Low Undergrad GPA Success Stories : The B-School Application
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# Low Undergrad GPA Success Stories

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Current Student
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22 Jun 2009, 08:20
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Being that there are a lot of threads addressing how to overcome a low GPA, here is a thread for success stories only. Please share the following:

1) Your undergrad GPA (you might also add major, type of school, progression, country, etc if you wish)
2) Dings you got (as well as any other factors besides a low GPA that might have come into play)
3) Schools you got admitted at

I know there are quite a few of us with a similar issue to overcome, so I thought it might be useful to organize what we know in one thread. Cmon on guys, give us some hope
Director
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22 Jun 2009, 10:14
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1. 3.17, Finance, Large State-School, (Two Fs on transcript)
2. Dinged at Booth and UCLA (Anderson)
3. Accepted at Texas and Matriculating at Kellogg

A low GPA can certainly be overcome. Remember, this isn't Yale Law School or Harvard Med School where one B will kill you.
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22 Jun 2009, 10:39
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2.999 undergrad GPA here... Ya, they actually list it as 2.999 on my transcript. How irritating is that?
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22 Jun 2009, 11:10
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jb32 wrote:
1. 3.17, Finance, Large State-School, (Two Fs on transcript)
2. Dinged at Booth and UCLA (Anderson)
3. Accepted at Texas and Matriculating at Kellogg

A low GPA can certainly be overcome. Remember, this isn't Yale Law School or Harvard Med School where one B will kill you.

3.17, that doesn't count as low GPA.

Success stories would be more like zoinnk -Wharton (Mat)/ H (admit), sonibubu - Chicago (Mat)/Kellogg (admit) and sleepy - Georgetown (Mat). There is a low GPA success thread but I'm too lazy to find it. (that's probably why I have low GPA)
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22 Jun 2009, 11:13
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2. Dinged at Ross (w/ interview) and Wharton (w/o interview)
3. Accepted at Duke and will be matriculating at Tuck

I should add that Tuck's average undergraduate GPA for those accepted this year was 3.5.

RF
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22 Jun 2009, 11:48
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Not sure if this is "low" or not...

1. Undergrad GPA of 3.1, GPA in majors 3.7/3.8
2. Dinged at HBS (w/o interview), Columbia (w/ interview), MIT (w/o interview), Wharton (interview, WL, then ding)
3. Accepted at Booth, Kellogg, Duke, Tuck
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22 Jun 2009, 16:45
rhyme wrote:
2.999 undergrad GPA here... Ya, they actually list it as 2.999 on my transcript. How irritating is that?

2.999? ridiculous, surely that rounds up.
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22 Jun 2009, 17:33
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highhopes wrote:
rhyme wrote:
2.999 undergrad GPA here... Ya, they actually list it as 2.999 on my transcript. How irritating is that?

2.999? ridiculous, surely that rounds up.

You would think wouldn't ya? But nope, they actually list it as 2.999
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22 Jun 2009, 19:18
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For anybody applying with a drastically low GPA, I can probably sympathize. Mine's is a long story of failure -> redemption and I'd like to share it with anyone who's interested in hearing about it. Here are my answers to the questions:

1) 2.6 GPA at top 25 public school (was on academic probation during senior year, no less). Basically completely lost my focus in school and went down the wrong path, hitting rock bottom. Had a dramatic revelation followed by personal transformation shortly afterward, part of which included attaining a top MBA as a long-term goal.

2) 7 years later, applied in FY 2008 (shot too high and dinged at all schools applied). For FY 2009- dings at Duke, Darden, Cornell, Kellogg.

3) I was R1 W/L at one of Yale-Tuck- Ross (won't say which, but really wanted to go there). After sending in pertinent waitlist update, I was accepted at start of R2 Matriculating for Fall of 2009.

Net results: Applied to 11 schools over 2 year span, dinged at 10, waitlisted at one, and accepted shortly thereafter.

Ultimately, I was able to make up for my low GPA but it was still an uphill battle because of it. Based on my own experiences, I do believe that all things are possible with the right frame of mind and some divine assistance as well.

PM me if you want more information on how I overcame the GPA issue.
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23 Jun 2009, 10:04
Thank you all for your responses!

@rhyme, that sure is irritating. I'd take your 2.999 over mine any day though

@GoBruins, I'll try to dig out that thread, thanks for the suggestion. And there's also this website with low GPA stories that you sent me a while ago. All that really gives me hope

@worldtraveller, thank you for sharing your story. Just sent you a msg, thanks in advance.
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23 Jun 2009, 12:56
worldtraveller wrote:

Ultimately, I was able to make up for my low GPA but it was still an uphill battle because of it. Based on my own experiences, I do believe that all things are possible with the right frame of mind and some divine assistance as well.

