2.3 GPA good enough to get into an REU

  • Thread starter Shinaolord
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  • #1
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Is it good enough? Should I even bother applying? and I mean any REU, not just ones that are from high tier schools.
Thanks!
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
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You'll probably need some incredible letters of recommendation and/or research experience at your own school.
 
  • #3
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So there's no point in even trying ?
 
  • #4
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I'd never advise anyone to not try. What's the worst that can happen if you do?
 
  • #5
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Well if the probability is as small as you're implying then it's almost as if trying to find a needle in a haystack with a bunch of fake needles in there as well.
 
  • #6
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Do you think a high school principal's recommendation letter would be worth anything?
 
  • #7
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Just to clear up some confusion here. Are you currently enrolled in a university, or are you speaking of applying for an REU for the summer after high school?
 
  • #8
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University I just happen to have that as my best reference I know I need college ones but I'm sure that I wouldn't get the most spectacular recommendation letters.
 
  • #9
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If you sent a letter from high school, the conclusion will be (apparently correctly) that you couldn't get a good letter from college.

Why should an REU group take you, if you got poor grades and poor letters? I think that needs to be the focus of your application. (And just saying "but I am really really passionate" won't be enough)
 
  • #10
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I would be very concerned. A 2.3 is a C average. It's not the number alone that's the problem, it's your work ethic and mastery of the relevant material.

To the person evaluating your application, there are three possibilities:

1.) You have straight C's in everything, including your major courses, which would make me concerned you wouldn't be prepared for the research and either unable to be productive, would require too much time to train, or wouldn't gain much from the experience.

2.) You've done very well in your major courses but failed general education courses. Well, that's good for understanding of the material, but what does it say about your work ethic if you've failed extremely easy courses like 100-level English and history? It will make them worry that you're lazy and consider certain tasks beneath you despite the expectation that you do them.

3.) You've flunked major courses but are propping up your GPA with easy courses. This will make it look like you're the sort of student who only cares about the grade, and by extension only cares about research experience for your resume, plus the other concerns about mastery of course content.

It's the first I'm most concerned about. Maybe you should spend a semester or two bringing that GPA up and passing some classes before you start looking for research.
 

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