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Do I have any chance of getting accepted to good colleges, despite my lackluster high school performance?


Back in high school, I did very, very poorly. I graduated with a 2.78, I got a 1080 on my SAT, I did no extracurricular activities, etc etc. I was the model doing-the-bare-minimum student, and I deeply regret this. I unfortunately went through things that affected my personal life and emotional well-being, and being a teenager I did not know the best way to persevere through such troubling times, so I basically just “quit” at achieving anything, for lack of a better word. I graduated back in 2018 by the way.

I am currently attending community college (on my 3rd semester), and I have a 3.45 gpa that is only increasing! I’m proud of my growth, and I have big plans for the future, but I’m very worried if my past will come back to haunt me— I always worry about my poor performance and I wish I could go back in time and re-do my whole high school career, but as we all know that’s impossible. I’m putting in my all to get better grades, but I don’t know if my effort will even matter. Please help me out, and thank you in advance.


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Accepted answer

To start with, colleges really care about the kind of growth that you've shown going from where you were in high school to where you are now in community college, so that'll be a big plus for you. Community colleges are really set up for that as well, to help people who might need a little additional time or preparation get ready for a four-year school. (And honestly, a 2.78 and 1080 isn't abjectly horrible—that's actually an above-average SAT score, and as a counselor I've seen students get into four-year colleges with numbers like that).

Basically, nothing in your past should be disqualifying for you now, especially since you're putting so much work into doing better in community college. Schools will put more emphasis on your most recent grades and achievements, and that should benefit you. You'll need to write some essays, and it might be a good idea to write them about how you've grown over the past couple of years to really emphasize it, but you should definitely have options and prospects at good four-year colleges where you could finish out your degree.

thank you so much for answering, i’m glad to hear this! and that my sat score is slightly above average, what a surprise haha, i for sure thought it was not good because so much people i know got crazy high scores! again, thanks!
yeah—i've talked to a lot of people who have the same feeling. The SAT is scored so that 1000 is the median score, and the average in practice is usually around a 1060. But you just end up seeing the people who brag about super high scores, so it makes it seem like everyone's done a lot better.