"Why this school?" Addendum

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confused_humpback
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"Why this school?" Addendum

Postby confused_humpback » Sat Dec 13, 2014 11:17 pm

Is it worthwhile to write an addenda essay describing why a particular school is your pick? Or should that be ideally incorporated into the conclusion of a personal statement?

Also, I have a significant discrepancy between LSAT scores. If I plan on writing an LSAT addendum, should that out-prioritize a "why this school" addendum essay?

Thanks for the info.

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Ramius
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Re: "Why this school?" Addendum

Postby Ramius » Sat Dec 13, 2014 11:23 pm

"Why X" is significantly different from any of the other addenda. Depending on the school, the "why X" is more/less crucial.

What's your reason for the LSAT addendum?

If you're targeting $$$ at UVA/PENN/etc. then "Why X" will be important with HYS numbers. If you're reaching for Duke with UF/FSU as your targets, you'll probably want to focus more heavily on the other aspects of your app, considering Duke will know you really want to be at Duke based solely on your numbers and the fact that they don't need you to maintain medians.

Numbers always matter, even when you think they don't

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confused_humpback
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Re: "Why this school?" Addendum

Postby confused_humpback » Sat Dec 13, 2014 11:26 pm

Ramius wrote:"Why X" is significantly different from any of the other addenda. Depending on the school, the "why X" is more/less crucial.


Hmm.. So for your target schools where you are shooting for money, it's better to do a "Why X" addendum? Sorry if I totally missed your point.

What's your reason for the LSAT addendum?


I had a 9 point difference on my second LSAT.

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Ramius
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Re: "Why this school?" Addendum

Postby Ramius » Sat Dec 13, 2014 11:35 pm

confused_humpback wrote:
Ramius wrote:"Why X" is significantly different from any of the other addenda. Depending on the school, the "why X" is more/less crucial.


Hmm.. So for your target schools where you are shooting for money, it's better to do a "Why X" addendum? Sorry if I totally missed your point.

What's your reason for the LSAT addendum?


I had a 9 point difference on my second LSAT.


The addendum game is a bit tricky, because it's so situationally dependent. What caused your big difference in LSAT? If you have a good reason, LSAT addendum is a good choice, but if you just studied more and improved, not worth doing.

Likewise, it depends on the likelihood of yield protect from the schools you're targeting. Without knowing what your application plan is, I'll say that a "Why X" ranges from "essential for desired outcomes" to "useless and tone deaf." As extremes to illustrate a point, a 179/4.0 would be dumb to write a "Why HYS" addendum, whereas a 176/3.32 would be smart to write the "Why Penn" essay to establish how committed the applicant is to joining the Penn Law program.

Use that as a gauge.

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Pneumonia
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Re: "Why this school?" Addendum

Postby Pneumonia » Sat Dec 13, 2014 11:41 pm

If the difference was positive don't submit an addendum; the increase speaks for itself. If you went down 9 points then do submit something. In either case, it shouldn't be prioritized so as to displace a "why x" addendum.

There is just no way to write the former without leading the adcom to question your judgment. Sick= why not cancel? Misbubbled= why not cancel? Distracted= why not cancel / why easily distracted? Didn't study= why? Didn't know test was hard / important= why not researched before? and so on.

The "why x" essays are good for a distinct range of schools in the T14: namely, DMPV, and Berkley to an extent; they don't hurt at the lower T14 either, especially if you have a GPA/LSAT that is more than slightly divergent from median.

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confused_humpback
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Re: "Why this school?" Addendum

Postby confused_humpback » Sat Dec 13, 2014 11:46 pm

Ramius wrote:
confused_humpback wrote:
Ramius wrote:"Why X" is significantly different from any of the other addenda. Depending on the school, the "why X" is more/less crucial.


Hmm.. So for your target schools where you are shooting for money, it's better to do a "Why X" addendum? Sorry if I totally missed your point.

What's your reason for the LSAT addendum?


I had a 9 point difference on my second LSAT.


The addendum game is a bit tricky, because it's so situationally dependent. What caused your big difference in LSAT? If you have a good reason, LSAT addendum is a good choice, but if you just studied more and improved, not worth doing.

Likewise, it depends on the likelihood of yield protect from the schools you're targeting. Without knowing what your application plan is, I'll say that a "Why X" ranges from "essential for desired outcomes" to "useless and tone deaf." As extremes to illustrate a point, a 179/4.0 would be dumb to write a "Why HYS" addendum, whereas a 176/3.32 would be smart to write the "Why Penn" essay to establish how committed the applicant is to joining the Penn Law program.

Use that as a gauge.


Hm. Ok. Interesting.

