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Articles / Admissions / Will a "C" Torpedo College Chances?

May 20, 2020

Will a "C" Torpedo College Chances?

Question: I believe that I am a very strong student. Over the years I have had a 4.0, and I have been very involved in many activities. However, this is my senior year, and in my first nine weeks I got a C in my math class. All of my other grades were very high, and in both of my AP class I had A's and B's. Do you think there is any chance that I will get into college?

Yikes! You need to talk to a good college counselor! You are going to have tons of great college options. Admittedly, getting one "C" might affect your admission chances at some schools ... especially the most selective ones. But it won't be a deal-breaker for sure, and there are certainly many excellent colleges that will welcome an applicant with your record ... including that "C."


Don't you have a decent guidance counselor at your school to help you determine which colleges will be good fits for you and where you are likely to be accepted? Unless you can't see beyond the Ivy League and another short list of hyper-competitive colleges, then you will have many great choices. So talk to your counselor, and if that doesn't help, write back.

Written by

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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