back to Admissions Advice
β€’ 01/14/2021 at 12:50AM

Can great ECs make up for low grades?

Okay, first off, I know I'm not getting into the Ivy League or any extremely competitive schools. I know my low GPA won't save me when it comes to their admissions.

Can great ECs make up for a low (3.0 at the best) GPA? And by great ECs, I mean over 200 hours of community service (with plenty of projects), research, published work and etc?

NewYou earn karma when your answer is accepted or upvoted.

3 answers

β€’ 01/14/2021 at 01:41PM

So this is fairly tough to say definitively as all of the schools under 35% will likely auto-reject you. Then the schools from 35-70% give huge weight to academic capability first and foremost. I would say that they nullify leading to rec-letters and essays and possibly a few other data points leading to your decision and the higher admit rate they have the more likely it is. Then the schools over 70% will make a decision purely on academic capabilities but the bar is low so to speak. You can still likely get into really good schools like KS St for example so don't despair.

Also Id really really encourage you to take the SAT/ACT to showcase you don't "suck" academically.

Hope this helps and feel free to ask for clarification!

PS: The % are the admit rates if that's not clear.

@DebaterMAX01/14/2021 at 01:42PM

Also if you have a high rigor you have less to overcompensate for.

β€’ 01/14/2021 at 06:34AM

That can definitely raise your chances, especially if you have research or you've been published. Another factor that would really help support that would be a higher SAT/ACT score. If you had a higher SAT/ACT score, then that would show them that you're still academically capable despite your slightly lower GPA. If you really want to see an approximate of your chances, you can use College Vine's chancing engine. The most important thing is to craft your school list with schools that you genuinely want to go to, whether they have a 98% acceptance rate or 5%, and not just schools that you think you'll get into. That said, make sure you do create a balanced school list as College Vine suggests, containing some safety schools, some target/match schools, and maybe some reach schools if you find some that you really like. I hope this helped!

β€’ 01/14/2021 at 01:10AM

At some schools yes. Even if you didn't have good ECs it's not like you wouldn't be able to get into college with a 3.0, and with great ECs you will likely have a much better shot at schools you would not have been able to get into without them. I don't know what school you are specifically looking at, some are going to care more about ECs than others. There are other factors that can influence what schools will accept you such as SAT/ACT score, teacher recommendations, if there are any specific circumstances that affected your grades, If your grades improved over time, etc. Hope this helps, good luck with your future endeavors!