The short answer is yes.  I’ve worked with a number of students who had bad grades in high school, but went on to do well in college.  I’ve also worked with a few, however, who weren’t quite ready for prime time.

So while the answer is yes, a student with bad grades can still go to college, there are other questions that we must consider to determine the best course of action for a student with low grades.

if I get bad grades can I still go to collegeFirst of all, why are your grades so poor?  Is it because you experienced some sort of traumatic event early in high school that has colored your experience?  For example, students who lose a parent or sibling may lose focus in high school, and their performance may suffer.  Illness also can have a negative impact on one’s academic performance:  missing a lot of school can make it difficult to keep up.

However, if your grades reflect poor choices on your part, it’s going to be harder to convince an admissions officer that you’re really college material.  If you skip class, neglect to hand in assignments, or refuse to study for tests, perhaps continuing with school is not really something you want to do.  I’ve had some students tell me that they really want to go to college, but that they really hate school.  I have to remind them that college is, in fact, school.

And this fact leads to some other troubling facts.  Generally only slightly more than half of students who start a four-year degree complete it—even within six years.  While there are many reasons for which students may not complete their Bachelors degree, students with poor academic records in high school are among the least likely to graduate from college.  In fact, if you graduate at within the bottom 25% of your high school class, you HAVE an X chance of completing your Bachelor’s.

Before you lose heart, remember that these are aggregate statistics, and you may well be one of the people who beats the statistical odds.  Still, you need to consider carefully whether more school is really your best route to success—or whether you should consider other routes.

Certainly the structure of university life is very different from the more rigid structures of secondary school, but you will still be expected to do your homework, attend lectures and labs, study for tests, and write research papers.  And whereas high schools are pretty much required to let you keep coming back to class despite your poor performance, a college or university can throw you out if you refuse to do the academic work.

Thus it is crucial for you to consider whether your current poor choices really will change once you arrive on a college campus.  Or, if you were one of those students who suffered some sort of personal setback, extenuating circumstance, or other difficulty, you might want to ask whether the circumstances have changed enough for you to refocus yourself academically and perform better in the future.

Assuming that you have made the decision to pursue college despite your lackluster transcript, or that your circumstances have changed enough for you to succeed, then you need to consider which educational path will be the best for you.

Your choices may be more limited than those of an academically focused student.  But you still have choices.


Start at a Community College

Most community colleges have “open enrollment” policies, whereby anyone—regardless of academic history—can enroll.  You may be asked to take a basic placement test in English and mathematics to ensure that you have the fundamental skills to do college-level work.  Those who perform poorly on these tests will be asked to take some remedial work before starting college-level work.  But if you can pass these placement tests, then you’re off and running.

Community colleges also are much less expensive than four-year colleges, generally speaking.  Therefore if you are worried about whether you really can improve your performance in college, then it makes sense to spend a bit less money to prove to yourself that you are ready and that you can succeed.

The best thing about starting at a community college is that many, many courses are automatically transferable to your state’s four-year institution.  Thus you can conceivably take all your general education requirements at the community college and transfer to your state college or university without losing any credits.  Of course, you will need to research exactly which credits are transferable and which are not.  But if you perform well (and perhaps even complete your Associates degree) at the community college, you will find that you have become a highly desirable candidate for admission—even at competitive colleges and universities that would never have even considered you at the end of your (less than stellar) high school career.

One example of how community colleges can be the gateway to a four year college is in Massachusetts, where community colleges are offering pre-engineering Associates degrees that are easily transferred not only to the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, but also to Northeastern University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Western New England College.

Thus even students with poor high school grades may be able to graduate from their state flagship university—or even a selective private university.  For example, I worked with a student whose high school record was very poor, and whose parents refused to pay for anything more than community college.  Their philosophy is that their son had squandered four years of cost-free public high school, and they were unwilling to pay for him to continue to make bad choices.  They did tell him, however, that if he earned his Associates degree from the local community college—at his own expense—that they would pay for whatever four-year college he would accept him.  At the end of two years, he got into a selective, private university as a transfer student.  His Bachelor’s diploma bears the name of that four-year university.  Only people who know him well have any idea that barely graduated from high school with a D average!


Attend a Less-Selective Four-Year College or University

Many public and private colleges and universities that are relatively forgiving of a poor high school record.  In fact, the vast majority of colleges and universities in the US accept 75% or more of the students who apply.  In order to admit you in good conscience, however, it will be critical for you to convince the admissions people that your circumstances have changed, that you have mended your ways, and that your past choices will not determine those that you will make in the future.

Some colleges also specialize in assisting these “diamonds in the rough” or “late bloomers.”  They provide extra academic support, and may have more requirements (including, for example, taking attendance in lectures).  Other colleges may accept students on a provisional or probationary basis:  you are accepted on the assumption that you will maintain your grades at a certain level—or else you will be asked not to return for the next semester.

if I get bad grades can I still go to collegeFor students with learning differences that have had a marked negative impact on their academic performance will want to make sure they apply to schools that can help them to develop strategies for future success.  These schools have learning specialists, adaptive technologies, professional tutors, and many other resources that can help ensure academic success.

Students with weak academic histories who elect to go directly to a four-year college need to be especially careful in choosing an appropriate college.  They also need to be brutally honest with themselves about how the relative lack of daily structure, the increased expectations of personal responsibility, and the existence of countless campus distractions and temptations all may conspire to lure students into a continuation of their bad choices.  Students who really want to change bad habits will need to pick colleges that will help them stay on the straight and narrow.

By the same token, it is also important to keep in mind that it can be hard to go “cold turkey” into a life of stoic, academic asceticism.  If you cannot find ways to balance a bit of fun with serious academic study, then you are likely to become unhappy—and you may not stick with college long enough to complete your degree—and achieve your goals.


Take Some Time Out

If high school has not been successful for you, perhaps you need to take some time out to work, travel the world, or otherwise get your act together.  Many students have a difficult time seeing the direct relevance of academic work to their lives.  They are confused about their direction in life, and they may not be listening to the adults in their lives who harp at them about the importance of a college education.

I often recommend a gap year or interim experience for students for who do want to continue their education, but who are not really ready to dedicate themselves to more classroom time, more homework assignments, and more final exams.  Taking a gap year (or two) can be a very healthy alternative for some students, especially if they take the time and effort to plan their year.  Planning is key:  the difference between stopping out and dropping out is a well-conceived plan.

What you do depends on your imagination and your interests.  For example, you may decide to focus on the world of work by pursuing an internship or apprenticeship.  For example, Dynamy, in Worcester, Massachusetts, is a well-regarded year-long internship experience to help students gain experience and explore possible career paths.  Others may choose to perform community services, through organizations such as City Year or AmeriCorps.  Even taking some time to be a ski bum (perhaps earning a ski instructor’s certification from Flying Fish) can give a student the time and space to figure out how a college education fits into their own priorities.

The military, too, can serve as a solid plan for taking time out from school.  You can learn valuable skills, train for a profession, and serve your country. And then, once you are ready for college, the government will help you pay for it.

But what will colleges think if you don’t go directly from high school to college?  Colleges are happy to accept older, more directed students.  As we have discussed, about half of students who start college complete their degrees in six years.  If you apply after a year or two of work experience, travel, or internships, you will be more mature and more directed as you enter college.  From the college’s perspective, you are probably more likely to complete your degree than the pea-green freshman who has no idea what he wants out of college.

As an example, every year my alma mater profiles non-traditional students who are admitted to Dartmouth.  I had several classmates who were much older than I, who had been in the military, or who had spent a few years building log cabins, who had focused on their athletic abilities for a while, who had established their own business, or who had just bummed around until they figured out how a college education fit into their personal goals.  Sometimes—and for some people—taking time out between high school and college can be a wise choice.

So to come back to our original question, even the student with poor grades in high school still has a shot at a college education.  The American educational system allows for second chances:  it’s not completely unusual to hear of people in their 80s and 90s who finally achieve their goal of a college education.  Your high school grades may make it impossible for you to walk a straight line right into college.  But if you make good choices, develop some self-discipline, and set goals for yourself, you can attain all your goals—and more.


Mark Montgomery
Educational Consultant


Technorati Tags: grades, college, application, admission, university, transcript, record, educational consultant, educational consulting, college planner, Denver, Colorado, China Tags: grades, college, application, admission, university, transcript, record, educational consultant, educational consulting, college planner, Denver, Colorado, China

Published by Mark Montgomery

Mark is a leading educational consultant. His experience as a professor, college administrator, and youth mentor help him guide students from around the country and around the world.

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  1. sir i have a question i don’t think really bad im going to be 12th grader and i’ve gotten 2 fails and 2 d in my past three school years. one of those fails was in a drama class because i was embaresed to act in front of hundreds of people and i am very shy i shake. Other than does grades i’ve gotten A’s, B’s, C’s do you think i still have a chance of directly to uc’s school. P.S. i’ve taken mostly all of the college courses needed.

    please write me back at e-mail i’ll really appreciate it.

  2. If I am failing in my two years of high school with a 1.75-2.00 as my GPA, and try to do better in the next two years. As I am trying to say is if I am going to balance as out two years which is bad and the other years good in high school. Do you think I might be able to go to college with two years of sort of failing and the other two years with a better standard grades? As my concern is getting into an art college or just community college. Thanks for reading.

  3. Dear Kim,
    What’s important is that you prepare yourself and do your best in your academic courses. If you were “temporarily insane” for your first two years of high school, and then you regain your sanity and improve your GPA in each subsequent semester, then all is not lost. What colleges want to know is whether you are prepared and capable of doing the work required. Your past is indicative of your future–but not determinant…so do your best, compile your art portfolio, and be contrite about your past mistakes. You’ll do okay if you just keep working hard and learn from your mistakes.
    Good luck!

  4. Hi Mark,

    I am not falling my high school, but I’m interesting in taking a gap year. I wnat to work for some marketing company. How do students earn internships?

    Thank you,

  5. I am going into my senior year, and i’ve been thinking about college and im worried that i won’t have what i need to get into any schools. I’m not looking to get into any ivy league schools, i just want to attend a descent college, that is right for me of course. I’ve looked into a few colleges, for ex. Cortland and New Paltz, as well as Stony brooke, University of Maryland. I was even thinking about going to community college for 2 years, so i could eventually transfer, i dont perfer this route but i dont have very high grades. I took the SAT’s and i did ok, i got a 480 on math, a 570 on writing, and 510 on the reading section. I have very mixed grades through out school. In 9th grade i had very high grades in math and science. Also, i was wonderin about the services they provide in college. Bacuse, i’ve always had resource room and certain service like extended time, and ect. i mean i’ve never actually been diagnoised with any learning disabilities , but i do have some social issues, i was diagnosed with social anxiety, but i take medication for that so i should be okay. Also, in my junior year i kind of fell apart, i had very high grades in art, and than at the last quarter i got a 76, and before that i had high 90’s so hopefully that won’t matter too much. But to be honest im not even sure what direction i want to go into, it used to be art but im not too sure anymore. Do you have any advice for me?, cause im not sure what to expect. I mean as far as courses go i think i’ve taken most of my requirments: i took 3 years of science so far Earth science, bio, and chem. For math i’ve taken: Algebra, geometry, & trig. I’ve taken 3 years of english, art, and social studies. And my grades are all very mixed, high and low.

  6. Mr. Montgomery,
    I am about to be a senior in the next few weeks (So exited!). However, my previous years of high school haven’t been my best and I know that my abilities far succeed what i have done in those three years (I’ve never failed a class). My GPA tended to be within 2.4 and 3.0 and i plan to apply to tightly accepting schools. When you stated that i could prove to the colleges that what i had done will not affect or apply to what i will do and am capable of doing and that i have “mended my ways,” I took that to heart. Yet, I don’t have any idea of what I could say to convince them.

    If you could email me or write me back, I would greatly appreciate it!

  7. Hi, Camille,
    Your academic history cannot be brushed aside by a short explanation. Your best bet is to crank things out this semester, and let your senior grades speak for you: If you really do well, then you have “proof” that you have “mended your ways.” Another possibility is to kick some proverbial butt on the SAT or ACT tests. Some schools will hold their nose when looking at a less than aromatic transcript if the test scores have you smelling like roses.
    I hope this helps. Now get out there and make some great grades this semester!

  8. Diana,
    You have to talk to the companies for which you want to work. An “internship” is something you do, primarily, while you are in school. Of course, as a young person, you’d be looking for an internship of sorts: low-level work at low-level pay. If you are having trouble finding anything on your own, you can check out They pull together internships as a gap year experience. But you’d pay for the privilege. Still, I do recommend Dynamy. Great outfit.
    Best of luck.

  9. Mr Montgomery,

    I am going into my sophmore year at a univeristy lab highschool. The school has a “high learning standard” than the public schools in my area. I did not do great last year and failed 2 classes, but did ok in the others. I know this has affected my gpa, but my question would be,,,, if colleges would take into consideration that my schools curiculum is more difficult?

  10. Hi, Jose,
    Colleges do take into account that your school may be tougher than those around it. Most colleges have some sort of secret “point system” that they use to award you “brownie points” for the level of rigor the school generally provides. That said, failing a class is never good. In fact, it’s pretty bad. The way to redeem yourself is not to point to the relative difficulty of your high school, but to rise to the level demanded of you. If you simply cannot do so, perhaps the school is too tough for you. I’d also say that someone like you may actually need some professional advice in a year or so when you begin picking colleges to which to apply. Some schools–but not those at the pinnacle of the selectivity heap–will give you the benefit of the doubt if you atone for your sins and show improvement, and if you write some sort of essay that addresses your poor 9th grade performance in a way that is both mature and realistic. You cannot simply wipe away your poor performance by blaming the school. Own up to your mistakes, correct them, and move on. You will suffer some consequences for your “temporary insanity” last year. But with the proper advice and strategy (and hard work), these consequences need not be debilitating.
    Hope this helps. Good luck. Keep your nose to the grindstone this year…!

  11. Emily,
    I congratulate you on your self-awareness. That is half the battle in the college selection process. I would be happy to offer you advice, but it’s hard for me to evaluate all these conflicting bits of information without you becoming a formal client in some way. We’d need much more time to talk and exchange ideas. Two things, however. Be realistic about your academic needs. Colleges are not required to provide special education services as they are in K-12 schools. The laws change. So you need to inform yourself about the services each college provides, as they are all different. Also, do not shy away from the community college option, necessarily. It could be a great way for you to start out slowly, find success, and then move on up. I’m sorry i can’t be more specific, because it does sound like you’d be a great candidate for our consulting practice. Let me know if you think we can help. Good luck!

  12. Ive struggled with high school. I wasn’t satisfied with my grades at all ( Personal/Family issues ). I did poorly on my ACT’s and never took my SAT’s. Im currently enrolled at a Community college for Automotive Tech. My dream is to GO to University Of Notre Dame. My question is, if i kick it into high gear in College ( im talking getting phenomenal grades in college ) would those grades cancel out my poor grades from high school or will those grades stick with me for the rest of my life ? Im planning to retake my ACT’s and take my SAT’s. I need to know if all hope is lost to get into Notre Dame.
    I wanted to get a business degree from ND to own my own repair shop.

  13. Hi, Ryan,
    All is not lost. However, keep in mind that ND will want to see equivalent work that prepares you for college. So the automotive tech courses will “count” less toward ND than those general education courses you can and should be taking, in addition to the tech stuff. ND might accept you. However, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that you don’t need ND to have a successful, profitable repair shop. A cousin of mine owns an auto body shop in Massachusetts, and he makes more money than any of his Ivy League educated cousins (he has two of them), or any of the other goofballs who went to college. He belongs to the country club, sends his kids to fancy private schools, and takes expensive vacations. He never paid a dime for his education, other than the stuff he did at the technical college to learn his trade. The point is, while I would not rain on your dream to attend ND, I’d point out that ND is NOT the necessary road to your other dream of owning your own shop. in fact, if you have several tens of thousands of dollars to invest in yourself, I’d advise you to invest that money in buying a shop and taking some introductory business classes at the community college you now attend. Marketing 101 is the same at community college as it is at ND: basic principles.

    So bottom line: separate the two dreams. If you want to go to ND, then all is not lost . But keep in mind that the road to a successful, profitable repair shop depends much, much more on you than on any degree you might get from Notre Dame.

    I wish you the best of luck.

  14. I really dont think that i’ll get into the college that i want my grades last year were really bad. i got 2 C’s and the rest B’s and A’s. i looked into the school i want to go to UNCC and most graduate with a 3.5 or better gpa mine is no were near that. i plan on really working my butt off this year and getting all A’s and a 2 or less B’s. last year my parents got seperated and my grades suffered because of that but i dont want people to think i’m trying to get some sympathy or anything. do you think that if i work super hard this 1st semster and and do good on the sat which i take in a month and am studying for. do you think i have s chance to get into the school i want, it’s the only one with my major i want in the state that i an afford the other one is about 54 grand a year and i could never afford it.

  15. Dear Dominique,

    I really admire that you are trying to work hard to achieve your goals. You understand that you, yourself, control whether you get into the college you desire. I can’t really give you any predication as to whether you will be successfully admitted to UNCC, mostly because UNCC will not likely take only your GPA into account. Your test scores will also matter, as will the other variables on your application (including any difficulties you may have encountered as your parents’ marriage was falling apart–such things do have an impact on our lives, and colleges know it).

    However, I do want to make a point that I hope you will take as constructive criticism. You wrote your note to me in a public forum, probably without proofreading it. Your note is full of grammatical mistakes and spelling errors. You probably just raced through the note without thinking too hard, much as you might write to a friend on Facebook. I’m hopeful that this is not a representative sample of your writing abilities. If it is, however, then I think you need to focus on your writing skills. Remember, school is not a punishment–it is an opportunity to learn and advance yourself. It’s not just about getting the grades: those grades should reflect your abilities and accomplishments. You would never want to write a note to a UNCC admissions officer like the one you wrote to me.

    All that said, I encourage you to keep up the good work in school and focus hard on those junior year (and senior year!) grades. You may have had a bad year last year, but you don’t have to let it compromise your future ambitions.

    Best of luck!

  16. I had bad grades in my freshman, and sophomore year. I did pretty good my junior year and doing way better now in my senior year. I am graduating on time and taking all my required classes. I have never failed basically I am around a C student What are my options for college?

  17. Dear Mark,
    I was an international student in Canada. I got in to failed standings during the course of my studies in undergraduate program. If you have any information regarding Canadian colleges and which would be the best way for me to continue my education.
    Also, If I intend to apply else where i.e. Different country, should I tell them I was taking classes in Canada and send them the bad transcripts. Or should I email the universities and ask them as i’m scared it might not look good in the end.


  18. Hello. This is a complicated issue, and not one I’m comfortable advising you on without talking to you in depth. I can tell you that we are working with clients in similar situations to find the best solution to this problem. Each case is different. Please call or contact us via our contact form if you’d like personal assistance with your dilemmas. Thanks!

  19. Dear Mark,
    I currently am a Senior in high school and i’m not doing to hot. I am standing at a 1.75 GPA and haven’t taken either the ACT/SAT. I have no desire to go to a 4 year school, YET. I need to know if it is possible to go to the sister school of Auburn University. This sister school is called Southern Union Community College and i have no idea if i will be accepted into this school. Though i have heard from numerous amounts of people that community colleges only require you to take a placement test, and if all goes well on the test, you’re in. Or are you in even with my GPA? Please, if at all let me know the answer. I am trying to turn my life around at a young age before its to late.
    Thank you, Jake!

  20. Hi, Jake. Here is the admissions site for SUCC: Make sure you give them a call. But it seems that if you have a high school diploma, you can get in. But remember: getting in is the easy part. It’s keeping on track for each and every course you take so that you progress toward your diploma–and on to your hopes to get into Auburn. It’s a long road, but you can reach the end of it if you learn the lessons from your past experiences. Good luck…!

  21. Hi, Alex.
    You have a variety of options. Part of your decision will depend on how much money you want to pay. My recommendation would be to investigate your local community college. If you do well at a community college–for which you won’t pay very much–for one or two years, and then seek a transfer, your high school grades will not matter a whit. You will be judged on your most recent performance. There are colleges that will take you with your C average. But again, it sort of depends on your priorities. We have worked with a variety of students in your position, and we’d be happy to help you figure out your plan. Best of luck!

  22. Hello Mr,
    I would want to know if I could make it into a good college? Or if a good college would even want me? I did horrible my freshman, sophmore & half of my junior year. I won’t be able to graduate june 2012 as I was suppose to but I will graduate january 2013. Right now I’m doing good in school my gpa is a 2.0 do you think I’m able to get into a good college? Thanks.

  23. Dear Mark,
    I’m currently a junior, and have an average of 2.68. I received a D in my first semester of biology as a freshman. I also currently have a D in Spanish 2. But i’m ahead of my credits by 5, I have around 60 hours of community service, I’m currently enrolled in 3 clubs, i’m in the avid program, and I will be enrolling in Tennis this year. I was wondering with my extracurricular activities, and if I make up those classes, will I have a good chance of getting into a 4-year university, or will I have to stick to a community college, and work my way up to a 4-year university??

  24. Hello,

    Your transcript is the most important part of the academic process. You will be able to go to college, but you may have to take a different route to get there. I suggest that you consider attending a community college in order to build up your academic profile. Colleges want to see an upward trend in your grades. Show them that you can do it!

    Katherine Price
    Senior Associate

  25. Hello John,

    Your high school transcript is the most important part of the college application process, but colleges do like to see an upward trend in grades. You may be able to get into a 4-year college right away, depending on the school. However, going to a community college and building up your academic record is a great to further prepare and make sure you will be successful at a 4-year college.

    Katherine Price
    Senior Associate

  26. Hi, Im now in my senior year and I have a few concenrs. My GPA as of now is a low one. it’s a 1.89. I finished off terribly in my junior year with two E’s. But at the start of senior year I turned aorund and recieved a 3.35 GPA on my report card, with AP and honors classes being some courses im in right now. i want to go sttaight to a four year university. So im waiting until first semester ends to get an increase in my gpa so far its going along fine. But I really need colleges to understand what i’ve been through, and that I can really do it. I have great recommendations and im applying to lower standard schools. like Morgan, Bowie, Coppin, Vsu, Vuu, UDC, Norfolk, Wvu at parkersburg and wilmington, UMES and Del State. Wilmington, UDC and WVU are open admissions schools. thats why im applying to those three. But do you think I would have a chance of getting accepted into schools after my gpa is increased? Because by the end of semester i’ll have a 2.8. My academic success in my last year should have a major impact on my decision. ive done a whole lot of extracurricular activities and i’ve been awarded with an academic aceivement award and just today i got a letter for a nomination for the national youth leadership forum on medicine its a program for the highest achieving students in the US! So these should have a good impact on my decsions.. the only thing stopping me are my grades. Maybe they’ll offer programs for academic success before fully acceptance. What do you think?

  27. Hello, Tae.
    Well, it seems that you finally woke up and are achieving to your academic potential. I think you should probably ask your question of the universities to which you are seeking admission. Will they take you with less than a 2.0?
    My advice is also to consider saving a bunch of money and still realize your ambition of graduating from a 4 year school. Start at community college. Get an Associates degree in 2 years with a great GPA, and then transfer to a really great university…even a place like UVA. If you are ambitious, community college is (ironically) one of the best places to start. You have the opportunity to focus (not all the distractions of four-year colleges) and the opportunity to excel. You are also going to be in relatively small classes–the transfer programs are sometimes some of the smallest at community colleges. And the teachers are going to get to know you and write more of those great recommendations you will need to go to a place like UVA. But make no mistake: UVA loves transfers who are serious students and who have excelled in community college.
    The advice above would also apply to the “lower standard schools” you list in your post, but the price of those is likely to be much higher than at the community college. So consider saving the money while still increasing your chances of long-term success–and consider community college. It’s not for dummies–it’s the smarties who sometimes use community college to set them up for success while keeping the savings account intact.
    Good luck!

  28. Hi. I’m currently a junior in high school and I’m doing pretty well now in my studies. i currently have a 3.0 for this semester. My freshman and sophmore years were not too good, my cumulative gpa for those two years was 1.6! a contributing factor to that was that i was too busy playing football. I was wondering if there is still a chance for me to go to a uc if i can turn things around this year. and if there is a chance for me to go to a uc, what will it take from me? I’m looking into state schools, but it’s always been a dream of mine to go to a uc.
    please email me.
    thank you!

  29. Hi, Arnel,
    I think this is a great question to ask of your school counselor. Also, the answer very much depends on whether you live in California or somewhere else. The admissions statistics are fairly well established for the UCs, and I think you can do the math and see that your GPA likely falls short of what most UCs are looking for But talk to your school counselor who should be helpful in this regard–particularly if you live in California.
    Best of luck.

  30. So the first semester of my junior year is done..My GPA is a 78 and i havent had such good grades in high school
    i have one more semester left to improve in time for early admissions
    I’ve been studying for my SAT’s and plan on getting a 1800 out of 2400 (It is January now and i want to take my SAT in may)
    I’d like to go to Baruch college in New York
    is there a possibility that this could happen
    I am also in my poetry club and the photography club in school
    ive been a musician since the age of three
    i am currently signing a deal with a manager in new york city
    ive been producing music since 11
    writing music since 10
    playing drums since 3
    playing guitar since 8
    playing piano since the age of 6
    playing ukulele by the age of 12
    singing since i was able to talk
    I also do have a business back round
    I’ve been a disc jockey for 4 years and made over 40,000 as a teenager
    I’m hoping all this can go on my college essay and improve my chances of getting in
    please respond as soon as you possibly can

  31. the first semester of my junior year is done..My GPA is a 78 and i havent had such good grades in high school
    i have one more semester left to improve in time for early admissions
    I’ve been studying for my SAT’s and plan on getting a 1800 out of 2400 (It is January now and i want to take my SAT in may)
    I’d like to go to Baruch college in New York
    is there a possibility that this could happen
    I am also in my poetry club and the photography club in school
    ive been a musician since the age of three
    i am currently signing a deal with a manager in new york city
    ive been producing music since 11
    writing music since 10
    playing drums since 3
    playing guitar since 8
    playing piano since the age of 6
    playing ukulele by the age of 12
    singing since i was able to talk
    I also do have a business back round
    I’ve been a disc jockey for 4 years and made over 40,000 as a teenager
    I’m hoping all this can go on my college essay and improve my chances of getting in
    please respond as soon as you possibly can

  32. Hi, Mr. Montgomery
    I’m in my junior year of high school and for the past years I have had grades which seem to dissappoint my but not others I am taking all honor courses and have in my previous years and in math classes I had an average of high to mid B yet in English honors english is very tough in my school I’ve had high C’s and mid B’s. I am planning to get hopefully atleast a 2000 on my SATs and am also taking 3 APS which I hope to recieve 4 or 5s in. I honestly am I smart student and understand I should have tried more in my previous years. I worry I won’t get accepted into a good college and I am asking for your opinion.

