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Thread: any way to fix poor gpa?

  1. #1
    Actuary.com - Newbie Poster
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    any way to fix poor gpa?

    I just graduated in December with a BA in economics and a minor in math. I'm interested in becoming an actuary, but I'm very concerned about my 2.35 GPA. From reading other threads, I've seen many people say that grad school isn't really worth the money and won't help that much in the long run. But, I'm wondering if it might help me at least a little bit.

    I've narrowed my options down to three choices:

    1) Start taking exams on my own.

    2) Go for a second bachelor's in Actuarial Science. Try to get an internship while enrolled.

    3) Go to grad school, find internships, and hopefully have 3 or 4 exams passed by graduation.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    I'm in a similar situation. I decided to go for a masters in applied mathematics and study for the exams on the side. It was too much and I decided to leave my program and just focus on passing exams. I am also interested in advice for overcoming a poor undergraduate gpa.

  3. #3
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    Accepted into both Booth and Kellogg. 2.7 UG GPA in liberal arts at top 20 undergrad. 730 gmat. I'm proof that its possible but its a definite hustle. need to have strong work experience, a clear need for an MBA at that specific school and a strong long term plan. Don't underestimate the impact of the essays and interview. most interviewers dont review the application prior to the interview so you walk in with a resume, they have no idea about your GPA and you can really make an impact on your candidacy. CRUSH the essays, craft a rock solid story and candidate profile. getting into these schools is more than just stats, its how you fit into the cohort and can help the students around you. Form a relationship with the schools: visit the schools, attend info sessions, meet personally with adcoms, meet with students (I had current 2 students and an alum personally email adcom at Kellogg on my behalf). Also, make sure you pick your recommenders carefully and sit down and walk them through everything about your candidacy so they can really focus on how you've overcome any past weaknesses. feel free to PM with any specifics.
    Website:http://www.uch-conveyor.com

  4. #4
    Actuary.com - Newbie Poster
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    Thanks for your reply. I'm more concerned about my GPA limiting my job opportunities than getting into a grad school. Mostly because of the money, I've decided to not go to grad school for now, and I started studying for exams on my own. I plan to start applying for jobs after I pass the first or second exam, and we'll see what happens.

  5. #5
    Actuary.com - Posting Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by sip_the_last View Post
    Thanks for your reply. I'm more concerned about my GPA limiting my job opportunities than getting into a grad school. Mostly because of the money, I've decided to not go to grad school for now, and I started studying for exams on my own. I plan to start applying for jobs after I pass the first or second exam, and we'll see what happens.
    Having a low GPA will hurt you, no doubt about it. Is it the end of the world? No.

    You need to separate yourself from your competition that has a decent GPA and a few exams. So be prepared to have 1 more exam than they do. Be prepared to explain why you have a low GPA (saying "I was bored" will not cut it).

  6. #6
    Actuary.com - Level IV Poster
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoMoreExams View Post
    Having a low GPA will hurt you, no doubt about it. Is it the end of the world? No.

    You need to separate yourself from your competition that has a decent GPA and a few exams. So be prepared to have 1 more exam than they do. Be prepared to explain why you have a low GPA (saying "I was bored" will not cut it).
    I agree - stand out! Do so primarily with exams.

    Lots of threads on low GPA. They all have the same answer: Yes, it's possible but significantly more difficult. I'm proof it's possible (got a job with a 2.6 GPA - had to hustle and get ignored a lot first).

    As for a 2nd actuarial degree, do what you have to do. But it won't make you a more attractive candidate - it will keep you busy. If I were in grad school for actuarial work, I would keep seeking work and wouldn't hesitate to drop it for a job. Candidates need to know that hiring managers don't prefer candidates with actuarial degrees over any other course of study. The response to a candidate with an actuarial degree is, "Great, so you must have passed a lot of exams then, right?"

    So I'm not saying don't go to grad school. I'm saying, keep looking for work and focus on exams. Get your foot in the doors of an insurance company as soon as possible. You're not really a student until you're learning on the job.

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