Special Circumstances Senior Year - Help!

<p>For all of my high school career, I've had fantastic grades. I have a 33 ACT and a 2380 SAT. I go to an elite boarding school in California. Everything was going seamlessly, I finished all of my college applications (Cornell, Brown, Yale, Duke, Emory, RPI, Rochester, Tufts), and I was happy.</p>

<p>During my first semester of senior year, my father just skedaddled; that is, he plain left my mother and I. My grades overall went down from a high A average to a low B, with a C+ in AP Chem. I'm taking a bunch of AP courses and have done as such for my entire high school career.</p>

<p>I've written a letter explaining my circumstances that I will send to colleges. However, I know that the first semester of senior year has a huge impact on regular decision. I'm worried, understandably, about how colleges will look at me now. Will the explanation make up for my drop in grades? Will it help a little? I guess I'm asking a simple question: am I at a disadvantage because of this?</p>

<p>I certainly understand how the stress of that kind of family event could affect grades, and I imagine colleges will too.
However, it might be better to have the letter come from your guidance counselor. It would be especially effective if you now are a bit recovered from the shock and your grades are gradually moving back up.</p>


<p>I already talked to my counselor, and he said he will communicate with the colleges on my behalf as well.</p>

<p>Thanks for your help!</p>