College essay and applying?

College essay and applying?
When applying for college, they ask for gpa. I know its the cumulative, but does it include senior year grades? My cumulative gpa is a 3.0. If I got a 3.7 my first marking period of senior year would it raise my cumulative?

Also, what are some good ideas for college essays? I wanna stand out.

They do include senior year 1st semester grades. They will also look at your second semester grades, in case they drop due to “senioritis”, so don’t think you can slack off as soon as 2nd semester comes around.

I once went to a panel with the Tufts U. admissions representative. He said the two things he hates readings about the most are sports game scenarios and stories about community service.

I remember I wrote my Johns Hopkins University essay about why I wanted to study biology and psychology combined (I was applying as a behavioral biology major). Anyway, I got in, and that’s where I am now.

One thing I did notice is that different colleges really have different “vibes”. Some schools will want something artsy or creative/weird, others will want to see more of a straightforward and academically driven approach. You have to think about the atmosphere of the school you are applying to when you write your essays and tweak them to match.