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Low GPA with intense ambition and looking to get into a good school

ninjawarrior2ninjawarrior2 3 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4 New Member
Hey! Thank you for taking the time to read this and help me out. I just started my senior and my gpa is currently sitting at a 2.7. My ACT score is a 25 but I am hoping to get a higher score SAT when I take it in November. I played jv football and did rec basketball. I did about 50 hours of community service, started a Student Union, did Mock Trial and Model UN and also am on a Student Advisory Committee representing my school in front of the whole district. I do not want to be told to go to a community college and then transfer, not that there is anything wrong with that, but my circumstances do not allow me to do so. So what I am basically looking for is the BEST colleges that I have a very good shot at. I am really stressing out right now and appreciate every little bit of help, I can get!
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Replies to: Low GPA with intense ambition and looking to get into a good school

  • taverngirltaverngirl 723 replies16 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 739 Member
    Look into your state directionals. Have you shown improvement over the four years? What courses/level of rigor have you taken?
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  • DustyfeathersDustyfeathers 3321 replies75 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,396 Senior Member
    How much can you afford?
    What state are you in?
    What state are you looking to be in?

    Frankly though 2.7 is quite low and makes it hard to find a college to accept you. But there are a few.

    It seems unclear why CC-to-four year is not an option for you. Is it that yo don't want to live at home?

    Maybe try googling <2.7 gpa colleges> That will pull up a basic list.
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  • gallentjillgallentjill 2385 replies84 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,469 Senior Member
    Do you have a handle on why your GPA is so low? Was it due to health issues? Learning disability? Other circumstances? That ahswer will help us determine which colleges are appropriate. What subject do you want to study? If you are looking to eventually go into social work you have different options then if you want to go into computer science.

    Give us an idea of whether you are looking for larger or small, geographic area and finances.

    There are schools that reall excell in helping kids grow and improve after high school. Take a look at the list of "colleges that change lives." You may have a shot at something there.
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  • ninjawarrior2ninjawarrior2 3 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4 New Member
    I mean I did have to go through some personal issues in which I had to become essentially a second parent for the first 2 and a half years of high school. I want to study poli science or international relations. Anything works for me as long as it is a good school for my major. Thank you I will do so.
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  • ninjawarrior2ninjawarrior2 3 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4 New Member
    I have taken a total of 7 APs so far including 4 in my senior course load.
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  • ninjawarrior2ninjawarrior2 3 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4 New Member
    I believe I can get a good amount of money through federal and financial aid so the cost is not what is worrying me currently. I am in Oregon and currently, I have my eyes set on the University of Oregon but I don't know if I can quite make it but I will definitely try very hard to do so. Yes, my circumstances don't allow me to stay at home for another two years.
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  • DustyfeathersDustyfeathers 3321 replies75 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,396 Senior Member
    Okay @ninjawarrior2 . I completely understand. You've done a lot.

    Your scores are a little low for University of Oregon and for Oregon State U currently. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't apply, but be prepared for the fact that these will be big reaches for you IMHO.

    If you need to get away now from home, and CC-to-four-year college is not acceptable option, then you may want to consider applying to Southern Oregon University in Ashland.


    1) It has a high acceptance rate and you have a high chance of getting in;
    2) Ashland (if you've not been before) is a lovely town with lots of arts
    3) They have an international studies department, which can at least get you started
    4) You can either go all four years to this school or
    5) Attend for one year or two years and try transferring into OSU or UofO -- either one -- once you pull up your grades.
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  • aquaptaquapt 1944 replies37 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,981 Senior Member
    2.7 weighted? Or unweighted?

    Portland State accepts GPAs between 2.7 and 2.99 *unweighted* based on test scores. To balance a 2.7 you would need a 29 ACT or a 1350 SAT. https://www.pdx.edu/undergraduate-admissions/sites/www.pdx.edu.undergraduate-admissions/files/Under 3.0 GPA Matrix.pdf (If your 2.7 is weighted and your unweighted is actually below 2.7 then I think this option is out.)

    Southern Oregon does not quantify what you need to get in with an under-3.0 GPA the way PSU does - they are smaller and have a more holistic process - but I would expect the standard to be pretty similar.

    Willamette is a terrific school for poli sci - lots of state government opportunities because of its proximity to the capital. Your stats are in their bottom quartile, but they do accept 78% so there's some possibility if other aspects of your application are compelling.

    The problem with private universities in general is that the ones that meet 100% of documented financial need (or even close to 100%) are competitive for admissions. There are surely four-year private colleges you could get into, but costs could be a problem in that tier. Willamette (just as an example) meets 80% of documented need, and it's a reach for you admissions-wise. Non-reaches will have even less generous aid.

    Your description of your financial situation does not make clear whether you would be able to attend one of the OOS public U's that participates in the WUE reciprocity program. Many of these are relatively affordable with the WUE discount, but you wouldn't get the same need-based aid taken off that "sticker price" that you would get in-state. If you can afford the WUE price, there are WUE schools that have virtually open admissions. And there are the ones like Northern Arizona and Boise State that accept nearly 80%, similar to PSU and SOU. https://wuesavingsfinder.wiche.edu/

    If what you want is to get full financial aid at an OOS public, the state that makes this easiest is Utah, which offers a one-year path to residency. (Most other states make it very difficult for students under age 24 to establish residency as self-supporting adults unless they are married or have served in the military - the latter of which could be an option to consider if the idea were acceptable to you.) Utah State and Weber State have essentially open admissions. You would have to figure out a way to afford the first year, though. (Or, it *may* be possible to take a gap year - live and work for a year in Utah - and establish residency, but I haven't investigated closely enough to be sure whether that works.)

    Also.. community college does not necessarily have to = living at home. A couple examples of OR community colleges that offer on-campus housing (there may be more - I'm not sure):
    So hopefully that might be a backup plan you could live with.

    And lastly, if your grade trend is upward, taking a gap year would allow you to apply with your senior-year grades included in your GPA, which might broaden your options. So you could check into away-from-home gap year possibilities like City Year if that appeals to you. Hang in there and good luck!

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  • coolguy40coolguy40 1930 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,932 Senior Member
    edited October 2018
    I still think your best shot is going to community college and transferring. Since it sounds like your parents don't have the money to pay for college, you can go there and have little to no debt for your first 2 years. After that, if you have a good GPA, you can go to the school you want to go to.
    edited October 2018
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  • doingwhatsrightsdoingwhatsrights 15 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 15 Junior Member
    Raise test scores! That's your best bet
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