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Parents of the HS Class of 2017 - 3.0 to 3.4 GPA


Replies to: Parents of the HS Class of 2017 - 3.0 to 3.4 GPA

  • StressedinCAStressedinCA Registered User Posts: 50 Junior Member
    edited March 2016
    thx @eandesmom , he wants to major in Comp Sci , that is his passion but unfortunately that is impacted in most colleges. His PSAT is also good he scored 1500 / 1520 however due to his low GPA he may not qualify for NMF :-(

    What resource can I use to get a list of colleges that look for GPA OR Test scores...
  • eandesmomeandesmom Registered User Posts: 3,095 Senior Member
    @StressedinCA I am by no means an expert but it would seem if you simply look at the gpa/test portion you'll end up with a list of schools that may or may not have comp sci even at the school. There are several tools to help you come up with a list of good schools for computer science but all that really is, is a list. There are a lot of factors to consider. Cost is one. Are you needing or expecting financial aid or merit? Location and program as well as the size and type of school. If it were me I'd come up with a list of schools that seem to fit the parameters of the interest (comp sci) with the reality check of the other items to narrow it down.

    Many search engines can help with that. Cappex, Naviance, the match tool here in CC are good starting points to identify potential matches. If your school uses Naviance it will show related schools that "overlap" with ones you have interest in and that can bring up some interesting ideas. It will also show your sons chances compared to others in his school that have applied to that college.

    The gpa/test tool on prep scholar is a fun reality check baseline for admission chances by school, just scroll to the bottom and plug in your kids numbers. I have also used college simply to help generate ideas

    With the scores and gpa you'll likely want to cast a wide net I'd think and do homework first. I suspect you'll find a lot of schools where the test score is in line with admission but the gpa isn't and how weighted or not that is, will vary. But, with that test score I do think it opens up a lot of options. It's really all over the board. For example using your sons stats, he wouldn't qualify for any merit at Colorado State versus the 6K my S17 will but would qualify for 15,000 per year at Montana state versus the $2,500 my S17 will. And that's a couple of mid tier" A" public schools for B students with really transparent merit info by way of example. Private is a whole different ball of wax as mentioned by @OnTheBubble and your son might qualify for very nice offers from private schools. I don't know if merit is a concern or not. Either way he should have a lot of options. Maybe not NMF options or top tier/Ivy but lots to choose from. Still, you need to come up with the big list first and then narrow it down.

    Not sure if this will help or confuse things either


    My nephew falls very much into the test/gpa scenario of your son with similar interests. In his case he isn't emotionally ready for a selective/competitive 4 year school and so will either do CC or a feeder for our flagship first. He doesn't actually fit a single description in the article above as to the reason for the low gpa but I do think there is some good general info there.

  • SlackerMomMDSlackerMomMD Registered User Posts: 3,094 Senior Member
    edited March 2016
    @StressedinCA your son will have good options but it'll be tricky. Make sure your son has a list with a wide range. Don't be afraid to include reaches but it is as important to include safeties and matches. There was a thread a couple of years ago about a boy with the same high SAT/low GPA that may interest you (there's a happy ending - both acceptances and what came after). He is URM but his stats were lower, also in California. (http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/parents-forum/1561722-urm-2-5-gpa-2100-sat-and-were-going-for-it-p1.html)

    I went through this with my daughter who was also lopsided but less so (lower ACT / higher weighted GPA than your child). While things worked out well in the end, I wished I had encouraged aiming higher. She wanted small LACs so we concentrated on CTCL and public LACs. Maybe I should have tossed in schools with acceptance rates in the 30% range. That said, she really likes her school and is having a great freshman year, so this isn't a big complaint on my part. She also received significant merit aid. t was

