What are good things to do to get into college when you have a low GPA?


Susan C asked:


Im going into my junior year in highschool and untill this summer i never really grasped the importantce of my education. Now i do my GPA is low, like a 1.8 i think. Im going to try really hard to get all A’s or all A’s and B’s. But im afraid by senior year my GPA will still be low where universities won’t want me

what else can i do to make me shine on an application?

9 thoughts on “What are good things to do to get into college when you have a low GPA?

  1. Join A LOT of clubs. Also, try getting into AP or honors classes at last minute. You can also settle for a community college. It’s VERY easy to get into and you can transfer to a regular university in two years. Many people who have low GPAs do this. In fact, when applying for a job, you’ll still have your 2nd university you went to in your resume and it’ll be the same as going there right after high school.

  2. You MUST concentrate on getting at least a 2.0 overall. Preferably at least a 2.5. Colleges won’t even view your application without this. You shoudl take easier classes that boost your average such as gym or basketweaving. They won’t do much from an informational perspective but mathematically they will help your GPA. Also consider going to summer school and taking extra classes.

  3. Take an SAT prep course. Colleges will accept a lower GPA (not below 2.0, and not below 2.5 for a good school) if you have great SAT scores and a solidly academic schedule.

    After that, be sure you are in a lot of clubs at school and have the kinds of hobbies that show colleges you are a well rounded person who would be an asset to their school community.

  4. In California, if you want to get into a UC (Davic, UCLA, Berkley, etc) you really need to have at least a 3.5 GPA plus high SAT scores. I know there are exceptions, but that’s kind of the rule. However, California also has the CSU system. For these schools you can get in with lower than a 3.0 GPA if you have a high enough SAT score.

    There are two things to do. The first is to focus on doing as well as you can on the SATs. Even take the test several times if you can. But even if you do that, there is a good chance your GPA will still be too low for a university.

    But the other option – and maybe even a better option – is to spend your first two years at a community college and then transfer to a University. Once you have some college credits under your belt, most colleges aren’t going to be concerned with how you did in high school. Plus you will save a significant amount of money.

    In California, if you want to get into a UC (Davic, UCLA, Berkley, etc) you really need to have at least a 3.5 GPA plus high SAT scores. I know there are exceptions, but that’s kind of the rule. However, California also has the CSU system. For these schools you can get in with lower than a 3.0 GPA if you have a high enough SAT score.

    Regardless of whether you start at a community college or a university, I give you props for realizing how important it is to focus on your education. But remember that isn’t over if you wind up going to a community college first.

    EDIT
    One point to emphasize is that clubs and other extra curricular activities are great, but right now you should be more focused on your grades. The extra curricular activities mainly come into play when you’re trying to get into a school with competitive admissions where they turn away more people than they accept.

    What I would recommend is going to your guidance counselor and talking to them about your goals. They can help you lay out a plan geared toward your goals. It’s great to have the goal of getting into a university, but you also need to work with realistic expectations. Unless you are genuinely committed to turning around your academic standing, don’t expect to go from a slacker to an honors student in 1 or 2 semesters.

    The other thing to keep in mind when it comes to university admission is you probably aren’t going to have the honors and AP classes that many others will. While you may be able to get your GPA up into the 3.0+ range, you’ll be at a disadvantage compared to those who do have the honors and AP classes.

    I have one more thought: if you live near a community college, you might consider taking 1-2 college courses in addition to your high school work. When it’s time to apply for college, it could give you a leg up if you have some college units with good grades.

  5. You still have time to bring your gpa up. Make sure you keep grades up and take summer courses if you have too. While extracurricular activities might look good on your application, I have noticed that a lot application don’t even ask whatextracurricularr activities your in. So your main focus should just be bringing up your grades. Do whatever you have to do. Extra credit anything.

  6. My GPA was 2.15 when I graduated high school and I got into ALL of my colleges that I applied to!

    Universities are not focusing on GPA and SAT scores as much as they used to. Now, they focus more on what you can bring to their campus. If you can prove to them that you will make a great addition to the campus, they will probably accept you. For example, if you are in a lot of clubs or sports, that is always a plus. Or, if you work with your church at all. See if your school offers any Junior or Senior only perks, like a Career Shadowing day. School love to see that you [participated in something like that – it shows that you are interested in what is available outside of college.

    If your GPA is still low at graduation, apply to community colleges. Usually CC’s are attached to a larger university. If you excel at the CC, you are almost a shoo-in for the university. Plus, if you get your AAS at the CC and then apply to a university, you will have a better chance of getting in almost anywhere!

    I ended up doing a CC, and I have my AAS in Marketing Strategies for the Fashion Industry. I have just been accepted to my dream university and will be starting there in the spring. It does work and I am very excited to be getting my BA.

  7. Class of 2010

    I’m a junior as well and right now my overall GPA is a 3.7. I plan to join clubs etc… while taking honors and AP classes to improve my chances getting accepted into Michigan State University.
    I would recommand you to take AP and honr classes (if you want a challenge/ think you can handle the work) also join clubs, and if there is a sport your good at start playing. That can give a good boost to your GPA. Doing volunteer service with a low GPA may also help, then on top of all that you many want to score very high on your ACT or SAT if your talking about a school on tier one.

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