school I attended a University in *state*. I was not ready for school at this time and lacked focus. I ended up dropping out midway through the semester and received 3 Ws and 1 F. After this I took 2 years off from school and worked as well as completed a term with AmeriCorps NCCC until I was able to find focus and motivation. Since I have returned to school I have excelled as my transcripts indicate...
Obviously that was a very rough draft I am just trying to word it all in a way that makes them be like "oh ok, ya this semester is not at all representative of who she is as a student, and she grew and learned from it"

albanach
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Re: Unique GPA addendum and LOR "focus"

Postby albanach » Mon May 16, 2011 4:37 pm

J wrote:Thanks, that is what I hoped for, I do not have ANY others Ws and only 1 C besides this semester. I am wondering if you had any idea on how to word this. Should I use the words failed of withdrew. Or should it just be something like, Right out of high school I attended a University in *state*. I was not ready for school at this time and lacked focus. I ended up dropping out midway through the semester and received 3 Ws and 1 F. After this I took 2 years off from school and worked as well as completed a term with AmeriCorps NCCC until I was able to find focus and motivation. Since I have returned to school I have excelled as my transcripts indicate...
Obviously that was a very rough draft I am just trying to word it all in a way that makes them be like "oh ok, ya this semester is not at all representative of who she is as a student, and she grew and learned from it"


In 2005 I attended XXX University. I quickly learned that I was not yet ready for school and withdrew during my first semester. I subsequently worked for 2 years and completed a term with AmeriCorps NCCC. That experience allowed me to me to mature and to develop the focus and motivation needed for my return to school in 2007. Since my return I have maintained an excellent academic record.

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JDndMSW
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Re: Unique GPA addendum and LOR "focus"

Postby JDndMSW » Mon May 16, 2011 5:00 pm

albanach wrote:
J wrote:Thanks, that is what I hoped for, I do not have ANY others Ws and only 1 C besides this semester. I am wondering if you had any idea on how to word this. Should I use the words failed of withdrew. Or should it just be something like, Right out of high school I attended a University in *state*. I was not ready for school at this time and lacked focus. I ended up dropping out midway through the semester and received 3 Ws and 1 F. After this I took 2 years off from school and worked as well as completed a term with AmeriCorps NCCC until I was able to find focus and motivation. Since I have returned to school I have excelled as my transcripts indicate...
Obviously that was a very rough draft I am just trying to word it all in a way that makes them be like "oh ok, ya this semester is not at all representative of who she is as a student, and she grew and learned from it"


In 2005 I attended XXX University. I quickly learned that I was not yet ready for school and withdrew during my first semester. I subsequently worked for 2 years and completed a term with AmeriCorps NCCC. That experience allowed me to me to mature and to develop the focus and motivation needed for my return to school in 2007. Since my return I have maintained an excellent academic record.


So it's ok to just say withdraw even though I received 1 F?

albanach
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Re: Unique GPA addendum and LOR "focus"

Postby albanach » Mon May 16, 2011 5:59 pm

JDndMSW wrote:
albanach wrote:
J wrote:Thanks, that is what I hoped for, I do not have ANY others Ws and only 1 C besides this semester. I am wondering if you had any idea on how to word this. Should I use the words failed of withdrew. Or should it just be something like, Right out of high school I attended a University in *state*. I was not ready for school at this time and lacked focus. I ended up dropping out midway through the semester and received 3 Ws and 1 F. After this I took 2 years off from school and worked as well as completed a term with AmeriCorps NCCC until I was able to find focus and motivation. Since I have returned to school I have excelled as my transcripts indicate...
Obviously that was a very rough draft I am just trying to word it all in a way that makes them be like "oh ok, ya this semester is not at all representative of who she is as a student, and she grew and learned from it"


In 2005 I attended XXX University. I quickly learned that I was not yet ready for school and withdrew during my first semester. I subsequently worked for 2 years and completed a term with AmeriCorps NCCC. That experience allowed me to me to mature and to develop the focus and motivation needed for my return to school in 2007. Since my return I have maintained an excellent academic record.


So it's ok to just say withdraw even though I received 1 F?


