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GPA 3.81 typically top quarter ?

mitchklongmitchklong Posts: 595Registered User Member
edited November 2012 in College Admissions
My sons GPA is 3.81 but his rank is only 23rd percentile. Doesnt this seem low to you ? He goes to a public school. He gets As in all the basic high school classes but is challenged in the college level classes, which I think is worth it from what I hear about colleges looking for rigor.

His GPA seems good to me but im worried that top quarter makes him look less competitive.
Post edited by mitchklong on

Replies to: GPA 3.81 typically top quarter ?

  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 57,752Registered User Senior Member
    Do the students ranked higher than him have higher than 4.0 GPAs because of AP classes?
  • drusbadrusba Posts: 7,806Registered User Senior Member
    3.81 as only in the top quarter is common for a high school that has honors and AP courses and uses a weighted GPA scale where those honors and AP courses make an A in the course a 5 on a 4.0 scale, with the result that your highest level students will actually be above 4.0 overall GPA. Being only top quarter likely means that he is not going to be admitted to the ivies, Stanford, MIT, CalTech, or other high ranked colleges. However, top quarter is very often more than enough to be admitted to your home state public universities and many private colleges other than those high ranks. Thus, whether he can be "competitive" mainly depends on colleges to which he intends to apply.
  • mitchklongmitchklong Posts: 595Registered User Member
    His school doesnt weight. If it did he would fare better, about 3/4 of his coursework is college level.

    The most competitive schools he is looking at right now are Northwestern and Carleton.
  • SikorskySikorsky Posts: 5,851Registered User Senior Member
    (I assume you mean "top 23%," since later on you're talking about being in the top quarter. Most of the time "23rd percentile" means "higher than 23% of the group," or top 77%.)

    A GPA of 3.81 and a class rank that's barely top quarter suggests that your son's HS awards a whole lot of A's.

    If he has standardized test scores that match his grades, a GPA of 3.81 and a rank in the top quartile will make your son a competitive applicant at very many colleges and universities. On the other hand, being in the third decile of the class would probably be a knock against him at many highly selective schools (e.g., Stanford, Princeton, Williams, and also many that aren't quite as selective as those three).

    Your son's guidance counselor probably has, or at least has access to, information about colleges and universities where students from his school with similar grades and class rank have been admitted in recent years.

    (EDIT: x-post with many above, including Mitch's last post. I almost mentioned Northwestern as a highly selective university where class rank in the 3rd decile could be a problem. On the other hand, if most of the students ranked above him have taken less demanding classes, then that's an issue that your son's counselor can, and should, address in the Secondary School Report.)
  • mitchklongmitchklong Posts: 595Registered User Member
    Yes his percentile is 77.23, or the tip 23%.

    Thanks for the posts. Ive noticed that many of the classes offer extra credit and make it pretty easy to get an A if you put in the effort. Im guessing that might be whats happening. Most of the students above him are girls, probably 80% of them. Perhaps they have more of a school work ethic than the boys do.
  • barrk123barrk123 Posts: 3,439Registered User Senior Member
    What are his ACT/SAT scores?
  • mitchklongmitchklong Posts: 595Registered User Member
    He takes the SAT in December (he is a jr). In his practice tests he is scoring around 2100.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 57,752Registered User Senior Member
    What kind of schools will he be applying to? Usually only the most competitive want kids in the top 10%.

    Many other schools are test score driven.
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