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Low GPA But High IB Predicted Help

yellowzebrayellowzebra 2 replies1 threads New Member
edited February 14 in International Students
So I'm an international student and I take the IB Diploma. I'm a junior. My school does something different for the IB students, we take 11 classes and we receive a grade for each of them, which are out of 100. 6 of those 11 classes are IB classes. We will take the IB exams in May 2021, but every semester we take 2 regular school exams from each of the 11 classes. So I take 2 exams each semester for my 6 IB classes as well. They are not official IB exams, but my school does them to predict our IB grades, and those exams count on the GPA. Here's the thing: the grades I receive from my IB classes are high, so my predicted IB grade will probably be >41. But my grades from the other 5 classes are low. And by low I mean 85 - 90. They are "less important" classes compared to my IB classes, but they count on my GPA.

So most likely my GPA of freshman, sophomore and junior year combined will be something like 96 (My school doesn't scale the GPA out of 4). Which is not bad, but that's barely in the %10 of my class. The top kids at my school have GPA like 98-99, mine is relatively lower compared to them. And usually top schools only accept max 1-2 students from our school. For context, the low GPA stemmed from my junior year first semester because it took time to adjust to the sudden rigorous curriculum shift (I went from regular cirriculum to IB).

My IB Classes are:

HL: Math, Physics, Film
SL: Economics, English Language and Literature A, (My native language) Language and Literature A

PS: I don't want to note where I'm from, so I didn't write my native language course

I want to study mathematics and film. I know, it's a weird combination but I'm deeply interested in Film and Math and I have a predicted of 7 in both of them. At first, I wanted to get into Princeton or Stanford or something. But now I realize that compared to the top kids in my school, I will probably not get in. But my dream school now is Columbia, in which I want to study math and film.

The bad thing is, I need full financial aid. My family is in very bad financial circumstances, if I don't receive full financial aid, I will not be able to attend the college. So, given that my SAT is 1550 and I have some solid extracurriculars, international research competitions and internships, do you think I have a chance with Columbia if I apply Early Decision?

Or should I apply to NYU or UChicago instead, which are my other choices.
edited February 14
3 replies
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Replies to: Low GPA But High IB Predicted Help

  • skieuropeskieurope 40482 replies7519 threads Super Moderator
    edited February 14
    NYU has crappy financial aid for anyone - even worse for international applicants.

    Grades are just one part of the application process. Just be aware that admissions chances for any international applicant are much lower than the already overall acceptance rate.

    Also be aware that neither Columbia nor Stanford not Princeton has a min/max/quota per HS. So assess which school would be the best fir for you, write some killer essays, and hope for the best.
    edited February 14
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  • yellowzebrayellowzebra 2 replies1 threads New Member
    Do you think I'm far below Columbia's standards with these stats or do I have a chance (only considering the grades)?
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  • skieuropeskieurope 40482 replies7519 threads Super Moderator
    Do you think I'm far below Columbia's standards with these stats or do I have a chance (only considering the grades)?

    A 1550 and a predicted IB score of 41+ meets (and exceeds) the academic benchmark. If you do not get in, it will not be because of your academics.
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