  33. Mr. Montgomery,
    I moved to another country in 6th grade and I had all As in my Freshman year. I then moved back this year and im a sophomore now. I have 3 As, 4Bs and 1 C. Would I still be able to get into a good college like UPenn. Should I be worried?

  34. Hey I’m mark I have around 74 average in school and I’m junior in high school
    And I’m really worried if I going to go college in future. Pls respond ASAP

  35. Hello. If you attend high school in the US, a 74 is not all that great, but it may not prevent you from going to college. Everything depends on what decisions you make and what achievements you amass starting from today. I’m guessing you can do better. If you are studying outside the US, a 74 may mean something else altogether. Thanks for writing in!

  36. Hello Mr. Montgomery! In next 3 months I’m going to enter college life and I’m pretty nervous cause, My grades in mathematics are bad! And still don’t know what college or university I’m going to. Would this college or university accept a student with low grades? I’m scared that I might fail in college and never graduate.

  37. I graduated from high school in Edinburgh, IN with less than stellar grades, having gotten D’s in typing plus F’s in algebra and chemistry. Despite having graduated 18th in a class of 92 students, I was considered “at-risk” of dropping out of high school and nearly did so my junior year. To avert dropping out, my high school guidance counselor as well as my vocational counselor had me take an array of part-time jobs, such as school janitor and library assistant. Additionally, I was varsity basketball manager; held a club office; and was in drama club, among my extracurricular activities.

    Despite the fact that I hated school, I felt it necessary to go on to college after graduation and had applied to several universities (chief among them, Indiana State University; Ohio State University; and Vincennes University). I had let society dictate to me the importance of getting a college education. I got accepted to all three schools–Ohio State’s was conditional in that I would have been on probation even before enrolling, since I had low SAT scores (700 total) as well as poor college prep training. With the urging of my guidance counselor, I enrolled at Vincennes and dropped out after only one year, since I was unhappy and had a 1.75 GPA my first semester and a 2.6 the second. I wasn’t even sure of my major, since I only took one course in my chosen field, theatre.

    It only got slightly better at Ball State, where I got my degree in telecommunications with a 2.345 overall GPA and a 2.8 in my major. I managed to do an internship at a South Bend, IN television station as well as work 13 years in broadcast research before collecting disability benefits after my job was outsourced. Even now, when I fill out employment applications, I don’t bother including my college experience because of my poor results. Sometimes I regret having gotten that high school diploma, let alone a college degree. What does this say about the quality of American education?

  38. Hey Mark, i hope you still check up on this website of yours but here goes. I am currently a junior in High School, i have great potential if i really tried but the thing is there is stuff that always distracts me, i know it sounds dumb but yes. I pass other classes with flying colors, but theres a couple at the moment such as History/Science classes that im failing, i can graduate highschool BARELY. If i try really hard this year i can make it through, i was wondering if my grade thats are this bad, a lot of “F”‘s, will i still make it into a decent college? Im so nervous.

  39. Hi, I’m currently a high school senior and I have a 1.6 GPA. I will be attending a community college but I’m a little worried that the admissions requirements states that I need at least a 2.0 for acceptance. Is it possible to be rejected by a community college? I am quite concerned and any advice would be greatly appreciated.. Thanks in advance.

  40. I want to apply to university in the U.S. Presently I am attending university in Canada but did not do well my first semester — too much partying, not enough studying. When I apply to university in the U.S., do I have to tell them I went to university in Canada? My high school GPA was 4.0 Do the universities share information?

  41. Hi, Jero. It depends on college in question. Some actually are selective, and you can be rejected. Others are “open enrollment.” If you have doubts, contact the community college in question right now and ask. Sometimes the 2.0 requirement will be waived if you can pass a basic academic skills test, or otherwise demonstrate that you are ready for college work, despite your low grades.
    Hope that helps.

  42. my grades are bad i try to get them up an its help a little im in the 11th grade i post to be in the 12th grade im still trying to go to college.and i really want to go to college

  43. Hi, i know there have been many entries, but i was wondering if you could tell me do i still have a chance to do what i want in life? I am currently a high school senior, and my GPA is around 2.2 and i know i can do well in school i just dont really apply myself. Recently i have and i have pulled up my grades to about A’s but its my last year and i havent really shown what im capable is. So to the point, could i still get into a good college and be say a doctor for example? I know thats a long shot but i believe i can do it. Advice would be gladly appreciated please.

  44. Hi, i m currently a a senior in high school mt GPA is about 1.40 right now but i really don’t wan to go to a community college is there another way for me to go a university a simple university for me to study criminal justices since i entered high school my GPA has been really low i had some really ( personal problems with my family) but i will really wan to go college after high school any advices will be appreciated thank you

  45. Thank you for this article, Mr. Montgomery. It’s very encouraging. I recently applied to Colorado State University and am awaiting their decision. I am in my senior year of high school and I never pushed myself hard enough to excel in my classes. I know I have the potential and have explained that in my personal statement on the application. Hopefully, the admissions department understands and will accept me. I plan to focus only on my college courses and apply myself if accepted. I love my current economics class and it shows that if I have an interest, my grades reflect that. I believe college courses will be more focused on my career interests and more interesting than the basic, monotonous high school classes have been. I appreciate the advice!

  46. Hey, Im a high school senior I have bad grades ( d’s and f’s) my mom past my junior year, now i live with my dad 2 hours away from home, I like to produce music. Its march and time is running out, i havent applied for any colleges yet nor took any sat/act. I dont know what to do, I’ll do anything college, internship, anything. I just dont know what to do.

  47. Hello Kwon,

    It sounds like you need to build up your transcript and your academic confidence before you venture to a 4-year college. Have you looked into community colleges in your area?

    Katherine Price
    Senior Associate

  48. Hi Rosita,

    My question to you is are you ready for college? It is important to think about whether or not you would be academically successful at a university. With a 1.40 GPA it is going to be difficult for you to be admitted, as most colleges will question whether or not you would be able to succeed on their campus. You may want to consider a community college in order to build up your transcript. You need to show colleges that you can be academically successful!

    Katherine Price
    Senior Associate

  49. Hello,

    The answer is yes, you can do anything you want to do, you just have to find the right path for you. If you have not already applied to colleges, you may want to consider attending a community college then transferring to a university. At a community college, you can build up your transcript and show colleges that you can be academically successful.

    Katherine Price
    Senior Associate

  50. i did good my freshman and sophomore year of high school but this year, my junior year, i did good in the first semester but not so great in the second and third semester i plan on getting straight a’s this last semester and really good on my finals will this help colleges see that i am trying to improve if they see i ended the year with amazing grades.

  51. i did good my freshman and sophomore year of high school but this year, my junior year, i did good in the first semester but not so great in the second and third semester i plan on getting straight a’s this last semester and really good on my finals will this help colleges see that i am trying to improve if they see i ended the year with amazing grades.

  52. Dear Mark,
    Im currently enrolled in a community college. In high school I did poorly in my academics and had a 2.00 GPA. While in college I had a break down and failed my ENG 101 class and did not have the guts to ask my teacher for a withdraw from my class and now that F is in my college transcript. Is there any way I can have that removed? Thank you for taking the time to read my comment.

  53. Dear Mark, my son will be a senior next year, but he has had issues all through out his school years. Due to a diagnosis of severe emotional disturbance. He has missed out on a lot of schooling and now regrets it. He has been talking about wanting to go to college and major in graphic design and music production. My question is, what do we need to do to get him prepared for college? And how will his diagnosis and school transcript affect his chances?

  54. Hello, can you tell me what a good college will be with an average of 2.00-2.75 GPA? I don’t want the colleges with scam as I read online or the university.

  55. Dear Mark,

    If I fail an Honors English Course in the 10th grade will I still be able to move on to Honors or AP English Language 11, during my junior year or will I need to retake the class in the summer or at a night/credit retrieval program offered at my high school?

    I am completely disappointed in my sophomore year which has been filled with numerous psychologist (depression/cutting), gynecologist (PCOS), orthodontist, psychical therapist (stress fracture), dentist, and pediatric appointments causing me to nearly WF several classes.
    Coming to the end of the year I am so behind that I am afraid of not moving on with my other classmates as my intentions were to partake in the IB Programme…

    I used to be such a good student bur now I’ve been so depressed for so long that I feel as if I don’t care about anything anymore

    Please respond ASAP!


  56. I’m about to be a senior in high school. These past 3 years i’ve messed up so bad but it finally hit me I want to be the first from my family to graduate from college. is it to late ?

  57. Not sure if you reply on this anymore but it’s worth trying. I’m currently a junior almost out on vacation before coming back a senior ( that’s if I even get to pass this year) I’ve been doing very bad through out high school and I fear I won’t be able to graduate from school. Been facing problems here and there but even then I can’t just act like the victim all the time. From parents divorcing to family problems or even illnesses that are starting to show up. I finally got an idea of what I want to do in life but my doubts over power my mind I can’t even sleep well anymore . I don’t care if I got to take community collage, I haven’t taken AP classes or taken my SAT yet last year on 10th grade I failed both chemistry and algebra 2 yet I’m failing them this year and school is about to end in a few weeks. I have around 4 or 5 fails two are art classes one is chemistry and algebra 2 I want to talk to my counsellor about it but I have difficulty trying to explain myself I’m kinda afraid of talking to her.if I tried my best in senior year would I even get the chance to graduate? Or get into a community collage? I don’t know who to ask this kinds of things since people around me would only judge.

  58. Hi, Angelica,
    In the US, it’s never too late. It’s all about your choices from here forward. I suggest you talk to your school counselors, tell them that you have made a decision to aim for college, and that you need their help. But they can only help you set a strategy: only your choices, day in and day out, will determine whether you are able to implement that strategy and reach your goal. It is a noble and worthy goal to be the first in your family to attend college. It will take a lot of hard work and dedication to achieve it, but nothing is impossible if you make the right choices, get the right help and support from the adults in your life, and remain steadfast in your convictions. Best of luck to you.

  59. Dear Kennya,
    It sounds like you’ve had a tough year. The reality is that I will have a tough time answering your question without looking at your complete transcript. The best person for you to talk to really is your high school counselor. Don’t worry about having your counselor judge you. That’s what they are there for – to help you out! Best of luck.

  60. Hi Nancy,
    There are many good state colleges which will accept students with a GPA of 2.00 – 2.75. In addition there are smaller colleges which are considered less selective that will also accept students with that GPA.

  61. Hi Cyera,
    Yes, colleges always like to see improvement! Also, if you can pinpoint a specific reason as to why your grades suffered earlier this year that will help. Such a reason might include some specific stress in your life; illness; death, etc.

  62. Hi Cyndi, thanks for your comment/question. The best guidance I can offer is to check directly with the community college itself regarding its policies on grades. Every college has a different policy when it comes to course forgiveness. While I will say it is probably unlikely that you will have that grade removed retroactively from your transcript you may want to consider retaking the class. While the grade would not disappear from the transcript you would be able to show improvement (hopefully) in the course and if you apply to transfer to another college you could explain the situation and demonstrate that you retook the course with an improved grade. Again, I would check with the college on their policies. You can usually find these out by calling the registrar’s office or getting in touch with the academic advising department.

  63. Hi Tom, thanks for your comment. Yes, colleges in the US will want you to report any previous institutions you have attended. My recommendation to you is to write an essay describing the lessons you learned and how you plan to get yourself back on track academically.

  64. Hi Samantha, thanks for your comment. It sounds like you are working hard, keep it up! Don’t be afraid to explain any circumstances (via an additional essay, call, or email to the admissions office) that may have impacted your grades at the beginning of school, how you have addressed these, what you have learned and how you have demonstrated improvement or an “upward trend.” Also, remember there are many “good” colleges out there-over 3,000 colleges to choose from-so focus on the ones that are good for you rather than just rankings and you will find one that will accept you.

  65. Hi Tina,

    It sounds like your son has some very specific concerns. Basically, colleges will look at his transcript and try to determine if he is capable of completing a college degree. The question he needs to answer is if he is emotionally ready to attend college. This will ultimately determine if he is academically successful. Also, there are colleges out there that may be better suited for a student who needs some additional support. We would be more than happy to make some suggestions and discuss your son’s situation with you. Please feel free to give us a call: +1.720.279.7577

    Katherine Price
    Senior Associate

  66. Hello Morgan,

    Thank you for your question. Unfortunately I am unable to answer your question. I think it is up to your high school to determine if you are able to move onto an AP class. It also sounds like you need to talk to someone about all of the stress you are feeling? I encourage you to talk to your guidance counselor in order to determine what is the best academic path for you.

    Katherine Price
    Senior Associate

  67. Hi Camilla,
    If you feel that you are not yet ready academically to be successful in college, perhaps you should consider attending a community college first. Community colleges are a great way to ease into college life and help you get up to speed in the areas where you aren’t strong. I encourage you to check out the community colleges in your area. Best of luck!

  68. Hi Tony, thanks for you comment. You have many choices ahead of you. First, you still have some time to bring your grades up so keep working hard. I would also recommend sending a written explanation with your applications to discuss your grades. There are many colleges out there, and some more selective than others, so keep an eye out for the admissions criteria when searching for schools. If you feel that you are not quite ready, or prepared academically, to go directly to a four year college you may want to consider taking a gap year or attending a community college and then transferring later on. If you would think you would like more help in this process you can call us at +1.720.279.7577 to learn more about our services.

  69. Thank you for sharing your story. We agree that college may not be for everyone. One of the questions that we ask our students to consider is if attending college is a logical next step.


  70. Daniel, Thanks for your message. You sound like a great student. Unfortunately,we would need to know more about your to help you understand whether Baruch College would be a good fit. If you would like assistance with your college admissions process feel free to contact us at +1.720.279.7577.

  71. I am an uprising junior with a GPA of 2.33. This is going to get me no where, and it’s hard to keep up. Wanting to be a teacher (a little ironic, I’m aware), a four-year college is really the only way to go. I’m also afraid of taking a year or two off just because I might not make back into completing my dream.

  72. Hi Brittany,
    Your desire to be a teacher is a great thing. While it’s true that, in most cases, you’ll need a four-year degree to become a teacher, you don’t necessarily need to start at a four year institution. Instead, why not consider going to community college right out of high school? If you do well at community college, you can easily transfer to a four-year school and reach your goal of becoming a teacher. Community colleges are a great option and can provide you with an excellent start to your college career. Best of luck!

  73. Hello,

    It is difficult for us to assess your chances of being admitted to a particular institution without viewing your entire profile. I will tell you that your grades will be the most important part of your college application and colleges do look for an upward trend in grades from students who have struggled.

    Katherine Price
    Senior Associate

  74. So my freshman year my mom died and then my grades jumped off a cliff and exploded and now I’m going to be a senior this up coming year and I’m going to a continuation school for a semester and then back to normal high school and I’m really determined to graduate and I rather go to a university but I’m not sure they will even think about taking me. Will it be possible that I can just start at a university if I get good grades and a high GPA in my last year of high school?

  75. Hi Marissa, thanks for your question. Yes, it is definitely possible that you can go to a university but you will want to make the most of those additional elements like your essay to talk about your personal situation as well as letters of recommendation that can really give a glimpse into who you are and your story beyond just your grades. Best of luck to you! If you would like more information on our college counseling services and help in the process please feel free to reach out to us at 720-279-7577.

  76. I’ve messed around all high school not realizing what a toll it would have on my future. I didnt get too good of grades and didn’t apply to colleges because I didnt think I would be accepted. I have talked to Airforce recruiters thinking that could be my way out to join but I’m not sure I want to be away from my future wife for long periods of time. I jus graduated high school in June and now I am working and saving money. I also would not have enough to pay for college. What should I do? I would like to become a dentist in the Airforce but I need college experience and a bachelors degree. A reply back would be much appreciated.

  77. Hi Roger, thanks for your message. Have you considered community college options? This is a less expensive option than a four year college to get your pre-requisite courses completed on route toward an associates degree that could lead toward a bachelor degree down the road. If you are interested in our services please feel free to give us a call at +1.720.279.7577. Thanks!

  78. That was really helpful, thanks 🙂
    I’m a high school senior, and my grades have not been the best…. Freshman year I got AAAABB both semesters. Sophomore year I got AAABBC both semesters… And junior year I got AABCCC and AABBCC…

    I’m really worried about my options for college, so I’ve decided to enroll in a community college….

    But how exactly do I apply for a community college? Do I still need recommendation letters?

  79. Hi, Angel.

    Community college can be a good option for many people. You need to research which community colleges are in your area, and then simply look at their websites for application procedures. In most cases, recommendations are not required.

    Best of luck!

  80. Hey! I’m entering my senior year of high school. I am and have been, for all of high school, taking all AP and honors classes (mostly AP this year and last year). Last year, I recieved very poor end of the year grades due to screwing up on final exams. I studied really hard, but I guess it wasn’t enough. I ended up with like 3 C pluses and a D plus in Trig, US History, Chemistry, and Spanish. I did get a B in my AP English and of course, recieved A’s in my Theater and Community Service classes. My GPA is now a 3.4 and I am in the top 26% of my class. I hope to get all A’s this year and I am applying to my favorite college so that they will see my updated senior year info and not just my junior stats. It is a B average school. But I’m nervous that I ruined my chances. Did I?

  81. Hello McKenzie,

    Colleges do look at students who show an upward trend in grades. You will need to have a strong first semester senior year. You also should write an additional essay explaining your lower grades at the end of last year. Don’t give up!

    Katherine Price
    Senior Associate

  82. freshman and sophmore year i did terrible gradewise junior year i did exceptional only getting one C. it really just hit me now that im a senior but i want to go into a field which requires Ivy League schools like Princeton, Stanford and Duke. Im afraid if i dont do so well this year i wont succeed in getting a good college. They all look for excellent grades and high test scores. Any advice as to if you think i can still get in these schools?

  83. So my grades are decent, and im just passing with grades of a 65 and 70’s. I am a senior and i want to go to college, but i feel like not only is my grades not where they should be but I dont know what college i would like to go to, or what I want to major in. I need help, advice and a lot of direction.

  84. Hi Klana,
    That’s great that you want to go to college! Based on the information that you’ve provided, it sounds like you might be a good candidate for community college. Since you are unsure of what direction you want to take, and your grades are just at the passing level, community college could provide you with the opportunity to get your academics shored up and the time to try out some new areas of study so that you can see what might be of interest to you. I recommend that you check out the community college programs that are close to where you live and see what they offer. Community college is a wonderful stepping stone to a 4-year degree.


  85. Hi im currently a junior in high school. I did pretty good in freshman year but I did HORRIBLE in sophomore year. However Im starting to get back on track junior year. I just realized how important junior year is so Im pushing for mostly A’s the second marking period and all A’s the fourth.
    For freshman year I had a weighted gpa of 88 and an unweighted gpa of 84. The advanced classes I took were Chemistry (as a freshman) and Geometry Honors. Both courses I finished with a 78. On the regents I got a 78 for Chemistry and an 86 for geometry. On other regents I got a 93 for Global History, 87 for English, 90 for living environment, 82 for algebra 1, 65 for physics.

    For sophomre year my grades slipped. I’ll be honest, the reason I did bad was because I was not accustomed to studying. I always got good grades without trying so when I started to do bad I would say to myself “oh well I will just do good next time”. Plus the relationship with my father started to worsen. The same goes for my mother but not as much. He would yell at me for doing bad and not studying and instead of helping me he kept yelling me. So I would rebel and purposefully not study just to make him mad. Rarely does my dad ever tell me “good job”. I usually just get criticised for the bad things I did. So, since I always got critisized, I started to not care about what he thought, which in return I didnt care about my grades. Plus I have a really deep passion for basketball. Its my dream to be on a team and play at the college Division 1 level when I go to college. Since I had alot of work to do I had to practice and try toget better. I still got cut from the JV team since I wasnt good enough but Im still not giving up. I have been playing and practicing basketball since 7th grade. Even if colleges see I only played for one year (hopefully next year if I make it) I want for them to know the years I put in and my dedication to the sport. Not just a random kid that goes like “oh I’ll play basketball so it looks good on my transcript. Another issue I faced was my weight and strength. I wasnt pleased with the way I looked and I was fat. I had to do alot of exercising to get more fit for basketball. Which also took up time from schoolwork. Also when I did bad my dad wouldnt take me to the gym. So it further continued to cause me to rebel. My mom or dad dont care much at all about how I was doing emotionally. All they care about is grades. They dont ask me how Im doing or show interest in my passion for basketball. As a result of all these issues I faced in 10th grade, I failed most of my classes. Grades as low as 50s- to mid or high 60s and a few 70s. I had to go to summer school for failing Algebra 2/Trig Honors. However, I realized that shcool is very important and I want to play college basketball at a Division 1 school and major in biology. Thats my dream. The first marking period is already done. this is my report card
    spanish 3-88
    Earth Science-71
    American History-76
    The only reason I have a few 70’s and a 65 is because I would always turn in assignments late or only do like half the homework out hte whole marking period. (bad habit since middle school since I always did good without trying)

    However I talked to a few people about college at my school and Im soo much more motivated to do better. All my grades have went up and I have a 100 in earth science and at least an 80 in american history. I want to take Ap statistics and AP bio next year and maybe AP government. My top school choices are PAce university, Hofstra U., Drexel U., University of ORegon, and some others. I took the SAT for the first time and got a 1520. 580 on the math, 460 on critical thinking. What do you think about what I should do, my chances of those schools and everything in general? right now, excluding junior year my weighted GPA is an 80; Im ho[ping to bring it up to an 85 at the end of this year.

  86. Hello,

    It sounds like you are very motivated to meet you goal of attending college. My advice is to find people who can help motivate you to get there. Can you talk to a teacher or maybe your coach? Having someone around you to help you identify the steps you need to take to meet your goal may make it a little less daunting. You do have the right attitude in that your grades are important and colleges will notice that your grades improved.

    Good luck!

  87. Hello Cassandra,

    All of the schools you mentioned are extremely competitive. Students with even perfect grades are not admitted. However, there are plenty of schools that offer high quality college educations and are not as selective. I suggest that you do research on schools that have strong programs in the field that you are interested in.


  88. HEY!
    Im a sophmore in highschool and im freaking out. I have one F in spanish, and im afraid I wont be accepted into college. The rest of my grades are A’s and B’s.
    Will I still be accepted? DId I mess up my career?

  89. Dear Kai,
    Thank you for your comment. First, it is great that you are already thinking about college! Keep in mind that when colleges make decisions on applications the decision is based off a number of factors. Your acceptance (or refusal) will never just rest on one grade. It sounds like you are working hard now, keep up the good work. I would suggest though that when applying you take the time to provide a brief grade explanation regarding the F if there was something happening that impacted your grade. Best of luck!

  90. Hi! as a parent I have been desperately seeking advice on how to go about my son’s future after high school. He is currently a senior with a learning disability and
    and is enrolled with IEP. He has struggle since freshman year, he started as a C average student thrue his sophomore year. Junior his grades started deteriorating
    into a D’S and F’s. Part of the reason is that because of his disability he had a hard time socializing with kids and was constantly picked on. He has always said that he wants to go to college for graphic design, he has always wanted to design video games. This year he continues to struggle and looks like he might not have met enough credits to graduate. How can i help him to achieve his goals? The school is not much of a help on advicing me what are or could be some good alternatives for my son. Are there colleges that offer programs for kids with cognitive disorder?

  91. Hi Ann,
    Thanks for your comment. I am sorry to hear about the struggles that your son has encountered but commend you for helping him work on achieving his goals. If you are interested in some more personalized assistance with your son as well as suggestions for colleges that might be a good fit we would love the opportunity to speak with you about our services. Please feel free to give us a call at 720-279-7577 or contact us . Thanks!

  92. Hi,
    I am currently a freshman in high school, but I am extremely worried that with my grades so far, I would not get into a good college and med school afterwards. My goal is John Hopkins University. Here are my first quarter grades
    Freshman Humanities English H – 92
    Freshman Humanities SS H – 89
    Geometry H – 89
    Spanish 2 H – 93
    Living Environment (Bio) – 91

    Second quarter
    English – 90
    SS – 89
    Geometry – 83
    Spanish – 90
    Bio – 91

    I am taking AP European History, and possibly AP psychology next year, along with all honors course (not sure bought chemistry yet)

    I have some extracurricular activities, but non at which I excel at.
    Will I have a chance? and what grades and courses should I get for the rest of the year and for the three years ahead of me?

    Thanks in advance.

  93. Hi Chris,
    I think your grades are good. I can’t say with any certainty if they’re good enough for a school like Johns Hopkins. Of course, with a school like that, the more A’s you can get, the better, but highly selective schools will look at a lot of other things besides your grades. Your ACT/SAT scores will be very important also. Med schools won’t even look at what you did in high school; the two most important factors for med school admissions are your college grades and MCAT scores. I can’t really advise you on what courses to take without knowing what your school offers. But in general, the more advanced courses you can take, and the stronger your grades can be, the better. And if you can find an activity in which you can have some achievements and/or take on a leadership role, that will help, too.

