Preparing for College

Waiting for First-Semester Grades Before Applying to Rolling Admission Colleges--Smart or Dumb Move?

Question: My school just sent my transcript to three universities that have rolling admissions. I waited until now to apply because I'm trying to show an upward trend. By holding off until mid-February, admission officials will be able to see my entire first semester. My test grades were fine for these rolling schools, but my GPA was the real issue. My marks in 9th and 10th grade were disappointing. I had no work ethic then, but my junior year went very well (3.6 unweighted in tough classes). So I wanted to show colleges that this upward curve has continued in 12th grade as well. I am, however, wondering whether or not I'll have a tougher chance getting in as the rolling schools have fewer spots this late in the season. Thanks for any help in advance.

That's a tough call because there are advantages to waiting until you have the strongest possible transcript but there are also advantages, as you suggest, to the "first-come, first-served" approach, and classes do fill up quickly at some places. However, if you were a borderline applicant (or perhaps even below that) before you got your latest grades, then waiting was probably the best strategy. I'd need a lot more information about your overall profile in order to weigh in responsibly on your admission odds and on whether or not you were wise to wait till now to apply. But, from what I do know, it sounds like you did the right thing.

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