2 years ago
Admissions Advice

Bad 11th grade year, can I still get into my targets?

Due to an accident involving my mom and my dad losing his job, I had to work extra hard to make money for me and my brother to survive. Because of this my first semester grades were bad, and so was my third quarter. I’m afraid this may affect my college admission and I might have to pick a different career path? Is there any way to communicate this to anyone viewing my application?

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@Jamalka2 years ago

Of course, you can. But I advise you to spend one more year on preparation if you really doubt your chances.

@camilleh2 years ago

What do you mean by this? Like take a gap year or retake the whole year?

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3 answers

Accepted Answer
2 years ago

It is definitely still possible for you to get accepted to your target schools. As the other answers mentioned, you will be able to explain the extenuating circumstances which impacted your grades in the additional info section of your application portal. This CollegeVine blog post has some tips on how you can write your additional info statement.

Aside from this, also remember that college admissions is a holistic process. Your personal context is taken into account, and so are many more parts of your profile beyond your grades. Good performance on standardized tests, stellar extracurricular achievement, outstanding letters of recommendation, and more can make up for grades that are not the best. Hope this helps!

2 years ago

Yes. When you apply using the common app or coalition app, there is a additional information section where you can write out an explanation for your own situation based on circumstances out of your control. There is no guaranty that the admission officer will advocate for you based on the context of your application file but it might be something that tips the scale in case you are competing against other similar candidates with similar circumstances.

It's hard to tell which schools are more lenient toward special circumstances. I would like to think that all colleges are but I'm certain that some have very specific guidelines they follow with regards to giving applicants a pass on various gaps in their admissions file.

Regardless, you should apply to the schools you would have prior to the accident and also have a back up plan to attend colleges that will take you based on your current grades, ECs, test scores and recommendations.

Hopefully your family is getting back on track and alleviating the necessity for them to lean on you for your income making ability and allow you to focus on getting through HS and applying to college.

Good luck.

2 years ago

The best option is retake any important courses you did bad in Senior year, and do what you can in any other classes. Focus on graduating but also try and salvage your GPA if you can. Try to talk with the admissions office about what happened.

What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

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