GPA Addendum

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
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nickb285
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GPA Addendum

Postby nickb285 » Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:32 pm

I'm a splitter, 3.17/169. I wasn't going to write a GPA addendum for my applications initially, since I didn't really have any good reason for my lower grades (at least, I figured "skated by in some of my courses because I was 20-22 years old and stupid" wasn't a good reason), but I spoke with an admissions officer at my first-choice law school yesterday and she suggested that as long as my senior-year grades were decent (which they were) I should write an addendum. Though I still don't think I'd send one to other schools, I'd prefer to follow her recommendation for that particular application. Here's what I have so far:

"During several periods of my undergraduate education, most notably my freshman year and the first half of my junior year, I underperformed in certain classes in which I could have received better grades. This was due in large part to a lack of maturity and motivation at that time. During the final semesters of my undergraduate degree, I performed to my full potential, earning higher grades in upper-division courses. Having matured further in the two years since graduation, I am now eager to perform at a higher level academically, and I hope that the admissions committee will recognize my LSAT and late-term grades as better indicators of my potential than my cumulative undergraduate GPA."

Kinda awkward, I know, but given the conventional wisdom of "Don't write an addendum just to say that you used to suck and don't anymore," I'm not sure what else to write. I was hoping I could get some feedback on this. TYIA.

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nickb285
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Re: GPA Addendum

Postby nickb285 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:30 pm

Gonna give this a bump now that it's dropped a few pages.

RickyDnwhyc
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Re: GPA Addendum

Postby RickyDnwhyc » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:34 pm

nickb285 wrote:Gonna give this a bump now that it's dropped a few pages.



Interested in this as well. I am in a similar situation, 3.2 GPA because I'm a ****ing idiot and I listened to a friend who told me "LOLOL LAWL SCHOOLS DON'T CARE ABOUT GPA". Basically slept through my entire undergrad.

Can't exactly put that in my addendum...

I'm thinking I'll just lie and say there were several consecutive deaths in the family which severely crippled my academic motivation.

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Liquox
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Re: GPA Addendum

Postby Liquox » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:41 pm

if you're aiming for t-20 or lower, you're fine.

if you're taking a shot at any of the t-15 schools, retake the lsat and rewrite your addendum. most of them draw their baseline at 3.5, though a few of the lower t-15's will make exceptions up to 3.3 for hard sciences/social sciences, and math. also, you probably want to give an example of how you've matured (just a few words; cut out some of you fluff to make it less wordy) and why you're different from all the other 168-169 applicants with a 3.1-3.2 GPA

(@ rickey: your friends mixed it up; law schools don't care too much about major)

RickyDnwhyc
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Re: GPA Addendum

Postby RickyDnwhyc » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:49 pm

Liquox wrote:if you're aiming for t-20 or lower, you're fine.

if you're taking a shot at any of the t-15 schools, retake the lsat and rewrite your addendum. most of them draw their baseline at 3.5, though a few of the lower t-15's will make exceptions up to 3.3 for hard sciences/social sciences, and math. also, you probably want to give an example of how you've matured (just a few words; cut out some of you fluff to make it less wordy) and why you're different from all the other 168-169 applicants with a 3.1-3.2 GPA

(@ rickey: your friends mixed it up; law schools don't care too much about major)


Yup... If I could go back I'd major in Theatre at a no-name university and come out with a 4.0 while having next to no homework for those years... HYS !!! Ahhh

An "example of how you've matured" sounds like it would help, but truly differentiating yourself from the other splitters? Not so easy... I would love to see some example addendums that achieve this, going to try the search function...

I agree that OP should retake the LSAT if he thinks he can bring his score up, even a couple of points will make a huge difference.

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Lavitz
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Re: GPA Addendum

Postby Lavitz » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:53 pm

RickyDnwhyc wrote:Interested in this as well. I am in a similar situation, 3.2 GPA because I'm a ****ing idiot and I listened to a friend who told me "LOLOL LAWL SCHOOLS DON'T CARE ABOUT GPA". Basically slept through my entire undergrad.

Can't exactly put that in my addendum...

