Weighted High School Grades

Weighted GPA, Weighting GPA, HS Weighted GPA

Do you feel you’ve been unfairly penalized by your high school for taking a course (and doing well in a course) that ended up hurting your weighted GPA?

There’s an article in “Deseret News” by Eric Schulzke that we figured we’d share with our readers. The article is entitled “How college admissions are distorting the character of high school students.” So the headline is certainly a grabber. While the piece largely focuses on how the highly selective college admissions process needs to change (and how the “Turning the Tide” report out of Harvard attempted — with attempted being the key word here — to do just that), we’d like to focus on a smaller issue raised in the piece. And that concerns weighted courses.

At some high schools that weight grades, taking certain courses and doing well in them can significantly hurt a student’s GPA. So let’s say that a student fills up his course load with all AP courses, including in all five of the core disciplines, but then chooses to take a creative writing course because he simply loves writing. Maybe he wants to be write poetry when he grows up. Or maybe he wants to be a TV writer. The point is that it shouldn’t hurt a student’s GPA to take a course and do perfectly in that course if they’re taking that course in addition — and not in lieu of any core subject. So we completely agree with the students and parents across America and around the world who believe this is ridiculous on the part of these high schools.

At Ivy Coach, we help students beat colleges at their own game.

If you attend a high school where your GPA will suffer if you take a course such as this (and if you’re already enrolled in all of the most rigorous courses across all five core disciplines), write a Comment below and include the name of your high school. Maybe we’ll call them out for the practice. Because no student should be penalized for wanting to learn. After all, the most selective colleges in America all want students who love learning. So it’s very much antithetical to this important mission.

And while we do support the notion of changing this policy (absolutely!), while these types of policies are in place at these high schools, we will always encourage our students to satiate their passion for, say, creative writing without hurting their GPAs. In this way, we help our students beat colleges at their own game.


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  • Dennis Duffin says:

    I completely agree with you! I was actually knocked down from #1 to#2 class rank wise at my high school because I took a theater arts course that i was interested in (I got an A in it too), while the person who IS #1 actually took a study hall. The study hall isnt calculated into the gpa, but my elective was. It’s a screwed up system, but oh well.

  • Lydia Randolph says:

    I am from Edgewood High school in Ashtabula Ohio. I am currently enrolled to take all the AP classes my school has to offer, but I also have taken extra science courses as I really love science. These courses are hurting me as there are no weighted grades left. Also the school switched the system in the middle of my sophomore year so my full course load my freshman year hurts me drastically since I did not take a study hall and they are weighting nothing that year. Now from having all A’s I have dropped to 5th my junior year and probably my senior year will go even further down because I told the school board I am picking the choice towards my future and working hard not 3 study halls my senior year.

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