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Overcoming a low GPA for Business School [#permalink]
04 Jan 2013, 20:45
I am new to GMATCLUB. This is my first post. I am concerned that my somewhat low GPA will be a concern to Admission Committees. I just completed a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting with a cumulative GPA of 3.26. Unlike some undergraduate programs, my school awards a BS instead of a BA because of the 60 credits of accounting. This means that I took more accounting classes than a student with a BA in accounting, which carries 30 credits. My school is also heavy on liberal arts. I took 70 credits of liberal arts, 15 of which are mathematics courses; in essence, thats a minor in math. I never failed a math or accounting course before.
The reason for my low GPA was that I did not have the support of family while in college. I had to work two jobs while maintaining full-time status at school. One of my job was tutoring underrepresented students and nonnative of speakers of English in accounting. I started out undergraduate very strong. After my first two semesters, I had a 3.79 cumulative GPA. My GPA started to fall when I started a weekend job to help defray the cost of living in New York City. off All the classes I took in undergrad, I had 5 C's and 1 D, which retook the class and got an A-.
Before I finished undergrad, I was accepted into a MS in Accounting at Queens College of The City University of New York. The GMAT was waived because of my GPA. I will start this program in February. I decided to do the MS program so I can get a higher GPA to improve my chances of getting into a top business school. I was also offered a full-time job as a Tax Associate at an accounting firm that is ranked in the top 20 in the United States. I will start work in a few weeks. The MS program consist of 10 classes which I plan to finish by mid 2014 and then sit for the CPA exam.
I know it is a bit soon to start plan. I intend to apply to some top business schools in 2015 to pursue an MBA with a concentration in competitive strategy and finance. By then, I will have had 2+ years of experience as well as my CPA license. I have taken several practice GMAT and my scores ranged from 680-720. Some of my biggest accomplishment to date include:
1) A two times Thurgood Marshall Scholar 2) NBA Gold Standard Scholarship for a sizable amount 3) A community service award for my work among the elderly 4) Recognized for having one of the top three senior researches in undergrad in 2011. My research was subsequently published in the University's Scholarly Journal 5) Finished undergrad in Cum Laude standing
While some will say that I have a fairly decent GPA, I have been looking some top business school and I am not even in their average. Please, I need some advice on which top business schools have the best competitive strategy and finance concentration. I know that I am little paranoid but how can I explain this low GPA to admission committee? Do you think will stand chance of getting a scholarship? Business School is expensive and I will need all the financial assistance I can get.
Re: Overcoming a low GPA for Business School [#permalink]
04 Jan 2013, 21:51
While a 3.26 is below average for many top 10 programs it isn't a huge red flag either. What will be more concerning is the downward trend which you have a reasonable explanation for. Just use the optional essay. The MS should help too but I wouldn't say it's a necessity in order to mitigate the 3.26. I've seen people get into top 5 schools with a 3.2 so it's not a deal breaker. However, if you don't do the MS the other aspects of your application will need to work harder for you so they must be on point.