As a college admissions consultant , I always encourage students to succeed at the highest level in both their own classes and on the standardized medical tests required for acceptance at most colleges. But given that success is measured in a different way for every student, I want to provide some guidance for those who have a mid-range or lower GPA.
Within looking for schools that are the right “fit” for the child, we suggest broadening the criteria to include more than just the basics of a “good education” or “schools I have heard about. ” Balancing what students believe they want with what they need to be successful will be challenging. There are a few guidebooks available, like America’s Best Colleges for B Students and one of my personal favorites, Colleges That Change Lifestyles , which can help mid-range learners get started on their college search. Talking through some of the following introspective queries also may help the process to move forward.
- What am I personally hoping to gain from attending college?
- Do I execute better when I am in courses where I am challenged or where the material comes more easily?
- Do I know how to ask for extra assist or do I just accept our grades as they are?
- Do I contribute in class? Otherwise, why not?
- Do I work well in groups with my colleagues?
- Do my marks suffer if I spread myself too thin and join too many clubs or activities?
- Do I excel on tests but my grade is lowered because I do not hand in all of my homework?
- Do I enjoy talking along with my teachers and seek out extra help or would I hideout in a lecture hall and possibly miss classes if not held accountable?
The point of most of those questions is trying to get a sense associated with where students will be their best self and where they will also be most happy. Would a small college environment with a lot of personal attention from professors allow them to be more vocal or active in classes? Does wanting a rah-rah spirited campus life have to be traded in for a serious academic atmosphere? It’s often a balancing act.
Unlike many students exactly where an undecided major might be ok to start off with in college, I have discovered that many mid-range GPA students usually perform better when they have a focused plan for why they’re going to university beyond the social experience. A college that is the “right fit” for a mid-range high school student can often established them up for success at the greatest level because they are engaged, focused plus excited about what they are learning.
The good news is that the biggest trend that I have noticed among students with a mid-range or lower GPA is they are often the students who can view the most sizeable jump in their functionality if put in the right environment intended for college. If they seek out colleges which encourage students to combine classes along with internship experience or even participate in a co-op program such as those offered at Drexel University or The University of Dayton , the combination of learning and software often allows students to better determine what they are studying and therefore perform on their highest level.
Even though so much attention in the news and even in high schools is given to the highest achieving students, I have found that will working with mid-range students can be the many satisfying as we uncover opportunities plus options families never thought achievable. Rest assured, our experience is that there are lots of options for every type of student. Keeping an open mind, eyes and ears to see and hear what a variety of colleges offer may be good tip to help your student find success.
Kara Courtois is a member of College Coach’s team of college admissions experts . Kara holds levels from University of Notre Dame and University of Portland; she completed her graduate coursework on Teachers College, Columbia University and Steinhardt College of Education . Prior to signing up for College Coach, Kara was a senior admissions officer at Barnard University.