High School Senior With 3.7 GPA Rejected From Top-Choice Schools Asks For Advice On How To 'Make It Through'

The plea is a damning look at the pressures placed on kids to be high achievers.

Graduating class, woman in a graduate cap and gown paseidon/pexelbay, Davis Sánchez/Pexels

A high school senior with a 3.7 GPA wrote into the r/college subreddit, a forum for people seeking advice on college life. This particular student said that they were at a crossroads in deciding their next steps regarding what college to attend, and asked Reddit for advice on what to do next.

They shared their high school statistics, outlining just how well they’ve done in high school. They maintained a 3.09 GPA from freshman year until junior year, and a 3.7 GPA their senior year. They scored a 24 on the ACT, played two varsity sports, and completed community service and an engineering internship.


Yet for all their hard work, the student explained that they applied to 20 schools, and were only accepted to 6 of them.

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The high school senior with a 3.7 GPA was rejected or waitlisted from their top choice schools, which left them feeling lost.

Although they visited some of the schools they were accepted by, none of those institutions felt right for them. Some of the schools they got into didn’t accept them into their desired major for engineering.

The student understood how competitive their chosen major is, saying, “With the growing popularity of engineering I understand it’s a more selective program to apply to but I had hope anyways.”


The student did get into the engineering program at their local college, which is 30 minutes from their family home. They asked Reddit if it was better to go to one of the schools they got into, or spend a year studying engineering at the local college, take extra classes at community college, and plan to transfer. 

They voiced their concern that they haven’t heard of many successful transfer students going from a specific college to another institution, they mostly hear about people transferring from community colleges to four-year schools.

“I want to show my dream colleges that I can thrive within an engineering program,” the student explained. However, rejection doesn't always equal a lack of opportunities, just different ones, as the student seems to understand.

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Showing a level of emotional depth, the student stated, 'rejection is redirection,' yet they still felt unclear on what their next steps should be.

Other Reddit users left advice in the comments, offering options for what the high school senior could choose to do. One person said that for the most part, “a bachelor's degree is a bachelor's degree,” and that “a more recognizable or bigger school will typically play better in getting a job, but at the bachelor level you will get the same basic education at most schools.” 

What does make a difference at the undergraduate level is the student life and campus atmosphere, the commenter continued.

“You need to decide which school feels right to you,” they explained. They did offer advice as to how to transfer schools, saying, “If you end up starting at a school with the intent to transfer make sure you choose your classes carefully. You should find out what the degree program course requirements or course path is at the school you want to transfer to,” and choose classes accordingly.

Best Colleges reports that community college transfers represent about 15% of new enrollments at four-year institutions, giving the student who wrote into Reddit a fairly good chance of being accepted through transferring.


Another person on Reddit gave contrasting guidance, noting that the student should aim to go to one of the schools they were accepted by. They advised that the high school senior should revisit some of those schools, and “go in with a good attitude.”

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“Fall in love with a school that is available to you, have a good time, do a good job. Then, go to a dream school for grad school. Grad school is where name recognition and quality really matter,” the other person commented. 

Brooke Hansen, a college admissions counselor, offers advice for students who want to transfer schools. Hansen notes that many schools’ transfer acceptance rates differ from regular admissions rates, so students should be strategic about choosing which schools they want to transfer to. 


College transfer rates have been greatly affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The National Student Clearinghouse reported that fewer students transferred between colleges during the 2020 to 2021 school year. Their data showed a sharp 8.4 % decline in transfer students, with almost 200,000 fewer students transferring in 2020 compared to 2019.

The National Student Clearinghouse also reported that transfers to four-year institutions experienced steep declines — a 9.7 % decline in upward transfers and 7.6% decline in lateral transfers.


These numbers show the shifting demographics of college students, and how those students have been affected by the ongoing pandemic. As the world around us continues to shift, the patterns of college acceptance will change, too. 

Whatever the student decides, they seem to have a positive attitude, which will only serve them well for their future endeavors.

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers celebrity gossip, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.