7 months ago
Admissions Advice

Should I try to get into University of Michigan if my GPA is on the lower side?

Hi. I'm a sophmorre and my gpa is on the lower side of the average to get into University of Michigan. I was wondering if I should even attempt to try to get in. Like do I have a shot if I have really good EC's and SAT/ACT scores and essay? Or would they just get rid of application before reading the entire thing? Please be brutally honest.


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Accepted Answer
7 months ago

If you look at previous UMich common data sets you can infer that the 2 top criteria for admissions are 1.) The rigor of secondary school record and 2.) GPA. Why is this important? Because each top school prioritizes what the admissions officers need to focus on. In comparison to Yale, the most important factors are 1.) Rigor 2.) Class Rank 3.) GPA 4.) Application Essay 5.) Recommendations 6.) ECs, 7.) Talent / Ability and 8.) Character / Personal Qualities. And much is true for the other Elite private universities and liberal arts colleges. All this information is in the public record and to access the CDS for any school, just type the school and "common data set" after it. Typically you'll be redirected to a portal so you should look at the most recent ones which are for the 2020-2021 admissions cycle.

So what the uptick? It's that privates take a more holistic view when it comes to admissions. For example, UMich does not consider race or ethnic status so if you are a BIPOC applicant you will not get the same consideration that a Black or LatinA student gets by applying to perhaps a better college. Also UMich. may or may not give you the same consideration if you are applying from out of state versus someone from Michigan. At UMich they consider your level of interest so it's probably better to apply Early Action. But at Yale, they don't care because they get many applicants anyway.

Also from the UMich website and CDS, you can get GPA data. At UMich the average GPA is 3.90. A year ago 30.8% of admits had perfect 4.0s. And 55.5% had 3.75-3.99 UWGPA. This tells me that unless you are recruited athlete, or legacy, or another special candidate (like the former President's daughter), you can't bank on getting in with a UWGPA under 3.75. You didn't disclose your UWGPA so I don't know where you fall under their GPA table.

My recommendation is that you do more independent research and determine whether it's worthwhile applying there or not. If you do not think you can achieve a 3.75 UWGPA and not a special candidate, I would consider not applying there.

The admissions cycles will continue to be extremely competitive over the next few years so if you have a gap in your academic record, it would be best to apply to schools that will give you some more consideration for making up for that deficit with Standardized Test Scores, AP or IB scores, Essays, Recommendations, ECs and community service or a more holistic review of your qualifications.

I feel that UMich had a less generous holistic review process compared to schools that may be higher ranked or have more clout so keep that in mind.

Good luck.


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