What gpa should I aim for? I would like to go to Rice, Cornell, or other ivy league
What gpa did you have and what school you got into
What's a good gpa that will get you into a good school
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First, would it be inaccurate to say that you don't have a perfect 4.0 at this time? Otherwise, you wouldn't be needing to ask a GPA question on 3 top choice schools correct?
If you know you can't achieve a 4.0 because you already have some Bs or Cs, then try to shoot for 3.85- 3.9 UWGPA. Don't worry so much about Weighted GPA as long as you have evidence of challenging yourself with the hardest classes at your high school whether that is APs, IBs, or Honors.
Below a 3.85 at these schools, you will have to make up for the deficit someway either through having 99% standardized test scores 1530+ SAT, 35+ ACT, and superior ECs, essays, and recommendations or high AP test scores 4s and 5s. Your admissions officers will evaluate you holistically based on the HS you go to and your peers applying to the same school.
For instance, if you go to really hard HS where they matriculate a lot of top 10% students to Ivys and Elites, they will recognize that in your admission file. However, if your HS has superfluous grade inflation policies that artificially prop up the High School's rankings, you will get docked for coming out of that system. For instance, if you attend a Top 10 Boarding school, then your UWGPA can be more forgiving since many of them do not use grade inflation.
If your school like mine only put weights on AP classes then I would have needed 16 As in 16 AP classes out of my 32 units to have a 4.50 WGPA with perfect grades. That didn't happen for me since I only took 9 APs.
So the previous poster's recommendation of striving for a 4.50-4.75 is really unrealistic for most people on here. At my school which is ranked 3rd in my State, the highest WGPAs were in the high 4.3s or low 4.4s and these were from kids who got into MIT, Harvard, Stanford, Yale, and Columbia. Remember, many HS students are missing an entire semester of grades because of pass/fail policies as well so this has a negative impact on maximum WGPA values.
Good luck with your college admissions process.
For me, I got into schools like JHU, CMU, (off waitlist NU)... No real Ivys, but schools that I liked...
I had a UW GPA 4.0 and W GPA of ~4.75 (with lots of high/college level language & Honors Orchestra)...
For reference, really good test scores (not abs perfect), average ECs, wildcard essays
Your aim for schools like Rice or Cornell should be 4.0 UW GPA
OR between 4.5-4.75 with a Weight GPA (maybe not perfect UW GPA then)
Getting an A- or B in a class won't ruin you as long as you take really challenging courses, so go for it... Just try to keep it as high as possible especially since standardized tests went optional and AOs don't have as much to look at beyond transcripts as they used to for your classroom aptitude (still a lot to your app though besides grades)
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