Will Failing a Class Impact My College Application

The honest answer is yes, it does affect your college admission but there are various ways to overcome it. So, here is an article that gives you information regarding how failing a class will reflect on your college application and admission and also how it matters to the institutions. 

TCM Staff

18th April 2020

Are you questioning yourself that- “will failing a class impacts my college application?”, then here is a response to your question. Yes, it does affect your college admission. 

Of course, it would be hard to know that your college application has been rejected because you failed a class in high school. It is an assumption that failing a class may shun you from a college education. 

Although a failing standard on your mark sheet or transcript affects your possibilities of admissions, it is possible under different circumstances. Your admission depends on your other skills and several other factors as well. 

Here is an article that gives you information regarding how failing a class will reflect on your college application and admission and also how it matters to the institutions.  

Will a failing grade impact your application?

The short and quick answer to your question is yes. Definitely failing a class will have a negative impact on your college application. If you have scored or performed less in a high school class, it makes the college administrative officers be doubtful about your ability to survive in the institution.  

It is obvious that college and education institutes would want to take in students who are capable of succeeding and also they require intellectual ones on the campus. 

Also, it will be difficult for them to allow you to enter college as it might make a negative impact on the college reputation if it continues to be the same in college academics as well. 

But, remember there are ways to handle it when you have scored poorly. There are chances for you to get into the college based on your performances in extracurricular activities and also by mentioning and explaining the other necessary skills you have acquired in all these years of minimal education.

There are chances where college decides to let few students get admitted though they failed in high school by recognizing their struggle to join the university and by seeing some potential in them. Also, officers choose students who are positive and want them to stay positive as it is understood that that positivity and such vibes will bring only success and glory to the institute.

So now, let us know why it is important for colleges to take in students who haven’t failed in high school.

Why do colleges care if you have failed in high school?

So, it is obvious that universities or institutions will look out for students who are intellectual as well as creative. It is obvious that many colleges will dream of passing out students with great courage and proudness in their community. 

You might think if it really matters, but yes it does for the institution as everyone wants to be in the race and all of them want to succeed in the present situation. You’ll often see universities promoting a 97% plus graduate rate as a significant trademark of student success at their school as it indicates the institutions’ capacity.

The admissions committee may see the poor academic performances in your school scores and performances as a warning of impending poor academic performance once you start your studies in college.

Also, they look out for students who will contribute to the college’s reputation by their intelligence and hard work. It is also said that colleges prefer students who are surprising and unique in their own way while expressing their ideas or asking relatable and appropriate inquiries during the seminar and the same is expected at the end of the lecture. 

Even though you get into college, remember the courses in college will be quite a difficult task to cope up with. Be aware that especially during the first year of the college course, you will face a lot of issues with respect to academics. 

The first thing colleges think while taking students in is that if learners are able to sustain in that atmosphere with so much workload or not. So if you have failed in the high school itself, it would make it easier for them to shortlist unless you have other strong reasons for joining the institute. 

There are chances that you get involved in managing other things by yourself like room, transportation and spend time making new friends which may turn out that studies might get stranded over which in turn affects the institute’s overall graduation rate.  

Factors that colleges take into consideration when you have failed

  • Admissions officers will keep in mind when contemplating a failing grade is when exactly you failed this class as for many students, the upgrade or change from middle school to high school will make it difficult for them to cope up with the challenging task and it will be considered a difficult time. Therefore, they permit tolerance while evaluating their early grades and performances.

  • If you have started off with considerably good grades in the early stage and then consistently dropping off at the end of your high school, it will not be entertained by the college admission officer as it indicates that you are demotivated and that you are less determined which is not a positive aspect of a good student.

  • It is important to let colleges know if you were facing some unpleasant situation and that exactly was the reason for your downfall in academics or that impacted your ability to concentrate or perform in the class. Colleges will understand this for sure but you should be open and realistic about the circumstances. Keep in mind that they might check for your performance before the situation.


We would like to conclude saying that, yes, failing in a class does make an impact on the college application and we have discussed everything regarding it. So here are a few take away points:

  • It definitely doesn’t mean you are incapable of joining college, so be confident. Be confident and self-motivated.

  • Many colleges will take your extra skills and achievements during schooling into consideration, so be confident. 

  • While applying for college, make sure you update all your strengths, activities and other skills which helps you make the application look better when you have failed in high school. 

  • As discussed before, if you were facing any personal trauma which was the reason you failed, don’t hesitate to mention and explain it in college application. College officials are sensible enough to understand.

Stay calm and all the best!!

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