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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

What’s seen as a competitive cumulative GPA for college admissions?

Hi everyone, with application season looming, I'm feeling a bit unsure about my cumulative GPA and how it stacks up. What would be considered a 'competitive' cumulative GPA when applying to colleges, mainly for those aiming at top-tier schools? Is there a significant difference in expectations for STEM versus humanities majors?

7 months ago

Hello! It's completely normal to feel a little unsure during this time, so I'm glad you reached out for some clarity.

The definition of 'competitive' can vary widely among different institutions, but for top-tier schools, students generally aim for a GPA of 3.7 or above on an unweighted 4.0 scale. If your school offers weighted GPAs for AP or IB classes, a competitive GPA might be higher, often above 4.0 due to the extra points. For the most selective universities, even higher GPAs are common amongst applicants.

Keep in mind, admissions teams look at the rigor of the courses you've taken in addition to your grades. As for your question about STEM versus humanities majors, while the expectations for GPA might not significantly differ across disciplines, the types of courses you've excelled in can carry weight.

For instance, a STEM applicant with high marks in advanced math and science courses might stand out in the application pool for engineering programs. Similarly, a humanities major with a high GPA bolstered by a strong performance in advanced literature and history classes might catch the eye of admissions for liberal arts programs.

Remember, though it's important, GPA is just one part of your whole application. Emphasizing your strengths and conveying your unique story will also play a significant role in the admissions process!

7 months ago

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