Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

Cal Poly GPA

edge555edge555 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
I have several questions regarding applying to Cal Poly and its GPA system and statistics:
- Why does Cal Poly, in their Student Profile for fall 2018, state that their average GPA for engineering is 4.21, when the GPA caps at 4.2? I know the Cal Poly GPA could be higher than a 4.2 but was just curious as to why they would list it as such.
- Would my GPA (hypothetically) being exactly 4.2 be considered less competitive than someone else's if he/she has a CP GPA above that despite having that 4.2 cap?
- I have straight A's so far and my honors points are maxed out at 8 semesters, yet my CP GPA is still 4.18. How are students able to have GPAs higher than that?
- Does my projected GPA being lower than average put me at that much of a disadvantage? I feel like my test scores and ECs and work experience make up for it but was wondering if admissions is solely based on the MCA system.

Thank you to whoever is willing to respond!

Replies to: Cal Poly GPA

  • sawadeekasawadeeka Registered User Posts: 40 Junior Member
    edited January 5
    You have a great point. What's really interesting is that if you were to take too many non-AP, a-g qualified courses and got all "A"s in them, it will actually LOWER your UC/Cal State GPA since it will lower your average down towards 4.0. It's almost as if, you'd have to plan out your HS courses starting in 9th grade so that you max rigor points, but don't take any more than the max required. For example, if you were to somehow take an extra a-g qualified (non-AP) elective that's beyond the minimum requirement, it would actually hurt your overall GPA and potentially not put you above the MCA cut line for a particular major.
  • eyemgheyemgh Registered User Posts: 5,015 Senior Member
    @sawadeeka is correct. It is about diluting the power of the honors courses. My son's CP GPA was 4.32, which is pretty rare. It's because he went to a Catholic school and was required to take religion classes. They don't count as a-g courses. That is 4 fewer a-g courses to dilute the impact of his AP courses. It is unfortunate that doing more can hurt. When you use a math algorithm you have to make decisions that ultimately will advantage some and disadvantage others.

    For all we know, they still use the MCA. If it is the same as when they last published it, it caps, in the calculation, at 4.2. Students report higher, if, like my son, they did get higher GPAs, but all higher GPAs round down to 4.2, again, assuming the MCA is still used and is unchanged. There is no advantage given to GPAs higher than 4.2.

    Why do they report an average of 4.21? Because they can. It's more impressive. Plus, since they no longer publicly acknowledge the use of the MCA, they would have no need to acknowledge the cap.

    What's the impact for you? The max GPA points score in the MCA is 2250. Yours would be 2239, just 11 points less. Certainly every extra point is nice, but that is a very high GPA. You should be commended.

    Good luck!

  • edge555edge555 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    @sawadeeka @eyemgh Thank you both so much for your responses! I will definitely take both of your advice into account. Super stoked for applying this fall!
Sign In or Register to comment.