Sending more stuff to schools to make up for a bad grade?

highbounce
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Sending more stuff to schools to make up for a bad grade?

Postby highbounce » Thu Jan 14, 2010 10:30 pm

I had a C+ in a laser electronics course (it's a EE course and I took it for fun as a physics major) in my junior year. I never mentioned this bad grade in my SOP since I reasoned that why draw attention to it if there's nothing I can do about it, especially considering I had almost all As and A+s in my other technical classes. However, I am getting a little concerned that this approach was too blunt. I know that admission committees don't like hearing excuses and I still won't give them any. What worries me is that my research interest for grad school is in experimental condensed matter and nanoscience and a lot of the people in these areas, whom I'm interested in working for, use optics extensively in their research. I imagine that my C+ in this related class will alarm them when they see my application.

I have decided to take a more advanced EE optics course in my final semester, a photonic device lab. Unfortunately, I didn't include this in my to-be-taken courses list in my applications when I submitted them. Do you think it is worth sending the schools an updated spring semester schedule that includes this class to show them that I will make up for this one bad grade? (For what it's worth, I did have an A+ in another EE class, solid state electronic devices though.)

Kites
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Re: Sending more stuff to schools to make up for a bad grade?

Postby Kites » Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:11 am

No. They won't even look at whatever you send them. Also if it's just one bad grade they will most likely let it not affect anything as long as the rest of your work is strong. The only places that might care are Big 10 schools.

highbounce
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Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 2:52 pm

Re: Sending more stuff to schools to make up for a bad grade?

Postby highbounce » Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:00 am

Kites wrote:No. They won't even look at whatever you send them. Also if it's just one bad grade they will most likely let it not affect anything as long as the rest of your work is strong. The only places that might care are Big 10 schools.


uhmm,can you explain your comment on Big 10 schools? The thing is that I applied to five of them and they are the schools which I thought (apparently not?) I have a decent chance of getting into. Another thing is that I currently go to a Big 10 school (with a physics program of good reputation). So I am kind of worried by what you said.

Kites
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Re: Sending more stuff to schools to make up for a bad grade?

Postby Kites » Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:20 am

Big 10s are big 10s. They expect close to perfection. They'll pay more attention to your first go through the course more than your retaking it. I brought up big 10s because they're obviously more competitive. A low grade will hurt you there a lot more than compared to a well known state school. Gotta think about the food chain! There's no way you can "convince" away a C+ grade. We all have one and a committee should understand that. Big 10s on the other hand get a lot more higher up apps. Chances are they have some perfect applications. Big 10s are crapshoots imo

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zxcv
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Re: Sending more stuff to schools to make up for a bad grade?

Postby zxcv » Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:24 am

I don't think it's worth worrying about that one bad grade. Looking at your overall profile (with the 3.9 GPA), it was clearly a fluke. I think you still have a perfectly reasonable chance at top 10 schools.

One option you do have is to update schools with last semester's grades. When I applied, I sent a letter to all the schools I applied to with my updated transcripts. You might include the courses in which you are currently enrolled in that letter.

If last semester's grades don't make you look better, I would forget about it. It won't be long before admissions committees make their decisions now, anyways.

meno
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Re: Sending more stuff to schools to make up for a bad grade?

Postby meno » Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:27 am

Kites wrote:Big 10s are big 10s. They expect close to perfection. They'll pay more attention to your first go through the course more than your retaking it. I brought up big 10s because they're obviously more competitive. A low grade will hurt you there a lot more than compared to a well known state school. Gotta think about the food chain! There's no way you can "convince" away a C+ grade. We all have one and a committee should understand that. Big 10s on the other hand get a lot more higher up apps. Chances are they have some perfect applications. Big 10s are crapshoots imo


I'm guessing you mean Big 10 as in Top 10, and not as in the Big 10 Conference (which includes UIUC, Michigan, Penn State, Ohio State, etc.)

Kites
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Re: Sending more stuff to schools to make up for a bad grade?

Postby Kites » Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:29 am

meno wrote:
Kites wrote:Big 10s are big 10s. They expect close to perfection. They'll pay more attention to your first go through the course more than your retaking it. I brought up big 10s because they're obviously more competitive. A low grade will hurt you there a lot more than compared to a well known state school. Gotta think about the food chain! There's no way you can "convince" away a C+ grade. We all have one and a committee should understand that. Big 10s on the other hand get a lot more higher up apps. Chances are they have some perfect applications. Big 10s are crapshoots imo


I'm guessing you mean Big 10 as in Top 10, and not as in the Big 10 Conference (which includes UIUC, Michigan, Penn State, Ohio State, etc.)


It's really not very polite to correct someone's lingo. Where I hail from we call them the Big 10s. I think he understands what schools we're talking about.

meno
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Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 1:13 am

Re: Sending more stuff to schools to make up for a bad grade?

Postby meno » Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:32 am

Kites wrote:
meno wrote:
Kites wrote:Big 10s are big 10s. They expect close to perfection. They'll pay more attention to your first go through the course more than your retaking it. I brought up big 10s because they're obviously more competitive. A low grade will hurt you there a lot more than compared to a well known state school. Gotta think about the food chain! There's no way you can "convince" away a C+ grade. We all have one and a committee should understand that. Big 10s on the other hand get a lot more higher up apps. Chances are they have some perfect applications. Big 10s are crapshoots imo


I'm guessing you mean Big 10 as in Top 10, and not as in the Big 10 Conference (which includes UIUC, Michigan, Penn State, Ohio State, etc.)


It's really not very polite to correct someone's lingo. Where I hail from we call them the Big 10s. I think he understands what schools we're talking about.


Sorry, didn't mean to offend--it just sounded like the OP was confused since he said he was worried. Looking at his profile, he actually did apply to several of the Big 10 Conference schools, which are mostly big state schools that may be a little easier to get into than, say, Princeton. I figured it was just a discrepancy in the terminology.

Ryalnos
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2009 1:14 pm

Re: Sending more stuff to schools to make up for a bad grade?

Postby Ryalnos » Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:47 am

It certainly is polite to correct/clarify someone's lingo when there is real ambiguity involved.

Out of curiosity, what country do you live in, Kite?

highbounce
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 2:52 pm

Re: Sending more stuff to schools to make up for a bad grade?

Postby highbounce » Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:53 am

Kites wrote:
meno wrote:
Kites wrote:Big 10s are big 10s. They expect close to perfection. They'll pay more attention to your first go through the course more than your retaking it. I brought up big 10s because they're obviously more competitive. A low grade will hurt you there a lot more than compared to a well known state school. Gotta think about the food chain! There's no way you can "convince" away a C+ grade. We all have one and a committee should understand that. Big 10s on the other hand get a lot more higher up apps. Chances are they have some perfect applications. Big 10s are crapshoots imo


I'm guessing you mean Big 10 as in Top 10, and not as in the Big 10 Conference (which includes UIUC, Michigan, Penn State, Ohio State, etc.)


It's really not very polite to correct someone's lingo. Where I hail from we call them the Big 10s. I think he understands what schools we're talking about.


Kites, thanks for your reply, I really appreciate it! However, I actually thought you meant Big 10 the conference (the 11 schools in the Midwest) like meno said.




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