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Does Harvard Use Weighted on Unweighted GPA in Application Process?

EmilyrEmilyr Posts: 37Registered User Junior Member
edited September 2011 in What Are My Chances?
At the end of my high school career, my weighted GPA (the one my school uses and reports to us) will probably be in the 4.6-4.7 range. That being said, my unweighted GPA may only be around 3.8 or so. Ivy Leagues are my target schools and Harvard has always been my dream and goal. Which GPA does Harvard look at?
Post edited by Emilyr on

Replies to: Does Harvard Use Weighted on Unweighted GPA in Application Process?

  • snipersassnipersas Posts: 677Registered User Member
    What is yoru class rank?
  • EmilyrEmilyr Posts: 37Registered User Junior Member
    Unfortunately, my school does not reveal our own class ranks to us. I will bring the issue to the school committee though.
  • snipersassnipersas Posts: 677Registered User Member
    Generally it works like:


    class rank > unweighted GPA > Weighted GPA



    a 3.8 could be low or high depending on the school, but without context it is on the low end.
  • Sidthekidc87Sidthekidc87 Posts: 297Registered User Junior Member
    Don't listen to snipersas, he's completely wrong.

    Your unweighted GPA is the most important thing on that transcript

    Lets say you get a 3.8 with an extremely rigorous curriculum, but you just happen to be in a school of extremely smart people, and aren't in the top 10 percent.

    Does you 3.8 count any less? No

    You just happened to be in a school with a lot of smart people.

    Snipersas had it all mixed up. Your CLASS RANK without context is meaningless
  • snipersassnipersas Posts: 677Registered User Member
    Your unweighted GPA is the most important thing on that transcript



    I disagree. Only with a class ranking (assuming your school doesn't play games with it) tells schools where you truly stand once grade inflation has been controlled for (and along with your personal SAT scores and school scores). At some schools for instance, upwards of 10% of the class has a perfect 4.0 unweighted GPA every year, while at others a 3.7 is an extraordinary achievement, so GPAs are hardly comparable between the two, but a 3.8 val looks far better then a 3.95 that's ranked 30 in a class of 300.


    Overall I wouldn't stress over it. Grades and test scores are generally just a pass/no pass gate in college admissions - it's the extracurriculars that will make or break you.
  • dblazerdblazer Posts: 1,764Registered User Senior Member
    No, snipersas's statement has merit. Class ranks is an important indicator because difficulty of getting a certain gpa varies from school to school. The difficulty of getting a 4.0 at my schools is not the same difficulty of getting a 4.0 at your school. Would it be fair to compare our gpas side-by-side? No, that's why the context, which class rank provides, matters. Colleges know what schools are competitive or not. They know that kids in the top 10% of a competitive magnet school are probably better students than the top 10% of an average high school. So that is taken into consideration when class rank is considered. To answer the OP's question, colleges like Harvard re-calculate your gpa to something more similar to an unweighted gpa. They only look at core class and use a scale similar to A/A+=4.0, A- = 3.7, B+ = 3.3, B = 3.0 ... They can't use weighted because the systems vary from school to school.
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