Is there an unwritten condition to acceptances?

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thehairupthere
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2015 1:44 pm

Is there an unwritten condition to acceptances?

Postby thehairupthere » Wed Mar 09, 2016 8:58 am

Hello,

So I am wondering if there is an unwritten condition to the offers US universities make? I noticed most universities have a criteria for admission which is a GPA of 3.0. If one's GPA dropped below this by the final year, would they be refused admission? Nothing relating to this is spoken about in the acceptance letter.

I would rather not ask by replying to the offer letter (which was sent by the department deputy head) because I had a 4.0 GPA last year and I want to keep a good impression (and my GPA dropping that far, or hopefully at all, is extremely unlikely but it would make me less stressed in the exam period to make sure)

TakeruK
Posts: 816
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Is there an unwritten condition to acceptances?

Postby TakeruK » Wed Mar 09, 2016 12:16 pm

There aren't unwritten conditions, in my experience. Sometimes you will get a conditional acceptance provided that X happens but this will be clearly written.

There are already written conditions in your application---i.e. statements like their decision is conditional on the information in the application being true. So, for example, if you said you would graduate with degree X but then you end up not graduating, then it could cause trouble for admission.

But, you should not be worrying that a single semester will bring your 4.0 GPA to below 3.0. Honestly, if that happened, there would be other concerns as you can do the math---it's not actually possible. If you mean to drop 4.0->3.0 in one year, then this would probably mean you need to fail every single course this year. This would be a huge problem of course, because that means you would probably not complete degree requirements.

My advice is to not worry about this. Of course, don't let "senioritis" cause your GPA to drop just because you lost motivation. Your final undergrad GPA will be important when you apply to fellowships in grad school. But don't worry that you're somehow drop below a hidden threshold and get rejected.

thehairupthere
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2015 1:44 pm

Re: Is there an unwritten condition to acceptances?

Postby thehairupthere » Wed Mar 09, 2016 6:39 pm

Thanks TakeruK, that is a relief!

In some cases it can actually be easier than you think to have such a drop in GPA. For example, in my university (in the UK), I can pass with an E (which is 0 in the US GPA system?) as long as my average is D or above. Crazy, I know! Of course this is the sort of case that would only happen if everything in the universe went wrong for me, but perhaps thinking like this at this stage is all a part of the applications process :)

I think it is not senioritis that's getting to me, rather having spent most my time since September on taking the GRE, applying, attending interviews, working towards research and TA, and having zero time to study my courses so far.

TakeruK
Posts: 816
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Is there an unwritten condition to acceptances?

Postby TakeruK » Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:33 pm

thehairupthere wrote:In some cases it can actually be easier than you think to have such a drop in GPA. For example, in my university (in the UK), I can pass with an E (which is 0 in the US GPA system?) as long as my average is D or above. Crazy, I know! Of course this is the sort of case that would only happen if everything in the universe went wrong for me, but perhaps thinking like this at this stage is all a part of the applications process :)


Interesting! In the North America system, a grade point of 0 is only when you fail the course. Also, usually we are required to not only pass every course, but there is also a semester average minimum. For example, we are put on academic probation if we have a semester below some average (e.g. C- average is academic probation at some schools). Being on academic probation two terms in a row often results in being dismissed. And, for some majors, the class only counts towards the degree requirements if you get a certain grade, you can't just minimally pass. But our grading scheme is different---for most senior level physics classes at my school, the average is probably around 80% to 85% (A- in Canada) since people who make it this far are often good at physics and we don't generally grade on a curve (not rare for an entire class to all have A grades for example).

Also, for international students, US schools don't usually convert your courses into a "US GPA" and instead will just evaluate it using their own metric.

nousernameavailable
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2015 6:10 pm

Re: Is there an unwritten condition to acceptances?

Postby nousernameavailable » Thu Mar 17, 2016 7:14 pm

TakeruK wrote:There are already written conditions in your application---i.e. statements like their decision is conditional on the information in the application being true. So, for example, if you said you would graduate with degree X but then you end up not graduating, then it could cause trouble for admission.


Does this apply for double majors as well? i. e. - if I intended to get a double major but scheduling difficulties caused me to only graduate with one of the majors, would that be problematic?

TakeruK
Posts: 816
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Is there an unwritten condition to acceptances?

Postby TakeruK » Sun Mar 20, 2016 3:38 am

nousernameavailable wrote:
TakeruK wrote:There are already written conditions in your application---i.e. statements like their decision is conditional on the information in the application being true. So, for example, if you said you would graduate with degree X but then you end up not graduating, then it could cause trouble for admission.


Does this apply for double majors as well? i. e. - if I intended to get a double major but scheduling difficulties caused me to only graduate with one of the majors, would that be problematic?


It will probably not be a big deal if the second major was not the reason why the school chose you in the first place. If you need to decide whether or not to continue in the second major, I would check with the school before making a final decision.




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