Yes, if you work extremely hard, get good grades, do well on standardized testing and have amazing ECs, you stand a chance. It's only your Freshman year, so you have time to recover, but the fact that you got a 2.95 GPA in the 9th grade, when classes are easier, signals to schools that you lack diligence. If you're a 2.95 level student, are you sure you can get at least 4.0 the next few years? I mean, to bring your accumulative GPA up, you're going to need a GPA of over 4.0 (weighted) to be competitive. You have three years, so if you get your mind and heart into it, you can still get your grades up and gain admission. It's not going to be easy for you, not going to lie, but if it's any consolation, many schools (like Princeton and Stanford, off the top of my head) don't consider Freshman year grades in their admissions decisions.
It is not completely accurate to say that Princeton doesn't consider freshman grades at all. Princeton does look at class rank (or relative class standing in the case of schools that do not rank). So while Princeton might recalculate a GPA to exclude freshman grades, it will also note that a student is in say the top 25% of the class rather than the top 10% of the class.
Last edited by midatlmom; 08-09-2011 at 03:50 PM.
It definitely wouldnt hurt. I think my first post was a bit harsh, as well. Freshman year would be the ideal year to have a bad year like that, because the colleges will notice that you worked extremely hard to improve etc. however with schools such as Harvard they want to see consistency, a school such as Cornell or Brown would be more interested I would say
...schools such as Harvard they want to see consistency, a school such as Cornell or Brown would be more interested I would say
No, not at all. I know of a few people at Harvard that started off poorly Freshman year and ended up getting accepting. None of them came from a 2.95 GPA, however. It's obviously possible to get accepted, but let's not sugarcoat anything here... it's going to be very, very hard. Even if you do get amazing grades the next 2-2.5 years. I know you're still a Freshman, but you may want to consider transferring once you're in college.
Depends on why. One of my friends spent all freshman year dealing with an illness that kept her hospitalized for 8/9 months of the school year. She then came back and aced everything. That: excusable. Didn't really feel like school? Still possible, but a harder case to make.
Look, unless you have something 'special' that differentiates you from any other cc/over-achiever kid, you will have trouble getting into any school. Instead of focusing on what school you want to attend, focus on your own majors, focuses, and talents that could allow you to succeed in life.
I wasn't implying that there weren't circumstances involving deathly illness that were equally compelling, just describing the circumstances of the single low-freshman-year-GPA-possessing friend that I know here. The OP didn't tell us much about why he got that GPA, so I didn't want to write him a past he didn't tell us, whether that past be gangs or illness.
From what I understand, schools LOVE gradual improvement. I want to say it could be even better than a perfect 4.0, but I'd probably be lying. Show improvement towards a 4.0, even if you can't do it right away. You're not just a number and college admissions, especially at Harvard, know that. I cannot site the exact source, but several admissions officers say that As and Bs are acceptable. Keep working hard, I know high school is tough :/
^ Improvement is definitely a strong sign to an admissions officer of your determination to succeed, and may give you an edge over other "perfect" overachievers that you will be competing against.
However you need to bear in mind that your school academics will not be your selling point in the application process, as your freshman GPA will affect your overall GPA and class rank. Thus it is better to make up for this by taking AP/local college courses/independent study to demonstrate your academic capacity. It will be better for your chances to find some amazing ECs and quality summer programs for high school students (there are many threads on CC: TASP, RSI, SSP, etc.).
But the road will be long. A friend of mine who was accepted to Harvard (went to Stanford though) had very low frosh GPA, lower than yours. But he did some amazing community service projects, varsity captain for football and track, founded an African-American brotherhood group of sorts, jointly published a scientific paper, and brought his GPA to a 3.96. It's hard, but still possible. Best of luck in your future endeavors!