I am an incoming freshman at Brandeis University. I got in through Early Decision and had all A’s and -A’s upon my acceptance. However, towards the end of my second semester, I had a major family crisis that made me miss a month of school. I was going to take a gap year but then decided to attend this fall. When I came back to school (homeschool program) administration instructed my teacher to give 0’s for all the assignments that I missed. Accordingly, my second-semester grades are much lower…This worries me a lot especially in terms of my application getting rescinded. However, I contacted admissions and told them my situation, and they said I could just send in my transcript with a supplemental letter explaining my grades. Does this mean they will probably have mercy, or is it just impossible to tell?
The general rule on CC is to avoid D’s, F’s and felonies so if your final grades are in the C or better range I suspect you will be fine.
If you have D’s and F’s as final grades you have a chance to explain your situation. I suggest in the letter that you state the facts to the admissions officers at Brandeis clearly and succinctly, Let them know why this won’t be an issue next year and that you are ready and willing to do the hard work to achieve at the school (don’t complain about unfair grading policies etc.).
If it is possible you may want to ask your guidance counselor or an administrator from the hone-school program to include a note with your final transcript explaining the situation (your long absence, the adninistration’s grading policy). That would confirm what happened and will come off as a fact rather than any kind of excuse-making.
Considering they are being accomodating to you, and you’ve already explained your situation, it’s likely you will be treated kindly by them. Remember, they saw that you got A’s/A-'s early on, so they know you’re a strong student. If they see you got zeroes in ALL classes, they would definitely realize something fishy is going on, and it’s definitely not you being a bad student. Since you already explained why, and Brandeis responded, it’s likely that this won’t be too much of a problem.