3 years ago
Admissions Advice

HS graduate with 3.16 compound GPA, advice for applying to Ivy's?

Student aspiring to apply and get into top ivy schools but with a low GPA, any encouragements? Any advice? Should I go to a community or average college and then transfer with my new stellar GPA to a top elite ivy college? Or should I go to a community or average college and then apply for a master's degree program at a top elite ivy university with my new stellar GPA gained in college?

I feel disappointed, but, any down-to-earth advice?

3 years ago

Hi @pablo.ramos -- Can you please edit the title of your post to remove "what are my chances for admissions for Ivy's?" Chance-me posts are not allowed on CollegeVine, but I don't want to lock your post entirely because it really seems like you're asking for advice on the right college path for you based on your academics and career interests. If you don't edit it soon, I'll have to lock the post. -Your friendly community moderator

[🎤 AUTHOR]@pablo.ramos3 years ago

Changed, sorry.

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3 answers

Accepted Answer
3 years ago[edited]

With a 3.16 GPA, you have less than a 1% chance of getting accepted even to the least competitive Ivy which is Cornell. Therefore it would not be a good use of your time and effort to apply to any of them.

You should NOT feel disappointed because there might have been other circumstances that you encountered during your high school years that prevented you from being a better student. Now that you are interested in bettering yourself, you should focus on that.

Pablo, there are only 15,100 seats at the 8 Ivy League colleges and there are over 400,001 (of out 3.8 million HS students) who applied last year, 5.26% average acceptance rate, so only about 3.76% are matriculated and the majority of them have near-perfect grades 3.9-4.0 and near-perfect test scores, 1480-1600 SAT, 33-36 ACT.

If you are interested in becoming the best version of yourself and potentially attending grad school you should pick a school that will be a better fit for you. First of all, I don't think you would find it pleasant at Ivys even if you got in because just keeping up with the reading and homework will be incredibly difficult. It's like this. Just because you want to play D1 football at USC doesn't mean it's a good idea if you are Class 6A Varsity HS football player. You'll get clobbered. Also, it's very rare to be accepted into an Ivy as a transfer student. I think the transfer rates are as low a 1% for some Ivys.

Therefore my recommendation is that you set your sights down a few notches and try to get into a college where the average admitted GPA is between 3.0-3.4. And I don't know if you have taken the ACT or SAT, but a good score like a 1200+/25+ will help your admissions.

Colleges like that would be the following.

Oregon State University

University of Oregon

University Of Arizona

Arizona State University

Portland State University

University of Kentucky


University of Montana

University of Main

Some UC schools like UCDavis UCSantaCruz,

University of Hawaii

University of Florida

University of Cincinnati

The key thing if you want to go to grad school is that you need to have a high GPA like 3.5 to get into a good grad school so don't pick a college that is too difficult to get mostly As and Bs. Otherwise, you'll be struggling and be in the same situation.

Good Luck

3 years ago

I think you should go to a non ivy school and then transfer.

3 years ago

Hi, this is a great question! Because your gpa is below the 25th percentile it will be very hard to get admitted to an Ivy League school, and at CollegeVine we always say that Ivy League schools are considered reach schools for all students no matter how strong their profile is. Your idea to apply to an Ivy League school after a year at another school or even to apply for grad school is a good idea. It will give you the chance to get your grades up and show your continued interest in the school(assuming you applied when during your senior year). It's ok to feel discouraged, but remember that the Ivy League is incredibly hard to gain admissions to and its not for everyone. In general people place a lot of emphasis on Ivy League, and widely prestigious schools, even though prestige has no bearing on how much you'll like the school and whether or not it will be a good fit for you. Think about the reasons you want to attend an Ivy League school, list them out, and then see where you can find those qualities or characteristics in other schools that would be a target for you.

What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
+ add school
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

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