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Articles / Applying to College / Will Improved Senior GPA Boost Admission Odds?

June 30, 2015

Will Improved Senior GPA Boost Admission Odds?

Question:  If a student whose results were not quite good in 2 school years (2.5 gpa), but in senior year he tried his best and got a 3.5 gpa, will that make the admissions officers accept him?

If you are a borderline candidate at a college but admission officials see that your have a “rising record” (i.e., your senior year is much stronger than previous ones), you might be admitted. But with two years of a C average and then one semester with a B average, you can expect SOME change in your admission chances but not a huge change.

However, there are many colleges that welcome students with high C/low B GPA’s. For instance, check out “The Colleges that Change Lives.” See  http://www.ctcl.org/


Some of these schools are fairly selective and some are far less so, but many will accept students with your GPA, and they are all places that give students a lot of individual attention and are known for caring, involved professors.

When you submit your application, you might want to use your college essay (or “the Additional Information” section of your application) to explain why your grades went up in your senior year.  Were you an unmotivated student who finally found your focus? Were there problems at home? Did you transfer to a new high school? etc.  If you discuss your upward trajectory and why it happened, you may be able to convince the admission folks that it’s going to continue.

 

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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