Another GPA Question

<p>To piggyback on the other thread recently begun about GPAs...</p>

<p>I'm curious. Do most schools add a full point to the GPA for Honors classes (as the OP stated)?</p>

<p>I ask this because my son is applying for "outside" (independent) scholarships. On these applications, he is always asked for his GPA. His high school doesn't calculate GPAs. But, I was recently told that all of his classes are honors level classes. He has been calculating his own GPA based on the standard model (B=3.0, etc). Should he be adding points for his honors level classes? Until now, he's been adding a small summary with some of his scholarship applications to explain that his classes are all honors/ AP level...and that his school offers no APs because all classes are already AP level, etc. When possible, he includes his "school profile" with the ap. But, many scholarship aps are online, leaving no room for supplemental info or explanations. Also, on his official school transcript (which he is always required to send) his grades are straight letters, no plus or minus is included (a B+ is a B, an A- is an A,etc). This makes it even harder to compete on the GPA level because things become even more vague. It feels like a disadvantage. Does anyone have advice to work around this?</p>

<p>My s attends a highly competitive private HS in AZ. Weighted GPAs there include only a 0.5-point "bonus" for honors classes, reserving the full 1.0-point "bonus" for AP classes only. That's pretty much the standard practice in AZ. </p>

<p>Do the scholarship apps have to be done on-line? Whenever possible, choose the "paper" option so you can attach the school profile. That will help the evaluators see how tough the school is.</p>

<p>Good luck to your son!</p>

<p>It does seem hard to compare High Schools when the way classes are weighted are so diverse. Our school does it exactly the same way as worried mom but I remember a a thread not too long ago where some people said that their students honors classes could be a full point more and some had AP's as even more. When my daughter was applying for a scholarship at the school she ended up at, they not only had a different weighting system but they also only counted core classes. So her gpa went from something like a 3.6 to below a 3.5. </p>

<p>That's another reason it's important to have an accurate profile from schools. Our school changed it's weighting policy as of Sept. last year, however they didn't update the profile. That wouldn't have made much of a difference for last years seniors but I hope they've done it for this years class of '05.</p>

<p>Thanks Worried. I guess I need to be more specific in asking the high school if the classes are more like Honors or AP (as they seem to use the terms quite loosely) since your school weights them quite differently. I have a feeling that son's been short-changing himself by not weighting at all. Gheez. Another "gotcha"......</p>

<p>By the time my 6 yr old is ready, I'll have forgotten all of this OR things will have changed completely.</p>

<p>D went to school where they had honors and AP's nothing was weighted but htey also did not rank</p>

<p>Hmmm...Sybbie. That's interesting. So, her GPA didn't reflect extra credit for her advanced level work? I just don't think it's fair that a kid in a very competitive school, taking AP level classes and getting an A is given the same credit as a kid at a "not so competitive" school in the general academic program. It's not such a big deal for colleges because I would expect a college to know the high school and be able to interpret what they see based on the profile. But, these scolarship apps might go to evaluators who go by the numbers only and have no idea how one school compares against the other (or may not have the time to evaluate the profile and make such decisions about weighting on their own). </p>

<p>I think I'm going to weight them accordingly and send a profile and brief note on how I weighted and why (with a chart). If they want to unweight them, they can do that.</p>

<p>Momsdream, our high school gives NO weight to Honors or AP. Therefore, kids taking the easiest courses in the school can and are often ranked higher than our very top students. The girl ranked third in the class last year took NO Honors or AP ever. There were many like her ranked over the kids in the toughest classes, kids thought of as our best students. Considering that the Honors/AP classes are so much harder with way more work in them then a regular tracked class (after all, a third of the students are not even going to college), it is difficult when these hard working kids who are very bright are ranked lower, and it is very common. The system does not encourage you to take more challenging classes that way. It is quite a wonder to me that given that system that my daughter who took the hardest class load possible all four years and then some, ended up ranked first in the class. It seemed more plausible with this system that kids in easier classes would end up ranked higher than her (as I said, is common across the board in most cases there), but I guess despite all that, she did end up ranked first, only because she had achieved all As in high school, which is rare (here). </p>

<p>Because this system does not reward kids for attempting the more challenging courses, my daughter worked, as a Student Senator, two years researching policies across the country and in our state and wrote a weighted GPA policy for our school which eventually she presented to the school board that was passed as official starting with the class of 2006. She knew she would never benefit from that policy but did it for other students who would follow. Indeed, my other daughter, who would have benefitted from it (who also takes the hardest classes), will not be because she is graduating early with the class of 2005 now, and I think her rank would be higher had we had weighted grades. I can't worry about it but am just sharing with you that NO points or credit was given for the way more challenging classes. The only two benefits were One: learning/placement in a class that was challenging which they prefer/crave and Two: colleges do see and care that a student took the most rigorous courses available, and they did, as well as accelerated. But they only have an unweighted GPA and the rank reflects that and it is harder for kids in the hard classes to rise up in rank with such a system (despite that I do have one kid who still was ranked first, the odds were against that given the system). Last year, many of the kids in the hard classes seemed to resent that kids ranked third who took all easy classes in high school were ranked above them. They all seemed really behind my daughter for ending up as val because they felt that someone who took the hardest classes deserved that. It is not a competitive atmosphere here and in fact, peers were very supportive and happy for her though rank was never discussed throughout high school but of course come graduation, people do know who ended up first, and so forth. It was never a race or competition and not the thing even my own kid strived for at all. She did want, however, that kids got credit for challenging themselves rather than taking the easy way out and coming away with higher ranks than the kids who worked so much harder in school. She feels like she left a mark for the kids who will follow who do go after challenges and are recognized for doing so. </p>


