I previously posted in another forum, but do not think it was the correct one.
My question involves a bit of background, so please bear with me while I explain. I am currently an honors candidate in the School of Pacific and Asian Studies at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa (a highly respected university to study Asia; a great deal of reading material at Oxford is UH published), pursuing my senior thesis research.
Throughout the early years at university, my advisors and professors were having a very hard time understanding why my grasp of concepts and knowledge of the material was so high, but my grades did not at all reflect it; they were quite sporadic. For example: I would often obtain highly competitive recommendations from professors who's classes I received C and D marks in. I was eventually referred to the testing center toward the middle of my junior year where I unfortunately was diagnosed with high functioning autism.
Since then, I have undergone a number of treatments and learned methods of coping with the problems I had been having but was too stubborn and proud to acknowledge. I am happy to say that I have made great progress: I have been accepted as an honors researcher under a highly respected professor in my field, been elected as sole representation of my college to the student government, been appointed to academic review committees (where I help decide on students scholarship and research grant awards), received grants, and entered a number of honors societies and professional associations. I even speak pretty high levels of Japanese, Hawaiian, and French.
Today I am confident in my abilities and even more confident that Oxford University is exactly where I want and need to be to move forward with my research (I've investigated them all the way down to individual course syllabus and am absolutely sure). However, I am deeply concerned that the marks I received before my diagnostic intervention have blackened my record to the point of no return. I am expected to graduate with an Upper-Division honors degree this December, after presenting my thesis, with roughly a 3.34 GPA, far below Oxford's 3.5 minimum.
I am aware the Nissan Institute for Japanese Studies last year had 34 graduate applicants (of high caliber) and 20 offers, which is technically a very good odd, but with my GPA below the minimum, is it worth it to even apply? Or will they see my scores above my other accomplishments?