  94. Dear Mark,

    So far my GPA Is 2.0 and My final IB exams are in May 2013 but the university application process needs to start from now and I am freaking out and my family is not being all that helpful instead are yelling at me about my bad grades. I got injured really bad while playing football and needed surgery and that really affected by grades. I don’t know what to do and I’m feeling so helpless and hopeless about getting into university. please suggest some things I could do.

  95. So far my GPA Is 2.0 and My final IB exams are in May 2013 but the university application process needs to start from now and I am freaking out and my family is not being all that helpful instead are yelling at me about my bad grades. I got injured really bad while playing football and needed surgery and that really affected by grades. I don’t know what to do and I’m feeling so helpless and hopeless about getting into university. please suggest some things I could do.

  96. Khan,
    First of all, you clearly need advice. Run (as fast as your injury will allow) to your counseling office and plead with them to help you. If that doesn’t work, you might consider learning about our services. Beyond that, I’d consider the following: apply to your state schools for which you would still be eligible (your final IB scores won’t count for your admission, only your GPA and your “predicted scores” that your teachers and the IB coordinator will calculate), and consider community college. If resources are not an issue, you could also consider private universities: many will accept students with your GPA even late in the game. But this is clear: you cannot stand around arguing with your family. You need to take steps toward resolving the problem. It’s too late to remake your GPA. It is what it is, and now you have to figure out your game plan.
    Good luck, and let us know if we can help.

  97. I’m an Advanced Highschool freshman in my second semester. I’m almost always a straight A student but ever since I’ve come to this school my grades have dropped dramatically. (Brief info of the school: The school is made of up of portables on a community college campus. Freshman and Sophomore courses are combined into the Freshman year, and Junior+Senior courses are half filtered into the Sophomore year. Freshman and Sophomore years at this school are normal Highschool work but the combination of the 4 years of courses. In the Junior+Senior years of this school, you take the Standard Math and Science classes but also take full on college courses which allow you to graduate with both a Highschool diploma and a General AA Degree.) The only changes that have I have come across this school year have been doing homework at home (as I would normally do homework at what ever After-School programs were available, alas there are none to be taken at this school). My first semester grades did not falter below a C on any Report Cards or Progress Reports. However, during this second semester, I currently have two F’s, one D, two C’s, and one A. If those F’s get on my Freshman transcript, would I be illegible to certain colleges such as UC’s? Would this affect my entire career as a student? Please help.

  98. My son is 16 and is currently studying in Hong Kong with Form 5 level ( grade 12). But he got bad academic results with only few subjects passed including English. I plan to send him to study community college in the US. Will it be difficult for him to enter ? What is the admission requirement? Thanks.

  99. Dear Mrs. Lee,
    I would be happy to talk to you. I am traveling to Hong Kong this week, and I work with many HK students as they aim for universities in the US. You can also reach me at my office in Hong Kong: +852 2698 7988. You will need to be very careful about which community colleges you send him to, as it seems that your son will need some support to ensure not only that he is admitted to community college, but that he is able to succeed, do well, and then transfer (if he wishes) to a four-year university. Please do give my office a call and we can arrange to have a conversation.
    Best wishes,

  100. Hi! I am a Sophmore in highschool and I believe I did bad this year. I thought I was going to be able to handle my Honors classes with my regular classes but I really couldn’t. While I have good grades on my honors classes, I have bad grades on my Earth Science and Gerometry class, I am not really used to studying a lot (and I really need to now) and I have to. I missed school and a few classes because I am not really healthy and I get sick very often (sadly). Also, my Earth Science and Photography teacher tend to forget about me when I need their help. I am hoping I can redeem myself. I tried really hard this year but I guess it wasn’t really enough. Will one year affect me when applying for colleges?

  101. Hi Andriana, thanks for your question. Colleges do look at all of your courses and grades so depending on how low those grades were this year it could impact your admissions process. You may want to consider writing a brief explanation that could go along with your college applications to address your health issues and the impact on your grades. Best of luck to you!

  102. Hi John, thanks for your note. College admissions offices do take into consideration the profile of the school you are coming from so they will likely have an understanding of the environment you are coming from. That being said, having F’s can make an impact on your college admissions process. You may want to consider opportunities to retake the class to show progression in your work. I would recommend you talk to your high school counselor for some suggestions. As well, you should be prepared to write up an explanation for what was going on when these grades occurred that impacted them. Wishing you the best of luck.

  103. Hey! i’m a junior and i do have an F from sophomore year but i am making it up by having extended day. I also have D’s but i’m making them up when summer comes for i can take summer school. I do have allot of C’s and B’s so yes my grades are not so good but can this make it hard for me to into a good college to major in phycology and sociology ? My career goal is to join the law enforcement perhaps to become an FBI. What are good colleges that i can apply to in California ? And it’ll be helpful if someone can tell me other subjects i can major in that would help me pursue my career goal thank you

  104. Hello,
    Im a sophmore in High School and Im not doing so good this year, Last year as a freshman I failed alot of classes reason is because I got into depression, with serious suicidal thoughts ect. but I had to retake those classes this year, I was considered in 9r for the first semester. Im in 10th right now, The first semester I didnt do so well in some classes with my grades being at D,A,F,B,D,B,C, Second semester aswell with grades D,B,D,C,C,C,F, I have a 2.0 GPA and Only 7.50 credits, Now in the third semester I didnt do so well either mainly because of Divorced parent problems and Relationship problems and well I started slacking and even now im slacking and staying home or not trying at school (It sometimes feels like depression all over again). Last year I went to another school and came back to my original school this year but This school is a D school the enviroment here isnt very good either. Im already thinking about college and My goal is to become a firefighter but with my grades I know they wont take me anywhere Would they? I also get distracted easy or I space off and start thinking about something else while trying to do my work I dont know how to focus better and Get better grades , I dont want to fail this year too, My girlfriend and my dad are the only ones who encourage me to do better in School Since my dad couldn’t go to college and he regrets it and My Girlfriend being really smart she’s a junior and has all the credits to be a Senior already in this semester, I try to put my mind into trying to catch up to her or get at least close to see if that will help me out. My Question is How Do I teach myself to focus and do better at school, What would I need to do? And so far with my grades this year Would I be able to get into a College and reach my goal?

  105. Hi Diana, thanks for your message. It sounds like you are working hard to improve your grades. Unfortunately, without knowing you better it is hard to recommend specific colleges or majors. California has lots of great colleges but they are all very different from each other. If you are interested in learning more about our services please feel free to contact us at

  106. Hi, well i dropped out my last year but i didnt drop my classes. All this was because of a tramatic event then after two year and some tramatic event happen again i didnt drop the classes. 3 year late samething happen its really though to keep up when someone so close to you dies, i feel ready and the need to go get my career. However i feel kind of scare that they wont accept me. Because of the grades. Should i just take a the test and apply as a mature student ?

  107. Hi Cristy, thanks for your note. Without knowing specifics it is hard to give recommendations but I would suggest that you move forward with taking the necessary tests, writing a statement about the situation that happened, and see if there is an opportunity to talk with someone in the admissions office about your transcript and application. Best of luck to you!

  108. Hi Jorge, thanks for your note. It is great that you are thinking about college! As a sophomore you still have time to make a big change in your grades and transcript. When the time comes to submit your college applications you may want to provide an explanation for what was going on at the beginning of high school. I would also recommend talking with your teachers and high school counselor for some school specific suggestions on ways to perform better in their classes. However, we are always happy to provide additional services. If you are interested in learning more please visit . Good luck to you!

  109. Hello, I am currently a Sophmore in High School. During Freshman year I had to drop English and I got a D in Alg 1 because I was in the hospital a lot. I was going to take English at a community college this summer to make it up as well as the Alg 1. If I take Honors Physics next year is that really good to put on my application if I pass with a high grade along with Chemisty senior year? What are some good classes to take that look good on a college app? I either wanna go to Law school or a Marine trainer/Marine veterinarian. Also If I got a D first semester but get a A or B second semester do colleges accept that?

  110. Hi Sierra,
    Whether or not you can get into college with a D depends on the college. Colleges might be willing to overlook your D if there were compelling reasons for it. You mentioned being in the hospital, so it sounds like you have an expanation as to why your grade was low. You should ask your high school counselor if the D will stay on your transcript once you retake the class. If it will, then when you apply to colleges, you’ll need to include in your applications an explanation of the circumstances that led to that grade. As far as advising you on your courses, I realy can’t do that without knowing what your high school offers. In general, physics and chemistry are solid science courses, but most high schools require you to take chemistry before physics.

    I hope that helps.

  111. I am a Junior in high school right now and I am currently with a less than 2 GPA. I want to get into a private college that my mom went to to carry on the tradition. I am so scared that I will not get in. My grades have been horrible all throughout my high school career and I am working to improve them. I have taken several remedial courses over the summer to make up for some of my failing class grades. I believe I have some sort of ADD that prevents me from making the grades that I am capable of. I make great test grades on all of my finals and I am very intelligent but just have trouble focusing and with organization. Do you still think there is a chance for me to get into the private college that I so want to attend?

  112. i’m a junior in high school and i am NOT doing well. here’s the thing: all throughout middle school, i was always on honor roll. i even graduated with a 4.0. but as soon as i got to high school, everything went downhill for me. first semester of 9th grade was bad, but i was still standing. second semester, i failed geometry and got a C in technology. i made up the 2nd semester of geometry last year and i also took algebra 2–both of which i passed with an A. sophomore year, my grades were better, but not outstanding. now that i’m in my junior year, i’m in a program called Running Start where i take my classes at a local community college. So, by this time next year, I’ll be getting ready to graduate with my high school diploma and my associate’s degree. sounds good, right? EXCEPT for the fact that i just found out today i failed one of my classes. my accounting class. i didn’t receive the credits for it. i completely failed. I plan on getting a job as soon as possible, working towards getting my Varsity Letter in Community Service from Youth United, and taking a class in the summer to make up the credits for the class that i failed. I also plan on getting very good grades Spring quarter. Absolutely nothing less than a 3.0.
    It’s always been my dream to go to the University of Washington, graduate, and be successful in life. and it still is. i want to get a bachelor’s in science and then go to dental school so i can become a dentist. however, when i found out i failed a class–for the second time in all my life–it really took a toll on me. I don’t want to be a failure, I don’t want to go to a community college. I know for a fact that i can do better, and i know for a fact that college is the right path for me.
    I just don’t know if UW will agree. is there still hope for me? Is there any way that I can prove to them that i am college material? or should i just start thinking about a different path in life?

  113. Hello,

    It sounds like you definitely have so good ambitions, but you have not figured out the best way to get there. In order to go to college, you need to have good grades. Your academics need to be your number one priority. While attending community college may not be ideal to you, it is a great way for you to improve your gpa. Colleges will want to know that you can be successful academically and attending community college is a great way to show them you can do it. I wouldn’t rule out the community college route to a four-year degree.

    Katherine Price
    Senior Associate

  114. Hello,

    It depends on how competitive the college that you are interested in is. All colleges will look at your transcript as the most important part of your college application. Colleges will try to assess whether or not you will be academically successful on their campus. If they are concerned about your grades, then they may think twice about admitting you. First of all, if you truly do feel that you have ADD, you may want to looking into getting tested and finding out what additional support you need to receive in order to help you be more successful. You may also want to look into transfer process at the college you are interested in. This may be the best option to give you more time to rebuild your GPA.

    Katherine Price
    Senior Associate

  115. Hi I am a sophomore in high school and I happen to have bad grades. I failed 7 classes and had 2 D in my transcript till now. I want to transfer to a private high school and I am currently taking adult school to make my credits back. Would the private high school accept me even with my bad grades? I have shown effort lately but I am wondering if the private school would accept me even if I said I would try hard from now on. Please give me advice and what would happen if you were the person who accepts admissions.

  116. Hi Andy,
    Thanks for your question. It is very difficult to be able to say whether or not you would be admitted without knowing the full picture of your profile and application. I would strongly encourage you to call the private school’s admission office and see if there is an opportunity to meet with someone in the office or if there is a written statement that you could provide (or letters of recommendation) to address the issues with your grades and what you are currently doing to remedy the situation. If you are interested in more assistance and our services please feel free to give us a call at 720-279-7577. Good luck to you!

  117. Hi there. I need some advice regarding being able to study in a university. I did not do well in my matric year. I am now 21 years old. I have only now realised what I want to do, but of course with my grades I can only study for a certificate. I think being in South Africa it is different and they do not look at what certificates you have but what your score is which won’t apply and I won’t meet the requirements. What do I need to do to? I am willing to work hard as I can to make a difference – I believe I can!

  118. Hello,

    i need advice reagrding taking a class over summer to improve a grade from B to A. The kid is smart, but doesn’t work very hard. Get’s high B’s easily and didn’t put a bit extra work or didn’t manage his class/home work properly, so has B’s. Freshman year didn’t take it seriously at all , so GPA is just above 3.0. Has taken honors, GT, and an AP class and has A’s and B’s sophomore year. If a kid repeats one of the GT classes where he has B over summer in community college to improve his GPA, will that be considered by colleges or it is of no use. Also, would taking more AP classes junior year and getting a good grade, will impress colleges or the poor performance in sophomore ,Freshman year weighs in a lot

  119. Hello,

    I don’t think that colleges will seriously consider a grade improvement from a B to an A with a class that is retaken over the summer. If he had a D or F, that would be a totally different story. You just need to encourage your student to work hard during his junior year. A junior and first semester senior year of challenging courses and mostly A’s will have more of an impact.

    Katherine Price

  120. hi , i did very bad in highschool due to the fact my mom had 9 life or death surgeries throughout my highschool years i did ver well in middle school but oncei got to highschool the pressure was unbearable i am very smart and i know what im capable of im still in 11 grade about to enter 12th i would like to attend penn state should i tell them my circumstances and how i would like to attend their school and hope they be understanding or should i give up on attending penn state right after highschool ?

  121. Hi Dee,
    I definitely would go ahead and apply to Penn State. What do you have to lose? The worst-case scenario is that you won’t get in, but if you don’t apply, you certainly won’t get in! Of course, you also should apply to other schools where you have a better chance of admission. Regardless of where you apply, you should explain in your application why your grades are the way they are. Also, make sure you do the best you possibly can this semester and next year.

    Good luck!

  122. Hello,
    I am currently a junior in high school and will be a senior in a few months. All throughout elementary and middle school, I’ve gotten A’s and B’s and done fairly well (with the exception of a D in elementary phys. ed. class). I even did great my sophmore year with only one B. And even in first trimester of junior year I got three A’s and three B’s. Second trimester I got A,A,A,B,C (HP Chemistry),C- (AP English). And by the end of third (this) trimester my grades could be D’s, possibly C’s (in HP Chemistry, HP Algebra 2, and AP English). HP stands for high-performance, and AP is technically a college course. As of now, it’s too late to talk to the teachers or try to improve the grades.
    My school’s grading system is based on standards and weights things like tests and projects, which I have more trouble with, much more heavily than homework and quizzes. But the reason for my poor performancewould be not completing all the homework and not knowing all the material for the tests. I feel when I signed up for the harder level courses, I overestimated my abilities. My senior year, I will be in one AP course and the rest will be regular. Anyway, I plan on earning all A’s and B’s next year.
    So my question is: With lower grades (a few C’s and D’s) and a lower GPA (around 2.7), could I still get into a two-year or four-year college? Or should I consider other options like a community college, military, or working for a few years? I only do one sport outside of school, but enjoy it thoroughIy. I don’t have a job and only do some volunteer work. I would like to go to college, because I know it will help my get a career that pays good money, so I can live decently, etc. My parents (father especially) have always been empasizing how important a college education is.
    Sorry for the lengthy letter, but I do appreciate you taking the time to read it. So, thank you. And anybody with any information or knowledge, feel free to comment.

  123. Hi Shannon,
    It sounds like you got in over your head in your junior year and took courses that may have been more challenging than what you were prepared for. Your plan to take a less rigorous course load in your senior year is a good one. If you do well, this will show prospective colleges that you understood that you overreached during your junior year and that you are still a serious student whom they should consider. You can most certainly get into a two-year or four-year college with lower grades on your transcript, however, depending upon your individual situation and your interests, community college, the military, or working for a few years could also be the right option. I can’t really assess what is the best path for you without more information about you and your situation. Best of luck!

    Andrea Aronson

  124. I had completed form 5 IGCSEs which is equivalent to 10th grade. I have a GPA of 2.0 and would like help finding a college (community college I can attend in the States). I have been out of school for quite sometime. I am 23

  125. Dear Catherine,
    Thanks for your inquiry. I have worked with several students who have completed Form 5/IGCSE exams–even with a relatively low result. The US has many opportunities for mature students who are ready to have another go at higher education, and I’d be happy to help guide you. Please give us a ring or send us an email through our contact page, and I can explain the steps to help you achieve your goal. The task will not be easy, but it can be done.
    Good luck to you, and I hope to hear from you soon.

  126. Hello,
    i’m an american living in Germany, going to an american school, because my parents are in the military, my freshman and sophomore year were really bad. i barley passed sophomore year, with all d’s and one f, and freshman year was the same. i had to take summer school, but junior year i finally realized i had to do better. junior year came around and i had a GPA of 3.6 and had all A’s, im planning to do even better my senior year. but will i still be able to get into a good college? i do not want to go into a community college. or did i mess up my chances,,

    i also do other things, i run track, i manage the wrestling team in my school, i am in thespian society, Spanish club, ffa, model-united nations, and fbla…
    will all this help?? please, i need your guidance

  127. Sir,
    I have completed my high school in second division as 57.40% out of 100 so that is in aggregate mark as count as second division according to my country education system, as I have not strong grade because after my 10 class I tried for military so that reason I have not good grades so then after I join a job and earn experience so I have year gap of 3 years so is it possible to join in college and get VISA??
    I am looking forward to hear from you.

  128. Hello, Celeste.
    Thanks for writing. You are not doomed. You do have a track record (if you’ll pardon the athletic reference) that will not go away. But you are doing the right thing to mitigate its negative effects by doing all you can to pick up the pieces and demonstrate that you were simply not focused on the right things in 9th and 10th grade. You will have to choose your colleges carefully, as some will not be excited to accept you. However, many will be able to look past your youthful mistakes, especially if you have teachers and counselors who can attest to your turn-around.

    With regards to your extracurriculars, of course all of these will help, especially as you step up your involvements and your leadership–all the while maintaining your primary focus on your schoolwork.

    Best of luck, Celeste. You’re headed in the right direction!

  129. Dear Ashok,

    It is still possible to get admitted to an American university and get a visa. Admission comes first, of course. You’ll need to select your target universities carefully to include those who will look past your secondary school performance and focus on other factors . You will will want to do well on the TOEFL exam, and you will want to take the SAT exams to provide more evidence that your school results are not a measure of your abilities. We work with many students with non-traditional backgrounds to find suitable placements, including international students like you. Please let me know if you think we can be of service. Best of luck!

  130. I am 46 years old, and I received my high school diploma in 1985. I did very poorly, as in mostly Dd’s but by the skin of my teeth, I graduated.

    Skip forward 28 years, and I have had to pass work related tests, and have maintained a high performance rating in my field. I want to go to an online University, and get my bachelor’s degree in the same field.

    How important are those grades from 28 years ago, going to be? Would I be better off taking a General Equivalency exam, and submitting that, instead of my horrible transcripts from high school?

  131. Hi , my name is Daja and my boyfriend hasn’t really been doing so good in school. We are now seniors in High School and his 1st, 2nd, & 3rd year of high school were bad. I think his grades went down due to family issues but he’s beginning to lose hope about going to college. He wants to go, really bad because he wants a career. I told him I believe that he can do something for college but I just don’t know. Can you tell me what he can do far as getting into college? Can he go to a good college or is it a no go ?

  132. Daja,
    There is always hope in the United States. This is the land of second chances. My recommendation, however, is to bear in mind that college is also very expensive. So to start out, I’d choose the community college in your area and save some money, and prove that you (and your boyfriend) are capable students. Then, because of statewide higher education articulation agreements, you will be able to transfer your (good!) grades directly to the flagship 4-year university in your state. No one cares where you start college: they only care where you graduate. So starting out at community college can be your best bet. However, I recognize that I don’t have a complete set of facts here, so there may be other ways, as well, to achieve your joint goals of completing higher education. But as with most things in life, big things are accomplished with small steps. Start small. Succeed. Then continue to move in your desired direction.
    Best of luck to you and your boyfriend.

  133. Pam,
    All will depend on the requirements of the university you desire to attend. If you want an online university, then you will have to ask the admissions folks about their requirements. Most likely the 28 year-old transcript will not end up being that important: in the US (“the land of second chances”) you will more heavily judged by your most recent past successes. So you should be fine. But also be careful: many online universities are most interested in taking your money. Be sure to research the university in question and assure yourself that the program on offer is high quality.
    Hope this is helpful.
    Best of luck!
    Mark Montgomery

  134. Hey,
    I’m not really sure what to do I am a little lost. During high school it was very hard for me we went through ups and downs in my family and thanks to that it affected my grades overall. I have a horrible gpa and now after four years my life is getting back on track but I don’t know how to get into a college. Is there any hope for me?

  135. Hi. All is never lost. It’s hard to give you personalized advice with the brevity of your question, but if you are turning your life around then there is plenty of reason to believe you can get your college degree. But you may not be able to do it immediately or directly. Like millions of other students, you might consider starting at community college. Enrollment is generally open, so you won’t face tough admissions processes. If you are lacking in English or math, the community college will help you get the skills you need to continue on. You’ll likely save money, too, as community college is generally cheaper than four-year universities. Once you have completed the first two years (with flying colors!) you’ll be able to transfer easily to a public university in your state–or perhaps even to another university out of state (much depends on finances, as well as your performance and your goals). This road is not an easy one (few roads really are, actually). But it’s one you can set out upon, one step at a time.
    Again, this is not your only possible path. Let us know if we can be of further assistance.
    Best of luck!

  136. Hi,
    My names Sophie and i’m going into my senior year of high school and i’m super worried about getting into college. I’ve gone through a lot since i’ve been in high school, i lost my step father my freshman year which was very hard on and me and even more my mother, it came to a point where she got very mentally unstable and I had to put my life aside and try to put hers back together which took up a lot of my energy and time. I’ve always been a pretty average student but have always been told that I am capable of straight A’s but i’ve never really seen it. On top of having to take care of my mother I also live with my grandparents who have many medical issues causing me to take care of them every day which takes up a lot of my time. In my sophomore year my grandfather became very ill and we thought we were going to lose him, he spent most of the year in and out of the hospital which again, took a toll on my academic capabilities and my grades weren’t very good. This past year being my junior year went better than my previous years, I do suffer from depression which did effect me some but not much. I ended the year with A’s B’s and a few C’s and a 2.4 GPA which is not as high as i’d like, I want to try to get at least a 3.0 by the time I graduate. I also took the ACT’s twice, the first time I got a 19 and the second time I got an 18, i’m quite disappointed in myself for not studying as much as I should have but I was trying to keep up my grades and take care of my grandparents and babysit several times a week so I just could not find the time, which I know sounds like an excuse. I’ve just been very very worried that because I don’t have a 4.0 and do not get straight A’s or B’s and do not take IB and AP classes (although I did take AP English Sophomore and Junior year) that I will not get into any colleges that I apply to and am stuck going to a community college which I really don’t want to do, although i’m very grateful that I will always have that option. It’s just been majorly stressing me and and worrying me to no end and I’d just like an honest opinion of what you think of my situation and if I do in fact have a chance of getting into any private college.

  137. Sophie,

    Thanks for your inquiry. The first thing to recognize is that despite all your travails, you can and likely will receive a great higher education. The second thing you need to be wary of is debt. Not only do you need to worry about admission, but you need to worry about saddling yourself with gargantuan amounts of debt. Avoiding this burden, more than anything else, should be your primary goal. The fact is that there will be many private colleges, some of them quite good, that will be willing to admit you after understanding your story. But most will not discount deeply enough for you to avoid mountains of debt: your GPA and your test scores are too low. Colleges give the most money to kids with the best grades and test scores.

    [I should add here that I’m making the assumption that paying for college is an issue, as it is for most students. If you’re in the fortunate position of being able to pay any price for any college, then what follows may not be quite as relevant–but hopefully not completely irrelevant.]

    So if money is an issue, you have a couple of options. First, you need to beef up your academic performance. Prep for those exams and bring up your test scores. While I don’t want you to think that you are your test score, the fact is that many colleges weigh test scores heavily in the awarding of merit-based financial aid. Similarly (and as you rightly point out), you need to bring up your grades as much as possible.

    But the second option that you say you most want to avoid may actually be your best way to start. Get the first two years out of the way at a community college. You’ll find classes relatively small and the teachers (by and large) relatively good and engaged with their students (especially earnest ones like you). Community college is affordable. And then you can consider transferring to even a private college for the final two years. But here again, you need to be aware that many private colleges do not offer financial aid of any kind for transfer students.

    It’s a tough realization to learn that the toughest thing about college admission is not actually admission: you will have options on that front. But not all your options will really be affordable. Colleges will talk about the wonderful loans you can rack up, but this is just a postponement of payment: you will still have to pay–and you will have to pay more for the privilege of postponing.

    So my advice: keep working on your performance, take care of your family (and yourself!!), and keep your eye on the long term doughnut: you want–and will receive–a quality undergraduate education. Not everything may be as you wish it to be. But believe me, you need to look at the goal of attending a private college with some healthy skepticism. Even if you are admitted, the burdens associated with attendance may be much heavier than the alternatives.

