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Old 12-11-2012, 01:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hey all!

Currently a sophomore in high school, I've started to research various colleges a bit more rigorously considering that I will have to start applying to them next year.

Personally, I have very high hopes and aspirations for myself, however I noticed a characteristic of many online college-comparison websites that I am a bit confused about.

The website I am currently using to do research is:

CollegeData: College Search, Financial Aid, College Application, College Scholarship, Student Loan, FAFSA Info, Common Application

On the site, it lists each university's acceptance rate, demographics, and miscellaneous information.

My question I'd like to ask is: How is average GPA taken into consideration when applying for colleges?

For example, the average GPA for accepted freshmen at Stanford is 3.83 unweighted.

However, what classes does the average student take in order to achieve a 3.83?

To clarify:

Student A had a 3.83 GPA, but took only normal classes high school
Student B has a 3.70 GPA, but took many advanced/honors/AP classes in high school

So, how do colleges differ from the two? 91% of Stanford admits have a 3.75 GPA or above...so does this essentially mean that if you take harder classes and get a lower GPA, you have a lesser chance of being accepted?

Any personal/other help would be much appreciated! Feel free to ask any questions!

(please note that Stanford is just an example...)
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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No clue, my only advice would be to find a school who has a strong program in the major you want. Schools can have great reputations , and be good school over all but if their program for your major is weak, it is a waste.

Also schools love all that touchy feely sh@t nowadays . Helping seniors cross the street etc, etc...
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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You're not getting into Stanford with a 4.0 and normal classes unless you're in a very special situation. Schools typically look at weighted GPAs and not unweighted which means AP classes are ssential for top tier colleges, and they were not that much more difficult than regular classes. "A 'B' in an AP class is the same as an 'A' in a regular class."

Take the harder classes and work your ass of if you want tot get into Stanford. Remember not to overload and take at most 3, maybe 4 a semester. Also I would recommend getting a spot in the student government, everyone got accepted into the schools they wanted to go to and schools they dreamed of going to. It might be the most helpful tool behind your academics to getting into college. Also, do a sport if you're already not, create a club with some friends and schedule meetings once a month, join volunteer program, and do anothr EC you actually want to do while maintaining a decent GPA and you should be able to get into most colleges in the country. Good luck sure glad those days are over for me

Also if you're trying to get into Stanford, make sure you spend the entire summer working on your essay. And don't stress too much over the interview, it really doesn't matter that much, they just want to make sure you aren't some weirdo who doesn't have any social skills
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Ap classes are defiantly is taken in to consideration. If you have a 3.7 And are in 2 ap classes lets say and a person in normal classes is 3.8 youll get in over the person in normal classes. In most cases it demands on your act but at the school i got to Depaul sending in your act score was optional
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:45 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Definitely not a black and white process. I would say the colleges you are looking into are EXTREMELY competitive. So you need every advantage over the next guy. Do your research, take AP classes, have a high GPA, and finally try to make a contact at whatever school you want to go to. Fly out to check out the campuses, this may help in deciding which you would like to go to more. While at the school ask around to see who are your soon to be classmates within the department, and finally try to build a reputation with a faculty member who may vouch for you when you apply. I know your only in High School, but this the most important aspect I would have to say. This is needed when applying to graduate schools, and it will set you above the rest. Make sure you have possible research interests in mind when doing so, go in knowing of the person(s) work and you'll be golden. Good luck.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:54 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Make a direct contact with the admissions office. The rating sites base their information on surveys of staff, current students and former students. I would suspect that the admissions office deals with less traffic in the summer, so give them a call.

When I applied as an undergraduate I didn't provide GPA, simply a transcript of classes and grades and each school computing their own numerical value.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:12 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I used to work in Admissions at the University of Michigan. Apply early. You have a much better chance of getting in during early enrollment. Need to have a high GPA with AP/Honors classes. Also community service and extracurricular activities are a huge factor.

