Myth: College Interviews Will Make Up For Weaker GPA And Test Scores

Does a college interview make up for weak test scores and grades?

Flickr user Julie Willbrand

Maybe a student is a confident orator and a people’s person. They perform exceedingly well during face-to-face interactions such as college interviews. Maybe, however, they don’t fare too well in written tests. Under these circumstances, they may be wondering about their chances of getting accepted into the college of their choice. Will a college interview make up for your weaker GPA and test scores?

Interviews Only Help So Much

Giving an outstanding interview could very well boost acceptance odds. Here’s the catch though: Most colleges will first take a look at a student’s academic grades and test scores first, and will only call them for the interview if the student meets their minimum requirements. If a student is coming in with a very low GPA and low test scores, the chances of making it to the next round are not great. This is because low scores indicate that a student may struggle to cope in tough classes. But that doesn’t mean you should give up hope.

So Should I Bother with an Interview?

Think of a college interview as supplementary. They can always help, but you can’t hinge your entire application chances on it. Nevertheless, every little bit helps. If you have the opportunity, take a college interview. You may even be able to request a college interview. It may not make up for a poor academic record, but it can help and offer you a chance to explain your grades—a learning disability, a stressful personal life event, etc. It also gives you a chance to show who you are beyond your scores, which may help the admissions team make their decision when they review your application.

Use College Raptor to discover personalized college matches, cost estimates, acceptance odds, and potential financial aid for schools around the US—for FREE!

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Join thousands of students and parents learning about finding the right college, admissions secrets, scholarships, financial aid, and more.