    I found the College Simply website that gives lists based on GPA or ACT/SAT scores (or deadlines). It has its limitations so you do need to still use all the other websites and tools.
  • am9799am9799 Registered User Posts: 683 Member
    I read the prepscholar article (high SAT/ low GPA) and I found it very well written and true. My kid used those strategies in his application and had some very good acceptances. He also started from 3.7 uw and ended up to a barely a 3.2 uw and he had the whole range of grades from A+ to the occasional D (mostly B+ though). Took very hard classes and had great ECs so some stuff from the article were spot on. He aimed at schools in the 40% acceptance rate for the early round and he had a list with a lot less selective colleges in mind for later. He got in both EA schools he applied so that was it. He also applied RD to one school in the 30s% where he got in with huge Merit and one school in the 20s% where he was wait listed. Interesting enough that school called the gc for a chat because they were on the fence to admit him!. Of course now I am wondering how well he ll do in college. Some aspects of him are aligned with great success and some not so. His teachers are divided too, with some saying he will thrive in college and others worrying. The worrying never ends.
  • mathprof63mathprof63 Registered User Posts: 328 Member
    @MomStudent2017 : what you quoted is likely as well. You should see the spread of grades of the little green squares - that may be more informative. For example, for U Penn, my school's Naviance shows only top grades, as expected. But for middle of the road colleges, I have seen many acceptances in the below 3.0 range. So it's important to see the scattergram in Naviance, not the just the numbers.The GPA is really dependent on your high school's rigor .
  • eandesmomeandesmom Registered User Posts: 3,095 Senior Member
    @mathprof63 it's very interesting. This is so new to me that I didn't realize the correlation between rigor and the Naviance results. That makes sense. What the data suggests on the compare me section of Naviance versus the actual scattergram can be somewhat different and I think you still need to look at schools stats as a whole, not just your own schools results. But it is helpful to see.

    What was not so helpful was realizing that my son's GPA is not correct in Naviance. It doesn't look like ours is pulling in current cumulative includng 1st semester junior year, only through the end of Sophomore.
  • StressedinCAStressedinCA Registered User Posts: 50 Junior Member
    Thank you very much @mathprof63 , @am9799
    @eandesmom : I will look at all the search engines and make a list, thx
    @SlackerMomMD , I read all the posts from the thread you posted, it sounds so much like my story...the college list and the happy ending truly helps, thx much!
  • StressedinCAStressedinCA Registered User Posts: 50 Junior Member
    I had always assumed my S would go to a UC until an event in Sophomore yr changed everything and his GPA went into downward spiral, so I had saved up enough...I can afford $35K/yr, would there be any possible private colleges that I might be able to afford?
  • eandesmomeandesmom Registered User Posts: 3,095 Senior Member
    @StressedinCA there are a ton of factors here in terms of what schools might be a fit for your son and for your wallet.

    I believe the Cal schools do their own weighting on the GPA and that is sophomore year onwards which unfortunately is not a great timeline for your son based on your post.. You should be able to calculate what his gpa is, according to their system and that can help let you know which schools within the UC system he might have a shot at. That SAT does help though.

    There are definitely mid/lower tier Cal State schools that he should have a real shot at. Monterey Bay, Sacramento, Humboldt State. I assume you are in state in CA? Out of state and private can cost more than 35k so you'll want to see if you qualify for aid first to see if that can help things and if in CA you can look at Western Exchange schools where you may get a break on tuition and participating schools.

    To answer your question, yes I would think so but it gets back to you coming up with a list. With 3000 colleges out there, there is something for everyone in the right price range and for various gpa's and test scores but I'd find that list of schools that match your kid first before just picking a school based on whether he can get in or not or the price.

    How is he doing junior year? Is the gpa stabilized or is he taking any honors or AP classes? Colleges will look at all of it.
  • oldbrookieoldbrookie Registered User Posts: 140 Junior Member
    My boy certainly wishes he had the lopsided gpa/test score situation! He has a 3.3 uw gpa and a 1590 on his first try at the SAT (old test). Interestingly, and very unusual for him, he was disappointed with his result and is keen to retest and improve his score. He prepped a bit for the first go but not very much, and getting the benchmark seems to have really motivated him to prep hard and do better.

    He has expressed interest in physical therapy, or possibly environmental science, but I think the real answer is he is undecided, so he needs to keep his options open. He has indicated he would ideally like to stay within a reasonable driving distance from home, say 5-6 hours (we are in NY). Smaller is better than larger, and Catholic schools are also very much on the radar.

    He is a two sport varsity athlete, football and basketball, and wants to continue with football in college. The football is actually proving to be a very tricky thing for the family to navigate. His parents would prefer he leave it behind in high school and focus on the academics going forward but he has persuaded them to let him continue. The fact that he is good at his sport and it will be an asset for admissions has helped his argument. He is also a super high energy kid. He really needs regular, intense exercise just to calm down enough to be able to sit still and focus. There will need to be some sports in the picture whether or not he continues at the varsity level.

