There are several things you can do to try to mitigate the low GPA
. The fact is upward trending is indeed helpful.
- Take a reputable course or two and earn A grade—the work experience shows you can excel at work, and the high GMAT shows you are smart and have academic potential, but only actual good grades demonstrate that you do and can excel in the classroom – all different things, even if inter-related. “Reputable” can be a good online course such as those at UCLA or a local community college. This step also shows willingness to acknowledge a weakness and commitment to the MBA process. It’s good timing as you should be able to sign up for summer courses still.
- In the applications directly acknowledge the low GPA and discuss why it happened in an optional essay. Keep it succinct.
- As you note, optimizing the various areas of the application
is also important – always a good idea, but with such a low GPA you really must “WOW” your readers with the essays and resume. The essays need to be home runs.
- Apply to as many schools as is feasible for you – I find that when there is an “outlier” factor in an application that is otherwise strong, increasing the opportunities for the application to “click” with a reader personally helps. There’s always an element of unpredictability in how this factor will appear to a given reader – adcoms (regardless of what they say) tend to be conservative, and adcoms to top programs have a wealth of great applicants of every demographic/industry to choose from, so you need to give them an affirmative reason to admit you even with this one weakness over all those other great applicants.
Senior Advisor, Accepted
Follow Accepted on Twitter
Friend Accepted on Facebook
Subscribe to Accepted's Blog