What are your chances of acceptance?

Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
Duke University
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)
Sadhvi Mathur
5 Coronavirus

What If My Grades Drop Due to Coronavirus?

As Coronavirus cases continue to rise in countries across the globe, many students must now receive their education with some peculiar circumstances. In an effort to practice social distancing, several schools have mandated that students must study from home in a virtual learning environment. 


This means slightly different things for students depending on where they go to school, but the underlying concept is the same: students will have to learn on their own at home, regardless of whether or not their home environment is conducive to learning.


Virtual learning is a relatively new concept for most schools and students, so there are a lot of unknowns as to how it will affect students’ health and performance. If you find yourself struggling to keep your grades up in this new environment, you’re certainly not alone. Read on to discover some ways to troubleshoot your academic performance during this uncertain time. 


What Seniors Should Do


If you’re about to be a graduating senior, then first of all, congratulations! This is probably not at all how you intended your last semester of high school to be, but you just need to get through these next few months. This is an exceptionally interesting time for college-bound seniors because you should be hearing back from colleges within the next few weeks. All in all, there’s a lot going on. 


If you find that your grades start slipping because of this new learning environment, you may be feeling anxious that colleges will rescind your acceptance if they see your grades drop. Rest assured, this is overwhelmingly not the case. Most colleges will not rescind admissions for a small drop in grades, especially during a global pandemic.


If your grades fall significantly, however, or you start failing your classes, this is a different matter. Failing any of your classes may put you in danger of not graduating, and that is something that your college definitely needs to know about. Most institutions will understand that, given these circumstances, there could be legitimate external reasons for a significant drop in grades. However, just to make sure, contact the college you plan to attend to explain the situation before you make a deposit. This way, you will have a clear answer on what could happen if your grades don’t improve by graduation. 


Of course, if you see your grades slipping, they by no means have to stay that way. Schools, teachers, and counselors are all doing what they can to help students during this time, so if you feel that you need some extra assistance to make it through virtual learning, be sure to reach out to them.


What Juniors and Underclassmen Should Do


If you’re a Junior, you luckily don’t have to deal with any colleges during this Coronavirus virtual learning period. However, you do have college applications coming up sooner rather than later, and your grades during this time are going to be reflected in your application. 


Now, there are plenty of good reasons for your grades to drop while studying from home. You could just not be a good virtual learner, your home environment could not be conducive to remote learning, or there could be something distracting you, like the stress of the situation or some economic hardship. Either way, it’s perfectly understandable that this would be a period of adjustment that might take a toll on your grades.


The good news is that colleges know that this is going on, and should be understanding when you’re applying for college. So if you find yourself needing to explain poor performance, you can use the Additional Information section of the Common App (or the equivalent section on other forms of college applications) to outline why your grades dropped during this tumultuous period. As long as you have a good reason, colleges will likely understand given these extenuating circumstances. Some colleges may even weigh Spring 2020 grades less, or throw them out entirely when evaluating your application.


That being said, just because you are working remotely does not mean that you no longer have resources available to help you succeed. If possible, do your best to troubleshoot the issue that is causing your grades to drop. If it’s that you keep getting distracted at home, do your best to find an isolated place to study. If it’s that your internet connection doesn’t work well, see if your school administration is offering special accommodations to make sure you have everything you need. The point is that there are resources at your disposal to help you in this transition, and you are certainly not alone. 

Stay up-to-date on the COVID-19 situation

The impact the current Coronavirus situation is having on high school and college admissions is constantly changing. We're posting up-to-date information at our COVID-19 Information Center.

Some Schools Are Making Exceptions 


As a student, it is your job to understand how your school is handling academic learning and grading during this mandatory virtual learning time. Some schools, like Abraham Lincoln High School in San Jose, won’t be giving out any grades or assignments during this time, so students’ grades won’t be affected by the shutdown. Other schools are giving out assignments, but not grading them, while some are still giving grades for assignments.


Regardless of the approach your school is taking, it is up to you and your family to make sure that you have everything you need to succeed academically while working from home, but you are not alone. School districts and unaffiliated companies are offering their services to students to ensure that you’re able to learn during this uncertain time. Here are just some of the resources available: 


  • Media companies like Comcast and Xfinity are offering free internet for low-income families.
  • Here are some learning resources available for students who are in need of some intellectual stimulation or further academic resources while they’re at home.
  • If you don’t have a desktop or laptop that will allow you access online learning, contact your teachers or school administration. You are probably not alone, and they may be able to point you to resources where you could get a computer temporarily so you can finish your school work.


If you’re unable to focus on school for other logistical or even financial reasons, have an honest conversation about that with your family and your teachers (via email). See if you can work out a scenario where you have your own area of the house to study in, a computer or other resource to study with, and a non-distracting environment that will allow you to focus. We at CollegeVine realize that this is easier said than done for many families, which is why it’s important to talk to those around you to see if there is any aid you can receive during this time.


If you’re wondering how your current transcript impacts your college chances, you can find out using our free College Admissions Calculator. Our Chancing Engine will not only help you predict your odds, but also let you know how you stack up against other applicants, and which aspects of your profile to improve. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account today to gain access to our Chancing Engine and get a jumpstart on your college strategy. It’s a great way to take a step back during this tough time and look at the bigger picture.


These are difficult times for everyone. At CollegeVine, we’re here to support you. COVID-19 is a constantly-changing situation, and we want to ensure you have access to the most up-to-date info in one place. Visit our Coronavirus Info Center to check for any new developments in college admissions during these unusual circumstances.

Sadhvi Mathur
Senior Blogger

Short Bio
Sadhvi is a recent graduate from the University of California, Berkeley, where she double majored in Economics and Media Studies. Having applied to over 8 universities, each with different application platforms and requirements, she is eager to share her knowledge now that her application process is over. Other than writing, Sadhvi's interests include dancing, playing the piano, and trying not to burn her apartment down when she cooks!