In 10th now, one awful semester (with reason). Do I still have a chance at Ivies?

<p>Right now I'm in the middle of sophomore year. Here's my situation. Last year, I had a lot of personal and family issues (grandparents died, parents divorced, moved around a lot, switched schools twice first quarter). The first semester of freshman year I ended up with a 1.8 unweighted GPA, but since then I've been doing pretty well. Right now, after three semesters, I have a 3.28 unweighted (3.545 weighted, rank 58/398). BTW the weighting scale for my school is honors x 1.125, AP x 1.5. So for example a B in an honors class would be 3 x 1.125 = 3.375.</p>

<p>I am taking generally the toughest courses my school offers. I will be taking several courses this summer, and next year I plan to be taking 5 AP classes (Calc AB, English, US History, Stats, Music Theory). By my calculations, the best-case scenario at the end of junior year would be about a 3.65 unweighted GPA, 4.25 weighted.</p>

<p>My PSAT this year was a 223, but I know I could've done better if I really tried (looked it over and found several stupid mistakes).</p>

<p>So basically, here's the rundown of my projected stats at the end of junior year (end of senior year should be much better, but colleges don't see that):</p>


<p>3.65 unweighted GPA (yeah, I really messed it up for myself. This would be like 3.95 if you don't count that one semester)
4.25 weighted GPA (honors x 1.125, AP x 1.5)
Rank: best guess would be about 25/400
SAT: if PSAT is a good indicator, a bit over 1500 (old)</p>

<p>ECs, awards, jobs, whatever:
National Junior Classical League (9-11)
National Latin Honor Society (9-11)
National Honor Society (10-11)
Model UN elected VP (10-11)
Academic Game Team (10-11)
AMC (9-11) (school winner 10)
Florida Math League Math Contest (11) six-time school winner
Community service: 200 hours
Piano lessons (seven years)
Restaurant job (two years)</p>

<p>I plan to receive excellent recommendations from my teachers.</p>

<p>So, assuming the best-case scenario: ~ 1550 SAT (old), great essays, 5 on all my AP exams, 800 on all my SATII tests, good interviews, more ECs (I'm going to do more next year, just don't know which ones right now), what are my chances at a prestigious school? Like UPenn, Duke, Princeton, Dartmouth, Cornell, CMU, UCB, Columbia, etc. Please be honest. My chance of getting accepted by a good school is what I really want to know, but any other advice pertaining to colleges would be greatly appreciated too. Thanks in advance.</p>

<p>considering u haven't taken any ap's yet, how are you gauging their difficulty... and getting all 5's and 800 sat II's as well...? honestly, ur stats are a lot like mine... but i wouldn't bank on such high test scores, better to start off with conservative estimates than to go with "best case scenarios"</p>

<p>that said, ur a sophomore, ur chances are fine come back in a year...</p>

<p>I have talked with the AP teachers a lot. I am gauging their difficulty by what they tell me about the class, like what kind of grades their students get, how much homework there is, etc. I need to take more AP classes than I normally would have in order to get my rank up a bit (since it's done by weighted GPA). I certainly don't expect it to be a walk in the park, but when I spoke with my teachers and counselor about this issue, they all agreed that I would be able to handle such a courseload if I tried. I wouldn't select a schedule that I knew would be suicide, and the one I selected for next year is the result of much careful consideration.</p>

<p>The best case scenario thing is really just so I can have a rough idea of my chances. I'm certainly not banking on having such scores, as you say.</p>

<p>BTW I was recommended for APs this year, but I couldn't take them because of scheduling conflicts.</p>

<p>Any other opinions? Advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.</p>

my son was in a very similar position and I can give your his results. His freshman and sophomore grades were not great due, in part, to elder care issues (~3.5 frosh, ~3.4 sophomore). 4.0 junior year, 3.6 uw average, and 35/275 uw ranking. SAT's/SAT II's averaged 750. </p>

<p>He elected not to apply to any ivies as the odds seemed too long. He was WL'd at the two selective (24-29 acceptance) LAC's on his list, and accepted at UChicago (where he is going), and at Brandeis with very good merit aid. </p>

<p>Since your GPA grief is confined to one semester of freshman year, you may as well apply to P'ton as they don't count that year in their GPA calcuation.</p>

<p>Based on my son's results, I would guess that you will have trouble at the most selective schools. This doens't mean take them off your list. It just means have a fondation of excellent but less competititve schools. I would also suggest doing the CC Stats Eval once you have a preliminary list, as the that will tell you if you are way off base or not. My son's evaluation was spot on: accepted at all matches and safeties, WL at reasonable reaches.</p>

<p>It would be logical for all schools to see a significant upward trend combined with high SATs and give kids a chance. Unfortunately the very top schools do not appear to do this. They just have too many kids who have no glitches to have to. Many great schools do, however. I would focus on the tier below as Ohio Mom's son did. You should be fine at those schools.</p>