  138. Hello,

    I had troubles in high school, passed and graduated back in 1992. I ended up going straight into a community college and actually did better my first 2 semesters. My GPA wasn’t great, HOWEVER, a 3.4 for me was VERY good considering my grades in high school. I had a traumatic event in my life last 2 semesters. INFACT, my last semester I got all F’s because I didn’t care about anything… focus was completely on this traumatic event…

    Flash forward to 2012, worked and took 3 classes and got 2 A’s and a C. (This was in FL).

    In late 2012 I moved back to my home state where I originally attended the college where my traumatic event happened.

    I’ve enrolled in 2 courses and ultimately want to pursue my RN. I finally have direction in my life and soooo much life experience, I was excited when I finally decided and figured out MY PASSION in life until today……..

    I got a call from an advisor and she was very rude and completely crushed me. She basically said my grades (the F’s I never withdrew from course, trauma etc) where awful, and probably would never get into the program. She sounded so mean and condescending. I guess it irked me even more that I’m about 20 years older than her.

    I’m feeling deflated and very down about it. Any advice? I’m feeling like a complete idiot for tarnishing my record from 20+ years ago!

    Thank you!!!

  139. Hello, Amy.
    I’m sorry you had such a bad experience with the advisor from your community college. There is no excuse for rudeness. And the first thing is not to give up on your dream. However, you may have to get to it in a round about way. The problem is that RN programs are very, very competitive, especially in some locations. So in order to gain admission, you may have to continue to take a few more prerequisites, improve your grades (retake that class you got an F in, for example), and continue to demonstrate your abilities. Faculty recommendations will be very, very important, too. You may also want to start out as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), and then continue taking classes at the community college that include all the prerequisites and co-requisites for the AS in Nursing (to get you that RN distinction). As with everything in life, it will be your performance that counts most, and the more you can succeed in those courses that will lead to the RN, the more attractive you will be (and the less damage your past will have on your future). And, as I mentioned, faculty recommendations at your community college can help you: if you have faculty pulling for you as you make a formal application to the RN program (preferably someone who knows your story of past trauma and can act as your advocate), then the more likely the admissions people will be to put your past into the proper perspective.
    I hope this is helpful. Don’t give up. Be realistic, however, and know that ignorant bean counters are going to look at your transcript as it now stands and make assumptions that probably do not reflect the person you have now become. But be strong, study hard in those prerequisite courses, and you will have the opportunity to reach your goal.
    Best of luck!

  140. I feel so relieved reading your article. During the most important years of high school, Sophomore and Junior year, I moved to California (I originally lived in Arizona with the best school that I’ve ever been to. Got straight A’s!!) and let me tell you, the education system is GREATLY horrid. I literally cried every night because my teachers don’t really care whether I pass the class or not (they refused to help me. Yeah, they refused!). Now it’s my Senior year and I’m doing everything possible to get my grades and school standing (clubs, sports, etc.) in check.
    I honestly thought I had no hope in achieving my dream. Next stop for me, NAU!

  141. Thanks for your response, Felicia. I’m so glad you are taking charge of your own education. Actually, this is the foremost predictor of success: a student that takes charge and responsibility for her performance. I recognize that not every teacher is stellar, and some are downright rotten (the same can be said of university professors, by the way). But poor instruction cannot become an excuse or an obstacle to achieving your dreams.
    Keep up the good work and the excellent attitude!

  142. Hi my names Taylor. So I’m going into my junior year in highschool. I haven’t had the best grades and I mainly think Its because I have to many things on my plate. I am in all advanced classes and I do varsity soccer, basketball and track. Plus I take an extra block so I can take more classes. I go straight from school to sports to another sport outside of school and I get home and have barely any time homework. Is this an acceptable excuse? Is it too late for me to bring my grades up? I really would like to be a veterinarian but competition is tough and I don’t know how I could ever get in with these bad of grades. I have mainly B and C’s. I only studied one time for a class I got a 77 in and when I studied I got a 92. And I realize I have to study more.

  143. Dear sir,
    i am a an international student applying for the undergraduate level to the colleges in the US. My freshmen year of high school was okay and i did really well in my sophomore yer. I recently finished my A levels but have a C and a D in my final reports. I have a few extracurriculars(internships) and volunteer activities but do not have anything to show a leadership quality on my CV, which I hear is quite important for many colleges. Currently, I am working real hard for my SATs and a good college essay. At this rate is there any hope that I will get into a good college with financial aid? what should I do?

  144. Hi, Taylor.
    Well, I hate to break it to you, but “having too many things on your plate” is not an acceptable excuse for doing poorly in school. Sometimes the most important word for young people to learn is one of the shortest, but most powerful: “NO.” Sometimes in order to achieve in one area you have to sacrifice another. At the moment, you may be achieving in sports but neglecting school. This is fine, if you plan to be an athlete. However, if you plan to be a good student and go to college, you have to reorient your priorities to put academics first, sports second. If you want to be a vet, you still have a chance, as you have to first perform well in college. But again, part of growing up is learning how to say “yes” to the things that matter most to you (even if the gratification is delayed) and to say “no” to the things that impede your progress toward your longer term goals. As you have already discovered, if you put in the time, you can get the results. As a junior, the time to recalibrate your priorities is now. Hit the books.
    Best of luck,

  145. Hi, Nisa.
    International students face an uphill battle in the quest for financial aid. Only the best of the best tend to get it. However, sometimes it is possible to find private colleges that are so eager to welcome international students that they offer discounts as scholarships. Your A levels are super important, as are your SAT scores (frankly, your essay will be less important than these two other factors, and your extracurriculars, while important, will not be so important in the awarding of financial aid). I do work with students like you who hope to land some financial aid. But the bottom line is that most US universities offer little in the way of financial aid to international students, and only then to those who have exemplary academic records. Like I say, it is not impossible, but you need to know where to look. Feel free to email me if you’d like more information about how a professional consultant might be able to help you.

  146. Hello College Advice People,

    I am now a senior in high school, and I am doing everything I can to get my life together, so I won’t waste my time making excuses for why I didn’t try more in the past. Throughout most of high school (freshmen-junior year) I pretty much lacked effort and enthusiasm throughout my studies, and ended up with a 2.9 GPA unweighted. I have, however, been a part of many extra-curricular activities, but I know that I shouldn’t depend on that. This year I am pushing straight A’s so far, and I want to continue doing so. Also, I received a bad grade on my SAT’s, but I will retake them in November.

    some plus signs:
    -I was born in Europe, and I moved to the states when I was 5. I moved around to many European countries until we settled down in the US.
    -I’m left-handed
    -I have a dual citizenship
    -I speak 3.5 languages

    My top school choices are UCLA, UC Santa Cruz, and UCSB. Are these realistic choices for me, or should I spend more time building a better foundation?

    I am aware that I can go to a community college and then transfer (which is perfectly fine), but I am still going to apply for the college apps because I want to get into one of the UC’s. Even if I don’t get in, the plus side is that I got into the habit of applying, which is good.

  147. I am now a senior in high school, and I am doing everything I can to get my life together, so I won’t waste my time making excuses for why I didn’t try more in the past. Throughout most of high school (freshmen-junior year) I pretty much lacked effort and enthusiasm throughout my studies, and ended up with a 2.9 GPA unweighted. I have, however, been a part of many extra-curricular activities, but I know that I shouldn’t depend on that. This year I am pushing straight A’s so far, and I want to continue doing so. Also, I received a bad grade on my SAT’s, but I will retake them in November.

    some plus signs:
    -I was born in Europe, and I moved to the states when I was 5. I moved around to many European countries until we settled down in the US.
    -I’m left-handed
    -I have a dual citizenship
    -I speak 3.5 languages

    My top school choices are UCLA, UC Santa Cruz, and UCSB. Are these realistic choices for me, or should I spend more time building a better foundation?

    I am aware that I can go to a community college and then transfer (which is perfectly fine), but I am still going to apply for the college apps because I want to get into one of the UC’s. Even if I don’t get in, the plus side is that I got into the habit of applying, which is good.

  148. Hi my name is Carlos, I haven’t been doing good from my freshman year all the way to my junior year, but I’m doing really good my senior year. The problem is that I go to a continuation school so I don’t know how this can affect my chances of getting into a university, but I think it might make my chances of getting into a university slim, and i didn’t take the PSAT during my junior year but hope to take the SAT this year. If anyone with knowledge can reply to this comment and provide me with a little bit of information is greatly appreciated!

  149. Dear Carlos, Keep up the good work. At this point, I think your best bet is to continue your hard work in school and continue to pull those grades up. Also, make sure when you take the SAT or ACT tests that you are fully prepared for them. Then I suggest going to speak to your guidance counselor at your school as the first line of inquiry. Your chances of getting into university improve as your academics improve. College, after all, is a school, and admissions folks want to know how well you are doing in school now (sounds obvious, I know, but you’d be surprised at how many students think that they can go to college without performing in high school…). Anyway, try talking to your counselor and teachers first, and then if you need more personalized help, let me know.
    Best of luck!

  150. In high school, I was in honors classes and did pretty good. But my last year, I got a D in Algebra 2 the first semester, and a D in Chemistry 2nd semester. I graduated from high school at 15 and now I’m getting A’s in college. I was looking at MIT to see the requirements and it says to give the high school transcript and college transcript. I’m afraid that if they see my two bad grades in high school, that I will be instantly ignored. Any advice?

  151. Hi my name is Haley and I was wondering if colleges will accept someone who did poorly their first 2 years of high school but then transferred to a continuation high school and is doing well there? I transferred because I was behind in credits will they look at that and not accept me? I’m also the first of my family that actually wants to continue in school and have wanted to go to a four-year college but so many things have gone through my head because I feel like I won’t be good enough for a college due to my poor grades. I want to become a veterinarian but I just think that’s out of reach do you think it’s possible for me to become one?

  152. Hi, Haley.
    Good for you for turning yourself around. It takes a lot of courage and effort to make these sorts of changes. Many four year colleges and universities will look at you favorably. They want to see a positive trend in your grades, and it sounds like you have one. I wouldn’t despair at this point. You just need to make sure that your teacher recommendations and your counselor recommendations are able to point to your 180-degree turn. Depending on where you apply, you may also want to write a quick note about how you made these decisions and to point to your progress. Don’t whine, but just express pride in having made the change!
    Best of luck to you.

  153. Well, Malik, as you know, MIT is among the most competitive universities in the world. Are you considering transferring to MIT or going there for graduate school? I won’t say that MIT will reject you out of hand: it all depends on what else you’ve done in college besides earn good grades. But I also think you need to look around at other possible options. Again, I’m not the one to make decisions. But remember, you will be competing with students who have pristine transcripts and perfect test scores. The pool of global talent is incredibly deep. So go ahead and shoot for your dream, but make sure you have plenty of alternative plans in place in case admission to MIT doesn’t work out.
    All the best,

  154. Hi my name is Michael and I’m freshman my first quarter I got A’s B’s and C’s in AP classes but this quarter I got that and 1 D if I get better grades from here on out how will that affect me getting into a University?

  155. Hi Mark, My son was a good student fr/sph yrs and attended a smaller catholic all boy high school. He decided to transfer to a larger public coed school for his junior year. Shortly after the transfer he was in an altercation with another boy (who started the altercation) after watching a high school football game and was stabbed 4 times (in the chest, back and arm) in front of alot of other students from the school. Doctors told us he was lucky to be alive. It was a very rough year for him for the rest of the school year. He couldn’t focus on school at all and his grades suffered, but he did end up with at least a C average for the year. He decided to transfer back to the smaller catholic school his senior year and his focus and grades have gotten much better. He did not want to discuss this in his college essay for fear of being judged as a bad kid (i.e., he brought it on himself kind of thing) but now his top choice for college this year has asked him for a better explantion of his poor jr yr grades. If he doesn’t give it he won’t get in but he is still afraid of being judged. Do you think there is any validity to his concerns? Any advice you might have for him on how to approach this statement would be greatly appreciated! Thank you.

  156. I’ve done pretty good with my grades for a majority of my life always getting high A’s and B’s. But I ended up receiving a D+ for the first term and a C+ for the 2nd term of Spanish 2 of my sophmore year (we’re on block schedule). That was my only bad grade I received besides recieving 2 A’s and 1 B+ in the same semester period with 2 of the 4 classes being college course and honors. I’m working hard this current 2nd semester of sophmore year, but I’m afraid I won’t be able to go to a UC any more due to that one grade. I understand I need to retake the class once more but will this affect my college career? I’m planning to take computer technology and computer engineering and I really wanted to go to UC San Diego. Will I have to go to a community college first then transfer out into a university? How badly will this grade affect me?

  157. Hi, Mark. The names Breanna. Here’s my situation. I slacked off my freshmen year, but I’ve buckled down once I hit sophmore year. My grades improved during sophmore year from D’s and F’s (Freshmen year) to 1 A, couple B’s, and the rest C’s. At the end of my sophmore year I transferred over from the high school to the JEH which is a continuation school, and I am currently a junior now. It’s been over a year since I’ve transferred. I’ve excelled ahead in all my subjects, including my peers and I’ve come to find out that I’m graduating early in the fall of 2014, but here’s my problem. Recently about a few months ago, I came across a university online called T.U.J = Tokyo University Japan, out of the country. I fell in love with their college. My heart was already set on that one University, nothing else. This past week I’ve been corresponding with some of the admission counselors on their website so that I could get more in touch with T.U.J. Basically their helping me guide myself in the right direction ( T.U.J) and by that I mean their trying to help me apply/ enroll, but what they don’t know is that I slacked my freshmen year. I don’t want that to effect my chances of getting in T.U.J when they take a look at my transcript from freshmen year because i’ve changed since my freshmen year. My life revolves around school now. I actually love school to the point where I can’t put down those text books. I want to learn so much more beyond my ability and my potential when it comes to my education and I know T.U.J is the college for me. I’m registering for the SAT’s by next weak, and I intend on studying hard core for the next 3-4 months. I’ll be taking the test in May. All in all, I want this one and only test to show throughout my years in high school just how much I have learned. This is my dream Mark. I finally know what I want in life. I need at least some advice to reassure myself that I do have a chance of studying in Japan. Also, I know colleges look at more than just your transcript. Not only have I improved with my grades, but I have also volunteered for clubs, community involvement, ect . throughout middle and high school. I’ve also played sports growing up. I have received recommendations, awards, medals, ect . . . Could this increase my chances of getting in? Thank you for your time Mark.

  158. Hi, Michael,
    I don’t think you really need me to tell you that a D is not going to be very helpful in getting into university. Even C’s can be a barrier to getting into the most competitive universities. But even if you are not aiming for those most selective universities, lower grades will reduce your chances of getting merit scholarships at your preferred schools. That said, a couple of lower grades will not keep you out of college altogether. But the better you perform, the broader your options and the lower the cost you may have to shell out to pay for your higher education. (Think of it this way: high grades are like money in the bank–and potentially LOTS of money).

    The fact is that your grades are the single most important element of your college application. When it comes to scholarships, your SAT or ACT scores will also be a very important factor.

    So put your nose to the grindstone, get the help you need from whomever can offer it (especially teachers) and get those grades up. You’re only in 9th grade, so you have plenty of time to recoup lost ground. Show an upward trend, and all will be fine.

    Best of luck to you, Michael!


  159. Dear Kim,
    Thanks for your message. What an awful, awful experience. The short answer is that your son needs to explain the entire incident, focused on the facts (remember Joe Friday from “Dragnet”? “Just the facts ma’am.”). Your son is right in one thing: he will be judged. But he has a much better chance of being judged positively if he presents the entire case with all the facts. If he hides the facts, well, then he’ll be judged a weak, inattentive student who may not be college-ready. This incident will continue to affect his life for a long time to come. But he cannot run away from it or hide it. Being honest about about the factors–good and bad–that influence our lives can only help your son create opportunity for himself, and perhaps heal a bit on the inside, as well.
    Good luck to you and your son.

  160. Hi Breanna. Thanks for writing.
    Let’s cut to the chase: what is your alternative to sharing your transcript with TUJ? I know you’re afraid of rejection. We all are. But the facts are the facts, and in those facts one can spin them both positively and negatively. You have given me the positive spin, and I daresay that the folks at TUJ will probably like the positive spin, too. You realized the errors of your ways and you get your act together. So keep up your hopes, work hard, and don’t be afraid. You will have to give TUJ your transcript. Again, what’s the alternative? Seems to me you are doing all the right things.

    Except one. You are infatuated with a single college. You have no Plan B. You are putting all your hopes and dreams in one place: all your eggs are in the same basket. This is dangerous, and I think this is probably part of your worry, right? What if it doesn’t work out?

    Well, I can tell you that there are several other universities in Japan that offer programs for English speaking students. In fact, the Japanese government has recently placed a priority to attract overseas students, and you may find that some of these government sponsored programs are actually cheaper than TUJ. And maybe even better (some are at Tokyo University, which is considered the equivalent of UC-Berkeley or U Michigan in Japan).

    So keep up the good work, the focus, the academic energy. Don’t give up on TUJ. But develop a Plan B.

    Best wishes,


  161. Dear Danie,
    Thanks for writing in. I think you understand your own situation quite well. You have earned some poor grades that will have an impact on your college choices. It it not, however, a foregone conclusion that the choice is binary: UCSD or community college. Rather, much depends on what happens from here on out. You may have to retake the course, but you will also have to do very well in it. You will also have to work harder to improve the rest of your grades. You have discovered–perhaps early enough–that these things matter. Not only do they matter for admission, but they matter with regard to the COST of your higher education. I tell my students that they should put a dollar price tag on those A grades: they are worth thousands and thousands in reduced costs for your higher education. Conversely, a D is like throwing money down the sewer.
    It’s too early to say whether your performance in 10th grade will bar you from UCSD. You will definitely have to develop a Plan B. But I wouldn’t throw in the towel and say that your only other option is community college. Keep zeroed in on your dream, keep your nose to the grindstone, pull up those grades, and who knows what might happen?
    Best of luck!

  162. much thanks mark. Regarding the plan B, my mom mentioned that when I talked about T.U.J a couple weeks ago and that plan B is set in motion. My plan B is to enroll as a high school student at the J.C in Santa Rosa, California which happens to be a community college who accepts students like myself with transcripts like mine. ( No need to share with you whats on my transcript) Instead I’ll be attending the J.C for a year or two ( aiming for a 3.0-4.0 and that will reflect my chances of getting in even higher because i’ll have that taste of college life, (prepared) not only that but It’ll look outstanding on my college transcript as opposed to my high school transcript. ) I’ll be studying Japanese at the J.C. Right there and then I’ll have learned the language without having to learn/study it in Japan, but I can further my education in Japanese once I transfer from the J.C. to T.U.J. I’ve also taken in consideration referring to the 2 colleges that offers the same curriculum for English speaking students (like me) Good to know it’s alot cheaper. I can afford to get in a lot sooner than T.U.J. which would probably have taken me years just to save up. You have helped me, big time. I still have alot of thinking to do. Just like majors, when it comes to making up my mind with colleges, I always change my mind. There’s a chance that I could change my mind with T.U.J., but for right now I’m just going with the flow. Thanks again Mark.

  163. Hello! I’m Madison, and I am stressing OUT! I am a Sophomore in high school, and I am enrolled in all of the AP and honors classes available to me this year. While I got a 3.95 last year (Damn you, A-!) This year, I got an F in one of my AP classes! I was out for a week before the end of the term because of an illness, and I was able to make up all of my grades, except that one! I have been getting A’s and B’s in all of my other classes, but this is my lowest grade EVER! I have been working my whole life to make it into the AF academy, however, I am really afraid that they will not let me in with this low grade on my transcript. Do you think they will still accept me? Or should I just start thinking about other options? Assuming I get A’s throughout the rest of my high school career, do you think they would still accept me? Thank you,

  164. hie.. my name is kainara, i would like to know if i can go to college with O’levels, i am still doing my O2 and i’m not doing as well as i would like. I am scared of when i finish my last exams this november i might not be able to get in college because of my grades. I want to do marketing and promotion in denmark, and i was wondering if i am going to be accepted. i have no one to ask about this please can you help me.

  165. Im a freshman in Roosevelt high school in Fresno,California and i was wondering if it would be hard for me to get into a university to become a cop if i had a F in English and D+ in geometry the 3rd quater. i had bad grades because i was in the hospital about 2 months. i ahd mist alot and i dint realy new what to do in math when they took tests or things. could you give me any advice please mark

  166. Im a freshman in Roosevelt high school in Fresno,California and i was wondering if it would be hard for me to get into a university to become a cop if i had a F in English and D+ in geometry the 3rd quater. i had bad grades because i was in the hospital about 2 months. i ahd mist alot and i dint realy new what to do in math when they took tests or things. could you give me any advice please mark. also could i still graduate from high school

  167. Hello, Kinara,
    Thanks for your comment. I don’t think you should give up. If you want a more specific evaluation of your prospects, I’d need much more information about your performance. I assume that you are also interested in attending university in the US. Let me know if I can be of more specific assistance.

  168. Dear Salvador,
    The question as to whether you will graduate high school depends on the policies of your high school. My bet is that you will have to retake the English in order to get credit for four years of English. So summer school may be in your future. You might also want to try to retake the geometry for an improved grade. Your illness obviously had an impact, and that will be something you can explain on a college application. But the bigger issue is making up for your deficits. Colleges will want to see not only the explanation for those bad grades (illness), but they also will want to see how you responded to those setbacks. Did you pick yourself up, dust yourself, and start over? Did you get grades of A and B when you retook the class? How did you perform in 10th, 11th, and 12th grades? Were these grades truly an aberration? If so, you need to prove it to them by the decisions you make going forward. Don’t give up. Instead, dig in and prove that these grades do not define you. If you can do that, you’ll be just fine when it comes time to apply to university.
    Good luck, Salvador.

  169. Hi, Madison.
    I’m having trouble understanding why an A student who missed a single week of school received an F in an AP class. What did you get on the AP exam? This background information is important, as it goes to the heart of your question. An aberrant grade may not kill your chances at the USAFA. But it depends on why you received it and what you did about it. Is the F a quarter grade, or a semester grade? Or a full course grade? Again, I’m missing some information here that would help me assess your situation. Don’t give up hope or let stress ruin your attitude toward school. Rather, think about “what can I do to make up for that F?” What was the subject? Will you have to retake any credits to graduate (you don’t mention which subject this was in)? Anyway, let me know if I can help further.

  170. Hi, I’m a junior in high school and for the past three years, my grades have not been the best. I think, since I’ve started high school, I’ve gotten one maybe two A’s on my report card. The highest grade I can manage is a high C, and I have to work really hard to be able to manage it. My grades usually range from C’s to F’s and both low to high D’s.

    For the past few years, I’ve been struggling with depression because of my family. I’m a queer teenage boy and my family doesn’t accept me at all. We fight about it a lot, and they haven’t even tried to get me into therapy(which they said they would do). I’ve read that you can include a note on college applications explaining your bad grades, and I was wondering if that’s an explanation they’d accept. I need to get into a college that offers LGBTQ+ support, and I’m absolutely terrified that, because of my grades, I won’t be able to.

    If I were to include both the fact that I suffer from depression as well as the importance of me getting into a school that offers LGBTQ+ support, and I also work hard to clean up my act in school before college, do you think I’d have a chance?

    I realize this is an uncommon thing to ask for help with, and I’m not too sure if this is the place to ask. If you are unable to come up with an answer, I understand completely. Thank you so much for even reading this.

  171. Dear Gabriel,

    Thanks for writing. I’m happy to try to respond as best I can.

    First, you have to separate the issues as best you can. Clearly your family struggles and your personal struggles with depression and your efforts to embrace your sexual identity loom large in your mind and heart right now. Whether or not your parents are able or willing to provide you with support and therapy, you need to do what you can to access resources in your community that can help you. Try to identify allied adults in your school who might be able to provide ideas. Do a web search on LGBTQ community centers in your city or state, and connect with them (some have youth support groups). Write notes like the one you wrote to me for more ideas of free resources that can help you attain a level of mental and emotional equilibrium. If you are not feeling safe, secure, and accepted, it might be hard focus on the school work. So continue to be a self-advocate. Your message to me is a step in the right direction; however, your difficulties in this domain lie outside my expertise. I encourage you to reach out to others who can help in this area better than I.

    When it comes to academics, you can look at things in two ways. First, clearly your non-academic difficulties spill over into your academic life. How could they not? However, the two issues are not inextricably linked. If you have educational ambitions, you need to do what you can to martial the energy–and the resources–necessary to help you achieve these goals. Like it or not, colleges will judge you by your past performance. However, your past performance is not determinant. You have some time to redeem yourself by hitting the books. Talk to your teachers. Tell them you want to improve academically, and that you would like to enlist their help–and promise to bring more focus to your school work. A school counselor might also be an ally (depending on your school and your community). Just as with your personal life, you need to give your academic life the attention it deserves. Again, I realize that the two are linked in some ways, but perhaps you can try to decouple them a bit. Your brain is your brain: no matter your sexual identity, you can use it to your advantage and prove to the world that your sexuality is not the single defining characteristic of who you are as a human being. I know it will be hard, but a bit of mental compartmentalization might be helpful to you (easier said than done, I realize!).

    As for your application, you can certainly do some explaining about your academic past. You would not be the first queer applicant at any American university, and certainly not the first to have faced such struggles. College campuses are relatively tolerant and forgiving places. However, your sexuality or identity does not get you into college. Your academic record gets you into college. So if you want to get in, you’ll have to provide _academic_ evidence that you are capable. My guess is that you are capable, but that all your struggles have been tossed together into one, big, messy bowl of hash. You may have to focus first on your mental state before you can focus on the academics. But all things are possible if you believe in yourself and learn to be a good self-advocate.

    It’s not too late for you to pull things together. It won’t be easy. Again, you will need to find some allies at school (on the faculty or administration) and you will have to buckle down and improve your grades. If you are able to do so within the next year, college may be possible. Even if you have difficulty in this short time, there is always community college and a chance to start over.

