|By Darius Michaels on Wednesday, December 05, 2001 - 02:20 am: Edit|
I'm a pretty mediocre student with a 2.7 GPA and a 29 on my ACT. I know those don't really match up all too well but when I look through these college books I see every college i am considering has a much higher GPA average whereas my ACT is always higher than the colleges average. I'm having a tough time judging where I fit in. I know the GPA is more important which is why I am concerned. I am applying to schools like Kansas, Arizona State, Arizona, Mizzou, Nebraska and Clemson. (yeah, im all over the map.) Some of those are reaches for a student like myself and I am aware of that but what i dont know is whether I even have a shot. Mizzou and Clemson would be my top choices but would they even consider someone with a 2.7??? Does the ACT give me any chance of admission? Am I screwed and must I be forced to live the life of a hobo roaming the streets by night while searching for change to ride the train so I can get to the nearest airport to play my sax for even more change before i get kicked out of the airport while the process repeats itself for the rest of my life??? Any help or knowledge of where someone like me should be applying is helpful. I know I should be doing better so you can be harsh if you please. Thank you.
|By Dadster on Thursday, December 06, 2001 - 12:41 pm: Edit|
Hi, Darius. It looks like you are interested mostly in big state schools, which tend to be more formula-based than others. You will be out of state for most of them, presumably, and the US News stats for average GPA and SAT may not be too relevant. I'd suggest contacting the admissions offices of your top targets and ask them basically what you are asking here. I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure you'll get into more than one of these schools... Naturally, have a good safety or two. If any of these schools have rolling admissions, get your app in ASAP, and some of your questions may be answered! Good luck, and don't worry - you'll get in someplace that you'll like. You'll only have to play your sax for spare change if you graduate as a music major!
|By darius michaels on Thursday, December 06, 2001 - 04:23 pm: Edit|
thank you dadster, i appreciate your advice very much. If anyone else has anything to say that would be great and much appreciated, but I think I'm going to get those applications done this weekend, later
|By college-mom on Friday, December 07, 2001 - 09:37 am: Edit|
Darius, I agree with dadster in that you should probably go ahead and apply to these schools, but your chances are likely 50-50 at best at most of them (out-of-state standards may be higher). Do make sure that you've got a really satisfactory, sure-fire safety in mind (probably an in-state state school). These schools may not all look at you in the same way, and some (if there are any on your list that aren't totally formulaic) may even look to see what your grade pattern says about you...were they consistently in the C+ to B-range or were they all over the map, depending on whether or not you liked the course (As in some, Cs in others)? Your ACT score shows you have significant potential, which will probably come out when you find a course of study you are really interested in--you need to find a school that will want you for that reason. (State univs. aren't usually the best choices when you want a school to look at you more as an individual with potential than just as an applicant with certain numbers attached.)
|By Darius Michaels on Friday, December 07, 2001 - 04:03 pm: Edit|
worst comes to worst i KNOW i could go to Nebraska. There admissions standards are pretty easy, (the form claimed guaranteed admission if you graduate from high school and have a certain act score.) I'm also pretty sure i wont get into clemson. My grades are mostly Cs with Bs mixed in but I've taken mostly honors and a few AP college credit classes. I definitely have a more difficult schedule than anyone in my gpa range. I'm just hoping i can get into just one of those schools other than kansas and nebraska, and i was just trying to get some sort of idea whether I had a legitimate chance. Thanks
|By Darius Michaels on Friday, December 07, 2001 - 04:04 pm: Edit|
just so you don't think i'm not worthy of going to college i meant to say, Their admissions standards are pretty easy, not There. Oh well, peace!
|By Steven on Saturday, March 16, 2002 - 07:25 pm: Edit|
I'm just a freshman in High school, but I was looking around the internet to see what I should do to prepare if I want to get into a college of my choice. When you talk about out-of-state standards, are you saying that a person from California is more likely to get into a school from Calfornia than a person from Arkansas?
|By Dadster on Saturday, March 16, 2002 - 09:23 pm: Edit|
Yes, that's true. Most state schools give preference to applicants from their own state, and out-of-state applicants must meet higher standards. For private schools, though, it may be a different story. Sometimes, applicants from other states have an advantage, particularly if relatively few students apply from that state.
|By A Happy Senior on Saturday, March 23, 2002 - 07:55 am: Edit|
Feel free to email me on this (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I have a similar problem--2.7 GPA and a 1420 on the SATs. Many of my friends also have that issue--and like someone else said, if you look at state schools, you won't be considered. For my junior year I tanked--I was placed on "academic warning".
I made sure that I wrote a good essay, found teachers who wrote me some very understanding recommendation letters, and made a point of improving my performance.
Applying to small liberal arts schools is definitely a plus--they have the time and resources to focus on a person individually, and it has paid off for me: I have been accepted in 2 of the 3 schools I have received notification from, and one was a prestigious tier one school. That would be my advice.
|By Wondering on Saturday, March 23, 2002 - 02:53 pm: Edit|
How do you know that small liberal arts schools have more time and resources to focus on a person individually? I understand that public schools are more numbers driven, but I would think the size of the admissions staff is commensurate with the size of the school and applicant pool and that available time to focus on applicants is a function of that. I would like to know if there's anything concrete behind your comment about time and resources and wonder what actual resources you mean.
|By runnerguy on Monday, March 25, 2002 - 11:31 pm: Edit|
The numbers back up the answer right off the bat. The best small liberal arts colleges have the finances to have a very similar program of activites that most state schools have i.e. sports teams. Many liberal arts colleges have a statistic that a good half of their students are varsity athletes at some time before they graduate, at state schools the number is more like 1-3%. This carries over to non-athletic aspects as well.
