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Do I need a supplemental essay?

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Do I need a supplemental essay?  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Mar 2018, 16:59
I'm curious if I should supplement my application with an essay explaining why I attended a few different institutions during undergrad and why my grades were weak to start?

Long story short... I started my undergrad at one of the big state schools where I live. I had some personal things come up and I left after only a semester (2.1GPA), which was followed by a semester off. Then I took 3 semesters at my local community college and got an AA degree (3.10GPA) before going back to a different state school to finish my bachelor's degree (3.94GPA). The undergrad school where I finished my coursework doesn't count GPAs from any other schools so my finance degree is shown as a 3.94. I believe the average GPA I fall to is about a 3.50 if all courses are counted.

Curious to hear how you guys would approach this. Most schools require transcripts from all places classes were taken so they will obviously see this, and I recognize that it's better to have finished things out strong then starting strong and finishing poorly, but I'm still unsure on how to proceed. Maybe I'll take my chances and address it during the interview if/when it would come up.

On a side note, will I be unfavorably looked at from an admission standpoint to top 25 programs if I have such a heavy amount of community college coursework and a degree from a CC?

Currently about a month into studying for the GMAT and trying to decide how much work I should put into it, because if any of the above is going to weigh heavily on my chances of top 25 FT programs then I'll just go part-time and not worry about any of the above. Thanks in advance for your advice!
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Re: Do I need a supplemental essay?  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Mar 2018, 04:32
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bschoolapp94 wrote:
I'm curious if I should supplement my application with an essay explaining why I attended a few different institutions during undergrad and why my grades were weak to start?

Long story short... I started my undergrad at one of the big state schools where I live. I had some personal things come up and I left after only a semester (2.1GPA), which was followed by a semester off. Then I took 3 semesters at my local community college and got an AA degree (3.10GPA) before going back to a different state school to finish my bachelor's degree (3.94GPA). The undergrad school where I finished my coursework doesn't count GPAs from any other schools so my finance degree is shown as a 3.94. I believe the average GPA I fall to is about a 3.50 if all courses are counted.

Curious to hear how you guys would approach this. Most schools require transcripts from all places classes were taken so they will obviously see this, and I recognize that it's better to have finished things out strong then starting strong and finishing poorly, but I'm still unsure on how to proceed. Maybe I'll take my chances and address it during the interview if/when it would come up.

On a side note, will I be unfavorably looked at from an admission standpoint to top 25 programs if I have such a heavy amount of community college coursework and a degree from a CC?

Currently about a month into studying for the GMAT and trying to decide how much work I should put into it, because if any of the above is going to weigh heavily on my chances of top 25 FT programs then I'll just go part-time and not worry about any of the above. Thanks in advance for your advice!


Great question. This is definitely the type of material for an optional essay. You should tell them about the personal situation that impacted your grades and required you to take time off. You should also explain why the CC. It will impact your chances overall since a 3.1 at a community college is not ideal, but you did finish stronger as you mentioned and they will pay attention. You don't want a long sob story but you do want to give them details.

Then of course you should knock the GMAT out of the park to prove your ability to succeed. From what I see here (not knowing anything about demographics, work experience etc) you could certainly still qualify for a top 25 school. Reach out if you want further guidance on the applications. We also offer 1:1 GMAT tutoring which may help you if you are looking to ace the GMAT.

https://www.personalmbacoach.com/gmat-gre-tutoring

Good luck and have a great weekend!

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Scott
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Re: Do I need a supplemental essay?  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2018, 18:16
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I would for sure do a supplemental essay. There are few other places to communicate this type of nuance in the application. Now when it comes to how you represent your GPA, I would follow the direction given in the application at your target schools. Your upward trajectory will be helpful as you make your case
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Re: Do I need a supplemental essay?  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Mar 2018, 06:38
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Hey bschoolapp94
Thanks for posting! If you haven't already, take a close look at the transcript from the institution you graduated from. Does it list any previous programs? Classes? Grades? It's important that you know what your documentation says. (And definitely verify the math on that overall cumulative GPA.) And then yes, please write an optional essay that explains what happened, why, and what you learned from the experience. Be humble. Be mature. Own it.
The three different schools is going to put some pressure on the rest of your app. Everything else needs to be golden. So rock the GMAT please! And make sure your recs are as amazing as possible. Then, create a diverse school strategy. Top 25 is definitely possible but just make sure you've got a mix of schools from the top and the bottom for the best possible shot.
Hope that makes sense!
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Re: Do I need a supplemental essay? &nbs [#permalink] 29 Mar 2018, 06:38
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