2 months ago
Admissions Advice

What can I do better?

Hi, my name is Julie and I'm a sophmore who goes to an IB public highschool. I have my sights set pretty high college-wise, such as Barnard and NYU. My current GPA is a 3.8 weighted and a 4.5 unweighted. So far, I've taken 2 AP classes and 6 honor classes. The reason these stats are so low is because I just changed schools, and came from one that didn't offer either types of classes. To be honest, I feel like I'm kind of playing catch-up with everyone else. Next year, I plan to take 7 IB classes (Three HL), and one regular class. But still, I feel like I'm not doing enough. Do I take college classes or summer programs? How can I guarantee I'll be impressive? Do I volunteer? I also feel kinda screwed because last year my average was B's and C's, and now they are all A's. But can colleges look past that? Alongside of that, I get main roles in my theater department, am an active member of my school's student government, I do sports, and 5 other clubs. I just am very anxious about it all, and I don't have to technically worry about it yet. Any advice at all would be beyond appreciated, even if it is something I wouldn't really wanna hear. Thank you :)

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3 answers

Accepted Answer
2 months ago

Hi, Welcome to Collegevine! First off, as a sophomore, that GPA is really solid. Props to you! Your coursework rigor looks really good, and I think what you're worried about is some B's and C's last year. Colleges definitely look past it, and if you get good grades after that, it can benefit you by showing how you've grown into a good student.

For example, I had a 3.1 freshman year. Last year, I had a 3.8 (which gave me an overall GPA of 3.3) and this year, I have a 4.0 (Which gives me a 3.64 overall). Colleges love that kind of thing, seeing growth and overcoming challenges.

Student government is also great. I do it too and it demonstrates leadership skills which colleges adore. All in all, you look really good. I would aspire to be a sport captain or a captain of multiple sports, as it can seriously help, and as a captain I can say it's a rewarding experience anyway.

I would recommend, for you, to volunteer and help organize local events, or do something with a local church if you are Christian. Also, I would recommend starting to think about who you want to get letters of recommendation from, as most colleges require at least one.

Hope you're well!

2 months ago

Hi, Julie! Welcome to CollegeVine! Firstly, OH MY GOODNESS ANOTHER IB STUDENT!!! We are few and far between around these parts.

TL;DR: You are doing great. Seek out opportunities you think will be of value to you. Don't forget to make relationships with your teachers and peers. Stay authentic. I'm rooting for you!

First of all, because you changed schools, admissions officers will see that the switch coincided with your course rigor really picking and up and reach that conclusion. As for your B's and C's, school's like to see improvement, and expect it since 9th graders are finding their footing. Since you seem dedicated to taking rigorous courses (#IBCANdidates), your admissions officer will take notice and you will likely be a competitive applicant (so long as you keep your grades up).

Now, for the part you may not want to hear: don't do things to look impressive. That's a sure way to make high school miserable (and as IB students, enough misery awaits us...no need to seek it out). Do 5 clubs because you love being in those clubs, do student government because you enjoy it most of the time, play sports because you want to. I know that sounds like idealism, but if you worry less about doing things that will make colleges impressed and more about what will make you personally feel accomplished, your application will show authenticity because you'll have something to say about what you've done.

Finally, DON'T FORGET TO MAKE CONNECTIONS WITH YOUR TEACHERS! It's easier in small schools (like mine where my graduating class is 40 students), but important at all schools. Ask questions in class, help your peers, and have conversations with your teachers. Especially if they are an advisor in a club you value highly, that will make your recommendation letter even better.

Also, NYU's average GPA is like 3.7. You're fine. Barnard is higher, but good rec letters and test scores can help.

a month ago[edited]

Hi, thank you for asking your question! I agree with both @JonathanB and @Jack_req, and welcome to CollegeVine! In addition to what they said in the previous responses, this video may be very informative for you, especially when applying to selective schools. But as a TLDR; I'll include some salient points to consider:

1) Aim for an upwards trend in your course rigor and GPA over the four years of high school

2) Try to align your major-of-interest (if you have one for undergrad) with your ECs. Created a specialized application that is well focused on your future studies in undergrad and potential career will help you stand out as an applicant. Here's a blog post that may better explain this concept.

3) Make genuine connections with your teachers and mentors because they can write amazing letters of recommendation for you.


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