Terrible Freshman Year... how will my GPA affect my admissions??

I had a 2.0 GPA freshman year. There were a couple of serious things going on in my life, but they do not change the fact that my grades were very poor that year. Going into sophomore year I was still dealing with these things for a good amount of time and my first semester was not great either. I ended 10th with a 3.1 GPA. It took a long time, but I got past my “obstacles”(if you will) and junior year I had straight A’s , ending the year with a 4.4 GPA. as of now, my cumulative GPA is a 3.2. It is very frustrating for me to see this because I know I am capable of so much more, and with my motivation now, I am worried I will not be able to get into the schools I want.

I took one AP junior year and got a 5 on the AP exam, I am the president of a political club at my school, I have won various awards for Latin Academic Team and participate in 3 other clubs. I was a finalist in the ARI essay contest and have won a couple other short story/poetry contests. I have logged a little over 300 hours volunteering and have been working since sophomore year. I got a 2120 on the SAT.

Next year I will be in 4 AP classes and all others honors. (Even then, IF I were to get straight A’s senior year, my highest possible cumulative GPA will be 3.6)

My top schools are UC-SB, UC-Berkeley, UWash, UNC, Duke, and Tulane (I am OOS for all of these places) based on interest in specific programs.

However, I am worried that my GPA will be impossible to overlook in admissions.

I am not looking for anyone to tell me how I should have done better from the start; I know that and can not change the past.
I am just wondering if anyone else has been in my situation and if anyone can provide some insight on how my GPA will affect my chances of getting into these schools. Also, if you have any advice on ways to better my chances, that would be great. Thanks!!

–Also, before anyone says anything, I understand how low the acceptance rates are at these schools and that some, UNC particularly are very hard for OOS to get into.

UCs do not use freshman or Sr year. You will have to calculate your UC gpa to see where you stand and if you meet the 3.4 gpa eligibiity for OOS. . They will look at your freshman year grades and the Sr year schedule you are attempting though. Do you have the funds to attend a UC? They are 55k per year for OOS students. If you got any aid it would be need aid and not cover most of the cost.

I would say that Berkeley UNC and Duke are out of reach for you. I think you should post in college search and find some more realistic schools to apply to.

I would say berkeley isn’t out of reach because they don’t count freshman year however inc and duke are out of reach so you shouldn’t get your hopes very high on those. UC’s are your best bet.

UC GPA calculator: http://rogerhub.com/gpa-calculator-uc/
10-11th grades only for a-g course requirements for the calculation. Only up to 8 semesters of AP/IB courses 10-11th grade for the extra honors points.

Can you afford all those OOS schools?

Yes i am to afford these schools