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3.8 GPA? Can I still get into college?

futureboarding11futureboarding11 22 replies11 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
I have a 3.8 gpa (4 b's freshmen, 4b's sophomore, 1b's junior semester 1). I got to a semi-competitive high school in bethesda, md. The grades are slightly inflated and most of my classmates have 3.9-4.0 and I was wondering if I could still get into a good college (my dream is NU but ik it's very unrealistic).

I took 11 APs, 10 Honors, 2 on-level (graduation requirements).
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Replies to: 3.8 GPA? Can I still get into college?

  • grgscrjrgrgscrjr 92 replies8 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Of course, you can get into a good college, but how do you define a good college? Which ones are you interested in aside from NU (did you mean NYU or something else?).

    Also, what's your SAT/ACT (if you taken it already)?
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  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 2236 replies38 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Is that 3.8 a weighted or unweighted GPA?

    Of course you can get into a good college either way, but you might have a few more than 2,000 from which to choose if it is unweighted.
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  • futureboarding11futureboarding11 22 replies11 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Northwestern University. I’ve taken the ACT twice going for a third (34 both times). A good college is just a college my mother (Asian) would be proud of me going to.
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  • futureboarding11futureboarding11 22 replies11 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Yes it is unweighted. I think weighted is close to 4.6-4.7
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  • vpa2019vpa2019 516 replies10 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited June 16
    yes you will get into college. Northwestern is a reach as it is for everyone. Also not sure a 3rd ACT will move the needle much. 34 is a very good score.
    edited June 16
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  • grgscrjrgrgscrjr 92 replies8 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Sorry about not getting NU--I should have. It's hard for us to say what your mother would be proud of. Have you discussed it with her?
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  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 4077 replies87 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    All Asian moms would be proud of UC-Berkeley and UCLA lol. You would be behind the 8-ball with GPA since your UC capped weighted would be 4.13 (average at both places is around 4.25), but your rigor is great and you have a fine ACT score. If you had outstanding essays and ECs, you could possibly get into either place, though they would be considered a reach. If not, you would be a solid match for the second-tier UCs (UCSD, UCI, UCSB, UCD).

    If you did ED, Carnegie-Mellon is a possibility. Even Northwestern might be a possibility for ED. Reaches, but possible. As mentioned above, there are a lot of good schools that would love to have you.

    If you happened to want to be a CS major, do note that UMD is one of the best schools in the country for CS.
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  • futureboarding11futureboarding11 22 replies11 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    If only I was a CS major then my mother would be truly happy. No I'm looking to be a biology major. My mother would love it if I could get into UCLA as I was born there and she loves Cali, I'm looking into more liberal arts colleges.
    As far as ECs I am captain of my (speech team) speech and debate team which is nationally recognised and I have finaled at NSDA districts.
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  • futureboarding11futureboarding11 22 replies11 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I have tried but she still has delusions, as every mother might, of Harvard. With all the work and effort she had put in to raise me on American soil I do not want to disappoint. Although she has mentioned that her life would have gone to waste and have been meaningless if I did end up at UMD.
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  • inthegardeninthegarden 1173 replies23 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 16
    ^ That is just sad. Lots of top students enroll in this state flagship. Does your mom really think you won't have a successful life after studying there, or is it only about prestige and bragging rights?
    edited June 16
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  • futureboarding11futureboarding11 22 replies11 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    She doesn’t believe in success from state schools, “why else would they have such low rankings if they were good schools” mentality.
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  • socaldad2002socaldad2002 1437 replies29 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    "Although she has mentioned that her life would have gone to waste and have been meaningless if I did end up at UMD"

    With all do respect, your mom is everything that is wrong with college admissions. Unfortunately, she is clueless about colleges and careers and I would bet lots of money that you will be much more successful than she will ever be, no matter which college you attend.

    Here's a little secret, we cannot help who our parents are but what you can control is your attitude and drive to succeed. You seem like an awesome student, have an ACT in the 99% percentile, and likely good ECs. You are getting a great education already (it wasn't a "waste") and if your mother cannot see this she is blind.

