How much do freshman year grades impact admission?
Hello! I am currently finishing up my sophomore year, and am throwing around the idea of wanting to go to a more selective college. For context, my grades and coursework are strong (7 honors and 8 APs by the end of senior year if all goes well, had all A's and 1 B last semester, almost certain this semester I'll have all A's), along with solid extracurriculars (I will go up the leadership ladder/gain more responsibility as the years go on). However, freshman year wasn't the best ('20-'21). My grades were not fantastic but not terrible (UWGPA was above 3.0, but not by a lot). I did get a 4 on my AP exam (Human Geo if anyone cares) but got a mix of A's, B's, and C's (not a lot on the lower end, but a few). Not to mention, my Spanish teacher wasn't good and I dropped the class after the first semester (I got pushed up due to taking the class in middle school). How much will this impact admission? If schools take a more holistic approach, will they consider the COVID situation as it impacted my grades?
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So - there's not much you can do about your freshman grades now, unless you invent a time machine and then I'm pretty sure you can skip college and go straight to billionaire.
So, I'll tell you this - if you can show steady improvement over your sophomore and junior years, this won't hurt you too badly. Colleges know that as a freshman high school student, you're still learning "how to student" and I think some early bumps in the road aren't as damaging as they would be in your junior or senior year.
Right now, instead of fretting about "how will this hurt me" put your energy into "how do I prevent this from happening again". You need to critically self-reflect on what went wrong in your freshman year - and you can't just blame it solely on a bad teacher. You'll always have hard/bad/not-ideal-in-some-manner-teachers and sometimes they'll be inescapable. How will you deal with this in the future? Think about steps and practices you can take to improve your note-taking in class and your ability to focus, how you'll plan spaced repetition, and how you'll improve your time management (especially when you take more responsibility in those ECs!).
If you want to talk more about "best student" practices, feel free to find me on the 1:1 advisers site as Carly Tribull.
Hi! Typically, colleges are going to look closely into all years of high school, with the 2nd semester of your senior year having less significance. Specifically for the Freshman year, colleges tend to be more forgiving of poor grades if it is in contrast to better grades in the other 3 years. In other words, the bad grades in your Freshman year don’t turn out to be part of a regular trend across high school, you should be fine.
Hi! One thing you might want to do is see if colleges consider freshman grades. For example, Stanford University does not consider freshman year, so I would try to research Stanford and other colleges that won't penalize you for freshman year grades
Hope this is helpful!
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