11 months ago
Admissions Advice

2.85 GPA, feel like there's nowhere to go...

Hey, all. I've screwed up. I'm staring at a 2.85 GPA (unweighted, 4.27 weighted) as of the 3rd marking period- still waiting on grades from the 4th quarter and end-of-course grades but I'm not going to see any massive change. I'm not looking for chancing here, but I'll summarize my ECs and such for context:

Model UN VP - junior year, elected for senior year

Class VP - elected for senior year

School culture leader (basically giving presentations to classes on things like goal-setting, college/career opportunities, etc) - selected provisionally for senior year

Trumpet player in a number of extracurricular ensembles

Student pilot

Volunteer mapper

ACT score: 32 composite/26 math/32 science/35 english/36 reading/10 writing

SAT score: 1380 (730 english, 650 math)

I don't feel like things look good for me. I know there's no going back, there aren't any do-overs and the only way out is forward- I know I blew it.

So where do I go from here? The only thing to do, I think, is to fight through it and give it 100% going forward, but I'm not sure what action I should be taking to give myself the best shot at success.

My goal is to become an officer in the Marine Corps, Coast Guard or Navy. Am I applying to Coast Guard and Navy? Yes. They're going to have to be the ones to tell me no. I won't take myself out of the running- and I'm going to reapply every chance I get until I'm ineligible. I know my odds aren't good right now- so ROTC and OCS are the more likely paths for me. We'll see. I know CollegeVine isn't the best place to get service-academy-oriented advice.

I'm just struggling with the fact that I'm probably not going to be able to pull my GPA up much by the time my applications are going out. I don't know what to do. I know it'd be wise to just accept it, I know what's done is done and the only thing I can do now is to make the best moves I can, but I don't know what to do- what I should expect, really, now that I've put myself in such a bad situation.

I know I'll have to kill it on the essays- I can write pretty well, so I'm not panicking about that too much. My question there is this: should I try to explain myself and what happened or should I focus on other things?

My other main question and concern is this: what should I expect going forward? Obviously I'll anticipate a transfer if I get an acceptance from USNA/USCGA when I reapply, but generally speaking, should I expect to go to a lower-end college and then transfer to a better school? I feel like I've thrown a huge chunk of my future completely into question when for the longest time, I knew what I had in mind.

I know this is a long post- partly a vent, partly a series of convoluted questions. Sorry! Thanks in advance to anyone who can help out.

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Accepted Answer
11 months ago[edited]

I took a gap year after HS even though I was top of my class and got into an Ivy ED. It was the smartest thing I've done for my overall well-being and prepared me better for the rigorous core curriculum I was about to face.

I applied to 5 or 6 top boarding schools immediately after I got my ED decision so I had a plan B alternative just in case I changed my mind and I recommend looking into doing something similar.

As a PG student you do an extra year of high school and have a chance to get your grades and test scores up. Although the military path isn't a popular path, I know that a few of my classmates went on to Annapolis and Westpoint. And my school has a solid track record of sending students there.

You have different goals than I did but I think one thing that most people underestimate is that during the pandemic, 75% of students suffered some long-term learning loss. Some people estimate it to be 1 full semester of learning while others think many students lost about a year's worth of learning because Zoom calls and remote learning are not very effective for most kids. Therefore, it's important for you to consider staying in HS and getting your grades, course rigor, test scores, and ECs up.

If your goal is to get into a US Military academy then stick to your goal. It's far more impressive to be proactive about your current narrative than it would be to apply and fail and keep trying to get in. I recommend taking the hit now and showing the academies that you knew that you were not ready to compete with the Plebes right now. Apply when you are confident you are just as strong as an applicant as the 10% that get into these schools.

Good luck.

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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