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do unimpressive grades reduce chances?

happyman1909happyman1909 Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
edited July 2010 in International Students
hello everybody
i want to study in high-rated universities. i got impressive TOEFL and SAT scores,etc. i am engaged in different social projects in school, also i was chosen for national chemistry team, won many awards in my country. the only one problem - my grades aren't impressive. i got many Bs and 2 Cs. Does it seriously reduce my chances?
Post edited by happyman1909 on

Replies to: do unimpressive grades reduce chances?

  • depr91depr91 Registered User Posts: 282 Junior Member
    honestly ? it does. i'm not saying all MIT and harvard student have straight As, but a C never looks good anywhere, even more so when it comes to top schools...
  • Bassplayer08Bassplayer08 Registered User Posts: 243 Junior Member
    ?! Nope it doesn't. As long as you show an upward trend and have a decent average I don't think it seriously reduces your chances, specially if it's a tough class and your C doesn't put you in the bottom half of the class. It does reduce them slightly though but they really mean it when they say the admission process is holistic.
  • UT84321UT84321 Registered User Posts: 1,118 Senior Member
    The problem is that for all your good credentials, there is someone else applying who have all of the same accomplishments--and better grades. Unless you really jump off the page, it is hard to to see why you will be chosen over them.
  • depr91depr91 Registered User Posts: 282 Junior Member
    ^ exactly. and when you say top schools, i take it you mean schools like HYPSM. unless you're referring to schools like UIUC and UMich as well ?
  • happyman1909happyman1909 Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
    thank you for your replies
    depr91, yes, i mean HYPSM and some others like Penn.
    i think (or to be exact, i hope) that probably Cs won't seriously affect my chances, because my realm is engineering, while i got C on economics and deutsch language.
  • ziazia Registered User Posts: 42 Junior Member
    What if someone wants to major in humanities but his/her science grades aren't that impressive?
  • edoardoedoardo Registered User Posts: 334 Member
    The main problem is that we are international students, so the admissions could be easier if we were american students. I don't think that school grades really matter, but this is my opinion, you have to consider all. I don't have amazing grades, but they are not so bad; I think that I can't compare my grades with an american student, because the school system is really different, we are talking about C, B , A, A+, when they (american and some international) have a final exam after the course. If I had an american school system I would have straight of A easily, but it's not so. Many schools use different system, there are more examinations, and also oral examinations ( random); students must study all and sometimes they have 3 examinations in a day plus an oral examination. It's not easy.
    My 9th grade wasn't so good, but during my 10th grade I raised my average about one point over, now I'm a rising junior and I must become a valedictorian next year to be admitted in a top school and in addition I have to take SAT I, SAT II, and TOEFL. Hoping for the best.

    Show who you are and what you can do!
  • IBfootballerIBfootballer Registered User Posts: 2,250 Senior Member
    many Bs and multiple Cs basically mean HYPSM are out
  • SpatulaSpatula Registered User Posts: 502 Member
    I wouldn't say that American schools are easier than international schools. I'm not going to get into that here, though.

    There are plenty of international students with great grades and extracurriculars. An institution's first priority is ensuring that if you are accepted, you will be able to handle the coursework. While a C is passing, among some of the world's brightest and most talented students, you will almost definitely experience a downward trend. That's not true for everybody, but I find that for the most part, it is.

    While a language course may not be indicative of your success in college, you have to consider that most competitive applicants have mostly As. You certainly don't need a 4.0, but having anything below a 3.8 significantly reduces your chances.

    Just make sure you continue to have an upward trend!
  • edoardoedoardo Registered User Posts: 334 Member
    Yes, I agree with you.
    I think that it depends also in which subject you have a C. This year I got 6/10 in latin, I know that it's a bad grade, but it is not so important. I mean it's latin, not math or physics, where I got 8.
    AFAIK whe can't compare grades with american students and with other school systems different from our school system.
  • lolly9986lolly9986 Registered User Posts: 51 Junior Member
    Hi all,

    Would you say this is the same for schools such as Vassar or Williams for example?
    I'll be applying RD in the fall and frankly I am terrified... I graduated high school 6 years ago so it's a different story for me. My GPA is going to be low (Math and English A, the rest Cs and Bs) but I didn't care about school at the time and am now working hard to get other grades up. I also have many extracurricular activities from high school time and now (volunteer work), plus I worked at the same place for 4 years and had another (very demanding) job for the last 6 months.
    I am taking SAT II and TOEFL soon and already took SAT I (was hoping to break 2000...got 1960! Ugh.)
    Would love to hear your opinion on this situation...
    Thanks so much
  • Bassplayer08Bassplayer08 Registered User Posts: 243 Junior Member
    What is your SAT breakdown and is English a first language ? For Vassar are you applying for FA ? 650ish in CR and W might be alright for a non-native but it's a bit low for math if you need FA (Vassar since I *think* Williams is need-blind), specially if your GPA is a bit low (3.2ish ?)
  • lolly9986lolly9986 Registered User Posts: 51 Junior Member
    W 680 M 660 CR 620... hardly amazing. English is not my first language but it's almost at that level. I will apply for FA at all schools I'll be applying to... Pretty broke, only 1 working parent, not a high salary and not even in USD.
    My GPA will be even lower since I really didn't work hard back then... tho most subjects are completely irrelevant for today and my future. (Geography, bible studies, etc.)
    How much weight will my home country have in this?
    Thanks again for answering, I have a bit more hope now :)
  • lolly9986lolly9986 Registered User Posts: 51 Junior Member
    Really appreciate the help!
  • moneypmoneyp Registered User Posts: 774 Member
    lolly, look for schools lower than vassar and wiliams. your scores can be improved by retaking the sats. your gpa we can't do anything about.
    very hard to reco any school for you as you are international looking for aid. if you weren't asking for aid, then that opens a whole new list of schools good for you.
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