Do I still have a chance of getting into UCLA?First semester sophomore year:Straight A's except one B in trig/pre calc honorsSecond semester sophomore year:Straight A's except one B in world...

Do I still have a chance of getting into UCLA?

First semester sophomore year:
Straight A's except one B in trig/pre calc honors

Second semester sophomore year:
Straight A's except one B in world history AP and one C in trig/pre calc honors

It's just that lately, I haven't been focusing well on my studies because I was just so caught up with all the school activities that I tried to get myself involved with. I got tired of the expectations that I set up for myself and it dragged me down. It seems like my application is already plain already, due to the fact that I have been running for cabinet in various clubs but never got the positions. I am in basketball, NHS, Red Cross, CSF, marching band, and MOMA (a motivation group for incoming freshmen).

Next year, I will be taking at least 4 AP'S and I will try my very best. However, I'm just scared that this C will ruin my chances of getting into a really good college. I really want a second chance to start all over, but unfortunately, that cannot be achieved.

Do I still have a chance of getting into my ideal college, UCLA or should I just give up on that dream?

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Jessica Gardner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree with kipling2448. With college admissions, besides proving that you are a high achiever academically, the most important thing you can demonstrate is that you are an involved member of the student body. It looks like you participate in a variety of extracurriculars and you are committed to taking AP classes on top of that. That alone shows that you are determined to be well-prepared for college life.

Remember as well that the grade that you get in an AP class is weighted; the B you received in AP world history counts as an A. This means that your GPA for that semester would be 3.6, while your GPA for the entire year would be about 3.7 if I'm correct. For some statistics on UCLA admissions, here's the info the campus provided about their most recent freshman class:

The average admitted applicant to UCLA for the Fall Quarter 2013 had a weighted GPA (a GPA that includes all extra grade points for honors or AP coursework) of 4.41, an unweighted GPA (no extra points) of 3.89, an SAT Reasoning Test score of 2055, an ACT Assessment composite score of 30, 21* semesters of honors/AP course work completed between 10th and 12th grades, and 53 semesters of college prep course work overall.

While these are merely averages, you can use these stats as a yardstick to measure your junior year against. Taking 4 AP classes is a big undertaking, but it is obviously important to a school like UCLA. Bear in mind that the unweighted GPA of the average incoming freshman is not a perfect 4.0, so don't stress over receiving less than an A on one of your courses. 

Good luck!

kipling2448 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The only authoritative answer to the question of whether you can gain acceptance into UCLA or any other university has to come from the admissions department of each institution.  There are number of factors that enter into the decision on whether to admit any particular applicant.  Certainly, your completion of Advanced Placement courses helps, as does your overall GPA (an assumption based upon the limited information you provided).

Not factored into your question, however, is your performance on the standardized exams, at least one of which you will be required to take prior to acceptance into any university.  I am referring here to the ACT and SAT examinations.  How well you perform on those exams will be an important factor in how your overall academic records are viewed.  Doing well can tip the balance in your favor; conversely, doing poorly could tip it against you.  

Admissions directors look at the entirety of an applicant's record.  That includes extracurricular activities, of which you appear to have many.  Not being an admissions director, I cannot tell whether a particular school will admit you.  I can tell you, however, that the one "C" is highly unlikely to hurt your overall record.

chrisyhsun | Student

As the other answers have stated, there is no definitive way to answer this question except for actually applying and receiving the results. That being said, I don’t see a reason to not apply simply because you might not fit all the criteria. Lots of colleges take a very holistic approach to the application process, and different categories may balance one another out. Admissions offices look at all different categories, and there’s no set formula to the process, so the result may be unpredictable.

That being said, there are some overall things you can do now that may put you in a better position when the application process actually comes around. You mentioned that you tried for a lot of cabinet positions but didn’t get any of them. Maybe a solution to this is to focus more on a smaller number of groups rather than overstretching yourself and not being fully dedicated to any. Depending on what year of high school you are in, you might still have time to relax your involvement in some groups, focus on a smaller number, and try again for the cabinet positions later on. Limiting your involvement to a few groups will also help you have more time for your academics. If it’s a bit too late to do that strategy, try being a really involved member. From my experiences, cabinet members generally lead different initiatives (social, service, events, etc) but maybe there is room for you to be involved and help out with the roles of a cabinet member. Even though this work may not show up on a list and you’ll technically be just a “member”, these experiences could become great essay material and descriptions of what the club was about. 

Last but not least, remember to keep those grades up as much as possible. I’m sure you already know that, though, so I won’t elaborate too much there. Mostly, keep in mind that while one C is a “slip-up”, the more there are, the more it starts to define you as a student, and I’m sure that’s not what you want to do. Good luck with the 4 APs! Don’t be afraid to reach out for help, whether it be with a tutor outside of school or asking your teacher.

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