How does repeating a grade affect college admission?

Hi, I’m a foreign exchange student in a public school in Wisconsin. After this school year, since the foreign exchange student program is only for a year, I will move to a private school next semester. The concern is that I am currently a sophomore, and I will repeat the grade as a move to another school. So basically, I’m going to be class of 2025.

Then, there will be two 10th grade transcripts. One from the public school I’m attending now and one from the 22-23 school year.

  1. How is this dealt with in college admissions?
  2. Does the 21-22 school year transcript and GPA be continued?
  3. Is repeating a grade a disadvantage in college admission?

Thank you.

Are you an American student from a public school in Wisconsin who is currently on exchange somewhere else, or are you an international student from somewhere else in the world who is currently studying on exchange at a public school in Wisconsin?

Why are you transferring to a private school and repeating grade 10? Was there any problem the first time that you studied grade 10?

How have you done the first time that you completed grade 10?

To me this looks like a sufficiently unusual issue that I find it hard to know how it will be looked at, other than doubting that schools will care much one way or another.


Many exchange students end up with a fifth year of HS. Courses and requirements do not line up, etc…colleges understand this. Make sure you are placed in the correct courses next school year to meet your goals.

It would be different if you were repeating a year due to poor academic performance, but that is not the case.


Many boys here repeat a grade in middle school and then go to a prep school for high school athletics.

  1. They will look at all transcripts. You will submit a transcript from every school that you attended from 9th grade onwards, including your 9th grade from your country.
  2. It is not a disadvantage, assuming that the transfer was from a less rigorous to a more rigorous school, that the school requested/required that you repeat 10th grade in order to adjust to the new level of instruction, and that you do well in the new school. It would be a different story had you done poorly in your current school, and then continued to do poorly in your future school.
  1. I am a “foreign” exchange student. I am from South Korea.
  2. I do not have a U.S citizenship.
  3. The reason I am transferring is because it is inevitable. Non-U.S citizens cannot attend public schools except in cases of foreign exchange students. And the visa that makes me possible to attend a public school is J-1 visa, which is only for a single year in a lifetime. J-1visa as a student is not extendable.
  4. I will complete my first 10th grade this summer.

This is not true. Plenty of non-US citizens attend US public schools. One must simply be in the country legally.

Based on what you said I do not see this as being a problem for university admissions. Be aware that university in the US is expensive, and once you graduate you will be expected/required to return to your home country.

Clearly you know South Korea much better than I do. From what little I was able to gather based only partly on two very good business meetings in Seoul having a degree from a US university is valued in Korea, but again you know better than I.

I did enjoy my two visits to your beautiful country (and I developed a liking for kimchi, which my wife does not fully appreciate).

Thanks and best wishes.

I do not see any articles or documents indicates that foreigners are able to attend a public high school in U.S. There are some other possible ways such as: 1. One of their parents has U.S citizenship. 2. In case of having a U.S citizen relative who attends a public high school, tho.

If you can find any documents about it, please let me know.

Anyways, I have already made a decision, paid tuition, and preparing for a visa.
I don’t think I can change my plan rn…
But thank you a lot.


Schools can’t even enquire about citizenship status.

You belong to the cohort based on the year that you started 9th grade anywhere in the world. If you are a sophomore originally part of Cohort, 2024, that is where you will be. If you do not graduate in 2024, you are a student who did not graduate with the cohort and your counselor will indicate why you did not graduate with the cohort.

Why are you repeating 10th grade? Is the private school saying that you will need to repeat 10th grade because you have not met the promotion requirements to be in 11th grade? I doubt if they are going to arbitrarily let you repeat a grade because this also affects the school cohort graduation rates.

As others have stated, you must submit to your school and your high school must submit certified copies of transcripts from every school that you have attended.

There is a difference in a PG year (where the student has graduated and taking a post grad year as a fifth year student) and a student being a 5th year student because s/he did not graduate with the cohort and is being held over a year. The being held back does negatively affect you. Do everything you can to graduate with your cohort and then take a PG year if needed.

@Jihwan_Beck you stated

Non-U.S citizens cannot attend public schools except in cases of foreign exchange students. And the visa that makes me possible to attend a public school is J-1 visa, which is only for a single year in a lifetime. J-1visa as a student is not extendable.

This is absolutely not true.
You have a right to attend public school regardless of your immigrant status

You cannot get a high school diploma from a public school in the US if you have successfully completed high school in another country.

@parentologist - Quite the contrary, public schools do make every effort to ensure that all students graduate with their cohort with in 4 years. Pretty much every public school in the country has a process and has guidance on evaluating foreign transcripts. Public schools make sure that students are fulfilling the graduation requirements and will first program the core 4s: Ela, Math, Soc. and Science.

NYS waives he required regents exams in Global for students who enter high school in NYS for the first time as Juniors in addition to waiving the global and science regents requirements for seniors who start school for the first time in NYS. They are given credits for foreign language, which can be used to fulfill elective credits if they are coming from a country where english is not their first language. PE is waived and students will only have to fulfill the PE requirement for the time they are actually attending school.

Sorry to disagree with you, but such generalized statements are misleading at best, and downright wrong at worst.

Without knowing the OP’s specifics, at many top private schools, the “cohort” is 30% repeats. Not because the student is held back, but because the school is so advanced academically to the old school. Every single AO knows this and it will have zero impact on admissions.

As for the private school, the graduation rate is based upon the class the student entered their school. There is no 5-year graduation plan. If the student needs 5 years to graduate, the 5th will not be done at that school