Since we are coming up on freshman final decisions shortly, and this is also the time when a vast number of high school juniors begin their college visits, I thought I would go over the concept of grades and GPA once again. Remember, this is how UGA looks at things, as I do not speak for any other colleges!
While writing this post, I have randomly selected three files in our read pool, and looked at their transcripts. The first applicant has a GPA listed on their transcript as a 4.09 GPA, while we have a 3.47 GPA, The second has a 92.6 GPA, while we have one of 3.33, and the last one has a 3.85 GPA, while we have it calculated as a 3.19 GPA. As you can see, what a high school has as a GPA may vary greatly from what UGA has calculated (that last one has a difference of .66!). Why is this, you may ask (yes, I know you are asking it right now). As I have said several times before, UGA is looking at your actual posted grades in your academic classes, whether it is semester or block or trimester, and then calculates an admissions GPA based upon these course grades.
In other words, UGA Admissions does not look at the GPA listed on your high school transcript! You can take a Sharpie pen and mark through it for all that I care, because we do not use it! And the reason why? Because most school districts in the country determine their own method of calculating a GPA, adding weight here or there, using X classes or Y classes, etc. And I am fine with that, as every school district has the right to calculate a GPA however they want.
But in the UGA Admissions Office, we try to look at all the grades in an equal method, whether you apply from Arizona or Athens, GA. We look at your academic core grades to understand how many A’s, B’s, C’s, etc. you have earned, and then go about determining a GPA (for more details on how we calculate an admissions GPA, see an earlier post at http://ugaadmissions.blogspot.com/2009/07/gpas-grades-and-reality.html).
So when you submit a comment like “I have a 3.32 GPA, …”, I have no real understanding what that GPA is. My suggestion? Start looking at your grades within the A/B/C/D/F categories, and try and understand if you are a mostly A/a few B student, a mostly B with a few C’s student, and so on. Go ahead and figure out what your UGA GPA would approximately be. Because the next time I hear someone say “My son is a 4.0+ student”, and when reply stating that they must have all A’s, I hope that I do not see a look of confusion. Remember, it is grades that we look at on a transcript, not a GPA posted on the top corner!