2 years ago
Admissions Advice

IVY League Application

I am currently a junior and starting my search for colleges. I've been doing some research and it says (for my top school Yale) the unweighted GPA is a 3.95 and a weighted of a 4.14. I used a few calculators apart from my schools to convert my grades and they all say I have an unweighted of a 3.85 and a weighted of 4.3. If this is accurate, how will this affect my chances of admissions. I also have a lot of other factors like recommendations from the former president and former assisting dean as well as research under them. I am just nervous because I thought unweighted GPAs matter more and hope I can get it up in the coming months. (I have also only had 1 B and that was in an honors chemistry class during the height of covid)


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3 answers

Accepted Answer
2 years ago


You are correct in unweighted GPAs mattering more than weighted GPAs because every school calculates weighted GPAs differently (colleges basically look at your unweighted GPA and calculate your weighted GPA based on their own calculation systems).

While I would encourage you to try to get your unweighted GPA up to at least a 3.9, I don't believe this will be incredibly detrimental to your application. That is, as long as you have taken a fair share of AP classes (or IB) during your high school career (in my mind, the golden range is normally between 8 and 12 AP classes overall for competitive schools like Yale).

If you are sure about your extracurriculars, then I wouldn't worry about this too much. Still, you are only a junior and have more than enough time to boost your GPA.

side note: I am curious as to why just one B would decrease your GPA that much. I know some schools don't do B+'s, but if your school did and you have received some then I suppose that would make sense!

I hope this helped. Good luck!!

2 years ago[edited]

@mcarnathan23 there is a lot of misinformation about GPA thresholds and I'm going to share a couple important ideas that you and all 9th,10th, and 11th graders should understand.

Just because a college's website or common data set says either their avg. GPA is 3.95 or on the common data set that 90% are in the top 10% of a graduating class, doesn't mean that they don't consider lower GPAs. Here are the caveats for lower GPAs.

1. You attend a top boarding or private school. Typically the best schools in the country are on a 100.00 point scale or some whacky 6,7,11 pt scale for GPA. Some schools like Deerfield Academy have only 1% or 2 people in their entire graduating class that have a 95.00-95.50 out of 100. That's a 3.8 OK. Most DA grads have GPAs in the 90-92 range which is 3.6-3.7. In spite this disadvantage the avg. admit rate to Cornell is 27% and to Columbia 21% . This is about 3-5 times higher than published admit rates.

2. You are the son or daughter of a parent who attended the school.

3. You are a recruited athlete

4. Your family has made a significant donation to the college you are applying to.

5. You are a child of faculty or staff at the college you are applying to.

6. You have a "hook" such as being either Black, LatinX, Indigenous, Non-CIS, or come from a marginalized background, low income or 1st generation (the definition of 1st gen varies from college to college. Some Ivys consider you a 1st gen if neither of your parents attend Yale or Harvard and you are applying to Yale or Harvard.)

7. You have a clear and reasonable explanation on the add'l information section for why there are anomalies in your transcript. This could be a mental health crisis, COVID-19, or family death, or natural disaster like your house burned down.

8. You are a famous person. Either celebrity or Nobel Peace prize nominee/awardee. (e.g

Malala Y. or David Hogg)

Most applicants do not have these conditions on their common app. Therefore if you are your average Public School educated middle class to upper middle class applicant, you need a higher GPA, essays, course rigor, ECs, intellectual vitality, recommendations to compete.

Your single B will not have any affect on your academic narrative. I would continue doing the great work you are doing and make sure your ECs, Essays and IV/IC are at the top of their game.

Good luck.

2 years ago

From my understanding, both GPA's are important however colleges typically look at your unweighted GPA. Certain colleges also only compare you to other students coming from your school in your demographic. If you are at the top of your class or near to it, and your GPA is only .10 short, then you most likely still have a very good chance of making it. Then again it's also important to consider that your weighted is higher than what they are accepting so they could balance each other out.

What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
+ add school
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

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