For students who struggle academically in high school, the college application process can be especially stressful. The competitive admissions process can make these students feel like college is out of reach, but there are still options (U.S. News & World Report: 4 College Admissions Strategies for Students With Bad Grades).
Do not let bad grades keep you from applying to college! Instead, use the following strategies to strengthen your college application:
1. Take responsibility, and take the time to offer an honest explanation about your grades. “You can point out on it, ‘I take full responsibility for the grades that I earned early on. I was not mature enough. I didn’t realize the effort that it would take to be successful in high school. I’ve learned and I’ve improved,'” says Nancy McDuff, associate vice president for admissions and enrollment management at the University of Georgia.
2. Get recommendation letters from teachers and counselors. “Students should develop close relationships with counselors and teachers and have an explicit discussion about what they’d like addressed before a letter is written, experts say.”
3. Wait until regular admission to apply, and use that time to improve your grades. “Students should use their teachers as tutors, visiting them frequently to discuss what to focus on and what weaknesses to work on.”
4. Start at a community college. “For students without the academic background for a four-year institution, admissions officials recommend attending a community college for at least a year. That’s especially true if students need to catch up on developmental course work.”
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