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Articles / Applying to College / University of Florida After 3 C's in 9th Grade?

University of Florida After 3 C's in 9th Grade?

Sally Rubenstone
Written by Sally Rubenstone | May 8, 2018
University of Florida After 3 C's in 9th Grade?

Question: I got three high C's in my first semester of high school. Right now, my GPA is 3.2. But if I get all A's for the rest of high school, would the University of Florida even look at me?

It's tough to be a Gator these days! As you probably know, the University of Florida has gotten extremely competitive. According to The College Board, 97 percent of admitted students have a high school GPA of 3.75 or above on a 4.0 scale. Phew! That's daunting, isn't it? However, if you have a 3.2 GPA in ninth grade but earn all A's from now on, your cumulative GPA would come out somewhere around 3.8 (depending on how many classes you take and how your school computes the GPA). This would put you in the running at U of F (if your test scores, recommendations and extracurriculars also stack up).

BUT ... going from three C's in one semester to only A's thereafter is a huge challenge ... a worthwhile aim for sure, but perhaps not a realistic one. It reminds me of those folks who vow to rise off the couch to run ten miles a day or who swear to avoid all sweets forever (that's “The Dean!") -- lofty goals that are probably impossible to reach. And setting such unreasonable goals makes it too easy to get furious at oneself (and sometimes even depressed) for not meeting the near-perfection required.

Keep in mind that I'm not saying that you can't get straight A's from now on, only that you shouldn't beat yourself up if you don't. Do your best but also try to take classes you enjoy. If you do well enough to aim for U of F, that's great. But if you don't make it, there are lots of other colleges out there that welcome students whose grades aren't tip-top ... places that might actually end up being a better fit for you as you get older and discover where your interests lie.

On the other hand, if you continue to have your heart set on the University of Florida but don't pull your grades up to where you want them to be while you're still in high school, you can consider attending a two-year community college and then transferring. If you live in Florida, you will find that public two-year schools typically offer “articulation agreements" that guarantee transfer into select four-year colleges for students who have met certain sensible requirements, and U of F is one of the four-year schools that participates in this program. So if you're not admitted in twelfth grade, you can get another shot at it two years later.

So do continue to set high goals for yourself but also don't be too tough on yourself if you don't reach them. There are lots of roads to happiness and success, and many of them don't go through Gainesville!


If you'd like to submit a question to College Confidential, please send it along here.

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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