    My bottom line, Gabriel, is this: don’t give up. On yourself. On your abilities. On college. On the possibility of improvement in all aspects of your life. As Dan Savage and the It Gets Better Project highlights, it does get better with time. Get your head and heart together. Find other allies like me who are closer to you and who can provide more specific support. Try to forgive your parents their difficulties in accepting you (I know that can be hard). And if I can be of further help, send me a note through my contact page. Maybe I can help direct you to some resources in your community that can be helpful to you.

    Thanks again for your comment, Gabriel. You are not as alone as you might think.


  172. Im a sofmore and I got a D in chemisty 1st semester and 2nd semester. Im going to take physics as a junior . Since its only required to take 1 yr bio and 1 physical science, if I pass physics with a c or better will I still have to make up chemistry ?

  173. Andrea,
    The answer to your question is two-fold. Your high school makes the rules about what must be “made up” and how. You will have to check with you guidance counselor to see what is required of you in order to graduate from high school–or to find out whether you can possibly retake courses and replace bad grades with better ones.

    However, if you are asking about admission to university, the answer depends on which university we are discussing. Some will require 3 or 4 years of science for admission, while others will be satisfied with less. But think of it this way: your road to college will become academically more demanding each year, and once you are in college, it will be even more demanding. So if you focus solely on the grades and the bottom-line requirements, you may be doing yourself a disservice. Rather, you should think about how every assignment, every lab, every test is a step along the road to your college degree. You are not just trying to meet bottom-line requirements. Rather, you should set your sights on being the best student you can possibly be, and work hard to get become exceptionally well-prepared for college. If you focus on minimum requirements, you will be minimally educated. Don’t settle for such low a bar. Reach higher.
    Best of luck and thanks for writing in,

  174. Hey, Mark. Im in my Junior year and still somewhat struggling. I had bad grades Freshman and Soph year but still want to go to a four year. What do you assume I should do?

  175. My son is a junior. He is attending one of the top 25 HS in the country in thier residential program. We are trying to decide what is best, as he is having a hard time managing himself in such a demanding school. He is brilliant. Before attending the school this year he had a 5.15 GPA(4.0 before quality points) and SAT of 2200+ in 10th grade. At this new school this year he has had troubles: plagerism, B’s and C’s, Late work, and procedural difficulties. He wants to tough it out and stay there with the help of counseling. He is a good kid and just can’t seem to manage himself and tries very hard. Should he stay or transfer back to to his at home HS. He says that he thinks he can learn to manage all the requirements: work study, loads of homework and meetings ect. I think if he came back he would be able to take the typical HS courses and get his grades back to the A range in the courses. Would the colleges like him to stay or would they rather like the A’s?

  176. Hi, I really love the advice you are giving out. It’s nice to know someone cares and is willing to help. I have a son who is severly learning disabled. He had a teacher crush his spirits in the tenth grade and he spent tenth and eleventh depressed. As a result of this depression, his grades suffered horribly. He had some positive experiences of the summer of his eleventh grade year that changed his attitude about not only school, but life in general. He transferred schools for a third time and for the first time since he started high school, took an active role in his education. Although he was timid, he applied to college. He received a lot of rejection notices, but, through the grace of God, he was accepted to his number one school choice. We told him to just be honest about his life and what had happened and what the differences were then and now. He is excited. I am concerned. He is making a very big step. I could not convince him that perhaps a year or two at a junior college might be a good first step. Nor could I convince him that deferring acceptance for a year might give him an opportunity to brush up on the skills that he lacks. I don’t want him to have a semester that sends him back into depression. He still needs a lot of work to fix errors from his early education years. How do I help him succeed at a college who was willing to take a chance on him? Should I put my foot down and tell him to defer his acceptance, hire him a tutor and make him take the time to refine his education? Or, should I just allow him to test his wings and see what he can do? He is bright. He just learns differently and has gained less knowledge than his peers who will be going off to college. I am proud of the strides he has made over the last year. He has matured a lot. But, I am still nervous about this step in his life. He is going into a very heavy field requiring a lot of math and science. He is also hoping to join an Airforce ROTC program his sophmore year. (I was able to persuade him to wait a year and become acculamated into college life before he embarked on that journey.) If you have any advice for me and my son, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.

  177. Hello mr.montgomery . I did very bad in science and math in high school my mathlevel that i graduated was algebra foundations. Yeah i know so bad and i also did bad in science class. How will this affect me in a community college. Would it take me longer to complete my transferring to a university? I know i did fail in school i took a gap year but decides not to quit and persever for a better future just that im really stuck and keep questioning my self how it will affect me. I will be very pleased if you could answer my question. Thank you!

  178. Hi, im a junior and all throughout high school I’ve gotten A’s and B’s in all of my classes including my advanced ones. Unfortunately this year, I’ve gotten an F in Chemistry and a D in Algebra 2, but i maintained with an A in my AP classes. Im also pretty sure I passed my AP tests too which were in Spanish and English. But my concern is, since junior year is known to be the most important year, can I still get into a 4-year state university. The colleges I have been looking into are Fresno State, San Francisco State, and Chico State. Would I still be able to get accepted even with those two classes with bad grades?

  179. Hi, I’m a junior in high school and I’ve always wanted to go to university, my grades are usually good freshman year I had mainly As and soft more year I had As and Bs but this year I’ve received a C fall semester in math and I’m sure I’m going to get a D this semester. This really scares me because I’ve never gotten such a bad grade and I think I might have to repeat the subject next year when I can be in pre calculus. There were emotional and family factors that caused me to get this grade. But I want to know if it’s okay for me to repeat this algebra 2 class and still get into a university. I really want to become a nurse.please please please give me some advice! Thank you!

  180. Hi my name is Fahmo, and i’m a senior in high school. Throught out my whole year I have been struggling with Math. My junior year I failed my Algebra 2 class and this year I had to retake it, but iam still doing bad. So iam afraid that I will not graduate. Is it possible to graduate with a “D” I really had tried my best but I’m horrible at math. One thing I dont want to do is to retake it again.

  181. Hi,

    My son goes to a very competitive school in California. His freshman GPA was 3.65, sophomore 3.75 and Junior first semester 4.0 and now he is not doing well. He had an accident and several health issues this semester. He might end up with one C or B- and the rest might be B and As. He has taken 3 APs( Computer science, statistics and Chemistry)so far, 6 honors ( math, physics, chemistry, biology) and the rest regular. His
    AP score in Computer science last year was 5 and he is confident that he will get 5 in the rest this year. He took the SAT in May and got 2100, SAT subject chemistry- 770, Math 2 -800. He is planning to take the SAT again in the summer or fall. This semester was very tough for him with health setbacks and also diagnosed with ADHD so he did not do as well. What do you think his chances are? Will the bad scores this semester ruin his chances?
    He did track one year, and badminton one year. Did two apps for android. Built the online version (website)for the school paper last year. Also did another website that provides easy data base for older adults.

    Thank in advance. Please also suggest some colleges that we can look at as I did not go to college here and my husband also went to college in New Zealand.

  182. what would happen if i receive an “F” in Ap calculus but received all A’s and one B. Will that still revoke my admissions to CSU Chico?even if i’ve met a-g requirements to graduate from high school?

  183. so i am rank 261 out of a 661 class and i am in all pre ap classes and im a freshman. In biology i have a 77 in geography i have an 86 in geometry i have a 70 in Spanish i have a 86 in debate i have a 100 (not on Pre AP scale) in tennis i have a 100 (not on Pre ap Scale) and in English i have a 78. I just wanted to know if these are really bad grades because i feel like they are terrible and im really scared what i should do my family has high expectations of me and im fulfilling them i slacked off this year and i have learned my lesson but do i still have a chance to go to college or to a good college pls im really worried, unfortunately my epiphany came late and im wondering if its too late

  184. I’m a senior who just graduated from high school and was accepted into a somewhat selective university. The issue is I was out for the entire second semester of high school due to a chronic illness and although I was able to graduate I received very bad grades due to coming back only a week before the last day. I did well my first semester of senior year but will the college now take back my acceptance?

  185. I am currently trying to get into a university and study business.
    I graduated high school in June of 2013 in Texas. I’m 19.
    My SAT total score was 1500. Math and reading add to 1060.
    I was in the bottom 25% of my class.
    One of my two admissions essays explains that I battled depression throughout high school and I didn’t care about my grades.
    I purposely set myself up for failure in high school.
    I passed all my classes, but I graduated with a minimum diploma.
    It seems as if I can’t get into college anywhere.
    I would join the Air Force right now and attend college through that, but I am currently on probation for graffiti, which I did my senior year.
    I get off probation in August, so the Air Force is not available to me until then.
    I am currently living from household to household of my family members.
    I’ve found my way and I’ve been on the right path since high school.
    But if I don’t go to college, my life is over.

    I would really appreciate your opinion of what the best thing for me to do is.
    Please help. Please.

  186. Hi, my name is Christiana and I’ll be a senior in high school come August. To cut to the chase, I had a D in Algebra 2 second semester of my sophomore year. In junior year, I got a D in College Algebra second semester. Should I still apply to 4 year colleges (namely University of Redlands) or should I go to a community college and transfer? I have experienced 2 family deaths so far during high school, the temporary hospitalization of my father, the threat of divorce between my parents, and minor depression. Do these events make any difference in my application process?

  187. My 11th grade(junior)year has just ended and I have a 2.0 GPA with 15.5 credits and got a compostite score of 17 on my ACT, Iam taking an English online class witch will raise my GPA by at least 0.2 points. I will become a senior by the end of this summer and Iam taking 4 honors classes during my senior year. Iam also on the Track & Field team in my highschool. I talked with my counselor and she said to go a community college for 2 years and then transfer to a university to get my bachelors degree. I want to major in criminology and become a lawyer/dectective. I currently reside in Coral Springs, FL , how is my current situation from your point of view and I would appreciate it if I can get advice thank you.

  188. Hi Mark, I am a sophomore in High School and I am really struggling with Algebra 2/ trig and I am failing the course, but I have A’s and B’s in all my other classes. Will failing trig keep me from getting into college? I’m really scared

  189. Hi Mark, I had decent grades in my freshmen year.(couple A,mostly B & 1 C) I just finished my sophomore with also decent grades just like my freshmen year but I’m worried because I have 1 D in my algebra 2 class. Will it going to affect me if I want to go to university?

  190. Dear Mark,
    I am a junior going to be a senior next year and I have a question regarding my academic status to get into a college. The selected college is Ohio University. I, for the last 5 semesters of school have pulled off a 3.0 unweighted gpa but my last semester of my junior year has resulted in my laziness to cause me to have a 2.5 average with an F in AP US History. Now regarding this, I have a strong resume of work, varsity sports and music along with club activities. I have a 2040 SAT score. I will probably have to retake the class, and I was wondering if that F will negate my chances of getting into Ohio University. I am just starting to turn around my habits and work better for my Senior year. Also, can you send in your transcript with your first semester of your Senior year? Also I am learning from my mistakes and I want to prove that I have learned during my senior year. Thank you for your time. Also, any tips to help improve my chances?

  191. Dear Mark,
    I am a junior going to be a senior next year and I have a question regarding my academic status to get into a college. The selected college is Ohio University. I, for the last 5 semesters of school have pulled off a 3.0 unweighted gpa but my last semester of my junior year has resulted in my laziness to cause me to have a 2.5 average with an F in AP US History. Now regarding this, I have a strong resume of work, varsity sports and music along with club activities. I have a 2040 SAT score. I will probably have to retake the class, and I was wondering if that F will negate my chances of getting into Ohio University. I am just starting to turn around my habits and work better for my Senior year. Also, can you send in your transcript with your first semester of your Senior year? Also I am learning from my mistakes and I want to prove that I have learned during my senior year. Thank you for your time. Also, any tips to help improve my chances? Also my F was only a single semester grade.

  192. Will a significantly increasing trend of grades help me w/ admissions. (there really isnt a story behind it other than: I tried harder)
    3.2-frosh (Took 3 honors classes)
    3.75-soph(Took 2 honors classes and 1 ap class)
    3.9-junior (Took 2 honors classes, and 2 Ap classes)
    senior-Dont know yet but probably 3.9ish again
    So, as of summer junior yr my gpa is slightly above 3.6 weighted.
    Im in Band (Concert and Jazz)(I play the trumpet not exceptionally well, but decently), Varsity Track, Varsity XC, and Volunteer actively at a soup kitchen.
    Lots of community service. (350ish hours)
    Got a 27 ACT<This will probably be better than my SAT based on PSAT vs Practice act sophmore yr.
    But my class rank isnt great its about 25%. (The school is very competetive)
    What types of colleges could i get into.

  193. Hi Mark. I will be going into my senior year this coming August and for the past three years I haven’t been doing so good academically. I have mostly been getting C on my final report for the past three years with an occasional B (for my core classes). I don’t have anything to blame my poor grades on except pure laziness. Late into my junior year I decided that I wanted to get my act together and improve my grades. My grades a lot better ranging from a B to even an A in my last semester of junior year. I have taken the PSAT and ACT but haven’t taken the SAT. I live in Alabama and want to go to college out of state, however; I’m not so sure that will be possible because of my performance in school for the past three years. That being said, are there any suggestions you might have on what I should do next?

    Thank you for your time.

  194. Hey, I am really stressed out. I was in in 9th grade when my father left. My grades suffered, I stopped caring and did poorly. I did not take my SAT, I graduated early and did take pre-ap classes and when I when I did apply myself like physics I had 100 and a 94 both semesters. I moved to where I am now that was two years ago, since then Ive worked in a restaurant as a cook and within five months was the assistant manager training to be the rgm. I am very smart but I feel as though I’ve ruined my life by my idiotic behavior. I want to become a primary care physician more than anything. What do I do? I’m currently taking a personal trainer certification class, but I have no clue where to start my next step… please help me.

  195. Hello,
    My name is Tayllor. I’ve done pretty good in school all of high school, but my last quarter was pretty tough. I play softball in high school so I ended up leaving class early 2-3 times a week for games. I got a D on my semester grade in Spanish. Everything else is all B’s. Can I still go to a UC? Do I have to retake Spanish again even though I did fine my other 2 years? This will be the first D on my transcript.

  196. Hi Mark,

    I just finished my first year at college & shall be a sophomore when I go back after this summer. I plan to apply to med. school for an MD/MBBS program despite a very weak grading overall and my family’s firm belief that I won’t get through. Very much like Gabriel & in his very similar words; I have gotten one or 2 A’s on my report card and that too in English 101. The highest grade I can manage is a high B, and I have to work really hard to be able to manage it. My grades usually range from Bs to Ds and and have exhibited As in English, B & a later C in Biology and Chemistry, Ds Physics. I suffered clinical depression the previous four years and this greatly affected my O’levels’ result. A year back though I did an internship as a research writer (med-related statistical data,) volunteered for a British sponsored education awareness program. Will all of this make a difference?

    I’m very certain I can do better this year at college and at MCAT; I have already started preparing for the college year ahead. I am ready for the obvious rejections ahead that most good med. schools will throw at me. Would you advice that I repeat at a community college rather than take the MCAT right away, take a break with a year off and prepare more or will good grades this year and at MCAT, these research works do me any good to get into med. school? Also, what scores for a good interview ie. what does the med. school look for in the applicants?
    I am not from the US, but plan to apply to a US or an English med. school; most definitely not a top med. school though.
    I understand I sound very unsure of myself, but your advice would really mean a lot and will help me understand better. I am determined to get into med. school even if it takes a couple of years for me to prove myself but I know that is where satisfaction lies for me. Do you think this is an unwise plan for life?

    I’d really appreciate your response, Mark. Thank you.


  197. My 11th grader has a mixed record of grades but due to ADHD and dyslexia, can’t pass Algebra 1, and has terrible SAT and ACT score. This student tries very hard, is extremely talents in the arts but love science. She has over 100 volunteer hours in an ER in a hospital and her teachers have nothing but good things to say about her work ethic. Without an IEP she just won’t make it into 4 four year college. I’m desperate that she will go into a depression and just give up. Any advice?

  198. Hi my name is angel and i am from saudi arabia and i am a real hard working person that hopes into majoring into dentistry and going to college. my grades the couple of two years of high school have been bad since i am stressing with my own personal issues. even though i am still working out of it, and improving. in my sophomore year my total average was 79.8% which is B-. and in my junior year my average is 79.7% which is also a B-. i have never toke the PSAT because it was always on a holiday in my country and i wasn’t available . but i have taken the SAT in my junior year only once. so, i still have my senior year which i will be starting this september after summer ends. so do you think i am eligible into majoring into dentistry? and to get accepted into a college? also does AP classes help my case into med school ? and where can i sign up in my country?
    thank you for reading. reply ASAP

  199. Hi I loved the article. I graduated half a year ago but with a poor average. Things were tough during my finals we had to move and relocate to another town imediatly after my finals due to a year long bankruptcy I knew nothing about. The town has no facilities to help me achieve my higher education goals. However poor in school dispute difficulty I’m an excellent music student. Even the theory, I study and without access to a piano always got my two hours practice for exams. My mother was against it and refused to help me get the proper qualification to enter a music degree. Also she was against my choice for choosing music or working after school. She says such jobs are demeaning and that they don’t pay enough. I know she means well in wanting me to have a well…no a high salery job, but it gets discouraging. I start to sought myself. So I’m with a poor high school mark an unfinished excellent music mark jobless and under extended family pressure to go to college next year when I know I will need another gap year to focus without external pressure.

  200. Hello my name is Selena. I am very concerned about my one grade in chemistry 2 Ap I got in my junior year. First semester I got an A which is great and my grade just dropped significantly without me knowing until receiving my report card. This looks horrible on my transcript especially looking forward to a bachelors degree in nursing. Do you think this C will affect me from getting accepted to a four year university?

  201. Hi, my name is Laura and i am from Brasil, i am in the first year of high school and i really wanna go to a university in USA ( my dream) , but i get 3 bad grades in my first semester this year ,2 Ds and a C , i’m really worried about it , in my entire life my grades were great , i do many “olympics” like biology , chemistry, geography, astronomy, and i usually get placed in third or a i get a honorable mention , i also do charity services, so i’m telling this because i want to know if still have a chance to enter in a university like Duke or UCF , and what can i do to increase my chances to get in a university? (please answer me, and i’m sorry for my gramatical errors i’ really nervous writing this)

  202. Hi i am currently now a senior but school hasn’t start yet. I didn’t do so well in my junior year because a lot happen then and I’ve been through a lot which made me not focus and I really want to go to college and work hard. I want to make up my junior year and get grades that I know I can get and go to college. I just need to know is there a chance for me to make it up in my senior year?

  203. Hi! So freshman year i slacked a little bit because i didnt think much about my future so i was that student who didnt “care” about their grades. although i never got an F, i did get some D’s on my progress reports but never on my report card. Sophomore year, i was struggling alot in Alg. 2 and did get an F only for second semester so i have to retake it junior year. The reason why my grades are low is because i tend to procrastinate alot but i know im going to change junior and senior year. My average grades range around probably one or two A’s if im lucky and a couple B’s and C’s. Now that im going to be a junior, im thinking alot more about my future and want to go to a medical school. IF my grades do get better, and i mean only B’s and A’s in junior and senior year do you think i’ll have a chance of getting in a medical school? Im not taking any ap classes by the way because i dont wanna push myself where im not able to do what i cant. or should i push myself?

  204. Hi, Gabby.
    You always have the opportunity to redeem yourself. You cannot erase the past entirely, but you can do whatever possible to demonstrate that your past decisions do not represent your present abilities or your future potential. So hit the books, work hard, and keep a positive attitude. Good luck!

  205. Dear A,
    Thanks for writing. Your grades will be super important for admissions to medical school. You must do whatever you can to pull them up. Your grades in the prerequisite courses for entry to medical school (e.g., organic chemistry) will be vital. While I have confidence that you can bring up your grades, it seems that you lack that confidence. You are determined, to be sure. But are you being realistic, given that you have done poorly in science subjects? Perhaps these are not your best subjects, and that you are trying too hard to put a square peg in a round hole. You talk about pulling back to a community college to shore up your grades–which in essence would mean repeating college in order to get to medical school. This does not seem to be a good use of your time and money–if you are unable to get through the requisite science courses the first time around, what would indicate that a second time would lead to greater success?

    I would instead that you take some personality and aptitude tests (which I can offer you, if you like) to determine whether medicine is truly a career in which you would naturally excel. At the very least, such self-knowledge might help you to develop a Plan B, should your plan to attend medical school somehow not come to pass.

    I know you are unsure of yourself. If this is the case, maybe you would be interested in a bit of advising to see if you are truly on the best possible path for your long term success?

    All the best,

  206. Hello, Louise.
    I’m not sure I can dispense advice without having more detail. It sounds like a difficult situation. I do work with students with ADHD and language-based disorders. I might suggest an initial consultation to see if I can be helpful. She clearly needs to consider her educational options going forward. The fact that she cannot pass Algebra 1 is a red flag of sorts. If she has a wonderful work ethic, but simply is unable to do the work in high school–do you anticipate that she will be more successful once she arrives at a university (where the resources for learning disabilities may not be as robust–or legally required–as they are in secondary school)? Perhaps we should have a talk.
    Best regards,


  207. Hello, Angel.
    The short answer to your questions is that dentistry is not an undergraduate major in the United States. Instead, you would have to pursue a BA or BS degree first (usually in the sciences, but this is not required) and then apply to dentistry schools upon completion of that first degree. Similarly, medical school is not an undergraduate major.

    If you are absolutely convinced that you want to pursue a medical or dentistry degree, I recommend that you consider pursuing this degree in another country. However, medicine is almost always one of the most competitive degree programs in all countries. So your grades may not be adequate for admission. In Hong Kong, for example, medical school entrance requires near perfect school marks.

    However, if you want to come to the US, your grades may not bar you from entry to a quality BA or BS program. However, you will need to get stellar grades at university in order to gain admission to an American medical or dental school further on down the road.

    I hope this is helpful to you. Best of luck!


  208. Hi, Taylor. You don’t say whether you are a resident of California. This is an important factor. As you know, admission to the UCs is very competitive, and unless you are an outstanding athlete, you are unlikely to be recruited to play softball in college. So here’s the question: if your softball is getting in the way of your goals of attending a UC, is it time to reorient your priorities? With regard to Spanish, you can either take it again, or take Spanish again this year and get an A in it. This will show that the D this past year was an aberration that emanated from your decision to leave school in favor of softball. It’s hard for me to give you solid, tailored advice. But it does seem to me you must reevaluate your priorities. I understand that studying for a Spanish test is not as much fun as a softball game. But if softball won’t get you into a UC, and admission to a UC is your goal, then perhaps you have to readjust.
    I hope this is helpful–even if it is not exactly what you hoped to hear. Good luck.
    Best regards,

  209. Hi, Cade.
    Upward grade trends are very important, and it’s clear you have succeeded in developing that trend. With regard to “what kind of college can you get into,” I’d focus instead on “what sort of college do you want to attend”? Many fine colleges will take you seriously with your upward grade trend and your good ACT and your involvements. You have a lot to offer. But to whom would you like to offer those gifts? That is the central question, in my opinion.

    My job is to help guide students in identifying the best sort of educational opportunities for each individual, and then help them to get into those colleges. Please let me know if I can be of service. Please fill out my contact form or give me a call.


  210. Hi Christian,
    One bad grade won’t kill you. But it depends on what you do with that failure. Are you retaking the class? To what do you attribute your struggle? Do you need a tutor to survive the course? I am not sure how best to help you, but I can tell you that you are not the first student to have failed a class–and then gone on to college. All depends on how you react and respond to the failure…and how you recover lost ground. Let me know if I can help.

  211. Dear Lynn,
    I’m sorry I’m so tardy in responding to your comment. Given the delicacy of the circumstances, I’m not comfortable offering public advice to you and your son. I also think it would be helpful, in these circumstances, to hear from your son and understand his perspective. However, I would be happy to talk to you, if you think I might be able to be of assistance. Please call my office to make an appointment.
    Best regards,

  212. Hello, Alpha,
    I’m not sure what to say, other than the obvious: good grades give you better shot at a four year university. You will likely have to step it up, I assume.
    Best regards,

  213. Hi, Susan,
    The issue is not what the “colleges would like.” Rather, this is an issue of which environment will help your son to be more successful over the long term. It’s hard for me to diagnose the issues, based on this short note, so I will refrain from making pronouncements either way. I would like to understand what the challenges have been this year, and how the academic demands compare to his previous school. It may simply be that the standards at his new school are significantly higher than what he experience at his former school, and he is just in a deeper pool of talented kids. Or it may be simply that he has difficulties adjusting to his new environment and that he will flourish next year. It’s very difficult for me to say. However, you are asking the right questions, and if you think I can be helpful to you and your son, I hope you will give me a call.

  214. Dear Diana,
    Thank you for your message. I don’t know how your grades and your math level will affect your performance and progress through community college. I think it’s better to ask an academic advisor there for a frank and honest assessment. A transfer may take you longer, depending on the CC requirements and the requirements for transfer to your preferred university. I admire your willingness to persevere and do better. But I also think it is good to be realistic about your progress and to have a clear understanding of what challenges lie on the road ahead. Talk to your community college advisor.
    I wish you the best.

