a year ago
Admissions Advice

How to afford college as someone coming from a low income background?

Hi, I am a high school junior with low GPA ( expected to have 3.2 by the end of senior year) and high SAT and ACT scores (1570 and 35). Is there any scholarships I can get with my poor GPA and is there any need based grants I can get?

Thanks in advance.

@veronica_snowa year ago

Research schools that cover 100% of estimated-need. I also come from a low-income family, and I was amazed when I completed the net price calculator for these schools. With student work, most of the calculated net prices are between 5k and 15k without student loans. The majority of these schools are liberal arts schools and are extremely competitive. You will need an amazing application, and though those scores are a great start, you need excellent extracurriculars to solidify your candidacy

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Accepted Answer
a year ago[edited]

Of course there are scholarships and need based grants you can get. Because you have high scores in both SAT and ACT scores, I'm positive, even with your low GPA, you can find something. Many high school guidance counselors say that you shouldn't even consider applying for top colleges if your GPA is low. But don't let that stop you. I also come from a low income background so, out of experience, I highly suggest you apply for financial aid and dream big. First, focus on local scholarships in your community, or scholarships you can find online. I also urge you to apply for as many scholarships as possible. Here's something I learned after applying for several scholarships: 60-65% of scholarships and grants either require a GPA less than 3.5 or doesn't ask for a GPA requirement at all. In fact, the majority of scholarships are geared toward extra-curricular activity, community service, and advocacy, all of which can be achieved even by students coming from a low income background with a low GPA. It is doable and highly possible. Now that you have a better understanding of a few ways you can try to afford college, you should take action. You're a junior right now and will be a senior next year. Trust me, time flies like crazy. Do a lot of research, talk to your guidance counselors, ask seniors at your school or people who've already graduated, sign up for online seminars conducted by top colleges regarding college application process, etc. Try bold.org, scholarships.com, niche.com, and more, to apply for special scholarships that will I'm sure will definitely help you. Remember, if you put in the work, the results will come. Nothing comes easy in life and you need to work for anything you want to achieve in this life. But you got this. If you have any other questions or want me to clarify something I said, please reach out to me. I'm more than happy to help... Thank you and I hope I answered your question. If you like this post, please give it an upvote :)

a year ago[edited]

Many State colleges like the University of Arizona have a sliding scale chart with GPA and SAT scores to determine how much merit aid you are afforded. At UofA, for example, if you had a 4.0 you would be eligible for a $35,000 award but someone with a 3.2 and a corresponding 1420-1600 SAT score only gets $15,000. So you do get some perks for super high test scores but your lack of doing well with your grades comes at a huge penalty for available scholarships.


You should personally investigate the State colleges in your State first because they are the most affordable. Some may have similar tables/charts for in-state applicants like yourself.

The further you travel away from your State, the lower the probability of you getting a lot of financial aid based on your UWGPA. Grades being one of the most important criteria for college admissions, many colleges will not be open-armed about giving you much aid.

Good luck.

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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