Will freshman year classes affect my chances at Ivy League schools?

I'm in freshman year and I'm in two honors classes. I have a GPA of over 3.86 and the lowest grade is a B+. I am planning to go to an Ivy League school. Is it possible?

It's possible, but you'll need to take more difficult classes in the next few years and show an upward trend in your grades. Freshman year isn't quite as important because colleges understand that you were still adjusting to a new work load and environment (see the answer to this other experthub question). However, the majority of students who successfully apply to Ivy League schools have taken and excelled in the most challenging courses available to them in every subject throughout most of high school.

I'd recommend talking to your guidance counselor about planning out the rest of your schedule with these ambitious goals in mind. He or she might be able to tell you more about the courses students have taken in the past to be accepted to top colleges. Your guidance counselor would also have a better idea of whether you're on the right track with your GPA. Every school's GPA weighting system is slightly different, and access to honors and AP classes also varies, so it's important to look at your performance in context (as colleges will do).

Additionally, you should start thinking about academic subjects or extracurricular pursuits where you could accomplish something meaningful. Good grades are important, but if you really want to get noticed, your application should include something unique that shows your potential. The founder of PrepScholar wrote this great article on how to get into Ivy League schools if you're interested in learning more about what it takes. The article emphasizes discovering your talents and finding ways to channel them into activities that will impress colleges and provide you with personal fulfillment.

I'd also like to note that not all Ivy League schools are the same, so it's hard to say for sure what your chances are if you're not looking at a specific school. Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and now Columbia are slightly more selective than the rest. You may be able to get into the less competitive Ivies with awesome grades and scores and not too much else, but at the top 3-4 schools you typically need a special boost.