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USAToday: Most colleges don't care about GPAs


Replies to: USAToday: Most colleges don't care about GPAs

  • Pat1120Pat1120 Registered User Posts: 605 Member
    This is a joke. GPA doesn't matter because (almost) everyone accepted had 3.9+! There are obviously exceptions due to more competitive schools and recruited athletes, but come on. Saying GPA doesn't matter is a joke. Using this thread to justify a lower GPA is also very incorrect.

    I know the private elites look at GPA slightly less, but look at the top publics. A 3.5 GPA, regardless of the rest of the application, pretty much automatically makes a student a reach at Mich or Berkeley. (A few exceptions, of course).
  • fogfogfogfog Registered User Posts: 4,056 Senior Member
    I thought the article was poorly written--and contradictory.
  • KLM123KLM123 Registered User Posts: 126 Junior Member
    GPA/grade at regular school
    GPA/grade at IB
    GPA/grade at home school

    IB is way harder than home school or regular school. Does GPA 4 or grade 'A' matters to college? How colleges compare different type of school's GPA/grade?
  • zobrowardzobroward Registered User Posts: 3,933 Senior Member
    I read it, scratched my head...I do not believe it.
  • T26E4T26E4 Registered User Posts: 24,274 Senior Member
    Any time "USAToday" appears in a citation, it's akin to walking in hungry to a Waffle House and seeing the cook smoking a cigarette and scratching his armpit.

    Who reads that rag besides business travelers with low laptop batteries?
  • PizzagirlPizzagirl Registered User Posts: 40,488 Senior Member
    "She applied Early Decision to Northwestern and we were floored that she was Rejected, not even deferred. SO, I ask, how can 25th percentile score have kept her out?? "

    Because they have tons of applicants who are highly qualified and have those stats and they can't take them all. In fact, 25% of their applicants are in the 25th percentile of applicant stats, go figure. You were mistaken to think that 25th percentile meant any kind of shoo-in whatsoever.
  • mitchklongmitchklong Registered User Posts: 813 Member
    Unfortunately lost in the sensationalist journalism is an important point at lot of students dont get. Adcoms care a lot more about rigor and your grades from prep classes than they do about anything else on the transcript. So no, they are not impressed that you have a 4.0 GPA and took only easy classes. That doesnt mean they dont care about your grades...they are just looking at whats behind them.
  • focusedmomfocusedmom Registered User Posts: 30 Junior Member
    Quite honestly, I don't think GPAs are really that important.

    The US is the only country where GPAs matter.

    The school my son attends he had to take an exam in Italian, math and a thesis on each subject he studied in eighth to get to the 9th grade. In order to get out of high school he must pass an exam which includes a six hour math test, a six hour written exam in Italian, a three hour multidisciplinary test and an oral presentation of a thesis in Italian. He has to do this before a board comprised of three teachers a head of school from Rome and three members of his High School faculty. If he doesn't pass with a grade of at least 60% he has to repeat the last year of high school.

    By the way if his grades are not up to par he won't even be admitted into the exam.

    I honestly prefer this approach.
  • BlueUkiyoBlueUkiyo Registered User Posts: 408 Member
    If GPAs don't matter, then I totally should have applied to UNC-Chapel Hill. My lackluster GPA was the only thing holding me back.
  • Ach7DDAch7DD Registered User Posts: 371 Member
    I'm not surprised. Grades in America are so screwed and skewed up to the point that a GPA of B+(~3.2) puts you in the bottom half of the college-bound graduating class. (http://www.act.org/research/policymakers/pdf/issues.pdf) So basically there is very few room to discriminate between the superb students and the average ones without standardized testing. What we really need is a mastery-based college-entrance examination(GCSE, Gaokao, ENEM, etc.) that is immune to test prep and grade inflation.
  • AlleyboxAlleybox Registered User Posts: 42 Junior Member

