How will grades from 2020 be viewed?

I’m applying to several top prep schools for 11th grade and have a 4.0/4.45 9th grade GPA. In 8th grade, the other year schools would see, I had a 92(a high B) in Algebra 1. Due to some hard-to-explain circumstances, almost everyone in my class had low grades. We got a chance to raise our grades over spring break but due to COVID that never happened. I’m on my high school’s most advanced math track and am doing well now. Should I be worried about this?

No - don’t be worried.


Sorry but why won’t they see your 10th grade GPA? You’ll have a good 1/2+ year under your belt by the application deadline dates.

Also, 11th grade is not really a standard entry point, so your odds are likely lower than their overall acceptance rate would suggest.

In more direct answer to your question, I would say that schools will of course know that the 2020-2021 academic year was a total sh!tsh0w for many/most. You should nonetheless be prepared to succinctly describe what you went through in that regard.


They will see 10th, I just haven’t started yet so that’s not relevant. Is there an area on applications where I can explain the situation? (pre covid we had eight different teachers in a single quarter)

Anyone who tries to “explain” a 92 needs a visit to the woodshed, or at least a reality check.



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Have you considered repeat 10th? It’ll likely vastly improve your chances at admissions. What schools are you applying to?

^^Second this, I was waitlisted or rejected from every school I applied at for junior year. All of my acceptances were as a repeat sophomore. You can honestly be such a qualified applicant and great fit but sometimes the schools simply do not have space :confused:

Based on what I’ve heard from family friends who are familiar/knowledegable about prep schools, applying for 11th is tough but doable and I shouldn’t accept being put in 10th. I don’t have a list completely narrowed down but it’s limited to schools with strong financial aid so: Exeter, Andover, Groton, Choate, Hotchkiss, Loomis, etc.

If a school likes you, they’ll find financial aid. I would broaden your list.

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Based on everything I have heard from people who went to top prep schools, send their children there, and know people who work at those schools the best chance at aid is with a top few schools. I really just needed to know about the B, I am not lacking for general knowledge or resources on prep schools.

Then I trust your current school is a solid plan B if you don’t get in.


Having one B on your eighth grade transcript will have zero effect on admissions, even at top schools. I was admitted with a B on my eighth grade record and a B+ on my 9th grade one. As long as schools see that you’re taking the highest classes offered and have a strong academic track record, it really won’t make a difference. The “explanation” is unnecessary too imo. The B I had in 8th grade was because I literally did not speak the same language as the teacher and it was a very difficult class to translate. The 9th grade B was also due to a covid-related teacher switch, mid-way through the semester. I did not share those details in my application and clearly that didn’t matter. Sometimes you have to roll with the punches.


It is!

At some schools a 92 is an A. My kiddo was just accepted as a Jr. with FA at a school not on your list and rejected by two on your list.


Should the OP get accepted to one of the schools on their list, having received a 92 will take away the sting from receiving a 92 (if they are lucky) many many times at BS. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


Agree @skieurope -

My advice to those of you preparing for some of the top boarding schools out there is to get used to no longer being in that 96-98 range - except for at certain schools where there is grade inflation. If you intend to go to DA and Groton, there is well known grade deflation or grade compression. For those of you preparing to enter DA, get to know Mr 89. It was our experience that Freshman grading was the toughest. Easier to get higher grades in non-subjective classes like math and science.

For more fun on this topic, check out each boarding school’s “School Profile” and/or grade distributions - they should be available on their websites. Sometimes under the college advising tab.

Let me know how it works out for you :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


I was seriously laughing at the phrase “Get to know Mr 89”.



I re…nevermind.


I am going to be honest. If you want to go to boarding school and believe it will be beneficial, Exeter and clan are NOT the only schools you can thrive in. You might thrive better at a school that isn’t “top tier.” I hate using those words. There is always more you can learn. Some schools not on your list offer a lot of FA. A school I got into, Mercersburg, gives FA to 50%+ of the students, and the average grant is over 50-60% of tuition. If not already, definitely consider it. It’s a hidden gem and a fantastic, excellent school. At Hill, around 40% receive financial aid, and the grant is a great amount too. Those schools can give generous FA too.

I don’t mean to sound harsh, but if you only apply to “top” schools, you are likely setting yourself up for disappointment.