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Chances? Low GPA First 1.5 years due to moving

abhi777abhi777 Registered User Posts: 15 Junior Member
Hi guys, I’m a current HS junior looking at chances for some colleges. I have a low GPA, but partly due to bad grades when first moving (I am going to highschool in California, but I moved here from Texas literally in the week highschool started). I have a strong upward trend, SAT, and curicculars, just afraid one and a half bad years might destroy my chances.

UW GPA: 3.3 (Can get it up to about 3.4 with BYU courses)/W GPA: 3.7
SAT: 1510 (looking to get into 1550 range)
Extracurricular: 3 year DECA member with several finalists awards and 1 first place and 1 second place
Founder of a blockchain company with 150k in revenue
Freelance paid writer for a few blockchain news websites (small)
Written several white papers for blockchain startups (again paid)
Internship with a Indian blockchain startup for a week in India
Top 10 finish in a fairly big professional hackathon in India
Major: Finance/Economics
Hooks: Moving right at start of highschool
Income: 200k+


I’m a Asian male in the Silicon Valley attending one of those super competitive schools. I have a upward trend (2.88, 3, 3.167,3.33, now a 4.0 first semi junior). My family will be moving back to Texas right as I start college and I lived there from 3rd-8th grade so i hope that can help a bit for those schools.

Schools I am looking at:
Texas A&M
UT Austin
SMU (need the cost down to at most 230k, anymore than that just is not worth it for me)
University of Washington Seattle (lived in seattle 1st-3rd grade so maybe an essay on that)
NorthEastern
NYU Stern
Ohio State University
UIUC
Case Western

I am looking to get into IB, so if any of these schools are not likely (20-30%), then any suggestions would be appreciated!

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Replies to: Chances? Low GPA First 1.5 years due to moving

  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 39,601 Senior Member
    Your essay should be on who you are - so maybe your basic self and discovering the different cultures in the US but not about you in the 3rd grade :-) because they're not admitting an 8 year old.

    UWash Seattle is out of reach. However you may have a shot at WWU and UPuget Sound.

    A reach you might try for is Colgate or Hamilton (both are reaches) - try for colleges where few Asian American males apply that have a reputation for placing students in finance and on will street, such as NESCAC schools. Trinity in CT would be a good target for your goals.
    Good matches where you'd get merit would include Fordham Lincoln center and Pace.

    UT is highly unlikely - very few OoS applicants are admitted and the major you want is among the most competitive.
  • abhi777abhi777 Registered User Posts: 15 Junior Member
    According to Naviance (which lists all the results from my schools applicants) our school does TERRIBLE at NESCAC schools, so they may not be the best fit for me. Any idea on SMU/a&m/ maybe syracuse?
  • aquaptaquapt Registered User Posts: 1,630 Senior Member
    edited February 11
    Per MYOS' comment about schools where Asians are underrepresented, Lehigh U is excellent for finance and definitely treats Asians as URM. They have stepped up their efforts to recruit Silicon Valley students. Another reach but worth looking at... not sure if it would come in under your max budget though.

    The situation with your parents move back to TX is unfortunate as far as having good in-state options, because you'll have to apply at OOS to TX schools, but you won't retain your residency beyond the first year at the CA schools. (And likewise WUE eligibility for other western-states schools.) You might have a look at U of Utah, which gives all OOS students an optional path to residency after the first year. You would easily qualify for general admission, but with your high test scores and improving GPA you might also get into the Honors College, which has a lot of great perks generally (housing, "praxis labs") but also would qualify you for the Honors Scholars program in the b-school. https://eccles.utah.edu/programs/undergraduate/academics/honors-college/ Merit $ would also be possible. The U has an enviable location - SLC is a major city with good public transit and a lot to offer, plus world-class outdoor recreation is just minutes away. The Advanced Financial Analysis track within the finance major would bring in the modeling and coding skill-set that you already have strength in.

    Also, U of Alabama will use your weighted GPA for merit consideration as long as that is listed on your transcript. So even without raising your SAT, you would qualify as a Presidential Scholar https://scholarships.ua.edu/types/out-of-state.php and admission to the highly-regarded (and majority-OOS) Honors College https://honors.ua.edu/about/ 'Bama has an undergraduate finance major in the business school, and if your AP credits allowed you to graduate early, you could continue into the finance MS program and still apply your scholarship.

    Brandeis could be worth a look too - they're strong in business/econ/finance and their b-school has an international focus. Their five-year BA/MA in International Economics and Finance might be of interest. https://www.brandeis.edu/global/academics/ma/ba-ma/index.html
  • abhi777abhi777 Registered User Posts: 15 Junior Member
    I talked to my counselor and I will be instate for Cali for all 4 years because I completed highschool here.

