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How much do first semester senior grades matter for RD apps?

Almost_There_AlmAlmost_There_Alm Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
edited December 2007 in Parents Forum
I'm really sorry if this has been asked already - I tried to use the Search function, but that came up with too many responses to be useful.

I'm asking this in the Parents' Forum because I think you have the most experience on this issue.

Basically, I've gotten a 3.9 through a very competitive private prep school (2 Bs so far, no weighing). I'm also Top 10% in the class, and that won't change. This year, to be blunt, I'm getting rocked. I currently have 2 Bs that have very little chance of becoming As, and 2 As that are very likely to become Bs (these grades are discrete; there aren't A-s and B+s). Assuming I get 3 Bs first semester (which gives me a 3.57 with 7 AP/IB classes), will that affect my chances for schools such as Chicago/Penn/Columbia/Princeton?

Post edited by Almost_There_Alm on

Replies to: How much do first semester senior grades matter for RD apps?

  • MarianMarian Registered User Posts: 12,548 Senior Member
    Remember that the colleges may weight your grades even if your high school does not.

    The very high degree of rigor of your program is going to count for something. And a B is not disastrous. A D is disastrous.

    At the same time, though, you should realize that all four of the schools you mention are very hard to get into (with Columbia and Princeton being harder to get into than the other two). Even if you were getting a 3.9 this semester, as you did before, you could not count on being admitted to these schools. NOBODY can count on being admitted to these schools.
  • MD_MomMD_Mom Registered User Posts: 537 Member
    There's lots of good information on the non-forum part of the site too. Here are a couple things you might want to look at.
    What Grades Do Colleges Look At? - Ask The Dean
    Early Decision and Senior Grade Decline - Ask The Dean
  • calmomcalmom Registered User Posts: 18,658 Senior Member
    First semester grades are important but B's in challenging courses like AP/IB are probably not a huge problem. C's or D's obviously would be a cause for concern - the college wants to see that you are challenging yourself and working hard your senior year.

    In any case... I remember telling my daughter that there was no point worrying about what she couldn't change -- "what will be, will be". She was all stressed out because she was tied for #2 in her class and "competing" to be Salutatorian, and she thought her dance teacher was messing up her chances by giving her a B. (Dance was graded on attendance and d. was missing dance classes to make up work on in-class writing & bring up her grade in AP English, and the AP English teacher wouldn't budge about the time).

    My d. wouldn't listen to me, but she did heed the same advice ("chill!") when it came from a different teacher whom she respected. She took the B in dance, her class rank dropped to #5 --which would have happened anyway because 2 other kids turned in a bunch weighted A's earned from community college courses at the last minute -- even the for-sure valedictorian dropped to #3 place after that.

    Chicago accepted my d., as did Barnard. My d's senior schedule was no where near as challenging as yours, nor was her high school particularly competitive academically.... so the advice is the same: do your best, but let go of the stress and worry.
  • MomneedsadviceMomneedsadvice Registered User Posts: 368 Member
    First semester senior year grades are important to RD at all competitive colleges. The idea that only Junior year grades count is a myth.

    That said, if you are taking a very challenging course load, I don't think the difference between A and B in one semester is going to make or break you.

    Previous posters are right. Do the best you can, and that's all you can do.
This discussion has been closed.