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Help with College & Grad School Applications/Low Undergrad GPA, Excellent Work Experience


Hi Jay,
 I graduated from a public Ivy last year with a 2.3. I attribute my low GPA to working a crazy job to support myself in addition to some medical issues. Despite this, upon graduation I landed an awesome job with a Fortune 500 company, and on top of that I was interviewed and selected for a special internal initiative that allows me to work side by side with firm Partners and VPs every day. I am getting some great experience, and I really do think I want to go back to school in a few years for a Masters in International Affairs. Obviously, I'm concerned about my undergrad GPA. I was an International Relations major, and I did alright in my major. What tripped me up were some of the econ prerequisites that I had to take, but I consistently wrote A/B papers. I just wasn't a math person. Also, through my firm, I am eligible for a certificate program through a well known university Intelligence and National Security policy.
My question is: With great work experience, letters of rec from firm leadership, doing well on GREs and in this certificate program, do you think I may be able to overcome my low undergrad GPA? Especially since I don't plan on going back until 2016 at the earliest? I hoping to amass as much experience as possible and give myself plenty of time to ace the GRE. Thanks!

Hi, Rachel.

Yes, I think it's possible. The GRE is the first hurdle and is pretty critical, but even if you aren't able to ace it, there are still strategies that you can use.

I have a lot of free planning help on my site (sorry for the "commercial" but it seems to be exactly the kind of support you need) that helps  you plan a strong application over a period of several years.

I also coach the GRE, have been doing so for 23 years and am the lead author of two Barron's test prep books. When the time comes for you to start working on the GRE, I'll be glad to talk with you free of charge to help you understand what you're up against and what your options are.

My site is

Help with College & Grad School Applications

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Jay Cutts


Preparation for LSAT, GRE, MCAT, GMAT. Personal statements, letters of recommendation, graduate application process, practice tests. No Questions about Undergrad Admissions(unless you are planning to go to law, business, medical or grad school eventually). Note that I change private questions to public so they are available to others. If you have something that is truly private, let me know.


Over 19 years full time graduate entrance exam prep with over 1500 students nationally and internationally.

Barron's MCAT Prep Book, Lead Author

BA, Linguistics with Honors and Distinction, University of Michigan MA, Special Education with an Emphasis in Learning Disabilities and Giftedness, with Honors, University of New Mexico

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