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if you are below "average gpa" for an university, does that mean you'll most likely be rejected?

maroonmelvillemaroonmelville Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
for instance, if a college's average gpa is a 3.8, but a student has a 3.2, will that student most likely be rejected?

i need honest answers!
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Replies to: if you are below "average gpa" for an university, does that mean you'll most likely be rejected?

  • anxiousenior1anxiousenior1 Registered User Posts: 1,018 Senior Member
    Yes, unless you have some other amazing part of your application to compensate, ie being an athlete, child of a large donor, etc.
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 2,784 Senior Member
    GPA differs greatly at high schools so it can be hard to compare your GPA to other people's from other schools. I would rely on Naviance if your school has it.

    If your freshman year was terrible but you've done great since, it might matter less at some schools.

    The gap you gave in your example is large, though, and suggests this school might be a reach for you.
  • kl95070kl95070 Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    My sats is the same as you. But the reason why I got such a low grades is mostly because I moved to U.S three years ago and I didn't speak any English at all back then. It takes me really long time to overcome my language barrier... if I explain how my struggle and how I overcome is that going to make me stand out more?
  • prezbuckyprezbucky Registered User Posts: 3,455 Senior Member
    edited September 10
    I think it depends largely on five things:

    1. The school's admit rate
    2. How far away from the mean GPA you are
    3. How much the school values/considers GPA in admissions
    4. Whether you have a hook working in your favor
    5. How strong the rest of your app is

    Admit rate: If the admit rate is 70%, you may still have a decent shot of getting in even if your GPA is below average. The lower the admit rate, the greater a weak GPA will likely be magnified, due to an increasingly smaller margin for error as selectivity increases.

    Distance from mean: If you are half a point below the mean, that's worse than being 0.1 below the mean.

    Value of GPA: There is variation in how much schools value this variable.

    Hook: Obviously, a hook helps to mitigate deficiencies.

    The rest of your app: Excelling in other parts of your app can help to mitigate a relatively low GPA.

    Another thing that can help to lessen the blow, as has been mentioned, is a compelling reason for the low GPA.
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 2,784 Senior Member
    @kl95070 , it will help if your junior GPA is at or above the average as that would be consistent with improvement from an ELL.

    Most schools look at the whole transcript, not a single number, and your GC should mention this is the GC rec.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 30,517 Senior Member
    Were you enrolled in ESL? Take the TOEFL to underscore your ELL status and mention the situation in "additional information" if it doesn't appear elsewhere.
    Perhaps take SAT subjects, preparing well, to show that now you speak English well your content mastery is strong and thus the early grades reflected your English mastery not content mastery.
  • billcshobillcsho Registered User Posts: 16,160 Senior Member
    It depends on how far off is it below average and how strong is the rest of your application. For competitive schools, even above average stat would still have high rejection rate.
  • kl95070kl95070 Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    @gardenstategal @MYOS1634 I did took ESL for the first year I moved here. And I'm taking TOEfl as well, hope that helps!!!
    Btw, did anyone knows that Michigan would take student like me? (if so, what kind of POV they are using to view mw?) Also, if my school report is really good is that going to help?
  • kl95070kl95070 Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    Just want to add up, my dream school is UMichigan, Ann Arbor
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 30,517 Senior Member
    edited September 14
    Do you live in Michigan?
    Yes the fact you were classified ESL and the fact your transcript is good will help.
    (What's your family income or EFC, and do you live in a rural area?)
  • billcshobillcsho Registered User Posts: 16,160 Senior Member
    @kl95070 Start your own thread in UMich's subforum. Don't steal others thread or you will confuse other people.
  • NJWrestlingmomNJWrestlingmom Registered User Posts: 193 Junior Member
    @maroonmelville I'm disagreeing with everyone above and saying no, it doesn't mean the kid will be rejected. Of course, it depends on where you're applying. Harvard? Yale? UVA? Yes, probably. My son had a GPA below the average of every school he applied to - and he was accepted to every school he applied to. But he applied to 3 of our state schools, a couple of small LAC colleges with higher admit rates, and a couple of the PASSHE (PA public schools).
    There's not definitive yes or no to this one.
  • billcshobillcsho Registered User Posts: 16,160 Senior Member
    It is interesting to read someone disagree with everyone without reading the details.
  • NJWrestlingmomNJWrestlingmom Registered User Posts: 193 Junior Member
    What details did I miss? It was pretty straightforward. Maybe yes, maybe no.
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