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Admissions: Competing against your classmates?

StevenfStevenf Registered User Posts: 621 Member
edited June 2011 in College Admissions
Whenever I look at Naviance, I see statistics like this:
Average Accepted GPA
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill: 4.64
University of California at Berkeley: 4.58
Case Western Reserve University: 4.74 (what?)
University of Chicago: 4.71
Rice University: 4.65
WUSTL: 4.65

From what I've learned on my college searches and my College Confidential prowls, these GPAs (especially for like Case Western) are way higher for the most part than the average accepted applicant (even NC out of state). It worries me because even though by most means people consider my statistics to be in line for these schools (except Case and UChicago), I have heard time and time again that I am competing against my classmates.

My school doesn't rank, and even deciles I believe are only published after the end of senior year (or at least after college applications are do). As such, being valedictorian really has no meaning. I will have a GPA of 4.35 for Early Decision, and a GPA of about 4.44 for regular decision. I just am worried that, even though these are fine numbers elsewhere, my GPA in comparison to my peers will keep me out of the "top" schools.
Post edited by Stevenf on

Replies to: Admissions: Competing against your classmates?

  • StevenfStevenf Registered User Posts: 621 Member
    Bump. I'm really curious. :p
  • RedSevenRedSeven Registered User Posts: 1,665 Senior Member
    1. Those statistics are ridiculous. They're entirely illogical. They're average values, but those are *very rare* GPAs, which means they're dead wrong.

    2. Yes, you're competing against your classmates, as most schools only accept a few students from each high school.

    3. It's not just about GPA - even when you're being compared to your classmates. Schools pick lower-GPA students over higher-GPA students from the same high school all the time.

    4. Weighted GPA counts for nothing. It's the unweighted GPA that matters.

    5. Your GPA is probably fine.
  • StevenfStevenf Registered User Posts: 621 Member
    Well, in my school, last year the top 10% was from 4.4 up. Z_Z
  • PancakedPancaked Registered User Posts: 3,355 Senior Member
    You're not technically competing against your classmates, but everything is considered in the perspective of where you go to school. When you apply to colleges, your counselor will submit a form that lists the highest GPA of any student in your class. Your counselor will also give a judgement on the rigor of your schedule compared to others in your school and your academic achievement. These things, along with previous data collected from your school, will help them know how to interpret your GPA.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 73,762 Senior Member
    Stevenf wrote:
    University of California at Berkeley: 4.58

    Considering the way that UC standardizes GPAs for admissions purposes, a 4.58 is probably higher than the maximum possible GPA that one can have for UC admissions purposes. For example, if you took 6 classes in each of your 10th and 11th grade years (the only years which count for UC admissions GPA) for 24 semester grades (12 per year), and had at least 8 semesters' worth of honors courses (UC admissions GPA counts at most 8 semesters' worth of honors courses for +1), your UC admissions GPA would be 4.33.

    When comparing your GPA to averages or ranges for admitted students at various schools, you need to figure out if your GPA that you are using is calculated the same was that is reported for the averages or ranges for admitted students at the schools.
  • StevenfStevenf Registered User Posts: 621 Member
    ^ Well, that 4.58 is their total weighted cumulative GPA, not their UC GPA.
This discussion has been closed.