Hi! I'm a junior in high school and my current GPA is a 3.4 (weighted), and I have no idea what it is unweighted because our school has no way for us to check (and frankly Im scared to find out), this is because my freshman year was almost fully online and because of this I suffered from some serious mental health issues that caused my grades to be more like Ds Cs, and Bs my Freshman and sophomore years. Now, however, I have virtually all As including As in 2 AP classes. I'm not a bad student by any means- I work hard, and I'm in a ton of clubs and extracurriculars, but I'm still worried that my mediocre GPA is going to hold me back. Does anyone know if schools will be more lenient with low GPA if you've shown massive improvement/ have a (diagnosed) reason for getting poor grades my first two years like I do? I'd hate for me being stupid and depressed my freshman year to limit my options, so I'd appreciate any thoughts.
Schools like to see an upward trajectory in grades; if they see you improve in your grades from freshman to junior year, they will be a lot more empathetic and supportive of you as an applicant. It would also be important to explain why you got those grades in your freshman and sophomore years, so they have that in mind. Lastly, even though there is an upward trajectory in your grades, your school list has to be realistic; applying to loads of T20 schools with a 3.4 weighted GPA may not be the best option unless you have loads of stellar extracurriculars (like really good) and amazing essays. Look at some other schools that may not have the rank but are good schools that you will enjoy as a student; and if you still want to go to a t20 school, maybe transfer to a t20 school while in college.
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