Context of senior-year grades?

<p>Dan, Jon, others: can you provide some information on how senior-year (first semester) grades figure into the decision-making process for the RD pool? I understand that you cannot give a specific answer, but can you at least describe Tufts' philosophy on the subject? Since transcripts and counselor reports are submitted before first semester senior grades are available, all key metrics, including performance in the context of the school, are "locked in" at that time. Does Tufts make an effort to account for trends that are re-affirmed or even changed (in a positive manner) by 1st semester of senior year, or are these just FYI to ensure no onset of senioritus? The reason I am asking is because unweighted school rank seems to be taking on an increasing importance in the decision process of the most selective schools, and I fully expect Tufts to be part of that trend.</p>

<p>I can give a specific answer. THEY ARE IMPORTANT. VERY IMPORTANT. </p>

<p>None of the "key metrics" (which is not a phrasing I would use) are "locked in" on our end. It is all fluid. New testing comes in, we adjust. New grades come in, we adjust. When we sit in committee, we have midyear grades for the nearly the entire applicant pool, and we will make the adjustments there if necessary. Frequently, school append the midyears with updated info. As I read, if I notice a tentative trend, but I would need senior year to confirm it, I make a note. When that folder comes up in committee, I'll spot check to be sure my assumptions were valid. </p>

<p>Midyear grades were among my most frustrating surprises during my first year of admissions work. There were many applicants who I loved, and I was all ready to fight for them in committee. Then, I'd open the folder during committee to find that significantly sub-standard grades. That argument that I had built - that fight I was ready for - poof! Gone. Applicants need to take at least the first half of their senior year seriously</p>

<p>As for unweighted school rank becoming increasing important - I'm unaware of that trend. In nearly all circumstances, if a school gives me a weighted rank and GPA, that's where my focus goes. There are, as there are for all things, small exceptions: schools that weight classes so slightly that rank tends to be misleading. But when provided with weighted information, that's what we'll use. </p>

<p>I'm curious to hear about the trend as you perceive it elsewhere. Where have you seen this starting to take place?</p>

<p>Maybe I've been misled or have come to my own conclusions in that same area, but I also thought I noticed a trend in unweighted rank (which means ,unweighted gpa) importance.
I noticed it first when I began searching for scholarships. They all asked for g.p.a.s on a 4.0 scale. And I thought colleges asked for unweighted along with weighted in order to see how the school's system influenced grade inflation. Also, I'm not sure if ranks (or like my school which doesn't rank, deciles) are unweighted or weighted, or if it differs from school to school or college preference. I hope I helped shed some light on the subject. In any matter, it teaches us not to read your minds when we can simply ask. Hope you enjoyed your trip!</p>



<p>No hard data, just "preponderance of observations". Looking at this year's ED/EA threads at a variety of schools --- BC, NYU, Chicago, Northwestern --- there seem to be a lot of deferrals/rejections that differed from admits mostly by unweighted class rank/GPA. Yes, yes, I know that "stats" are only part of the story, but the more I look into this the more I am left with the impression that intangibles ("voice", in Tufts lingo) are used more as a reason to reject than to accept, at least for unhooked candidates.</p>

<p>The reason I started the "ED decisions" thread on this forum was to try to gauge whether my perception holds for Tufts too. At some level I am pleased that this thread got ignored. One of the things that I like about the Tufts board it that it rarely gets bogged down by "Chance me" threads or stats discussions.</p>

<p>Thank you Dan, for the detailed reply. As usual, it is very informative and helpful. I was going to ask about submitting additional material with the midyear grade report, but then I saw your post about a third teacher rec, and it seemed that all you would do is copy/paste that reply here, so I will do so for you in case anyone else is tempted to ask :-)
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<p>I say this half facetiously, but I wish I could deputize you, GG. Your voice is amongst the most consistent accurate on the boards, and students do themselves a service when they listen to you.</p>

<p>I would be careful reading too much into the thread stats on CC. In addition to this being a unrepresentative pool of individuals, I've found instances where information has been exaggeratedly. I won't say your observations are incorrect - I've learned to trust your eye - but I am skeptical that highly selective schools would shift to an emphasis on unweighted GPAs, since that tends to advantage students taking weaker courseloads.</p>

<p>Some schools do not weight GPA. So Kids in those schools who are taking crushing loads of Hons and AP courses could have sub par GPAs. If Tufts comes across such a situation, will they reweight GPAs of those kids or are they too overwhelmed to notice the strength of the program in relation to the GPA?. This applies to many college prep schools in New England , NY that I know of . Does Tufts dig deeper than what they see in school transcripts?</p>

<p>We never recalculate GPA (I've addressed the reasons for this in other posts). </p>

<p>But! That doesn't mean that we're slaves to the ranking and GPA that schools give. We look at the transcripts - closely. And you can't help but notice, when looking at that transcript, what courses students have chosen to take. I read plenty of schools that don't weight their GPA, and when I look to see who the best students are, I know I need to pay attention to the curriculum and its strength. That's true for any school, but more work is required for schools with unweighted, or lightly weighted, GPAs.</p>

<p>Are mid year reports listed on TAMS when they come in? If they are not there should we worry they haven't been received? We are overseas, and know they were sent around January 15th by the school, but have no way of tracking their arrival. If not would a faxed copy ( from the school) be accepted?