2 years ago
Admissions Advice

Do colleges look at middle school grades if provided?

My city offers a program (that I attended) to seventh and eighth grade students that allows them to take high school level courses. I was under the impression that my grades didn't matter as much and got a B and a C (the C I got did not count for a credit), but I talked to my counselor and she said my middle school grades will be put on my high school transcript since I took high school level courses.

Ever since high school started, I've maintained a 4.0 uw gpa and taken plenty of (specifically 5) AP courses (as a sophomore right now) and I plan to continue that, but I am worried that some of the more competitive colleges that I want to go to (like Stanford, Harvard, MIT) won't accept anything less than perfect, even if I have a perfect high school record. Will colleges judge me based on my middle school and high school grades, or just high school?

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4 answers

Accepted Answer
2 years ago

Hi @jcheng25

The Bs you got in Middle School for your High School coursework will count for HS credit toward graduation and be part of your overall transcript. Personally, I think that is a good thing and I wouldn't worry about it.

I consider you a high-achieving student otherwise your teachers would not have allowed you to take advanced math or science or languages in middle school. The fact that you got Bs and Cs is less important. The most important thing is that as a middle schooler you were able to pass and do very well in these classes.

I hope that takes the worry out of the equation.

With regard to your future HS coursework, I would continue to get good grades and take the most challenging coursework. If you already have 5 APs as a sophomore, I would really back off the pedal a bit and try to aim for like 9-11 MAX when applying to the IVYs and Elite colleges. You are not going to get more bonus points for taking 15 vs 10 okay?

I would instead make sure your extracurricular and co-curricular are impressive a show a lot of leadership evidence. There are plenty of examples of perfect GPAs & test scores applicants getting rejected from these schools. The ones that do get in not only have awesome stats, but they also have spikey ECs and evidence of intellectual vitality/curiosity. This is not taking more APs. IV/IC is work you do outside of the classroom like internships, writing research papers, publishing your work, or taking college courses in subjects that interest you that are not offered in your HS.

Doing well in HS is only part of the criteria. These colleges want future leaders, global citizens, and people that think outside of the box that wants to make the world a better place. And more often than not, you can not develop these skills nor gain relatable experiences in the context of the HS classrooms. You have to get involved in your community, volunteer, start things, create things, and take risks.

You are going to be judged holistically based on everything on your college application including these middle school grades for high school coursework. So make the best use of your time and build your EC narrative and take as many English classes as possible because your ability to write effectively will always be a valuable asset throughout your life.

2 years ago

Hi! Admissions Reader here!

The credits will count towards the overall requirements, but most universities will not include it in your GPA. So as long as you passed you will be fine.

For high achieving programs (ie: engineering, nursing, etc) depending on what course was taken it may be taken more into consideration. But in general they are looking for grades from those higher level math and sciences classes to make these determinations.

Hope this helped!

2 years ago

unfortunately it does count on your high school transcript but i think they might take it into consideration that you were in middle school you can also can explain what happened when colleges ask and they will see your improvement and hard course work that you can handle. Also some perfect gpa do not get accepted to those school they look at others things (are you involved in things in school other then education, do you know your career) colleges are not so degrading so do not worry keep going :)

2 years ago[edited]

Since your counsellor is putting them on your high school transcript, then yes. However, Colleges will usually understand that those courses you took were in middle school and not high school. Hope this helps and best of luck!

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