How badly can one bad grade affect your transfer prospects?

A forum for those current students who are or may be transferring from one school to another. Post any questions, advice, or other transfer related comments here.
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iheartlaw
Posts: 236
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:10 pm

How badly can one bad grade affect your transfer prospects?

Postby iheartlaw » Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:35 am

I just received my legal research and writing grade back and got a C+. However, the rest of my grades are exceptionally well, I was able to earn an A in three of my other classes and am still awaiting the results from my last grade. I was wondering how one poor grades affects your transfer prospects. I will hopefully still be in the top 5% of my class at at T2 in the 80-90's. With that poor grade on my transcript, do I still have a shot at the top 14? I applied to GULC.

Also, do you think it would be advisable to attach an addendum for the C+ grade? Not one where I am making excuses, but one where I am showing what I am doing to improve?

I appreciate your candid input.

ps: I remember somebody who said they transferred to a great school and they said they did it even though they did poorly in one class, if you are reading this can you reply back, I would love to talk to you, or if anyone can recall who that was. Thanks again

AcesandEights
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:09 am

Re: How badly can one bad grade affect your transfer prospects?

Postby AcesandEights » Tue Jun 15, 2010 2:30 am

It might of been me. Just by way of background: I went to a mid to low T2, top 2 percent of the class I think at the end of first year, and transferred to a T10. Second term, I had a "bad" grade (B-), and it wasn't in LRW, but something far more substantial. It may have hurt me at a few schools (one school that I had a good shot at objectively dinged me pretty quick, despite being accepted to its peers and higher ranked schools). That said, I'm not sure if it was that or just the randomness of the transfer game. I think it had an effect on one uber reach that I may have luckily made it into some form of standby with, where I ultimately was rejected.

If I'm reading your post right, I think you'll be fine. I don't think an addendum would be helpful, but that's just a guess. Apply broadly to the T14 (read: wherever you'd be willing to go over your current school). I advise applying broadly, despite the fact that the expense sucks, because transfer admissions are notoriously finicky and difficult to predict. Anyway, I was accepted to multiple T14s. Rejected at a bunch too, but all you need is one. :)

Good luck.

2013Hopeful
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 6:40 pm

Re: How badly can one bad grade affect your transfer prospects?

Postby 2013Hopeful » Tue Jun 15, 2010 2:39 am

I was wondering this same thing since I am in a similar situation. Everything that I've read so far seems to indicate that most schools care more about rank than actual GPA or individual grades. Good luck!!

iheartlaw
Posts: 236
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:10 pm

Re: How badly can one bad grade affect your transfer prospects?

Postby iheartlaw » Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:15 am

AcesandEights,

Thank you! Yes, it was definitely your post from earlier that I read that from. I will apply as broadly across the T14 as possible, thank you for the suggestion and the motivation. I desperately hope to attain admission to at least one of the schools I apply to.

As for the addendum, can I ask why you suggest not to write one? I realize that it is only one grade, but when the adcoms view my transcript the C+ in a sea of A's will undoubtedly scream wtf mate? So i was hoping to sort of do some "damage control" before they began to assume things, and also so I can explain myself. Though I realize for one grade it may be a bit overboard, I am hoping that the adcoms will be able to look past that one grade.

Thanks!

AcesandEights
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:09 am

Re: How badly can one bad grade affect your transfer prospects?

Postby AcesandEights » Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:31 am

Not sure why my gut leans towards not writing one. I suppose, for one, it's just not necessary--law school adcomms know every student has one bad day or one teacher they just don't understand/mesh with/whatever (or at least there's a pretty good chance it'll happen, even to an otherwise consistently high grading student). Especially in LRW, I just don't see adcomms caring all that much. And second, it just draws attention to a poor grade. They will see it anyway, but if you write an addendum, no matter how well written, it's going to draw everyone's attention to it again, and it'll seem to some like sour grapes. That's not the kind of impression I'd want an adcomm leaving the room with.

In fairness, I could be completely wrong about this, and an addendum would be appropriate. I just don't know. So, if you really think it will help you, write one. Personally, I wouldn't, but that's me.

iheartlaw
Posts: 236
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:10 pm

Re: How badly can one bad grade affect your transfer prospects?

Postby iheartlaw » Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:57 pm

I completely see where you are coming from. And like I said I, I think I overreacted when I saw my grade and thought it was the end of me. I would much rather leave them with a great impression from my personal statement, and see my overall gpa, then have them read an addendum and think twice about my competency. I appreciate your insight, as I would have likely just written one, because in the moment I convinced myself it was the best thing to do. Thank you very much for your prompt reply, as some of my applications are due today!

teebone51
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 1:49 pm

Re: How badly can one bad grade affect your transfer prospects?

Postby teebone51 » Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:16 pm

iheartlaw: did you ever end up submitting an addendum? i'm in the same boat as you - top 10%, but one C+ on my transcript from an exam where i was really sick before and during the final. i'm wondering if you thought submitting an addendum helped your chances at all?

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vanwinkle
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Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

Re: How badly can one bad grade affect your transfer prospects?

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:37 pm

I don't think an addendum is a good idea. Adcomms know there's a learning curve and some scatter/noise in law school grades; they seem to focus on overall GPA/rank. Besides, what could you honestly say in an addendum? Unless there's a legit reason, you're just going "I felt the need to point out that I got a worse grade in one class than others because I could have done better and didn't."

I don't think addendums are appropriate, let alone necessary.

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thexfactor
Posts: 1277
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 11:40 am

Re: How badly can one bad grade affect your transfer prospects?

Postby thexfactor » Mon Feb 07, 2011 4:25 pm

a lot. one bad grade can make the diff between top 10-15% and top 5-10%. One will get into T14/ucla/vandy and the other will get into emory/wustl/uiuc.




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