2 years ago
Admissions Advice

Need advice on how to improve my application

Hi Guys,

So I'm kinda in a situation that's not ideal, so I'm asking on here if anyone can give me some advice. I'm a rising senior at a very competitive high school in Illinois, and I've had good grades my sophomore and freshman year (almost all A's with 2 B+'s) BUT... during my junior year I screwed it up because of covid, fam issues, my first year of AP's, etc. this year and I got (shivers) ... 4 C's Total over the entire year. I know, it's really bad. I'll give you guys my stats and extracurriculars (which I think are very strong [referring to clubs, etc. not stats], but I want advice). BTW I was hoping to apply to schools like Duke, idk if that's still possible tho :(( what do you guys think?

After my junior year grades, my stats are: (context: I come under the asian category and I'm female so not super impressive stats or anything compared to my future competition)

unweighted GPA: 4.45/5 this translates to a 3.45/4 for admission process :(

weighted GPA: 5.2(ish - it's gonna go higher cuz I'm getting an honors thing but idk by how much.)/5 this would translate to a 4.2(ish)/4

SAT: aiming for a 1500+ soon but not there yet

If it helps, I got an A in a Econ program at UChicago, so maybe that helps alleviate the bad grades;

Still waiting on AP Exam scores, so hopefully I did good on those

My extracurriculars tho: (SheEesh or maybe I'm just hyping myself up in hopes that I go to a good uni idk)

- Director of a state wide program that has to do with mental health, has a good brand name + implemented across the country.


- Music Honors Society + First chair in my orchestra

- Commissioner of Link Crew (another organization thing that is in multiple schools)

- Student Voice Committee (we make SEL lessons that are taught in the entire school and get brand deals from companies sometimes)

- Doing an Internship with a non profit in Africa to provide education for women and children

- volunteer hours: reaching 100 by the end of the summer @ a food pantry + some online volunteering

- went to state for business professionals of America (this probs doesn't count tho since state is the first round lmao)

- varsity girls track and field (maybe captain next year?? I have a good chance)

Additional Question:

When universities look at my application, there's usually a cut off, so will they reject my app without looking at it, just based on my unweighted GPA? Some schools look at Weighted GPA, so in that case, I think I should be fine, but would the reject my application after seeing the bad letter grades? The bad grades are from rigorous classes like AP Physics 1 (our school has the rep for the hardest course in the country being THE AP Physics taught at our school), APUSH, and Pre-calc Honors. Let me know what you guys think. Thank you for reading all of this :)

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[🎤 AUTHOR]@ggggggg2 years ago

sry y'all it's me again - just to provide more context, I've taken all Honors and AP classes - this year I took 3, next year (senior year) I'm taking 7

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Accepted Answer
2 years ago

I think that you can still be a competitive applicant! Your unweighted GPA will be above the automatic cutoffs that most colleges use, which is typically in the 2.0 range or below. You can see in university admission statistics that some students still get accepted with lower GPAs than you'd expect, and this is because the admissions process is holistic.

Your weighted GPA and impressive course rigor will balance out a lot of the damage from the C's. Your extracurriculars are also pretty solid. I would say that if you can get an SAT score above 1500, write essays that stand out, and explain the context behind your C's in the Additional Information section, you will have a fair chance at good schools. Duke will be a reach, just because it is a reach for the vast majority of students, but you will certainly be competitive for schools in the T50 list. Hope this helps!

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


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

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