Hi guys. I posted about this on another forum, but I didn't receive much help. I'm asking my school for a retroactive withdrawal for a few courses and want to be sure it's a convincing (and honest!) letter before I hand it in.
Backstory: In 2009 and 2011 I was enrolled full time but stopped attending a few courses because my mom got extremely sick and I was her caretaker coupled with working full time as she could no longer work. Later, she actually passed away from both heart issues and cancer. What's worse, in 2011 my cousin also passed away from cancer and my dad and I took on part-time care of his two young children who were both under 10 at the time. Needless to say, it was devastating. I will be completely honest: I did not even know at the time that a student could even get a retroactive withdrawal. I thought, basically, that if you stopped attending after the withdrawal date you were screwed and just had to take your licks. I even kept paying out of pocket for the courses I left, knowing I had a responsibility to do so.
I know I made a mistake by not finishing a few classes, but my thinking was that I could just keep up with at least a few of them, rather than all (some of my professors allowed me to stop attending and to just turn in work via blackboard--the classes I stopped attending were "attendance and participation" heavy ones like Drama and Phys Ed). In fact, the class I did finish I got all As in. Now that I am back in school elsewhere with straight As and about to graduate, I went back on my school's old website to get transcripts and found I could petition for a retroactive withdrawal from courses. I know that these WUs (unauthorized withdrawals) will hurt my LSAC GPA if I don't rectify them and get them changed to non-punitive Ws. We're talking a GPA difference of like 2.9 to 3.79 so this is HUGE for me. My school is happy to open my case and look intro retroactive withdrawals but I need to be convincing.
Would anyone like to help read what I wrote? Or offer some pointers?
(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
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It sounds like you have a very compelling case. Though, considering this is related to your specific school policy, I think you should talk about this with an advisor at the school rather than someone on the forum. They'd be more familiar with what you should say as opposed to anonymous strangers who are not familiar with your school's retroactive withdrawal policy. I'd find it hard to believe if there isn't a resource on campus that could help you frame the letter in a way to present all your issues, so definitely search for one if you haven't already. I truly wish you the best of luck with this!