Contact Us

Have queries for this product





Get Our Tips Straight To Your Inbox


Weighted vs. Unweighted GPAs – What is the Difference?

As you know, grades are by far the most important factor in college admissions.  Yet we have many parents and students confused when we ask them for GPAs.  Most students will give their most recent weighted GPA and the process gets even more confusing for our international students.  However, let’s be clear, for college admissions purposes, a student’s unweighted, academic, 9th-11th grade GPA is most important.

The problem is there is no standardized way for high schools to report GPAs.  In some cases, some high schools report multiple GPAs on transcripts or just the weighted overall average.

Unfortunately, many high schools include EVERY class a student has taken in high school in their GPA, such as athletics and non-academic electives.  While doing well in volleyball or cooking is great, it has no relevance to colleges for GPA purposes.  Colleges are interested in your performance in academic courses only!  Your grades in math, English, foreign language, science and history/social studies are the only ones that factor into your GPA for college admissions purposes.  Some electives that have an academic element, like journalism, engineering, creative writing, marine biology, etc. can be included as well.

So your GPA may be lower than you think.  We at Stoodnt often have to recalculate GPAs and parents and studetns are often surprised to see that their GPAs are often lower than they think.  Of course this raises the question about AP or honor courses.   Remember rigor is the second-most important thing colleges care about.  Are you challenging yourself and doing well in those challenging classes?  This is what colleges want to see.  So no, it’s not better to take the “regular” version of a class if you could take the honors or AP version and do well (that means A or B!).  And your high school counselor will send your “school profile,” a document that tells colleges how many and which advanced classes your school offers, along with your transcript.

PLEASE NOTE:  the UC and Cal State systems use a completely different process for calculating GPA.  They count ONLY 10th and 11th grade courses, and they count not only the academic core courses, but also any visual and performing arts classes taken in 10th and 11th grades.  They also use a semi-weighted GPA, which is to say that they give “extra credit” for up to 8 semesters (SEMESTERS, not YEARS) of honors and AP classes taken in 10th and 11th grades.  And of course there are exceptions within the exception:  UCLA and Berkeley do not limit the number of semesters of honors and AP courses.  We call these the “capped weighted” (all of UC system except for UCLA and Berkeley, plus all of Cal State system) and “uncapped weighted” (UCLA and Berkeley) GPAs, and when we work with students interested in UC and Cal State schools, we also recalculate these two GPAs based on those formulas.  (Yet another exception:  for out-of-state students, the UC and Cal State systems only allow extra weight for AP courses, NOT honors courses.)

Conclusion:   Colleges are interested in students’ unweighted, academic, 9th grade through 11th grade GPA for college admissions purposes.

 

 

Author: Yuri Punj

0 Comments

Related Posts

Digital Marketing industry trends in India
Looking For A Career In Digital Marketing? Here Is What You Need To Know About Five Digital Marketing Trends in 2018 Baishali Mukherjee

Since last year the buzz-word in India is digitalization. From mandatory Aadhar card-linking schemes to the rise of crypto-currencies, everyone felt the power of digital…

Read More

Why It Is Important For Professionals To Build Skills Q&A With Abhishek Kumar, Regional Director Onvu Tech Baishali Mukherjee

  In the age of digitalisation, cybersecurity, data literacy and analytics, have come to be some of the most sought after skillsets. However, the nascent…

Read More

Buinsess men and women meeting and shaking hands with each other
2019 – HR Trends In The Workplace Stoodnt Guest Author

By Kamalika Bhattacharya, Co-Founder – QuoDeck Technologies   Employees today, are not just looking for companies that provide salaries and perks. They want organizations that provide…

Read More

Road to be ‘Skill Capital of the World’ Baishali Mukherjee

The ‘Skill India Mission’ has set an ambitious target with the aim of skilling over 400 million people by 2022. So far, the development of…

Read More