Q&A: Can I get in to Stanford or Columbia?

Question by Taytay: Can I get in to Stanford or Columbia?
I have always wanted to go to Stanford or Columbia for college. They are my 1st choice schools hands down. I’ve had perfect grades my entire life but now they are slipping. Freshman year I had all As with a B in french 2nd semester. First semester Sophomore year I had all As with a B in AP Euro. But now its 2nd Semester and I have 3 Bs, 2 Cs, one A in AP English Lang/Comp. Is there any way I could still get into these amazing schools? I had a lot of personal catastrophes at the beginning of this year and they really pulled my grades down. I’m going to try to bring some of them up but I just don’t know if it will happen 🙁 I want to do Scientific research, preferably in oncology. If not, I may shift my focus to fashion design/merchandising and acting.
As far as my unidentified ‘catastrophes’ I have been on the edge for the last year with self harm and possible eating disorder(s). at the beginning of the semester I was grounded by my parents for 2 months. My grades dropped dramatically as I was deprived of any escape or outlet which drove me to other extremes, almost to my breaking point. I ended up telling my parents about my problems and am now going to therapy.

Best answer:

Answer by Rotorwings
Nope, not a chance with B’s and C’s on your transcript. You can still get into a good college and if you do well you could go there for med school or graduate school.

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One thought on “Q&A: Can I get in to Stanford or Columbia?”

  1. It’s a myth that you’ll automatically be deemed unworthy of admission to Stanford and other top-caliber colleges if you have a B on your transcript, but it is true that the majority who get in are straight-A students. I got a B in AP Chemistry the second semester of my junior year of high school, and still got into Stanford. One B, and perhaps even two in your whole high school career isn’t going to be significantly damaging, especially if they were in classes with a higher degree of difficulty like an AP. More than that and your chance of admission will diminish dramatically unless you’re a recruited athlete or have accomplished something extraordinary. It’s not totally hopeless, though.

    You will have the opportunity to explain any events in your life that impacted your performance. Stanford has a holistic evaluation process for applicants, and considers how well each one performed within his or her personal context. A bright applicant who has endured catastrophes that understandably affected her ability to fulfill her potential might still get in despite lower grades one semester. If you get all A’s your junior year and the first semester of your senior year, earn a high score on the ACT and SAT, and have impressive extracurricular accomplishments you could possibly still be a contender. You cannot hang your hopes on getting into these colleges. You have to understand that Stanford and Columbia are “reach” schools for everyone who applies because of the extreme level of competition. Stanford now has the lowest admit rate of any college in the US. Over 94% of applicants to the class of 2017 were denied admission. Everyone who applies must have “safety” schools in mind.

    It’s a myth that you’ll automatically be deemed unworthy of admission to Stanford and other top-caliber colleges if you have a B on your transcript, but it is true that the majority who get in are straight-A students. I got a B in AP Chemistry the second semester of my junior year of high school, and still got into Stanford. One B, and perhaps even two in your whole high school career isn’t going to be significantly damaging, especially if they were in classes with a higher degree of difficulty like an AP. More than that and your chance of admission will diminish dramatically unless you’re a recruited athlete or have accomplished something extraordinary. It’s not totally hopeless, though.

    You will have the opportunity to explain any events in your life that impacted your performance. Stanford has a holistic evaluation process for applicants, and considers how well each one performed within his or her personal context. A bright applicant who has endured catastrophes that understandably affected his or her ability to fulfill

    Do your best to improve your grades so you’ll have a better shot at getting into an excellent college. How much of this semester do you have left? Is there any way you can bring the grades up? Talk with your teachers and ask what, if anything, you can do to notch the grades up. If you can get the Cs to Bs and the Bs to As you’ll be make your way back to the right track. Talk with your guidance counselor about your ambitions and ask about possible opportunities in your area. Colleges love go-getters who take initiative. Ask if your high school has a dual enrollment program at a community college, and see if you might able to take a couple of science classes over one summer. Also explore whether there are internship or volunteer programs. Many hospitals have teen volunteer programs, and it would be a way of you gaining a little applied experience. If you’re a musician also look to see if the hospitals near you have a musicians program where you go in and play for patients who have requested a visit. Make sure you spend your summers productively, whatever you do.

    “I want to do Scientific research, preferably in oncology.” ~ This is a YAY.
    “If not, I may shift my focus to fashion design/merchandising and acting.” This is a NAY.

    At Stanford we refer to film and theater as “fuzzy” majors. Most who pursue them are “safety net fuzzies,” meaning that they come from affluent families will provide a financial cushion for them to fall on when they are unable to establish careers with those majors. Fashion design is also a fuzzy. Most struggle to get jobs. There’s a wide breadth of opportunity for scientific research.

    Good luck to you!

    ~ skylark : )

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