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Do I Have A Chance Of Admission After Poor Frosh and Soph Grades and Upward Trend In Rigor?

CollegeFreak9488CollegeFreak9488 58 replies42 threads Junior Member
edited September 20 in What Are My Chances?
Alright, guys. The tuition is not a problem so please do not mention tuition in regards to these schools. I want to get into schools like Fordham, Lehigh, Holy Cross, Lafayette, UC Santa Cruz, OSU, Purdue, and UMiami. However, my freshman and sophomore years were a bit rough since I earned two Cs (74 in English honors and a 71 in algebra). Along with one D, a 68, in chemistry. I also got kicked out of English honors due to the low grade of a 74, and my overall cumulative GPA weighted is a 3.1.

Junior year, I am taking AP CS Principles and AP Environmental Science and am hoping to aim for at least a 28 ACT score. Is this courseload not rigorous enough for these schools? Especially since I am trying to make up for poor grades? The rest of my grades are mostly Bs with about 4-5 As in total from sophomore and freshman year. I also earned nothing less than 85 in classes not related to math, English, or chemistry.

I also have good extracurriculars which are mostly community service and clubs. I also play the piano and stand up bass. Is there no hope for me left even if I raise my GPA to a 3.4? My major would be classics and foreign language.
edited September 20
52 replies
Post edited by skieurope on
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«13

Replies to: Do I Have A Chance Of Admission After Poor Frosh and Soph Grades and Upward Trend In Rigor?

  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35630 replies400 threads Senior Member
    edited September 14
    There are good colleges that will take a chance on kids with the right rigor, rounding, and maybe a small performance blip, as long as you're within range. You can look up average stats for admits to your target colleges and see how you fit.

    Your grades in humanities will matter much more than in stem. But APCSP and APES are not considered especially rigorous. I'd guess Fordham and HC will be taking the toughest look at your actual classics prep, the rigor in humanities- of course, any highest level classics classes, but also English. All will want to know you're ready for whatever level of rigor exists in their majors, once there.
    edited September 14
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  • CollegeFreak9488CollegeFreak9488 58 replies42 threads Junior Member
    Would I not be able to apply to UC Santa Cruz or Santa Barbara because of the D in chemistry? Also, would these schools at least see that I am trying to improve or is there no longer a chance for me?
    There are good colleges that will take a chance on kids with the right rigor, rounding, and maybe a small performance blip, as long as you're within range. You can look up average stats for admits to your target colleges and see how you fit.

    Your grades in humanities will matter much more than in stem. But APCSP and APES are not considered especially rigorous. I'd guess Fordham and HC will be taking the toughest look at your actual classics prep, the rigor in humanities- of course, any highest level classics classes, but also English. All will want to know you're ready for whatever level of rigor exists in their majors, once there.

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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 5814 replies94 threads Senior Member
    edited September 15
    What is your unweighted GPA, core courses only, on a 4 point scale?

    It sounds like it's below a 3.0, which will make the colleges on your list tough to gain admission. Getting better grades junior year will be important, colleges do like to see upward grade trends. But the majority of accepted students at the selective colleges on your list, like Lehigh, have unweighted GPAs of 3.5+.

    What state do you live in?
    edited September 15
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  • CollegeFreak9488CollegeFreak9488 58 replies42 threads Junior Member
    Idk my unweighted GPA. My weighed on 5.0 scale is a 3.1.
    Mwfan1921 wrote: »
    What is your unweighted GPA, core courses only, on a 4 point scale?

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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 5814 replies94 threads Senior Member
    edited September 15
    Idk my unweighted GPA. My weighed on 5.0 scale is a 3.1.
    Mwfan1921 wrote: »
    What is your unweighted GPA, core courses only, on a 4 point scale?

    Calculate it yourself, because many colleges will. For some schools the unweighted GPA is very important.

    Take your core courses (E, Math, SS, Sci, FL), assign a number to each grade based on a 4 point scale where A = 4, B = 3 and so on (ignore plus and minus). Then add the total points up and divide by the total number of core classes. If you have mostly Bs with some Cs and one D, your unweighted GPA may be below 3.0.
    edited September 15
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  • helpingmom40helpingmom40 427 replies10 threads Member
    You should recalculate your unweighted gpa on a 4.0 scale. There are charts online for what numbers to use. Schools don’t rely on unweighted since many schools don’t weight and of those that do, they don’t weight the same way. You need to be able to compare apples to apples. You will then be able to find schools where admitted students have similar grades to you.

