How much does Freshman Year count?

<p>My freshman year was a mess and my grades were not very good. I can definitely do better. If I were to get all A's for the remainder of high school, in all top level classes including AP, would I have a chance at a top college (Harvard, Dartmouth, Williams, etc) ? I am in a program at my high school which students must test into in their eighth grade year. It is highly selective and only for the, so to speak, smartest students in the incoming freshman class. I am also on the crew team and plan to do several other extracurriculars this year (one of my freshman year mistakes was not doing any clubs or teams, other than athletic teams.) My grades for freshman year are as follows:</p>

<p>Honors Biolgy: 82, 78, 86, 84
Honors Latin I: 82, 81, 88, 75
Honors Algebra I: 81, 78, 74, 65
Honors English I: 91, 91, 94, 94
Honors World History: 80, 82, 84, 92</p>

<p>I know they aren't very all, really... but would a top university overlook them if everything else was fantastic? After all, it was my first year and I was still a little naive. </p>

<p>Also, is it necessary to self-study an AP class for admission to a top-college? I know it isn't actually an admissions requirement, but it seems like everyone who applies self-studies at least one course. My school does not offer AP Geography, Macroeconomics, or Art History and I would be willing to self-study those!</p>

<p>Thank you so much in advance!</p>

<p>Yes, they will “overlook” it to some extent, and it is the least important year of your highschool career-- but keep in mind, at top schools, there will be plenty of applicants who had straight A’s all 4 years. No matter how much you can recover, it doesn’t just disappear.</p>

<p>Self studying is not necessary at all. I feel that most students actually do not do it. It’s up to you though-- if you have the free time and interest, go for it, but don’t feel that it’s necessary. It’s beneficial, but so are a million other things you could do with your time.</p>

<p>I agree with every word of Pancaked’s answer.</p>

<p>Some schools don’t count freshman year grades.</p>

<p>Much better to have an upward rather than a downward trend in grades.</p>

<p>Freshman year is valued the least in many ways, but as others have said you will be up against people who maintained a spotless transcript for all of high school. The biggest issue is that it will hurt your rank and cumulative GPA.</p>



<p>That may be official policy, the many of the same schools also use class rank in their admissions decisions, so Frosh grades do count.</p>

<p>OP: unless you have a HUGE hook, your chances at a “top university” are close to zero. There are just too many applicants with only one or two B’s – in AP courses – across all four years. And no, self-studying will not help.</p>