    You will get into some "good fit" colleges and thrive no matter which college you ultimately choose...good luck to you!
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  • MWolfMWolf 1497 replies10 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    An unweighted 3.8 is on the lower end of students accepted to the colleges with the lowest acceptance rates. However, you can assume, like almost any other applicant, that you will not be accepted into any college which has an acceptance rate that is lower than 10%.

    However, just because a college has a very low acceptance rate does not mean that it is objectively better than colleges with higher acceptance rate. There are many many excellent colleges who would be happy to have you. Many LACs out there will love to have you, including many in CA, like Scripps.

    With a UW GPA of 3.8 and an ACT of 34 you are in the top 3%-5% of rising seniors in the country, and about the top 10%-15% of the college applicants. So you are well placed to be accepted to a long list of excellent colleges.

    There are 2,000 non-profit four year colleges and universities out there, and, of them, over 1,000 provide excellent, world-class education. There is no need to be obsessed with only 25 of these, and to believe that happiness and success only comes to kids who attend one of these 25 colleges.
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  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 4077 replies87 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 16
    My nephew went thru the same process (Biology major) this past school year with a similar type of mom, though his stats were not quite as good as yours (3.7uw, 1490SAT, 9 APs total). He went to a renowned expensive boarding school though. He got accepted into a long list of schools ranked between 30-60 overall (U-Dub, Wisconsin, UC-Davis, UIUC, CWRU, PSU, Boston U, Miami (The U), etc. and ultimately decided on Boston U.

    T20 schools will definitely be very difficult to get into, but there are plenty of schools just outside the top 20 which probably you apply and perhaps land one (or more) of them.
    edited June 16
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 5273 replies77 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 16
    Congratulations on such an impressive high school profile!

    Your mom only wants what she feels is best for you and the brand name colleges are very well known.

    However, when it comes to UMD, I would try to help her understand.

    Ask her to Google. who founded Google? When Sergey Brin comes up ask her to look at his wiki page background.

    Yup, he went to UMD.

    Excellent chance his mother (not American born either) probably doesn’t feel her life has been a waste. He is only worth about 50 billion dollars at this time.

    It might strike a cord with your mom and you too!

    It would be an incredible blessing to have this option assured early in your admissions cycle, at least to take some pressure off of both of you.
    edited June 16
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  • RandyErikaRandyErika 475 replies5 threadsRegistered User Member
    I have to agree with @socaldad2002 on this topic. At some point you’re going to have to understand that your motivation needs to come from within, in order to meet the goals and objectives you set for yourself. Your mother is trying to motivate you by guilt and shame, a cultural trait for sure - effective to some degree, but not a healthy approach IMHO.
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  • CountingDownCountingDown 13438 replies110 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Oh, please, OP. One-third of the kids at the county STEM magnet and IB magnet go to UMD. A goodly number of then turned down T-20s to get PAID to attend UMD. They then go on to the Big Name schools for graduate work, having done extremely well at College Park. If you are planning to be a bio major and are thinking about grad/med school (because a BS in Bio doesn't get you much in the job market), you really don't want to spend big $$$ or take out big loans for UG. You want to be somewhere where you can do well, be known to your profs (through class/performance/research/mentoring) and be in good financial shape.

    Northwestern and other schools of its ilk are big reaches for EVERYONE who applies. Students are competing in an applicant pool where everyone has insane numbers and grades. Look beyond the admissions madness and find some schools that will work for YOU. Your mom means well and may be trying to motivate you, but there are many, many schools that will help you accomplish your goals.

    P.S. Sergey Brin dropped out of his PhD program at Stanford to start a little company. His dad was a math/CS prof at UMD. His mom was a scientist at NASA. They know the value of education. I think they are still proud of their son.
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  • merc81merc81 10343 replies157 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 17
    To offer you a numerical answer to your question, the average GPA for admitted students at a top-50 school (by selectivity) such as Colgate was recently 3.82/4.0.

    https://www.colgate.edu/admission-financial-aid/first-year-class-profile

    https://amp.businessinsider.com/the-610-smartest-colleges-in-america-2015-9
    edited June 17
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