Do colleges care about you weighted gpa or your unweighted gpa?
Colleges primarily care about your unweighted GPA. However, the weighted GPA gives them more context as to whether you challenged yourself in HS or not. If you graduate with a 3.90 UWGPA and your weighted GPA is also 3.90, that gives college admissions officers information that you were a good student but never took any honors, AP or IB, or dual enrollment course that would be weighted and boost your GPA. Or the other conclusion is that you took honors classes but got Bs in them not As.
However, if you graduate with a 3.90 UWGPA and a 4.40 WGPA that means that you put the pedal to the metal on those tough classes and got As in them as well.
So the takeaway is that they both matter. UWGPA allows colleges to compare you to other applicants from your school and school district. It also allows them to compare you to every other applicant they get on a normalized grade scale. WGPA allows colleges to see how you challenged yourself and whether you excelled or not when you stepped up your game.
The wider the UWGPA to UGPA spread there it indicates that you worked much harder than someone who had a tight spread. So when you hear about HS applicants who get a 4.50 WGPA and 4.00 UWGPA on a 4.0 scale where the weighted classes get a +1.00 bump, it means that 1/2 of their course load was honors, AP, or IB courses and they still got As in them. That's impressive.
However, if you read about someone with a 4.50 GPA and their school gives out 2.00 points for AP or IB classes, that's not as impressive. This makes admissions officers' job difficult because just because it sounds high doesn't mean it's high.
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