How much will my slightly above average GPA hurt me in admissions?

<p>I'm applying to a top-20 university, and I'm really worried. My freshman and sophomore years, I kind of slacked off. This past year (my junior year), I worked extremely hard and improved my GPA and class rank drastically because I realized how important those are.</p>

<p>However, my average grades from freshman and sophomore years are making my GPA only slightly above average (3.81 weighted based on my calculations). </p>

<p>When I retake the SAT in October, my scores should be in the low 2000s. I have been told that my involvement in extra-curricular activities and volunteer work are "pretty impressive" from current students at the school I'm applying to.</p>

<p>Will my test scores and involvement kind of cancel out my not-so-great GPA, or will it kill my application?</p>

<p>Low 2000 SATs does not "cancel out" a weak GPA; it only hurts the applicant's chances of success that much more.</p>

<p>Unless your ECs are remarkably impressive or you have another hook, at this point top 20 universities seem out of reach.</p>