Lowest GPA accepted?!
No holds barred responses please. I am still deciding whether or not to ED for Princeton University. I have very strong ECs (TASP alum, a lot of other stuff), very competitive standardized test scores (SAT I: 1600, SAT IIs: 730, 770, 780, took the new SAT last weekend but scores won't come out yet until the 24th) and chances are I will have strong recs and very strong essays. I will also be the first person in my family to go to college, etc.
The problem is my GPA (by Princeton standards) is absolutely abysmal: 3.38 unweighted, 4.11 weighted. My rank is 141/694 (I am a magnet student at a very competitive suburban high school, the cut-off for top 10% is a 4.51 weighted).
My GPA however is NOT the product of four years of slackin off...I took the hardest courses offered at my school and I worked as hard as I could, but things were going on in my life that were simply beyond my control. My counselor recommendation and one of my essays will explain this fully. It's hard to go into here but assuming that I have very good reasons for my terrible grades, should I even look at a university like Princeton?
Obviously Princeton is a reach for anyone, but are the other parts of my application (and my disadvantageous extenuating circumstances) enough to make up for my low GPA/rank?
Has Princeton been known to accept GPAs as low as 3.3 (it's average GPA is 3.8 I believe) from applicants who aren't legacies or recruits or URMs?
Will appreciate any and all advice! Thank you!