My freshman and sophomore years I was chilling with my courses. I did decent my freshman year with a 3.33 W and 3.67 W GPA first and second semester respectively (my school only reports weighted GPA’s), but my sophomore year I got straight A’s; a 4.17 GPA both semesters.
My Junior year I did bad my first semester. I got a 3.0 W, with 2 B’s, 1 C, and a D in Algebra II first semester. I was going through a lot with anxiety and financial issues as my family was close to losing our house. I would get panic attacks in classes as a result I would skip often to go to therapy. Things only got worst when I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety and Depression during this time as it made me feel extremely inferior to others. My second semester I got on my grind though and I got straight A’s, with an exception to Algebra II with a B for a 4.17 W GPA.
Back to Junior year, when I got that D I told my counselor that if that would disqualify me from any colleges. She told me no because if I got a C or higher second semester, it would validate my first semester. I asked her was there any downsides to that. She told me the colleges couldn’t hold that against me since the “validation” is part of a guideline, and that the only downside was that it would factor into my GPA. So my gullible self agreed to this and I went on with my life.
Senior year came by, and about a month ago I realized that my counselor was referring exclusively to the CSU and UC systems regarding my D grade. I got so mad at this because I definitely would’ve retaken Algebra II first semester in summer school. Speaking of summer school, that’s the only way we can repeat courses. We don’t have adult school, or after school credit recovery, or even the opportunity to retake the course during the Fall and Spring semesters (with the exception of Honors and AP’s, my school is so stupid), so as of this point, I’m stuck with that D grade.
For other academic context: My intended major is Biology, with an emphasis in Computational / Quantitative Biology and/or a minor in Data Science / Computer Science. I am well versed into both fields. I know the fundamentals of Python and C++, I have done the Science Olympiad in Code Busters and Thermodynamics, and I was Captain last year, I have multiple leadership positions in organizations, non-profits, clubs, and I have many honors and awards for Cross Country. I have co-founded two clubs at my school, a save our planet club and a MESA club. I enjoy learning about microscopic animals in my free time, such as how they communicate and colonize as well as parasites because it intrigues me so much!
For what its worth, I’m also a low-income, Hispanic, first generation student.
My dream career is to work in Biotechnology and utilize my biological intuition to 1. build better computational and logistical models of Biological scenarios and data, so like a IT field and 2. I want to contribute to drug treatments and microbiology; I might do graduate school as a result of these multidisciplinary approaches. I feel like I’ve been conveying this perfectly within many of my essays.
I’m also taking the right course load this year, with AP Biology, AP Statistics, and AP Macroeconomics, which demonstrates my interest for both fields, and I took AP Computer Science Principles my junior year, alongside other irrelevant AP courses. I’m on track of getting a 4.5 W GPA this semester, or straight A’s.
My dream school up to my Sophomore year is Occidental college, a small liberal-arts school in Eagle Rock, California. It has an acceptance rate of around 35%, and I love the environment of the school. My common app consists of other highly selective colleges. Loyola Marymount University is another great school that I fell in love in because of it’s strong student body. USC is a top three for me since they actually have a Quantitative Biology major, but I don’t think I would get in under any circumstances. Pitzer is my final reach that I have just a tiny bit of hope for but I’m just applying on a whim and I won’t be upset when I get rejected.
This is my list of schools I’m applying to on Common App:
USC, Loyola Marymount University, Occidental, Pitzer, University of San Francisco, University of San Diego, Santa Clara University, Whitter College, Chapman College, University of the Pacific, Westmont College, University of La Verne, California Lutheran College, Marymount California College, Pepperdine University, Point Loma Nazarene University, Concordia University Irvine, University of Redlands, Harvey Mudd (filler just to reach 20 schools), Stanford (even bigger filler).
List of Privates with their own Applications:
Azusa Pacific University, Biola University, Vanguard University, Cal Baptist University.
Cal State LA, Cal State Long Beach (a dream school as well), Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State Fullerton.
UC Riverside, UC Santa Cruz, UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego.
(I have no intentions of leaving California for college)
So now that I wrote all of that (I’m sorry if that took too long), the million dollar question is:
Would I automatically be rejected from the schools on my common app exclusively (and I mean exclusively only, I know other factors could disqualify me from admission) for having that D in Algebra II, even though I’ve excelled in many other parts of my application. Could I possibly convey all of this information, such as my school’s policy as to why I couldn’t retake the course and my anxiety to justify that D grade or is it completely pointless?
I know I’m not competitive by any means, but I’m still grasping onto that tiny bit of hope.
At most I hope to be UC Riverside or UC Santa Cruz bound for those research opportunities.