# How do colleges judge high school GPA's?

<p>Do they look at them in context to the number grades, inclusion or lack of "plus" and "minus" grades (such as an A- or a B+), etc?</p>

<p>For example:</p>

<p>Student Joe has this grading scale:</p>

<p>100-94 = A 4.0
93-86 = B 3.0
85-79 = C 2.0
78-70 = D 1.0
70 and below = F 0</p>

<p>Student Paul has this grading scale:</p>

<p><em>Copied from Collegeboard's GPA scale</em></p>

<p>A+
97-100
4.0</p>

<p>A
93-96
4.0</p>

<p>A-
90-92
3.7</p>

<p>B+
87-89
3.3</p>

<p>B
83-86
3.0</p>

<p>B-
80-82
2.7</p>

<p>C+
77-79
2.3</p>

<p>C
73-76
2.0</p>

<p>C-
70-72
1.7</p>

<p>D+
67-69
1.3</p>

<p>D
65-66
1.0</p>

<p>E/F
Below 65
0.0</p>

<p>So my question is, how do colleges differentiate between scales? A 93 for Student Joe would be a grade B (3.0), while a 93 for Student Paul would be a grade A (4.0); A 90 for Student Paul would still be a 3.7 on the GPA scale while Student Joe would have a 3.0...so on and so forth.</p>

<p>My school's grading scale uses one very similar to Student Joe, an A being 100-94, no plus or minus grades. Will colleges use context when reviewing my transcript, as I had a lot of 91's-93's in English classes and for a few other courses Freshman year. I just feel a little scared by the idea my GPA in a class can drop all the way down to a 3.0 if I get a 93 in it :(. </p>

<p>They judge grades within the context of each individual school. That's why class rank is important. If you are #1/400 with a 91% then great.</p>

<p>Most colleges just look at the core courses and then recalculate the gpa. It is just another way of looking at class rank within your school and a quantitative way of comparing your classroom sucess to your standardized test sucess - to see if you are a hard worker or a slacker.</p>

<p>^ Glido, I'd like to see a reference for that. I don't think large colleges or public Us have time to recalculate everyone's GPA.</p>

<p>I don't have a reference for "most", but the UCs have a pretty</a> extensive system of recalculating everyone's GPA.</p>

<p>Class rank? My senior class only has 11 people in it. I'd be around 4th considering two classmates have 4.0's, another a 3.8+, then another classmate and me, a 3.0, then the rest are lower than 3.0.</p>

<p>So I'd be around the 30-40% rank because of how small my school is.</p>

<p>The UCs are a special case and CA HSs can calculate the UC GPA. My understanding is the UC GPA is only a minimum bar, and that the HS UW GPA is looked at for admission (I believe I read that from UCBAlumnus).</p>

<p>For UCs and CSUs, students enter their courses and grades into the application. The system then calculates any needed GPAs. CSUs typically use only CSU GPA as part of a formula for admission. UCs with somewhat holistic comprehensive review calculate UC GPA and other GPAs (unweighted, fully weighted by UC method) for the reviewers to see, along with contextual information about the high school (presumably not class rank, which is listed as "not considered", but availability of honors/AP courses and the like). The sometimes odd GPA calculation and weighting schemes used by high schools do not matter, since GPA (or class rank) calculated by the high school is not used.</p>

<p>The student-entered courses and grades are verified for matriculated students using final high school transcripts sent to the UC or CSU that the student matriculates to.</p>

<p>In theory, it would not be surprising if other state universities used a similar self-reporting and calculation system in the application process, or convinced most or all in-state high schools to report a standardized GPA (and/or class rank based on that) on their transcripts, but I don't know for sure which, if any, state universities outside of California do that. Some that do not include Texas state universities, which use only class rank, and appear to trust whatever method the high school uses to determine class rank.</p>

<p>

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<p>Michigan recalculated GPAs for many years, but stopped doing so around 2009. Their practice had been to exclude grades from classes they considered not "core academic" classes, and to recalculate all grades to a straight 4.0 scale (no weighting of AP courses, etc.). The idea was to "put everyone on a level playing field" so some students didn't have an advantage by virtue of an unusually generous weighting system, and so that students from smaller high schools or poorer districts that didn't offer AP classes wouldn't be disadvantaged by lack of weighted classes. But they found that in their holistic admissions review process they weren't really making direct student-to-student comparisons anyway; they were reviewing and making an individual judgment on each file on a case-by-case basis, so the GPA recalculation served no useful role. The most important things the transcript says---did this applicant take the most challenging classes available, did she do well in those challenging classes, was the overall trajectory of grades positive, negative, or neutral--didn't require a GPA recalculation. So they just dropped the recalculation. But it wasn't because they "didn't have time" to do a recalculation and could only do a crude by-the-numbers application review. It was just the opposite: the numbers, even recalculated numbers, didn't tell them very much in their holistic review.</p>

<p>Does anyone else know of colleges that recalculate GPA? I can't find any others via a quick google search.</p>

<p>University of Florida: Ask</a> UF – How will UF compute my high school GPA?</p>

<p>Dang, I hope there is something they do about it. These low 90's in sophomore and freshman years killed me. 3.3 GPA for high school :/, with a 92.7 average for each class.</p>

<p>Wait a sec... At my HS, gym isn't counted in our GPAs, but other non-academic classes (like art and drivers' ed) are. If my GPA is recalculated to include gym and/or to not include other non-academic classes (though I don't see why they'd do both), it would likely drop a little. Is this something I need to worry about for, say, medium-sized competitive private schools?</p>

<p>Also, I have heard that most colleges "recalculate" as far as unweighting if a HS does weight the grades. In other words, if that HS made an A in an honors class a 5.0 and an A in an AP class a 6.0, the college just "undoes" that weighting and makes all A's 4.0. I am glad of this, because our high school has NO weighting (ie an A in an AP class is 4.0, just like an A in a regular class). However, I have also heard that some colleges "undo" the high school's weigting but then the college puts on their own weigting, so it is equal for every student, no matter what type of HS they came from (ie a "weighting" HS or a "non-weighting HS". BUT this does not address your original concern, that of the fact that your school gives you a B for a 91% (regardeless of regular, honors, or AP), and other schools give an A minus or even an A for a 92%. I don't think that the college "undoes" that--although they will see in your School Profile (goes with the transcript) what your school's grading scale is and how tough it is. So that should help!</p>

<p>Elon does their own weighting. Some colleges don't count high school freshman year grades. Conversely, some schools will use whatever GPA shows up on the transcript for admissions, weighted or unweighted. University of Oregon used to do that, but I don't know if that their current practice. </p>

<p>Agree with jennieling that schools doing any kind of holistic review will look at your school profile. That includes not only how your high school calculates GPA, but may also include the range of GPAs of the current (or previous) class, or even the grade breakdown per course (e.g. giving the number of A's, B's, C's D's and F's in AP US History). </p>

<p>Your high school may not assign class rank at all. Highly competitive high schools don't rank because it often hurts their students in college admissions. More high schools are following suit. Check with your own high school to see what's on the school profile.</p>

<p>I would kill to have my high school not rank.</p>