How closely will colleges look at senior year grades this year?

I’m a high school senior applying early decision to Duke. I’ve maintained a 4.0 unweighted GPA for the past three years, but this first quarter my GPA dropped to a 3.7/3.8. I’m now incredibly nervous about how it will affect my admissions chances. How closely will colleges look at senior year grades, especially considering how the pandemic has affected learning?

If you are applying ED they may not see your senior year grades until later. RD colleges will likely ask to see first semester grades. All colleges want to see your final grades for the year.

What class(es) dropped your grades? If it was from a very rigorous class, I wouldn’t sweat getting your first B or two. If you are doing worse than that, get some additional help before it is too late.

You’d have to be doing very poorly to go from a 4.0 to a 3.7 instantly. If that is really the case (and you are not getting yourself worked up), talk with your guidance counselor about dropping down a level in the class that is giving you the most trouble.

Duke asks for first quarter grades if you’re applying early. Also I, have a B+ in AP Biology and A-'s in AP Lit, a dual enrollment Calculus III course, and a dual enrollment Forensics Science course.

If it the B+ you are worried about, that probably wasn’t enough to go from a 4.0 to a 3.7. You’re probably more like a 3.9 or something.

Wait, really? I think this other calculator that I used mislead me. This made me feel so much better. Thank you so much!

A’s in three classes in addition to the grades you provided should yield a 3.78 just for this quarter under “typical” grading.

Averaging this in with 12 previous quarters with 4.0s under similar course loads would yield slightly above a 3.98.

Though a downward trend isn’t ideal, a 3.98 will certainly be competitive.