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11 days ago
Admissions Advice

What type of grades are best for Ivy Leagues?

My school doesn't give our grades on a 4.0 GPA scale, which is why I'm having a little trouble. I have about a 97% average, with one grade below 93% (which I'm pretty sure means an A-, although I wouldn't know for sure.) Would that be considered 'below average' for any ivy league?

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3 answers

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9 days ago

If your school uses Naviance, then log into it and make a college list and see how students from your school performed in the past 5 to 6 years based on their GPAs and test scores. And if your school doesn't use Naviance, then I would set up a meeting with your HS counselors and ask them to share with you their opinion of what matriculation criteria were present in the past for students from your school to get admitted to the kinds of schools you are applying to.

There is absolutely no magical cutoff for GPA. Each high school calculates it differently. I went to Deerfield Academy where a 93% average is considered high honors due to grade compaction. So 90% of the graduating class has less than 93% and about 10% have between a 93-95%. But there are plenty of DA students who get into Ivy or Elite colleges with 90-92% GPAs. But if you compare that to Harvard-Westlake in CA, then 67% of the graduating class has a 92.5% GPA or higher. So with rampant grade inflation, it appears that everyone from HW is a genius when this is far from the truth.

The real answer lies in the acceptance rates/matriculation rates for high schools. Deerfield has a 30% average Ivy acceptance rate and a 22% matriculation rate. This means 30% of DA seniors who apply to Ivies get in and 22% enroll. At Harvard-Westlake, it's like 24%/17%. So this informs you that regardless of what your GPA is, all college admissions offices use GPA in the context of the course rigor and grading system of the HS to determine who gets in and who doesn't. Another thing to point out is that there is more likely a higher density of legacy and recruited athletes and fac brats and rich donor kids at East Coast boarding schools compared to California.

Good luck.

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11 days ago

Hi @conniezworld!

You don't need to convert to a 4.0. Your application will be evaluated based on how your school gives your GPA. Colleges often recalculate GPAs using their own methods to get a better idea. In terms of grades, try maintaining an average above 90%. You can get into Ivies with a lower average than that, so don't freak out if you somehow reach 85% or something like that.

Hope this helps!

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11 days ago

Hey there @conniezworld!

A 93-100 is an A, or a 4.0 on a 4.0 scale. (97-100 is an A+, but that's still a 4.0.)

A 90-92 is an A-, or a 3.7 on a 4.0 scale.

The average unweighted GPA (a weighted GPA assigns more value to honors, AP, and IB courses) is a 3.5-4.0, while the average weighted is usually at least a 4.2. So as long as your unweighted GPA is at least a 3.5, you're in the 'average range' for an Ivy League.

You can use these resources to help you convert your GPA:

https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/plan-for-college/college-basics/how-to-convert-gpa-4.0-scale

https://blog.collegevine.com/how-to-convert-your-gpa-to-a-4-0-scale

Hope this helps!

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