How is a student whose grades improved throughout high school evaluated?
Much better than if they withered away
It is seen very positively. We want to see that their is potential there. We want to see an upswing in GPA and even course rigor. Showing your potential is important. We are making an investment in you, we want to make sure that our investment pays off in terms of future potential.
While obviously a strong, consistent record of high level achievement through the whole of your high school career is the best way to go, people d mature and develop at different times and some people get it all together later in their career. In those cases both the applicant and all those writing in support need to focus on the growth, the development, and the fact that the record now being compiled is a stronger one and more representative of the prospective student who will be attending the following year while the whole record, impacted by early struggles, is not the whole story. Ultimately it is not a lost cause, but the early going may be impacted. Many students in this situation are his case are hurt in their effort to get admitted to more selective school on the first go around, but given where they now are perform impressively in their first year or two in college and are then able to transfer.
Admissions officers like to see an “upward trend” in a student’s grades. Freshman year, especially, can be a time of rocky transition for some kids, and grades from the 9th grade may not be a reflection of the student’s true capabilities. If you’re making progress by sophomore year, and even more in junior year (and taking a rigorous course load), colleges will recognize your improvement as a sign that you have matured intellectually and started to discover yourself as a learner.
An upward trend is viewed very positively if the student continued to challenge him or herself with a rigorous curriculum!
Much better than if they had withered away.
Here is my video response to the question.
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The sources for school statistics and data is the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.
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