Admission officers look at various indicators on the application that show academic success, such as grades, overall GPA, and class rank. Colleges also like to see improvement over the years. If your child had trouble freshman year, but the college sees that they improved over junior and senior year, that will enhance their application.
In these cases, the essay is particularly important. Your child can use it to explain why they had trouble and convince the college that they’ll do well in the future.