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Weighted GPA vs Unweighted, how do I know which to use?


I'm a junior in high school right now. I've taken a lot of AP classes and by the time I graduate, I'll have taken 9 AP classes. Things haven't really been going well the past few years and my grades have shown it. I'm pulling a solid B or C in all the classes, but because of all the APs (I've passed every exam with at least a 4, so even if I had a D in the class, the teacher let me pass), my weighted GPA is 0.5 points higher than my unweighted one. The problem is that scholarships and programs ask for GPA, but they don't specify which. I've had to put in one, the other, or both. I don't want to put in the weighted one and then it turn out I'm way underqualified but I also don't want to sell myself short because I really have been doing my best with my circumstances. How do I know which to use?


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Accepted answer

Hiya! If the scholarships and programs you are applying for don't specify whether you have to use weighted or unweighted GPA, there's no harm in using the one that makes you look like a better applicant! However, I suggest specifying in your application for the scholarship/program which one you're using. (For example, saying 3.7 unweighted, or 4.2 weighted)

If you are concerned about being underqualified... you probably aren't! Weighted GPAs aren't just there to magically make your GPA appear .5 higher, it's an attempt to make your GPA more accurate based on the difficulty of your course-load, so whatever your weighted GPA is, you've earned it yourself.

If you are concerned about your grades not reflecting your academic accomplishments due to circumstances beyond your control, most applications allow you to explain those circumstances so that they better understand your unique situation and don't automatically attribute those grades to poor work ethic.

Thank you very much for this answer! I'd never thought about specifying which I was using for some reason.