Chance me/Reverse chance me with a 2.5 GPA

Hi all, I’m a high school junior thinking of colleges I want to apply to next year. I got awful grades in my 9th (1.7 GPA) and 10th (2.2 GPA) grades, but so far in my 11th year I have a 4.0. If I keep up my 4.0 (which hopefully I will be able to do unless I totally bomb my finals), I’ll have around a 2.5 at the start of my senior year.

My original plan was to apply to a ton of CSU’s (I’m in-state), but I recently talked to my counsellor and learned that I don’t meet the A-G requirements. I thought that I will meet the requirements because I assumed that they calculated course credits differently than they actually do, but here I am lol. Instead I’ve been looking at schools in Oregon and Washington, but it hurts that I’ll be missing out on in-state tuition lol

So I’ve found some other colleges I might apply to instead, some private (most of these I honestly don’t know if I would be able to afford – so keeping my hopes low on them), and some public ones, including ones with discounted tuition thanks to WUE. I’d appreciate any advice on my chances to these schools, and if anyone has any advice on where else I might apply for safeties, targets, and reaches, I’ll appreciate that a lot too :slight_smile: My desired major is computer science, and possibly marine biology or graphic design as well. For public colleges I’d prefer schools located in a large city and generally want to avoid the midwest and south, but I’ll take what I can get lol. I don’t mind the location as much for LAC’s because most of them give me good vibes regardless lmao

College List (in no particular order):

  • University of San Francisco
  • Portland State
  • Oregon State (primarily because they have an awesome marine biology program)
  • Western Washington University
  • Bard College
  • Chapman University
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of British Columbia
  • Penn State
  • Also considering applying to NYU, UW Madison, Grinnell, and Colgate as reaches, but don’t know if it’d be worth it for the tiny chance of admission


  • GPA: 2.5
  • SAT: Haven’t taken it yet, hopefully will be able to but I’m really not sure if I can. I got a 1230 on the PSAT in 10th grade, and before that a 1140 in 9th. If I improve a similar amount this year, I’ll get around a 1320, but hopefully I would get a higher score as I’ve been studying just in case I get to take it :slight_smile:
  • Extracurriculars: Nothing special, only hobbies. I’ve taught myself basic Python but I don’t know if that’s notable enough to add to my application. I’m also teaching myself guitar and can pretty confidently say that I’m good with graphic design (Photoshop, Illustrator).
  • Location: North Central California. Not much up here lol
  • Identity: Female, mixed race and transgender
  • I do have an explanation for my poor 9-10th grade GPA. I’d prefer not to share it here because it’s personal and sort of embarassing, but it wasn’t just lack of motivation/not trying

I’ll appreciate any advice I can get :slight_smile: Sorry for the long post!

UBC will not care about your freshman year of high school, which clearly helps you. People in my family have mostly gotten accepted to UBC (cousins) or other universities in Canada with sophomore and junior year grades, which would be a big stretch with your sophomore year grades. However, I have heard that universities in Canada will also admit students with good junior and senior year grades. I do not know whether this brings in the possibility of finding out rather late. Many years ago I did know some students who were close to the cutoff who were asked for their first semester senior year grades at different universities in Canada.

Regardless, I think that you might also want to consider applying to the University of Victoria, which should be more likely wrt admission compared to UBC. Simon Fraser is also good for CS, although I have no clue wrt marine biology or graphic design. Regardless both are probably worth looking at.

Of course you want to try to keep your grades up as much as you can this year and next.

WUE is a great option but I do not know as much about it.

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Why wouldn’t you meet a-g requirements for CSU or UC? Can you make up anything missing next year?

Note that CSU recalculates HS GPA without 9th grade (except for CPSLO).

I missed too many courses to be able to make up in one year

Would taking community college courses in the summer help make up some of them? Which ones are you missing?

You can start at a community college to transfer to a CSU or UC as a junior. That way, you can leave your high school record behind.

Note that many other colleges have their own high school course requirements. If you are missing lots of a-g courses, you may be missing requirements for other colleges. Check each college carefully on that.

You might also want to look at the schools in the WUE (Western Undergrad Exchange) where you will get a tuition discount for the participating schools in the exchange. Arizona, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Alaska, Nevada etc… schools are in the exchange. Some majors may not be avaialble so check each campus of interest.

The list is all over the place. Do you have the money to go out of state or to a private school? I think you’d be far better off starting at community college. This way, you can build a strong GPA and go for a good school in CA. You don’t want to rush into an unaffordable school just because your options are limited now.

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For reference, here are UC and CSU a-g requirements:

Other states’ public universities have similar requirements:

Private colleges tend to look for something similar:

For UBC, you can see its preparatory requirements here:

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for some reason we found other states to be much more flexible than CA when it came to required courses. Most of the WUE schools seem to target applicants with a 3.0+ so, i think the ones you list are going to be a stretch with your GPA and paying OOS is probably prohibitive. Perhaps NAU and Southern Oregon … I would contact them by phone and see what they think.

Apply a bunch of places and see what happens. Because you don’t have the A-G courses, a CC is probably going to be your best option. CCC to CSU and UC is a well mapped path you should be able to navigate without too much trouble.

Good luck.