I think it's fine - they have your transcript and withdrawal was your intention and you did withdraw from your studies. If you change it to "withdrew during my first year." then you cover all your bases I guess.

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JDndMSW
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Re: Unique GPA addendum and LOR "focus"

Postby JDndMSW » Tue May 17, 2011 3:42 am

Bump for tips on what to ask my LOR writer for?

shoeshine
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Re: Unique GPA addendum and LOR "focus"

Postby shoeshine » Tue May 17, 2011 3:51 am

Do you even have to report those grades to lsac if they are not counted toward your final degree?

I am assuming your degree will be granted from a different school and you didn't try to transfer the Fs or any other credits from that school.

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niederbomb
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Re: Unique GPA addendum and LOR "focus"

Postby niederbomb » Tue May 17, 2011 9:08 am

shoeshine wrote:Do you even have to report those grades to lsac if they are not counted toward your final degree?

I am assuming your degree will be granted from a different school and you didn't try to transfer the Fs or any other credits from that school.


Pretty sure they expect you to send transcripts from all institutions "attended" whether or not every or any credit counted towards a degree. Every credit earned or attempted prior to receiving a graduate degree is calculated into the LSAC GPA while credits earned after earning a first degree qualify as postgraduate study.

You could just not send the transcript. However, many colleges post the names of their students on the Internet (I know I have about 12 references to my name related to my college accessible on Google). If C&F Googled you and found out you omitted a transcript, you'd be seriously fucked.

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JDndMSW
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Re: Unique GPA addendum and LOR "focus"

Postby JDndMSW » Tue May 17, 2011 5:13 pm

niederbomb wrote:
shoeshine wrote:Do you even have to report those grades to lsac if they are not counted toward your final degree?

I am assuming your degree will be granted from a different school and you didn't try to transfer the Fs or any other credits from that school.


Pretty sure they expect you to send transcripts from all institutions "attended" whether or not every or any credit counted towards a degree. Every credit earned or attempted prior to receiving a graduate degree is calculated into the LSAC GPA while credits earned after earning a first degree qualify as postgraduate study.

You could just not send the transcript. However, many colleges post the names of their students on the Internet (I know I have about 12 references to my name related to my college accessible on Google). If C&F Googled you and found out you omitted a transcript, you'd be seriously fucked.


I transferred from a CC and even for that they required all ever enrolled at EVEN IF YOU NEVER ATTENDED A CLASS so now my current schools transcript has all of the schools combined on it or at least mentioned

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Dany
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Re: Unique GPA addendum and LOR "focus"

Postby Dany » Tue May 17, 2011 5:22 pm

JDndMSW wrote:Bump for tips on what to ask my LOR writer for?

So the JD and JD/MSW one can probably be the same (i.e. a letter that talks about what you have excelled at in social work that will make you a great candidate for a J.D. because that will cover both.) As for standalone MSW programs, you should probably just ask her to make changes to the letter and not mention law. I don't think one letter will work for all three scenarios, but I guess you could ask her for a generic recommendation if you have to. Can you go meet with her to talk about it and explain the situation?

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JDndMSW
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Re: Unique GPA addendum and LOR "focus"

Postby JDndMSW » Wed May 18, 2011 3:24 pm

Dany wrote:
JDndMSW wrote:Bump for tips on what to ask my LOR writer for?

So the JD and JD/MSW one can probably be the same (i.e. a letter that talks about what you have excelled at in social work that will make you a great candidate for a J.D. because that will cover both.) As for standalone MSW programs, you should probably just ask her to make changes to the letter and not mention law. I don't think one letter will work for all three scenarios, but I guess you could ask her for a generic recommendation if you have to. Can you go meet with her to talk about it and explain the situation?


Not in person as I will be a "distance learning" student this year so I could have a fantastic internship but I can email or call her.

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JDndMSW
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Re: Unique GPA addendum and LOR "focus"

Postby JDndMSW » Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:57 am

BUMP for recommendations of what to ask my LOR writer for!

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JDndMSW
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Re: Unique GPA addendum and LOR "focus"

Postby JDndMSW » Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:04 pm

I was wondering if anyone could give me anymore advice on the GPA addendum. I actually think now it will be two Fs and two Ws.




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