    He has quite a few schools on his list right now, and will be starting visits in earnest next week which will hopefully give him a better sense of what he likes. The schools within a reasonable range as far as his stats: a few of the SUNY’s, Ithaca College, Hobart & William Smith, Assumption, Stonehill, Allegheny, Susquehanna, Duquesne. There are also a few others which are actively recruiting him and would probably otherwise have screened out as too reachy for him stat wise. Most would likely be untouchable without the football and even with it some are still a big stretch - Fordham, Holy Cross, Lafayette, Bucknell, and Rutgers. Academic fit is very important for this family. A situation where he will have to race just to barely keep up with the other kids is not a recipe for success. On the other hand, there is something to be said for being around people who bring you up, and you can’t have a top half of the class unless there is a bottom half… Who knows? Right now, it is all fun and all options are on the table. I worry he may be in store for some disappointment down this road, but it will be manageable and everything will be ok in the long run.

    Focusing back in on the immediate issue – what test prep materials are people using? We have a way to go before the free College Board materials are exhausted, but I am very curious about the Prepscholar course. The online reviews are very mixed, but most of the negative ones seem to be either from people who have very high scoring kids to begin with or others who are having trouble with the money back guarantee. Our goals are more modest and I do know a few people whose kids have had good success with the course. Does anyone have any thoughts or other recommendations?
  • rosered55rosered55 Registered User Posts: 2,706 Senior Member
    @oldbrookie, is Marist a possibility? One of my nephews went there and did crew.
  • StressedinCAStressedinCA Registered User Posts: 50 Junior Member
    Hi @oldbrookie , My S used prepscholar for preparing for his SAT and it proved to be very helpful, Essays ans critical reading were his weaknesses, at prepscholar for each essay he would send they would give a detailed feedback and what he could have done better, it helped him a lot, he got a 10/12 . Also, while the child is preparing they keep on serving the modules that the child needs help on till they master it, the dashboard gives you a quick at a glance understanding of the progress and the areas the child need to focus on. I highly recommend it. Please message me if yu have any specific questions.
  • oldbrookieoldbrookie Registered User Posts: 140 Junior Member
    Yes, @rosered55, Marist is on the list. I just missed it for some reason. The Old in my moniker is there for a reason.

    @StressedinCA your boy's test scores are a powerful recommendation - Thank you!
  • nettiK4137nettiK4137 Registered User Posts: 195 Junior Member
    mine is deciding between Rollins College (pre-engineering 3/2 program) and Baylor University (mech. eng). quite different, but those are the final contenders!
  • eandesmomeandesmom Registered User Posts: 3,095 Senior Member
    @oldbrookie I completely agree that there is something to be said for being around people who bring you up. Our feeling quite often is that S17 would be a b+ student regardless. That's his level of effort. He just works harder to get those B's in the more rigorous classes and easier classes have in the past, actually created bigger issues as he gets bored. He is also a miserable test taker and while I don't want him to be barely keeping up and stressed, I don't want him to settle and be at the top of that B market either in a school. A fine line for sure. I have a kid who needs to be active too, not football but I can respect trying to find a happy medium there. My SD is playing club soccer at her college and that's been a great fit. Best of both worlds. Still affiliated with the school, still competes nationally but without all the pressure of a D1 team and sitting on the bench and trying to survive classes at the same time. That said, she's naturally a much better student than S17 is.

    We have used a local test prep group and are focused on the ACT as diagnostically (at least with the old SAT) that was a better fit. We plan go to back as we get closer to the June test, post spring break. Semi similar, we pay very little for continuing to try to improve (just a couple of 1:1 tutor session) although without the 4pt "promise". It will ramp up once we get through the AP tests too. Other than that, just the free tools. He bumped up 1 point on the first retest but we are hoping for more. Not sure if we will keep going after that if it doesn't move. At this point for his list, I am not sure it will impact admissions at all, but it definitely impacts merit.

    @nettiK4137 does the 3/2 concern you? We've heard that often kids do not end up following through on the engineering aspect as they are pretty settled into the LAC and unwilling to actually move on when the time comes. S17 has a few of those on his list and we've been focusing on the non 3/2 options at those schools as a result. If S17 ends up wanting engineering, then they will come off our list entirely I think but we really won't know till after spring break tours which way he is leaning, exploring it all right now.
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