3 years ago
Admissions Advice

GPA dropping for mid-year reports

I am 9th of my class and have a high GPA since I have always had A's. However, I do not think I can get an A in Spanish this quarter because I had to jump from Spanish 2 to Spanish 5 for IB. Should I put this circumstance down under the extra information category for the common app? Since college admissions are a come-and-go process do you think I should just try to get my applications in before my semester grades come out so I have a good GPA on my first report? How likely is it that I get accepted but my acceptance becomes withdrawn because of the drop in class rank and GPA from my bad Spanish grade?

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5 answers

3 years ago

First of all, a single B is not a bad grade. You're not going to be disqualified because you have 1 B, especially when that B is after you apply. Colleges don't care too much about 12th-year grades, but they just don't want you to slack off (if you're applying competitive, that means no C's).

About mentioning that in your additional info, don't. That place is for actual hardships, so many guides say the same thing: don't complain that you weren't able to get an A in the class, even if you worked really hard to jump between classes.

Quote from https://www.collegeessayguy.com/blog/common-app-additional-info-guide-examples : "2. DETAILS THAT SHOW YOU MIGHT BE OVERLY OBSESSED WITH ACADEMIC PERFECTION

If you have straight As, or near straight As, and you got a B+ in one class, don’t explain that B+. Why? It may backfire, revealing qualities that are not super flattering. It’s like when you walk into someone’s house and it’s in immaculate condition (but it’s clear someone has cleaned the place recently) and they’re like, “Sorry the place is such a mess...” and you’re thinking, Come on, really?"

Hope that clarifies it for you.

2 years ago

Hi @4catherineli,

I agree with @Kefe that a B shouldn't be reported on your Additional Information section. I also don't think that one B will be the reason you are not accepted, and will definitely not be a reason to withdraw your acceptance once you receive one from a school.

Hope this helps!

3 years ago

Hi @4catherineli!

A single bad grade will not be enough to disqualify you, even at elite schools. Admissions officers will be looking at your transcript as a whole, and if you're worried because you've never had a B before, you're doing pretty well.

So, there's no need to write a note about this in the additional information section — that spot is instead meant for you to explain difficult circumstances (e.g. a health issue). Since admissions officers will already be looking at your transcript for academic patterns, they'll be able to see that this came after a pretty hefty jump in grade level. And if Spanish isn't related to your intended major, a single B will probably matter even less.

At this point, the most important thing you can do now regarding your semester grades is get them in on time. Rescinded admissions are very rare, and a B here or there would not be cause for one — in fact, as others have pointed out, a B is still a good grade!

If you would still like to express yourself on this issue in your application, the place to do that would be your essays. A story about overcoming academic expectations and learning to accept your first B could make a compelling personal narrative. Overall, though, I think you're doing great!

3 years ago

One B should not make a difference, and a B is still a good grade. It's especially won't matter much because it's not one of your core classes, which are more important than a language. As long as you are active in other outside school activities like clubs or volunteering, you should be accepted into a college if you have good enough grades and the required/wanted courses. However, if you don't, colleges are unlikely to want you. They want a well-rounded, good student in their college, not someone obsessed with grades (I struggle myself with this a little bit). As long as you have what the college wants, you will be fine unless something else major happens, which isn't likely to happen, but if something unexpected happens, it's good to be prepared.

3 years ago

I do not believe most colleges care if you got a B or an A in Spanish. However, they do care about your class difficulties, and you are not being fixated on grades. Do you do anything outside of school? What are you passionate about? If your answers are "no" and "grades," you have a small chance of getting into a good college even with all As

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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