<p>Nope, everything was weighted the same with no bonus points college courses which were tanscriped, AP courses, honors courses. </p>

<p>Daughter's school is a 6-12 school where there was an admissions test. Junior H.S. is top JHS in city and majority of students choose to stay for H.S. even after being accepted to H.S.larger schools so they become a pretty self-selected group. Approximately 20 new students come in for H.S. in the 9th grade usually from SP programs in the district.</p>

<p>School's focus is on collaborative education. Majority of the students took AP/honors courses and and out of 97 graduating seniors 96 were admitted into a 4 year school (97th person is in a show dancing in Spain). most of this is laid out in the school's profile.</p>

<p>While school does not rank, it will rank confidentially if requested for admissions and scholarship purposes. it works for them because they consistently year over year send students to Penn, Columbia, Barnard, NYU, Cornell, JHU, U of Chicago. As I have stated in previous post, the class of 04 took a different route applied to other schools beyond the "usual suspects" and all got into some really great schools</p>

<p>It seems to have worked well for them because it removes one level of stress (Did you see the 60 minutes on Sunday and a student at Westlake was talking about how people are calculating gpa's after every test to see if they still in to the top 10%?). There are no val/ sals because every one has the opportunity to apply for a speakers spot and the senior class as a whole votes in 8 speakers.</p>

<p>Susan.....very good for your daughter and those who come after her. It's amazing that it took a student to point ou how unfair it was and present a case for change. She has good reason to be very proud (you too!).</p>

<p>Sybbie, I missed the 60 minutes show. I wish I had seen it as it sounds interesting. Isn't Westlake the school that was discussed so much in "The Gatekeepers". </p>

<p>I did hear on the radio (yesterday) about the rule in Texas state colleges that anyone in the top 10% of their class is guarantted admission...from any Texas HS. From the perspective of the radio host, I couldn't figure out what the problem was with the rule. I guess the complaint is that Kid A from a horrible public school, who is ranked 3rd in his class will get in ahead of Kid B who attends a competitive school and takes all honors level classes, but is ranked in the 10-25% range. Then ther was a whole discussion about how Texas HSs are segregated.....and the rule might help more URM students get into state colleges in Texas because they are only competiting with kids in their own school, not the other schools (which might receive better resources). Frankly, the radio host didn't strike me as particularly interested in the facts or serious dialogue on the topic. He was more interested in trying to stir up the listeners to think that some "injustice' was going on. I wanted to hear wha the injustice was, but couldn't find it.</p>

<p>Hi Momsdream<
Here is the link to the 60 minutes story "Is the Top 10 plan Unfair"</p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>they are thinking about getting rid of it because it now has so many kids, so they are looking to cap it off at 50% of the incoming class</p>

<p>Momsdream, going back to your original question, I think schools often do their own reweighting (I know Colgate for example makes it clear in its app. materials that it does this) of applicants' GPAs to even the field. Secondary schools that have highly varied weighting practices (or none at all). Possibly iindependent scholarship sources also have a system for reweighting the raw data (that is, unweighted GPA). I don't think it is customary to do your own weighting, but it is pretty standard practice in my experience to make clear on transcript whether what level the classes are (honors designation, AP, etc) so that whoever is evaluating th app can figure out how a specific student's GPA compares to others.</p>

<p>Our school is now giving .5 additional points for honors and AP courses. This came after a LENGTHY "discussion" with the guidance office about their faulty formula (I was the OP who had the daughter with the lower weighted GPA despite taking honors courses). The school has already recomputed the weighted GPA twice...they can't seem to get it right. So they have made a decision not to tell the GPAs until January. In the meantime, they had issued invitations to apply to National Honor Society based on the OLD weighted GPA formula. Now that they are recomputing, they have postponed the NHS induction. They also have made a decision to report class rank (except for the val and sal) in deciles.</p>

<p>Whoa, Thumper, must have been a lengthy discussion. I'll beat the makers of Ibuprofen made a mint off the administrators!</p>

<p>Well Ohio Mom....the GC and school adminstration spent about three weeks telling me I was wrong. I was VERY persistent. Finally they said they would look into it. When they did, they found that their formula was "faulty". Then they needed to figure out what kind of formula to use. They finally decided to use a 0.5 extra weight for ap/honors courses. The first time they did it, they used 3.4 for B+. Then they decided to use 3.3 instead (2.3 for C+ etc.). It has been a big pain.</p>

<p>Well, pat yourself on the back. The forces of rationality have to win sometime.</p>