Preparing for College

Is 3.0 GPA Too Low for U. of Miami?

Question: I'm a senior with a 3.0 GPA, and I'm worried that it is too low for acceptance to the University Of Miami. Is it?

According to the College Board, about 4% of U. of Miami entering freshmen had a high school GPA between 3.0 and 3.24, and 1% were between 2.5 and 2.99. The vast majority (87%) were at 3.5 or above.

So ... your GPA is definitely low for Miami ... possibly too low. BUT, some extenuating circumstances might apply.

-Do you have a rising record? In other words, maybe you had some C's and D's in 9th and 10th grade but only A's and B's as a junior. So your grades in your younger years will drag down your GPA, but if you did well in 11th grade and get off to a very strong start this fall, admission committees won't put as much weight on your first couple years in high school.

-Are you an underrepresented minority student? Are you from a disadvantaged background? Have you had to overcome any huge obstacles (e.g., family problems, physical disabilities)? If you can answer yes to any of these, admission officials may cut you some slack when it comes to your low GPA.

-Do you attend a school where A's are uncommon? Some high schools, particularly private ones, aren't very generous with A's, so a B average can put you up towards the top of your class.

-Are you a recruited athlete or do you have any unique talents? Probably not or you would have said so, but sometimes these "hooks" can help admission committees to see beyond the GPA.

You don't mention your SAT or ACT scores, but these will play a big role in your admission verdict, too, especially with your GPA on the low side. If U. of Miami is your dream school, you should definitely apply, but be sure that you have other, safer options on your list as well.