Will a C- and other C's affect my chances of getting into an Ivy League such as Princeton?
I just checked my transcript and saw that I have 3 C's on my transcript. I'm an A- student but struggled within the past two years due to depression. I got one C my freshman year and 2 sophomore year. My gpa isn't the best but pretty good, I have a 3.6 weighted. I got a C- freshman year in English but the following year, sophomore year, I finished the year with a 90. However, I've raised up my English grade throughout the year and I'm going to be in an English honors class junior year! Sophomore year I got 2 C's on Spanish and Geometry. But, I raised up both grades and I will be going into Algebra 2 honors and AP Spanish and Literature my junior year. I've improved. Will this impress the Ivy League admissions office or will it still affect my chances of getting into Princeton University? Should I still apply? If not, how can I improve my chances of getting in?
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Hi! I hope you saw my comments before but I’ll put them here just in case. First of all good on you for working jobs to support yourself/your family, admittedly I don’t have the same financial burden but I am really proud of you and that is inspiring. I agree that your gpa is very low but here is nothing you can do now other than improve, and take as many high level classes as you can. good job for digging yourself out of your mental illness by getting help or helping yourself- that is so difficult and I know firsthand it will always be a struggle. To answer your question, no, don’t pick up a sport your junior year unless you find that it helps you cope w your depression. it will take time away from what little free time you have (track is a HUGE time commitment) and sports are not impressive to admissions officers unless you have a national title or something or if you’re going to college specifically to become a recruited athlete.
Some other things to keep in mind are that colleges will look at your unweighted gpa converted onto a 4.0 scale, so you should consider that to be your GPA, and they will also look at your transcript. The harsh reality is that if you only take one or two out of 9 ap classes your school offers and you have an unweighted GPA below like a 3.8 you won’t be considered for Princeton, where you really need to take almost every AP class you can and you need to have all As and A+ with the occasional B or B+. To get up to those levels try to work your best to take harder honors and AP classes and improve your GPA by doing your absolute best junior and senior year. If your academics are lacking also put some effort into getting a high level SAT or ACT score which can boost your admissions.
IT might be in your best interest to look at some other competitive colleges that aren’t in the Ivy tier since they are so highly selective and will require you to be top 10% of your high school. Good luck and I hope this helped you and wasn’t too harsh :,)
Never say never, If you take hard classes junior year and really work to get all A's than your GPA should boost significantly and show growth to colleges. There is also space on applications to explain the reason why you got bad grades so you can use that to your advantage. Despite this your GPA will probably still be on the slightly lower end compared to other applicants, however if you do really really well on the ACT ,I would say 34 or above, it would show that you are academically competent compared to others because grades to colleges are largely a reflection of how well you will do in their school and be able to handle the course work, and if you do well on the ACT it will show that despite your GPA you still have the scores and brains to be a competitive applicant. Also are you a minority student, first generation, or low income ? You don't have to answer that to me if you don't want to but colleges also take those things into consideration and you having a diverse background or life struggles will make admission officers more inclined to look past a few bad grades in favor of looking at the context of your life.
To be honest, a 3.6 weighted is extremely low for Princeton. That being said, it’s not impossible. Try to get straight A’s for the rest of high school (or as close to all A’s as possible), and take rigorous courses. The fact that you’re taking AP Spanish is very good. Also remember, junior year is the most important year for grades. Another thing to keep in mind is that colleges like it when you’re grades are on an upward trend, and improve each year. Make sure to write about how you have improved, and keep it positive. You for sure still have a chance at Princeton, but it might be very difficult. Hope this helps!
Sorry to hear about your struggle with depression. It's wonderful that you have high aspirations. And you should be proud of yourself for trying so hard and taking care of your family at the same time.
The comments below are very thoughtful and realistic so I will not repeat what has been said. Given your depression issues you may reconsider the Ivies since they are so competitive. They can be a very hard place to be, and you could be very unhappy if you do get in. The competition is very considerable.
Many of my son's friends have applied and been rejected. These kids had stellar grades and scores. For example: one girl had a 3.96 unweighted GPA with 13 AP classes and a 1580 her SAT. She was lacking in other areas such as extra-curriculars and had no hooks. She was rejected form every Ivy League school she applied to including Princeton! She is now happily at Wash U.
Do you have a counselor at school who can help you explore colleges? They may be able to help you think about the right fit schools for you. You will find a great school. Good luck!