How to explain low undergraduate grades to graduate school

Written by gwynita leggington
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You’re thinking about applying to graduate school, but you have some low undergraduate grades on your college transcript. Although you may have a few low grades on your college transcript, that does not mean that your graduate school admissions application is going to be rejected. Many people have low undergraduate grades for a variety of reasons, but it is up to you to explain these low grades to the graduate school. There are a few things that you can do to help you better explain your low undergraduate grades.

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  1. 1

    Identify the reasons for your low undergraduate grades. There are many reasons why a person may have low undergraduate grades, such as having a medical illness, experiencing high levels of stress or depression, having a learning disability, working extensive hours on the job, dealing with the death of a loved one, suffering from abuse or being involved in a terrible accident. These types of things can definitely have an impact on your academic performance, which can result in low undergraduate grades.

  2. 2

    Write an essay or statement of purpose explaining your low undergraduate grades. Your essay should address the specific reasons for each low undergraduate grade appearing on your college transcript. For instance, perhaps you were in a car accident, and you could not attend classes for a couple of weeks or so. And as a result, you fell behind on your assignments and your grades dropped. Also, be sure to discuss things that you did to improve your academic performance in college, like hiring a tutor or joining a study group.

  3. 3

    Ask your professors to write a letter of recommendation for you. Politely ask your professors to explain the reasons for your low grades to the graduate school. A strong letter of recommendation can be very beneficial to your application package, and the graduate school may certainly appreciate this kind gesture from your professors.

  4. 4

    Include relevant documents with your application package. For example, depending on the reasons for your low undergraduate grades, you may chose to provide important documents such as hospital records, accident reports, death certificates of loved ones and medical evaluations from your doctor. These types of documents can verify and support your explanation for your low grades.

  5. 5

    Discuss your low grades during the interview. You may choose to further explain the reasons for your low undergraduate grades during the interview process with the graduate school. You can also discuss any relevant information that you did not include in your personal essay about your low grades.

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