Applying to HBCU's
I am an African American Senior applying to historically black colleges, and my GPA is between 2.0 and 2.3. Is it possible for me to be accepted to one of these universities if everything else on my application is good? Chrissy, Baltimore, MD
Your decision to attend an HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) is one many students make each year. You may have already seen a list of those schools, but I am including a link to a list, by state, here just in case... http://www.edonline.com/cq/hbcu/c_state.htm. Most of the HBCU's are located in the South and Southeastern United States, but others are located across the U.S.
Ideally, students who are concerned they fall short of admission criteria will contact their schools during Junior year and apply early in Senior year (early fall). This is so they have both time to address any shortcomings (raise GPA or test scores, etc.) and will be among the first to be considered if there are a limited number of spots in provisional or probationary admission programs.
Of course, the rest of your application will make a difference too. How are your test scores? What courses did you take in high school? Are you involved in leadership activities? How much do you volunteer? Do you have special talents such as in the arts or job experience related to your major? Where do you live in relation to the school(s) you are applying to? All of these factors, and others including your GPA, make you more or less attractive to different schools. And, honestly, different schools will have different things they are looking for, and potentially different numbers of ‘spots’ in those limited programs.
Because there are so many HBCU's, I feel certain you could still find a college (or colleges) that would accept you at this point, even though it is late in the admission year. But depending on your situation, you may have a particular school or schools in mind, and this may affect your chances of acceptance now.
Because it's February, you need to move immediately to find out where you stand. Call the school(s) you are interested in right away. Once you reach someone in the Admissions Office, ask if you can fax your transcript so they can look at it and tell you where you stand. Have your transcript in front of you, and be ready to speak honestly and specifically with whomever you reach on the telephone. Find out if you stand a chance, and if so, what you have to do. Do it immediately. If they are unable to admit you for this coming Fall, ask two questions: 1. If I apply, with these same credentials, early in NEXT year’s admission cycle, would I have a better chance? and 2. What would my chances of gaining admission be and what would be the requirements for admission if I attended another college for a year?
You then have either application(s) to submit or a decision to make about college this coming year. Will you sit out of school for a year and be one of the first applicants at your school(s) of choice next year? Or will you attend school elsewhere, and use those grades to gain admission as a transfer student. Generally speaking, I would NOT suggest sitting out a year of school. Plus, because colleges often ignore high school performance once a certain number of college credits are earned, the transfer method may be a path to scholarship assistance.
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