Q
I'm taking AP Physics B as a sophomore and not doing very well in the class. First semester I scraped by with a C, and if I improve at all second semester, it won't be by much. My GPA dropped significantly first semester this year. My cumulative went from a 3.9 to a 3.71. My semester GPA was 3.2, and second semester freshmen year I managed to have a 3.95. So it's a significant drop. If I improve my grades, how will this look to colleges? One bad semester?
A

Hi there,

It is to tough bounce back from a GPA drop like that, but in your situation, you have two factors working in your favor. One, that you’re challenging yourself by taking a really demanding class early, and two, that you have a high overall GPA that’s going to make it easy to recover . One C is definitely not going to break you, especially in the case of an obviously rigorous class like that.

Thanks!
AB


Q
I am in the second semester of my senior year so all of my apps are in and I have received some acceptances already. However, I am concerned about a sport that I listed on my applications. I said that I would play this sport on its Varsity team during my senior year on my apps but I am thinking about dropping it second semester. If I do drop the sport, should I report it to all the colleges I applied to? And would this be grounds for my acceptance to be rescinded from colleges I already got into
Anonymous
A

Hi there anon,
This can be kind of a tricky question because it depends on how the sport in question is being used in your admissions decision. Are you being recruited as an athlete at the schools you’re applying to? If you’ve spoken to coaches and made plans to play the sport at the college level, then, yes, you probably need to inform them of your decision. However, if you aren’t being recruited and you’re just worried about having less extra-curriculars, don’t be. As long as you weren’t intentionally dishonest about your involvement, it’s pretty unlikely that schools will rescind over something like that.

Thanks for asking!

—AB


Q
Would college look down on me if I have no "major awards"? Because I only have a few student of the year awards at my school, and hopefully will get an AP scholar one, but that's it.
A

Hi there, thanks for the question,

In most cases, awards look good if you have them, but aren’t the sort of thing that will be held against you if you don’t. If the rest of you application is good, I wouldn’t worry too much not having enough awards.

Thanks for asking!

—AB


You Are Not Your GPA: Four “What-If” Scenarios and Why They’re Not The End of the World

    


GPA anxiety seems to be the new epidemic among the college-bound slice of the internet these days. We know your GPA represents years of hard work, but at the end of the day, how much can one little number really say about you as a student? Here’s five common GPA-related worries we’ll do our best to reassure you about.

Scenario 1: What if…you had a bad first year? 

Read More


Q
Do major university, such as University of Washington or University of California Los Angles, prefer a student taking AP courses at high school or a student taking the dual enrollment programs at local community colleges?
Anonymous
A

Hi Anon,

This kind of question depends entirely on the kind of school you go to. If your school offers no AP classes, dual enrollment in challenging courses at a local community college will most likely give you the same boost in admissions that taking a rigorous, AP-heavy schedule would. In fact, you may even get additional points for seeking out a challenging course load when your school doesn’t offer one. 

However, if your school offers both a lot of AP courses and Dual Enrollment, they’ll probably be about the same in the admissions committee’s eyes (assuming they’re equally challenging).

Keep in mind that Dual Enrollment is great if 1) you want to get started on a specific or unusual area of study, or 2) your school offers no AP classes, but it can be tricky to manage and not all your classes will transfer like AP’s do. Make sure you know all the details before you get started in something like Dual Enrollment.

So sorry about the delay, hope this helps!

-AB


College Profile: Occidental College

The Blurb: a private Liberal Arts college located in Los Angeles, California, Occidental is affectionately known as “Oxy” by it’s students and alumni. The College features a unique core curriculum common to many liberal arts programs and is ranked by the Princeton Review as one of the Best Western Colleges

The Stats:

  • Acceptance Rate: 42%
  • Location: Los Angeles, California
  • Size: Medium-Small (roughly 2000 undergrads)
  • Housing: First year students are guaranteed on-Campus housing, with 80% of students overall living in campus housing
  • Financial Aid: Occidental meets 100% of demonstrated need, with slightly more than half of freshmen receiving financial aid of some sort. Merit aid is available.
  • Additional Notes: Oxy offers many unique joint-degree/cooperative programs: students can take classes at Cal-Tech, Art Center College of Design, and others. Students interested in Law can apply to Occidental’s accelerated law program with Columbia University.

Q
Hi! So I just got into a really good college BUT I am really worried that my acceptance might be withdrawn because I am struggling in AP Calculus AB. It has a reputation of being super hard but people with Cs will most likely get a 4 or a 5 in the AP test. So I'm getting a C right now, I'm really trying to pull it up to a B. But is there a chance that they might remove my acceptance even though I have As in the rest of my classes?
Anonymous
A

Hi Anon!

We knew this question would come once acceptances started rolling around, and we’re so glad you asked—

Thankfully, we can almost promise you that your acceptance will not be rescinded over one C.  Honestly, colleges go through a lot of time and paper work to select you; one mediocre grade will not be enough to make them do the additional work to retract their offer. Yes, there are things that can get your offer rescinded—getting all F’s, not graduating, getting a felony charge, lying on your application—but if there’s a few bumps in your transcript at the end of the year, don’t sweat it.

Thanks, and good luck with Calculus!

—AB

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