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Can I get in with a second semester C my junior year?

debategeekdebategeek Registered User Posts: 160 Junior Member
edited June 2012 in University of Rochester
It's in honors pre calculus. The rest of my grades are As for that semester, and all my other grades are mostly As and Bs. I've got a 2100 SAT score and several extracurrics. I got a 730 in US history for my subject SATs and I'm taking Lit and Math II (hopefully to make up for this C) in October. Do I still have a shot?

I REALLY wanna go here! It seems like the perfect school for me.
Post edited by debategeek on

Replies to: Can I get in with a second semester C my junior year?

  • CreeklandCreekland Registered User Posts: 3,541 Senior Member
    You won't know if you don't try. I wouldn't let one C stop me from applying if I wanted to go to a school.
  • PinotNoirPinotNoir Registered User Posts: 2,554 Senior Member
    I second what Creekland said - whatever you do, don't let one C stop you from applying.
  • amgirl3838amgirl3838 Registered User Posts: 81 Junior Member
    I don't think 1 C would stop you. You should be ok. Just make sure you keep getting good grades especially for the 1st semester of senior year. Also perhaps you can explain on the common app why you got that C. They might appreciate an explanation. Good luck!
  • Strawberry22Strawberry22 Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    Definitely will not stop you! I have living proof. Two Cs will also not stop you.
  • debategeekdebategeek Registered User Posts: 160 Junior Member
    Thank you all so much! :-) This made me feel so much better. I am definitely applying, and amgirl3838, thank you for the suggestion, I will definitely try to do that. Go yellow jackets!
  • CreeklandCreekland Registered User Posts: 3,541 Senior Member
    Unless it's a health, travel, or similar type of reason, I'm not certain I'd address the C in an essay or note. Here's why...

    Is it the teacher's fault? This could imply you have personality issues with a teaching style or aren't willing to go the extra mile to get help.

    Is it the book's fault (didn't understand the book - happens often in our school with the curriculum used for Pre-Calc)? Again, it shows you didn't go the extra mile to get help.

    Were you too busy with other events going on? Could imply you will have difficulty with college and everything new there (while still studying).

    Any of these ARE causes for a C, of course, but do you really want someone reading your essay (or note) to be dwelling on them? Write a good essay - about something else - something unique for you. If/when you interview, then address the C if it's brought up, but be certain to take ownership of it and tell what you learned from the experience. Otherwise, prove you've learned from the experience by getting better grades making that your only C. ;)

    Just my two cents. Use or discard as you wish.
  • debategeekdebategeek Registered User Posts: 160 Junior Member
    That's a really good point, Creekland. I don't want them to be focused on my C while they consider the rest of my application.

    Actually, my grandmother became very ill towards the end of my junior year, and I was already having trouble with math and my other subjects to add to that. But I suppose that could definitely apply to having difficulty adjusting to new college experiences.

    I guess I'll just leave it as it is and hope that I do better my senior year and on the Math II subject SAT test. I'm already planning to schedule an interview with my representative. Thank you all for the input!
  • CreeklandCreekland Registered User Posts: 3,541 Senior Member
    I think addressing it in an interview is your best option. Don't start with it (first impressions COUNT) or end with it (final memories). Put it in the middle, take ownership of it instead of "blaming" something or someone else, and mention what you've learned from it. Your scores/grades afterward will prove what you've learned (not just math).

    Here's sort of what comes to mind that I'd be looking for (note, I'm in NO WAY associated with any college acceptances for any college, so again, take it for what it's worth):

    "That C. I've always been really good at math and I underestimated this course because I thought it would come easily to me like the others had. I started getting behind, but I thought I'd get it eventually. Then it didn't help that my grandmother became really ill toward the end of the year. I've learned that higher level courses take more thought and I'm putting in more time understanding them now. If I had it to do over again, I'd have started by putting in more time and never getting behind. I know I can do it. That's what I've done in my classes since."

    DON'T use my words - just use them as an example of taking ownership vs placing blame.

    And with Pre-Calc... it's all true. MANY students do well in math up to that point and underestimate the class. It often takes time working with it for the brain to truly understand it at that point even if Alg and Geom came easily. There can also be teachers who don't explain things well - who emphasize memorization of steps rather than concepts. When you hit a class like that (math or otherwise), be CERTAIN you're taking the time and truly comprehend what is being presented every day (don't put it off thinking you'll catch up - math builds upon itself). If not, there's a LOT of help online now (free). Do some google searching and your brain/grades will improve. You can also form study groups and work at helping each other. Just don't copy. Copying skills are usually fine by high school and don't need practice. ;) Math skills need practice.

    (Stepping off my math teacher soapbox now...)

    Making mistakes isn't a problem with life. Not learning from them is. You may, or may not, make it in to URochester, but I'd be trying if you really like the school and feel it's for you. If you were my student I'd be giving the same advice if asked.
  • debategeekdebategeek Registered User Posts: 160 Junior Member
    Creekland, thanks so much for the advice, I really really appreciate it. I have definitely learned from my mistake--the hard way--and in the end I think I'll be glad to have gotten the C. It was a real wake-up call to me, that I can't just put things off to the last minute and expect to pull it off. Now I'm taking a more proactive stance with my grades, I've already started my summer assignments and started writing my college essays, so I'm glad to have learned. The jump into HONORS Pre Calc was what got to me, I'm sure if I had stayed in the normal class I would have done much better. It was a nice challenge though. Thanks again for everything.
  • CreeklandCreekland Registered User Posts: 3,541 Senior Member
    Well, if you had stayed in the normal class, you might not have been as well prepared for a school like UR. The material covered was likely different depth.

    It sounds like you're doing well now, so yes, the C could very well have helped you (overall) more than hurting. Succeeding in college will be dependent upon having a good academic work ethic. I'll be rooting for you!
  • debategeekdebategeek Registered User Posts: 160 Junior Member
    Thank you so much! I'm taking AP Calculus next year along with 5 other APs so we'll see how that goes, haha. Thanks again!
This discussion has been closed.