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Good afternoon,

My collegevine chances have continuously indicated that my course rigor and my extracurriculars could potentially compensate for my lower gpa (unweighted: 3.53 weighted:4.0) when applying to UC Schools whereas many teachers and counsellors tell me right off the bat without looking at my experiences that gpa is the only thing that matters. I am more of a numbers person so I tend to agree with my counselors. However, maybe someone else could give me a detailed feedback. Here is a list of my info:

GPA:3.53 Weighted:4.0

Courses: 10 AP/IB 1 Honours 2 Community College



-Soccer: Played for an all boys internationally recognised (was the only girl) Barcelona Soccer Youth Academy team out of Vancouver, CA and was invited to Spain Twice

-Soccer: Made the Alberta Provincial (State) Team just before moving to Vancouver

-Soccer: Played for an exclusive league in Canada where only the top 150 or so players in the nation are selected

-Soccer: Played for LA Galaxy OC, California traveling club team with 1999-2001 born players while I was a 2003 born

-Wrestling: Began wrestling when I was 12 (currently 17) in a majority boys team (as one of the only girls) and was invited to train regularly with Canadian national team coaches before getting injured. School I wrestled for coached an Olympic competitor and several national champions

-Wrestling: 3 years varsity (not 4 due to covid) at regionally recognised high school that placed 2rd and 3rd in regional competitions and we're 3x league champions back to back

-Wrestling: Won 10+ regionally and statewide recognised tournaments in California, USA as well as 2 provincially recognised tournaments in British Columbia,CA

-Wrestling: 2x Top 3 county placer (given my medal by US Rep. Katie Porter)

-Wrestling: Top 12 at one of USA's most famous and difficult tournaments

-Wrestling: Trained with Olympic champion Helen Moroulis

-Squash: Played Recreationally

-Weightlifing/ Cross-fit: Recreationally


-LearningRx: First minor to ever work at this company. Worked as a cognitive therapist (Brain Trainer) throughout summer of sophomore-junior year.

-Amazon: Began handmade online business one month ago (still new and developing should be in full gear by the time college application opens up)


-French: Fluent in French. Earned Seal of Biliteracy. First and only student taking highest level French class in the entire school this year (course will be available to eligible students in future years)

-Languages: Teaching myself Italian and Spanish via Duolingo since May, 2020 (visible evidence of progress is saved. Both are similar to French and English so I have been able to progress rather quickly)

-Resin Art: Made over 100 pieces of resin jewellery, dining decor and keychains out of resin which are sold on Amazon handmade

-Cooking: Been cooking dinner for my family each night since I was 12

I know this just looks like a list but I don't know how to incorporate all of these into my application or which ones really matter to colleges. I also would like to know if colleges (particularly California ones) even care about these things to the extent that the site has been saying.

Wow congrats! Also a side note if you look to play at the Div 1 level make sure to reach out to the athletics department and if I remember correctly you need to register with the NCAA. I can’t really help you there unfortunately.
I was interested in recruitment but with covid I'm not sure if that is a good idea right now. Either way I'll have to register. Thank you
Depending on whether you do a 5/6 year program you MIGHT want to look at redshirting. Also you can always be on the team. And UCs have been taking steps to reduce risk and athletic/active young people have the lowest risk. So I’d say at least reach out and if they are interested about recruiting you, then you can ask about risk management. Hope this helps.
I also don’t know your circumstances but you said you wanted a masters so redshirting might be an option. Sorry if this isn’t helpful.
Thank you! Tbh this all helped. I really just needed to know whether any ECs were even considered bc the site here would often say that they compensate for the gpa but idk if they do 😅
If you had a 2.5 gpa but all international ECs you are still not getting into Harvard but if your ECs are world class it can compensate for a slightly lower gpa. Refer to the common data set for your schools of choice to find the admitted students GPA ranges

2 answers

answered on

So using the UC application here is a quick guide.

Also I can’t tell if you are Canadian or Californian so I’m basing my knowledge of a domestic applicant.

The ECs I would not include no matter what are Cooking Duolingo Squash CrossFit.

Also combine resin art with the amazon buisness if not same thing.

For wrestling and soccer you can have it take up 2 slots for each sport but would not recommend more than 2 ECs of wrestling and soccer. Put the rest in awards/honors.

Your ECs definitely compensate for you semi-lackluster gpa. With that said using the UC method here

Is what is vacillated for gpa so your weighted GPa should be upwards of 3.9 and your international ECs will likely be enough for UCLA/Berkeley which has an mid 50% of 4.1-4.3

Thank you. I have them all listed individually mostly so it's easier to read I don't intend on grouping them separately on an application. Also I am both a Canadian and US citizen but I'm applying as an in state applicant. I just wanted to know whether I should bother including any ECs in these apps
ALWAYS include ECs on an application especially with a competitive admission process as UCs are. It’s recommended to list them in order of impressiveness so that is why I said which ones to not include. I can’t really evaluate which is more impressive. I don’t know your circumstance so I’m not absolute. Also very impressed with your ECs but as Crsgo said try to find a narrative.
Best link for narrative making
Ok so the ECs should be used to explain more of who you are as an applicant and why you are a fit rather than randomly listed?
Thank you for all the help btw
Yes a narrative is essentially a common theme in your ECs. You can absolutely have ECs that don’t fit the theme but try to have >50% fit preferably >75%
Also your welcome! Best of luck
answered on

Hey, this is great! FYI in the future these types of questions are discouraged since they’re more you asking everyone to evaluate your profile which violates policy here on college vine. I would say that while your GPA is low there are definitely good UC schools for which this is average, or even above average. Your ECs are certainly impressive. The only thing I will add is that you have a LOT of emphasis on sports, which is great, but if you’re not going to UC as a recruited athlete it might pose a bit of an issue since it leaves the question of… what else? Your other ECs mostly relate to language which is a strong suit, but if you’re not going for IR then it won’t be as cohesive. You seem to be #1 in a lot of things, which is great, but they seem somewhat random and disconnected. I’ll ask… what’s your intended major? Cause that’s really how your EC activities are evaluated: how do they compare with the path you plan to pursue in college, and how do you show Admission Officers a cohesive story that explains your passions and strengths and convinces them you are a good fit for their school/program?

Sorry I didn't intend for this to be an evaluation just wanted to know if any extracurriculars actually mattered because I've been convinced that they don't. A lot of these actually are random and get taken up spontaneously (mostly due to the amounts of times I have moved) . I wanted to go into law with a bachelor's in business administration or engineering but the goal is mainly law. The closest I have to those are courses that have been taken and my experience with Learningrx and Amazon.
it’s ok, don’t worry about it... you can definitely explain in your essay that you haven’t had the ability to “settle down” with your activities since you’ve moved schools so many times... i highly recommend joining your school’s law/business activities like mock trial, business club, finance club, stocks club, whatever it might be. good luck!
Yes thank you! I'm supposed to be taking a business pathway course this coming year even though I am a senior so let's see what that does