Will a GPA Addendum Help or Hurt Chances?

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hayleyc
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Will a GPA Addendum Help or Hurt Chances?

Postby hayleyc » Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:19 pm

3.0 GPA

During the final semester of my college, I was diagnosed with primarily OCD but other mental health disorders as well. I went through behavioral therapy, and I do believe that my mental health impacted my GPA. Should I write a GPA addendum?

A couple of things to note:

- I can definitely get official documentation from my therapist, doctors, etc. about this.
- There are really no upward/downward trends in my GPA. Every semester my GPA stayed right around a 3.0

I just want law schools to know that my GPA doesn't really reflect my talent and ability to handle law school.

What do you think?

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S.Picquery
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Re: Will a GPA Addendum Help or Hurt Chances?

Postby S.Picquery » Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:24 pm

It will not help you. It may hurt you. If you write something that they don't like, it can hurt you. Also, know that the admin office, and all who work there will have access to documentation of you saying you are non neuro-typical, that you are "mentally ill." This may or may not bother you, but just remember that.

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spqr351
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Re: Will a GPA Addendum Help or Hurt Chances?

Postby spqr351 » Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:32 pm

For a 3.0 it won't matter. Maybe if you were at, like, a 2.5... but with a 3.0 it probably isn't worth it. Addendum or no, a 3.0 won't get you into Harvard. A stellar LSAT score will open all other doors, including the T8-14 and strong regional schools, without writing an additional essay. Bringing up your mental health in an addendum will raise more questions than it will answer -- remember, they don't know about it, and it's none of their business!

floatie
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Re: Will a GPA Addendum Help or Hurt Chances?

Postby floatie » Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:50 pm

I don't think an addendum will help you in this case, since you don't have 1-2 semesters of an abnormal GPA. If you do want to write one, though, I don't think you need to specify that it's a mental health issue (sadly, the stigma is still there). You can simply say that you were made aware of a health issue that has now been resolved. If you are able to score well on the LSAT (168+) you'll still be fine for T25ish schools, and 170+ will make you a contender for t14s.

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Socratease
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Re: Will a GPA Addendum Help or Hurt Chances?

Postby Socratease » Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:47 am

floatie wrote:I don't think an addendum will help you in this case, since you don't have 1-2 semesters of an abnormal GPA. If you do want to write one, though, I don't think you need to specify that it's a mental health issue (sadly, the stigma is still there). You can simply say that you were made aware of a health issue that has now been resolved. If you are able to score well on the LSAT (168+) you'll still be fine for T25ish schools, and 170+ will make you a contender for t14s.


I want to piggyback on this thread since my situation is relatively similar. My final semester I was diagnosed with substance abuse disorder--this a year after being clinically diagnosed with depression. That semester (spring, senior year) I got a 1.6 gpa.I graduated with a 3.08 overall. My last two years were really shitty, whereas my first two years were somewhere between pretty good and stellar. I met with a therapist off-campus once a week for the entirety of senior year.

All is well now, I'm better than ever yatta yatta ya, but I feel like if I don't write an addendum, adcomms will be so skeptical of my transcript. It's obvious on grades alone that something went down. I even had to take a summer course online after spring of senior year because I failed a 1-credit "Health and Happiness" course that was, by all accounts, a freebie.

Mention the mental health issues or no?

Came in at a 168 on the Sept. 2016 LSAT, shooting for 170+ in June.

floatie
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Re: Will a GPA Addendum Help or Hurt Chances?

Postby floatie » Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:53 am

Socratease wrote:I want to piggyback on this thread since my situation is relatively similar. My final semester I was diagnosed with substance abuse disorder--this a year after being clinically diagnosed with depression. That semester (spring, senior year) I got a 1.6 gpa.I graduated with a 3.08 overall. My last two years were really shitty, whereas my first two years were somewhere between pretty good and stellar. I met with a therapist off-campus once a week for the entirety of senior year.

All is well now, I'm better than ever yatta yatta ya, but I feel like if I don't write an addendum, adcomms will be so skeptical of my transcript. It's obvious on grades alone that something went down. I even had to take a summer course online after spring of senior year because I failed a 1-credit "Health and Happiness" course that was, by all accounts, a freebie.

Mention the mental health issues or no?

Came in at a 168 on the Sept. 2016 LSAT, shooting for 170+ in June.


