Will a few really bad grades detract from my otherwise stellar transcript?Answered
Hi, I'm a junior who is planning to apply to colleges this fall. Throughout high school, I have gotten nearly all As in all my classes. Not a single B. However, I have 4 very low grades, and two are in the same subject. These grades range from C+ to D+. I took a very sharp dip in my grades in the first semester junior year due to many external factors, and I'm in my second semester now and doing well, but I'm afraid I've ruined my chances at getting into my target colleges. My overall GPA is still a 3.8 currently, and I'm expecting it to go up, but does that even matter anymore considering these few very low grades? What can I do to make up for them? Any advice? Will a college be lenient with me in this if I show that I've improved throughout my junior year and into my senior year?
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No, 4 lower grades do not necessarily detract from your transcript. What is a bit unclear about this question is whether those were quarter or semester grades, depending on how your school functions, which contribute differently to your GPA. Additionally, I do not know how many classes you are allowed to take each year. But, nonetheless, schools are usually forgiving of a few lower grades, especially if you explain the reason for them in your essay. So, to your question, I would focus on that aspect of your application significantly. Additionally, continue to work on keeping your grades up: try to maintain those A's like you were before! Another way you could compensate for a few lower grades, especially if you are worried about it, would be to study hard for the ACT/SAT and submit a high score. Extra-Curriculars also matter. College admissions know you are a person-- not a machine-- and they recognize that external factors may influence grades. If you were an otherwise-consistent student, I would think your chances of admission, especially to a target school, would not notably decrease. Assuming you are challenging yourself by taking difficult courses and have an otherwise-strong profile for those target schools, I would think that you would be just fine. You probably still have a great shot at your hard target schools, too, and reach schools aren't off the table either. Good luck!
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