How to Get Into & Pay for College


Which colleges are good for a 2.5 GPA student?

QUESTION: I'm a high school junior who is really worried about my statistics. My GPA is only a 2.5, and my PSAT scores were 550 in critical reading and 600 in math. I don't take any honors classes or AP's, and I’m in average college preparatory classes. I have participated in varsity track, cheerleading and the theater club. I'm in pretty bad shape right now, and I don’t have very many choices of colleges to apply to. Do you know any that would fit me? Signed, Desperate

Dear Desperate: With over 3,000 colleges in the United States, there are surely several that fit your past achievements and future goals.

Let's back up for a minute. You seem to think that you don't have what it takes to get into a good college. Your GPA is not perfect, but you still have time to bring it up. Remember that most colleges focus on your tenth to twelfth grade years. Your PSAT scores suggest that you should do well on the SAT Reasoning Test. Take it during your junior year so that you have time to retake it. As with any test you will almost always do better the second time around. And, you seem to be active on campus. All of this is good.

In our book, "Get Into Any College," we focus on crafting your application to present your best side possible. If grades are not your strong point then force the admission committee to focus on a part of you that is impressive. The key is to use all parts of the application to show your strengths.

Consider the book, "America's Best Colleges for B Students," which highlights strong colleges that are more open to B and C students. It's available at

As you are deciding where to apply, consider what your priorities are and what you would like to get out of your college education. If you have career goals, do some research to determine which schools offer the best programs to prepare you. Ask yourself questions. What kind of learning environment suits you best? What kind of social and cultural surroundings fit you? By articulating what you want from your college experience, you will be able to better research and determine which schools meet your needs.


Gen & Kelly Tanabe
Gen and Kelly Tanabe are the founders of SuperCollege and the award-winning authors of 11 books on college admission, financial aid and scholarships. Together they were accepted to all of the Ivy League colleges and won more than $100,000 in merit-based scholarships to graduate from Harvard debt-free.

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