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How bad does it look to top colleges that I finished freshman year with all B's (except health)?

CrystalGorl08CrystalGorl08 Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
I go to a very competetive school and I didn't do my best freshman year but am determined to pull up my gpa by aiming for straight a's the next three years. I've also started SAT prep early. Will one bad year still be looked down upon? I am asian american.

Replies to: How bad does it look to top colleges that I finished freshman year with all B's (except health)?

  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls Registered User Posts: 4,552 Senior Member
    edited July 16
    It depends to a large extent on where you apply, and how you do for the rest of high school.

    There are a few relatively well ranked universities which don't look at your freshman year of high school. For nearly any school, the next two years will matter more than your freshman year.

    I would suggest that you take classes that you can handle, and work very hard to get much better grades from now on. Then see where you stand two years from now.
  • justahumanjustahuman Registered User Posts: 24 Junior Member
    First of all, starting SAT prep as a freshman/sophomore is ridiculous. Stop prepping and chill out! The college admissions process is extremely stressful so to start so young is really unfair to yourself. If you want to start really early, start at the end of sophomore year. Before that just seems crazy to me! I started at the middle of junior year, only prepped for like 3 months, took the test. Did great! You don't know nearly enough math, and your reading comprehension and writing abilities are really not mature enough yet. But back to your original question. I am going to say no. A steady improvement over time is looked favorably among elite colleges. Especially as your course load gets harder, to be able to improve grades looks great! Enjoy your summer, do something productive, but stop prepping for the SAT. Try your best next year, but don't put so much pressure on yourself to get all A's. Best of luck to you!
  • gandalf78gandalf78 Registered User Posts: 1,876 Senior Member
    ^ This. Worry about SAT/ACT prep in your junior year, not before.

    Also, notwithstanding that you attend a "competitive" high school, don't fall into the trap of letting your concept of self-worth be defined by where you attend college, or what other people (especially your parents) think about your college choices. You will likely have a very unhappy life if you do.

    Enjoy your high school experience; it's not just a 4-year prep course for college.
  • happy1happy1 Forum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 22,900 Forum Champion
    edited July 17
    It is way too early to think about specific colleges or group of colleges. You just even have one full year's GPA and you have no standardized testing. It is good that you plan to take school more seriously and that you recognize that college will be on your horizon, but it is too early to start planning what type of college you might qualify for. Also recognize, as noted above, that HS is an expereince in an of itself -- a time of growth and learning -- not just a 4 year college prep class. I would highly recommend that you get off of CC until your junior year.

    For now you should focus on:
    --Working hard, learning, and doing as well as you can in the most challenging curriculum you can manage.
    --When the time comes (junior year) study for standardized tests.
    --Continue your involvement in activities you care about and work towards making meaningful contributions to those activities.
    --Enjoying spending time with your family and friends.

    When the time comes (junior year) asses your academic stats (including GPA, standardized tests, course rigor) as well as your financial needs and apply to a wide range of reach, match, and safety schools that appear affordable (you will have to run a net price calculator for each school you consider) and that you would be happy to attend. You need to expand recognize that there are many wonderful schools out there where you can have a great 4 year experience and get where you want to go in life.
  • jdogNCjdogNC Registered User Posts: 38 Junior Member
    Just a few comments. It is not too early to think of colleges you want to attend and whether you meet the requirements. B's your freshman year will not determine your academic future, but everyone states they attend a competitive school and grades are important. If the school is really that good and competitive, a lot of schools will have relationships with the school and know the reputation. My suggestion, like the others, is to focus on SAT/ACT prep later, but focusing enough to be prepared for the Pre-SAT or ACT your Junior year which can qualify you for money is not a bad idea. Also, talk with your guidance counselor who will be giving you recommendations. It is important they know what you are striving for and can help. Or at least they won't be surprised when you tell them where you are applying.

    Some top schools are almost impossible to get into and you need a hook or something else where waiting until your Junior year may be late to the game. My favorite example is Wharton where "everyone" seems to have started a hedge fund or business to get in. While you do have a chance with great grades and activities, having something else is very helpful.

    You are starting your sophomore year so definitely not too early now to be thinking about these things and figuring it out. Like all the others have said, though, work hard and you will get where you were meant to be. Way too much stress on the kids these days and they put a lot of it on themselves.

    Good luck.
  • lmao2018lmao2018 Registered User Posts: 61 Junior Member
    In regards to extra curriculars, just follow your passions. As long as you do it really well, then almost no matter what it is, it'll be respected. @jdogNC I think this is true for a place such as Wharton as well, where realistically very very few students have started their own business prior to attending. It's about showing that when you're passionate about something you're able to make a difference, and also showing genuine interest in the school that you're applying to. Sometimes you can easily do both at once (such as starting a business before applying to b-school), but that is rarely the case.
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 11,965 Forum Champion
    I think the real question is: Can i get into college with a B average?
    Yes you can!

    When you say "top colleges", what do you mean? There are 3000 colleges in the USA...there are many that would be a good fit for you. Keep doing your best!
  • jdogNCjdogNC Registered User Posts: 38 Junior Member
    lmao2018 since we are in a UNC thread, I do agree that following a passion for extra curricular activities is fine and they will be respected. The same applies for most schools. The OP should talk with her guidance counselor or if she is serious about some other top colleges, seek out the advice of a good college consultant if her family supports it. They can help figure the best fit for her based on the person she is. There are a lot of top colleges, not just what US News says are the best.
  • CrystalGorl08CrystalGorl08 Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    Ok thanks...lol it literally stresses me out sm when I hear all these kids in my grade start talking about (pre)SATs and stuff and freaking out over ONE "B" that they got!
  • gandalf78gandalf78 Registered User Posts: 1,876 Senior Member
    One other thing, somewhat relating to what @bopper touched on. You asked in the title about "top colleges"; don't fixate (or, perhaps equally as important, your parents shouldn't fixate) about your getting admitted to a "top college". You should think about getting into the "best school" that you can, in the sense that the "best school" is the one at which you can be your personal best. The "best school" for you may not be UNC-CH, or the Ivy League, or some other place with better name recognition; but perhaps a place that you aren't even aware of at this point in time.

    As another poster on College Confidential once noted, "There is so much more to college than just academics, and there are plenty of jewels out there that are not top ranked. In the end where you find happiness is where you will more likely excel which is the ultimate goal. If you are hating life you are not going to do well no matter how great a school is or supposedly is. College is what you make of it no matter where you land."
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