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Sub-3.0 GPA -- Should I tell POI?


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Hi there,

I'm looking to apply for Fall 2016.  I have a low GPA, being just below 3.0 (2.9 and change).  My question is, how upfront with POIs should I be?  I don't want to necessarily lead with that information because I think it may somehow sour them to further discussions about my research interests.  On the other hand, I don't want to appear duplicitous and ultimately need to make it clear that should they be interested in working with me, they will have that pill to swallow first.



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What I usually do is I email the POI and talk about myself.  Explain my interests and see what they respond with.  After the initial email, I've gotten most of them asking what my GPA and GRE were.  Haven't taken the GRE yet, so I can just tell them my GPA.  If they ask you that...tell them the truth.  If you have a good explanation as to why it's low, you can say that but it might not be too important.  But in your statement of purpose you should definitely explain your GPA.  The admissions committee will definitely read that and your POI might too if they're not on the committee.

But whatever happens...just be positive and don't lie about anything like that.  Your academic record will be sent to the program anyways and if you lied to them or didn't tell them the entire truth, it could be harder for you to get in.  Since your GPA is lower than what most schools expect, I would suggest getting a lot higher on the GRE than the required minimum if at all possible.  The high GRE, strong letters of recommendation, and your statement of purpose might be enough to show that you're a serious student that they should take into their program.

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Thank you for the advice. I do want to clear up that I'm not asking about whether or not I should lie to a POI, but whether I should wait to bring it up until I've discussed my research interests with them. 

Still super helpful reply, I just want to make sure anyone else with advice knows that I'm not attempting to glaze over my GPA in the hopes that no one will look at my transcripts.  



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