Will my Jr year prove to some more competitive colleges my worthiness?Answered
In my freshman and sophomore years, I did not do great. My freshman year, I had a 2.6 weighted, and my sophomore, a 3.3 weighted. These are nothing special.
However, in my jr year, I scored a 4.0 GPA, in one of my quarters even reaching 4.25. Furthermore, I scored a 4/5 on an AP test and am now taking two AP classes, both of which I have As in.
Will these last two years prove that I have the intellectual chops to more selective colleges in the 40-60% acceptance rate range?
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Colleges like to see upward trends in grades, so while your GPA may not look amazing, they will see your transcripts and see that your grades have only gotten better.
You may want to look into schools that ignore freshman year grades like the UCs and California State schools, as your GPA without that 2.6 will be much higher.
Those initial grades will definitely pull your cumulative (total) GPA down quite a lot, but you do have a promising upward trend. I think the best play here would be to explain why you didn't succeed so much in freshman and sophomore year (if there's a good reason) but to focus on how you've been continuously improving to become a better student and a better learner. A great ACT or SAT test score will also help because it will quantify how much you've grown and show that you're now on par with other students who might have had great grades consistently.
Colleges in the 40-60% acceptance rate range don't have extremely high expectations, so I think you can probably get into some of them. Just make sure the other factors in your application are strong as well; showing lots of demonstrated interest, having a really great and well-written CommonApp essay, asking good, smart, important questions to your admissions officer and/or interviewer could also help a lot.
Summary: Yes, that upward trend could be good enough to show your growing academic abilities, but make sure to supplement it with a great overall application and explain if possible freshman/sophomore year did not work out and how you've improved.
Good luck with your college applications! Hope this helped!
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