Will One Bad Grade Damage College Admission Decisions?
Question: Iâ€™ve always had a strong GPA and take top courses. My SAT scores are pretty good, too. Now, however, Iâ€™m about to finish the first semester of my senior year, and it looks like Iâ€™m going to get a D in Calculus BC. Will this affect my college admission decisions?
Admission officers are often willing to give a lot of slack to atypically low grades in Calculus BC because they know itâ€™s a tough course, and they admire those who tackle it anyway. However, how much your D will hurt admission decisions will depend a lot on where you are applying and other extenuating factors. For instance, if youâ€™re aiming for an Ivy League institution or other highly selective schools, your â€œcompetitionâ€ will include hundreds of other applicants who got Aâ€™s in all of their classesâ€"including Calc BC. On the other hand, if you come from a disadvantaged background, are a recruited athlete, uncommonly talented musician or writer, etc., then admission officials may be more interested in factors beyond your math prowessâ€"or lack thereof.