6 months ago
Admissions Advice

What to do if junior year during covid ruined GPA

I used to be a straight A student and had 3.9 GPA. Because of covid, my grades dropped. I'm wondering what the best advice for me would be moving forward? I'm not expecting to get into an extremely prestigious school, but I would still like to go to somewhere nice. Anybody have any advice?

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2 answers

Accepted Answer
6 months ago

I can’t say anything for certain, but it does look like you have something strong to write about in your essays - your struggles as a result of COVID-19. I think writing a very strong/inspirational/moving essay about how you had to persevere could give you a decent chance. However, keep in mind that others also have experienced what you describe, so make sure your essays can top theirs. Using the “peer review” essays on collegevine can be a great start

6 months ago[edited]

(Not an admissions officer, so please take everything I say with a grain of salt. Literally have not even been through the college admissions process yet, this is just a summary of the advice I've heard online. Realizing now that I probably am not qualified to post this, but leaving it up because I did hear this info in reputable sources. But please do take this lightly.)

If you didn't have any special circumstances due to Covid (ie additional family responsibilities, financial worries, sickness), then I would focus on upgrading other parts of your section - make sure you have strong extracurriculars that you are passionate about, write a inspirational and unique essay and try to get good recommendation letters. There's not much that can be done about your grades right now, so do the best you can to move on and not beat yourself up for struggling to learn during a global pandemic.

If you could get one of your teachers to write about what you did well during Covid (ie perseverance, trying to stay engaged despite challenges, etc), then I might try to get their perspective on that (if this isn't an option, don't worry about it). However, I would try to avoid dwelling on this in the rest of your application, especially in your essay. Admissions officers will probably read thousands of essays about how Covid caused students to struggle with school and life, so as true as those sentiments might be, they won't stand out (unless you had a special circumstance, then check the next paragraph). Instead of focusing on the dip in your grades, focus on the good things you did before or during Covid. What differences did you make? How did you help your community?

If you did have added stress compared to other students due to Covid (ie someone in the family got sick, more family responsibilities, financial pressure), put that in the additional information section. You definitely could consider writing an about that in your essay, since its more unique, but make sure you emphasize the positive and not the negative (imaginary scenario would be: write about you persevered to get an A on a specific test despite having to work a job to support your family and being stressed about finances, instead of writing about how having to work a job caused you get a B in the class overall).

Either way, you're doing a great job and admissions officers will notice your strong grades before Covid and recognize Covid's impact on the trends. Instead of worrying about things you can't change (if you can change your grades, improve them!!), focus on making sure the other parts of your application set you apart as a strong applicant.


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