From the example you provided Student B looks better but admission would depend on other factors as well such as extracurriculars and admission essays not solely GPA.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:45 AM   #8 (permalink)
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It depends on both what classes you took (Calculus vs. Algebra) and how well you did in those classes you took. For example, a 3.8 taking gym, algebra, chemistry will not matter compared to a 3.6 taking calculus, physics, and english lit. The thing about 91% at Stanford have 3.75 or better is an example where they a) took difficult classes AND b) did well at them. There isn't anyone getting into Stanford (I don't believe) that did really well taking easy courses. That doesn't happen. They look at both what you took and how well you did.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:50 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Just go to Arizona State
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:12 AM   #10 (permalink)
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extra curriculars man. i hope you have lots.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:35 AM   #11 (permalink)
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That's actually a great point.

If you don't have any of them now - get them yesterday.

Like anything - don't think just sports, either.

Chess club.
Pick up an instrument.
Play sports.
Civic duties (homeless shelters, town clean up, recycling, all that).

Anything to show you "got out and got active" and "tried to do something with yourself" makes a huge difference.

Excellent advice. I think you said you are a Sophmore (and it isn't even mid-year yet) so you have time. Do it now.

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extra curriculars man. i hope you have lots.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:57 AM   #12 (permalink)
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You're now allowed to apply for colleges your junior year of HS for non-PSEO, undergraduate enrollment?
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:18 AM   #13 (permalink)
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First off if you have high aspirations and can handle the extra load then dont hesitate to take A.P. classes. Assuming you do well on the AP exam those credits will carry over to college and you wont have to take those classes again. I didnt take my A.P. classes seriously but once I got to college I was kicking myself at not trying harder on the exams because its extra money you have to spend and more time you will be in school.Also do as sdoug said, look at what schools offer what you are wanting to do.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:17 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Good luck, just started this year for myself.

Also check out collegeboard.com
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:31 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueNE_09 View Post
That's actually a great point.

If you don't have any of them now - get them yesterday.

Like anything - don't think just sports, either.

Chess club.
Pick up an instrument.
Play sports.
Civic duties (homeless shelters, town clean up, recycling, all that).

Anything to show you "got out and got active" and "tried to do something with yourself" makes a huge difference.

Excellent advice. I think you said you are a Sophmore (and it isn't even mid-year yet) so you have time. Do it now.
Thanks so much! Currently, I'd say I'm quite involved in extra-curriculur activities. I'm in Key Club (community service club), JSA (debate team) sophomore representative, sophomore class council representative, DECA (business club), and I play soccer when the season comes around.

Your advice is much appreciated!

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Originally Posted by Clarka3 View Post
extra curriculars man. i hope you have lots.
Thanks! ^^^^^

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueNE_09 View Post
It depends on both what classes you took (Calculus vs. Algebra) and how well you did in those classes you took. For example, a 3.8 taking gym, algebra, chemistry will not matter compared to a 3.6 taking calculus, physics, and english lit. The thing about 91% at Stanford have 3.75 or better is an example where they a) took difficult classes AND b) did well at them. There isn't anyone getting into Stanford (I don't believe) that did really well taking easy courses. That doesn't happen. They look at both what you took and how well you did.
Thanks for the insight! Definitely very helpful.

I'm currently a sophomore, but I'm taking a very rigorous course load and have a 3.78 cumulatively. Not sure if this helps anybody with their advice given, but here are the classes I'm in:

Honors English 10
AP European Studies (only AP class offered as a sophomore)
French 2
Sales and Marketing: 1
Chemistry
Pre-Calculus

To give some further details, chemistry is an 11th grade course, and Pre-Calculus is a 11th/12th grade course.

If it makes it any more INSANE, I'm also a year younger than everyone in my grade

I hate to sound like I'm bragging, but I'm simply trying to set my mind on a realistic opportunity for the future!

