Low GPA, decent SAT, what should I do?

<p>I have a 3.1 GPA, and 1240/1600, 1890/2400 on my SAT. I'm entering senior year and time time of college apps. I'm getting really stressed out reading the stuff on CC about poor GPA and community college.</p>

<p>I'm looking to major in aerospace engineering, math and science have always been my best subjects, english my worst (part of my poor GPA). I'm looking to apply at Penn State University Park (in-state), Purdue, Arizona State, Temple (Mech engineering), Pitt (mech engineering). Penn State is my #1 choice but I don't know how realistic that is for me.</p>

<p>I'm also in need of serious financial aid, both my parents are bankrupt and unemployed, bringing my EFC as low as it gets. </p>

<p>Senior year, I plan to work my ass off and get a 4.0 GPA, but at the same time that leaves me unsure of what to do with my applications. My school gives out grades in quarters, should I wait until the first quarter is over (around November), or should I start sending them in? </p>

<p>I'm really stressing out over getting into a good college, what my plan be?</p>

<p>With a 0 EFC and your stats, out of state publics are out of the question. The only OOS publics that meet the full need of all students -- in state and OOS -- are UVA and UNC, both of which your gpa is too low for.</p>

<p>Most public universities aren't even able to meet the full need of in state students. </p>

<p>Many public universities also are rolling admission schools, and their admission standards increase as their class fills up. </p>

<p>Most private universities can't meet the full documented financial need of all of their students. The ones that can are places like Harvard that your stats are too low for.</p>

<p>To be able to afford college, you may have to go to a community college (which may even offer you merit aid) and the transfer to an in-state public. Check to see if in state publics have merit aid for top transfer students from in-state community colleges.</p>

<p>First of all, you won't get any aid (other than federal) for OOS public schools like AZ St. You are something of a reach for the University Park campus because of your GPA (bottom 10%). C</a>. Freshman Admission You can probably get into some of the other branch campuses and then transfer.</p>

<p>The problem won't be getting into some (but probably not your flagship ) in-state 4-year publics, but being able to afford them. They won't meet your financial need, and more than likely whatever financial aid you'll get will be large loans. That's why I suggest starting at community college.</p>

<p>He could probably start at another branch in PA, but loans will be significant.</p>

<p>Lets throw out the financial aid statement for now, what are my chances disregarding financial aid at my list of schools?</p>

<p>Well since most colleges take applications until like April 1, I think that you can apply in November.</p>

<p>Not a good idea to throw out financial aid. There are few things more heartbreaking for high school students than getting into a college that there's no way they can afford. Far better to make your dream schools financially realistic than to end up with no place to go next year because you can't afford to go to the places that accepted you.</p>

<p>1800... No chance at Penn.</p>

<p>@Northstarmom
I'm not throwing out financial aid, I just want to determine what schools I can get into given my low GPA, and then once I get that sorted out, I can figure out the financial aid info.</p>

<p>@GreenIsGood
Just to verify, by Penn are you referring to UPenn, or PSU?</p>

<p>The problem is that if you basically have a 0 EFC and OK -- but not great stats -- and are applying to OOS public schools, you are setting yourself up for heartbreak by applying to public schools OOS.</p>

<p>You will have a hard time even getting the aid you need from in-state publics. </p>

<p>Most schools lack the funds to give you the aid you need. If (and this is a big "if") you could take out loans to make up the difference, you'd probably be taking out a minimum of about $100k in loans to pay for your college, and that would not be worth it. That would be a crippling amount of debt. Given the fact that your parents are bankrupt, however, you're not going to be able to take out large loans. </p>

<p>There are plenty of schools that you can get into with a 3.1. However, your problem will be finding schools that you also can afford to attend.</p>

<p>And, no, you have no chance at U Penn., which is one of the most difficult colleges in the country to get acceptance to. Many students with 4.0 averages and scores of 2200 or higher are turned down by that college. </p>

<p>It would be wiser to look for schools that you know you can afford. Perhaps some of the lower ranked in-state publics have merit aid for hard science students that you might qualify for.</p>

<p>I think you have a good chance to get into PSU, not all campuses have the same gpa requirements as University Park which the average is only 3.58. The other more than dozen campuses should be easier to get into and perhaps the federal aid can cover most of the cost.</p>

<p>Ppl on CC are too high level and too good students.</p>

<p>Here's a chart that helps give you an idea about getting into Penn State-University Park:
<a href="http://admissions.psu.edu/info/counselors/bubble_chart06.pdf%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://admissions.psu.edu/info/counselors/bubble_chart06.pdf&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Penn State, Purdue and Pitt are reaches. Suny Buffalo might be worth a look. Its a good school at a good price also. Best of luck!</p>

<p>It depends on your grade trend. I have very high sats and a iffy gpa (3.6) but my grades got significantly better as my classes got harder and took on more ECs. Grades will not keep you out if any school if you can justify them</p>

<p>Do a lot of research and give things a try you never know. You still have time to turn things around.</p>

<p>Why don't you study up this summer and retake the SATs? And apply to some instate schools.</p>

<p>"Grades will not keep you out if any school if you can justify them "</p>

<p>Wrong.</p>

<p>Only wrong depending on the school. Obvioulsy a 3.1 won't get you into an ivy school.</p>

<p>Probably some wealthy donors' kids and recruited athletes with excellent scores get into Ivies with 3.1 gpas.</p>

<p>Bad grades -- even with a reasonable excuse -- will keep one out of many schools.</p>

<p>A 3.1, however, is a good enough average to get into most colleges in the country, though one isn't likely to get into flagship publics or top 50 schools with such an average. A person with a 3.1 and a 0 EFC is not likely to get into a 4-year college that will offer the kind of large grants that such a person would need. They may get offers with large loans, however, but those offers aren't worth taking because of the difficulty of paying back large loans.</p>