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7 months ago
Admissions Advice

When colleges/universities ask about your GPA, are they looking for unweighted or weighted GPAs?
Answered

I'm currently a high school senior at a public school and the GPA here is filtered into two different sections; one unweighted- that weighs each class on a 4 point scale and one that's weighted- each AP or IB level class is weighted on a 5 point scale. I have been asked to put in my cumulative GPA and overall GPA on college applications but I'm not sure how to calculate this. Do I use my weighted GPA or unweighted one? Is it the same for each school?

Thanks in advance for your help!

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Accepted Answer
7 months ago

I looked both on the Common App and the Coalition App and other proprietary college applications and they all want to see the Unweighted GPA on a 4.0 scale, not your weighted GPA. The main reason is that almost every HS in America calculates their weighted GPA differently. Your school uses a 5.0 scale for AP and IB and some schools do not weigh APs and some weigh APs 5.0 and IBs 6.0. So someone with a 3.95 unweighted GPA could in theory have the following weighted GPAs if they went to 5 different schools: 3.95, 4.15, 4.45, 4.87, 5.62 if you know what I mean. So it's much easier to compare 5 or 50,000 people if they just report their unweighted GPA rather than trying to compare apples to apples with 50,000 different formulas.

So use your unweighted GPA on both the Common App and Coalition App and other proprietary applications like MIT, Georgetown, and State Colleges. Also, some state systems like the UC system will re-calc your GPA in their GPA using their own criteria. Keep that in mind.

Good Luck.

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7 months ago

I am pretty sure that cumulative and unweighted mean 4 point scale. I don't know if it varies by school, but if it asks using those terms, this should help.

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