Thank you all!
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:35 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Not sure how i can help but just everything states above. Also good luck with your applications!
Just dont make any dumb decisions cause it will just hurt you in the end. I know how that works out very well..
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:11 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Someone earlier said it but a lot of schools ask for a weighted GPA along with the regular one. My high school provided GPAs on the 4.0 scale, and then the weighted on a 6.0 scale. If you have a 4.0 GPA, but 4.0 weighted, obviously you did not take very difficult classes and colleges will see that you did not push yourself.
Also, definitely join your student government. Biggest mistake I made. Looks great that you're involved, plus many of that student government's activities will include community service, so you can knock off two birds with one stone.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:39 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbluecolt93 View Post
Someone earlier said it but a lot of schools ask for a weighted GPA along with the regular one. My high school provided GPAs on the 4.0 scale, and then the weighted on a 6.0 scale. If you have a 4.0 GPA, but 4.0 weighted, obviously you did not take very difficult classes and colleges will see that you did not push yourself.
Also, definitely join your student government. Biggest mistake I made. Looks great that you're involved, plus many of that student government's activities will include community service, so you can knock off two birds with one stone.
Thanks for the advice! I'm definitely trying to push myself as hard as I can, but I'm beginning to wonder if I'm trying too hard?
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:55 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Thanks for the advice! I'm definitely trying to push myself as hard as I can, but I'm beginning to wonder if I'm trying too hard?
I hope you have an idea of how much of a workload you can handle. Honestly, I had no idea which colleges I was going to apply to until the summer before senior year. I also regret that I didn't push myself hard enough sophomore year. I was in all honors, but that year my HS had two APs available to our grade, and I skipped on both and my class rank plummeted from that.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:30 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbluecolt93 View Post
I hope you have an idea of how much of a workload you can handle. Honestly, I had no idea which colleges I was going to apply to until the summer before senior year. I also regret that I didn't push myself hard enough sophomore year. I was in all honors, but that year my HS had two APs available to our grade, and I skipped on both and my class rank plummeted from that.
Thanks! Hoping that I won't overdo myself!
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:20 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Hey, I'm a high school senior so I've been thinking about college 24/7 for the past months lol! But anyway, with all the scholarships and schools that I've applied for NONE of them asked for your weighted GPA. They all ask for unweighted. I'm not saying to not take any AP or Honors classes (AP credit helps so much you have no idea, and they look great on your transcript). Just make sure you still get your A's in those classes too!

I also highly recommend taking concurrent enrollment classes. These are college level courses where you earn college credit, without an AP test. These are usually free, or near free, for high school students. I go to a charter school where 9/10 classes are concurrent. Thanks to these classes and AP credit I'll graduate from high school with my Assosciates Degree and get a $2,500 scholarship for doing so.

And please volunteer. It's a good thing to do and tons of scholarships and schools look at your volunteering. I just won a $2,000 scholarship for volunteering. But don't just stop because you win some scholarships. Keep volunteering, it's a great thing to do (and its like a drug, once you start you can't stop haha!).

Anyway if you need help feel free to PM me.

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Old 12-12-2012, 10:05 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Hey, I'm a high school senior so I've been thinking about college 24/7 for the past months lol! But anyway, with all the scholarships and schools that I've applied for NONE of them asked for your weighted GPA. They all ask for unweighted. I'm not saying to not take any AP or Honors classes (AP credit helps so much you have no idea, and they look great on your transcript). Just make sure you still get your A's in those classes too!

I also highly recommend taking concurrent enrollment classes. These are college level courses where you earn college credit, without an AP test. These are usually free, or near free, for high school students. I go to a charter school where 9/10 classes are concurrent. Thanks to these classes and AP credit I'll graduate from high school with my Assosciates Degree and get a $2,500 scholarship for doing so.

And please volunteer. It's a good thing to do and tons of scholarships and schools look at your volunteering. I just won a $2,000 scholarship for volunteering. But don't just stop because you win some scholarships. Keep volunteering, it's a great thing to do (and its like a drug, once you start you can't stop haha!).

Anyway if you need help feel free to PM me.

/Life story
Thanks for the help, man!
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:51 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the help, everybody!
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