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I got into Stanford with a 3.4 GPA: it is possible

jennyxjennyx Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
edited May 2013 in Stanford University
Okay, before I start, I just want to say that this is not a thread where I mean to gloat about how this happened, etc. but I make this after reading about everyone freaking out, etc.

Anyway, you may notice that I had a thread here a few months ago about how I had a bad GPA, and if I even had a chance at some of the lower UCs:


My SAT also wasn't outstanding (2200).

But, as people have said, time and time again, it is passion that counts. For example, for me, one of my huge passions is running. I've been running for a few years, but I've devoted tons and tons of time to it. Not just cross country in the fall and track in the spring, but in the off season such as the summer and winter, I would run close to 50 miles per week and basically ran almost every day (out of a month, I would maybe not run 1-2 of those days). I know tons about running such as top athletes, training styles, coaches, races, etc. So to put it this way, it was one of the things that was huge in my life (and something I devoted a lot of time to), and that is what you need to find: a passion that really drives you in life, not something that you just "do" to put on your college application. I did tie in running with one of my essays, and as cliche as it might sound, your essays really do have to be from "the heart" and the readers will know if you are really passionate about something. For me, if I do go to Stanford, I'll just be able to walk on to the team (Stanford is very, very good) because I would like to keep running in college.

I didn't do that many extracurriculars but I did ones that I really liked and ones that really meant a lot to me. If you really like something and feel passionate about it, Stanford will realize it and definitely take that into consideration. Another example for me was the AP US History class I took in 11th grade. I took more science classes/engineering ones, but this class was one that made a huge impact on me. I barely got an A (studied like crazy on the final exam), but I realized that that wasn't a huge thing about the class.. it was just that I had learned SO much throughout the whole class that I really felt I took something away from it besides just a letter grade. Again, passion is what counts here.

The next thing is apparently huge upward trends help a lot. I don't want to post all the stats here but if you look at the "chances" thread, my GPA was terrible sophomore year and I did manage to raise it junior year by working a LOT harder.

The last thing is that even if you feel there are a ton of people overshadowing you, you should still apply. I seriously thought (and I was) a huge reach at schools like Berkeley and UCLA but I gave it a go at Stanford anyway.

I don't know if this helps at all, but I just want to say not to give up, and even if you don't get in, there are a lot of schools out there. If you guys have any questions feel free to ask.
Post edited by jennyx on

Replies to: I got into Stanford with a 3.4 GPA: it is possible

  • jennyxjennyx Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    One last thing I'd like to add are from someone who currently runs on the Stanford team (was recruited, but also had great statistics). They were one of the people that told me to apply, because they agreed that essays are huge. They said that Stanford is a school that looks for articulate, passion/intelligence driven people and would rather take someone who is probably going to do things/be proactive on campus and get involved with projects than someone who will just sit in the library studying. And that's what you demonstrate in your essay.
  • ToomuchpressureToomuchpressure Registered User Posts: 425 Member
    I thought my essays would get me in and that they showed a lot of passion for what I love. didn't happen
  • GimmeStanfordGimmeStanford - Posts: 317 Member
    I got in with a 3.8 unweighted. I had a few B+'s freshman year and a B- in honors spanish sophomore year. Stanford forgives freshman year, and they overlook extreme outliers like a B- in one course of spanish when I've had A's in all others. My situation is a lot different than the OPs, but it goes to show that when you have some outliers pulling your GPA down, don't fret, let your guidance counselor address the reason for it, and you're fine.
  • futurexrejectfuturexreject Registered User Posts: 485 Member
    May I ask you for your race?
  • GimmeStanfordGimmeStanford - Posts: 317 Member
    ^if you're referring to me, I'm white.

    I got a 2380 on my SATs, but my recs and essays were what got me in. If you want to go to Stanford, you need to have a mixture of passion and impact, and significant impact at that. You need to do something real, have a significant impact on other people (your recs show your impact on others, its not enough anymore to be one of the smartest people a teacher has ever seen, you need to do something with that intelligence), write essays that communicate everything in the best way possible, and you will get in.
  • HesterrrrrrrrrrrHesterrrrrrrrrrr Registered User Posts: 173 Junior Member
    ^I think the poster was referring to the op
  • SocksaWootSocksaWoot Registered User Posts: 17 New Member
    jennyx: great post, it makes me realize what probably hurt my change of getting in..

    while i'm a 4.0 student and do play sports, i think my essays lacked passion.

    it's really disappointing to be rejected :( but congratulations on your admittance!
  • ProjectStanfordProjectStanford Registered User Posts: 226 Junior Member

    I was deferred from Stanford with a 3.6 cumulative gpa, including 9th, and only a 2200 SAT. The reasons for my deferral were apparently to see whether or not my upward grade trend would persist. Hopefully I might add to this low gpa statistic. =)

    Also, for those of you who don't think it is possible to get into Stanford w/a low gpa, I would pay attention to the following words:

    In the past two years (this year excluded) Stanford has accepted nearly 15 students from my school (only 140 in each grade). Of these 15, 10 had GPA's lower than 3.7, 2 had GPA's lower than 3.4, and the rest were around a 3.85.
  • jennyxjennyx Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    To futurexreject: I am white as well. I think my main problem was my 10th grade year I took an extremely hard courseload without realizing how difficult it would be and suffered. 11th grade I also took a fairly hard courseload but handled it better. Oh and I didn't include freshman year, but I had a fairly decent courseload that year (advanced math etc) and had a 3.7-3.8 unweighted.

    ProjectStanford: Good luck, let us know if you get in :) Your 3.6 is unweighted right?
  • neethus1neethus1 Registered User Posts: 1,195 Senior Member
    I'm not applying to Stanford, and I have a higher GPA and a 2170 SAT (750 CR 710 M 710 W)... I'm worrying about getting into Tufts, Duke, Barnard, Wesleyan!

    Would you mind PMing me that essay...? I've read many essays but I've really only seen one or two that I find ABSOLUTELY amazing. Maybe it'll serve as inspiration for me.
  • RayAllen333RayAllen333 Registered User Posts: 57 Junior Member
    Can you PM me that essay too? I was deferred from Stanford :'(. It was my #1 choice and while I didnt have any hook, i was a decent all around student. By the way, I also run XC, although I would definitely get hurt if I ran 50 miles a week. What time do you run by the way? I pred at 19:15 after 3 years of XC. I do tennis in the spring.
  • knickerbockersknickerbockers - Posts: 56 Junior Member
    I'd love to see that essay as well.
  • fortifyfortify Registered User Posts: 1,161 Senior Member
    Lets slack during high school but spend 4 years writing a good essay :) This might work
  • stonegillstonegill Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
    ^ lol.

    Apparently it works better than working your *** off for 4 years in your courses.
  • eatsaloteatsalot Registered User Posts: 1,465 Senior Member
This discussion has been closed.