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Duke University
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
1.0
4.0
SAT: 720 math
200
800
| 800 verbal
200
800

Extracurriculars

Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Does high school GPA really matter for college admissions, or is it more about the test scores and extracurriculars?

I’ve seen a lot of back and forth on this, and I just want to get the facts straight. How much weight does GPA actually carry when it comes to college admissions? Is it a make-or-break factor, or do colleges consider the whole picture with activities and scores equally? Some reassurance needed here!

7 months ago

Hi there! I can understand how the admissions process can seem a bit opaque, but let me help demystify it for you. GPA is indeed a significant factor in college admissions as it reflects your academic consistency and ability to perform over a range of subjects for several years. That said, it's not the sole aspect. Colleges do look at the 'whole picture,' which includes your test scores and extracurricular activities as well.

However, at highly selective institutions, most applicants will have strong GPAs, so your extracurriculars and test scores can help set you apart. Keep in mind the concept of the Academic Index; your GPA is a key part of that, although schools also consider the rigor of your courses. You can control some factors more than others, so strive for a strong GPA while also being meaningfully involved in activities that interest you, and prepare well for standardized tests. There’s no one deciding factor—it's more like a recipe where each ingredient adds something to the dish.

7 months ago

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