17 days ago

Low GPA: is my reasoning valid enough/am I cooked?

Hi! So I am currently a rising junior and I am really scared about my gpa specifically.

So in freshman year I got a 2.98 gpa, I got mostly A-'s and B's but I had one C+ in math.

For sophomore year I got about a 3.5-3.56 even though I got straight A's the second half of the year, my school averages them out across the year. (I got an A in math this year though and switched up a level for junior year)

Also I'll note that my school doesn't offer honors except for math in freshman year which I didn't take, but for 10th grade I took 3/4 available honors with the exception of math

This was my situation:

I have severe ADHD and I was diagnosed right before covid and was prescribed medication by a physiatrist who barely knew me at all. Then, of course, covid hit and during lockdown I was not taking my medication because it seemed pointless to endure the side effects if I didn't need to go to school. After covid when I started going back to school and taking my meds, my physiatrist switched out 5 times over several years, me barely getting to know any of them. This put me in the position where I was 15 in sophomore year still taking the same medication prescribed to me as a trail by a psychiatrist in the beginning of 6th grade who barely knew me. After the first quarter of sophomore year, I realized this medication really wasn't working for me and despite me really wanting to do well in school my ADHD symptoms were making it very hard. This is when I meet my 6th psychiatrist, who I tell all of this to, and she decides to up my Aderall dose from 15mg to 40mg in the morning + 20mg in the afternoon if I needed to do hw/study. This ends up having profound effects on my body and I exponentially lose my sleep and appetite which results in exhaustion, brain fog, and anxiety to the point where my finger nails were turning blue and I was in near constant physical pain. Despite this, I was so motivated to do well in school and would study endlessly and completely isolate myself from my friends. Due to the medications effect on me however, during tests I would experience severe brain fog, lose focus, and be unable to use my full cognitive ability for obvious reasons, which then caused me to be extremely anxious and breakdown and spend multiple hours on the test even though I studied so hard. In the midst of this, I had a destabilizing home situation that caused me to live in a hotel and different types of temporary housing. After a complete breakdown of my mental and physical health from all of this, spring break started and when I came back after two weeks I got a ADHD specialist psychiatrist and a new prescription that worked WONDERS for me. So for the last 2/5ths of school I was doing really well with ease, deepened my extracurriculars, and overall was a star student. Even though I explained my situation to teachers, they all said it would be unfair to other students to weigh my work in the second half of the year higher.

I am a really hardworking student and I consider myself quite smart too. I know for a fact with this new medication I will fly through the rest of high school and hopefully achieve my goals outside of school as well! I really want to go to NYU stern, and I have some pretty strong business related EC's and I am studying really hard to prove myself with the SAT. Given I stay on this upwards projection and prove myself at my weakest subjects (I actually moved up a level in math for next year and have found a new love for it) is it possible for me to still get into a top school even with my considerably low gpa?

Also if you have any suggestions, I would love to hear! Also, give it to me straight, I can take it ;)! and sorry for all the grammar mistakes and such in this post lol.

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Accepted Answer
17 days ago

Hi there! All of this information sounds reasonable to me. There's a section on the common application where you can explain your circumstances. Additionally, colleges like to see an upward trend in grades. Make sure to work super hard your junior and senior year. I will say that these poor grades will affect your chances, but that's no reason not to apply. One of my friends applied thinking that he had zero chance, but he made it and I know he would have regretted it if he didn't sent that application in. Another good idea if you want to go to NYU is to attend a summer program there before your senior year. This shows demonstrated interest, which NYU takes into account. Best of luck!

What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
+ add school
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

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