Is my application competitive enough for a top school?
My GPA-Unweighted(3.88)-Weighted(4.15) and I just took my ACT less than two weeks ago (Got scores between 31 and 34 on practice exams). I plan to also take two Sat subject tests such as math 2 and US History. I play Hockey and Tennis for my High School during the schol year. I am a State Officer for Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), I am our High School Chapter President as well, I am secretary for our High Schools DECA organization, I am a member of National Honor Society, and a member of our schools student council. I have had numerous hours of community service and I am very passionate in everything I do. Should I consider applying to top colleges or am I wasting my time?
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It is possible to get into a top college with a C or two, but it will make things harder. How much the C's will impact your chances really depends on a few factors:
1. Which classes were they in? The more related to your field of study, the more of a negative impact they'll have.
2. Are your other grades strong? By your GPA, it seems that you get mostly A's, so that's definitely in your favor.
3. Were there special circumstances that led to the C's? Some common reasons might be an illness or family death. These circumstances can be explained in the "Additional Information" section of the Common App.
4. How do the other aspects of your application stack up?
The higher the ACT score you can get, the better. It's good that you're already scoring within Columbia's middle 50% range (33-35) on your practice tests (see their accepted student stats here: https://undergrad.admissions.columbia.edu/classprofile/2023). It sounds like you've been working hard on your extracurriculars too - the stronger those are, the better as well.
You can't go back and erase the C's, so the best thing for you to do is to focus on getting a stellar ACT score and really developing your ECs, which it sounds like you're already doing - so keep at it!
If you want more info on how a C might impact your chances, here's a CollegeVine article that might help:
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