I'm thinking I'll just lie and say there were several consecutive deaths in the family which severely crippled my academic motivation.


You've got to be kidding.

EllaLemry
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Re: GPA Addendum

Postby EllaLemry » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:57 pm

Lavitz wrote:
RickyDnwhyc wrote:Interested in this as well. I am in a similar situation, 3.2 GPA because I'm a ****ing idiot and I listened to a friend who told me "LOLOL LAWL SCHOOLS DON'T CARE ABOUT GPA". Basically slept through my entire undergrad.

Can't exactly put that in my addendum...

I'm thinking I'll just lie and say there were several consecutive deaths in the family which severely crippled my academic motivation.


You've got to be kidding.


Retake LSAT. Skip the addendum.

As to the genius who plans on lying about *multiple* deaths in the family, if there were close family members, you'd be listed by name in the obituary which could easily be found online. Also, they're going to want to see you parent's tax returns for Financial Aid. If you say one of them died but they're still working, that would be an interesting conversation.

At the end of the day, no one is going to care about why you got bad grades. Just raise your LSAT if you want a T14.

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nickb285
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Re: GPA Addendum

Postby nickb285 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:02 pm

Thanks for the advice. I considered putting in something about working full-time since graduation, but unfortunately my post-grad work experience is one nine-month contract job, a couple crappy temp jobs, one decent job that did budget-based layoffs after I was there for eight months and cut all the new people, and my current position in which I've been working since January--so nothing I could really point to and say "look, I've been dedicated to this job." Hooray for graduating with a liberal arts degree in a bad economy.

Thought about retaking, but considering that a) 169 was exactly what I got on most of my practice tests (with the occasional outlier in both directions) and b) the only T14 school to which I'm applying is Georgetown (the only T14 that gave me even a "weak consider" on LSP), I figure it's probably not going to make much of a difference. I doubt I'd be able to gain more than a point or two unless there's a fluke, and there's an equal risk of a fluke in the other direction as well. Mostly I'm applying to lower T1 (25-50) schools, plus some safeties, plus any accredited school that gives me a fee waiver because why not.
Last edited by nickb285 on Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.

RickyDnwhyc
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Re: GPA Addendum

Postby RickyDnwhyc » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:43 pm

Lavitz wrote:
RickyDnwhyc wrote:Interested in this as well. I am in a similar situation, 3.2 GPA because I'm a ****ing idiot and I listened to a friend who told me "LOLOL LAWL SCHOOLS DON'T CARE ABOUT GPA". Basically slept through my entire undergrad.

Can't exactly put that in my addendum...

I'm thinking I'll just lie and say there were several consecutive deaths in the family which severely crippled my academic motivation.


You've got to be kidding.


I was kidding. Best avatar photo I've seen on TLS so far.

If anyone thinks of a more believable lie, however, I'm all ears.

ivonmx
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Re: GPA Addendum

Postby ivonmx » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:57 pm

Interesting topic, in about the same situation except I haven't taken my LSAT yet, lol.

RickyDnwhyc
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Re: GPA Addendum

Postby RickyDnwhyc » Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:17 pm

What do you guys think of taking the "I'm actually a genius, college did not challenge me enough, my coursework bored me, etc." route?

I bet it would work if you had a 180 LSAT.

I'm only half joking this time.

toothbrush
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.

Postby toothbrush » Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:24 pm

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Last edited by toothbrush on Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Ex Cearulo
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Re: GPA Addendum

Postby Ex Cearulo » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:15 pm

I have two "E's" (read: F's) from two online community college english courses when I was in high school. No kidding, my mom signed me up for them and either she forgot to tell me about it, or she briefly mentioned it and I promptly forgot (probably the latter but it was over a decade ago and I don't remember). My UGPA, including those F's, is 3.24. I also have some stellar grades in college like a "B" in racquetball (attendance counted for the grade and it was a 7:30am class in the winter...don't judge me.)

This all translates into my belief that my 3.24 is not representative of my ability. I did well in the classes that mattered like military science classes as I prepared to commission and enter the AF, as well as many upper level Poli Sci classes. And, though I know grad school is usually taken with a grain of salt, I do have a 4.0 in my program at George Washington Univ. Any recommendations for how to approach a grade addendum in my particular situation? Appreciate any advice.

