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Is my GPA too low?

ExponentExponent Registered User Posts: 28 New Member
I am currently a Senior in high school and my GPA is at a 3.6 unweighted. By the end of my Senior year, I should be at around a 3.65. I know there is nothing I can do now to change my GPA as again, I'm already a Senior. I have read around here on CC and it isn't bad, but I want to know how well my chances are into schools in Texas such as A&M and especially UT Austin. I haven't gotten my SAT scores but I won't settle until I get at least a 1400. I've done practice exams before and have always gotten around 1380 and once a 1400. ACT, I'll aim for a 32 minimum. I've done enough practice to where I feel confident in getting these scores. Read on assuming I have achieved these scores.

There are a number of factors that make me feel good about myself and what I've accomplished but at the same times there are major factors that make me feel crappy about my academic life.

Reasons I feel confident:

I will be graduating with 95 college credit hours (Early College High School and with the most credit hours of our graduating class) and I will have earned an AA and an AS degree with minimum Honors distinctions (took Honors classes, 9 credit hours at the cc) while only around 1/4 of the graduating class will receive 1 Associate's. There is only 1 other student that will earn her AA with Honors distinctions. Her and I are the only ones to have ever passed an Honors course. The others failed and gave up the program. I will be getting the AS with Honors at the end of Senior year. As for the AA, I myself and another Junior (last year Juniors) were the first ever at the school to not graduate HS but have earned an Associate's.

Since I want to be a STEM major (chemical engineer), I prioritized my classes in STEM related subjects. I'm the second of two people ever in the school to have taken Calculus II and I will be taking Linear Algebra and Calculus III. While virtually everyone else is taking algebra-based Physics Senior year, I am once again the second of two people to have taken the calculus-based physics course (taking I and II senior year). Organic Chemistry I is also in the pool of options for next semester which no one has taken. With all this being said, I feel that there isn't much competition at my school for engineering programs or STEM in general at either A&M or UT Austin. Everyone took Biology Senior year because it was easier than Chemistry (yeah of course some actually took it because of their intended major) and many people replaced Precalculus with Statistics since again, it was easy. In terms of rigor, I stand out as one of the best, if not the best. Only second to this really intelligent guy (but he actually got good grades haha).

Reasons I DON'T feel confident: I mean...the GPA is just not good compared to other people. I feel, from what I've heard, that GPA is pretty much what admissions really look like. Also, I've heard that it doesn't look more impressive to have taken more classes or harder classes if you can't maintain a good GPA. So while I have stated that I have accomplished more than my peers, it hasn't been completed well. Hence, my GPA has suffered. As the saying goes for AP classes, "2 4's are better than 4 2's." I feel as if colleges will just look at me as someone who has tried to bite off more than they could chew. Also, probably the absolutely biggest thing is the size of the school. It is such a small school that you literally have to be like rank 8 and up to be in the top 10%.

The main thing that pisses me off (which admittedly, I am envious of) is that many students at the school just stack up on ridiculously easy classes during the summer. We have the chance to take 4 summer classes at cc that are 5.0 weighed. This starts the very first summer following freshmen year. You can imagine how many students take Music Appreciation, Drawing, Statistics, Art History, and even some easy History and English classes. They only do it for the GPA boost and class rank, but hey...they get them A's!

Also, probably the absolutely biggest thing is the size of the school. It is such a small school that you literally have to be like rank 8 and up to be in the top 10%. There is around 80 Seniors. Embarrassed as I am to say, I'm not anywhere even close to that number. Not even 30%..

Maybe I'm just ranting. I don't know. I do know that I am slightly (only slightly) upset at my approach this high school. I'm not asking for pity or for someone to tell me that I did great. I know I did well in my own regard, but is that how admissions will view me? I want nothing but blunt honestly. Hit me with the hard truth. I need it. What is my reality to be with what I have stated? So 3.6 GPA, 1400 SAT and 32 ACT. UT and A&M engineering program. Where do I stand?

Replies to: Is my GPA too low?

  • ExponentExponent Registered User Posts: 28 New Member
    I made a few typos. Biology *Junior year, not Senior.

    I would like to add that I am asking specifically from an academic perspective. Yes, yes, yes, I know the importance of EC and I have done pretty well. In that regard, we have all done pretty well. I don't feel like listing what I've done since it's tedious to list, but take my word that I have done rather well when it comes to EC. Nothing like start a business or assist a doctor in research but I'd only do that if I were aiming for a highly highly selective school.