    Colleges like to see strong grades in challenging courses. An upward trend will be helpful but likely will not be enough to compensate for Cs and a D in core classes at more competitive schools.
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  • CollegeFreak9488CollegeFreak9488 58 replies42 threads Junior Member
    What happens if I earn a D? Am I disqualified for admission to any UC?
    You should recalculate your unweighted gpa on a 4.0 scale. There are charts online for what numbers to use. Schools don’t rely on unweighted since many schools don’t weight and of those that do, they don’t weight the same way. You need to be able to compare apples to apples. You will then be able to find schools where admitted students have similar grades to you.

    Colleges like to see strong grades in challenging courses. An upward trend will be helpful but likely will not be enough to compensate for Cs and a D in core classes at more competitive schools.

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  • GumbymomGumbymom Forum Champion UC 30978 replies472 threads Forum Champion
    A D will not disqualify you from the UC's, however you need a minimum of 2 Science courses (Biology/Chemistry/Physics) with a passing grade of C or higher to fulfill the UC Lab Science requirement. You also need a Capped weighted UC GPA of 3.4 if you are an OOS applicant to even apply and then that minimum GPA is barely competitive at UC Merced.

    https://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/admission-requirements/freshman-requirements/subject-requirement-a-g.html

    https://rogerhub.com/gpa-calculator-uc/

    UC's use only 10-11th grades with maximum of 8 honors points for AP/IB or DE courses taken during this time, this is the capped weighted UC GPA.
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  • GumbymomGumbymom Forum Champion UC 30978 replies472 threads Forum Champion
    More information regarding the UC’s. If you are OOS, you will also be paying full fees at $65K/year to attend since they offer little to no financial aid to OOS students.

    Below is are some UC GPA data to help you access if you will be qualified to apply:
    2020 UC capped weighted GPA averages along with 25th-75th percentile range:
    UCB: 4.22 (4.13-4.30)
    UCLA: 4.25 (4.18-4.31)
    UCSD: 4.18(4.04-4.28)
    UCSB: 4.17 (4.03-4.27)
    UCI: 4.11 (3.96-4.26)
    UCD: 4.11 (3.97-4.25)
    UCSC: 3.94 (3.71-4.16)
    UCR: 3.88 (3.65-4.11)
    UCM: 3.68 (3.40-3.96)
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35630 replies400 threads Senior Member
    It takes some legwork to identify the right colleges, more than identifying what *you* like or think you want or dream of.

    Overall, simple math, 3.1 on a 5pt scale is roughly 2.5 out of 4 points. That's tough for those schools. Right, you look at cores, not PE, drivers ed, etc. But have you taken a look at the score ranges of accepted kids at the schools you think you like? If not, you're flying blind.

    Again, most important are going to be your humanities classes, as a possible classics or FL major. Seems you're saying there were problems in humanities, more than that English class? Any rigorous courses in humanities?

    Please understand some of those colleges are not as hard to get into as a Stanford. But there will be tons of 4.0 kids applying to them, with higher test scores, a fine balance of ECs (in and out of the hs,) and more. That competition may be using Lehigh, Fordham, etc, as their own happy, affordable safeties.

    This is where being realistic is both practical and mature. Something held you from getting better grades. Something more than no affinity for chemistry. Often, the key isn't the college name or cachet, but the right fit for you, safeties, where you can do well, where you can get your best performance. Be sure to look for those. Many offer a great education.
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  • vpa2019vpa2019 793 replies22 threads Member
    edited September 15
    I am only speaking from what I saw with my daughter’s class of 2019 but given your GPA most if not all of those schools will be reaches for you.

    That said, if you are set on any one of them consider EDing and pay attention to demonstrated interest. I know Lehigh, for one, pays a lot of attention to it and they don’t appreciate being anyone’s safety. From what I’ve observed Lehigh routinely WLs very qualified applicants because they perceive them to be applying as a safety. Lehigh also fills a significant portion of its class through ED. Your full pay ability (assuming that’s what you mean by “don’t mention tuition”) could be helpful as well.

