How to get into your dream school even if you have bad grades

We are often led to believe that our grades mean everything in high school if we want to get into college. A low GPA can be seen as a one-way ticket to college rejection letters, but is that necessarily the case? Not always. If you’ve got bad grades and want to get into your dream college, follow some of these handy tips.

Explain the low GPA

Sometimes life just gets in the way. There may be a real reason that you’ve been getting bad grades, such as problems at home, illness, or even just your own lack of dedication. If you can take responsibility for whatever has happened and explain it eloquently in your personal statement, then perhaps your dream college will look past your GPA. Everyone makes mistakes, and it’s essential that you use your personal statement to explain what you’ve learned on your high school journey and how things will be different in college. Own it, and you might just impress the admission officials enough to let you in!

How to get into your dream school even if you have bad grades

Recommendation letters

As well as writing an impressive personal statement, that explains the low GPA, consider asking for recommendation letters from your high school counselor or teacher. Make sure you have developed a close relationship with them before you ask for a recommendation, and ask them what you need to do to receive a glowing referral. You’ll probably be asked to put in some extra hours work, to prove that you really do care, but it will all be worth it. They will then be able to explain how you’ve improved or why you’d make a great asset to your dream college.

Alternative admissions programs

Some colleges now offer alternative admissions programs that are extremely useful for two reasons. The first is that you could be offered a place at your dream college, with lower tests scores than you’d imagine. The second perk is that you’ll actually be given additional support in your first year, to help make the transition from high school to college that little bit easier. You may be given extra lessons in any subject you’re struggling in, such as math or writing skills, and then be fully prepared for when college gets tougher. See if your dream college has an alternative admissions program and find out what you need to apply.

How to get into your dream school even if you have bad grades

Wait to apply

You may find that early admission is the most competitive time to apply for your dream college, so hold back a little. If you have a low GPA, then you’ll be better off applying during regular admission and using that extra time to put in some extra work. Take on additional courses, focus on your grades, and do everything you can to impress when it comes to admissions time. Then, use your personal statement to show how much you’ve improved.

Applying to your dream college can seem daunting, especially when your grades aren’t so good. However, these top tips should help prove what an asset you’ll be to that particular college. You never know if you don’t try.