PM me if you want more information on how I overcame the GPA issue.

Hey great story. Really gives alot of us hope!
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23 Jun 2009, 23:46
so they really made it up to 3 decimal points for GPA? ridiculous 2.999

I think a high GMAT and good work experience can cover up for the weak GPA... not sure how the adcoms view it. Maybe need to explain in those extra essays.
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24 Jun 2009, 00:49
rhyme wrote:
highhopes wrote:
rhyme wrote:
2.999 undergrad GPA here... Ya, they actually list it as 2.999 on my transcript. How irritating is that?

2.999? ridiculous, surely that rounds up.

You would think wouldn't ya? But nope, they actually list it as 2.999

Well, what if its 2.9994? We can't give you an unfair advantage:)

Seriosuly though:

Roughly 2.9 undergrad GPA. 740 GMAT. Dinged w/o interview and Wharton and HBS. Admitted to Kellogg and Booth.

I really think if you show personality and leadership ability you can overcome a subpar GPA.
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24 Jun 2009, 11:17
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1. Something like a 3.0 at a public ivy
2. Dinged at Stanford and Yale
3. Accepted at Virginia (w/scholarship), Duke (same), Texas, UNC (\$). Matriculating at Fuqua.

I feel like I had one kinda legit reason for the low GPA - I transferred schools after my first year, and my next school didn't count my first year GPA into my cumulative. I had a very successful first year and then took the two weed out courses for my major (Econ) in my first semester at the second school, so that hurt my average a lot, though I did better afterward.

All I did was write a little four-sentence blurb about this in the "any additional info" box on all my apps. Other than that, I didn't address it at all. My impression is that the more attention you draw to it, the more they'll think about it. The last thing you wanna do is come across as the little go-getter who's stressed out about how his/her UG GPA looks to B-schools - just concentrate on what you've done since then, and let that work speak for itself.
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24 Jun 2009, 16:13
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Toubab, I agree that drawing too much attention to your GPA is not necessarily the best idea, but that only works if your GPA is around 3.0. That in my books is not that low. Anything say 2.5 and below would probably be a sore spot to overcome and would definitely need to be addressed in a more thorough manner.
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29 Jun 2009, 07:57
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I'm going to add my own story to the mix...

I got a 2.8 GPA undergrad. I had a rough freshman year (I failed a high level calculus class 2nd semester) as I never learned a good work ethic. I was temporarily suspended from school (a good state school), but then came back and got on dean's list my first semester back. Unfortunately, I got lazy by the end and got just under a 3.0 my last semester in college.

My effort at work is completely different from that of my undergraduate career. I've worked for 4 years in Corp Finance at a media company and have been given an incredible amount of responsibility. Also, luckily, I scored a 750 on my GMAT (even though it took 3 times of taking it). I ended up applying to HBS (not sure why), Tuck, Darden, Fuqua, and McCombs. I was accepted at McCombs (with a bunch of money) and was waitlisted at Tuck, Darden, and Fuqua. I was recently accepted off the waitlist at Darden where I'll be matriculating.

I can offer the following advice for people with a low GPA. First, don't assume that it counts you out. I know I was waitlisted at the above schools due to my GPA (Tuck told me this), but if there's something else you can offer the school, they'll be willing to admit you. For me, I think it was my work experience, as it was very unique and my recommendations were very strong. Also, I genuinely enjoy interviewing, so I think that helped.

Also, try to find any sort of connections you have and ask for advice and ask if they can write a letter of support, it never hurts. If you're on the waitlist, don't be annoying, but try to keep a constant dialogue with the schools and give them a reason to admit you. Make it seem that it's their loss if they don't admit you. Lastly, don't give up. Getting in to school was really really hard (especially due to my GPA), but it's all worth it as I really loved Darden when I visited.

That's my story. Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions.

Matt
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29 Jun 2009, 08:09
Good job BklynMatt. You did really well. Congrats on darden!
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04 Jul 2009, 11:11
You guys should stat your GMAT score. I'm sure the guys with a low GPA had very high GMATs?
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05 Jul 2009, 03:03
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Jeffelite wrote:
You guys should stat your GMAT score. I'm sure the guys with a low GPA had very high GMATs?

Most people have their GMAT score in the profile information listed to the left of their posts, and it looks like all the posters here have 700+. In general, a low GPA + below average (for the school you're applying to) GMAT is going to make it much harder to convince the adcom you're academically capable of handling their program. So it's no surprise that the people who have succeeded with low GPA have higher GMAT scores.
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05 Jul 2009, 10:07
Yes, I see that now

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