You're being manipulated.
Every single line of that student's statement contains some sort of appeal to pity or other trope.
The whole thing is a red flag large enough to mount to the back of a CCP motorcade.
I am here at this college on a soccer scholarship.
Casually mentioning financial hardship...the corollary to humble-bragging.
I am the oldest of 4 and I am from Southern California.
Implied dependency: won't you think of the children? They'll be so disappointed if you let me fail!
I am not intelligent.
Self-deprecation: disarming tactic meant to lower your expectations.
I understand that high school is easier than college.
Classic! Telling you exactly what you want to hear is what puts the "con[fidence]" in con-artist.
I've seen Reddit grifters angling for some chump to send them a new iPhone try this too-- "I know I need to be more responsible with [whatever], but..."
GoFundMe is also rife with this sort of rhetoric. Despite raising thousands of dollars for cat chemo or whatever, the money always goes to a bunch of other unaccounted-for nonsense that's totally beyond their control-- and now the grifter starts a second round of funding to deal with the cat. "For real this time, guys. Anything helps."
But I was a straight As in high school and I want you to know that I'm a hard worker.
Fall from grace, and a disingenuous one.
He's clearly a new student and presumably part of the COVID generation, where teachers struggling to adapt to remote-teaching handed out As to students who bothered to show up to Zoom meetings. This is no fault of his, but grade inflation may have inappropriately qualified him for admission. He is not above exploiting it nonetheless.
He says he's a hard worker. His grades so far suggest otherwise, but the only evidence in his favor is "just trust me, bro."
After I failed the first exam. I did all I could to improve my grade by getting a D on the second exam. I don't know what else more I can do.
Desperation. "All I could"? "What else more I can do"?
Sparse on evidence/details, so immediately suspect omission. Ex: a statement like 'I spent twice as long studying' might be factually true, but omits the fact that he went from studying for 5 minutes the night before the test...to 10.
It's well-crafted enough to tickle your sympathy nerve without telling any outright lies you can hold him accountable for later. He's even cautious enough to not ask you for anything specific-- he's fishing to see what you're willing to offer.
This is a bad time to extend charity or sympathy to anybody under the age of 25. An entire generation that's had years to rehearse these acts are now bringing them to production outside of high school. Some of them make it as far as the workplace, where they eventually cross my desk.
Do not give in. You'll be expected to do so again in the future (for him, if not the friends he'll direct your way for easy negotiation), and when you finally put your foot down, you'll find yourself on the receiving end of a (false or exaggerated) discrimination or workplace violence complaint.