Many college graduates often find themselves with the challenge of graduating with a low GPA and the need to apply to a graduate school in order to further up their education levels, mainly because graduate school provides a very effective means of acquiring better job positions, professional growth, a better salary and a better overall lifestyle in the long run. The main problem is that academic performance at the undergraduate level as well as GPA play very big major roles at the moment of a graduate school accepting an applicant, this fact puts many prospective students at a great disadvantage when applying.
How can exactly students with low GPA be accepted to a graduate program? There are many considerations to take in mind as well as the analysis of several factors in order to properly know what graduate schools look for apart from GPA and undergraduate academic performance. In which a detailed bulleted list below represents these categories as personal and character skills, strategies at the moment of applying and other factors to always keep in mind no matter how surprising they may seem to you.
Personal & Character Evaluation
- Apply to a graduate school that will completely evaluate your application as a whole and not precisely on your GPA or academic performance during your undergraduate studies. These types of graduate schools effectively evaluate all the components of your application and may offer you a better chance of admission if you have a low GPA.
- Even though undergraduate grades and a high GPA are fundamental factors when applying to graduate school, they are not the only two factors that a graduate school looks for. You can take advantage of this approach by demonstrating who you really are, explaining your reasons behind your low academic performance, unique experiences and challenges in your life and your future plans in the long run. If you properly address these considerations in writing with a mature tone, you will be able to demonstrate another side of the picture within your application in which schools always take into account.
- Represent yourself as a well-rounded individual that has many other skills, character attributes and personal qualities to offer to the graduate school and in your career in the long run. These can be in the form of extracurricular activities; sports that you practiced, work experience in your career and many other established activities that make you stand out from the crow of applicants.
Strategies at the Moment of Applying
- Truly show yourself who you really are, what your strengths and weaknesses are and what you can do to achieve better academic performance if you were to be accepted at this particular graduate school that you are applying to. Always make sure to apply to several graduate schools that will evaluate your application in its entirety and effectively give you the chance to offer your other qualifications in lieu of your low GPA.
- Obtain two or three well written recommendation letters from people who truly know who you are and who can effectively bring a persuasive letter based on your qualifications as a whole person. These recommendations play a very important role in determining the character of each applicant and the overall relationship between the student and the person who wrote the recommendation letter.Â
- If the graduate school offers as part of its application process a personal interview, by all means accept the invitation or select that you want an interview. This interview will be usually be conducted by an alumni of the graduate school and it is your chance to represent yourself as a person so that the alumni can recommend you to the admissions department by truly reflecting what he or she saw in you as a potential candidate, in spite of your academic performance.
- Lastly, many graduate schools require you to write an essay as part of the application process, it is highly recommended for you to focus on a specific essay topic that you can write about and effectively show the school your level of interest and what you know as a person. Coherent, well-written essays give you an opportunity to establish a profound first impression on the school, giving you an excellent way to properly gain some advantage points in getting admission to the graduate program of your choice.
All of these presented recommendations and suggestions require a great deal of discipline, persistence and long term commitment from your part. It is your opportunity to show schools that you as an individual have more things to offer than good grades, do not let your bad grades or low GPA bring you down in this competitive process, give yourself the chance as an individual to succeed and the value that you have within your soul, mind and spirit to properly be admitted to the graduate program that you desire so that you can rack up all the personal and professional benefits of completing this particular program in your life.Â