    Do you know estimate chances for SMU/ A&M? I do not mind taking out about 100k in student loans for a good wall street college (I have 50k in savings and parents can contribute 100-150k so about 250-300k for a GOOD school not safety)

    Thanks. I do not think Alabama/Utah are good for WallStreet/finance in general :(
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 39,601 Senior Member
    You can't take on more than 5.5k in loans for your freshman year. Anything else would have to be born by your parents.

    For Wall Street, as I said, then, Fordham Lincoln center.
  • aquaptaquapt Registered User Posts: 1,630 Senior Member
    Oh, that's right - you'd qualify for the AB540 exemption - my bad.
    And UC's won't include your freshman grades in your UC weighted/capped GPA calculation so that will help you.
    Irvine has a good undergrad business program. But I'm not sure if that would satisfy your standard of "good for Wall Street/finance" any more than Utah or 'Bama. (But would SMU/A&M be better?)
  • abhi777abhi777 Registered User Posts: 15 Junior Member
    SMU and A&M has good finance in Dallas so they would be solid options. Our school does decent at Fordham so I am looking into that as well as UIUC which our school does really well at apparently.
  • abhi777abhi777 Registered User Posts: 15 Junior Member
    Also, I do not have problems paying the first 3 years tuition, would probably need to take a loan for the 4th year should it be a 250k + college which i assume would be doable
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 39,601 Senior Member
    edited February 11
    You can probably get into Penn State if you apply DUS and Summer session. GPA matters a lot but applying straight away (in August) to summer session with DUS as a major should do the trick (it doesn't work that well if you try to switch later on, like in October, after you've heard of that particular trick on the forums). From there you'd take all Entrance to major courses and you'd need a 3.5 to get into the Finance major, same as everybody else.
    Costs would be in the 180-200k range total OOS.
  • SJ2727SJ2727 Registered User Posts: 831 Member
    To be quite blunt about this - a number of people move just before, during, just after freshman year, some internationally from very different systems. I think AOs certainly cut some slack for that, but not 2.8 kind of slack. Your SAT score is excellent but your gpa is clearly falling behind - I’m guessing part of that is your school - my daughter and friends (also at a competitive Bay Area school) also have this situation where the GPAs “look” low vs standardized scores, but not to the extent of your disparity. Remember AOs will be comparing you to others at your school too. I think the suggestions of colleges like Fordham and Penn State are solid. You’ll have some decent UC options too.
    FYI Stern had an 8% admit rate last year, their stats tend to be at the higher end of the NYU pool, and i definitely think it would be a reach for you. I think northeastern could be tough with your gpa, and I think it’s aleady been noted that UT Austin is hard for OOS. Definitely have a reach or two in there though, your essays and SAT could swing past the cumulative gpa somewhere.
  • abhi777abhi777 Registered User Posts: 15 Junior Member
    Thanks for all the feedback.Penn State actually does REALLY well at my school (we have a 80% admit range and a lot of kids with my stats getting in) so I think I can probably try RD finance there. @SJ2727 The problem with comparing me to kids in my school is that we are a top 100 public school so my grades are in the 40th-60th percentile (near the bottom middle) due to the fact that we have a 90% asian population- will colleges consider the difficulty/prestige of the school?
  • SJ2727SJ2727 Registered User Posts: 831 Member
    @abhi777 does your school actually rank? My daughter’s school doesn’t precisely because the school is high performing. If your school does rank, at least some colleges will consider that but the school profile will help them judge that too.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 39,601 Senior Member
    DO NOT apply for finance at Penn State. At the freshman level it's highly selective (90+% rejection) and you have zero advantage over an applicant who got in or DUS - you have to take the same classes and get the same grades to qualify. Apply DUS/Summer.
    Large public universities will briefly check out the school profile but all in all you'll only better with smaller schools that have a more holistic review and two counselors per application to check out everything.
  • abhi777abhi777 Registered User Posts: 15 Junior Member
    @SJ2727 Doesn't actually rank but they do have percentiles up on website IE 3.25-3.5, 3.5-3.75
    @MYOS1634 Oh, did not know that. Is it possible to transfer into finance after taking DUS?
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 39,601 Senior Member
    You don't transfer. It's the regular path. You're DUS until you've completed calculus1, economics 1+2, acounting1, management, foreign language 3, Freshman Composition..... Once you've completed the classes and have a (?B?) In them, plus an overall 3.5, you declare your major in finance. If you have a 3.2 you must declare something else in the Business school.
    Only a few are directly admitted to Finance (3.8/1500...) But even they must fulfill the same requirements and are kicked out if they don't take the proper classes and don't get the proper grades.
    So, basically, apply for DUS and Summer session (Summer session LEAP is a special program for freshmen. You're in groups of 24 so you can easily make friends, you have an upperclass mentor, you learn how to navigate the campus better, etc. And applying for summer session allows people with good test scores but lower GPA's to get in when they wouldn't otherwise.)
    Run the NPC for cost through.
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