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Low GPA but high ACT?

tysonwiltysonwil Posts: 57Registered User Junior Member
I have a 3.2 GPA and a 33 ACT. I am involved in debate, band, and a few sports. I am a Wisconsin resident. Do you think I have a chance being admitted to Madison?
Post edited by tysonwil on

Replies to: Low GPA but high ACT?

  • greennbluegreennblue Posts: 1,736Registered User Senior Member
    What is the strength of your curriculum? Lots of APs?
  • RonPaul_2012RonPaul_2012 Posts: 465- Member
    The difficulty of your schedule would probably make a big difference.
  • MNBadgerMNBadger Posts: 204Registered User Junior Member
    I think you definitely have a chance... Focus on having incredible first semester grades during your senior year... Your ACT is exceptional for UW.
  • tysonwiltysonwil Posts: 57Registered User Junior Member
    I am taking almost all advanced classes along with ap euro, ap calc, and ap physics. What things will I really have to concentrate on to have a better chance?

    Thanks
  • msl2008msl2008 Posts: 307Registered User Junior Member
    I think you have a good shot. 3.2 with all honors/APs is way better than a 3.7 with easy classes. Plus your ACT works very well in your favor.
  • wis75wis75 Posts: 8,192Registered User Senior Member
    What is the trend in your grades? Up or down or constant? If the low gpa represents poor freshman grades with high junior year grades they will see the improvement and feel you can handle the UW workload. The key is to do as well as you can from now on. You have to prove you will able to do UW college level work, this means good study habits and doing all homework, even if it feels like busywork to you. There is a reason both test scores and grades are considered- an improving gpa will work in your favor. I will never forget this logical statement given by an admissions counselor giving a local talk a few years ago- it still applys today.
  • tysonwiltysonwil Posts: 57Registered User Junior Member
    Yes, my poor GPA is largely due to my slacking freshman days. Now in my junior year, I am averaging about a 3.5 GPA.
  • RonPaul_2012RonPaul_2012 Posts: 465- Member
    That's good. Finish out junior year strong and then have a really strong senior year first semester and you'll definitely have a shot.
  • wis75wis75 Posts: 8,192Registered User Senior Member
    The admissions likelihood chart gives a 70% chance for an unweighted gpa of 3.5-3.4 and ACT 36-30, 50% for gpa 3.3-3.1 and 90% for gpa 3.7-3.6 with the same ACT range (look at the UW admissions website for the chart). You can see how improving your gpa makes a difference, especially if they note the improvement and perhaps ignore freshman year for you.
  • swissmiss3swissmiss3 Posts: 528Registered User Member
    I think you have a good shot. Don't eliminate them, especially if you really like Wisconsin, because you think you don't have a chance. I think you will get in.
  • GnsdrawGnsdraw Posts: 104Registered User Junior Member
    i had a 31 act, 3.2 gpa with an all ap course load and did not get in. i was oos
  • JiffsMomJiffsMom Posts: 520Registered User Member
    High test scores are good. A low-ish GPA can be somewhat counterbalanced by a high class rank. Look at how both GPA and Class Rank run across the same axis on the Likelihood of Admission chart here:
    http://www.admissions.wisc.edu/images/UW_FreshmanExpectations.pdf

    I imagine it works that way because some schools have tougher grading scales than others (93-100 = A vs. 90-100 = A. Grading scales are, or should be, indicated on the high school's Data Sheet, attached to each student's transcript sent by the high school to colleges and universities). For example, a student with a 3.4 unweighted GPA from a high school with a tougher grading scale may still be in the 95th percentile Class Rank.

    Most of the more selective universities are very aware that a high or low GPA doesn't tell the whole story. That's why Class Rank and difficulty level of courses completed are also factors considered in the admission decision.
  • JiffsMomJiffsMom Posts: 520Registered User Member
    The Common Data Set info might help, too. Look at sections C9, C10, and C11.
    http://apa.wisc.edu/CDS_USNEWS/CDS_2009.pdf

    According to UW-Madison's CDS, 34.5% of the Fall 2008 enrolled freshmen had an ACT score of 30-36, but only 6.1% had a GPA of 3.0-3.24.
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