<p>YOU ARE A SOPHOMORE! STAY AWAY FROM COLLEGE CONFIDENTIAL! IT IS LIKE CRACK COCAINE!!! um, do your best in school. DO the best you possibly can and re-evaluate your chances in a year. There is no way you can project your scores like that, and sorry but I can guarantee that you will nto be getting all fives and all 800s without A LOT OF WORK. I was like you and I projected that I would do this and that and have this score and that and it does not work like that. Just work hard and it will be all good. I PROMISE. Also, you are setting yourself up for failure. Another point, apply to the college of your dreams or any college you think you want to go to, BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT make sure you have safeties that you are in love with as well. It is the best thing for your mental health during htis whole time. Get your heart set on a great safety, and apply to those great schools, but dont EXPECT to get in because college admissions is a crap shot and it has WAY MORE to do with factors beyond your control than you can imagine. Pray to God for the next couple years for FAVOR! Good luck! and ENJOY HIGH SCHOOL! YOU ARE A SOPHOMORE, CALM DOWN MY FRIEND.</p>

lol, so wrong, but so true...</p>

<p>freshman year isnt really a big deal. your upward trend is great. get sum AP's</p>

<p>wow, so 3.5 and 3.4 are bad GPAs now???
i don't know what standards you're judging that from.. these message boards really have a tendency to evaluate people's academic records like they're all supposed to be stephen hawkings or einsteins...
anyway i was going to ask if by getting D's and C's for the whole year in maths and chemistry this year (sophomore) i ruined my chances at places like oxford university or stanford (or Uchicago or cornell or gtown).. never mind now.</p>

<p>nick - yeah, they are</p>

<p>origina poster - just apply no matter what and see what happens, sorry about your family problems</p>

<p>You're allowed to give excuses and It seems that since it's such a dramatic difference between a 1.8 and a 3. whatever that they'll understand for the most part and forget about it. They may even give you some respect for being able to improve so much</p>

<p>No offense, but your GPA is really low, so I'm gonna say no. I'm sorry, but it's the truth. Alot of people go through the things you went through, but don't rebound that poorly. I'm sorry, once again. Try top 25 schools though.</p>

<p>No, Don't get anymore EC's. Unless you can find some relevence to the ones you already have, since it'll be your junior year nxt year, joining some misc. club would seem...desperate.</p>

<p>But it's up to you.</p>

<p>And those best case scenarios...are really BEST CASE SCENARIOS. Very slim chance of that happening, but then again, I don't know you. Don't judge tests solely on what teachers tell you about their class, that's the most dumbest way to foresee a AP test. Take it from me, I've taken 8 of those babies.</p>

<p>You totally have a shot, expecially if you have a strong academic record every other semester. You might have to explain it. Luckily it was your first semester, not the middle of junior year. Like someone mentioned, Princeton doesnt even look at first year grades.</p>

<p>No more ECs? Okay...</p>

<p>Once again I'd like to say to everyone that I KNOW the scenarios I posted are probably not going to happen...I am certainly NOT expecting them to. I'm just using them to see if I have any kind of chance left.</p>

<p>Tami: I'm not asking the teachers about the AP test. I'm just asking them things about the classes themselves, like how much homework there is, the kinds of grades their students get (like how many As, how many Bs, etc). I mean, I know it won't tell me everything I need to know about the classes, but generally if 50% of the students in a class have Fs then there's usually a reason for it. Thanks for your advice, though.</p>

<p>glucose101: No offense taken, I know I really screwed myself over that semester. I was just asking because I heard some things about some colleges not looking at freshman year or something like that, so I was curious. The 3.28 is my cumulative GPA as of now, not what I've been getting each semester after that first one, in case that was confusing. But thanks anyway for your viewpoint (and honesty).</p>

<p>There seems to be a wide range of answers here...</p>

<p>Colleges aren't going to care that much about freshman year, especially if there were extenuating circumstances. You can certainly come back and get into a great school in a few years. Harvard is so selective that you probably won't get in without some legacy, minority, or athlete status. Why does everyone think that Harvard is the end of the rainbow? In general, the professors are heavily into research and don't want to teach undergraduates. Also, the environment is cutthroat among the students, as in some students sabotaging the lab experiments of other students so that the grading curve is better. Harvard is selective because it is at the top and it is at the top because it is selective. There are better places to go than Harvard, except for the name. I don't mean to say that this is true about all of the top schools.</p>

<p>not about Brown. i always thought harvard was overrated... by the way, i dont understand how u can ask these people what your chances are. most think that a 4.1 is low and its mind-boggling how they can just say all this stuff and then rebutt my statement with "its the truth/fact" or "we are ebing real". give the kid a break. i say apply where u want because u want to, dont shy away because some future "robot" says u wont be able to get in</p>