I think my LSAT score jumped because of significantly improved test taking conditions. Weighing whether that warrants an addendum.

And yeah. I think I might do a "Why X" addendum for my reach schools, and then just tailor my PS for most other schools ("in conclusion NYU would help me etc etc") that aren't necessarily a reach.

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confused_humpback
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Re: "Why this school?" Addendum

Postby confused_humpback » Sat Dec 13, 2014 11:48 pm

Pneumonia wrote:If the difference was positive don't submit an addendum; the increase speaks for itself. If you went down 9 points then do submit something. In either case, it shouldn't be prioritized so as to displace a "why x" addendum.

There is just no way to write the former without leading the adcom to question your judgment. Sick= why not cancel? Misbubbled= why not cancel? Distracted= why not cancel / why easily distracted? Didn't study= why? Didn't know test was hard / important= why not researched before? and so on.

The "why x" essays are good for a distinct range of schools in the T14: namely, DMPV, and Berkley to an extent; they don't hurt at the lower T14 either, especially if you have a GPA/LSAT that is more than slightly divergent from median.


Ok. This also kinda confirms what I'm thinking. How long are "Why X" addendums generally expected to be? One page?

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Ramius
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Re: "Why this school?" Addendum

Postby Ramius » Sun Dec 14, 2014 12:03 am

confused_humpback wrote:
Ramius wrote:
confused_humpback wrote:
Ramius wrote:"Why X" is significantly different from any of the other addenda. Depending on the school, the "why X" is more/less crucial.


Hmm.. So for your target schools where you are shooting for money, it's better to do a "Why X" addendum? Sorry if I totally missed your point.

What's your reason for the LSAT addendum?


I had a 9 point difference on my second LSAT.


The addendum game is a bit tricky, because it's so situationally dependent. What caused your big difference in LSAT? If you have a good reason, LSAT addendum is a good choice, but if you just studied more and improved, not worth doing.

Likewise, it depends on the likelihood of yield protect from the schools you're targeting. Without knowing what your application plan is, I'll say that a "Why X" ranges from "essential for desired outcomes" to "useless and tone deaf." As extremes to illustrate a point, a 179/4.0 would be dumb to write a "Why HYS" addendum, whereas a 176/3.32 would be smart to write the "Why Penn" essay to establish how committed the applicant is to joining the Penn Law program.

Use that as a gauge.


Hm. Ok. Interesting.

I think my LSAT score jumped because of significantly improved test taking conditions. Weighing whether that warrants an addendum.

And yeah. I think I might do a "Why X" addendum for my reach schools, and then just tailor my PS for most other schools ("in conclusion NYU would help me etc etc") that aren't necessarily a reach.


No LSAT addendum, based on what you've said.

As for the Why X, I wouldn't tailor something for a place like NYU (because you used that as an example). If you're looking for $$$ at T6 vs. HYS, then you mostly need to focus on numbers and negotiating. With CLS/UCHI/NYU, you need to have a tailored approach to a specific scholarship. They are selective of the named schollies where big $$$ lives, so you have to look well beyond a basic "why X" essay. In particular, if you're looking to get some of the NYU PI schollies, focus really heavily on your PI focus. If you're looking for Ruby, etc. then just polish the crap out of every aspect of your app beyond your stellar numbers.

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confused_humpback
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Re: "Why this school?" Addendum

Postby confused_humpback » Sun Dec 14, 2014 12:14 am

Ramius wrote:No LSAT addendum, based on what you've said.

As for the Why X, I wouldn't tailor something for a place like NYU (because you used that as an example). If you're looking for $$$ at T6 vs. HYS, then you mostly need to focus on numbers and negotiating. With CLS/UCHI/NYU, you need to have a tailored approach to a specific scholarship. They are selective of the named schollies where big $$$ lives, so you have to look well beyond a basic "why X" essay. In particular, if you're looking to get some of the NYU PI schollies, focus really heavily on your PI focus. If you're looking for Ruby, etc. then just polish the crap out of every aspect of your app beyond your stellar numbers.


Ah, ok. I was mostly thinking of "Why X" as a school-by-school strategy of improving my chances of admission, with funding as an additional benefit. For instance, doing a "Why Fordham" addendum (which is a target school and not necessarily a big reach) to not only try to solidify my admission chances but also my chances for getting funding.

There aren't a lot of scholarship specific essays required for the bulk of the schools I'm applying. For those schools, would a "Why X" be a bit unnecessary? Sounds like from what you're saying, I might be missing the point of why "Why X" essays are important?

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer these questions. Getting a little overwhelmed by all the minutiae of applying with the time crunch starting to set in.

As a bit of background, I'm a classic splitter (high lsat/mediocre GPA).




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