So I recently got my transcript and I noticed I had 3 B's from Freshman year (which was virtual learning) in my honors and AP classes and this year started off and I also got 2 B's on the first-semester report card. My GPA is a is a 92% or 3.7 UW
I know these B's are gonna set me back when applying to universities like Rice and other top-tier ones but I would like to know HOW significantly reduced my chances are and my chances of getting IN with these B's.
Thanks in advance!
If your goal is to get into a STEM focused Elite college like Rice, CMU, GTech or CalTech, then your Bs in Math and STEM subjects will hold you back for sure.
Most successful admits at these types of schools not only have their best grades in Math and STEM classes but they also take advanced maths like Real analysis, Differential Equations, Linear Algebra and Physics C electro/magnetism as well.
The most important thing to do if you want to get into these kinds of schools is show evidence that you have mastered the material. You don't have to take the same HS classes over but you have to show initiative and grit in getting through the material outside of HS.
In my case, my weakest subject was math. So during Jr. year summer school I enrolled in an online college Calculus course on outlier.org. I was one of the first HS students to enroll in that and most of my classmates were college students. I found that having 3 different teachers and 3 different teaching methods helpful for me to grasp the concepts and power through the work load. I was able to get a 94 and a solid A and 3 college credits with a transcript issued by UPitt. who is the outlier backoffice partner.
Since then I noticed that outlier, also has College Algebra and College Pre-Calc available as well. I found the fee super reasonable compared to enrolling in UPitt directly or any other Top100 college program. I think they also have courses in STEM like Astronomy and Data Science as well. I think there is a new - pre-college core program that earns you 12 transferable college credits.
The alternative to this is enrolling in Community College after 10th grade and 11th grade summers to stack some Math/STEM coursework under your belt.
Less impressive is studying for an AP and then taking the test. I think colleges like to see their admits actually taking the AP classes and taking the tests.
MOOCS like eDx.org and Coursera prop up intellectual vitality however these sorts of classes often are short and lack depth and breadth of the subject matter to compete with a semester or year long core class.
Whether or not your prop your GPA to 3.9 or not will matter less than showing the college admissions office that you hit a snag with Math/STEM coursework and challenged yourself to overcome the deficit. That should be your priority if you truly wish to attend these types of colleges.
We, collectively as humans, all have our unique ideal ways to learn complex content like Calculus or Chemistry. Some of us just can't focus w/ online learning, and have to learn in person. Other just need a different teaching style that works for us. And for others, its a combination of multiple things in order to get to the next level.
So while my answer requires you to take full responsibility for your past grades and change the narrative in order for college admissions officers to evaluate you, it is not something everyone wants to do or can do. So before you embark on fixing these gaps, ask yourself how badly you really want this and whether you are willing to do great deal of extra work outside of normal school hours to correct it.
I wouldn't worry at all. These schools look for an upward trend and are especially forgiving about grades during online schooling. Keep doing well and work hard these next few years and all you're showing them is that you're resilient. You got this!
I don't think that anyone could be able to tell you EXACTLY how much your chances are reduced with 5 B's in 3 semesters. I don't have the context into how many honors/AP classes you are taking. If you are handling a heavy load for course rigor, then I think that you're good. If you only took a few Honors/APs, and got Bs in those, then you might be hurt by that. Overall though, colleges look at trends. If you get less B's in your junior/senior year, then colleges probably will look over your early imperfections. If, however, you are consistently getting 3-4 B's a year, colleges might start doubting your ability to handle advanced work. I will say that, for now, you still have plenty of time to increase your UW GPA to a 3.8 or above. Hope that helps :)
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