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OK, Help. I have bad grades, a bad rank, and bad classes. Where do I go to college?!?

NicoleFoShizzleNicoleFoShizzle Posts: 61Registered User Junior Member
So I'm basically coming up to the end of my Junior year, and I realized that I really am going to college in a year and a half, and that I don't want to spend 4 years at a crappy college. I'm not a "crappy" kid but I'm not exactly up to par with everyone on here. I still want a bright future, and I'm scared that I broke it.

To start things off: I've never done college research in my life, and I've basically never heard of any colleges so I'm open to LOTS of suggestions.

What colleges should I be looking into? Community colleges? State universities? Ivies? I have NO idea where I stand!

I'll tell you a bit about myself first.

I'm a white girl from Benton Harbor, Michigan
My GPA is: 2.740 (Freshman year was bad, soph was good, junior is bad so far)
Weighted, it is 2.863
February 7th ACT Score: 29 (I really got lucky. I'm not redoing it cuz i'll do worse.)
PSAT: 151 (Is this good?)
Class Rank: 50th %ile exactly.
I am taking college english/ social studies (econ) and health next year. I'm taking 4-5 years of every core subject, including spanish.
I took no honors classes freshman year, one sophomore year, and now as a junior I am in 3 AP classes, an enhanced class, and an honors class. It's hard.
I am failing my Honors Algebra 2 math class right now, and expect to fail it for this trimester. I will be retaking it this summer and getting the F off my transcript. I also failed a math class in 9th grade, and I will be redoing it next trimester and hopefully be replacing it with an A. Besides that, I'm getting mostly B's and a C in AP Chemistry.

I basically suck at math.

-I'm captain of the dance team, cross country team, and track team.
-I've been to two psychology summer camps over the last 2 years.
-I am in a statewrite youth writers association
-I have a job and work 30 hours every week.
-I have starred in one play and one musical at school
-I am on my class committee
-I am in Mock Trial
-I am in Environmental Club
-I play the Viola in the highest up oprchestra
-I am running for senior senate
-I did chemistry work with my dad over the summer in his lab
-I have 3 poems and one stry published
-I was in an Aquafina Commercial

I have no clue what I want to study. No idea.

I put in a lot of effort, and should be able to ge some excellent reccomendations. (sp?)


I want to go to college in the midwest, preferably. Not in Michigan. I would also love to go to college in florida, or washington/oregon. I'm looking for a decent, and large school. Ideally, I'd really really like to go to the University of Minnesota or Illinois but I know that I'll be unable to ge into either of them. I heard that FSU is very nice but I do not know how hard it is to get into. Ohio State sounds fun but too hard to get into. Same with IU-B.

Where the HECK should I be looking into?

I'll take virtually ANY advice. PLEASE!
Post edited by NicoleFoShizzle on
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Replies to: OK, Help. I have bad grades, a bad rank, and bad classes. Where do I go to college?!?

  • moonnite300moonnite300 Posts: 358Registered User Member
    hmm you don't seem thaaat bad, except for the math failures and stuff.. But you can do 1-2 years in a community college and transfer out to a ivy (if you have the grades) don't worry you still have time, just bring your gpa up as much as you can and apply to schools you can possibly get into (talk to a guidance counsler about that) and then community college is your back up. And then transfer out. Just make sure when you are in college that you GET GOOD GRADES, and study for that SAT, 151 is average but you can prob get atleast a 1700 if you study (I had 150 on PSAT, 1710 first SAT, 1800 second) just by taking Princeton sat prep classes. If I studied I coulda gotten a 2000+. Same for you, again you don't seem to be dumb, you just don't seem to be taking school seriously.
  • NicoleFoShizzleNicoleFoShizzle Posts: 61Registered User Junior Member
    Well, you see, I'm gonna start taking school seriously TOMORROW.

    And I really would not like to go to a community college at all. Is it my only option? =[
  • mike0515mike0515 Posts: 72Registered User Junior Member
    I definitely don't think community college is your only option. Yet, it isn't necessarily a bad option. My father went to community college for two years, and then transferred to a top 50 university after some hard work. But, if colleges see a challenging course load, and a upward trend in your grades, then they will be more likely to accept your past mishaps.
  • NicoleFoShizzleNicoleFoShizzle Posts: 61Registered User Junior Member
    Question. Simple.

    Would I have ANY (I said ANY) tiny, remote, miniscule (sp?) chance of getting in to the University of Minnesota or Illinois? They're the only two I know anything about and they seem so nice, especially minnesota.
  • ish718ish718 Posts: 253Registered User Junior Member
    State public schools will definitely accept you
  • NicoleFoShizzleNicoleFoShizzle Posts: 61Registered User Junior Member
    I sure hope so.
  • fencersmotherfencersmother Posts: 1,972Registered User Senior Member
    Nicole, for you, especially if you don't want to go to Comm Col, a state-sponsored college will probably accept you. Mankato State comes to mind, though your chances of getting into a state's flagship U with your scores is iffy, even instate. OOS - your chances will slip some, then slip more if you need financial aid (don't count on it OOS).

    You will save yourself and your parents a bundle of money if you attend a Comm Col for a year then see how your grades are. What is your reason for not attending one? It would allow you the chance to bring up your grades right away with minimal expense. Seems perfect for a kid who wants to improve.
  • NicoleFoShizzleNicoleFoShizzle Posts: 61Registered User Junior Member
    fencersmother:

    I won't get into the u of Michigan, duh, because it's like the hardest one in the country to get into. lol.

