USAToday: Most colleges don't care about GPAs

<p>I’m not surprised. Grades in America are so screwed and skewed up to the point that a GPA of B+(~3.2) puts you in the bottom half of the college-bound graduating class. (<a href=“http://www.act.org/research/policymakers/pdf/issues.pdf[/url]”>http://www.act.org/research/policymakers/pdf/issues.pdf</a>) So basically there is very few room to discriminate between the superb students and the average ones without standardized testing. What we really need is a mastery-based college-entrance examination(GCSE, Gaokao, ENEM, etc.) that is immune to test prep and grade inflation.</p>

<p>@PK1616</p>

<p>I am disappointed that you chose to point out how “minorities, 12 to be exact” received more financial aid that your daughter despite all of her academic success. I would also assume that there were “non minority” applicants that received more financial aid than your daughter even though her grades might have “better”. It has been my experience in the college admissions process that sometimes “hooks” and specific needs are also factors. A highly selective college or university might decide that they want to strengthen their visual or performing arts so they actively pursue students who are strong in those areas. I do think colleges and universities consider diversity in their student populations but I do not think that is solely based on ethnicity or racial background. I am sorry your daughter did not get the financial package you were looking for but I do not think it was because of “minority” students; that is a simplistic answer but if it makes you feel better…</p>

<p>@Ach7DD
3.2 doesn’t seem too high for college bound high school grads since that likely entails mostly B’s with a few C’s and A’s. That’s the median, too, so while half of the students are going to have higher gpa’s than that, half of college bound seniors have even lower gpas. Now, if over 10% of seniors have a 4.0 there might be a problem, but not necessarily. Colleges care about difficulty of classes.</p>

<p>Those mastery based exams aren’t necessary since they already exist to a substantial degree in the form of AP/IB and SATII tests. You want to differentiate between superb and average students? Average students will not even take SATII’s and will take few AP/IB, and the decent ones will probably perform poorly in comparison to the superb ones. Perhaps if all of a student’s AP scores were mandatory, the problem that you claim exists could be fixed.</p>

<p>H.S. grades matter a lot in college admissions but they do not mean very much. All that the colleges I applied to in the fall of my senior year was that I had a 1.6 GPA and was ranked last out of 64 seniors in my very demanding elite private Jesuit boarding peparatory school. They did not know what I had to endure there. My classmates hated me because they thaought I was odd (I had Aspberger’s Syndrome) and was tormented endlessly and often the victim of vicious “pranks”. School faculty and administrators did nothing to protect me from this treatment forcing me live in terror for four years. </p>

<p>My senior year I had a strong GPA, very high SAT scores and was finally accepted by a second tier college in April while my hateful classmates went on to the Ivies. Once I got to college I thrived making many friends and was never bothered by anyone. I transferred after my freshman year to a top tier college and continued to do well socially and academically. My 3.75 GPA and high MCAT scores won me a place in a good U.S. medical school where I earned my MD. My high school GPA would have predicted I would be an often unemployed manual laborer instead of a doctor.</p>

<p>@huehuehue32:</p>

<p>Though, it is important to keep in mind that the 3.25 mean was for about a decade ago, chances are that the average GPA has already inflated to around the 3.4 range, if this trend has continued. Not to mention that the 50% figure is a little flawed, since not only is practically almost everyone going to college right now, but few of the bottom scorers actually make it to a four-year college, bumping upwards the average. </p>

<p>And to your second paragraph, that is somewhat akin to what I wish would happen. IMO, there are far too many kids getting undeserved high grades, to the point that it is starting to get unfortunately common to see A&B students who cannot do long division without a calculator or craft basic sentences free from grammatical errors. The AP exams are perfect to separate the students who go to A for attendance schools and hard and rigorous ones. Though I would like to see a more standardized GPA system in the future.</p>

<p>@Lemaitre1:
High school GPAs do not tend to demonstrate a person’s true capabilities or work ethic when they are from either highly lax or highly rigorous schools. A kid with a 3.2 from an east coast prep school is far more likely to succeed in life than a kid with a 4.0 from an inner-city failing school.</p>

<p>Okay, this article misrepresents the reality greatly. Here’s what it’s like: If you have a 4.3+ (or so) GPA, it doesn’t matter! But if you have < 3.5 (weighted) GPA, you aren’t getting into any top 20 school unless you are like top at some prestigious national competition (i.e. TOC, QB, Intel…etc) or you cured cancer (a bit exaggerated, but u get what i’m saying). (or, you know, the (in)famous affirmative action).</p>

<p>“Okay, this article misrepresents the reality greatly. Here’s what it’s like: If you have a 4.3+ (or so) GPA, it doesn’t matter! But if you have < 3.5 (weighted) GPA, you aren’t getting into any top 20 school unless you are like top at some prestigious national competition (i.e. TOC, QB, Intel…etc) or you cured cancer (a bit exaggerated, but u get what i’m saying). (or, you know, the (in)famous affirmative action).”</p>

<p>Please… Top universities are overflowing with applications from URMs with perfect GPAs and perfect test scores so please don’t act as if pulling that card is anywhere near relevant to this conversation. What should be more of a concern to you is the amount of the legacy and/or well-off admits (usually white) who don’t meet the same level of achievement. At elite colleges anyway, the numbers of those students far outnumber the students who supposedly benefited from AA to get in.</p>