a month ago
Admissions Advice

What do I do in my situation?

I have had a rough time so far in high school, as I am very stressed and busy with family matters. I am looking to be a computer science major, and I do well in those classes, but my GPA is rather low compared to students with comparable backgrounds to mine. What should I do to make my low GPA look like less of an issue and more like a small downside to my resume?

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2 answers

Accepted Answer
a month ago

While colleges will care about GPA, it's not the only thing they care about. This will depend on how much lower it is; if your GPA is below a 2.0, there's probably not much you can do. However, if it's above a 2.0, there are plenty things you can do to strengthen your application. Granted, this won't get you into any top level schools, but it can help you get into certain colleges with a low GPA.

The first thing I'm going to say is, if you're still in high school, you can still raise your GPA. Taking classes you're interested in can help a lot, but there are going to be classes you have to take that you're not as interested. If you're not getting all your work in on time, start doing that. If your teacher offers (graded/non-graded) practice work or extra credit, do it! Start studying for tests at least a week in advance. If you can afford it, try to get a tutor, or even just go in during your teachers office hours for help. According to the tags, you're in 10th grade. That's still lot's of time to get your GPA up, even if its just a little.

Another academic related thing you could do is to take the SAT/ACT. If you can, take both (whatever you score the highest on is the one you'll report to colleges). Before taking these tests, consider SAT/ACT prep, whether that's in-person tutoring or a free online course. While GPA is important, a high SAT/ACT score can significant increase your chances of getting into a college, even with a low GPA.

Never underestimate the power of extracurricular activities. Joining a coding club or volunteering with your schools key club is a great way to show colleges your strengths and passions, while also strengthening your resume. This is especially true if the club involves volunteering, you hold a leadership position (club president?), or you win some competitions related to your club. However, even if none of those things apply, being apart of some extracurricular activities is still a great way to strengthen your application.

You can also volunteer outside of these clubs. If you have volunteer experience on your application, that can seriously help.

Personal Statements!!

Writing a good personal statement (or college essay) will help you immensely with your application. Your personal statement should be personal and vulnerable. It should demonstrate (show, not tell!) your top 3-5 strongest qualities and highlight something important in your life. The college admissions officers want to feel like they know you better, as a person, after reading your essay. Personal statements can make or break an application, so start thinking about what to write about and how to write about it, very soon.

Think about applying for a job/internship. Work experience can help. Whether that's working fast food/retail, or that's getting an internship (hopefully related to your future major). This will show, that even though you don't have the best grades, you still have a good work ethic. This is important for college.

I hope these things help you out. You're only in 10th grade, so don't be too nervous about it. There are still plenty of things you can do to help your chances!

a month ago

Your SAT score could possibly make up for the GPA. If you are a sophomore, I recommend taking a practice test in the Bluebook app to get an analysis of your strengths and weaknesses. Then you can start with a few daily questions on Khan Academy. I recommend taking the SAT at least twice your junior year, fall and spring so you have time to study between. I self-studied with Strategic Test Prep's VERY affordable workbooks (their English one is free rn) and got over a 100-point increase in less than a month. They also have an app called Preptly that I have heard amazing things about.

If you set a study plan AND stick to it, you can totally ace the SAT. It may help counteract that GPA to some extent. However, do what you can to raise the GPA and when applying to colleges, be sure to apply to some safety schools (aka, schools you will get into for sure with the GPA you have) just to be on the safe side- no pun intended.

Hope this helps and lmk if you have any 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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