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Are grades important for admissions?

ilovechoateeeeeilovechoateeeee 396 replies15 threads Member

Basically, I'm a repeat 9th-grade applicant for some of the GLADCHEMMS schools, and I was wondering if they care about your GPA a lot? My grades are A's and B's, and I have one C. I'll have better grades in the second quarter because I didn't know how the school works. I have a really good ISEE score so will that balance my grades out?
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Replies to: Are grades important for admissions?

  • ilovechoateeeeeilovechoateeeee 396 replies15 threads Member
    There are also a lot of applicants from my town. My school district is renowned or whatever, so will that equal to better grades in another school maybe?
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  • Boarding2019Boarding2019 33 replies3 threads Junior Member
    Hmm, you are wondering if some of the top high schools in the country care about your grades when you apply?

    C’mon, serious questions please...
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  • ilovechoateeeeeilovechoateeeee 396 replies15 threads Member
    lol I am actually serious. I'll have straight A's in the next grading period so will the schools see that I improved and that's what's imporant? I had all A's last year too
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  • AltrasAltras 372 replies6 threads Member
    Short answer....yes.

    What correlates better with future performance...test scores or grades?
    Answer: grades
    Test scores correlate more closely with..........family income.

    Who knows how the total of your grades will be viewed, but your improving trend should be viewed favorably, especially if nicely discussed in an interview or appropriate essay.
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  • ilovechoateeeeeilovechoateeeee 396 replies15 threads Member
    Got it, thanks!
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  • buuzn03buuzn03 1860 replies16 threads Senior Member
    @Altras I'm curious as to how test scores correlate to income....? Are you suggesting that people with higher income can invest in more prep? Sorry, but I really do not see that correlation...I feel that test scores confirm whether the grades are somewhat accurate and are used to levelset candidates whereas grades from different regions, schools, even teachers can be more nebulous....

    OP...don't read into this...grades are definitely important.
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  • AltrasAltras 372 replies6 threads Member
    That's based on research looking at correlations between grades, test scores (specifically ACT and SAT) and performance (specifically college). Lots of interesting reading if you search "grades vs test scores", "test scores and income" and other combinations. The observations are a big reason why more and more colleges are making test scores optional for applications...or eliminating them altogether.
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  • CaliPopsCaliPops 387 replies3 threads Member
    Agree with Altras that there are studies that show a positive correlation between test scores and income level, and which also show that GPA tends to be a better indicator of at least first year college grades than test scores. On the other hand, and to your point buuzn03, I understand that GPA + test scores provide a better indicator than either GPA or test scores alone. And to complicate things even more, I understand that there's also a positive correlation between family income and first year college grades, though not between high school grades and family income, presumably because of the lack of normalization in most high schools. Also, I understand that test scores correlate even more closely with parental education levels than they do to income. In addition, I have to wonder how well the conclusions drawn from such studies, which generally report score averages, hold up for students who have test scores well above the reported averages. As the parent of a child who attended a high performing public school, then a significantly more rigorous private school, and now an even more rigorous boarding school, it's abundantly clear to me that A at one school does not necessarily equal an A at another.

    All of that said, and turning back to OP's question more directly, I agree with everyone else: grades are important. But I believe that, like every other aspect of your candidacy, admissions committees will try to evaluate them in context.
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  • buuzn03buuzn03 1860 replies16 threads Senior Member
    @CaliPops thanks for weighing in. I read the studies @altras referred to but they were all SAT/ACT scores and teens/college age kids. Delving deeper into the studies, it didn’t seem that Income was truly the factor as much as socioeconomic status. Inner city distractions, lack of educational support at home, poorer school districts, etc. I think we can all agree that $75k in Midwest suburbia can pain a very different picture than $75k income in inner city NYC.
    In addition, the disparity between quality education in PS heightens as you move up in grades...especially high schools.
    In addition, being surrounded by trust fund babies who’ve never worked a day in their lives and who pull their kids out of class for their hunting trips in South America or Alaska expeditions every month has shown me that income is NOT always correlated with better education performance. These families put no emphasis on education because they receive their oil royalties in the mailbox and figure their lack of education isn’t going to put a stop to the cash flow. We are considered the poor folk in this town, yet my kids continue to do very well academically.

    So, I thank @Altras for the information as it was very interesting reading (especially when I tangentially found the studies how wealthier families produce children with thicker brain cortices) but I also feel “income” is a bit too rudimentary—it is more of a socioeconomic setting and family values/priorities play a huge role.
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  • buuzn03buuzn03 1860 replies16 threads Senior Member
    OP— always always listen to @SevenDad
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  • CavsFan2003CavsFan2003 943 replies74 threads Senior Member
    edited November 2018
    Take my advice with a grain of salt-

    While grades are incredibly important, I would defintely at least apply, if the finances/whatever aren't an issue, but take @SevenDad's advice and broaden your search- since my grades aren't the best, I've been looking for more welcoming schools, maybe places like Berkshire? I wouldn't say at all you have no chance but definitely cast a wide net if you're super set on boarding school.

    Also, test scores correlate more with higher income, in my (very anecdotal) experience. My household income and the area average is sub 40k and our average SAT is an 890, while a richer suburb school about an hour away has an average of a 1210- lots of factors go into stuff like that, though.

    Anyway OP I would just follow the advice given in this thread (the parents here are great!) and try your hardest. :)
    edited November 2018
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  • ilovechoateeeeeilovechoateeeee 396 replies15 threads Member
    Thanks everyone for the advice! I don't know how to tag someone but hopefully you'll see my comment. I didn't mention this but I am also applying to some day schools, so for those I should have a better chance of getting in.
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