Poor GPA, but in extremely competitive and hard high school with a strenuous situation

jmac5908

New Member
Hello everybody!
My father had passed away just this summer from cancer, when my USAFA application was open and competitive, and that terrible occurrence had snatched valuable time away from my application. He had been terribly sick for the last year, and that had affected my GPA in school as i was in and out of the hospital and just could not focus on my academics. My GPA was not pretty to begin with, i currently have around a 2.9 gpa (unweighted), but here's the catch- i attend one of the hardest and most prestigious public high schools in america(Brooklyn technical high school), where most of the basic classes are ridiculously harder compared to say a normal High school in any other state.And yes, i have taken multiple AP courses throughout high school, and i did fairly well with them. So my questions are as follows: Do you think USAFA admissions would even care about my situation, and would they care that i went to an arduous highschool? many thanks in advance.
 

USAFA10s

USAFA Class of 2012 Kirtland, AFB
10-Year Member
That is a perfect example of what that optional essay is good for - explaining something like this. Also your school profile will be taken into consideration and your GPA adjusted accordingly. You won't know till you try.
 
Hello everybody!
My father had passed away just this summer from cancer, when my USAFA application was open and competitive, and that terrible occurrence had snatched valuable time away from my application. He had been terribly sick for the last year, and that had affected my GPA in school as i was in and out of the hospital and just could not focus on my academics. My GPA was not pretty to begin with, i currently have around a 2.9 gpa (unweighted), but here's the catch- i attend one of the hardest and most prestigious public high schools in america(Brooklyn technical high school), where most of the basic classes are ridiculously harder compared to say a normal High school in any other state.And yes, i have taken multiple AP courses throughout high school, and i did fairly well with them. So my questions are as follows: Do you think USAFA admissions would even care about my situation, and would they care that i went to an arduous highschool? many thanks in advance.
Just a mom, I know nothing, but you won’t know until you try. And then, if it doesn’t happen, you work hard for a year at another university and then you re-apply.
 
Two things. First of all the essays you write for academy admission are your opportunity to show how you reacted to difficult life situations. Writing about your father's death will be difficult, but the academy and nomination sources will be interested to know the ways and strategies you used to get through this difficult time. Resiliency and "grit" are attributes that the academies are looking for, so show this in the essays. Second, the standardized exams (ACT/SAT) are the great equalizer when it comes to high school difficulty, so you need to do well to prove your point. Also the academies do know which schools are more difficult than others, so you will have to trust the process. So what you can control is your ACT/SAT score and your essays. Work hard on both and see what happens.
 

justdoit19

Member
Go for it! Write that amazing essay. Explain you hardships. Complete your best package.

ALSO have a solid plan B. I could very well see them saying “not yet” but then a “yes” after taking a solid course of study in college and knocking it out of the park. Proving yourself. Or maybe even a falcon scholarship.

So go for it if you want it. And have a great backup, and apply again next year if you don’t get in this year. You don’t know if you don’t try. And even if you don’t get in this go around, you have a heads up for next year if that’s what you decide to do.
 

Mr2020

U.S. Merchant Marine Academy '19
2.9 gpa (unweighted), but here's the catch- i attend one of the hardest and most prestigious public high schools in america(Brooklyn technical high school)
I dont think going to brooklyn tech excuses your low GPA. Apply to the Merchant Marine Academy, it's in Great Neck (probably 30 minute drive from Brooklyn Tech) and they actually know about the NYC specialized schools. I knew a kid from Stuyvesant there and even he had over a 3.0 GPA.
 

VelveteenR

Just gathering dust in the nursery...
5-Year Member
There are many students at all of those “hard” high schools who form the top cohort. You are evaluated within the context of your high school, so you are compared against those high achievers who earn top GPAs regardless of that rigor. Use the essay.
 

NJROTC-CC

Member
My father and grandfather went to Stuyvesant, so I know how competitive Brooklyn Tech. is. And, believe me, the Air Force and the Navy admissions departments should know all about the best STEM high schools in the country, like Brooklyn Tech. You didn't mention anything about your SAT's. Standardized tests are for exactly your situation. If you have high SAT's and explain your personal situation, it will all be taken into consideration and your GPA might not be a disqualifyer. Of course, grades and SAT's are only about 60% of you candidate package. Also, I don't know if the Air Force Academy has a prep school like the Navy does, but if everything else on you application was good, they could send you to a prep year, so worth a shot.
 
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