    I am disappointed that you chose to point out how "minorities, 12 to be exact" received more financial aid that your daughter despite all of her academic success. I would also assume that there were "non minority" applicants that received more financial aid than your daughter even though her grades might have "better". It has been my experience in the college admissions process that sometimes "hooks" and specific needs are also factors. A highly selective college or university might decide that they want to strengthen their visual or performing arts so they actively pursue students who are strong in those areas. I do think colleges and universities consider diversity in their student populations but I do not think that is solely based on ethnicity or racial background. I am sorry your daughter did not get the financial package you were looking for but I do not think it was because of "minority" students; that is a simplistic answer but if it makes you feel better....
  • huehuehue32huehuehue32 Registered User Posts: 555 Member
    3.2 doesn't seem too high for college bound high school grads since that likely entails mostly B's with a few C's and A's. That's the median, too, so while half of the students are going to have higher gpa's than that, half of college bound seniors have even lower gpas. Now, if over 10% of seniors have a 4.0 there might be a problem, but not necessarily. Colleges care about difficulty of classes.

    Those mastery based exams aren't necessary since they already exist to a substantial degree in the form of AP/IB and SATII tests. You want to differentiate between superb and average students? Average students will not even take SATII's and will take few AP/IB, and the decent ones will probably perform poorly in comparison to the superb ones. Perhaps if all of a student's AP scores were mandatory, the problem that you claim exists could be fixed.
  • Lemaitre1Lemaitre1 Registered User Posts: 1,736 Senior Member
    H.S. grades matter a lot in college admissions but they do not mean very much. All that the colleges I applied to in the fall of my senior year was that I had a 1.6 GPA and was ranked last out of 64 seniors in my very demanding elite private Jesuit boarding peparatory school. They did not know what I had to endure there. My classmates hated me because they thaought I was odd (I had Aspberger's Syndrome) and was tormented endlessly and often the victim of vicious "pranks". School faculty and administrators did nothing to protect me from this treatment forcing me live in terror for four years.

    My senior year I had a strong GPA, very high SAT scores and was finally accepted by a second tier college in April while my hateful classmates went on to the Ivies. Once I got to college I thrived making many friends and was never bothered by anyone. I transferred after my freshman year to a top tier college and continued to do well socially and academically. My 3.75 GPA and high MCAT scores won me a place in a good U.S. medical school where I earned my MD. My high school GPA would have predicted I would be an often unemployed manual laborer instead of a doctor.
  • Ach7DDAch7DD Registered User Posts: 371 Member

    Though, it is important to keep in mind that the 3.25 mean was for about a decade ago, chances are that the average GPA has already inflated to around the 3.4 range, if this trend has continued. Not to mention that the 50% figure is a little flawed, since not only is practically almost everyone going to college right now, but few of the bottom scorers actually make it to a four-year college, bumping upwards the average.

    And to your second paragraph, that is somewhat akin to what I wish would happen. IMO, there are far too many kids getting undeserved high grades, to the point that it is starting to get unfortunately common to see A&B students who cannot do long division without a calculator or craft basic sentences free from grammatical errors. The AP exams are perfect to separate the students who go to A for attendance schools and hard and rigorous ones. Though I would like to see a more standardized GPA system in the future.

    High school GPAs do not tend to demonstrate a person's true capabilities or work ethic when they are from either highly lax or highly rigorous schools. A kid with a 3.2 from an east coast prep school is far more likely to succeed in life than a kid with a 4.0 from an inner-city failing school.
  • lovenerdslovenerds Registered User Posts: 161 Junior Member
    Okay, this article misrepresents the reality greatly. Here's what it's like: If you have a 4.3+ (or so) GPA, it doesn't matter! But if you have < 3.5 (weighted) GPA, you aren't getting into any top 20 school unless you are like top at some prestigious national competition (i.e. TOC, QB, Intel...etc) or you cured cancer (a bit exaggerated, but u get what i'm saying). (or, you know, the (in)famous affirmative action).
This discussion has been closed.