Will two C’s in math hurt me?

I got a C- in freshman year Algebra I… and then a C in sophomore year Algebra II. I struggled with a few mental health issues outside of school…hence the grades.

Anyways, I’m planning on applying to colleges as a Linguistics or Cognitive Science major. My overall GPA is nothing amazing, just a 3.6 unweighted. I’m looking at schools ranging from Brandeis and Bucknell (30%-ish acceptance rates) to schools like UVM and UNH (65-75% acceptance rates.

Anyways, I’m still waiting on my test scores (SAT), but I might consider going test-optional since my school (along with nearby schools) canceled some testing dates due to COVID.

I’m getting an A- as a junior in geometry right now, so hopefully that nasty C trend is over (knock on wood…). On top of that, I have a 3.9 unweighted as a junior, so there is an upward trend (I had a 3.4 freshman year).

Will these two C’s hurt me?

The simple answer is yes, they probably will. If you had been the exact same student with an A instead of a C in those classes, you would’ve been better off. Your major isn’t very math-heavy though, so it might not be a huge deal, though if the mental health issues you had outside school were serious, it might be worth mentioning that in the additional info section of the common app. You need to make sure it doesn’t sound like an excuse, though.

I probably should’ve asked something along the lines of “how much will they hurt me?” because yes, an AO would rather see an A (or even a B) than a C.

Have your school counselor address your mental health issues in their review of you. They can add the upwards trend also. You shouldn’t need to add that in the additional information section since the counselor will address it. Leave that section for something more positive to help highlight yourself. Stress the positives not the negatives. Let your GPA talk for itself. It will be evident and this way it doesn’t sound like your making excuses. You had some issues and you overcame them. But… Make sure the schools your considering have good mental health policies. You might need those services in college. Guess what?.. That’s why their there… Good luck.

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