2
6 months ago
Admissions Advice

Is a single bad grade enough to ruin everything?
Answered

I'm an incoming high school senior. This summer, I took a language course at the local college out of interest in learning a new language. However, because of exenuating circumstances, I received a C in this course that will be in my transcript. The exenuating circumstance is that my grandmother was diagnosed with dementia, which caused a lot of panic and trouble within my family that made it difficult to concentrate on the course. My family and I were also infected with COVID, which also made it hard to focus.

I have a 3.97 GPA in school with a 1550 score in the SATs. I took over ten AP exams and received nine 5s and one 4. I participate extensively in extracurriculars, many in which I hold leadership positions and/or received small awards. I have a research paper that will soon be published in a journal. I also have around 70-80 volunteer hours. I am good at writing, so my essays for college should be fine.

I'm planning on applying to some ivies and liberal arts colleges. Will this one C ruin my chances of getting into these colleges? Some people I've talked to said none of these colleges are possible with a C, but I don't want to believe that. Is there a way to explain the special circumstances in the application, or will the admission officers ignore those explanations and reject me outright? The language course is something I took out of pure curiousity and has nothing to do with my intended majors.

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3 answers

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Accepted Answer
6 months ago

'I have a 3.97 GPA in school with a 1550 score in the SATs. I took over ten AP exams and received nine 5s and one 4. I participate extensively in extracurriculars, many in which I hold leadership positions and/or received small awards.''

AND the fact that one of your papers will be published is something admission officers look at as taking initiative. And as long as your extracurriculars correlate with each other that makes it even better.

One grade will not ruin everything, you seem like someone who is VERY involved and the C is not for a core course such as Science, English or Math, this is similar to getting a C in an elective/non-core class, which is completely okay.

I really don't want you to worry!! Most Universities take a holistic approach when viewing applications so they take EVERYTHING into consideration. For example, if your school offered 11 AP courses and you only took 2, that doesn't look good, but heck, you took 10, that's INCREDIBLE!

Please don't worry, it won't ''ruin'' everything!

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1
6 months ago

The C will not have an impact on your overall college admissions. I would not dwell on it or even dedicate much time explaining it away. NO one is perfect in every aspect of their college applications so shine the light on all the awesomeness you bring to the table and move forward in your college admissions process without hesitation or regret.

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6 months ago

Absolutely not. Everything else is stellar, and a bad grade- especially given the circumstances- is more expected then unexpected. Colleges (that is, colleges that truly care about their students,) will understand.

Also, being adventurous with a new topic is a good thing, even if you don't end up with a good grade.

IMO, don't worry about it, just give a short explanation somewhere on the app. Overexplaining could make them think that you can't handle failure, and THAT is a dealbreaker to some ivies. Good luck!

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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
1.0
4.0
SAT: 720 math
200
800
| 800 verbal
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800

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