The Best Ways to Get Into College if You Can’t Improve Your Grades

One of the biggest challenges for many prospective students is finding a way to increase the odds in their favor when there grades have not been the best. Luckily, grades only account for one of many aspects that determine whether you are accepted or not. Now that’s not to say that they don’t matter, because they definitely do, but if you follow these tips you can make yourself stand out as an applicant.

  • Clean up Your Facebook

This tip extends to all social media, including Twitter, Linkedin, and Myspace. You may be surprised, but more and more colleges are looking through Facebook photos and posts in order to get a better idea about prospective students. Make sure to delete anything that may have negative implications on your character. Also, make sure to update your profile with work and volunteer information that will show your work ethic and experience.

  • Apply Early

Applying early helps eliminate some of the competition from students who will wait to apply. Not too mention, it shows you are willing to take initiative instead of waiting until the last minute to apply. Colleges want to see that you care about being accepted and this is just another little way of letting them know.

  • Retake The ACT/SAT

If you’re not happy with your ACT/SAT scores, you still have time to change them. Retake your these standardized tests and use your previous knowledge to increase you score. Even better, sign up for a ACT/SAT class or purchase a guide a book and study up. Besides your grades, this maybe the second most important factor in being selected by a college.

  • Request an Interview

If you really want to get a foot in the door, quite literally, you need to request an interview. This is a great opportunity to meet with a staff member who can put a face to your application, making you stand out. This will also show that you care about being accepted and are determined to go the extra distance compared to other students who do not interview. During the interview you can show off your sparkling personality and highlight any relevant skills or experience that you don’t have the opportunity to share in an application.

  • Make Your Essay Shine

In previous articles, I’ve stressed the importance of making a impressive personal essay, but I want to reiterate this point again. The personal essay offers another opportunity to reveal who you are to your prospective schools. Let them know about your passions and goals in life. Colleges are looking for students that they can be proud to have as alumni some day.

  • Increase Your Pool of Possible Colleges

It may seem simple, but if you don’t apply to enough colleges, you’re severely limiting your chances of being accepted. You should also be sure to add some back up choices in case you don’t get into your first pick schools. This can be the hardest part about applying, but you need to realistically evaluate your choices and make sure that you’re applying to schools that will accept students with lower grades.

Even with a low GPA, there’s plenty you can do to improve your chances of being accepted. Don’t give up; gear up and get ahead of the competition. If you have any other suggestions, be sure to include them in the comments.

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Ryan Schapals

Ryan Schapals

Ryan Schapals is a senior at DePaul University studying Creative Writing and Psychology. Outside of class, Ryan can be found working in the Pysch Lab or at a local health clinic. When he's not distracted by cat videos, he tries to balance his time between playing guitar, writing prose, and running around the soccer field.

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