Preparing for College

U. of Miami for Jamaican Student with 2.8 GPA?

Question:I have a 2.8 gpa and I am an international student from Jamaica. U. of Miami is my dream school. I play a lot of sports and I am in a lot of clubs. I am a high school junior about to be a senior. What should I do for senior year?

Your GPA (2.8) is extremely low for the University of Miami. Only about 2% of all U. of Miami freshmen enter with a GPA between 2.5 and 2.99. So it seems like your only (long-shot) chance of admission would be as a highly recruited athlete. If you are outstanding in any of your sports (i.e., one of the top players in your age bracket in all of Jamaica), then you should contact the appropriate Miami coach. (The coaches' names and email addresses can be found on the university's athletic Web site.) Explain your interest in the university and provide details about your experience and ability in your sport. Note, however, that U. of Miami recruits athletes from around the world, so you would need to be exceptionally talented to be considered.

You should also search for other colleges where you will be welcomed with a 2.8 GPA. Try College Confidential's SuperMatch which will help you find schools that meet your preferences as well as your profile: If you are especially interested in schools in Florida, you can choose your location preference on the SuperMatch questionnaire.

Note, however, that if you require financial assistance, the bar will be set extremely high for you (unless you are a U.S. citizen). International students requiring financial aid who are admitted to U.S. colleges usually have GPA's and SAT scores that are well above those of the typical admitted freshman. If you haven't taken the SAT yet, you should sign up now to do so at the start of your senior year. (See ) Alternatively, you can try the ACT instead. (See ).

Admission to U.S. colleges can be a complex and daunting process, but hopefully you'll find some help from College Confidential. Good luck!

(posted 7/10/2011)