  215. Hi, Darylle,
    Thanks for writing. I’m glad you’ve begun to get your act together and work hard to get the grades up. You’re doing the right thing. Don’t try to tackle the AP classes until you’ve gotten good grades in your regular classes (and I’m talking no Cs!). As for medical school, remember that medical school is a graduate program, so you have to do a BA or BS first–and perform well. So to achieve your dreams you need to work hard, get the help you need, respect your teachers, and push yourself. Perhaps try an AP class or two in your senior year. Oh, and stop procrastinating!
    Best wishes,

  216. Dear Selena,
    A single see on your transcript will not bar you from attending a four-year university. Of course, not every four-year university will ignore them completely, and there may be some universities that will reject you because of that C.
    However, I would say that you would have to provide some sort of explanation for why your grade dropped from an A to a C: telling me that it “just drop significantly without me knowing” just isn’t much of an explanation. Certainly you could have known more about where you stood in the class before your report card was issued, and you probably should have done more to ward off that C in the first place.
    But nevermind the past. Colleges will be more interested to see what happens to your grades in science this coming year, and will also be interested to see your teacher recommendations. Clearly, the class in which you received that less than admirable grade will be one that nursing programs will look at closely.
    Still, you do not need to get up on your dream of becoming a nurse, or of attending a four-year university. You just need to make sure that you select the universities to which apply carefully that you find a way to better explain that chemistry grade, and kick some proverbial patootie in the fall of your senior year.
    I wish you all the best. Let me know if I can help..


  217. Hi Dustin. Thanks for writing.
    You have not ruined your life. If you want to be a doctor, you still may be able to become one. I would suggest your first step is to march over to your local community college and enroll in an Associates degree program, one that will allow you to transfer all credits earned directly to a four-year university. Start taking some science prerequisites, adding a few general education requirements, and make sure to get some good advising from someone at the community college who understands that you are smart, that you have been wondering down a bumpy road for a while, but that you still have potential. The cool thing about the United States is it’s never too late to exercise your right to a second chance. That second chance won’t be handed to you on a silver platter, but you certainly have the wherewithal to earn it nonetheless. Get yourself into some college-level classes, perform as well as you can, and press your professors, and then transfer all those great, shiny, new credits to a four-year university. Then you’ll be on your way to your dream of becoming a primary care physician. I’m not saying it will be easy, but it may be easier than you imagine.
    I hope this has been helpful. Good luck, and let me know how things work out.

  218. Hi, Denis.
    I hate to be the one to break it to you but, yes, all of your grades, both good and bad, will affect your admission chances for university. So yes, you should be worried about that D and and perhaps even about that C you earned freshman year. On the other hand, you still have time and opportunity to redeem yourself by performing better in your junior and senior years. Many students experience bumps along the road in the first two years of high school, but are able to smooth out those bumps by the time they are a junior. Will you be able to smooth out those bumps? My recommendation is to work as hard as you can, and use every resource available to you at school to ensure that you do not get and C’s or D’s on your report card next year. Impress the admissions officer by demonstrating an upward trend in your grades. Show that you have learned from your experiences and have been able to improve your performance considerably. Then, perhaps, those less than stellar grades will matter less. You can never erase them, but you may be able to diminish their negative impact. So, good luck with your junior year!

  219. Hi, Stephen.
    Sorry it has taken me so long to respond. My strong recommendation is to either wait until you get off probation and still consider the military, or if you have the means to do so, I would enroll at your local community college this fall. Your life is not over. You can and will go to college if you desire and if you can keep your head together and also find a way to take care of yourself economically.
    Community college is a great place for many students to start, because it is less expensive, and as long as you pass the placement exam, you can enter without any difficulty whatsoever. Within the state of Texas, any credits that you earned at a community college (as long as they are so designated) can be transferred automatically to a four-year university in Texas. Therefore, if you enroll in a local community college, do well get great rates, and earned the respect and admiration of your teachers, you could end up at the University of Texas at Austin. I don’t want to minimize the amount of work this would take, but I do want to illustrate that in no way is your “life over.” If you have mended your ways, if you have been able to overcome your depression, and if you continue to stay out of trouble, you have lots of options ahead of you. But sometimes we have to remind ourselves of the longest journey starts with the first step. And I think your first step may be community college. Demonstrate that you are not the person described above any longer. I believe that you are, but you will have to provide the evidence. And the quickest and cheapest way for you to begin to amass that academic evidence is to head over to your local community college. Or, if you are almost off probation, the military may still be an option.
    Either way, I wish you all the best. You can do this.

  220. Dear Mati,
    I’m sorry your son has suffered an accident that has affected his performance in school. He seems like a very good student, and many colleges will still be happy to consider him for admission. What will be important is how he explains it describes his accident health issues and connects them to his performance. I assume that teachers and counselors at school are aware of the ways in which his health has been a factor in his performance, and that they will corroborate this on the application and in their recommendations for him.
    You ask “what are his chances?” But you don’t identify where those chances would be calculated. If he is a very ambitious and wants to go to a place like Stanford, for example, I wouldn’t rule it out entirely. But I would also need to learn more about his record in performance and about these health issues for me to say anything more specific about his chances at some place like that. I can tell you with certainty however that there are many, many high-quality colleges that would not hold his setbacks against them in the admissions process. I would hesitate to make any specific recommendations of particular colleges without knowing and understanding a situation a bit more, including the financial considerations of the family. I do work with a great many families in the United States in which the parents did not attend university here. I would be more than happy to speak with you in greater detail about how I might be helpful in identifying colleges that will give your son an excellent chance of both admission and probably even hefty scholarships. Please feel free to give me a call if you’d like to chat.
    All the best,

  221. Hi, Amarjot. It is possible for colleges to rescind their offer of admission. It’s not very common, but if the grades in the second semester are horrible, and if there is no explanation (and it does seem that you do have a very good explanation) colleges may lose their confidence in the student. However, I am guessing that by now this issue has been resolved, and if I had to bet, I would guess that it has been resolved to your satisfaction.
    I wish you all the best.

  222. Hello Christiana,
    Thanks for your question. It sounds like you’ve had a challenging couple of years. Your math grades are troubling. I’m not sure whether University of Redlands will be able to ignore those. If I were you, I would just make an appointment to go to the admissions office at Redlands and ask them outright. See what they say. But I would also want to see whether you could perform well on the SAT in the math area especially, and I would also ask you to consider taking the SAT 2 subject test in math as well, to demonstrate that the grades in algebra are not a reflection of your math abilities. In other words, you need countervailing evidence that you are actually quite good in math to balance the negative evidence that you are a D student. Furthermore, I would want to know whether or not your school counselors are aware of the difficulties you’ve experienced during high school, and that they would also draw a correlation between your math grades and your difficulties. And finally, you don’t say what your other grades are in your other classes. Therefore it’s difficult for me to save with any certainty that you should consider a community college and transfer. However, the community college route may be a very viable one for you, especially if you have the opportunity to retake the college algebra course in college, and get an a in that course. That would obviously be the evidence necessary to demonstrate that those D’s in high school do not reflect your true abilities.
    I hope this helps. I wish you the best of luck.

  223. Hi, Tom.
    First of all, since you are a freshman, you still have time to redeem yourself. You are still in the top third of your class, and you have time to raise your grades from the sea range into the solid B or A range. Your grades of 100 in debate and tennis won’t help you very much in the college admissions game. It’s those grades in science, social studies, foreign language, English, and math that really count. So you do need to buckle down in 10th grade and raise your grades considerably. Colleges are happy to consider students, especially boys, who demonstrate an upward trend in their grades during her high school career. So you do have the opportunity to improve your marks. So put this new epiphany to work for you, and get prepared to work hard this coming school year. Use every resource at your disposal to get those grades up.
    Best of luck..

  224. Hello, Angel.
    I totally agree with your school counselor. With your GPA and your ACT composite, you would be better off starting in a community college and transferring later to a four-year university. You’ll have the option of taking it slowly to ensure that you get better grades in college than you did in high school, and community college is much less expensive than a four-year college, anyway. It sounds like you have a solid advocate at school, and you should rely on your counselor to help you find the right community college. You might even be able to take some dual enrollment classes in your senior year, thereby earning both high school credit and college credit at the same time. You should ask your counselor about this, because it may actually be a better option than taking the honors classes. Check it out, and let me know how you decide to proceed.
    Best wishes,

  225. Hello Laura,
    Thank you for writing in. The good news is that you are only a freshman in high school and you still have time to improve your grades. Colleges are looking for upward grade trends throughout high school, so you have the opportunity to continue to improve throughout high school. That said, grades of D aren’t really not very good. Top-tier universities like Duke will probably pass you over. However, there will be many other universities that would be interested in your application, especially if you are, indeed, able to improve your grades from here forward. So don’t give up in your dream, but do realize that some of the most highly selective schools the as states will likely accept you you with those grades of D. But as I say, there are literally thousands of universities in the United States, and it is very likely that you will still be able to get a very high quality education in United States. But you must continue to work hard and avoid getting anymore bad grades.
    Let me know if I can be helpful, as I have worked with many students from Latin America in the past.
    Best wishes,

  226. Hi, it’s me again (Laura from Brasil) so i am in the second semester and i’ve improved my grades, no more Ds and Cs , i’m searching for universities and doing extracurricular activities.So i really wanna do next year (in my second year of high school )a summer program my sister did this year and i really get interest in it , can you give any advice to what i can do to increase my chances to do a summer program in an university, and what activities i can do to increase my chaces to get in an university , thank you for the atention

  227. Hello sir,
    I hope you’re doing great! I’m from Bangladesh & I did GCE A-Level with 4 subjects. I applied in Culinary Institute of America & got full acceptance with (AS) grades B,B,C,D & an IELTS score of 7.5 IDK why but I didn’t have to do SATs or ACT. My A-Level results will be out next month & I’m really worried. Could you please tell me whether my final grades (A2) would affect my admission in any way? & I’m not really clear about American high school transcript but is it my A-Level result with my graduation certificate? I look forward to your reply ’cause I’m really tensed about it. Thank you!

  228. Hi Mark! I came across this website trying to figure out how good of a college I could get into with how I’m currently doing in school, and I need to know how well I have to do now that it’s my junior year of highschool to be able to go to universities like Irvine or UC Davis and or maybe Berkeley. Freshman year first semester I had 2 Bs and All As then second semester I had all As. Sophomore year first semester I had 1 C and all As, but second semester things hit hard at home and to sum up I was depressed, had to go on independent studies for 3 weeks and then needless to say I did worse than I had done first semester. I ended the school year with 2 Cs, a B, and 3 As. I took an AP class and I got As both semester for that class. My current GPA is a 3.6, I did soccer and track and field and this year I’m planning on adding cross country to the list and I’m also taking 2 APs. How well do I have to do to make up for the second semester of my sophomore year if I want to get into universities like Irvine, Davis, or Berkeley? I want to become a dentist or psychiatrist, but I’m leaning more in becoming a dentist. What do I have to do??

  229. Hi Mark,
    I’m 17 years old about getting ready for my last year of high school. I’m trying to become a nurse to rehabilitate animals after they have had surgery or injuries. I have had the passion for animals my entire life and I can not see myself not working with them. I don’t have an interest in becoming a Vet, because my poor skills in biology class my sophomore year. Plus, I don’t do well with the sight of blood and serious injuries, so i decided that I would love to do the next best thing. I’m worried about my transcripts obviously. I had medical problems, at home problems, and an anxiety disorder. So, I have been really scared and timid in high school along with other reasons such as being bullied.
    Freshman year, I did alright until i fell behind in English and Science my first semester, got ill went on home study and got my grades up to all passing.
    Sophomore year was also a struggle because that was when the bullying started. I lost self confidence and motivation got it back my junior year I got mostly As and Bs and one C and in my second semester got a D and an F due to changing schools in the middle of the year. They put me in a too high of an English class and Math was taught to me very differently for the first time and it was hard for me to comprehend what was being taught.
    I’m hoping this year will be a lot more relaxed and I’m hoping after i graduate that things wont make me feel so anxious and worrisome. I’m also concerned with if being a physical therapist for animals would require me getting a certain degree. I’ve been doing research and have been waiting for responses. I can’t find any college in California that I can attend or think would be a good choice for me and my needs. Harvard and other four-year Universities keep popping up, but my grades are holding me back from going.
    Please help I’m desperate for it. I need to be around animals and do what i love. I don’t wanna be stuck doing something for the rest of my life that I don’t have a passion for.

  230. I was reading over everything and I do realize that I personally have made mistakes in my highschool career. I am going to be a senior in this upcoming school year, yet I have slacked a great deal in all the years previous apart from Jr year where I have managed to better myself a small deal. I had a lot of personal problems my 8th grade year; most of it being a blur even up to the mid point of my 2nd year in highschool. However I have recently only seen that my decisions while in that state may effect my future dream of a medical career, and I fear that it is now only that a dream. I want to know if it is possible to recover from such a bad position in life to achieve my hope for the future. If you would also possibly try to guide me in what little way you can anything would really help really. My eyes have only recently opened fully to what I needed to accomplish for myself yet had lacked so horribly in paying attention to my decisions to get there from the early years. Leave me an e-mail so I can see what you have to say about what I am hoping for and if it is even possible for me to continue to believe in what I wish to do.

  231. Hello, I want to ask you for college chances for UC riverside or cal state. So freshmen year I got a D for geometry first semester. Sophomore year I got a D for chemistry second semester, a D for AP world history first semester, and a D for algebra II first semester. Junior year I got a D for trigonometry/precalculus both first and second semester. However, I made up all my D’s except for trigonometry/precalculus but I am going to take online classes in my senior year to make up the last two D. Sophomore year, my grandfather had a serious illness which caused my grades to drop. I got a 1310 for SAT but I’m planning to take it again to improve my scores. I am also planning to take the ACT and SAT II. I’m involved in sports and clubs and I have volunteer hours 100+ at my school. I also won the beauty pageant for Miss Congeniality. I want to know if I still have a chance for a UC or cal state (hopefully uc riverside). Thank you.

  232. Hello!(: I’m an incoming junior (class of 2016) and, well, my grades couldn’t possibly get any worse. My current GPA is a 2.5 (something like that), and I’m ranked 157 in a class of 500 and something students. My sisters both graduated in the top 3% of their class, so my parents think I’m a failure haha. Freshman year I failed pre AP geometry and AP world history, both with a 68 and recovered the credits. Sophomore year, I failed pre AP algebra 2 and pre AP chemistry, both with low 50’s, I also failed AP Spanish 3 with a 68. I’m currently trying to recover first semester for both core classes, but will only be able to recover it for algebra. What can I do to recover the other credits? I am taking 6 AP classes junior year and have no room in my schedule to retake the classes during the year. I’m freaking out because A) I’ve been informed that the 50’s will never go away on my transcript, even if I recover the credits with a higher score, and B) I don’t want to graduate a year late. Ahhh I’m stressing out! School starts back up on the 25th. ~Sorry for the whole life story:/~

  233. It’s really upsetting, because I may be wrong, but when colleges look at your high school transcript and see bad grades I feel like they may just think you are a slacker, and think that it was your fault that you didn’t do well your first to years in high school, and that it lowers your chances of getting accepted. I am just really worried, because my whole life all I have ever had to look forward to was to go to college and pursue one of my dream jobs in marine biology or law enforcement. I had developed anxiety and depression prior to entering high school, but when I entered high school, things just got worse. Not because of the stress from school, but because of my struggles with depression, anxiety, and self harm, and dealing with family problems at home which I still deal with. I am currently 16 years old and preparing to (hopefully) be a junior. The problem is that I had missed a lot of school my freshman year because of visits to the hospital and the sort. I got really behind on school work, and my attendance record was horrid. During my sophomore year, I did great, during the first month, until my grandparents kicked me, my brother, and my mum out of the house and we moved to a different town. The thing is though, is that I thought that this would be a good change for me, since my best friend lives in the town that I am currently in. But unfortunately, no mater how much I pushed and discussed with my mother my need and want to go back to school to finish the rest of my sophomore year, she never got me in, so I missed the rest of my sophomore year, and there was nothing I could do. Neither has she yet gotten me enrolled in summer school, since she has just recently gotten out of jail for drug possession. Hopelessness took over. I want to pursue my dream job and go to college. I want to be the first one in my family to graduate from a nice four year university, but I don’t know if it is possible anymore…

  234. Hey, question. I’m wondering if I can get into a 4 year college and play football and run track. Due to my past in high school I got into drugs at an early age when I was 15 dealt with that until I was 19. I ended up messing up in school and had family problems. School was very hard at the time even though I was on varsity track and football at age 14 and 15. Now I’m 21 and I got my GED been working the past 3 years of my life. I’ve matured and I’m ready for college and getting a degree. I really want to play college ball also that’s my motivation. I’m still very talented and my support system is telling me I still have what it takes. And I read that if I convince the admissions I don’t have to take the ACT. Love to hear your advice. Thanks!

  235. Hello!

    This fall I’m becoming a senior and the whole university thing scares me so much. I have good grades but they’re not the best. However I’ve been nominated to assist to really important and prestigious courses over the summer in USA such as medicine and leadership workshops. In my school I’m known as an outstanding student but I’m still struggling with my grades. This year I’m planning on pushing my grades up as I really want to study medicine or some other course in health. I enjoy working with people and traveling so I’m also not sure on what’s a suitable career for me yet. I’m an international student that’s planning on applying on February 2015. My dream college is university of Michigan but I need like a boost on my mood towards university and if I will get accepted or not. HELP SOS!

  236. I recently completed my two years a level course. i did had good grades in my as level but my A2 grades brought my all grades to one c ,three d and one e .Is this grade enough for bachelor program in us colleges.

  237. I have taken 5 IGCSE & obtained A in chem….B in bio & maths…C in physics & English… mom was sick and I had be absent more than 2months in school days…I was not able to study much….because I had to takecare of my siblings too…I know my results r horrible but I always have been a good student from childhood…if I manage 2 get A in my AS & A2…will that be enough for joining any good medical universities? or should I repeat my 10h grade again?

  238. Hello, I am from Ireland and just completed my Leaving Certificate which is the exam you need to get good grades in to be accepted into a University, I was never a bad student in my class and I put in a lot of effort into my studying, but when I got my results i was really disappointed because I put in so much effort, I was expecting better results, the offers from Uni’s come out in a few days but I didn’t reach the points I needed for the courses I chose, I really want to study accountancy but I am afraid that I won’t get any acceptances from any colleges, Would you say I could have a chance of getting accepted into any of them or have any other options for me. Thanks, Erica.

  239. Hi! So I’m an upcoming senior resident of California, and I’m planning on going to a UC. On my transcripts I have mostly A’s and B’s. I have also taken two AP courses and passed but I haven’t taken chemistry. Science is my weakness and don’t understand a anything. I’m debating in taking chemistry my senior year because I have a GPA of 3.3 and I don’t want it to drop if I don’t pass that class. So my question is, will I still be able to attend a UC if I don’t take chemistry?

  240. I’m an upcoming senior resident of California, and I’m planning on going to a UC. On my transcripts I have mostly A’s and B’s. I have also taken two AP courses and passed but I haven’t taken chemistry. Science is my weakness and don’t understand a anything. I’m debating in taking chemistry my senior year because I have a GPA of 3.3 and I don’t want it to drop if I don’t pass that class. So my question is, will I still be able to attend a UC if I don’t take chemistry?

  241. Freshman year, I got all As and A-s on my report card and planned to do so sophomore year. However, I got my schedule recently and found that my English teacher is known for grading toughly and according to one former student of hers, the highest grade in the class that they knew was a C-. I’m absolutely terrified that if I end up getting a C or a D, all my chances at a successful future will go down the drain because I got unlucky and was given an awful teacher. I’m unsure how I would be able to live with myself if I get anything worse than an A- in any of my classes but don’t know what to do. Could I still attend a good college or university with a bad grade? How will this effect me? I’m not sure how to even convince myself to go to school when the year starts because I’m so terrified of failure. Honestly, I’m contemplating suicide so that I won’t have to put myself through this. I’ve never been so scared in my life and I feel like I’ve completely fallen apart. If you know anyone or any way to help me, please tell me! I don’t know what to do or how I could live with myself if I do fail.

  242. Hi. I finished a university in Ukraine, I got bachelor’s degree diploma. But I did get some D’s and E’s… Planning to pass TOEFL exam next year. I want to enter American university and study for Master’s degree. Do i have any chances?
    Thanks for replying.

  243. Hi. I am currently in high school (senior) my high school grades haven’t been the best ones. Although I have never failed a class but I would usually end with A,B,and most times C’s . But my junior year I started very well the first quarter, but after that my dad passed away and it was hard for me to keep up with things. I was planning on turning my grades around junior year but because of that I ended up making them worse. My dream has always been to be a Neurologist. But because I have messed up in high school I am afraid that this might not be for me. I am very passionate about this career, and I know that if they give me a second change I really wont mess it up. what would be your recommendation in the next steps to take so I could have a fair chance of still making it to neurology ?

  244. Hi, Lizzie.
    To be a neurologist, you have to go to grad school. Your next step is college. So don’t lose heart. You can still attain your dream. But you may not be able to do it in a direct way. Please talk to your counselor at your high school about your local options, and ask him or her to be candid in their assessment of your possibilities. The worst case scenario is that you start at a community college for a couple of years, transfer to the flagship state university, and then get accepted to medical school. Get all the help you need from teachers this year, too, and bring up those senior grades as much as possible.
    I hope this is helpful.

  245. Hi. Yes, you’ll have some chances of admission, probably. But you need to be aware that most US universities do not offer financial aid or scholarships to non-US nationals, and those who do receive them have stellar grades. I could definitely help you to get admission at a reputable university. But you need to be prepared to pay the entire cost of your education here.
    Sorry I don’t have better news. I wish you all the best.

  246. Yes, it is enough at some colleges and universities. The most selective ones will not be happy with the E grades at all. But there are some schools that may admit you. Please let me know if I can help you identify the best possible options for you.

  247. Hi, I am a senior in high school and my attendance has not been the best for the past three years. I am changing my habits and I have better attendance this year. My attendance was awful because of an injury i received my freshman year. My mother almost died my sophomore year and we had the repercussions of almost losing her (examples, I had to take her to dr. appointments, take care of her, etc.) my junior year. I want to go into nuclear engineering at college and while my teachers say I can intellectually accomplish that, they don’t feel I will be able to get into school for my major of choice due to my attendance which affected my grades. I have maintained A’s and B’s with a few C’s and only one F (in college trig which I retook and passed with a B). I took the AP Test for Chemistry but I only got a 1 (not enough time to study for it because of the reasons stated before). I’m afraid I won’t be able to do what I really want to do because I didn’t take enough honors courses and didn’t do well enough to satisfy colleges. What do I do?

  248. Dear Mr. Mark,

    I completed high school in 2005 (outside US) and looking for Undergraduate admission, Is there any possibilities? My high school grades are above average.


  249. Hi. Im on my fourth year in High School now. After my 1st quarter, I’ve got a 72, 76, 80, 68 and i am so ashamed to even show off my grades. Classmates distract me and even bully me, but they get 90, 89, 96. I don’t want to think it’s unfair for me but if I improve my studies in the following quarters, will I still go to college? Im from the Philippines and im planning to take BS in Multimedia Arts in De-LaSalle College of St. Benilde. Im scared not thinking if I fail the entrance exam, but if the college would accept me aswell. Im turning 16 this month and my birthday wish is to graduate from High School with my other friends, but I realize the world is not a wish granting factory, but you work for your wish. Do I have any chances in entering Benilde? I know this is an American website but I really need answers to these questions in my head. What do you think?

  250. Hey Mark,
    I’ve been applying to colleges and to make a long story short I did get not so good grades the first two years of high school about 4 C’s. The problem however, was significant personal , social, and even physical troubles. I mean I don’t want to dive to deep because I would have to write an essay but I just want to make it clear that these problems were so significant and detrimental that they greatly damaged my grades. However, I was able to come to terms with a lot of those problems and get some help and turned to have the best year of my highs school career with all A’s in AP and Honors classes with except for 3 B’s. I actually managed to raise my GPA from a below average one to that of a slightly above average one. through the course of my entire high school career I have always been involved in a variety of extra cirricular activites and have always taken the hardest classes (AP and honors). I’ve engaged in research opportunities (one related to proposing an alternate treatment for cancer) and worked as an intern for several high level professions and companies (mostly my junior year) and volunteered extensively. I guess my ultimate question is that I do want to apply to some selective colleges such as Wash U and Northwestern but I want to know whether it is worth it. I already put in the additional comments of the common app about my troubled two years but I still don’t know if it is worth it or even if it is an advisable idea. Right now my dream school is Wash U and I definitely am doing early decision for that school. I still don;t know whether my different statues would be of any significance and increase my chances. Thoughts?

  251. Hi, Karthik.
    You’re doing everything you can, it sounds like, to make yourself more competitive. More important, you are doing what is necessary to prepare yourself for success in college.

    Here’s my question about Washington University St. Louis and Northwestern: will you be applying for need-based financial aid? Since you would be “on the bubble” (in other words, not immediately admissible based on your grades), they would think twice about accepting you if they also had to give you significant financial aid to attend. This whole college business is wrapped up in money issues as well as admissibility issues.

    That said, you will never know unless you try, and if Wash U is really your dream school, then go for it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

    At the same time, I’d also tell you to get your head out of the clouds and think about high quality schools that will accept you for who you are and who you will become. The most selective schools will focus a lot on your past. It’s okay to dream. But you need to be able to separate dreams from a cold-eyed assessment of what sorts of schools will value you who you are today and will help you to become the person and the professional you aspire to be.

    Hope this is helpful, Karthik. Good luck!


  252. Yes, there are possibilities, Rupace. Are you in the US now? Do you need financial aid? The latter issue will be harder to resolve, but we definitely help students who are “non-traditional” as they map their college journeys. Feel free to contact us for more information on our services.

  253. Suggestions for my 20 yr old son with ADHD who was in supported classes throughout HS? He cannot take ADHD meds (he has tried all categories) due to poor tolerance and/or allergic response.

    He struggled in school due to his inability to complete assignments. His test scores were very low on all standardized exams. He had a 13 on his ACT.

    I don’t believe college (or even community college) is the answer for him. Yet he is a bright, well-spoken guy who learns best by doing. He is not interested in any of the trades. He is “freaking out” because he feels lost and so conflicted about his future.