    Any response is appreciated. Thanks in advance everyone. :)
  • billcshobillcsho Registered User Posts: 16,667 Senior Member
    Does your dual enrollment credit help your wGPA and class rank?
  • ExponentExponent Registered User Posts: 28 New Member
    @billcsho Yes, sir (or ma'am), it does. However, once again, a lot of students take summer classes and just easy classes over all to get the GPA boost. We all know there are some college classes that are just ridiculously easy but regardless, they're all on a 5.0 if they're a college class. Even my wGPA doesn't bump me up to the top although I have stated I will have graduated with the most Dual Credit classes taken (97 credit hours or around 16 high school credits). The reason is because of the bad grades that brought my unweighted GPA and wGPA down.
  • BuckeyeMWDSGBuckeyeMWDSG Registered User Posts: 442 Member
    I'm assuming you are in Texas and the CC you attend as a dual enrolled students transfers most of their students into public Texas universities? It seems like you have taken full advantage of the most rigorous curriculum available to you. My D followed a similar path to get into our state flagship by maximizing local opportunities to prepare herself for admission to a competitive program as well. My D had an ACT score well under the admitted class for our flagship but her transcript spoke for itself. As long as the institutions you are applying to review holistically I would think you would get in. But I'm not familiar with Texas and it seems you are concerned about class rank, perhaps because that garners an auto-admission? Our back up plan with D if she didn't make it in due to her low test scores was to immediately apply for a transfer into the flagship from a branch because she would have met all the criteria for transfer. Maybe looking into that process and knowing all your options for getting where you want to go would alleviate your concerns as you wait for an admissions decision.
  • dallastxmomdallastxmom Registered User Posts: 32 Junior Member
    Does not matter what your GPA will be at the end of the year - it is time to apply now.

    Bad news: You are probably not getting into ChemE at UT Austin with those stats and class rank. Maybe A&M but don't get your hopes up.

    Good news: those 2 would not be my top choice for my kid anyway. Both have excellent ChemE programs BUT each has its drawbacks. At UT you get into the engineering major upfront but if your change your mind and want to switch it is very hard to do so. At A&M you have to compete after 1st year to get your pick - my worry was what if my kid had a hard 1st semester - it would stink to be there a year and not get to major in what you wanted.

    There are not a ton of choices for ChemE in Texas about 7-8. Texas Tech and Houston are great options. Take a look at OK State, University of OK and University of Arkansas. My son just started his 2nd yr ChemE at Arkansas he is killing it. There are options out there. Don't get wrapped up in rankings. Find the fit for you.
  • sahmkcsahmkc Registered User Posts: 207 Junior Member
    Oh Texas and your ranking auto-admits! Yes, rank is everything in Texas if you want to get into UT Austin or A & M. However, because of their auto admits based on rank, many students do not survive. I think the schools listed above are good choices. I know there are some programs where you do the first two years at a different UT and then you are admitted to UT or A & M. I don't know if that applies to their engineering programs. It's something to research. My friend's son went to a highly competitive test in all boys prep school. Because he was competing with the best, he was not an auto-admit into A & M. He was a legacy and didn't get in. He went Auburn and loved it! There are a ton of good choices out there for you.
  • BuckeyeMWDSGBuckeyeMWDSG Registered User Posts: 442 Member
    Is it possible to get into any of the engineering programs by starting at a branch that offers the first year or two of engineering courses and then transferring to the main campus? In the Ohio system if a student selects a branch location for Ohio State as a first choice they are automatically admitted and can schedule any coursework without needing to be admitted directly to the college or major. If they were at main campus they'd have to be accepted into the college and the major to schedule some classes. Would applying to the Galveston location as a first choice and looking into the transfer process be a possible path into Texas A&M engineering beyond the maritime engineering degree? Or is that location also highly competitive for admission?
  • IceCold125IceCold125 Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
    Hi! I'm also a senior and my unweighted GPA is pretty close to yours. However my SAT score is not very good. But I'm planning to retake it again in November. I think you will do well. Good luck! :)
  • bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    stronger SAT and good subject test marks but poor GPAs. Will it hamper the admission? Also, can it work if teachers mention in recommendation possible reasons for poor GPAs?
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