5 months ago
Admissions Advice

How do low transfer grades affect your application

I am currently in Junior year of highschool and have a semester left. I am trying to get into top CS schools, but I am not sure how I will fair considering the steep competition.

I transferred from my school in the UK to the US during the second semester of Freshmen year. We use a different grading scale and it was worsened as our school capped our scores depending on grade levels as we worked towards our GCSEs and our progress reports did not mean too much, other than letting you know if you are doing well. My courses were all considered normal, even though based on difficulty of the AP and honors classes I am taking, some definitely should have been weighted. This meant once my grades and credits were transferred over, it hurt my GPA a lot. They also were weighted with 10.5 credits with a 3.4 average, so this was something that is near unrecoverable to something competitive now. Every semester following that semester I have had an average of 4.6 - 4.7, with one B.

Stats considering my UK grades:

UW GPA: 3.74

W GPA: 4.03

PSAT: 1450/1520

Stats without my UK grades:

UW GPA: 3.91

W GPA: 4.6

PSAT: 1450/1520

Honor classes: 6 (9 planned)

AP classes: 5 (10 planned)


UKMT Junior Silver winner in year 10(freshmen year)

International Award from NYAS for a project for a team, where I was lead developer

A project making an AI Therapist, with a team of programmers and mentors in the form of phycologists, therapists, and AI experts working as a NLP dev

Working on a scouting application that will be used by robotics teams all around the state

Leader of ISA(Indian Student Association)

Helping organize a hackathon that will be held at our school

70 volunteering hours working as a tutor, helping low-income students with school work

Started an organization the library that is dedicated to teaching financial literacy to kids

Going to state for BPA and DECA so can't say much about that yet

Still have this semester and summer to add things to this list. Could I get suggestions on what I should do over the summer to improve my chances and what my chances are realistically at top CS universities such as UIUC(CS + Econ) and Georgia Tech due to my niche situation?

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Accepted Answer
5 months ago

I highly recommend the SAT- your PSAT scores are AMAZING and probably National Merit Scholarship level. I have a post about the DSAT here with helpful free resources: collegevine.com/c/junior/50784/first-usa-dsat-upcoming-plus-incredible-free-study-resources-i-love

Here are some Georgia Tech stats so you know what you are aiming for (from Ivy assistant):

GPA: The average high school GPA for incoming freshmen at Georgia Tech is around 4.0 for weighted GPAs. However, keep in mind that this varies depending on the rigor of your course load, and Georgia Tech values a challenging curriculum.

SAT: The middle 50% of admitted students for the SAT have scores ranging from 1390 to 1530. This means that 25% of admitted students scored below 1390, and 25% scored above 1530."

Based on those stats, your W GPA is actually fine! Getting a high SAT score (I think you can easily do 1500+) will also heavily confirm your grades.

For UIUC, here are their stats:

GPA: The middle 50% of admitted students at UIUC have a weighted high school GPA ranging from 3.62 to 4.10. A competitive GPA would be in this range or higher, considering the rigor of your course load.

SAT: The middle 50% of admitted students for the SAT have scores ranging from 1300 to 1500. This means that 25% of admitted students scored below 1300, and 25% scored above 1500."

Once again, your GPA is still within the competitive range! Once again, a high SAT will confirm this.

I am sure that the inequal transfer is frustrating, but based on this information, I think you're doing ok!

Please, please remember that ALL portions of your application are essential. It's not 1 thing but all. GPA, ECs, test scores, essay- all are vital aspects. I recommend begin working on the essays this summer and begin brainstorming ideas early (more time=more improvement and time for rewrites!) I have a post on writing killer essays here: collegevine.com/c/junior/49537/make-your-essay-stand-out

For ECs, 2 words of advice: 1- ALWAYS quality over quantity. Sticking to a few rather than this here and this there shows commitment, passion, and demonstrated interest. 2-Choose ECs you are passionate about! Doing what you love/enjoy is so important to staying happy and healthy; also, passion shines through on an application! Rather than generic ECs, do the things that excite, energize, and inspire you! Developing my interests through ECs has really strengthened my application- I have concrete evidence of my passion for this major and already exploring it. Do what you love and that will stand out in your essay and on the application!

Hope this helps, lmk if you have more questions!

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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