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Death in family, GPA dropped


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My GPA has been consistently high in my degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.96 in Honors Mathematics. I submitted everything for grad school, however since submitting my application... my life kind of collapsed. A family passed away due to cancer and it was an extremely long and hard battle. The last 4 months consisted of weekly trips to the emergency room and never knowing if this would be the end. He ended up passing away the day after my last final in the fall semester. While most of my classes somehow went well (honestly no clue how I pulled that off since I didn't study and missed tons of classes) I did get a B in one class after failing the final... I am severely depressed from everything happening since another family member is now also deathly ill and am worried about pulling through in my final semester.

While a few B's may seem like no big deal to some, I am seriously relying on funding (can't afford otherwise) and am an international student from Canada. I am worried I will get accepted then when I submit my official transcripts they will wonder how my GPA dropped and remove funding or scholarships or even my admittance. I don't know if I am going into full anxiety and panic mode or this concern for my future is legitimate.  I am just relying heavily on my GPA and it definitely doesn't look good if your grades are dropping rather than rising. I know that if I don't get accepted to PhD and do a masters as well that when I apply for a PhD and they see falling grades in my final year that it could have a serious effect as well. I am just so overwhelmed and concerned :(

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I'm sorry for your loss and for everything that you've had to struggle with. But I think you may be over-thinking this one. I don't think there is cause for concern, certainly not at the level that you are experiencing.

Realistically, if your GPA is at 3.96 right now I don't think you need to worry at all when submitting your current transcripts. No one is even going to look twice at that one B. If your grades do dip a bit more because of all these difficult circumstances, you could submit a note together with your final transcript explaining (briefly) what happened. I hope that you get support from your school, be it in the form of help from an advisor and/or counseling from mental health services or other relevant support group. You might very well be able to get some help with your studies, and certainly someone should be able to testify to your abilities and the external difficulties that are affecting you now but aren't representative of you and your abilities. Which is to say, whatever ends up happening, it should not affect your admissions chances, reverse decisions, or affect funding offers. People understand that life happens, and you obviously have a trajectory of doing very well. People will understand and respect that. 

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