I'm pretty worried about my GPA and overall profile as a college applicant as of right now. I'm a junior in a competitive high school taking a rigorous courseload.
Freshman year (0 AP's, hs doesn't encourage freshmen to take any due to prerec requirements) and 1 honors (H. Span 2) GPA of 3.8
Sophomore year: First semester 3.8UW/4.2W, 2 AP's (AP Seminar, AP World) 1 honors (H. Span 3). Second semester 3.4UW (due to at home issues, COVID during finals, worsened mental health struggles) And recieved a C in Algebra 2. However, I did recieve a 5 for seminar and a 4 for world history which I plan on submitting to colleges.
Junior year: First semester 3.1UW/3.7W 3 AP's 0 honors (I know, UW looks pretty bad. Anxiety got worse and only recieved a recommendation for medication a couple days ago) and recieved another C in precalc. Although, as of right now, I'm on track to getting a 3.8-4.0UW and a 4.3W this semester.
Does stating in the additional info section for colleges help them accept my bad GPA? I'm very worried about my GPA trend. Is mental health an acceptable reason for a low GPA? Am I kinda screwed?
Other info (if it helps): Lots of leadership positions, such as student council committee chairsperson, president of three large clubs, 500+ hours of volunteering from tutoring and outreach activities, part time job, NHS VP, paid selective internship relating to my intended major, captain + team manager of two sports, technical theater lead, and a special needs camp counselor during the summer. I intend on applying to a year-round internship for senior year, although due to where I live, finding one might be hard.
First, I want to encourage you- don't give up! Yes, mental health is a real struggle, and yes, colleges will accept that as a reason but I am not sure that Ivies will accept you. Don't panic-there are ways to get into your dream school! Before I list the other options, I want to warn you: Ivy Leagues do not work for everyone. This is something to consider carefully with your mental health. I know kids who got into Ivies and recently transferred out; they were so weary. They had to keep grades up to hold onto their scholarships and it was just too much. Wore on their mind and body. So please, consider what is best for YOU wholistically, not just running with the most prestigious.
I cannot stress that enough!
Option 1: Attend non-Ivy university. This is ok-you may even get more scholarship money at a non-Ivy. I will apply to a 'lower' school, so to speak, but I will likely receive a 27,000 scholarship yearly! This is huge to me-I have 4 siblings and at least 3 may be in college at the same time as me. Also, non-Ivies may have a much friendlier atmosphere (my friends had difficulty making friends at the Ivy) and more helps for maintaining mental health! That may be vital for you to stay well and happy while in college.
Option 2: Transferring. If you are still set on an Ivy, transferring in after a semester or 2 of community college or another university may raise your chances of acceptance. Transfer requirements are much lower than 1st year requirements (basically all I think they ask for is your college transcript and GPA, but I'm not sure if Ivies do it differently). Transferring can be a wise option if you don't initially get into your fave school.
Hope this helps and lmk if you have any more questions! Don't stress; you will find the perfect fit for you even if it's different from what you expected.
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