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a year ago
Admissions Advice

What colleges don't look at freshman year grades?

Is it true that Princeton doesn't look at Freshman year grades? I know that UC schools and Stanford don't count freshman year grades, but are there any other schools that don't factor those into their GPA?

applications
Princeton
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3 answers

4
a year ago

The general rule of thumb I'd use to answer this question is to expect that very few colleges will out right ignore freshman grades; if you're in your college search process then I'd recommend looking up the policy for the specific schools you're applying to.

Furthermore, even if you did receive substantially poor grades freshman year, but you made up for them with strong performance during your sophomore and junior year it may actually help your application as it would show to an admissions officer that you have the capacity to improve yourself. Less selective schools may just take your GPA/Grades at face value, but, assuming you're planning on applying to top schools like Princeton and Stanford, you shouldn't have to worry about freshman year grades, as these schools will go through a more rigorous process of figuring out the story behind your grades throughout high school.

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a year ago[edited]

[deleted]

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11 months ago

This is a good question @milkxndhoney and I wanted to give an answer in addition to the other ones you've received in case any else has stumbles upon this question in the future. @Ball2482 and @crsgo0422 pretty much hit the nail on the head with their answers. The UC and CSU systems are both ones which say they only look at your grades from 10th grade onwards when computing your GPA. Stanford and McGill are two other schools you could consider looking into as well. It's possible other schools might have their own system for calculating GPA but that doesn't mean they won't look at freshman year grades. It's possible they just consider freshman year grades with less weight than the grades you get from sophomore to senior year.

@Ball2482 is right when they say colleges can look more favorably on students who improve their grades over time. If you had bad grades during freshman year and are able to show that you slowly improved over time you're less likely to get penalized in the admissions process. Unfortunately though there's nothing you can do to hid the impact of those grades completely. They're going to impact your GPA and class rank (if that's something your school does) but many schools nowadays have what is called a holistic admissions process. This means that they look at your application as a whole and not just GPA and test scores. If the rest of your application is high quality it can typically make up for any poor grades you received freshman year. Most colleges recognize the transition into high school can be difficult. I'd try not to stress too much about freshman year grades, junior year is the one you need to care about the most!

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