back to questions

Do Universities consider low GPA for international students?


I am currently studying in India an switched my board from ICSE to SSC ( From central to state board) in my junior year of high school. I scored 96% in tenth standard and 63%(!!) in eleventh. This was because the SSC is very, very strict in paper corrections, plus it came as a total change to me. So now, I have a very low GPA (around 3.2) for an international applicant to UCSB. I am planning to take the SAT soon and through practice tests, I know I am definitely going to score a 1400+. Will UCSB consider my exceptionally low GPA? According to Indian semesters I have already entered my 12th. Can I do anything to increase my GPA?


1 answer

answered on
Accepted answer

Hi there! You ask some very good questions regarding your GPA. To start, I would like to say that if you are applying to top 20 schools in the US, your GPA may not cut it. But in regards to applications to UCSB, according to the Prepscholar blog, the average GPA at UCSB is a 3.39, so you are very close. Your test scores may make up for how your GPA is lacking, if you do end up scoring exceptionally on the SAT, which it sounds like you will!

Now onto the question of how to increase your GPA. I am not particularly well versed in the way of bringing up your faltering GPA, but I can offer you some tips of how I got my grades from lower than I wanted to average. (Please regard that I do not know how Indian schools work, I only know the American school system, so please do not hesitate to reach out for clarification)

1. Get a tutor for classes where you are struggling.

2. Ask your teacher if you can correct anything or make any work up.

3. Prioritize your schoolwork.

4. STUDY for tests, especially finals! This saved me in my math class when I was on the edge of an A and an A-.

5. Utilize online resources such as Khan Academy! (They're super helpful, and free!)

Good luck with everything, and I hope you get into UCSB!

Thank you so much! I will really harder to focus on my SAT, but like I stated earlier, I have already started with my 12th grade this April ( we have academic years from April to April) and so my UC GPA score is fixed. Unfortunately, we don’t even have anything like ‘AP classes’ or ‘honours’ to increase our weighted GPA. Do you think I should state on why I got such low grades in the latter, or it would just draw unnecessary attention on weak stuff?
Hi again! I definitely think that you have done really well in school, but when you are interviewing or writing essays for college, you should definitely capitalize on your strengths, which I have no doubt you have many! If you are given the opportunity, you should definitely explain what happened, especially because you are an international applicant, and things sound much different from the US! Good luck with your SAT and feel free to ask me anything further! I'm really rooting for you!
Thanks dude! Your reply really helped me a lot to clear up my doubts. I just had one more you know I am already going to take the SAT. My schooling upto 12th grade is in English too. Do you have any idea on weather I am considered proficient in English? Will I have to appear for TOEFL or IELTS? I have to apply for admission from October to November, and taking one SAT and two subject SATs in this short period of time seems challenging enough, especially in this moment of uncertainty..
I'm not 100% sure, but I do think that you are considered proficient in English. You may want to contact your counselor, or possibly get in contact with the admissions director or USCB. Sorry I couldn't completely answer your question, but good luck! Definitely reach out if you have further questions!
Okay:)) Thank you so much btw... u helped me clear a lot of doubts. That’s all I had for now ;)