I know that colleges value an upward trend in grades getting better throughout your years, but how would having a high GPA freshman year, low sophomore year, and high junior and senior year effect admissions? (besides the obvious GPA drop from the low sophomore year)
Just explain them why that happened.
I think colleges would view it the same as an upward trend because although there's really no upward trend but you have a consistency in your grades. You would just need a valid reason to why there was a drop in sophomore year. So I say there's no need to worry unless your grades was really low sophomore year and you don't have a valid reason to why but otherwise I think you are fine.
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