    Is there any other career path for him to pursue?

    Thank You for any insight or direction you can give us.

  254. Dear Mark,

    I’m a Junior right now, And I’ve struggled with my grades because of personal problems that have only gotten bigger. I’ve focused more on my problems than my school work. I don’t really think I have a chance to get in any college because I’ve never gotten great grades, but I was wondering if I got A’s this year and my Senior year if it would even help my chances at all?



  255. Hi,
    I got bad grade in Chemistry only in my A level. My other subjects, Math Physics and Geography i did well. Can i still study engineering? I plan to retake the A level Chemistry exaim in June 2015. Please guide me. Thank you.

  256. Hello, I am a senior this year. I want to go straight to a university, but my grades have suffered in the past. I suffer from ADHD, and the lowest grade I had freshman year was a D in advanced physical science. I had a C+ in Pre- AP English, an A in Spanish, and the rest of my grades were above a C. They were either A’s of B’s, but I don’t have my transcript here right now and I don’t know the specifics. In sophomore year, I switched schools after the first quarter due to relentless bullying. By the end of the year, I had a B in honors sophomore English, a C in AP World History (which I did not take the exam for), a C in P.E., a C- in geometry, a C or C- in chemistry, an A- in Spanish. Junior year, my grandma passed away and I went into a suicidal depression and I was apathetic about school work. The first quarter I had all A’s and B’s. By the end of second semester, my worst grades were in AP Biology, which was a D. By the end of the year, I had a D in AP U.S. History, an A in Japanese, an F in AP Biology, and F in Algebra 2, either a C or a B in English, and an A in computer applications. (Although I bombed the classes, I got a 3 and passed both of my AP exams). I have an above average PSAT/SAT score, and I passed the ASVAB with results that were “exceedingly high and beyond the capabilities of a woman” (even though I’m not sure that the ASVAB is important). If I submit a college application to a university, will they also look at my senior year (in which I plan to do better)? Is there anything I could do to help myself of having a better chance of being admitted? I don’t want them to just look at my bad years, I also want them to look to see if I have improved. Please help me!

  257. Hey, so i’m a High school Student and about to get into grade 13 for my A level program.
    I did not perform well in my As level as i got B in math , 2 D’s in Chem and Busniess and a U in physic. I live in the UAE and im really interested in studying in the US. I would like to know that are there any chances of me getting accepted into US Universities such as Perdue U, Columbia U or Boston U for example. My interest was first towards Mechanical Engineering but i guess that cant be done now due to my terrible grade in Phy. My second field of interest is in Chemical engineering, therefore i would like to know that am i still capable of getting into a chemical engineering and that will the universities accept me ?
    And do you have any Ideas or tips on what step should I take besides getting into a community college as i’m really not keen in doing that.

    Thank you,

  258. Hi, Zack.
    You are correct that getting into places like Purdue, Columbia, or BU will be difficult with those AS-level results. Of course it depends a bit on other factors, but these schools are tremendously competitive and will be able to find plenty of other kids from around the world that have all grades of A on their AS levels.
    The good news is that you can still 1) get into a four-year university, and 2) pursue your interests in engineering. But you will probably have to regroup and reconsider which engineering schools in the US will be most likely to accept you, and to think about which programs fit you best. You may also want to consider doing a 3/2 program in engineering at at liberal arts college, which might offer you a direct entry into a place like Columbia, Dartmouth, or CalTech for that engineering degree.
    You are exactly the sort of student that we like to help. You have potential, you have ambition, but you have a track record that needs to be assessed carefully and calibrated to the sorts of schools that will help you achieve your objectives. Please let us know if we can help. Click on the “contact” form at the top of the page and shoot us a note!
    Best of luck to you!

  259. Dear Dawood,
    You can definitely find an engineering program that will take you. But you don’t say what that Chemistry grade is, nor do you say what “well” is for Math, Physics, and Geography. So it’s hard to make a recommendation about how to proceed. If you are retaking the exam, when do you plan to enter a US university? If you would like guidance, please click the “contact” form at the top of the page and we can tell you more about our services.
    Best of luck.

  260. Hi, Payton.
    The answer is an emphatic yes. If you’ve had some struggles that you have recently resolved, and if your performance dramatically improves because of your increased focus and effort, then you will be judged more on the present than on the past.
    So get out there and work hard to bring up your grades and show the world what you are made of.
    Good luck.

  261. Hi Pat.
    Thanks for the inquiry. I’m not really able to offer any specific career advice without meeting him. We could administer an aptitude test to get more information, if you like, and we could do an initial assessment to clarify some of the issues. You say he is not interested in any of the “trades,” but these days there are more “trades” than you can shake a stick at. What you and he probably hope for is his ability to identify some of his interests, to make his ADHD work for him (as opposed to against him), and help him find a satisfying career that will support him and offer him lots of upside potential. Only about 25% of Americans hold bachelors degrees, but that does not mean that 75% of Americans are flipping burgers. So the answer is yes, there are other career paths. But what those might be for your son in particular? We’d have to learn more in order to be of assistance.
    If you’d like to chat more, please fill out our contact or initial meeting form, and let’s see if we can help.

  262. Hi, Cassi,
    Seems like you’ve been through the wringer. Here are a couple of thoughts for you.
    1. Your past will not hold you back if your present and future tell a completely different story. If you are back on track, working hard, and getting completely different results than in the past, then this will benefit you in the long run.
    2. Colleges do look at the first semester of senior year when they make their decisions. Most do not see second semester until after your application has been reviewed and decided upon (one way or another).
    3. Given your bad grades, you may need to consider a semester or two of a junior college or community college before applying to a four-year school (depending on what four-year school you most desire to attend). This may not be absolutely necessary, but likely important if you are aiming for more selective universities.
    4. Your ADHD, if documented and supported by a IEP or 504 plan, will be considered by colleges that offer a “holistic” approach to admissions. They may be able to cut you some slack. Not a ton of slack. But some.
    5. You do not mention how far “above average” your SAT scores are. The higher, the better. These can help mitigate the effects of a bad transcript.
    6. That said, you cannot simply wipe away your transcript. It will live with you for a while. What you need to consider is how to amass countervailing evidence of your abilities. Senior grades are important. So are SAT scores. Your passing grades for the APs are also good (but 5s would obviously be better tun 3s). Dual enrollment courses, and possibly community college courses could also help provide more evidence. Teacher recommendations and counselor recommendations will also be important, so be sure to talk to them about your concerns.

    I don’t have any magic answers for you, Cassi, but I hope you find these points helpful. Keep up the good work and don’t lose heart. If you take the long view, everything will work out just great!


  263. Hi, there. Thanks for your message. As you note, I’m really not an expert on universities in the Philippines. I think you need to find adults in your school with whom you can confide about both your aspirations and your frustrations. You need someone who understands the system, your school, and especially YOU, and who can offer more concrete advice. This is also true with regard to the bullying. If you are afraid at school, you need to find allies who can help you, and who can help you navigate what seems to be a difficult situation. I wish I could be more specific in my advice, but know that there are people around you who will be willing to lend a hand–if only you ask for it.
    Good luck!

  264. Hi, Tori.
    Your counselor is right: take the long view. You may not be able to leap from your present circumstances into a nuclear engineering program. You need to amass more evidence of your abilities. Your attendance record and lower grades may not get you directly into competitive engineering programs. That said, I have seen all sorts of kids start out slowly, either at liberal arts colleges with 3/2 engineering programs, or who start at community colleges and do a lot of basic prerequisites and general education requirements who are able to become very successful scientists, business executives, and other professionals. Do not focus only on the immediate obstacles. Look long term, further down the road, and you’ll see tons of opportunity. Your path toward that opportunity may not be straight, but you will get there if you buckle down, perform, and gather evidence of your true talents.
    Best of luck to you!

  265. Hi, Cam.
    You need to talk to your school guidance counselor immediately. Please fill out my contact form on the top of this page, too, so that I can connect with you.
    Thanks. Happy to try to help.

  266. Hi, Jenny.
    You should probably talk to your school guidance counselor about your options. As you know, the UC system has some pretty strict requirements about the number of years of each subject that students must take in order to be considered for admission. Few states are as clear as California. It’s clear you have some tough decisions to make, but I think it would be best to talk to someone in your school who knows you, knows your options at your school, and understands the UC system. This triple whammy of information can help you more than I can.
    Give it a whirl and let me know what you decide!

  267. Hi, Erica.
    I’m not an expert on the Irish system, so I can’t really prognosticate. What was the outcome? Please let me know. Thinking of you!

  268. Hi,
    Medicine is super competitive . What country are you from? Unfortunately, your university placement in most of the IGSC/A-Level systems is based on your exam scores. Whether or not you can repeat is something you should discuss with your school officials. I’m sorry I’m not able to give you more specific information, but definitely talk to guidance counselors at your school for advice.
    Best of luck,

  269. Hi, Maria.
    Let me see if I can give you a boost in mood. First off, your fear is normal. Most high achieving kids are worried at this time of year. Second, you may have to find more balance in your life to ensure that your grades are as high as you want them to be. If you are traveling and over-involved in school activities, your grades may suffer–which could make it harder to enter U of Michigan. With regard to medicine, calm down: you cannot study medicine as an undergraduate, so you don’t have to make that decision yet (nor will colleges be that interested in your decision about whether or not to attend medical school 5 years from now, as you have to get through college–and organic chemistry–first! Finally, just make sure you develop a list of colleges to which to apply that is balanced with “dream schools” and more realistic plays. (Also, have you thought through how you will finance your dreams…very important point!). Anyway, just don’t worry so much about the future. Control the things you can control, and then leave those things you cannot control behind. Find enjoyment every day, and keep telling yourself you will achieve your goals. Because you will.

  270. Hi, Dre,
    You have had it rough, it seems. It also seems you’ve made some bad decisions in the past. The issue is this: what evidence do you have to present to both coaches and administrators that you are academically prepared for college, and that you can play ball at a high level? No one is going to take your word for it: they need evidence. Now, if your grades were bad, in high school, you don’t have that evidence to support you. A GED is a basic qualification: it is not an indicator of high academic achievement. Do you have a transcript from a college or university with good grades on it? The ACT may not be all that fun to take, but it could also be evidence of your abilities. So take it. If you get a high score, then you can put this into your portfolio: “see? I have the smarts to do college!” If you don’t take it, well, you still don’t have any evidence of potential.
    I would tell you that you’d probably have the best chance, athletically and academically, if you went to a two-year college with a football (or track) team. Your age may be a factor in your eligibility for NCAA play, but we’d have to research that more (and I’d have to have a few more specifics on you). But I’m guessing that a NJCAA school might be happy to take you, help you get yourself back on the academic path, and thereby brighten your future considerably.
    Hope these ideas are helpful to you.

  271. Hi, Rachel,
    First off, drop all the AP courses. You are not excelling in them, and they are doing you no good. Recapturing credits will not help you much. Better to choose courses that suit you better and excel than to take something that is (for whatever reason) too hard or stressful for you and fail out. Please have a heart-to-heart with your guidance counselor and figure out a more realistic plan to get you through high school without having to constantly retake courses. This is just a silly and inefficient choice. Make a different choice! Dial it down and excel, and then if you find you are better able to succeed, dial it back up in the future.
    Best regards and good luck,

  272. Hi, Michelle,
    The issue is this: do your grades indicate that you are academically ready for college? You have made up all the grades, but now you are a senior and you are going to be asked to present evidence that you are “college material.” I can’t answer the question, but I can review the evidence provided, and I can say that most admissions folks will have a lot of questions. I assume your 1350 SAT is over three tests. That comes to an average of 450 on each section, which is below the national average. The extracurricular involvements–including Miss Congeniality–will not counterbalance academic evidence that is, well, underwhelming.
    If you want to go to a UC or even a CSU school, you need to begin to work harder in school. You need to get good grades the first time around, not on the second. And you may need to consider alternative paths to getting your degree, including attending one of the many high quality community colleges in California–and then transfer. Remember, this game is all about amassing evidence of ability and potential. You need to take a careful look at the evidence you have collected and assess it realistically. This is what admissions folks will do. Whether you have a chance lies in their hands and–most especially–yours.
    Best of luck,

  273. Hi Miss M.
    I’m guessing this is resolved by now and that you are attending the Culinary Institute of America.
    Let me know!

  274. Hi, Michelle. Thanks for writing in. Ordinarily a handicap is not an automatic bar to attending college. Let me know if I can be helpful

  275. Hi, Laura,
    Since you have a very specific question, and I don’t know much about the programs you are speaking about, I think it might be best if you contact me through the contact form on this website. I can give you more specific help that way.

  276. Hello, I am from INDIA and i wanna do my MS in US in good university. i hav decent GRE and TOFEL score but my CGPA is very poor is it possible to for me to get admission in any national university ?

  277. Hi.
    It is nearly always possible to get admission, but where you are admitted depends on your academic record. It’s not really possible to assess your chances, as I don’t have any specifics. And I’m also not sure what you want to study, or whether you require financial resources to attend. All these factors, and more, will determine whether you can be accepted. Let me know if you’d like more specific, professional advice. Happy to try to help.
    Best regards,

  278. So for my freshman year, my grades were near a 4.0. My overall gpa for that year was a 3.8. My sophomore year was unfortunately incredibly stressful. I missed so much school due to illness and i was incredibly stressed due to multiple deaths in the family. My grades plummeted. I managed to maintain an overall gap (including the previous year), of a 3.0. My junior year I again got a 4.0., I had three IB classes and 2 AP classes. I am an IB student. My act score was a 33. So far for my senior year i have all a’s as well. I am also involved in three clubs, I do at least 4 hours of volunteer work a week, play varsity soccer, interned at 3 hospitals and was a volunteer in the amigos program last year when i went to the dominican republic for 1 month. Do you think it is still possible for me to get into good colleges even with my poor performance sophomore year? Thank you for your time.

  279. Hy, I’m about writing sat but the problem is I dont know maths no matter how hard I try, do u think I will be admitted even if I fail maths?

  280. Hello, My name is Destiny
    I have a 3.78( freshmen and sophomore year) GPA overall didn’t do too well freshmen year. i am a junior and I think I will get As in all my classes I am taking Ap bio Ap calc ab Ap Eng Lang, APUSH, Spanish 3 and drawing and painting. HOWEVER i think i might get a D or F in Spanish 3 for the first semester. I am very worried especially because I have been working hard my entire high school carrer. My SAT score is about 2000 (didn’t take it officially yet). And i am scared that my Spanish grade will eliminate me from getting any scholarships or acceptances from elite schools 🙁 please give me advice.

  281. Hi, I’m currently a senior in high school. Past years I didn’t put in enough effort into getting good grades. My sophomore year was my worst and made my gpa awful, it’s currently a 1.9. I talked with my principle and he says that it would be almost impossible for me to get into a four year state school but not impossible for me to get into a four year private school. Is this true? What are my chances with rivier university and curry college. My grades now are much better but the past looks terrible.

  282. Hi, Lily.
    All is not lost. You can get into a ‘good’ college (but of course you do not define what good means to you). Most colleges will realize that students may suffer setbacks, and see their grades wobble. You have demonstrated that you can recover, and that you can contribute to your community and your school. So I think you should be in good shape, overall, to be admitted to a great many colleges and universities around the country.
    Best regards,

  283. Okay so throughout high school I managed to keep an okay GPA my freshman and sophomore year ranging from a 2.5 to a 3.0. And then my junior started and all was fine but then my mother became ill and I began to miss a lot of school to go to her doctor appts with her because she is a single mother and I’m the only one she has. My grades weren’t the best at semester as they fell to a 2.0. But then a few days before it was time to take my finals at the end of second semester, I found out that my mom had uterine cancer which set me back completely and cause me to basically miss all of my finals and my grades plummeted. I ended my junior year with one F (although that was in French III which is not required to graduate) 2 D’s, 2 C’s, and one A. I’m almost a quarter into my senior year and as of right now my grades are good and I have nothing below a B in any of my classes and I believe I can keep them that way for the rest of the year. I also plan to take my SAT/ACT within these next two months. Do I still have a chance of applying to a UC or out of state university?

  284. Hi, Bijon,
    I”m sorry for all your troubles. Sounds like you’ve been through the wringer. First, you don’t say whether you live in California. If you do, please consult with your school counselor. But I’m afraid it will be very difficult with that GPA–even before your mom fell ill–to get into a UC. You don’t mention which “out-of-state” schools you covet, but there are many schools that will take you, and many others that will not. Again, if you told me you had a 4.0 in 9th and 10th grade, and then things fell apart when your mom became sick, then you might be able to tell a different story. Similarly, if you were getting straight A’s now, then maybe you’d have some countervailing evidence to demonstrate that 11th grade was, indeed, a blip on an otherwise pristine transcript. But somewhere south of a 3.0 for the first 2 years of high school is not really UC material. So what are you choices? MANY! Don’t despair, as you have both matured (through bad circumstances that no would wish upon you, of course), and you are getting consistently better grades. So all is not lost. But it may be that the path to your Bachelors degree is not completely a straight one. Again, consult with your school guidance counselor, let him or her know of your earnest desires, and let that person help you map out a plan that makes sense.
    Best of luck.

  285. Hi Jaime,

    Let’s be blunt: there will always be university out there that will take you as long as you have a pulse and a full bank account. As PT Barnum put it, “there’s a sucker born every minute,” and even colleges need to find “suckers” to help keep the lights on.

    I’m not really going to comment on the two schools you mentioned.

    But I continue my blunt response to your question and ask this: if you have a 1.9 GPA, are you really ready for college? Remind yourself that college is full of tests and papers and quizzes and memorization and reading and homework–all the stuff that apparently you don’t really like to do all that much. Frankly, if I were your parent, I would not pay for a swanky private education when you have not made the best use of the education you already have received. You yourself admit you haven’t put much effort into your grades. I think you would do better to start at a two-year college, study hard, prove to the world (and your parents!) that your high school career is not indicative of either your intelligence or you work ethic, and then consider transferring to a four-year college or university.

    I’m sorry to be the big, bad meanie here. Sure, you can find a private school that will accept you. But a) will you be satisfied with it? And b) can you prove that you’d get anything out of it, given your track record?

    I wish you all the best, Jaime, and I hope you will take advantage of whatever opportunities come your way.


  286. Hi, Destiny. You don’t mention which “elite” schools you are aiming for, but you need to realize (as you probably do, given the tone of your question) that the “elite” schools have a huge surplus of applications, including scads of students with GPAs over 2000, with GPAs above 3.78, and with zero grades of D or F. Scholarships, especially, will be doled out to the very top of the applicant pool at whatever school you to apply to. So you need to do something more than worry about the Spanish grade. You need to get a tutor. You need to talk to your teacher NOW about it. You need to enlist the help of anyone you can to help you get that grade up. A D (or ack! an F!) will definitely hold you back.
    Best of luck with that Spanish class…and all the rest of your ambitious work load.

  287. HI, i know its still early to start asking questions.but im currently a freshman and i got a 75 for geometry and possibly some b’s in a few classes for the first report card and i really wanted to apply into TAMS during my sophomore year of highschool..but im worried that since i got a “c” that they wont except me…im willing to try harder to get a’s on the next few report card grades so my overall average would come out to an “a” since most people told me only the semester averages effect your gpa for high school.
    Do you have any advice or opinions that could help me?

  288. Hi, Mary.
    First off, I had to look up what TAMS is. Remember that not everyone lives in Texas and immediately knows that it is the Texas Academy of Math and Science. Second, it appears that they take some of the most talented students in Texas, so getting a C would likely be a problem. But you’re right, that the grades that they likely will look at are your semester grades, so you still have time to pull things together. If TAMS eludes you, then there are plenty of other ways to ensure your future and to continue your interests in math and science. The road to success is rarely a straight line. So do your best, and look out for opportunities that come along–sometimes when you least expect them!
    Good luck!

  289. Dear Quinton,
    The first step is realizing that your current trajectory isn’t going to get you where you want to go. You may still realize your dreams, but you will have to work hard. Keep in mind that medical school is something that comes AFTER college, so you have time to get yourself into a decent university program and do well. Then you will have to apply to medical school. So keep your eye on the goal, but also keep your head down and focused on the path directly in front of you.
    Best of luck…you can make it.

  290. Hi, Ashley,
    Don’t be desperate. First off, there are plenty of vet tech programs out there that will get you into the general field of veterinary medicine. If you don’t want to be a vet, you can still be involved with animals. Furthermore, you might look for ways to be involved with animals now, perhaps at one of the many rescue shelter or humane societies out there.
    For entry to other educational institutions, your grades will matter. I know that you’ve had some setbacks, but in the end you are responsible for your grades. Admission to schools in the future will depend on your performance in school in the present.
    But again, don’t despair. Check out your local community colleges for programs related to animals, or generally related to biology that would put you in the running for vet tech programs. Here’s a list from the College Navigator website of Vet Tech programs:
    Good luck to you!

  291. California schools could possibly revoke admissions if your grades plummet senior year. UCs, in particular, have been known to revoke admissions if certain standards are not met. Check directly with the admissions office in question.

  292. Hi, Fahmo,
    You can probably graduate with a D, if it is considered a passing mark at your school. These policies are school-specific, so check with your guidance counselor.
    Best of luck.

  293. Hi, Elena,
    I’m sorry your grades have been so inconsistent. Admissions will depend on which school you are looking at, and whether you made up the low (especially the failing) grades.
    Best of luck.

  294. Dulce,
    You may have to take the math again. Nursing is very competitive. You may have the opportunity to explain the “emotional and family factors” that had an impact on your grades, and perhaps your school counselor can help you with these. In some ways, it is good you are scared. Grades are important, and school can be relentless–even when there are difficult background factors that may affect performance. You need to be sure to seek out the help you need from teachers and staff at school so that you can put yourself in the best position for success.
    Best regards,

  295. Hi,

    I was wondering if I could get into Northwestern or Michigan with the grades I have. I have a 3.2 GPA unweighted and a 4.44 GPA on a 5.3 scale. I did really poorly my freshman year and sophomore year (getting 4 C’s in these two years; i had trouble adjusting to my new high school) but really worked my butt off my junior year, taking 3 AP classes and getting 2 A’s and a B+ in these classes. For my junior year, I got a 4.78 GPA weighted and a 3.6 GPA unweighted. I got a 31 on my ACT and I’m really working hard right now as a senior (taking 4 APs). I’m putting in my application for Northwestern Early Decision and Early action for Michigan. Could I get some feedback on whether or not it would still be possible for me to get into these schools with the given criteria?


  296. Serena,
    Thanks for writing in. It seems you’re doing well at school, and you have made quite a few improvements. I don’t have a crystal ball, unfortunately. GPA alone (plus ACT score) is not enough to go on. This is why colleges require teacher recommendations, counselor recommendations, a copy of the full transcript, and essays in order to make a full assessment of your aptitudes, abilities, and fit for a particular college. But I applaud your ambition, and your diligence. And I wish you every bit of luck in the application process!

  297. Hi

    Im trying to go to state, im currently a junior but my freshman and sophomore years weren’t the best especially sophomore. I got a GPA from 2.00 -2.8. Do you think if i get a 3.5 or higher my junior and senior year i could still get in. I also took ap and honor classes all through high school.

  298. Dear Mark
    I’m really concerned about my chances of getting in college, my freshman and sophomore year of high school i struggled with grades and had to do summer school to complete them both but i was wondering that if i get outstanding grades my junior and senior year would that change my chances of getting into college because i really want to go??

  299. Hi Mr. Montgomery,
    Thank you for all the insightful responses. They have helped me out a lot! I live in Southern California, and I am a junior in high school right now. I have not taken my SAT yet, nor received my first semester report card grades. However, I am very concerned with whether I would have any chances of getting into a UC school. I have always struggled with math, and that is the subject where I ended up getting four Cs. This obviously tainted my high school transcripts, but I’m still hoping for some chances of getting into a UC school. A little bit of background on me: I volunteer at a hospital every week (and I’m the chairperson of my board), Im the president of 3 clubs at my school, I play in the school’s orchestra, I cheer, I’m a member of Girl Scouts, I publish articles about human rights for the school’s newspapers, and I won homecoming queen. I also suffer from ADD, and I had my childhood was abusive (I would write about this in my personal essay) I know colleges consider extracurricular activities when admitting students, so do I still have a chance despite my low grades. Thanks so much!

  300. I struggled as a freshman in high school and ended the year with a D in math, C in Bio and A’s and B’s in everything else. I’m now a sophomore and I’m worried about the standard of college I’ll attend. I just want to know If I have a chance at a UC of high-end CSU. I had a GPA of 2.98 last year.

    S S

  301. My comment may not be of much sense, but Ill try my best. But, hello!

    I am currently in my Junior year of high school and have landed myself into a ditch. After going through emotional problems, I ended up slacking on my grades for my past Sophomore year and including my Junior. I heard these two years are very important.. I just recently looked at my recent report card to feel utterly weakened when I saw two C’s, one C-, Two B’s, and one A. The A happens to be for P.E. >< Well, may not be so bad from others eyes, but after growing up with a huge mindset of focusing on A's. I feel ashamed when I happened to see this. The report card was for the first semester. I definitely want to get straight A's this semester. Its a matter of playing with the teacher's "games." My GPA stood at 3.6 (on a scale for 4.0) at the end of my Sophomore year. I have looked at the recent report card to see that the GPA for those grades stands at 2.6… ._. It feels as though I'm losing all my chances. I was wondering if it'd still workout to apply for Colleges? What do you recommend? I'm keeping Community college and the Military as options. And, with these grades at the moment, I feel as though I wouldn't be able to make it for scholarships either, I can not financially support myself for the estimated tuitions for colleges. Also, I still stand at an unknown decision for my future of what I wish to pursue. I just want some advice and guidance, if it isnt too much to ask for. Thank you for your time! :3

  302. Hi. I am a freshman currently taking the following classes
    1.English I CP
    2.Honors Algebra
    3.Integrated Science CP(switched out of Bio H)
    4.Global Studies Honors

    I dropped out of Honors Bio because I felt it was too hard, but couldn’t get into Bio CP w/o switching all of my teachers, so i dropped down. My Grades for the first marking period are
    1. English-D
    2. H Algebra- C
    3.Int Sci.-B+
    4. Global Studies Honors- D
    I know these grades are bad believe me. I am used to seeing only A’s and B’s, so i am really concerned about my grades. In my school, there are 4 Marking Periods. And the only thing that goes on your transcript is your final grade for the year. I believe i can work harder this marking period, so what kind of grades should i get to at least bring up all of them to B+’s? And if i take Bio sophomore year, chem junior year, and physics senior, and do good in those, would i have a chance at a good science college?

