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Seeking a Retroactive Withdrawal: Any advice?

Posted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:56 pm
by ComatoseClown
Can anyone who has tried this briefly share their experience, as well as any advice in doing this?

I feel like I'm specifically in a tough situation with little chance of success: It wasn't any medical illness that caused the 2.9 Freshman GPA I'm trying to 'erase'; if anything it was more due to an onerous time adjusting and tough living situation once I got onto campus that year. (I don't have any written documentation, and the professors if I wrote to them either would not know who I am anymore, or if they did they would consider my reasoning as a pity excuse for poor performance.) If I can't withdraw from these freshman, then the highest my GPA can be by the time I apply to LS (next fall, '012) is going to be a 3.4.

Re: Seeking a Retroactive Withdrawal: Any advice?

Posted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:32 pm
by Eugenie Danglars
ComatoseClown wrote:Can anyone who has tried this briefly share their experience, as well as any advice in doing this?

I feel like I'm specifically in a tough situation with little chance of success: It wasn't any medical illness that caused the 2.9 Freshman GPA I'm trying to 'erase'; if anything it was more due to an onerous time adjusting and tough living situation once I got onto campus that year. (I don't have any written documentation, and the professors if I wrote to them either would not know who I am anymore, or if they did they would consider my reasoning as a pity excuse for poor performance.) If I can't withdraw from these freshman, then the highest my GPA can be by the time I apply to LS (next fall, '012) is going to be a 3.4.


I wouldn't think you have a good case for retroactive withdrawal. Everyone has a tough time adjusting to college. Plus, a 3.4 isn't the worst thing ever (attending NU from a 3.3). Do your best to get straight A's from here on out and get your LSAT score up.

Re: Seeking a Retroactive Withdrawal: Any advice?

Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:27 pm
by bp shinners
From what I've seen, retroactive Ws are generally given to students who believe they withdrew from the course but messed up the administrative part of withdrawing (such as just not showing up for class and assuming they would be W'ed). If you're looking to have a school give you a W because you did poorly, I don't think they'll be willing to give you the 'do over', unfortunately.

Re: Seeking a Retroactive Withdrawal: Any advice?

Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:48 pm
by reasonable_man
Man up and move forward. There are few do-overs in the real world.

Re: Seeking a Retroactive Withdrawal: Any advice?

Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:51 pm
by JamMasterJ
probably not going to work out for you.

Re: Seeking a Retroactive Withdrawal: Any advice?

Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:28 pm
by vanwinkle
reasonable_man wrote:Man up and move forward. There are few do-overs in the real world.

Harsh, but fair, as usual. +1.

Re: Seeking a Retroactive Withdrawal: Any advice?

Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 4:14 pm
by JDndMSW
bp shinners wrote:From what I've seen, retroactive Ws are generally given to students who believe they withdrew from the course but messed up the administrative part of withdrawing (such as just not showing up for class and assuming they would be W'ed). If you're looking to have a school give you a W because you did poorly, I don't think they'll be willing to give you the 'do over', unfortunately.


+1 I fit into this category and was only even approved for half of my classes to be waived.

Re: Seeking a Retroactive Withdrawal: Any advice?

Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 4:18 pm
by blink
ComatoseClown wrote:Can anyone who has tried this briefly share their experience, as well as any advice in doing this?

I feel like I'm specifically in a tough situation with little chance of success: It wasn't any medical illness that caused the 2.9 Freshman GPA I'm trying to 'erase'; if anything it was more due to an onerous time adjusting and tough living situation once I got onto campus that year. (I don't have any written documentation, and the professors if I wrote to them either would not know who I am anymore, or if they did they would consider my reasoning as a pity excuse for poor performance.) If I can't withdraw from these freshman, then the highest my GPA can be by the time I apply to LS (next fall, '012) is going to be a 3.4.


Everything you just said is true about me as well. I'd love a time machine, but barring that, it's water under the bridge.

Re: Seeking a Retroactive Withdrawal: Any advice?

Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 4:46 pm
by 20121109
I actually got a retroactive withdrawal for the second semester of my freshman year. I went through a family tragedy at the time so I had a legitimate excuse. I didn't need any formal documentation to corroborate my story, however. I think what helped me the most was that that semester was such an anomaly. My grades were much much stronger in all my other semesters and it was obvious just looking at my transcript that something went wrong. Without it, the highest GPA I would have reached before graduation would have been a 3.7. Thank God, I dropped a semester to end up with a 3.9+ I petitioned my school administrators in my junior year. I decided to be very honest and simply say that the only reason I did not petition the Dean's office sooner was simply because I was unaware of the possibility. I made it very clear that if I had known, I would have done so earlier. I still can't believe it worked out and I think I was more the exception rather than the rule.

There is no harm in trying to make it happen, but your excuse does not seem strong enough for serious consideration. Send in the application but don't hold your breath. If it doesn't happen, focus on graduating with a 3.4, and destroy the LSAT!! You still have the opportunity to end up at an excellent law school.

Good luck :)

Re: Seeking a Retroactive Withdrawal: Any advice?

Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 4:52 pm
by CanadianWolf
You won't have a definitive answer until you try. Good luck.