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08/23/2020 at 03:51PM
Admissions Advice

Common App - Why do you recommend to enter Weighted over Unweighted GPA?
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In the webinar on August 20, 5:00 pm EDT, Vinay Bhaskara states that in the Common App he recommends to enter the unweighted GPA. Could you elaborate on the reason of this recommendation.

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08/23/2020 at 04:00PM

Weighted GPA is essentially useless at this point since so many high schools weight GPA differently and since it’s not an accurate indicator of your grades. Weighted GPA was created to give a boost to students taking a harder classes, but since the system isn’t standardized Weighted GPAs have become inflated.Nowadays weights have become so distorted that AOs will see students with a 3.5 UW and a 4.7 W. The 4.7 looks amazing, but if the student is earning mostly Bs and B+s (3.5) then the 4.7 is very misleading. You can also have high schools (like mine) that either don’t use weighted GPAs at all or that under-weight (we only use 1/2 of the normal system, so my weighted GPA is a lot lower than it technically should be). So, two students who both have a 3.7/4 (A-) UW GPA and taking the exact same classes could have totally different weighted GPA systems. Weighted GPA is only really used for class rank/valedictorian and salutatorian now anyway so it’s not very relevant. Essentially colleges don’t really use Weighted GPAs anymore to make it fair, but also since it’s really misleading.

Vinay recommends submitting your UW GPA on a 4.0 scale (If you don’t know/have that number I recommend using the Univ of Iowa convertor if you can find it on google). This is because colleges often scrap weighted GPA anyway, or if they consider it they will re-weight your GPA with their own. Colleges look at 1) your baseline grades (how good of a student you are), which is your UW GPA, and 2) rigor, which used to be calculated in Weighted GPA (which is not used for reasons I outlined above) but is now found by just looking at your transcript.

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