  303. Chris,
    I think you should focus less on the long term and more on the short term: what are you doing to bring your grades up? Are you talking to your teachers? I know you are working “harder,” but are you working “smarter”? For example, do you turn off Facebook while you are at you computer? Do you get rid of the headphones (research suggests that humans cannot focus on intellectually challenging if you are listening to music, especially music with lyrics)? Do you turn off your phone and put it away while you are studying? Have you modified your study habits? Have you got a tutor, if you can get one, either at school or elsewhere?
    The fact is that colleges look at your grades. They want to see what you do to improve them. If you get stinky grades the first semester of high school, you have a chance to redeem yourself. But if you do not change your habits and approach, your redemption will not be a sure bet.
    I wish you the best as you begin to dig yourself out of this hole. I know you can do it…if you take stock of your situation and make the necessary changes to achieve your goals.

  304. Hi, SS.
    All depends on what you achieve from here on out. The better you do in sophomore year and beyond, the better your chances will be at your desired colleges. A 3.0 GPA is not fantastic, but it is not so low that you cannot claw your way out of the hold you have created for yourself in the next 4 semesters. Take stock of your study habits, change those that need changing, and keep your nose to the grindstone. Turn off your phone while studying. No music. No Facebook open while you study. Focus, and your grades will improve. And your long-term opportunities will also improve.

  305. Jeremiah,
    The answer is, of course, yes. If you did poorly and you have ambition, your only possibility is to demonstrate your abilities in the present and the future. You cannot wipe away the past. But work hard, demonstrate you are “college ready,” and get good grades from now on. Colleges are accustomed to seeing kids who start out weak but end high school very strong. And they are willing to admit such students who prove they are ready. So get to work, and prove to the world–and to yourself–that you are college material. Don’t cry over spilt milk, as they say. Start afresh.

  306. I am a senior.
    Only recently has the idea of attending a university appealed to me.

    Unfortunately, my transcript is peppered with some less-than-desirable letters in my freshman year, I had a really bad battle with depression, coupled with my ADD, making for a vicious cycle where as one got worse, the other became worse. I was chunky as it was but I gained 110 lbs. It is fair to say my freshman year was frighteningly fruitless, in spite of my efforts.

    Lit Analysis & Comp I F F
    Earth Science C F
    Geometry F F
    PE P F
    Skills for Health D
    Online Learning P P
    Psychology F

    The next year was a tad more forgiving, I sought treatment, got my personal life on line, switched schools, tried out football for the first time and got on the varsity team. I lost 50 lbs, stated volunteering as a youth baseball coach, got more into playing and writing music, hopping through a few bands and discovered my talent for singing. That year (I think largely due to my involvement with the team)
    transcript reads

    Integ Math II CP C D
    World History CP A B
    Spanish I CP A C
    Mixed Chorus A A
    Biology CP A B
    Weight Training Adv A A
    English II CP B C

    Summer School: English I CP 1 B B
    Summer School: English I CP 1 C C

    However, the next year, after a major spine injury, I had to stop playing sports. I also experienced some home issues. I continued and increased my time volunteering, varying the activities I was involved in within the youth baseball world and also got involved with a charity haunted house (a year round activity) the January of my junior year. I fell off the wagon and discontinued my treatment for ADD and depression (which to this day is still discontinued). It was rather detrimental to my schoolwork, but I felt it was for the better and has helped me build a stronger mental foundation. I used my volunteering and music to help me through the year, even booking a few gigs with a band as a vocalist fro my friend’s band. In spite of my busy schedule and struggling through homework, I still managed to find a way to work out and lost another 70 lbs.

    Chemistry HP D C
    English III CP C D
    US History CP D B
    Spanish II CP D F
    Personal Fitness A A
    Algebra II CP D B
    Chamber Singers HP A A

    On to this year….
    I kept up the hard physical work and am now a fraction of what I once was. I lost 120lbs from the end of my freshman year.
    I have found another baseball charity to be involved in and one I find a place in
    It’s a program the provides special needs kids the opportunity to participate inn america’s favorite pastime. I tried my hand at coaching a youth football team, but it was rather unsuccessful.
    Just adding to the list of the volunteer work I was already involved in.
    I tried out for the southern California Honour Choir, singing Canccini’s “Amarilli, Mia Bella” for an audition score of 99.5 out of 100, messing up (rather ironically, because I taught myself how to read music at 4) on one note on a sight singing test. I’ve never received any training past what I learned in choir or upon personal discovery.
    This was the day I decided to even consider collage in general.
    The adjudicators sat me down an talked to me about my post high school. After a good hour of preaching, they encouraged me to at least apply to a school with an opera program.
    I didn’t plan to go to collage before this happened and the school year had already started. I couldn’t change my schedule to retake the classes I needed to be eligible for four year universities here in California.
    So I can’t repeat the needed courses.
    I want to avoid community collage at all costs. I live next to one. It is so over-crowded, even the Gen Ed takes 3 years.
    I know not all are like that and there are plenty to choose from, but I want a real collage experience. I long to be in an academic environment of motivated peers (sighting my one of my cousin’s community collage experiences verses the 4 year experiences of my other 2 cousins). I have been living -for lack of a better word- shitty life long enough.

    My current grades for the first quarter are:
    Pre Calculus CP: C+
    Chamber Singers HP: B
    Teacher Assistant: A+
    Personal Fitness: A+
    Engineering & Robotics Tech: A+
    Eng IV: Expos Rdng CP: C
    AP Government and Politics US: C+

    Is there even a hair of a chance, given my community activity and colourful personal statement potential (No SAT or ACT yet, but I assure you, it will be high.) that I can be accepted into a four year?
    If not, What can I do with the little time I have left in high school?

  307. Hello, I have extremely bad grades right now. I have one A, One B, and 4 C’s. I am a junior currently. I’m trying to do my best to improve my grades. I want to attend MSU Michigan State University after senior. My question is if I do really well on my ACT and have bad GPA. Will I get accepted or do colleges want both to be good? My current ACT is 25 and I’m trying to improve more. I think I can get it up to at least 28 or 30.

  308. I have two online certifications from Humber College(Canada)

    -75% in criminology
    -87% in forensic investigation.
    I am currently taking online high school credits(biology and chemistry). Will universities care for the online certifications I have attained as well?

  309. Hello Mark,
    During my first three years of high school I struggled greatly with depression. I achieved very poorly, earning a median GPA of 2.2 throughout these years. However, I overcame this hard time and have earned a 3.9 GPA during this first quarter of my Senior year. I earned this GPA while also taking the more difficult courses in my school. I’ve been nervous for some time now that colleges will hold my first three years against me. In my college essay I explained the struggles I went through with my family and how my depression negatively affected me. However, I also explained how I ended up getting through the animosity and coming out positively on the other side. Do I have a chance of still being accepted into a four year university? – James

  310. I’m a Junior in high school, and I have been struggling greatly with Algebra. I have a D- currently, and I feel like I am going to fail desperately. I’m freaking out because the college I want to go to has a GPA rating of around 3.3, and with these terrible grades, it’s going to go below a 3.0.

    The reason I’m freaking out is because I want to go into Journalism. I want to write for my future. I do not want to continue in a subject of Math. I want to become a writer, it’s been my dream since I was young. My grade is okay in English, but I know that I can bring it higher. My grade is a C. I really want to go to college so much.

    I don’t know why I’m failing Algebra 2. Numbers just don’t come that easy to me .All of my other grades are A’s. I want to try harder, but my teacher is not the easiest to get through either. She expects us to know this stuff because it’s “easy.” She doesn’t understand Algebra doesn’t flow through well with some people, including me.

    I want to go to college desperately, and I want to bring my GPA back up. I’m panicking because I know if I don’t get at least a C+, I’m going no where in life.

  311. Dear sir,
    im a highschool senior and my grades in the past are horrible.Ive taken up alevels so the course is extremely hard and my as grades are 2c’s and 2d’s.
    I feel horrible because uptill tenth grade i was a great student and got 81% in icse ( inindia) Ive worked hard to make up for these grades and my 12th grades are much much better(2 a’s and 3b’s).Ive written the act around the same time i didbad and got 26.Is there a chance for me to get into a decentuniversity like texas am? i know im asking too much but is there a chance for me at all ? Im scared and i feel like shoving my self into a box and sending myself into some unknown jungle My parents are hardworking and im just a failure for slacking off……..

  312. Good afternoon Mr.Montgomery,
    Im not doing to hot in school. Not even the slightest. I have below a 3.0 GPA not because I am not intelligent, but because of bad habits and many obstacles thrown at me through my highschool years. I am an extremely good standarized test taker as well as a writer. My strong suits are in all subjects. I have an incredibly good memory both visually and auditory. I scored a 1750 on the Dukes TIPS (SATs give to 7th graders), scored top 98th percentile on my PSATs freshmen year, 87th percentile on PSATs sophomore year. Hoping I qualify for the National Merits this year. My only other hope is for me to do extremely well on my SATs and ACTs. I know what im capable of and I aspire to become a surgeon in life. But, in no wa,y shape, or form have I helped myself of these past high school years. What do you suggest? Recommend?

  313. Jay,
    There are few absolute rules in this business. But generally your GPA and transcript is the most important document in this process. It is the best indicator of your future success. The high ACT will help, so definitely go for it. But also do whatever you can to pull up those grades in the few remaining weeks of the semester.
    Best of luck to you!

  314. Hello, Luke,
    Generally universities do want to know what certifications you are able to attain. So include them in your applications.

  315. I’m a high school junior and currently taking physics. If i fail physics with an F will that ruin my chances of getting into a 4 year college? Ex: CSULB

  316. Hi Mr. Montgomery,
    So I am a sophomore in high school and I am currently taking Honors Chemistry, Honors Pre-Calculus, AP Human Geography, Chinese II, English II Honors, Orchestra, and Physical Ed/Health. Last year, I ended up with a 4.2 GPA (our school uses a five point scale for honors and AP). This year, I went through several major changes and my home life has changed significantly, I also had a two-week excused absence earlier on this year. Unfortunately, I have not adapted well to the changes in my home and my grades have fallen significantly, I have 2 B’s in my core classes, 2 C’s in my core classes, and A’s in my other classes (Orchestra, Chinese, and PE/Health). I am truly struggling this year and I feel like I will not be able to get into my dream colleges because of this semester.

    I know it will be an uphill battle to get my GPA back up, but I am ready to work hard and reach my goals, I just want to make sure that I still have a chance of attending high level universities, even after my poor performance this semester. Additionally, I am involved on a regional (Midwest) level of a national student led organization and I am involved in sports and orchestra.

    Thank you,

  317. I have A’s in all my classes except for Ap Calaculs AB, which I have an F in.I’m a Junior in high school. Am I screwed or are my chances just lower of getting into a college.

  318. hello i god 1c 1d and 3e in igcse what shud i do i really cant concentrate plzz help im in AS level now im sure i wont get admission anywhere 🙁 im really upset

  319. I’m currently a Sophomore in High School. In my freshman year I took the following classes with the final grades of:
    CP History I — 86
    CP English I — 87
    Basic Car Care — 87
    CP Spanish — 92
    Honors Env Science — 75
    Intro To Comp Tech — 87
    Honors Algebra I — 82
    Health And PE I — 94

    In sophomore year first marking period and second marking period:

    CP English II — 78 — 82
    Honors Algebra II — 72 — 76
    Honors Geometry — 59 — N/A ( Grade was posted, but I need to make-up a test which is bringing my grade down at the moment, I should be receiving a “C”)
    CP Bio — 76 — 84
    CP US History II — 80 — 83
    Honors Spanish 2 — 84 — 80
    Intro to Music — 90 — 92 and FINAL: 91
    Health and PE 2 — 100 — 99

    With these grades so far and assuming I get a “C” in Geometry, can I make it in a good college (NOT community) or University. I know my grades are not the best but all I do is go to OP (Opportunity Period – Where a student can go after school and receive extra help from their teachers or make-up assignments), do most of my homework, I stay up to late night or even early morning studying and doing homework along with extra practice problems for math. But nothing seems to go in my favor. Also I had a huge family problem in the 1st marking period of my Sophomore year that affected me (my were arguing and going through the process of a divorce). But what can I do to improve my chances into getting into a good college?

  320. Hi.
    Well… I’m a sophomore in high school and I’ve been put in classes that I was not ready for and that is really showing in my grades. I have a d and f. The past 2 nine weeks I’ve just gotten lucky and made the grade saving grades at the last minute, but now I’m struggling and with the winter weather in the South I don’t believe there is enough time to save them. I’m really nervous about my future because I want to be a vet and go to Auburn but I’m afraid that this will ruin that.

  321. I am a junior in high school I did horrible my freshman and sophmore year . but this year I’m getting better im getting a 2.5 and I’m cheer captain . I am making up my classes that I failed and passing them . can I still get in a 4 year university ? I want to attend Kansas university or Avila university but i don’t know if they would accept me cause of how bad my grades were my freshman and sophomore year.

  322. I am currently a Junior attending a public high school in MA. I was recently diagnosed with major depression and had to take off two weeks of school to attend a PHP (Partial-Hospitilization Program). I’ve had the disorder for most of my life, only for it to be recently diagnosed. My grades freshmen year were all As and Bs with the exception of two Cs and I received all As and Bs my sophomore year. Over the first two terms of this year (my junior year) my grades have ranged from a C- to an A+. I’m in three of my high school’s orchestras and principle cellist. We have an excellent music program that I take full advantage of. I played JV soccer my freshmen and sophomore years, and made varsity soccer this year, but had to quit the team due to my depression and being out for the PHP. The depression had killed any and al motivation and was very serious. I plan to write my college essay’s on how its impacted me and my struggle to overcome it. I’m doing much better now and enjoy learning so I am 100% sure that a 4 year college and possibly even more schooling after that is right for me. Do you have any further advice, besides the essays, on what I may do to help improve my chances of getting into a better college? I am going to talk to my guidance counselors and the school’s college adviser, as well as have my guidance counselor write a note on my less than desirable grades. Sorry for the lengthy response, but I’m quite nervous on what types of colleges I can get into and how my chances are of getting into school like MIT, BC, or BU.
    P.S I currently take 3 APs, 3 honors classes, and 2 cp classes (1 being gym), my grades have slowly increased over the years, and i went from 3 honors and 4 cp classes to all honors and 2 cp classes (gym included) my sophomore.
    Thanks for any advice, Matt

  323. I am currently a senior in high school, the past 3 years I was bullied from one specific girl who would violate my car, and cyber bully me, due to these events my grades really suffered and I currently have a 2.9. I had a D in ap chemistry my junior year and my senior year I might possible end my ap statistics class with a D or F, my sat scores were not the best either I ended with a 1250. I am already planning to go to a community college and I know I will buckle down and focus on my grades, my question is my dream school is duke university, if I improve my grades in community colleges will I still have a chance to be accepted there as a transfer?

  324. Hello,
    I’m currently studying at a vocational school and i am studying for the nursing field. I decided that I want to go back to school and I am not quite too sure if I should apply to a community college or a 4 year university. For one reason is because my high school transcripts aren’t all that great and I do not want to settle for community college if I can if its possible to get into a 4 year university I do not see why not. What do you think I should do?

  325. My son is a junior he is also a student athletes and his grades are not great at all. He has taken algebra 1 and 2 and made D’s in both. He is currently failing geometry will this keep him back in the 11th grade or can he retake what he needs his senior year. And how will it affect college?

  326. Hi,
    I am a rising junior that wants to go to university of Michigan. My current grades for my Sophmore year are mostly B’s but there are some A’s in Ap classes. My goal for my sat is 2400. My extracurricular are exellent. Can I still get into a good college with a bad year?

  327. Hi,
    I am going into my senior year and I am starting to look into colleges. For my freshman and sophomore years, my grades were stellar and I was in the top ten of my class. This past junior year, I have been struggling with depression, generalized anxiety disorder, self harm, and my sexuality. As a result, my grades severely suffered. I barely scraped by in some of them (I passed English with only a 66%). However, my final exam grades were amazing and I got 5s on all three of my AP exams. Also, I got a 1990 on my SAT. With the barely passing grades in my junior year, am I still going to be able to get into a good college?

  328. HI,
    I am going into my senior year this year and i did great in freshman year but my sophomore and freshman year i didn’t do so great (till the last semester in junior year) , i have been dealing with Depression and Anxiety and Some other personal issues but right now is when im finally learning how to be happy and ready for anything again and i now see that i wasnt in the right place before and im capable of so much more and I wish i could start over but i cant, Is there anything I can do to show them that in the past I wasnt ok but im eager for life now and i know college is a road that i want to take,

  329. Hello Mr. Montgomery. Actually I’m in India right now and I’m planning to move to US in October ending. I’m in 9th grade but I haven’t started my high school yet. I know that I’ve already missed about 3 months of freshman year but will they take me in the end of first semester. I heard that there will also be an exam in December which covers whatever the students learnt in their first semester. Will I be able to write that? Will this effect my grades? And what about the credits which we have to earn? Plz reply ASAP! Thank u!

  330. Hello im currently a senior and want to attend college In the fall of 2016. Well throughout my freshman and Jr. year it was really hard for me to focus because of some of the things going on in my life. Over the last couple months I have been trying to change myself as a person and take school a lot more serious. I have always wanted to go to college but Im really afraid that my grades in the past will hold me back. I would love some advice to help me with applying for schools and would like a chance to show them that i am not happy with how my past years went but I believe that I can be a mature adult and do what’s right not only in college but in life.

  331. Hello, I am currently a sophmore and i have OK grades. For my first semester i got all A’s, one B, and sadly a C in geometry. My freshman year i had a 4.0 GPA. WIll that one C hurt my chances of getting into The University of Indiana? Or is it still too early to tell? Thanks.

  332. Hello, I am a freshman in high school and currently have the worst grades imaginable (yes F’s). My GPA is around a 1.5 and I am very stressed out. I have given up. I don’t see any way out and don’t think I can get into any college. Any advice and guidance would be highly appreciated. Also if I keep up these terrible grades but can afford to pay my way into a really good college ( UVA or an ivy league), will the accept me? If I do the same with a regular college would they even accept me? I try my best to keep up with school, but ever since I started high school, I lost my pace, I don’t know why though. In middle school, I was an all honor student, and was rewarded a certificate from the governor for academic achievements. Thank you so much for your time. I need your guidance.

  333. My grades are bad in high school also, I’m in 10th grade I’ve been doing bad because I have Learning Disability, and my brother died when i was in 8th grade and every time it’s October (the month he died) i fall off track and start failing classes

  334. Hi, I am a junior in high school, so far throughout high school my grades have been decent and about average I guess you can say, and at least 1 F a year.But just before my second half of junior year started I suffered an accident. Due to this accident I was unable to go to school for about 2 months which cause my grades to drop drastically low and the end of the year is no more than two months away? With that in my records will there be a way that a college or university even bother thinking about accepting me?? Thanks in advance for a answer.

  335. I am a Jr in high school. My marks are as follows
    AP Biology….77 (c)
    Career Prep….90 (A)
    Foods 1…..71 (d)
    Math Honors…..73 (d)
    Honors Am History….86 (B)

    I am interested in nursing school. What are my chances??? Thanks Dare

  336. Hello, I’m currently a junior at my High School, and I have been struggling with school each year. I have around a 2.0 GPA and my future plan is to attend a community college and transfer to a 4-year college. I have at least 7 D’s and 1 F on my transcript, and as of right now I’m struggling with 2 months left to fix my classes. As of now I am taking 2 AP classes, not doing so well in them as i have D’s. I hope this doesn’t stir me away from any of my goals.

    I hope you can reply soon with just a message.

  337. Hi Mark
    I am currently a sophomore and I have a dream of getting into MSU. My freshman year i ended with a 3.5 gpa, having 1 C first semester and a couple of B’s with some A’s as well. Second semester freshman year i ended with all A”s except for one B in Biology. My sophomore year i decided to challenge myself and take challenging courses, I ended with a B- in Pre-AP geometry and a C in AP world History, and the rest B+/A- and my gpa at the end of the first semester went down to a 3.44. If i keep all A’s (and around A’s) this semester and get my gpa up by the end of the year, and keep getting high grades throughout junior and senior year, and score well on the SAT, would it be possible for me to get in MSU? Any advice helps! thanks!

  338. I want to say thanks firstly because reading this has really helped me as I am in my last year and absolutely terrified because I have dyslexia and dyscalculia so my grades are not exactly the best. I was wondering if you have any advice on ways to help me out with trying to get better grades for a better chance of getting into college.

  339. Hi I am a tenth grader and I have a B in one of my AP classes. I am taking five AP’s this year and it is hard to manage my time with clubs and sports. I know I have a B, but does that mean I am going to be a failure?

  340. Hi, I am freaking our right now because I have 2 F’s ending the first quarter in my Junior year. I never made and F before during a quarter and I was wondering if they affect my chances of getting into Auburn.

    If I do everything I am supposed to do and keep my GPA at a 3.6, get a 24-28 on the ACT and better than the minimum SAT score, which I know I am capable of and I will. Do you think Auburn will overlook those 2 F’s in the quarter or will they deny me? I really need some peace of mind right now. Thank you.

  341. Hello my name is Zachary and I’m wondering if I can get into Harvard my freshmen year I did poorly with a gpa of 3.6 then I really pulled my act together getting A pluses in all my classes with a gpa of 4.0 with teacher recommendations in all of my advanced classes. I have already sent my application in what do think my odds of going to Harvard are. Sincerely Zachary Hooper

  342. Hi I’m Zachary again I still want to go to Harvard I still have A pluses in all my advanced classes and teacher recommendations from all my teachers. I also have a gpa of 4.0 please tell me my odds of getting into Harvard are , Thank you for your time

  343. I forgot to tell you I am the best in my class but right now I’m only making a small amount of money I’m only making 3 million dollars a year

  344. My name in Jing, I had a gpa of 4.2 beginning of my sophomore year at high school. My first quarter I got all A’s in all of my AP classes. The second quarter however I got a 89 as a final grade. I begged my teacher to round up my B to A, even offered if I can do any extra credit. He declined and when my report card came in my dad freaked and told me that I dishonored him and with my grades I would never become a successful lawyer like my brother Chingding. Is this true? Will I not get into college?

  345. i did not know how do it but i need help doing well in other teacher grade make score go 100 grade i just got some good but math hard and sci and social study and reading writing please help me with thing i did know what do next so hard tell teacher that i got just bad low so i need someone like old 15 girl help me with everything so i be good on it did help with number answer on sheet it wrong i did know how do x and y and me someone so hard please ?

  346. Hey Mr. Montgomery,
    My name is Sam and I am failing my AP calc. math class right now. Over the past couple years i’ve had pretty good grades with a few c’s but this semester is the first time that i’ve gotten anything under a c. I’m really scared right now because i want to make it into U of I but i dont know ill they’ll accept me with a F in my Calc class right now. What are your thoughts?

    Thanks, Sam

  347. I am currently in 11th grade getting A´s,B´s, (Currently 1 D and 1 U) My GPA is a 2.8 right now and i am worried if that U in science will drop my chances of getting the twenty two credits required to graduate.

    If i take the Exam will i get the credit for that class? That´s how it works right?

    Another thing , You need 20 credits to get into the 11th grade right?

    If so can those four classes i have A´s,B´s,1 D in still give me 22 credits ?

    If i achieve this 22 credit goal : Can they hold me back for that bad science grade?

  348. I am currently in the 11th grade with a 2.8 GPA (according to the GPA calculator i used)

    I have A´s,B´s, 1 D, 1 U

    Getting in 11th grade requires 20 credits right?

    if i carry on with the other four classes grades can i still get 22 credits before graduation ?

    Will failing this Biology course hold me back?

    If i take the exam ,Can i still get the credit for the biology class? That´s how it works right?

    If i had messed up one class Freshman year it won´t hurt me now as a Junior will it?

  349. If I’m in my Freshman year and I fail one semester of my first year but do well second semester of the same year and do great like A’s and B’s for the rest of high school, can I still go to a good school like Princeton?

  350. I am currently getting a´s and B’s this year, but I had an f in one semester of my freshman year. Can I still go straight to university if I continue to get a´s, or I will have to go to community college for my f?

  351. I have a learning disability I left high school reading at a 3rd grade level.There is no way I could ever move on to higher education.I was in special ed all through school and nothing was ever expected of me.Even Community college will always be out of the question for me

  352. hi i’m 11 i hate everything because i’m in fourth grade and my entire life sucks and i question all of life can you explain why? oh! and i’ll have to be 13 by middle school i just want more fun something crazy that i’m not supposed to do. by the way my email is fake so don’t try to use it.

  353. Hi my name is Tammy Banks and I would like to know more about your school and I would like to know if I need a high school diploma or my GED 2 * classes at your school

  354. Hi guys
    I am currently a junior and my first marking period grades aren’t the best. I had pretty good grades except I got a C in Ap Chem and a C- in honors precalc. I am currently looking into ivy league schools. Will it impact me greatly or is there any way I can save my GPA and bring it close to a four. Any advice will help me greatly.

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