Also, most small schools do not have formulas for admissions and serve the underachiever or not so typical applicant better. The college wants a diverse class in as many ways as possible and goes all the way to geography as well. (Ex:Student in Nashville, TN applies to X College in Charlotte, NC. X College has few if any students for the Nashville area and want to bring more in so they will recruit more and give admissions/aid more willingly.)
|By Still wondering on Wednesday, March 27, 2002 - 08:13 am: Edit|
What numbers are you talking about? Can you provide some of the numbers and their sources that you say backs up what A Happy Senior said?
What does the percentage of varsity athletes have to do with an admissions office's available time and resources?
Acknowledging that admissions criteria for public schools is supposedly more formulaic than private schools doesn't verify that private schools have more time or resources.
The college may indeed want a diverse class but that doesn't substantiate what A Happy Senior said. It has nothing to do with it.
|By formerslacker on Tuesday, June 04, 2002 - 10:01 pm: Edit|
I'm a few months late for this thread, but I feel compelled to post in this thread for those who will be applying to college next year. I, too, was an "underachiever;" I got Bs and Cs my freshman and sophomore years and Cs and a D my junior year (I did, however, get it together senior year and had almost straight As), and I got a 30 on my ACT. I have very similar stats to the OP. My ECs, recs, essays, etc, were all fine, but nothing truly stellar.
Where does an "underachiever" apply? I personally believed I would have a better chance at LACs, which is where I mostly applied as I wanted a smaller school. I think that to some extent an LAC is more willing to give an underachiever a chance, but I don't think every one is. On the other hand, I could have enjoyed near automatic admission to big 10 schools with my combined record, such as Iowa, Michigan State, and Purdue.
Finding a safety school with this record is especially tricky. Your best bet is to find a large state school where you can automatically get in with your record or a smaller school where your test score is significantly above the 75th percentile. My safeties were an LAC at the bottom of the second tier and a small university ranked highly in its regional catetory; both had high acceptance rates, and my ACT was way above their 75th percentile. I got into both safeties, with nice merit scholarships from both ($7000 from one, $8000 from the other).
The matches and reaches are even trickier, and I'm not sure I played my cards right there. Of the schools I considered my "matches" (I applied to 4: one large U, one medium sized U, two LACs), my ACT was slightly above their 75th percentile, and my GPA, was naturally, the 25th percentile or lower. I hoped the ACT would help balance me out. For my 3 reaches (all LACs), my ACT for two of them but me in the 60th-65th or so percentile, and for my gigantic reach, around the 30th percentile.
In the end, the results weren't good: I only got into my "alternate major" at the large university, ranked near the top of the 2nd tier. I was waitlisted at one reach (ranked in the 30s, LACs) and at the medium sized U (middle of the 2nd tier). I was rejected from the rest of the schools (2 matches- one at the top of the 2nd tier for LACs, one in the middle of 2nd tier LACs, and 2 reaches- one ranked in the 40s for LACs and one ranked in the 10-20 range, LACs).
I was rather shocked to get rejected from the "match" LACs, needless to say. It just shows how unpredictable the process is. I sent my deposit to the large university and went on both waitlists (the "reach" waitlist happened to by my first choice school) and hoped for the best on the lists. I did a lot throughout April and May to get off the waitlists.
Fortunately, I received good news: I got off the waitlist at my "reach" LAC at the end of May, and that's where I'm going to attend (I didn't get off the other waitlist, but it didn't matter since I got off the one that counted). So, my experience does have a happy ending, but I know it would've been much easier if I hadn't been so lazy in high school.
Based on my experience, this would be my advice for underachievers:
1) It's not too late to start doing well in school. I got my act together senior year, and so can you. It may end up being "too litte, too late," but it's better to show you're turning it around than to continue underachieving.
2) Work hard on your essays and choose your teacher recs carefully. It's especially important that you choose teacher you know well: they will be able to tell the colleges about your potential and that you'll be able to handle college level work. Make the essay memorable and present a positive picture of yourself, and it may be your ticket into a reach.
3) Apply to a lot of schools. Admissions at selective schools is unpredictable as it is, and it's even worse when you have an unbalanced profile. Give yourself as many chances as possible. (And use the common app when you can!)
4) Finally, don't give up hope. There are plenty of colleges that will take you with imperfect grades. If it's not the school you hoped for, do well your freshman year of college. You can always transfer.
|By dumbledore on Tuesday, June 04, 2002 - 10:23 pm: Edit|
thanks for the thorough post. would you mind naming names of the schools? that's why we are all here to learn something for ourselves and help others. since all the admits are in, it sure helps the few of us out here put schools in perspective. we are either slacker stats ourselves [right dadster?] or know slackers stat students. anyways, thanks for naming some names and CONGRATS on the senior rebound. Did mizzou pan out? Mizzou has reasoanble outta state tuition.
|By Holly Golightly on Wednesday, June 05, 2002 - 05:50 am: Edit|
Check out the section called "College Discussion - Individual Schools," Dumbledore. It's the area where people do name names. If you dson't see the schools you're interested in mentioned, it's perfectly okay to post a message there asking about them.
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