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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
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Can your freshman year grades affect UC admissions?

Hey everyone, just feeling a tad anxious about how the UC schools might view my freshman year grades. I've heard mixed things and wondered what the definitive take was. Do UCs consider your freshman year grades when they're deciding who gets in? I had a rough start and then picked it up in sophomore year, but I'm kinda worried freshman year might drag down my application.

8 months ago

Hey there, I totally understand the anxiety around freshman year grades, especially when aiming for schools within the UC system. The straight-up answer is that the UCs do not consider your freshman year grades when calculating the GPA they use for admissions purposes. They focus primarily on the grades you receive in your A-G courses (see their website for a refresher on what that means: https://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/admission-requirements/freshman-requirements/subject-requirement-a-g.html) during your sophomore and junior years.

However, your entire transcript will be included in your application, meaning they will see your freshman year performance. That being said, an upward trend in grades is viewed positively as it shows resilience and an improved work ethic. It's crucial to maintain that upward trajectory through your senior year, too, as your performance senior year is most reflective of the kind of student who will actually be arriving on campus.

If there were circumstances outside your control that impacted your academic performance, consider explaining them in the "Additional Information" section of the Common App. You can read about how to explain extenuating circumstances on CollegeVine's blog, here: https://blog.collegevine.com/how-to-explain-exceptional-personal-circumstances-on-applications

Good luck with your UC application!

8 months ago

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