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How will colleges view me? Should i be worried?

pinknthenitepinknthenite Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
I’m slightly worried about how colleges will view me. I am the editor in chief of my school’s newspaper, president of mock trial, and I mentor freshman and sophomores in honors English classes. In mock trial, my school placed first in the county, and I received an individual award of outstanding attorney. My test scores are 1520 SAT, and 34 ACT. THE ONE CATCH: my gpa is a 3.7 weighted. I was spread extremely thin my junior year with all of my ECs and now I worry that I won’t get into colleges for this reason. The reason for this is because I simply was not able to allocate enough time to my academics. Now, I worry how colleges will perceive me as a student. I know my essays will be good and I have solid letters of recommendation from teachers who I’ve built relationships with, but my grades seem to drag me down quite a bit. Should I be worried?

Replies to: How will colleges view me? Should i be worried?

  • damon30damon30 Registered User Posts: 551 Member
    It depends on what you mean by "worried". Grades are more important than ECs at almost all top schools.
  • pinknthenitepinknthenite Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    By worried, I mean that I’m not sure if my ECs, test scores, and LORs will outweigh the fact that my GPA is lower. I understand that top schools are most definitely a reach, but my main concern is with finding out how these factors affect my admission into UC’s or some privates i.e. Washu, USC, Georgetown, or UChicago
  • damon30damon30 Registered User Posts: 551 Member
    Using USC as an example, 65% have an UW GPA of 3.75+ and 88% have a UW GPA of 3.5+: https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/college-university-search/university-of-southern-california
    (Click "Applying/Academics and GPA" and scroll down)

    The admitted students that have UW GPAs below 3.5 are mostly infamous at this point. The story is even worse at the other schools. At UChicago, the same numbers are 89% UW 3.75+, 99% UW 3.5+.
  • tdy123tdy123 Registered User Posts: 479 Member
    "By worried, I mean that I’m not sure if my ECs, test scores, and LORs will outweigh the fact that my GPA is lower." If you're applying to extremely competitive universities and LACs (those schools with the single digit - or close to it - admit rates), that can be a valid concern. Generally speaking, LORs and EC's hopefully set you apart from other candidates with stellar GPA and standardized test scores, they are considerably less likely to make up for a lower GPA. At still great schools with slightly less competitive admit rates, a 3.7GPA. 1520SAT and 34 ACT will be more than adequate.
  • damon30damon30 Registered User Posts: 551 Member
    @pinknthenite Here is some good news. Maybe of the kind you were looking for. I just found this article on the Harvey Mudd admissions website on what they are looking for: https://www.hmc.edu/admission/2013/02/03/what-courses-should-i-take/
    ...
    What do I mean by “as is reasonable”? It turns out that you only have one chance to experience high school, and you should not be a slave to your academics to the detriment of your life outside of class. Those students whose lists of activities drop off significantly in order to focus on academics run the risk of seeming fairly one-dimensional and, frankly, boring.
    ...
    What about the number of courses? Most admission people think in terms of the quality of the course, but also the number of “solid” or “major” courses taken. (In this case, major does not refer to what you intend to study in college.) Solids are considered the five basic food-groups of your academic program: English; Mathematics; natural science; foreign languages; and social science.

    When I see a transcript, I am not very concerned about the GPA or rank as I am the entire transcript. I literally count how many solid courses are taken each term and note which ones are tagged as honors or AP or IB or whatever. Generally, we expect 5 solids each term. Some students who are especially ambitious may take 6 or 7, at least in the USA.
    ...
    So you should be able to find some highly-regarded schools like this that value your accomplishments.
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