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My daughter is a junior at Main High School in Anytown, CA. She has always been a good student - she usually gets A’s and B’s. But last year, she started hanging out with kids that don’t care about grades and her grades have dropped to C’s and D’s. Has she ruined her chances to get into a 4-year college?
Your daughter has many options available to her at this time. When you say that she has received A’s and B’s, I’m assuming that her grades started to fall in 11th grade. Do you have your daughter’s GPA? If you don’t, you can get it from her high school counselor. Typically, colleges look at a student’s grades in the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades when they calculate the GPA (grade point average). Her 11th grade GPA will be the most important to college admissions officers so now is the time to buckle down and pull up her GPA. If she needs a tutor, hire one to help her with concepts and to prepare for final exams.
College admissions officers also consider her SAT or ACT scores. Did she take the PSAT in October? If she did, her PSAT scores will give you her general range. She will need to take the SAT I or ACT with Writing in May or June of her junior year. Some colleges also require the SAT II Subject Tests, which she can take in May or June. If she is a strong test taker, these scores can offset a lower GPA. You can get an ACT or SAT practice workbook for her so she can start preparing for these tests, or you can sign up for a SAT or ACT workshop.
The good news is that she still has time during her junior year to pull up her grades and to prepare for the SATs/ACTs. If you would like to really improve her chances of getting into a 4-year college, she might consider doing a project. A project consists of taking an original idea that she is passionate about and starting a non-profit organization to support the idea. If you would like more information about starting a project, we can continue this discussion, or you can check out Beat the College Admissions Game: Do a Project!
I hope I have answered your questions. If you have further questions about how to motivate her to get good grades, recommendations on SAT/ACT prep, or how to start a project, just ask another question!