I have a buuuuunch of Ws on my transcripts. Will this hurt me? Forum

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eleventwentyfour

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I have a buuuuunch of Ws on my transcripts. Will this hurt me?

Post by eleventwentyfour » Thu Sep 23, 2021 3:51 pm

My situation is kind of unique and honestly a mess and I don't want to sugarcoat it.

I am a non-trad student in that I have a lot of work experience and took a while to graduate undergrad with a bunch of false starts in between. Last year I found out from a classmate that I could retroactively withdraw from some earlier courses from 7-ish years ago during my first stint at undergrad. At the time I was dealing with an at-the-time unknown medical issue which left me in almost constant pain and made it super hard to concentrate on school. Fast forward a few years and I found out I actually have a rare and debilitating auto-immune disease (which is being managed now and does not inconvenience me more than maybe once a year when I have a bad flare-up).

Anyway, I got the retroactive withdrawals because I had ample evidence of a medical issue. My school actually let me withdraw from all the semesters in which I was in constant chronic pain. So I'm left with literally like 30+ Ws on my transcript which, even though I have a valid excuse, probably looks bad to adcomms. Like I said, it is a MESS.

The silver lining in all this is that it left me with an LSAC GPA of 4.0. It's a blessing in a way that I took so long to graduate and took time off to figure out my medical issues because once I went back to school with a proper diagnosis and everything under control, I literally got all As and A+s and graduated magna cum laude.

Assuming I do well on the LSAT (170+), will the bonkers amount of Ws hurt my application? Or is law school truly a numbers game and it doesn't matter? Should I write an addendum? Do I have to go into specifics about my disease? Looking for any advice.

Thanks!

AJordan

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Re: I have a buuuuunch of Ws on my transcripts. Will this hurt me?

Post by AJordan » Fri Sep 24, 2021 12:37 pm

Worry about the LSAT and don't worry about this. It's a pretty easy addendum. If you're coming hot with 4.0/170+ they're looking for reasons to be forgiving.

splitaf

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Re: I have a buuuuunch of Ws on my transcripts. Will this hurt me?

Post by splitaf » Fri Sep 24, 2021 7:44 pm

Hi, seconding what was said above. As you acknowledge, consider it a blessing! I am a non-trad who was in the same situation but under immense pressure to stay in engineering school (eldest child of immigrants). My LSAC GPA is now a 2.21 and there's nothing I can do about it :p

I was properly diagnosed and my conditions managed AFTER undergrad, managed to convince an MA program to take me, and now I have a 4.0 in grad school, d'oh. I try not to dwell too much on what could have been, but you dodged a bullet. Focus on the LSAT.

Tribble_47

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Re: I have a buuuuunch of Ws on my transcripts. Will this hurt me?

Post by Tribble_47 » Mon Sep 27, 2021 3:22 pm

If it's literally 30+ classes that are now Ws, they're going to wonder how and why that happened, even after you've explained about the medical condition. That's about three years' worth of full-time enrollment. Most of those W's must have been C's or higher, because if they weren't, the school wouldn't have let you remain enrolled that long. Retroactively withdrawing from a class you actually failed because of a medical condition is one thing. Retroactively withdrawing from a class you got a B in because you'd have gotten an A but for a medical condition is somewhat less sympathy-inducing, and could look like gaming the system. It may look like you effectively got (and presumably paid for) a near-complete do-over of undergrad just because you wanted another shot at a 4.0. I'm not saying that's what you did, but you might want to keep that possible perception in mind when framing this.

Also, if any of those credits were applied to to your bachelor's before they turned into W's, that may trip you up in the future.

eleventwentyfour

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Re: I have a buuuuunch of Ws on my transcripts. Will this hurt me?

Post by eleventwentyfour » Tue Sep 28, 2021 3:06 am

I have definitely given that thought.

11 of the Ws are from courses I took and obtained retroactive withdrawals from because I was in the full throes of my medical issues and stopped attending outright about halfway through the courses. During these two semesters I actually ended up having a 1.something GPA because of it.

The rest of them are from courses that I actually withdrew from appropriately (once I realized I could do that--d'oh) as they were happening, so they were never courses I even attempted credit for. After I withdrew from those two straight semesters I decided to quit school for a while because my medical issues got so bad and because I wanted to work to pay off student loans accrued up to that point. When I finally returned to school I had almost three years of straight As and A+s until graduation. My lowest grade was one single A-.

I hope that makes sense :|

Tribble_47

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Re: I have a buuuuunch of Ws on my transcripts. Will this hurt me?

Post by Tribble_47 » Wed Sep 29, 2021 8:37 pm

Makes perfect sense! Maybe I misunderstood your first post. Just make sure the adcoms don't think what I thought: that you managed to somehow or other get 3/4 of the way to a degree and then decided to erase the whole thing. :lol: Two semesters of retroactive withdrawals won't raise eyebrows the way six would.

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