Bad grades due to family responsibilities

Hi everyone. I’m a senior in high school and I’ve been working on my applications for the past few months. It might be a bit dramatic to say that my grades are “bad”, but they’re definitely not as high as they could be. I have a 3.82 weighted GPA with all honors classes freshman and sophomore year and all IB classes junior and senior year. I guess I’m mainly worried because I got a B- in a couple of my classes last year. I’m really upset with myself because I know I can do better, but I’m unable to because I have to take care of my brother. My brother is ten years younger than me, andI take care of him from 4pm to 11pm on weekdays and from 8am to 8pm on weekends. All the time that I could spend studying or participating in extracurriculars is “wasted” because I am forced to take care of my brother. I have to take care of him because my parents are constantly working (they’re both doctors so their schedules aren’t very flexible). I’m a pretty good writer (at least I think so lol), so I was thinking about writing an essay about this. Should I do that? Will that help my chances of getting into a good college? Any advice is welcome. Thanks!

Sorry for all of the typos; I typed this on my phone.

What’s your test scores. Where do you want to go and what can you afford. But yes a good school will take you. And thank you for helping your family and your brother. You’ll have a life long bond the application process will not.

A 3.8 will make you a competitive applicant at any college, provided you earned it taking rigorous classes. Taking care of your brother could be a compelling essay, but don’t mention it as a reason for your grades (“show, not tell”) or use it for pity (don’t use the word “forced”). It can stand quite strong on it’s own just showing how the experience shaped and strengthened your character in positive ways.

Good luck!

I’m surprised 2 doctors can’t afford to pay for childcare, at least part time so that you can have some freedom. Anyway, write about your childcare, but keep it positive

Also, if your brother is 8yo he should be going to bed before 11 on school nights. It’s good for him, and it would give you a much needed break

I think you are going to want to communicate this time commitment the same way you would a part time job. That’s a big responsibility and a lot of hours. As I recall, the spot on the Common App for extra curriculars descriptiosn is kind of small, but it does include fields for hours. It probably won’t explain the B- grades, but it will explain the lack of ECs and also just paint a picture of high schooler with family responsibilities that are much higher than most.

Taking care of your brother is an EC.

I have had students I interviewed in a similar situation…but they showed leadership by helping with their homework and signing them up for a sports league so they would get to do these kinds of things.
So don’t worry about that.

IF you think it is affecting your grades, then work that out…have him do homework when you do. Maybe have him go to a friends house some times. Have him go to bed earlier.