UCSC Admissions at Risk (I got a D in a class)

Hello, I’ve been admitted to UCSC and I plan on SIR-ing there. I really want to go and my intended major is Art, plus I’m aiming for a minor in some kind of liberal arts. Anyway, I’m in my spring semester of senior year right now. My school works on the block schedule, meaning last semester I had 3 classes and this semester I have 3 different classes. I’m not worried about the rigor of the courses (I always take AP) or my other grades (I’m an A and B student with mostly As), but I did get a D in AP Calculus AB. I can’t retake it this semester because it’s not offered; only BC is. Anyway, my reason for failure is overwhelming stress from creating my art portfolio for other schools, college applications/essays, extracurriculars, other classes, and mental health (which is I sought out a psychiatrist for so i don’t know if that would count as an illness that they’d accept). I took on too much at once and now it’s coming back to me. One thing: my grade for quarter 2 might go up to a C because my teacher adds points if you take the AP Exam in May (which I am). My biggest worry is that 1.) i can’t take summer classes to make up for the grade, and 2.) they are strict on cancellations, plus it’s kinda too late to retake a spring online course (I think). How much at risk is my admission from being rescinded right now? Is there anything I can do to prevent that? I really need some hope because all I’m finding online is that they absolutely will not accept a D.

Yes you are at high risk of being rescinded. Below is what you need to do and a link of what UCSC expects of you.
Take care of this now so you have time to figure put a back up plan if necessary.

FAQ 1D: What should I do if I already earned a D or F grade (or equivalent for other grading systems)?

Answer 1D: You can update the Office of Admissions with that information through the following website: admissions.ucsc.edu/update-fr. Even if you notify the Office of Admissions, your admission is subject to immediate cancellation.


You can study hard for the AP exam and hopefully bring it up to a C.

But another thought is, if you have had “overwhelming stress”, are you ready to go away to school? Another option is to go to a cc and then transfer to Santa Cruz as a junior. This is a fine option.

Yes, I’m ready to go off to university. The stress came from this one class (Calculus) whereas my other classes and grades are fine. Intensive STEM courses are a lot harder for me, and I’m an arts/humanities person (which is also my intended major), so I don’t see the importance of calculus in the long run and do not plan on taking it as my GE math course in college (I’d take something like algebra or probability & statistics). I’ve talked to my teacher about this and was told it’s not uncommon for a student to earn a D in calculus. Because we earn two grades for every class, my first grade would be a D and my second a C on my transcript once I’ve taken the AP Exam (which is after the May 1st deadline for committing to a school).

I’m concerned that if I go to the UCSC website and report the Ds I got now, then my admission will automatically be rescinded without taking into consideration the change I just mentioned about the C, as well as the fact that my major strays away from STEM. Also, I’ve completed all the A-G requirements for math– on the UCSC site, it states that you need a minimum of 3 years (pretty sure 4 is recommended) and because Calculus is my 5th math class, it’d fall under college prep elective. Not sure if that plays any role, but with all that being said, I’m still trying to figure out how to communicate with the college all of these circumstances.

To put it into perspective, this year I’ve taken 4 AP classes and 2 regular courses (economics, which is a requirement and not offered in AP/honors, and ceramics, which I took for an elective). I also have Work Experience listed as a class (it’s just a part time job but it goes on student’s transcript like that). In all of these, I’ve earned As in everything and one B, which is more or less consistent with my performance in years before. Calculus is my only D grade I’ve gotten, and I don’t think the college will see the rest as “slacking off” (senioritis is a bad excuse for anyone), but I’m aware the earning a grade of D or F is listed in the contract for admission as subject to immediate cancellation.

Call up admissions directly and ask about your situation. You do not want to put yourself into a situation where you send your final HS transcripts which are due in July and they decide to rescind then. You have until May 1 to SIR to another school if the D will be an issue for UCSC. Find out NOW what options you have or you may not have any choice later on.

Would it be better to self report at the website they gave (https://admissions.ucsc.edu/update-fr) now? Or should I wait to get in contact directly with the office (via phone call) before going to that website? I already emailed the admissions office and they said it’d take 8-10 business days to reply, so that long wait could be risky.

I’m also curious whether UCSC (or any other colleges) send letters of warning or asking for an explanation? I head that they rarely rescind without warning (which they’d do for things like being arrested or something more serious). If I self-report the grade, will they automatically rescind or is there an in-between step there? If they do decide to rescind, won’t I be able to send a letter of appeal afterwards in which I have a chance at getting the admission back?

I would phone the UCSC office and ask them.

Great advice above! Call UCSC Admissions NOW!!!