GPA on the low side for Clark: tips?

Hi All,

My daughter (a junior) recently visited Clark and really fell in love with it. However, her GPA is on the low side for Clark. She currently has around a 3.1 in all grade-level course. Her GPA would be higher if 9th grade grades were factored in, and she is getting all As and Bs this year. However, she had a rough time in two classes in 10th grade, and that is dragging her down. We are hoping her GPA will be closer to a 3.3 by year’s end.

Our daughter is very involved in outside activities and paid/volunteer work, and she has a warm, outgoing personality. We think that applying ED would help her chances at Clark, but we are very nervous about losing access to financial assistance by doing this. Any thoughts from others who have been through the process with Clark?


Does she have any AP classes? The rigor might raise her chances a bit.

Pay attention carefully to her “why Clark” essay. There’s usually something along those lines for every school.

A nice note to AdComs – not too long – that states that Clark is her first-choice school can also help, even if she’s nnot applying ED. In my somewhat limted experience notes to AdComs go into the file and become part of their assessment.

it might help to find other schools that are similar as “safeties” knowing that there is no single perfect school and knowing that even the most qualified students aren’t accepted at any given school. There’s a bit of chance involved.

Look at Section C of Clark’s common data set. and you can get a sense of what the school values (ex. strong recommendations, volunteer work, demonstrated interest etc.) so your D can try to make those attributes as strong as possible. Since she sounds like she has a great personality, see if she can do an interview either on campus or with an alum.

I do think applying ED would be a plus for her application as well but if you need to compare financial offers between schools then it may not be the best way to go.

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Thanks so much, Dustyfeathers and happy1!

Dustyfeathers, unfortunately my daughter is not enrolled in AP classes. She excels in the social sciences, but those aren’t really offered in high school at an honors level. I assume AdComs is Admissions Committee? (I am new to this.) :slight_smile:

happy1, I will check out that link!

I know our public system doesn’t count 9th but I thought most private schools do.

turtletime, not in my daughter’s case. It’s too bad, but hopefully the college itself will recalculate and consider her 9th grade GPA since it’s strong.

The colleges get the 4 year transcript, and many recalculate GPA and ranking to make it more consistent across high schools. I would ask Clark what they do.

My daughter is at another college (struggled in choosing between Clark and her ultimate choice), but we visited Clark multiple times during the search since it is en route between our house and my hometown. The thing that struck me about Clark way above and beyond any other school we visited is how honest and upfront they were. Of course, they tried to portray themselves in a positive light, but they didn’t try to deflect if you asked a question that they might answer not to your liking. This is why I strongly recommend calling them with your questions. My sense is they will be straightforward with you. For instance, they were the only school that admitted that if finances are an issue for you, you probably should not apply Early Decision. Other schools may have better offers than Clark.

UNYMom, thanks so much for your insights and suggestion! It’s great that you had the opportunity to visit Clark so many times and to really gain a feel for the school. We are trying to do multiple visits to schools so that our impression is not just based on a one-time exposure. I hope your daughter is enjoying the school she chose! :slight_smile: