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


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

What's an effective way to explain bad grades to colleges in my application?

I had a rough sophomore year because of some family issues and my grades suffered as a result. How can I highlight my persistence and improvement in my application, and explain the situation to colleges?

9 months ago

First of all, I'm sorry to hear about the challenges you faced during your sophomore year. It's understandable that such circumstances may have impacted your academic performance. Now, regarding your question, there are several strategies to help emphasize your persistence and explain the situation to colleges effectively.

One way is to address it in your personal statement or supplemental essays, where you could talk about the personal growth you experienced as a result of overcoming those challenges. Show your resilience by highlighting how you bounced back from that rough patch, and how it has made you the person you are today.

Alternatively, you could also have one of your recommenders mention the situation in their letter on your behalf. This way, it becomes a third-party account of your perseverance, which can be powerful. Just make sure to discuss it with the recommender beforehand to ensure they address it appropriately.

Lastly, some applications have an 'Additional Information' section, where you can briefly explain any extenuating circumstances. This might be another opportunity to provide context for your grades in a straightforward manner.

Remember, colleges value resilience and growth, so showcasing how you overcame obstacles and came back stronger is a good approach.

9 months ago

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