Freshman Year Grades for Selective Colleges

I had a quick question about grades for college. In my freshman year of high school, I had a terrible unweighted GPA (2.7). My sophomore year, however, I got an unweighted of 3.8. For this year (junior), I don’t want to be too optimistic, but I think I will also end with an unweighted of 3.8 with AP classes. How much will my freshman year grades count for colleges like Princeton or UC Berkeley. I’ve been working so hard, but I keep looking back at my freshman year grades and I’m wondering if they’re gonna hold me back. Ik a lot of you guys will say that it’s fine because my GPA average will increase, but it is extremely difficult to recover from a 2.7. I want to know if it would count towards my admissions. Thank you for any answers.

Do a little research… UC doesn’t count grades from freshman year. Take a look at


While freshman and senior year grades are not included in the GPA calculation. UCs do look at courses you take in freshman year and the grades and rigor of your coursework are considered in context of the overall curriculum.

UC’s do not consider Freshman grades in their GPA calculation but they do look at all the a-g course requirements you took Freshman year and want to make sure you had passing grades.

UC’s only use 10-11th grades in their GPA calculation.

For Princeton, everything counts and an upward trend will help but you will be competing against applicants that had top grades all 3+ years. Again, GPA is only part of the whole application but unfortunately a pretty important part.

Upward trend is better than a downward trend, but a 2.7/3.8/3.8 will still not be viewed as positively as a 3.8/3.8/3.8.

At a school like Princeton, the reality is that the vast majority of applicants will be 3.9+/3.9+/3.9+.