    Your major may also assist because those may be less common at some of the schools you referenced and those departments and professors need students to teach.

    Lastly, do make sure you have a couple of safeties.
    edited September 15
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  • blossomblossom 10536 replies9 threads Senior Member
    Look at Lawrence, Seton Hall, Muhlenberg, Trinity, American.....
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  • coolguy40coolguy40 3026 replies8 threads Senior Member
    edited September 15
    If I had a nickel for every time I hear a teenager say, "My parents can afford it," I could retire early. Even if you could afford it now, that might not be true in the next 4 years, especially with the economy the way it is. The wisest thing to do is make a good list of in-state schools. If a layoff/business failure, etc happens(and it's common), you can finish your degree on student loans, instead of having to lose credits transferring back home. I promise, the professional world has little regard for prestige, other than a conversation starter at dinner parties. It really has more to do with your major than anything else.
    edited September 15
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  • aquaptaquapt 2515 replies54 threads Senior Member
    The important thing at this point is to put in a strong showing in your junior year, not only in terms of grades, but in terms of building relationships with your teachers and college counselor so that they will vouch for your with strong recommendations. If there were challenges or extenuating circumstances that affected your earlier grades, make sure your counselor knows about this now so that they can observe your efforts this year and speak to your improving arc in their recommendation letter. This will be much more effective if you involve them *now* and draw their attention to your unfolding record, vs. approaching them a year from now and trying to impart a narrative about yourself, retroactively.

    Assuming you have a solid junior year and build teacher/counselor support for your application, you should be able to get a sympathetic reading at schools with holistic admissions. But you'll still want to look at schools that admit a reasonable share of students with "softer" GPA's. Try looking at some of the "Colleges That Change Lives" schools ( ctcl.org ) that have strong classics and foreign languages. Kalamazoo College might be a good target - their "K Plan" is very individualized and doesn't require a lot of arbitrary distribution requirements; they have majors in Classics, Chinese, Japanese, French, German, and Spanish; and they admit almost 80% of applicants. Ohio Wesleyan and Earlham could also be worth a look. On the large-school side of things, U of Cincinnati has an extremely well-regarded Classics department, and a more forgiving admissions profile than OSU or Purdue.

    You may need a backup plan if it turns out you can't get into a school that you're happy with as a freshman. Most community colleges don't have strong offerings in Classics (and foreign languages are often limited) but there are exceptions. Here's one right near Ohio State, that has both Classics and Latin courses https://www.cscc.edu/academics/departments/humanities-department/classics.shtml You could start out there and transfer to OSU or Cincinnati. See what other CC pathways you can find, to the schools that interest you. Also look at the less-competitive branch campuses of universities like Cincinnati, OSU, Purdue, and U of Pittsburgh. (Pitt has strong Classics and foreign languages as well) All of these will have some sort of generic "liberal arts" program that can feed into your desired majors(s) at the main campus.
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  • CollegeFreak9488CollegeFreak9488 58 replies42 threads Junior Member
    Since I got a 68 in chemistry, do I have to take physics this year in order to have a chance of admission? What if I do not meet the science requirement?
    Gumbymom wrote: »
    A D will not disqualify you from the UC's, however you need a minimum of 2 Science courses (Biology/Chemistry/Physics) with a passing grade of C or higher to fulfill the UC Lab Science requirement. You also need a Capped weighted UC GPA of 3.4 if you are an OOS applicant to even apply and then that minimum GPA is barely competitive at UC Merced.

    https://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/admission-requirements/freshman-requirements/subject-requirement-a-g.html

    https://rogerhub.com/gpa-calculator-uc/

    UC's use only 10-11th grades with maximum of 8 honors points for AP/IB or DE courses taken during this time, this is the capped weighted UC GPA.

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  • GumbymomGumbymom Forum Champion UC 30978 replies472 threads Forum Champion
    @CollegeFreak9488: What science classes have you taken and passed so far?

    You saw the minimum requirements of 2 years of these subjects: Biology, Chemistry, Physics or a UC approved interdisciplinary science, earth or space science in place of one of the Biology/Chemistry or Physics classes.

    If you do not have the minimum 2 years in this category, then you will not be eligible to apply to any UC. The 2 years of science are a hard requirement and be taken anytime between 9-12th grades.

