Do A- Grades have a chance to lead to rejection?

My GPA is solid right now, all-A’s, but I have 3 A- grades. Is this something I should be concerned about for college admissions?

Probably not terribly important, but depends on both the HS you’re applying from, and the colleges you’re applying to. The more competitive the HS and colleges, the more likely that it might make a difference.

It depends what grade you’re in, and what A- means in your school. There is no real difference between a 4.0 and a 3.98 (which is what having three 3.8 score on an otherwise 4.0 transcript will do). However, IF you are applying to a college which cares a lot about ranking, AND that 3.98, rather than 4.0, reduces your ranking, it MAY slightly reduce your chances of being accepted to that particular college. It seems highly unlikely, though. This very minor detail is quickly washed out once you start adding on the other factors which go into admissions decisions.

In all honesty, I cannot conceive of a situation in which AOs would be looking at a great application and saying “everything looks great, but that student has a 3.98 instead of a 4.0, so we will reject them”.

If you are not a Junior or a Senior, forget about it. Actually, even if you are a Junior of Senior, forget about it.

I would certainly be “concerned” about many other more important things. Things you can control like essays, rec letters, ECs, future grades, etc.

Yes, every part of an application matters. A few 1/3 lower grades (full year or one grading period?) are less attractive than A’s. But the impact is going to be very small. If two students being considered for the very last spot were identical in everything else, then As may have the advantage. But never is everything else equal and the odds of this making a difference are extremely slim.

And it’s in the past. Nothing you can do about it. Move forward.

Unless the college is seriously “rack and stack”, A vs. A- isn’t going to make a bit of difference. Read some of the acceptance threads on these boards… I haven’t seen a college yet where a someone with slightly lower stats hasn’t got in ahead of a person with higher stats. So many of the most highly selective schools are holistic. Grades, rigor, and test scores are going to be the baseline. Your grades, if you keep them strong, are good enough for that. For you, at a holistic college, it is going to come down to the “everything else” on your application.

No. Not at all. Some schools use unweighted also. Keep doing the best that you can. A- is a great, great, score. Believe it or not even getting a few “B” s is not that big of a deal. Make sure the other parts of your application are great also. These days, grades alone is not enough.

Mantra for the HS student:

Do not think 'Every point I get off of a homework or test is a point away from going to Harvard."
Think: “I need to do my best, and there will be a college that is right for me when I graduate.”

Do not think “If I don’t go to an Ivy League School/Top20, I am doomed forever.”
Think: “No matter where I go, I can bloom where I am planted. I can get involved and shine.”

Do not think: “My life is over…the kid in my math class is taking 20 APs and I am taking 5. I will never succeed.”
Think: “I need to challenge myself, but only to the point where I can still do well.”

Again, a poster worried about a minor detail and no hint of what colleges he/she has in mind.

Even for top holistic colleges, an A is an A. I agree, you’ve got bigger things to learn about admissions than fretting over stats. It takes a lot more than that to match what they want. Better figure that out.

Top colleges tend to look at the transcript. How a B affects depends on what class. Why not try to learn what does matter to your targets?

@Groundwork2022 - I agree with you. Somehow there is still this impression that I thought was long gone, that as long as you were smart enough and had the highest stats that you would get into your school of choice. Not…you are more than your stats and the colleges have figured that out. I think it’s safe to say that straight A’s, 36 ACT, 1600 SAT also has a chance of leading to rejection.