Afraid your grades aren’t good enough for college?

April 27, 2012

While ideally every high school student should care deeply about their academic performance, the truth is that many young people don't start trying until the prospect of college is right around the corner. If you fit this description, you may be worried that your GPA isn't high enough to get into a decent school - much less qualify for scholarship opportunities.

However, less-than-stellar grades don't automatically disqualify you from attending a four-year college or university. For starters, most colleges only consider GPA as part of the admissions equation while also looking at SAT/ACT scores, community involvement and extracurricular activities. Strong performance in other areas can help offset a lower GPA.

Applying to a school "early decision" can also boost your chances of getting in, as acceptance rates in this category tend to be higher at certain schools. Even if you don't make the initial cut, you might be waitlisted, which still gives you a decent shot. However, be aware that applying early decisions means that you have to go to that school should you be admitted.

If these options still aren't enough, consider attending a community college for a year or two. Here, you can begin earning credits and building up your post-secondary GPA with the intention of transferring to a four-year school down the line.

Don't forget about scholarship options for making tuition more manageable. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 66 percent of all undergraduates were awarded financial aid in some capacity during the 2007 to 2008 school year - meaning you have a good shot of receiving a scholarship to help pay for college.

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