    I don't want to go to community college, because I'm really looking forward the experience, and don't want to miss out on the first two years.

    I'm going to go look into this Mankato State place you speak of right now. Where is is located?
  • LoonLakeLoonLake Posts: 913- Member
    If you want to know exactly where you stand, at this point in time, these are Midwestern universities that...

    You will NOT get into, so don't bother: UMich, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Carleton, Macalester

    You MIGHT, but likely WONT get into: Wisconsin-Madison, Ohio State University, I'll throw FSU in here b/c you mentioned it.

    40% Chance: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (I know people with slightly higher stats who go there)

    50/50: Indiana University, Purdue, NIU, Penn State, Ohio U, UK, U of MN, UW-
    Eau Claire, Michigan State

    LIKELY, but MAYBE NOT: Indiana State, Kansas, Mizzou, Iowa/Iowa State, UW branches

    SAFETY: UND, NDSU, UNI, IUPUI, IUE, PC, PI

    Good luck.
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Posts: 24,853Registered User Senior Member
    "Would I have ANY (I said ANY) tiny, remote, miniscule (sp?) chance of getting in to the University of Minnesota or Illinois?"

    Unlikely. Both of those schools are the flagship (top) public universities in their states, so the top students in their states tend to go to such schools. It's harder for out of state students to gain acceptance to public universities.

    In addition, virtually no public universities can afford to give much if any need-based financial aid to out of state students. Most public universities can't afford to meet the full need of their in state students.

    You need to look at in state public universities in Michigan. Odds are that you'll have to start by living at home and going to community college.

    In general, except for the very top colleges in the country -- places like Harvard -- colleges make their admissions decisions overwhelmingly by considering students' grades, coursework, class rank and possibly their SAT scores. Consequently, whether or not you have ECs isn't likely going to help or hurt you. What will hurt you, however, is having mediocre or bad grades and/or a weak courseload.

    If you happen to be first generation college, look into programs like Upward Bound that may put you on track for 4-year universities. They include summer programs and academic support throughout the school year. Check the web sites of public and private universities in Michigan to see if they have Upward Bound, and find out whether you qualify for it. It's a free program.

    Colleges also know that the #1 predictor of freshman year college grades is students' high school gpas. Your high school gpa doesn't make you a good risk for doing well in college especially since you continue to have mediocre grades as a junior.

    You might want to consider whether you're really interested enough in academics to want to go to college for the academic, not the social aspect.

    All of the schools I've seen people suggest to you here seem to be high reaches for you since they are out of state publics.

    In addition, if finances are a consideration, you'd be probably wasting your time to apply to out of state publics.
  • LoonLakeLoonLake Posts: 913- Member
    no, nsm, no. shes not that low.

    I know several people who went to Minnesota who had worse stats than her.
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Posts: 24,853Registered User Senior Member
    You may be able to get into some public 4-year universities in Michigan, but finances may be a problem. I suggest that you pay the $15 it costs to fully access the U.S. News on-line college guide, which has detailed info -- including financial aid and admissions info -- about most colleges in the country. This includes info about scores, gpas of the freshman class, and what percentage of students get aid, and how much of their need is covered by aid.

    Make sure you also look into the financial aspects of college. Virtually no public university can afford to meet 100 % of even in-state students' financial need. If you will need lots of money to go to college, you may have to start by living at home and going to community college. After you get your AA degree, you could transfer to an in-state public, and still probably will have to take out loans to pay for your education.

    Public universities tend to make it a high priority to give need-based financial aid to in state students and students with excellent stats.

    I am guessing that you may need financial aid since most students need financial aid and I know that Benton Harbor is a struggling part of Michigan.

    If you are low income and/or first generation college, do look into Upward Bound as I suggested in my earlier post.
  • NicoleFoShizzleNicoleFoShizzle Posts: 61Registered User Junior Member
    Actually, my family is pretty well off. My sister goes to the University of North Carolina and we could pay for that just fine.

    And I'm not first generation. My Parents both went to UNC, and they wanted me to go there, but that's kind of not gonna happen.
  • jazzymomjazzymom Posts: 3,217Registered User Senior Member
    University of Iowa, maybe? Your 29 ACT is above the 50th percentile for UI and your writing ECs may help.
  • radimomradimom Posts: 294Registered User Junior Member
    It's a cinch: You can search the website that does the SATs (I don't know if I can write it here). Use their college search feature, and you will have 3800 possibilities or thereabouts. Start by choosing a region, or states, then put in your GPA and test scores (add zeros to each of your 2-digit PSAT scores to get your probable SAT scores). Then choose places that perhaps have a 50--75% acceptance rate. This should start to get you a list of 20--30 schools. If it does not, keep choosing other factors until you get a list that is short enough, see what looks interesting, and go to their websites and see what grabs your interest. This should help you find some colleges that WILL accept you with something like your GPA.

    And follow the great advice by other posters here: There are no do-overs on your high school grades, but you can start NOW to improve your grades and study habits--and all that will be what you need to succeed in college anyway! BTW I think it is worth it to take the ACT again. As I recall, the ACT is one where you can choose which score is sent to colleges. (With the SAT, the whole lot of your scores get sent, chugging along like the cars on a train). Usually students can improve their standard scores a bit, and you could do that. But your grades are the thing you can change the most, and an upward trend and an actual INTEREST in academics (after all, that is why students are spending the cost of 1-2 cars per year, on a college education) is what admissions people are looking for.
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