7 months ago
Admissions Advice

Can I get into a decent college with bad junior year grades?

I was on the track to becoming a straight A student before covid hit... which, I am aware is no surprise as that happened to a lot of people. However, I did horribly my junior year (difficulty adjusting and loss of motivation due to online classes + a death in the family, etc.) and am worried it'll impact my chances of getting into a decent college.

I'm not shooting for a top college or anything, just a good school with a good archaeology/art history/visual arts/etc. program. (I still haven't decided on my major, all I know is it's probably going to be art-related as it is one of my strengths and I cannot see myself doing anything else.) If all else fails, I'll probably do 2 years at a community college before transferring to an in-state uni (please do correct me if this isn't how it works and I can apply for out of state unis).

Some details: I ended sophomore year with mostly A's a few B's along with a 3.6-3.8 GPA on my transcript, and resolved to do my best the following school year to raise my GPA. Needless to say, I did not do my best and ended with mostly C's along with 2 B's and 4 D's my junior year. I'd taken one Honors class and three APs, though I ended up dropping an AP because I decided it wasn't for me.

I plan on taking 4 APs senior year and 2 regular classes. These classes are 5 credits each. According to GPA calculator, if I do credit recovery for all of the classes I got D's in during junior year and get all A's in all of my classes senior year (presumptuous, I know—I'm not even sure if credit recovery will do what I think it will—but I also know I'll be able to regain my motivation when classes are no longer online and perform decently well) and if my calculations are correct, I'll end with a 3.42 unweighted GPA and 3.72 weighted GPA. I've yet to take the ACT/SAT. My extracurriculars are probably lacking (joined a few clubs, entered the district art showcase every(?) year and won 3rd place this year, a part of a "signature academy" at my school (a high-performing public school ranked pretty high) did tech for theatre performances for 2 years).

Any advice/tips would be greatly appreciated.

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3 answers

7 months ago

College admissions offices knows that a lot of people struggled during COVID, they understand and are considerate about it, especially combining that with a death in the family (I’m so sorry for your loss).

If you get great grades in your senior year, you will have shown that you learnt how to adjust and show growth and responsibility.

A 3.4 GPA is not bad in any way, and there are so many great universities that you can get into with that GPA!

My advice is, do the best you can! Try and get great grades, work on your extracurricular activities and perhaps SAT/ACT (most schools will continue to have test optional though).

I promise you, you won’t have a hard time getting into a good college. They think about so much more, grades, test scores (if you send any), extracurriculars, essays etc.

Good luck! :)

7 months ago

So, lucky for you, applications include an essay! Admissions officers don't want to just hear about COVID of course, but this is the opportunity you have to let them know why you would be an awesome student despite what your academic record may lead them to believe. A student's worth is not determined by grades alone, but also by strength of character and what potential you can demonstrate. Additionally, well known elite schools are not the only good schools out there, so even if you go somewhere that lacks a big name, your success depends more on how driven you are to be successful than how the program ranks against others.

My advice: work hard on your essay, stay involved in your extracurriculars, take those standardized tests to see what kind of scores you are able to get, work hard next year, and take many moments to remember that you've already come so far and weathered events that others haven't.

Best wishes to you!

7 months ago[edited]

As said by the previous answer college admissions are going to be looking out for the effects of COVID and very likely will be forgiving on that front. I think you have a very strong chance for good colleges if you make your senior year come back. On paper, it would be evident that COVID was the setback, and that you were able to grow past it. Furthermore, you can use your admissions essay to explain what occurred and emphasize that you overcame it.

I'm so sincerely sorry for your loss, I lost people too. Know you are amazing for caring enough about your future to plan this out and ask for guidance, YOU CAN DO THIS!


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