So you screwed up freshman year. You were 14 years old, unfocused, and unmotivated. You ended up with a 2.5 GPA. But you buckled down during your sophomore, junior, and senior years. Your sophomore GPA was a 3.4, junior year 3.6, and senior year 4.0. Your cumulative GPA is 3.375. Without your freshmen year your GPA is 3.67. That’s a huge difference.
What do you do then? You can’t get rid of your freshmen year. Fortunately, most colleges weight your freshmen minimally. They typically pay most attention to junior year and first semester of senior year. In addition, colleges focus on trends over your 4 years of high school. For instance, a 3.3 freshman year, a 3.5 sophomore year, a 3.7 junior year, and a 3.9 senior year looks much better than a 3.9 freshmen year, a 3.7 sophomore year, a 3.5 sophomore year, and a 3.3 senior year. The upward trend illustrates increased maturity and ability to understand increasingly difficult material. A downward trend illustrates decreased motivation and inability to comprehend challenging concepts.
Of course, a high grade point average across all of high school is ideal. But, a bad freshmen year won’t ruin your life and improvement is always valued.
If you’re really anxious about your 9th grade performance, there are a number of schools that don’t look at your freshman transcript. The schools are listed below:
- California State University System (23 colleges)
- McGill University
- Stanford University
- University of California System (9 colleges)
That said, these colleges do take into account class rank (if your high school ranks). So those grades freshman year could still have an impact, just a lesser one.
Even the most competitive colleges are often willing to look past a less than peachy freshman year. Relax, don’t worry about what you can’t change, and put your efforts toward the schoolwork you have now.