5 days ago
Admissions Advice

Will a really bad sophomore year mess up my chances for colleges like UCSB or Illinois Institute of Technology?

Hi there! I am a sophomore in high school and I messed up this year. Due to some family complications, first semester I got pretty 3 C's, 2 B's and 2D's. This semester if I work hard, I will probably get 5 B's, 1 C and 1 A. Freshman year I did decent with mixed A's and B's. It's also worth mentioning that all of the classes I've taken so far(apart from Gym and French) have been either honors or AP classes. If I get all A's my Junior and Senior year, will colleges be able to overlook my dip this year? How much will it affect my admission chances? Do you still think I have a chance to get into UCSB or Illinois Institute of Technology? If not, what colleges should I be aiming for? For some context, my preferred major is Bio engineering, and I would like to be located in a big city.

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3 answers

4 days ago

I am in no shape or form a counselor... but if I were you, I would mention that you had family issues during your 10th year in the essay that you will have to write when you fill out the application... other than that, I would just forget about the bad year and study harder for an A in all your classes junior and senior year. Quite honestly, the admissions personnel or team had a working mind, they would be accepting of the fact that you had a year of bad grades. Everyone is human, and everyone messes up. Even me, lol.

5 days ago

First I am going to talk about GPA. So, minimum GPA requirement to get in those universities is 3.4. You have to try to get at least that GPA. But, I am going to remind you that GPA is not all universities are looking at when viewing your application.

If you have a low GPA, you have to try to raise that by getting high scores in SAT and ACT. I suggest you to already start preparing, if you haven't.

Also, extracurricular activities are REALLY important. They show universities who you are as a person and what you are doing to persuade your passions. You should choose activities which correlate to your interests and try your best in them. You should show your leadership and curiosity skills in those activities. Check out these:








Finally, your essays play an important role in your applications too, so try your best in those!

Your GPA might not be high when applying to universities. But, you can work on other parts of the application, like your extracurricular activities, essays, SAT & ACT scores and for the final part, interviews.

4 days ago

Hi @magic_man!

All the UCs have been getting more selective in the past few years, so UCSB would be a reach. Illinois Institute of Technology seems like a target/hard target. CollegeVine has a "Find Schools" feature where you can filter out schools according to your preferences. Fill out your profile and use that tool to get good recommendations.

Hope this helps!


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