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The Possibility of Cornell with Lower Stats

schoolstrugglesschoolstruggles 7 replies11 threads Junior Member
edited January 13 in Cornell University
Hi everybody-
So currently I am a sophomore with a low GPA- I'm struggling (getting help now) with an eating disorder. I know I'm only a sophomore, but please keep reading a little more. My GPA (right after midterms) is 3.41. I would like Cornell Agricultural School to be an option for me- what would I need to do to realistically bring my grades up? (A 4.0 unweighted might almost impossible- maybe more like a 3.75-3.8; however, I'm open to trying).

A few more facts:
-1 AP currently, possibly up to 3 next year
-Almost all honors, except for two classes (Latin and Math...I am in CPA math, if any of you understand that).
-Current 3.67 weighted

Non-Academic:
-Nearing Eagle Scout
-strong music extracurriculars (marching band, jazz band), music tutor (community service)
-other extracurriculars (robotics club, chess club)
-community service
-strong leadership skills (Scouts)
-possible future industry experience in high school (part-time forestry jobs).

Other
-legacy (parent went to Cornell).
-college essay- will write about struggles with mental health
-early decision possibly

Sorry for the long question, thank you for those who read it/answer it. Please don't scoff- I'm trying pretty hard, and college admissions can be brutal. Also, yes, I'm a sophomore and I have a bit of time.

Thanks! :)
edited January 13
5 replies
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Replies to: The Possibility of Cornell with Lower Stats

  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 8714 replies82 threads Senior Member
    You have plenty of time to get your grades up. Work on getting well. That's more important than anything else.

    When the time comes, have your GC address your health struggles. Use your essay to highlight why you would be a great fit and addition to campus.

    To have legacy considered, you will need to apply ED. Cornell is open about saying that it's only a bump in ED.


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  • highschooldad1highschooldad1 39 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I would avoid writing about mental health. It may backfire and make them wonder if you can make it there.
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  • aquaptaquapt 2281 replies47 threads Senior Member
    I agree that your mental health struggles will likely not be the best essay topic, but you don't have to start writing that essay for at least a year so that's a discussion for another day.

    There's a fine line between having an aspiration that will motivate you, and being too stuck on a single "dream school." Granted, applying ED to CALS as an in-state legacy will help to offset slightly weaker stats. But it's not a good idea to pin all your hopes and dreams on a single, ultra-competitive university. You already have a mental health condition that correlates highly with perfectionism and unrelenting self-judgment. The last thing you need is to spend all of your high school years feeling as if all will be lost if you don't go to Cornell.

    I would challenge you to find matches and safeties that you can at the very least "fall in like" with. There are so many wonderful places where you could pursue your interests and passions. If you're excited about forestry, have you looked into SUNY ESF? Virginia Tech is another terrific school for this field. You're only a sophomore - take the time to imagine if Cornell didn't exist - where can you see yourself?

    It's not healthy to back yourself into a corner and feel like, as a result of your less-than-perfect GPA currently, perfection is the only path forward. You may get straight A's from this point on, but you may not. Do your best, but for the sake of your health and happiness, know that the world won't end if you don't go to Cornell. Find a Plan B and a Plan C that you can genuinely imagine. Who knows, you may even discover that one of those plans is a better fit for you. If you end up at Cornell in the end, wonderful! But if you've known all along that you'll be okay whether Cornell happens or not, you'll be a much healthier and happier person.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 7210 replies69 threads Senior Member
    Agreeing with the above posters, and emphasizing the looking for 'fit' part. Being a legacy can mean that - consciously or unconsciously - you and/or your parents may think that's where you 'should' go. Cornell is *not* a good fit for everyone. It is a very intense place, and it might not be the best place for you.
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  • monydadmonydad 7885 replies158 threads Senior Member
    edited January 14
    Suggest don't put this kind of pressure on yourself now .
    Get the most out of your high school experience over the next year, academically yes but also socially and outside of the classroom.

    Start contemplating what colleges you are best quaified for, and best meet your needs, next year. After you have more data available.

    After you have more information you will likely find that this one college is not actually the best fit for you.

    IMO for many people it may not be wise to attend a college where their stats put them at the lower end at the outset. Even if they are admitted. Because getting in to college is one thing, getting out is something else. I've seen many people struggle through their college years, doing miserably. For them, it was not the experience that college can be.
    edited January 14
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