6 months ago

College applications

Hi my name is Kayla and i'm currently a junior. My GPA is 2.6 which is low and I want to do better. Im going to be taking AP psychology next year and i'm going to do more volunteering. Im worried I won't get into a good college. Im setting up a meeting with my counselor for more advice and what to do. Am I doing okay?


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2 answers

Accepted Answer
5 months ago

As Jael said, AP classes only help your GPA if you do well in them. I encourage you to take that class! Just make sure you prioritize it and get an A! That will help your GPA for sure. You are taking all the right steps to raise it, and I think you're doing awesome. I had about the same GPA you do about a year ago because in eighth grade I took high school classes and did awful in them because I was in and out of hospitals and had no motivation to do any school work, in addition in freshman year I got a D and a C in two of my classes (again) because I was in the hospital. But I've been taking mostly honors and AP classes since then, and now have a 3.5-weighted GPA! It's amazing how much you can do if you dedicate yourself to your goal.

If you want to get into a good college I'd strongly recommend taking AP Psychology, if you can try taking another AP class if you think you can handle it, as I said earlier, AP classes only help if you get a good grade in them, if you get a C or below it might end up hurting you and causing you more stress than it's worth, and it's not worth taking. If your school offers it maybe take AP Economics/Government next year, or see if you can transfer the second semester of this year to an honors or AP class in a class you know you do well in if your counselor thinks it's a good idea. Aim for mostly A's second semester! , especially if the classwork is easy to understand. I know sometimes it's difficult to have the motivation or the time to do work, I've been there, but something that helps me is to remind myself of the goal. Try to think long-term. Even further than college if you can! Consider what you want to do when you're out of school too. If you know what you're interested in you can focus on the classes that matter most to what you want to do. For example, I want to be a dietician. So I'm taking honors chemistry, and next year am taking anatomy and physiology, as well as AP Psychology, which are all super important for the kind of work I want to do as a dietician. If you want to be an engineer focus on your engineering class and your math and STEM classes, or if you want to be an English teacher focus on your English classes, etc. Once you have your eye on the end goal, it becomes so much easier to focus on your school work and make it a priority. In my freshman year, I had no idea what I wanted to do, and I didn't care, because I was so caught up in the moment, and not looking down the road. I think the fact that you came on here to ask what to do, and have talked to your counselor about how to raise your GPA is a huge step in the right direction. If you know what you want to do after college, plan for that. If you don't know that's OK too! Wanting to get into a good college is still a great motivation as well.

I believe that anyone can reach their goals if they put in the work, and find the right resources, and you can too.

And colleges don't just look at GPA either! Your ECs and application are also just as important. Maybe start brainstorming impactful application essay ideas. I'm going to write about an event in my life that's personal to me and affected me every day of my life, but also what I learned from it and how it made me grow as a person. That last part is super important for your essay, even if you have a lower GPA and average ECs, you can strongly make an impact on the people reading your application if you leave them with something more than just, "I got straight A's and did a bunch of ECs," you need to tell them that you deserve your spot at their college because of you as a person AND your grades.

Volunteering is a great step for your application. And remember, any sports that you've done (if you've done any) also can go on your ECs! Try not to focus too much on doing a bunch of volunteering at different places, try to narrow your interests down and volunteer for things that matter to you and focus on that. For me, I could do a summer internship at a local hospital, or work for a helpline for people struggling with mental health, to show my interest in the specific thing I'm majoring in, which is dietetics. Explore what interests you most, and run with that!

You're doing great and I'm so glad that you want to improve because that's half the battle!

6 months ago

Hi Kayla!

Things like AP, DE, and honors can raise your GPA- if you do well in them. What works for some students does not work for everyone. If you are struggling in specific classes, get help from a classmate or tutor (hs often have peer tutoring programs that cost nothing). Another thing that can make up for a lower GPA is a high SAT/ACT score.

I will honestly tell you that you should not expect to get into presitigious schools with your stats. I recommend making an account with Collegeboard BigFuture and putting in your info. Then you can see school recommendations. Be sure to look at safety, target, and reach schools.

Another option is to take a semester or 2 of community college first, then transfer into a university. Transfer students often have less requirements than first-year students. There is no shame in starting with a local community college; it can save a lot of money and proves your ability to handle college. This is often a wise route for students with low GPA's.

Also, consider what you enjoy when deciding major. Some careers are better trained for at technical schools or other. I myself am going to a university that is not highly thought of for academics b/c I am going for their practical hands-on learning, which they are known for. I could attend a bigger name school but it wouldn't prepare me as well for my life work. There is no wrong route as long as you do what will best prepare you for your career.

Hope this helps and if you have any questions, feel free to reply!

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Duke University
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


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