I would have the same advice for you, although since you clearly have one highly abnormal semester, an addendum is basically necessary. Again, I think it would be fine to say that you suffered a severe health issue that semester that has since been resolved - no need to mention specifically that it was a mental health issue. You don't want to leave any questions in the minds of adcomms. Also if all of that happened relatively recently (since it was spring semester of your senior year) I would take some time off to put some distance from that time - get a job, show that you really are better.

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trebekismyhero
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Re: Will a GPA Addendum Help or Hurt Chances?

Postby trebekismyhero » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:01 pm

Socratease wrote:
floatie wrote:I don't think an addendum will help you in this case, since you don't have 1-2 semesters of an abnormal GPA. If you do want to write one, though, I don't think you need to specify that it's a mental health issue (sadly, the stigma is still there). You can simply say that you were made aware of a health issue that has now been resolved. If you are able to score well on the LSAT (168+) you'll still be fine for T25ish schools, and 170+ will make you a contender for t14s.


I want to piggyback on this thread since my situation is relatively similar. My final semester I was diagnosed with substance abuse disorder--this a year after being clinically diagnosed with depression. That semester (spring, senior year) I got a 1.6 gpa.I graduated with a 3.08 overall. My last two years were really shitty, whereas my first two years were somewhere between pretty good and stellar. I met with a therapist off-campus once a week for the entirety of senior year.

All is well now, I'm better than ever yatta yatta ya, but I feel like if I don't write an addendum, adcomms will be so skeptical of my transcript. It's obvious on grades alone that something went down. I even had to take a summer course online after spring of senior year because I failed a 1-credit "Health and Happiness" course that was, by all accounts, a freebie.

Mention the mental health issues or no?

Came in at a 168 on the Sept. 2016 LSAT, shooting for 170+ in June.


Was this last year or longer? If more recent, I wouldn't mention it. If longer, since you have one semester of something abnormal, it might help a little. Either way, schools make decisions based on hard numbers, addendums just help or hurt on the margins. As others have mentioned, it is unfair, but largely due to the stress that law school can create and the stigma in society, discussing mental heath issues in your app can often hurt you. I think you'd be better off stating you had health issues including substance abuse that is now under control and you can mention all the steps you've taken to make sure you don't relapse and that this will make you a better law student, lawyer, etc.

That's just my initial reaction, someone with more experience in it can jump in.

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Socratease
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Re: Will a GPA Addendum Help or Hurt Chances?

Postby Socratease » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:30 pm

trebekismyhero wrote:
Socratease wrote:
floatie wrote:I don't think an addendum will help you in this case, since you don't have 1-2 semesters of an abnormal GPA. If you do want to write one, though, I don't think you need to specify that it's a mental health issue (sadly, the stigma is still there). You can simply say that you were made aware of a health issue that has now been resolved. If you are able to score well on the LSAT (168+) you'll still be fine for T25ish schools, and 170+ will make you a contender for t14s.


I want to piggyback on this thread since my situation is relatively similar. My final semester I was diagnosed with substance abuse disorder--this a year after being clinically diagnosed with depression. That semester (spring, senior year) I got a 1.6 gpa.I graduated with a 3.08 overall. My last two years were really shitty, whereas my first two years were somewhere between pretty good and stellar. I met with a therapist off-campus once a week for the entirety of senior year.

All is well now, I'm better than ever yatta yatta ya, but I feel like if I don't write an addendum, adcomms will be so skeptical of my transcript. It's obvious on grades alone that something went down. I even had to take a summer course online after spring of senior year because I failed a 1-credit "Health and Happiness" course that was, by all accounts, a freebie.

Mention the mental health issues or no?

Came in at a 168 on the Sept. 2016 LSAT, shooting for 170+ in June.


Was this last year or longer? If more recent, I wouldn't mention it. If longer, since you have one semester of something abnormal, it might help a little. Either way, schools make decisions based on hard numbers, addendums just help or hurt on the margins. As others have mentioned, it is unfair, but largely due to the stress that law school can create and the stigma in society, discussing mental heath issues in your app can often hurt you. I think you'd be better off stating you had health issues including substance abuse that is now under control and you can mention all the steps you've taken to make sure you don't relapse and that this will make you a better law student, lawyer, etc.

That's just my initial reaction, someone with more experience in it can jump in.


Yeah this was all last year. I graduated in Spring 2016. 8 months sober as of now, I'll have over a year of WE once I apply next cycle, and presumably 2 years of WE before entering law school. I guess my app cycle is going to be fairly unpredictable with or without mention of the issues.




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