What GPA do colleges look at? Weighted or unweighted?

Hey everyone, quick question about college admissions. When you submit your transcript, do colleges use your weighted or unweighted GPA to determine if you are good applicant? Also, my weighted is a 3.75 and my unweighted is a 3.86. Will this GPA be enough to apply for colleges?

They generally use unweighted, but there are a lot of exceptions. Some colleges recalculate GPAs based on core classes only or their own criteria. Other colleges take whatever they’re provided and review transcripts in light of the school report that comes with them.

Your UW GPA is fine, but the comparatively small difference between that and the weighted suggests you either haven’t taken many honors/AP/IB classes OR your high school doesn’t give very large weighting. An admissions officer would need to read your school profile and closely review your transcript to evaluate you correctly.

Usually unweighted or recalculated (which may be weighted by the college’s method, not necessarily the same as your high school’s method).

^This and your counselor, as a part of their counselor recommendation on the Common Application, will provide a qualitative assessment of your course schedule/rigor (most demanding etc.) as well as a school profile, which helps provide context when evaluating your application.

Hope that helps! Good luck with admissions!

Ime, they look at the actual transcript for the courses and their letter grades. Just gpa doesn’t give this visibility. if they don’t know what classes, the rigor and patterns of strength. Think about it.

It depends on the school, and that information might be found on the Admissions site, perhaps under FAQs etc. Many smaller schools we talked to said that they “unpacked” the transcript, stripping out the non-core courses and recalculating the gpa to reflect only core academic courses. Some publics we talked to only used unweighted (Wisconsin) while others used weighted, if available (Indiana).

I believe they look at both, and as some other people have said they may recalculate based on how the prospective school looks and weighs the academics of the applicant.

If you are wondering what to put on the Common App, we were instructed by counselor to list the unweighted as that’s how my daughter’s school lists it on their official transcript.

Grade weighting can be so varied that they aren’t very meaningful on their own (my D will graduate with about a 5.4).

As described above, unweighted, sometimes just core courses, is certainly looked at. Either a consistently weighted GPA that the school recalculated, or the unweighted with an objective measurement of course rigor, are also usually used.