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Extenuating Circumstances?

interelations09interelations09 . Posts: 374 Member
edited June 2008 in College Admissions
I am a Junior at my high school, and I recently had an interview with my guidance counselour. We were talking about my grades throughout my high school career and he wanted to know why my GPA was so low my freshman year (3.25) compared to my sophomore and junior year (3.8 and a 4.0). I told him that this was the first year that my dad had gone to Iraq and he told me that I should mention it in my college applications, as it could be considered extenuating circumstances.

I had never thought about this before as it simply did not register that colleges could consider this. So in summary here is the question:

Could my father leaving for Iraq in the beginning of my freshman year be considered extenuating circumstances?

He is still there by the way, and has been for three years. Its been something I've had to cope with my whole career, but it was something that really affected me freshman year.

Thanks for the input!
Post edited by interelations09 on

Replies to: Extenuating Circumstances?

  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Registered User Posts: 24,853 Senior Member
    Yes, it would be appropriate to mention it, not in a whiney way, but in a way that shows how you found a way to excel despite the stress of having your father's serving in Iraq throughout your high school career.
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Registered User Posts: 28,895 Senior Member
    This could also be the basis for a thoughtful personal essay - if, and only if, you really want to go there in that essay.

    Wishing you and your family all the best.
  • interelations09interelations09 . Posts: 374 Member
    thanks happymom, i appreciate it. If I don't do it in an essay (simply because i feel like there are other things that define who i am and what i've done) is there another way to tell them?

    I don't want to sound whiny or make excuses, i just want to let them know that there was an important stressor in my life that has significantly affected my gpa. At least there is a definite upward trend though!
  • nkmcnkmc Registered User Posts: 74 Junior Member
    Your guidance counselor could make a note to mention it when he fills out the counselor form.
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Registered User Posts: 24,853 Senior Member
    nkmc is right. Ask your GC to include that in their recc to send to colleges.

    It's a good idea to give your GC an activities list and an essay about yourself so the GC's report can be as detailed as possible. You can include the info about your reaction to your dad's deployment in the essay for your GC.
  • interelations09interelations09 . Posts: 374 Member
    Thanks for the information!
  • NYY11NYY11 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    I can definitely relate. I am a freshman and academics are really important to me. My dad passed away in March of this year and my GPA ended up at 3.8/3.9 (depends how you calculate it--basically my cumulative average is 97%) My GC told me that colleges look at your transcripts for trends, so a question will be raised in their minds as to why 9th grade GPA was so low and if the GC writes a letter that should help. Plus they will see the great improvements that you made and your inner strength from this experience.
This discussion has been closed.