Will “B” in Summer Class Hurt Admission Chances?


Question: I will be a junior in high school this fall, and I am currently taking a summer Intro to Business course at a community college. I currently have an 85 in the class, and I don't think I will be able to bring it up to an "A." Will getting a B in this class hurt my admission chances a lot if I choose to apply with a major in the finance field?

“The Dean" remembers her own high school days long ago when a “B" could be a cause for celebration, not for worry. But in today's hyper-competitive, everybody-gets-a-trophy world, students are often stressed over any grade that isn't perfect.

So will this B hurt your college admission odds a lot? No, of course not. But will there be any fallout at all? Well, that depends on where you're applying and what else is on your application. At most colleges across the country, a "B" (and even the occasional "C") will have no negative impact whatsoever. But at the small handful of institutions with acceptance rates in the single digits, you will be up against other candidates with only A's on their records. Thus it's important for even outstanding students to recognize just how daunting the competition can be. If, however, the rest of your profile is strong (top grades and test scores; interesting, atypical extracurricular activities or talents; maybe an uncommon background) then the less-than-perfect grade won't affect you, even at the pickiest places.

Because you are clearly concerned about just one "B," it sounds to “The Dean" that you are accustomed to getting all A's. So before you make your college plans down the road, you might want to ask yourself why you didn't do quite as well this time. Was it because it was summer and you had other distractions that kept you out of study mode? Was the teacher confusing or poorly prepared? Was the material especially difficult? Did you find it boring? If you answered “yes" to either of the last two questions, give some thought to your future major in finance. It would be wise for you to take another course or two in business, accounting, economics etc. before you're ready to apply to college. This could help you to decide if you truly like the subject matter or if, perhaps, your true interests lie elsewhere. Just one class is certainly not enough proof that this field isn't a good fit for you. So if you can squeeze in a couple more, you'll get a stronger sense of whether that "B" was just an aberration ... or a warning. But, in either case, don't fret about it!


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