2 years ago
Admissions Advice

3.5 gpa

rising senior - I have a 3.5 uw 3.8/3.9 w which I know is really low but I struggled so much last year with remote learning. 31 act composite but i might retake (i got 35 in english, 33 in reading so math and science tanked it. if i focus on those two subjects i can get it up but I have already taken it 3 times) I have pretty good extracurriculars (member of 1 club, officer in 1, trying to start 2 clubs, stuco member, spring sport. outside of school: exec board for 1 statewide organization, comp sci project with an organization, potentially 2 positions in other really good organizations). I want to major in political science and economics. I would say 80% of students in my school go into STEM or business.

how much can i depend on my essays? what kind of schools should I be aiming for? are george washington university and american university good schools for me to go for? Can I explain that I struggled with mental health to explain why my grades are so bad? should i retake my act or just stay with a 31?

thanks and I appreciate the help

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2 answers

Accepted Answer
2 years ago[edited]

My recommendations to you are the following:

-Most important: Grind on the ACT Math and ACT Science, there are 2 books you need. College Panda ACT Math, and For the Love of ACT Science. And also spend $250 on the SuperTutorTVACT course, the course should get your Math/Science up 3 points each. So you want to end up with a 31 on those and then your superscore will be a 32.5 or a 33 ACT rounded up. I went from a 33 to 35 with this course in 4-5 weeks.

-#2. Expand your list of Colleges. These are all excellent Poly Sci and Economics Schools. Even #50 Maxwell School of Public Policy at Syracuse University is an excellent school.

UNC Chapel Hill -#12

University of Rochester -#17

University of Wisconsin Madison #17

Ohio State #17

UT Austin - #19

University of Illinois UC - #27

Indiana University Bloomington #28

Texas A&M #28

University of Maryland #28

University of Washington #34

Michigan State #37

University of Pittsburgh #37

University of Colorado Boulder #46

University of Arizona #50

Syracuse #50

-#3 Essays are very important but they are not going to make up for your grades and test scores. So maybe like 15% of your application maximum. Do NOT WRITE about your struggles with mental health okay. That's a major yellow flag. I'd say 5% of amazing writers can pull off a mental health essay with a positive spin so this is "MAJOR" risky okay? During the last 3 cycles, I'm guessing that 80% of HS students struggled with mental health and the "mental health" essay and the "mental health" add'l information section essay was #1, #2 most popular essays to write about. Nevertheless, they are "slippery slope" because you don't know who is reading that essay. What if your "AO" interprets you as a risk for a mental health crisis relapse? Is that going to look good for the school's retention rate or graduation rate or reputation if something were to happen on campus accidentally? Most HS students think that holistic means be transparent about 100% of your life and hope for the best because everyone will give you the benefit of the doubt. But in reality, holistic application review means the AO has completely leeway and flexibility to evaluate you on whether you are a good fit for the college and have 100% leeway to deny you for anything with no questions asked. Everyone, unless they were mechanical robots struggled during the pandemic. So lets just leave it at that. Therefore focus on something amazing about yourself! Focus something remarkable about your life and how you think and how you act and what others view as a enviable trait you possess. Be the shiny, sparkly, ball that makes them want to advocate for you. It's like an audition for a part. You do not want anyone in the admissions office to feel sorry for you at any time.

2 years ago

I think your resume is very strong despite the struggling, remote learning year. It is would be relatively easier to improve your math and science act scores with enough studying as it is relatively widely viewed that the amount of hours studying correlates to your score. You could focus on those and solely aim for that superscore. I think it is commonly understood that some people struggled due to covid, I would not worry about that too harshly unless you are trying to achieve Ivy League status. Hope this helped at least a little bit!

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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