    Also be aware that meeting the minimum makes you eligible to apply, but since the UC’s are highly competitive, the majority of applicants will take courses above and beyond the minimum.

    Both my son’s, CA HS students had 5 years of science when they applied to the UC’s (Biology/Chemistry/Physics/Physical Science and Environmental Science). You will not be penalized if your HS does not offer some of the courses, but you are still required to take at least 2 years during your HS career.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30614 replies59 threads Senior Member
    You can apply to any school you please. Getting accepted is a whole other story. Apparently, the UCs have certain requirements that have to be met that you may not have. Get on the website of those schools and carefully read what the requisites are. You’ve been told here, but it’s always a good idea to check it out yourself.

    IMO, all of these schools are reached for you but give it a try if that’s what you want. Make sure you pick some schools you know will take you, spending time carefully researching which of those to add to your list. That is the crux of college search— finding the best sure things. The rest is a lottery of sorts.

    IMO, you have an awful lot of schools if you pick a few more sure thing schools, so I’d apply to maybe 4-5 out of your list, putting together the best application you can, paying close attention to short answer questions and tailoring each app to the school. The same diligence should be given to your Safety schools, and maybe get some of those done early so you are set. Then you can apply to your reaches with wild abandon since your bases are covered. If you don’t meet UC requirements, ditch those schools unless you want to do a HailMary Pass to them, but get your realistic choices and ones where you meet the states admissions reqs fine first.

    Look at, Sacred Heart, Providence, Scranton, St Joseph Fordham is tough for classics unless you are well prepared in he field with strong demonstrated Interest. What languages, and how far have you gone in them?
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  • aquaptaquapt 2515 replies54 threads Senior Member
    Frankly, I don't think direct entry to any UC is a realistic target for you. Trying to tweak your course selection based on UC requirements is a red herring at this point. If you're very mature and independent, and your heart is set on a UC, then move out here and attend a CA community college; you'll be virtually guaranteed a transfer into UC Santa Cruz as long as you meet the requirements. (You won't get residency for tuition purposes, though.) Cabrillo College in Aptos is about 15 minutes away from UCSC, on the other end of town.

    The thing is, I don't know why a student who does poorly in classes outside of his core interests would want to aim for a university system with heavy GE requirements, and one that is wildly expensive out-of-state at that. Aim for someplace with an open curriculum, where you can focus on your areas of interest.

    But if you really want the option of a public university in California, there are three CSU campuses that have a Classics major. San Francisco State is a non-impacted campus so you should get in *if* you meet the stated requirements. CSU Long Beach and San Diego State are impacted campuses, so the GPA threshold to get in will be higher. CA publics look just at the grade 10 and 11 GPA so that may help a bit in your situation. Also, the OOS price of a CSU is less ridiculous than a UC. (Don't underestimate the cost of housing, though.)

    Alternatively, consider the University of Oregon, which is a popular alternative to the ultra-competitive UC's for California students, who sometimes refer to it, tongue-in-cheek, as "UC Eugene." It has a robust Classics department with five different major tracks to choose from.
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  • GumbymomGumbymom Forum Champion UC 30978 replies472 threads Forum Champion
    For the California Cal states as an OOS applicant you need a minimum 3.0 CSU capped weighted GPA to be eligible to apply. Since the CSU’s are test blind this admission cycle, just like the UC’s, GPA will be the major factor in their application review process.

    CSU capped weighted GPA = UC capped weighted GPA

    https://rogerhub.com/gpa-calculator-uc/

    Campuses and programs designated as impacted may utilize higher “a-g" GPA thresholds for applicants, as well as identify supplemental criteria and their relative weights, in making admission decisions/
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  • aquaptaquapt 2515 replies54 threads Senior Member
    ^^ Yes, this is what I meant by "*if* you meet the stated requirements." My impression was that perhaps, with freshman grades not counting, your UC/CSU GPA (as per the rogerhub calculator) might make the 3.0 cut for a non-impacted campus like SFSU. But if you're serious about CA public U's, run the calculator and see what GPA you would need to get this year in order to make the cut. For OOS students, honors classes don't count for weighting, only AP's.

    As to the "should I take physics?" question... wouldn't it be better to retake chemistry? That way you could replace the failing grade rather than just moving on and trying to balance it out.
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