Do Freshman Grades Matter for College?
We get this question all the time, whether from a student who is excited about a top-notch start to his high school career, or a parent who is concerned about a rocky adjustment to a more rigorous curriculum. To put it bluntly, yes, colleges do look at freshman year grades on your college application. However, if a student doesn’t receive her best grades during her first year of high school, all is not lost. Admission officers recognize that some students need time to adjust to the rigor of high school work, and can forgive a rocky start if things eventually improve and even out. So if a student starts off with a less-than-stellar academic performance, an upward trend will be noted and appreciated.
If, on the other hand, a student gets terrific grades in his first year, it’s important that he not rest on his laurels. Colleges will be looking for consistency from its students, and will care much more about Cs in eleventh grade than about As in ninth. A student’s transcript tells the story of her academic readiness for college, and freshman year is only part of the story.