When is it warranted to write gpa addendum?

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RSolano
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When is it warranted to write gpa addendum?

Postby RSolano » Fri Sep 22, 2017 3:38 pm

Downward trend total of 0.3 difference between freshma and senior due to working increased hours... STEM major. Thank you!

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Platopus
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Re: When is it warranted to write gpa addendum?

Postby Platopus » Fri Sep 22, 2017 3:41 pm

Probably not in this case. 1) Your GPA isnt that low and 2) Working more hours isnt that compelling.

personofinterest
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Re: When is it warranted to write gpa addendum?

Postby personofinterest » Fri Sep 22, 2017 4:53 pm

Agree. It's not enough of a drop to warrant one.

RSolano
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Re: When is it warranted to write gpa addendum?

Postby RSolano » Sun Sep 24, 2017 4:57 pm

Thanks guys! When would it be suggested?
Last edited by RSolano on Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Platopus
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Re: When is it warranted to write gpa addendum?

Postby Platopus » Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:08 pm

RSolano wrote:Thanks guys! When would it be suggested? What about a 3.8 to a 3.0?


It's not just the size of the drop that matters. There needs to be a compelling reason for a drop.

cavalier1138
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Re: When is it warranted to write gpa addendum?

Postby cavalier1138 » Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:09 pm

RSolano wrote:Downward trend total of 0.3 difference between freshma and senior due to working increased hours... STEM major. Thank you!


That's certainly a big enough drop, but if the excuse is still "working more hours," it's not going to be that effective.

RSolano
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Re: When is it warranted to write gpa addendum?

Postby RSolano » Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:00 pm

You don't think they see a difference between a student focusing only on class and one working 30 hours a week while in school?

cavalier1138
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Re: When is it warranted to write gpa addendum?

Postby cavalier1138 » Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:35 pm

RSolano wrote:You don't think they see a difference between a student focusing only on class and one working 30 hours a week while in school?


I'm sure they do, but you had control over your course load and schedule. Even if the addendum might help mitigate a single semester of bad performance, if you continued to slide and did nothing to adjust your academic or work schedule, the adcomm is likely to put that on you. It's not like a medical condition or something similar, which would have been outside your control. You chose to work 30 hours a week and take a full course load.

The general rule for addenda is that they're mostly useless, but the main situations where they can be helpful are ones in which the applicant was affected by a serious issue that was out of their hands.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: When is it warranted to write gpa addendum?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:36 pm

Maybe (although they don't get to report your GPA with an addendum that you did better when you were working fewer hours), but they'll be able to tell from your resume that you were working while you were taking classes. An addendum isn't really about making at argument about info they already have, so much as it's a way to give them information they don't already have.

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Platopus
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Re: When is it warranted to write gpa addendum?

Postby Platopus » Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:02 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
RSolano wrote:You don't think they see a difference between a student focusing only on class and one working 30 hours a week while in school?


I'm sure they do, but you had control over your course load and schedule. Even if the addendum might help mitigate a single semester of bad performance, if you continued to slide and did nothing to adjust your academic or work schedule, the adcomm is likely to put that on you. It's not like a medical condition or something similar, which would have been outside your control. You chose to work 30 hours a week and take a full course load.

The general rule for addenda is that they're mostly useless, but the main situations where they can be helpful are ones in which the applicant was affected by a serious issue that was out of their hands.


Cav's spot on here. Many people have various degrees of commitment to things outside of just school & studying, so even though it is commendable that you worked 30 hrs a week, it's not a very compelling reason why your grades dipped. Also, a .3 drop from freshman to senior year may be due in part to the increased difficulty of classes, so it's hard to evaluate how much your increased work hours actually did impact your GPA drop. I'm not saying that I necessarily doubt that your work did impact your GPA, but just that it's literally impossible to quantify since there are other variables going on here as well.

In any case, I wouldn't sweat it, since even if you did have a super compelling reason for the GPA drop, it would do very little in the grand scheme to move the needle.

RSolano
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Re: When is it warranted to write gpa addendum?

Postby RSolano » Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:28 am

Ah okay, got it! Thanks for taking the time to reply everyone :)

RSolano
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Re: When is it warranted to write gpa addendum?

Postby RSolano » Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:21 pm

Listening to one of Ann Levines podcasts and she gives the opposite advice- calls low gpa due to working through school "the best possible explanation for low grades" and says that especially if you can point out which years you were working (lower gpa) and which you weren't (higher gpa) it's very persuasive and respectable... Ie to say here is a semester I worked abroad and didn't have to work so this gpa reflects my real abilities

cavalier1138
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Re: When is it warranted to write gpa addendum?

Postby cavalier1138 » Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:35 pm

RSolano wrote:Listening to one of Ann Levines podcasts and she gives the opposite advice- calls low gpa due to working through school "the best possible explanation for low grades" and says that especially if you can point out which years you were working (lower gpa) and which you weren't (higher gpa) it's very persuasive and respectable... Ie to say here is a semester I worked abroad and didn't have to work so this gpa reflects my real abilities


Not to slam the self-proclaimed Law School Expert (seriously, that should be enough of a red flag), but that doesn't appear to play out in admissions. Also, you absolutely cannot use study abroad grades as evidence of your "real" GPA, because study abroad programs are generally fluff classes with easy grading policies.

If you're not convinced, feel free to ask Spivey and see if he says differently. But this reads like the opposite of "I was partying hard before I got my life together." You chose to work a heavy schedule in school and your grades suffered for it, which leads to the inevitable question of why you didn't change your work or class schedule to try and get some kind of balance in there.

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littlelibertine
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Re: When is it warranted to write gpa addendum?

Postby littlelibertine » Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:59 am

I'm writing a GPA addendum. In the fall semester of my last year of college, I suffered a grade three (severe) concussion which resulted in post-concussion syndrome that lingered into the summer of the next year. The cognitive symptoms I experienced (in particular, difficulties with memory and attention) contributed to academic struggles reflected in my final grades of the fall and spring semesters. Prior to my concussion, I had a 3.77 GPA. After that year, my GPA was (and remained, as I graduated that spring) 3.55. It's a significant enough difference with enough reason to merit an addendum, IMO.

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HenryHankPalmer
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Re: When is it warranted to write gpa addendum?

Postby HenryHankPalmer » Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:25 am

littlelibertine wrote:I'm writing a GPA addendum. In the fall semester of my last year of college, I suffered a grade three (severe) concussion which resulted in post-concussion syndrome that lingered into the summer of the next year. The cognitive symptoms I experienced (in particular, difficulties with memory and attention) contributed to academic struggles reflected in my final grades of the fall and spring semesters. Prior to my concussion, I had a 3.77 GPA. After that year, my GPA was (and remained, as I graduated that spring) 3.55. It's a significant enough difference with enough reason to merit an addendum, IMO.

This does seem like a good reason to write an addendum.

I ended up writing one because I had a big dip in my grades in the spring semester of my Freshman year (3.5 to 2.0) because of some pretty severe family problems. The only reason that I ended up writing it is because I have an upward trend and I wanted to highlight the fact that this semester was anomalous. I think most GPA addenda are pretty useless, but best case scenario an ad comm sees your poor performance in a new light.




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