USAToday: Most colleges don't care about GPAs

<p>In general, I don't pay much attention to USA Today articles. Most articles seem to skim the surface of the subject without delving into the subject matter.</p>

<p>@Sikorsky: True. It's been established repeatedly that it isn't possible to compare GPAs with more than fragments of objectivity. Grading policies and rigor of classes with given titles are, well, also not seamless, but at least they tend to be fairly standardized.</p>

<p>In the "High School Life" section there is a thread called "How does your school add weight for Honors/AP classes" or something like that. The methods of calculating are all over the map. I can see where colleges would just look at the transcript to see what classes were taken and what grades were earned in the class to determine the readiness for college work. It would be quicker than recalculating all the GPAs to some single standard. If you have a 4.0 student in a system where the top students might have GPAs in the 5s then the GPA is only important in that system. I would think that grades and rigor of curriculum is very important to colleges. GPA being a less standardized and therefore reliable indicator not as much.</p>

<p>The headline may be technically true, but misleading. They may not care about the GPA printed on the transcript, but that is different from not caring about courses and grades.</p>

<ul>
<li>Some schools recalculate GPA their own way.</li>
<li>Some schools look over the actual courses and grades on the transcript.</li>
<li>Some schools use class rank instead of grades or GPA.</li>
<li>Some schools are open admission and really do not care about previous grades.</li>
</ul>

<p>The funny part is that the article references that grades may not be that important for some schools, which morphs into the headline that says "some colleges don't care about GPAs", which morphs into the title of this thread "Most colleges don't care about GPAs".</p>

<p>This thread is a good example of headline inflation.</p>

<p>'Headline inflation' - great term!</p>

<p>Definitely headline inflation! Interestingly, another parent (who hasn't gone through the college admissions process yet) cited this article, and was excitingly telling everyone that GPAs don't matter anymore. I hadn't seen this article yet, but told her that she was misinformed and the article wasn't accurate. Based on our experience last year, and son applied to 16 colleges, most of which are highly selective, the main two things that matter are the numbers - GPA and test scores. If you make that cut, then the rest (essays, ECs, awards, etc), come into consideration.</p>

<p>This is incredibly timely discussion for me. I have a designed a college comparison spreadsheet for kids I help. I left off GPA b/c it simply too subjective. Kids will include their electives to inflate GPa, some schools do not weight, and in the end the colleges are using their own calculations while looking at the high school profile. </p>

<p>Indeed the GPA is important it's just not a simple answer.</p>

<p>Hi Sportsmom42-
interesting you say it is all about the numbers. My Senior daughter has experience it to, but the question at what is good enough??? She had one stat not quite as strong as he others and it has haunted her. The following is not meant to brag but to make point and ask question...</p>

<p>Stats-
Top 50 USNWR High School
Top 5 percent (most granular percentile reporting) about 1050 students in class.
Will finish with 11 AP classes (all 3 or better)
3.96 UW and 4.55 W GPA</p>

<br>


<br>

<p>Obviously her Standardized test scores are her chink in her app, if you call them a chink.</p>

<p>We hoped that the holistic application would outweigh the standard test scores. However all the standardized scores are pretty much 25th Percentile for all the top 20 schools. (Meaning that they are not 5th percentile)</p>

<p>She applied Early Decision to Northwestern and we were floored that she was Rejected, not even deferred. SO, I ask, how can 25th percentile score have kept her out?? We had hoped that although not in the upper end, that they would have been enough to get her other characteristics to shine and come out on top! So now she is gathering other acceptances and scholarship and will need to weigh everything out in April. </p>

<p>Best of luck to everyone.
Gschlact</p>

<p>GPAs don't matter.</p>

<p>Man bites dog.</p>

<p>Essays must not have been that excellent. :/</p>

<p>Just my opinion- The average GPA is around 4.0 for the admit class of the elite universities. Assuming 40,000 apps (which is a large statistical population) it just seems to me that if GPA wasn't a consideration then there would be wider dispersion from the near perfection GPA. (mean)?</p>

<p>This article is poorly written in my opinion. The intent to confuse is also apparent. GPA "might" not matter, but grades still do.</p>

<p>What is with these sensational headlines or thread titles recently (this and the "no MCAT" threaD)</p>

<p>For me it's a relief to hear GPA isn't as heavily weighted as I presumed..</p>

<p>A word from Jeff Brenzel, the Dean of undergraduate admissions for Yale University.</p>

<p><a href="https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/get-started/video-transcription/whats-the-most-important-part-of-the-application%5B/url%5D"&gt;https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/get-started/video-transcription/whats-the-most-important-part-of-the-application&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Transcript and GPA are not the same, but it does seem like high school grades matter A LOT to say the least.</p>

<p>The article in my mind is poorly written. It gives the impression that grades don't matter. They do. When admissions officers are asked what is most important to college admissions and scholarships "having goods grades or taking rigorous courses?" the answer is typically having goods grades and taking rigorous courses. GPA can be a predictor of grades received and rigor of course work but it is an unreliable one because it means different things in different venues and for different students. My Ds school weights for Honors and AP courses, Orchestra can be taken as an honors class. That inflates GPA and improves class rank. It's not relevent to college admission unless one is studying music. It does wonders for the high school orchestra program which is tremendous but if a college is choosing the high schools students strictly on GPA and class rank they will be getting a very skewed view of what a student has accomplished. If they look at the transcript it all becomes clear.</p>

<p>Gschlact, for the most highly selective schools, one does wonder what is good enough for GPAs and test scores. Your daughter sounds like an excellent student with a stellar record, as was our son. Our son even connected with some of the English department faculty at one Ivy, received a glowing endorsement to admissions, and was still rejected. </p>

<p>From reviewing the acceptance threads for some of the Ivies and other highly selective schools, it seems that where are so many students with 4.0+ GPAs, and perfect or nearly perfect test scores. There aren't enough spots for all of those students, much less the ones in the next tier of applicants. Every now and then, you hear of a student with less than stellar GPAs and/or test scores getting accepted, but usually they are URMs or first generation applicants. </p>

<p>Since there is such a big disparity in the way high schools calculate GPAs, you would hope that GPA would not be as significant a factor as it is in admissions. But again, in reviewing the Common Data set for several highly selective schools, GPA and test scores typically are listed as one of the most important factors in admissions.</p>

<p>texas, do you mind naming the schools he was accepted into? My son had a 1970 SAT, 3.9 GPA but lacked ECs because he had a job. I was just wondering because our sons seem like similar applicants and we have not received any decisions yet. He applied at alot of very selective schools</p>

<p>Working for pay is an extracurricular activity. In fact, I think a lot of colleges have more respect for working for pay than they have for being vice president of the Key Club.</p>

<p>Sent from my DROIDX using CC</p>