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Everyone knows that colleges take your grade point average, or GPA, into account when looking at applications, but they’re also looking at clubs, sports, music lessons, languages, and everything else you do during high school. Additionally, different colleges care about different things, so the value of your GPA may depend on where you want to go.The importance of the GPA in college admissions could also depend on whether your GPA is weighted or not. Keep reading to learn how to determine the significance of your GPA and work toward the college that you want to get into. We’ll also discuss other important factors that colleges consider and how earning your high school diploma online at High School of America can help you get into your college of choice.
What’s Constitutes a Good GPA?
If you’ve ever wondered,“What is a good GPA?” you’re not alone. Many students aren’t sure if they should take easier classes to get a higher GPA or take harder classes and let their GPA drop. Colleges will consider the quality of your high school and your personal learning history while reviewing your GPA as well as other factors.Prepscholar.com explains that “Admissions officers realize that two students from different high schools may have different GPAs but relatively equal academic potential.” Colleges tend to favor the student in high-level classes with a lower GPA because they admire their effort. Taking easier classes to fool colleges into thinking you’re smarter won’t work. Don’t underestimate your college’s ability to understand your specific circumstances and your capacity to excel in difficult situations.
Weighted vs. Unweighted GPA
Noodle.com talks about how if your GPA is weighted or not could make all the difference. Unweighted GPAs are calculated using a simple number system 1.0-4.0 with all A’s equaling a 4.0 GPA. However, when AP or honors classes were introduced, some schools wanted to give higher points to reward these students, making an A in an AP class now worth 5.0 points rather than the traditional 4.0. The article explains that “This often poses a problem in the admissions process. For example, when a college gets a weighted GPA from a student at a particular high school, they then must compare it to the weighted or unweighted GPA from a different student at another high school. And with no uniformity in how the weighting is done, it is sometimes hard to tell if an applicant is a great student or a simply average student.” That’s why many colleges have created a system to standardize the GPAs they see from students of different high schools.
Other Important Factors Colleges Consider
According to the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), what matters most to colleges is ordered below from the most important to the least important factors:
- Grades in honors or AP classes
- Strength of curriculum
- SAT/ACT scores
- Overall GPA
- Recommendation Letters
- Essay or writing sample
- Demonstrated Interest
- Class rank
Keep in mind that the above factors of importance will differ depending on the type of college you are applying to. For example, arts colleges may give more weight to essays and demonstrated interest than strength of curriculum, while very selective colleges who have thousands of applicants may use less important factors to distinguish between two very competitive applicants. For some larger universities, some decisions could be made based on GPA and test scores alone. Online high school programs and courses from an accredited school like High School of America, are looked at by colleges with as much respect as traditional schools.
High School of America
In order to get ready for college, it’s essential to attend a high school that will help you become competitive and reach your higher education goals. At High School of America, we can help you get an online diploma. Our programs allow advanced students to take more challenging classes and less advanced students to take their time learning the subjects that they need to focus on. With the flexible schedule that High School of America allows, you’ll have plenty of time to participate in extracurriculars and make sure your GPA is where it needs to be. To find out more about how to prepare for college and what High School of America can offer you, visit our online high school FAQ page or contact us anytime.
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