GPA 4.3 , 1450 SAT, one F, deal killer?

Situation: Student has a strong GPA, honors classes from respectable school, but just can’t hang in there when it comes to one ancillary, but substantive class. I think this is a deal killer at Ivies, Ivy adjacents and competitive schools in the same tier as Tufts, for example. I even think it may hinder chances at an Oberlin or Wesleyan. Thoughts?

I don’t know what an “ancillary but substantive class” may mean. An F is a deal killer at highly competitive schools. One school that may overlook it is Reed where they look more at the student fit.

You mean like History or a humanity?

Yes, I do think an F is very hard to overcome. And the UW GPA is more important and was probably more impacted by the F.

It is a humanity that is not a required subject but is a tough subject.

Unweighted GPAs are important too; what’s his or hers?

Without the F a 3.9

How about unweighted GPA with the F? Also, in what grade was the F earned?

Without the F doesn’t matter. What is it with the F?

I’m puzzled by the assertion that a humanity class is ancillary but substantive. Even if the student is planning on being a STEM major, humanities matter. The student will most likely have to take gen eds in the humanities in college so I can’t see any selective college overlooking it.

I don’t know why you are thrown by the ancillary. It is an elective. Not required, taken for interest. I am not disrespecting the humanities. By substantive I mean it is not a cooking class.

…Are you OP? What is going on in this thread? If it’s an elective, OP should probably call it an elective, as that’s the terminology that’s best known.

The F is a jr year F and with the F will drop to gap to 3.8 UW. But my question really is not the general quality of the application, but the impact of the fact of the F. The question is does an F by itself in a class that no school would have required, but nevertheless is a class that requires academic ability, kill the deal? Is failing so unusual in our society that an F is a strong, strong negative despite the rest of the record?

Could the student retake the class over the summer and have the new grade replace the F? Especially if it’s in a core academic subject (non elective), I can’t see how it wouldn’t raise questions by the admissions committees. Also is there some special extenuating circumstance that could be explained by the GC?

No way to drop it and there is no good reason. Student doesn’t like the teacher and is just being a teenager.

It’s not a dealbreaker at all schools, but many will. Why? Bc they don’t have to take that chance with so many kids applying who’ve never slipped below an A, and most of them will be rejected as well…

It is only March 6th and there are probably 3 months left in the school year. What does the kid need to do to end up with a C for the year? Have the parents spoken to the teacher and discussed a recovery plan for this class?

I don’t think whether the class is required or elective makes much difference. Depending on the school, the only things that may be absolutely required are four years of English and two or three years of math, science, soc sci, and language. Colleges obviously look at the record beyond those classes.

What will make a difference is that it is an academic class, it is junior year, and whether or not there is some sort of reason behind it. An F in a freshman year pottery class with an explanation would have a negative impact, but probably not a huge one. This type of F is simply harder to get past, though some context could help.

An F in junior or senior year is a considering factor in admission to many schools, especially if there is no counselor note or student note about the grade on the application. If a school looks at the re-calculated GPA and SAT/ACT scores and a student is a borderline admit, it will weigh heavily. If a school looks more holistically at a student, it may not carry as much weight in the decision.

Ok. This is my sense too. A C and a recovery plan may be possible. But probably better to drop it since it is not required to graduate and won’t be missed. Thank you.

@bodangles Oops. Used the spouse’s account by accident. Sorry for the confusion.

Wesleyan appears as a “most selective” school in USNWR, so in this sense there may not be a definable selectivity tier above it. I’d say, then, that whatever applies to “Ivy adjacents” (however they’ve been defined above) would apply to Wesleyan as well.