-HD

Jredelman15
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Re: GPA Addendum

Postby Jredelman15 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:40 pm

HawgDriver wrote:I have two "E's" (read: F's) from two online community college english courses when I was in high school. No kidding, my mom signed me up for them and either she forgot to tell me about it, or she briefly mentioned it and I promptly forgot (probably the latter but it was over a decade ago and I don't remember). My UGPA, including those F's, is 3.24. I also have some stellar grades in college like a "B" in racquetball (attendance counted for the grade and it was a 7:30am class in the winter...don't judge me.)

This all translates into my belief that my 3.24 is not representative of my ability. I did well in the classes that mattered like military science classes as I prepared to commission and enter the AF, as well as many upper level Poli Sci classes. And, though I know grad school is usually taken with a grain of salt, I do have a 4.0 in my program at George Washington Univ. Any recommendations for how to approach a grade addendum in my particular situation? Appreciate any advice.

-HD


come up with something real quick and PM and we can work on it.

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somewhatwayward
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Re: GPA Addendum

Postby somewhatwayward » Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:55 pm

nickb285 wrote:Thanks for the advice. I considered putting in something about working full-time since graduation, but unfortunately my post-grad work experience is one nine-month contract job, a couple shitty temp jobs, one decent job that did budget-based layoffs after I was there for eight months and cut all the new people, and my current position in which I've been working since January--so nothing I could really point to and say "look, I've been dedicated to this job." Hooray for graduating with a liberal arts degree in a shitty economy.

Thought about retaking, but considering that a) 169 was exactly what I got on most of my practice tests (with the occasional outlier in both directions) and b) the only T14 school to which I'm applying is Georgetown (the only T14 that gave me even a "weak consider" on LSP), I figure it's probably not going to make much of a difference. I doubt I'd be able to gain more than a point or two unless there's a fluke, and there's an equal risk of a fluke in the other direction as well. Mostly I'm applying to lower T1 (25-50) schools, plus some safeties, plus any accredited school that gives me a fee waiver because fuck it why not.


I think you should also try Michigan bc their LSAT median is 169, and I think they took some kids with 169 and pretty low GPAs this year although maybe more like 3.3. Also, does Cornell have a hard GPA floor? If not, they might be worth a shot. If applications are down again this year, there might be a couple T14s that would be happy to have that 169.

Also, you don't want to hear it but retaking could open doors. It could put UVA, Penn, and Northwestern in play.

Oh, I'm assuming you're not URM, right?
Last edited by somewhatwayward on Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Ex Cearulo
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Re: GPA Addendum

Postby Ex Cearulo » Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:11 pm

Jredelman15 wrote:
come up with something real quick and PM and we can work on it.


Check PM. Thanks!

- HD

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nickb285
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Re: GPA Addendum

Postby nickb285 » Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:48 am

somewhatwayward wrote:I think you should also try Michigan bc their LSAT median is 169, and I think they took some kids with 169 and pretty low GPAs this year although maybe more like 3.3. Also, does Cornell have a hard GPA floor? If not, they might be worth a shot. If applications are down again this year, there might be a couple T14s that would be happy to have that 169.

Also, you don't want to hear it but retaking could open doors. It could put UVA, Penn, and Northwestern in play.

Oh, I'm assuming you're not URM, right?


You're not necessarily wrong about the retake, but my goal is to practice (ideally public interest, but obviously that may change) law in the Mountain West or possibly Pacific Northwest, while minimizing debt. No interest in Biglaw whatsoever. The debt part is a bigger problem with the T14; a 171 might get me into one or two of them if apps are down and I get lucky, but it won't get me money with that GPA. I'd prefer to aim for lower T1 schools where my final tuition debt load will be under $100k. With all of that considered, and the fact that I took a prep class and studied independently for several months prior to the June test, I'm pretty happy with my regional goals. Thanks for the advice though, if I were shooting for Biglaw or anything in NY that would be the right way to go.

And no, I'm not. It's cool though, I finally get to complain about how hard it is to be a white middle-class male.




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