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UC/ California schools application



I just wanted to clarify something since I keep getting inconsistent feedback with regards to this ... I have extenuating circumstances (illness) that lower my cum wgpa from a 4.3 to a 3.9 as well as am set to have taken 25 semesters worth of ap/ib/CC courses by the end of my senior year. I am confused first of all of how the UC gpa works and why it is considered fair because it lowers my gpa significantly even while it is at a 3.9. I also would like to know how colleges truly consider course rigor with regards to gpa and comparing with other applicants. To me, it seems inefficient to factor a lot of these things in, however, if someone has any real experiences or explanations that they could provide that would be very helpful. Thanks!


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That link details how UC calculates GPA.

As for talking about your illness if theres space for it on the UC Application so it there if not just email the schools you are looking at and describe your circumstances professionally and don’t shift blame.

As for rigor, I can’t really tell you how it works together with GPA but I’ll talk about what schools look for rigor wise.

(I’m ignoring Honors when talking about Rigor but I consider 1 Honor class to be about 2/3rds of an AP class but that’s completely my opinion)

Rigor is in a phrase challenging yourself academically. If at School X they only offer 5 APs and you take all 5 you have really good rigor while at School Y you take 6 but they offer 25. School X has better rigor.

(I’m calculating this as a STEM student)

Generally to find your rigor “score” you total up all APs offered then subtract any non applicable ones such as AP Music AP Art and if your school has multiple foriegn languages subtract all that are not your own. (My school offers 4 Language APs there’s no way I can take all of them). Then total up the number of classes not number of semesters then put it as a fraction.

While not the most accurate way to calculate rigor it does serve as a really good base line. I’d recomend if your school has 10+ APs to have at least a 60% score but a 70s score is preferable.

Hope this helps and please comment if you need clarification as I’d be happy to help clarify!

You can put it on the additional info section on the UC App section which is located under the Personal Insight Tab.
Im not a UC app expert as I’m not interested in California schools so I can really only talk about Common and Coalition
@DebaterMAX I appreciate the help nontheless
@adri I am planning on using that section but have no clue how to go about it. My high school is quite well known and recognised for its rigor (especially for IB students like me) so I don't know exactly whether or not I need to communicate that myself or if I should just focus on communicating my circumstances that caused my grades to drop
As for the common and coalition app, I am looking at quite a few schools in Canada, europe and east coast that use coalition and common app so any info on that is a huge help too. Thanks!
Communicate the circumstance that caused your grade drop. Be honest and concise, don't format it like your common app essay. it's there for you to be straight to the point. However, make sure not to come off as an excuse maker, so you need to word it well.
Your welcome! Glad I could help. As for the additional info section don’t use it like an essay but do bullet points in full sentences. As for being known for rigor the vast majority of schools send out a pamphlet essentially saying what your school offers and likely some stats. It may say we have IB and 20 AP classes our course offerings are xyz and our average GPA is x and average SAT is y. Ask your counselor for more info
Ok so what phrases should I definitely avoid using as far as communicating my circumstances? Should I mention the improvement I've made since then?
In x school year had insert illness and it cuased me to miss x days which unfortunately cuased my grades to drop. Since then they have rebounded.
Essentially be apologetic and own up to don’t blame the school or teachers for it. A bad way to explain would be: In x grade my grades dropped due to insert illness and I suffered becuase if it Becuase Ms B did not let me do xyz. Mention the improvement as a side note like the comment above.
If you find my answer helpful would you consider accepting it? If not np
Ah ok as long as I don't blame the teachers themselves and take ownership I should be fine.
Thank you for reminding me! I forgot to do that sorry...
Your welcome! Glad I could help!