Now a "B student", have to change college plans?

<p>Hello :) </p>

<p>In the past, I was a straight A student, until I got my first B sophomore year in AP Chem. It really was no big deal since I didn't worship my 4.0 and I learned a lesson about effort and perseverance.</p>

<p>However, during second semester sophomore year, I ended up with 3 B's (out of my 5 classes). I went through a major surgery that put me back a week or two, but it was mainly due to my poor study habits (that rapidly declined after AP exams).</p>

<p>I am trying very hard to develop better study habits and have talked to my counselor about taking a more manageable course load for junior year.</p>

<p>I would really appreciate some advice from parents about realistic college choices after my 4 B's this year though. I never had specific colleges in mind, but I was considering top liberal arts colleges like Swarthmore, Wesleyan, etc (small, intimate colleges that are academically challenging). However, now I wonder if there are other choices out there that might be more attainable. Or am I just 'over dramatizing' my situation?</p>

<p>I think it is too soon to write anything off. You still have the SAT/ACTs. I think you still have 2 years to work on developing strong study skills. I think you just need to refocus, prioritize, and finish strong. Good luck to you. Dream your dreams. But be willing to work to make them come true.</p>

<p>There are wonderful liberal arts colleges like Swat and Wes but just a bit less selective. But the ones you chose I am going to guess you are left leaning. Bard is just one idea. More centrist is Dickinson. Skidmore is another idea.</p>

<p>There are so many colleges that offer intimate classroom experiences and really thoughtful pedagogy. I don't think you have to worry to much.</p>

<p>I think AP Chem does many a good student in.</p>

<p>You will find excellent LAC's at just about every level of selectivity. Some that I can think of that haven't been mentioned thus far are Macalester, Beloit, Grinnell, Kenyon, Rhodes, Occidental, Pitzer, Reed. You certainly do have an opportunity to bring up your grades, and test scores may help determine the line between a good target school and a reach. </p>

<p>Just do your best, and re-assess your situation next spring after you have fall semester grades and your PSAT score in hand.</p>

<p>The most important number when it comes to your college search is not your GPA. It is your EFC. Sit down with your parents and run the FAFSA and CSS Profile EFC calculators at FinAid</a>! Financial Aid, College Scholarships and Student Loans and College</a> Calculators - savings calculators - college costs, loans Talk with them about how your family can meet your EFC. This is what the colleges will expect your family to be able to pay. Many colleges will expect your family to pay even more than that, so find out how much more your family can come up with. Find out how much student debt they are willing for you to take on, and find out how much money they expect you to make during the school year and your summer vacations. Even if you have the grades for College X or University Y, if there is a gap between what your family can afford, and any financial aid the institution is offering you, you won't be able to attend.</p>

<p>That said, I think you are worrying too much about your ability to pull it together in the next two years. Four Bs will not necessarily kill your admission at the colleges on your list. Especially since you have a medical issue that is partially responsible for some of them. As calmom wrote above, there are excellent LACs at many different levels of selectivity all over the country. Dig out the compass you used in Geometry class and a paper map of the US. Set the compass to a distance that seems reasonable to you, and stick the point in your hometown. Draw a circle on the map. Google "college+town name" for the places that fall inside the circle. You will be amazed at what you can find.</p>

<p>Agree with all the good advice above. Junior year is a pivotal year and you will have a much, much better idea of where your college search should focus sometime mid-year or so. Talk to your parents now about the finances and focus on doing your best in school. Your ACTs and/or SATs will happen junior year and those should also give you much greater perspective than your GPA. It's the sum of all the parts that "count." If there is too much yap-yap-yap at your particular school this early in your high school career about grades, college choices etc. try to tune it out and keep the eye on your particular ball.</p>

<p>also, keep yourself open to women's colleges! they have what you want and are slightly easier to get into</p>

<p>I don't know if the poster is: "Sara Leeman" (f) or "Sara Lee MAN" (m who likes to eat frozen pastries). I had assumed the latter, which is why I didn't include Bryn Mawr, Scripps or Mills on my list of excellent LAC options for students with less-than-perfect GPA's.</p>

<p>Thanks for all the advice everyone!</p>

<p>I was just worried that my B's this year might prevent me from going to a school that is academically challenging enough for me, but I realize that I still have a whole year ahead of me.</p>

<p>And calmom, I am a female. haha. I'll keep my options open and check out women's colleges as well!</p>