Hi so I'm currently a freshman in college, I go to a T40 school that is very STEM centric. I applied and chose to go there because I'm good at STEM, even though I'm not very passionate about it. In the past months I have realised a new love for humanities and my school simply does not offer the humanities subjects I hope to take. This is why I plan to transfer next year, to schools that can offer me both.
I plan to apply to Penn, amongst other schools. They rejected me RD last year, but I had applied for a STEM major that I had no true passion for, and I'm sure they could tell through my superficial essays. This time I plan to apply for what I am genuinely interested in (something humanities), I have ECs to back up this new interest and I'm sure my essay will turn out much more genuine and passionate.
But when I applied last year, the high school grades Penn saw were "predicted grades", my eventual grades did not meet all the predictions. For three subjects I was predicted 5 on, I achieved 4. The rest were all ok.
So my question: would this significantly hurt my chances? I'm presenting myself in a different angle, with more passion, but lower high school grades than what they saw last time - though I don't think they rejected me because of my grades last year, it was more likely how shallow my essays were.
I also have the chance to retake one of the exams, which would hopefully become a 5, is retaking it worth the extra studying I would have to do on top of my uni courseload? Thanks everyone