Will colleges care about a poor GPA in your early years of HS?

Hello all!

Sorry for the simplicity, but I have to know.

My GPA currently is a 3.67 UW. This is because in freshman and sophomore year, I had to take care of my bedsick grandparents, and had dealt with many deaths in my family. IT was hard on me, but I hope to put it past me.

If I am able to maintain a 4.1 GPA next year, I should have a 3.7-3.8 UW. Will colleges still look past me for my poor GPA?

Also, if I maintain the same GPA in senior year, will I be able to put that down and count it?

A worried Sophomore.

Don’t be worried. Lots of colleges out there love an upward trend. Some don’t calculate first year in your GPA but might still evaluate it.

No matter. You can’t dwell on the past. Focus on the future. There are more colleges out there than you realize and many that you’ll be a great fit for.

Control what you can…the future…and it will all work out.

Ps nothing at all wrong with a 3.67.


Pace yourself in the fall as you recalibrate. Do not take on too much. If there are areas of instruction or key concepts you may have missed due to family needs or Covid school schedules, figure out those areas and get extra help to fill in those gaps. Your teachers or high school counselor may be able to tell you where you have some gaps based on past assessments.

Your family comes first and that makes you someone colleges will want on their campus.

Test scores may matter more for you as you try to define your potential in college. Work on some free test prep this summer on Kahn or at the test’s sites - SAT and ACT both have free prep options. You will take the PSAT in the fall and that will give you an idea of where you fall there.

Be kind to yourself. You have got this!


If there were extenuating circumstances early on high school, your school counselor should be able to address those in their counselor letter.

You need to find colleges that will accept you as you are…and as noted, many like seeing an upward trend. But you can’t erase what happened in the past. So make sure you have a varied list of selectivity in the colleges on your application list.

You also don’t mention an SAT or ACT score which many schools are now requiring again. Have you taken one of these tests? We also don’t know anything else in your application package that might be helpful in terms of admission…OR the types of colleges you wish to consider.


Does that mean that 3.67 is your weighted GPA?

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Sounds like the OP is thriving to raise the current UW GPA from 3.67 by around 0.1 for next year.