Quick Links

Sign up to our Newsletter

[wysija_form id=”2″]

Tips for Applying to College with Low GPA

by Staff | December 1, 2015

Education Academic

Although students’ grades are playing a lesser role in the college admission process, the competitions have gotten remarkably fierce.

The good news is, colleges nowadays are not only looking for those with outstanding academic achievements but with upstanding characters as well who will contribute to their campuses.

In other words, even if you already have a less than impressive GPA, you still have a shot at getting into a fairly decent educational institution.

So when you are applying for college, be sure to showcase that you are more than worthy beyond the classroom.

The importance of a polished cover letter.

First impression last: this holds true for the cover letter. This should be a top priority for any student.

Most students will go in boastful fashion of all of their accomplishments; avoid doing this same thing that other applicants will do. It must be the other way around; demonstrate that the school is a perfect fit for your own development and growth as a person, as well as what value you can contribute to making the school better.

Furthermore, the tone must be confident but not too arrogant, conveying a certain warm to the person who will be reading this. Also, it is by no means beneficial to sound too good to be true. Revealing weakness and mistakes often times has a positive effect as it displays the ability to overcome setbacks.

When all tied up to a well-presented page, the cover letter can definitely impress the admission board to stand among the rest.

The effect of relevant experience.

Any experience mentioned, whether it’s in the cover letter or resume, must be relevant to the study program that you are looking to get admitted into. The goal of presenting such experience is to reinforce a sense of competence and capability, and not to display vanity.

Volunteering, paid work, and extracurricular activities like sports are all excellent elements to add onto the experience section for the application.

Gathering experience relevant to the program prior to applying can be a great solution to offset average grades. (Hence, ever heard of competency-based college programs?)

The road of redemption: standardized test.

If your GPA are just barely good enough to be eligible for admission, taking standardized test may be the winning ace to offset subpar grades.

Standardized tests are becoming optional, but they are still recommended if your grades aren’t the best – and only send them if you perform well.

Prior to the test, invest in proper preparation to ensure a high score. If you are absolutely positive that you won’t score a high percentage bracket, then standardized test may not be for you to avoid wasting money, time, and effort.

The merit from others’ recommendation.

In order to validate the exhaustive list of qualities mentioned in the cover letter, recommendations are a part of the college application process.

The letters can come from teachers, school administrators, leaders of the community, or former/current employer. It goes without saying that the individual who will be writing the letter should personally know you in a good light.

The letter must reinforce the competence presented in the cover letter, and be up-to-date (around 2 to 3 years old maximum) in case the person you asked gets contacted for further clarification and verification.


Top colleges want to ensure that they are admitting the right students who are more than just numbers and letters to enrich their school. Putting forward your outside-classroom qualities is the key to proving that you will contribute that positive impact to their school when other students are solely and selfishly only out for their grades.

by Staff

Indulge Instafo Info

View All Entire Glossary Entries Of Articles By Our Staffs. Published by Instafo:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • My sister would like to apply to college which is why she’s currently looking for a consultant service. Well, it’s also a good thing that you clarified here the importance of doing extracurricular activities because this will help with her low GPA. Thank you for sharing here as well that she must have a back university too.

  • From my point of view, students who are planning to enter in college should consult with a counseling service that will be able t guide them through their choices. Well, you made a pretty good point about the importance of volunteering and doing some extra curricular activities because this may help them have a chance in being accepted. Thank you for stating here that a standardized test is just an option too.