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Calculating weighted GPA


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#1 yvonne

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 10:36 AM

I want to include both unweighted and weighted GPA on my sons' transcripts and want to be sure I'm calculating this correctly.

 

Assuming +0.5 for an "honors" class and +1.0 for an AP/College class, would this be correct?

 

3.75 credits of regular classes with A's (4.0 x 3.75 = 15)

4.00 credits of "honors" classes with A's (4.5 x 4 = 18)

=========

33/7.75 = 4.26 weighted GPA for the year?

 

For a cumulative, to-date, weighted GPA, I'd follow the same process but calculate the total in Grades 9, 10, and 11?

 

 

It seems silly to include the "electives" like PE, "Instrumental Music," etc. in an academic GPA, but it might make things more confusing to not include them.  I have them listed w/ grades & credits in an "Electives" section on the transcript. Should I just leave them in the GPA calculation so I don't have to explain anything anywhere? I am completely out of space on the transcript, if I want to keep it to one page. Could put it in the School Profile, "Grading" section, but they'd have to go looking for it.



#2 Barb_

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 10:53 AM

If you google a little bit, you can find grade weighting calculators. I used to have one I liked a lot but it has been a few years and I don't remember where it's at.

As far as keeping electives in the GPA, I would leave them in there. Schools do. If a college wants a core GPA, they usually break it out themselves.
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#3 yvonne

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 02:19 PM

Thanks for the suggestion! If I have the correct process, though, I can do the calculating. I just want to make sure it is the correct process. I would be mortified if I sent in a transcript and it turned out I'd miscalculated something.


Edited by yvonne, 10 October 2017 - 02:20 PM.


#4 lewelma

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 03:03 PM

Have you checked with the schools?  None of ours wanted weighted grades. But they did want clarity as to the rigor of the classes.


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#5 Barb_

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 03:17 PM

Thanks for the suggestion! If I have the correct process, though, I can do the calculating. I just want to make sure it is the correct process. I would be mortified if I sent in a transcript and it turned out I'd miscalculated something.


I never gave extra weight to honors classes just because honors seems subjective and squishy. An AP score or college grade gives a weighted grade credibility. And I agree to ask the school. Ours wanted weighted grades, some don't.

#6 dirty ethel rackham

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 03:26 PM

There is no one "correct" answer.  One school in my district gives a full point extra for honors and AP (but does not weight dual-enrollment (??.)  A private school in the area does the 0.5 extra for honors and the full point for AP (but they don't offer many honors classes).  I put weighted GPA on my transcript because that is what all the high schools in our area do.  While it may not have made a difference in acceptance, but it made a HUGE difference in scholarships from the school.  I would hate for a kid to miss out on an automatic scholarship because they were put at a disadvantage by not weighting.  If a school wants to unweight a transcript, I say let them do it. 

 

I do not grade things like PE because it pulls down the GPA and because I don't feel that it is worth coming up with a rubric.  For us PE is not about getting a grade, but out creating habits to live a healthy lifestyle.  

 

And I explain the grading and weighting in the school profile as well as specify that I don't grade PE.  


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#7 yvonne

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 03:37 PM

Have you checked with the schools?  None of ours wanted weighted grades. But they did want clarity as to the rigor of the classes.

 

I've _heard_ that it can affect scholarship/merit aid offers not to have a weighted gpa. That's the only reason I'm including it. I'll have the unweighted GPA by year and a cumulative unweighted GPA.  The only place I'll indicate a weighted GPA is up at the top, under the unweighted GPA, and I'll put a note in the notes section about how I weighted (0.5 for honors, 1.0 for AP/College). 

The school can completely ignore it, or they can go in and re-weight according to their own standards. I really don't care. But I don't want to leave out a data point that might possibly matter.   I don't see any downside to including it.


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#8 yvonne

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 03:49 PM

I never gave extra weight to honors classes just because honors seems subjective and squishy. An AP score or college grade gives a weighted grade credibility. And I agree to ask the school. Ours wanted weighted grades, some don't.

Here's my thinking....

 

I've pretty much settled on how I'm weighting. There are many ways to do it. I just need one. I'm opting to go with what a couple of the private local schools do. It makes more sense to me than the local public school's weighting of +1.0 for either an AP or an "honors" course.

 

I'm also pretty much settled on including a weighted GPA with the unweighted one. There's just no reason not to. The school can do whatever it wants with it.

 

Do I really need to ask every school what they do?  If they only use an unweighted GPA, it's right there. They can completely ignore the weighted one. Does having a weighted GPA have any negative impact on a school that only uses unweighted?  What do you do if you only put unweighted and then come across somewhere that it _mattered_ that I didn't put a weighted GPA in?  Upload a second transcript, I guess. But why risk it? Why not just put the info down from the beginning?

 

If the unweighted gpa is front & center, I don't see any downside to indicating a weighted GPA.  I hope I'm not missing something obvious!

 

ETA:  The one place it might matter is on the Common App where they ask if GPA is weighted or unweighted. I'm planning to say unweighted there, and to put in an unweighted GPA bec I know weighted is pretty arbitrary about which courses each individual school or each parent weighted and how much.  If they want to see weighted, they'll need to look at the transcript for it.

 


Edited by yvonne, 10 October 2017 - 03:51 PM.

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#9 yvonne

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 03:56 PM

 While it may not have made a difference in acceptance, but it made a HUGE difference in scholarships from the school.  I would hate for a kid to miss out on an automatic scholarship because they were put at a disadvantage by not weighting.  If a school wants to unweight a transcript, I say let them do it. 

 

I do not grade things like PE because it pulls down the GPA and because I don't feel that it is worth coming up with a rubric.  For us PE is not about getting a grade, but out creating habits to live a healthy lifestyle.  

 

And I explain the grading and weighting in the school profile as well as specify that I don't grade PE.  

 

We may not even qualify for a scholarship, but I definitely don't want to miss any opportunity if there is one!

If PE is an A, that would not pull down a 4.0 GPA, right?

It would only pull down a weighted GPA, right?

Hm. Maybe I should take the graded electives out of the GPA.


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#10 dirty ethel rackham

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 04:05 PM

We may not even qualify for a scholarship, but I definitely don't want to miss any opportunity if there is one!

If PE is an A, that would not pull down a 4.0 GPA, right?

It would only pull down a weighted GPA, right?

Hm. Maybe I should take the graded electives out of the GPA.

An A in PE would not pull down an unweighted GPA, but it would on a weighted.  Dd is upset that her "at home" classes are messing with her weighted GPA since I am not weighting those. :glare:   She is taking all weighted classes at the high school.  


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#11 yvonne

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 04:23 PM

I never gave extra weight to honors classes just because honors seems subjective and squishy. An AP score or college grade gives a weighted grade credibility.

 

Totally agree w/ the subjectivity & squishiness factor of "honors" vs anything else. That's why I cannot write "honors" without putting it in quotes! It's completely subjective. If a provider labels something "honors," I'll take it. Or, if a standard college text is used, I'll also call it "honors," as with Lukeion's Greek 1 & 2 which use the Athenaze text. But, yes, that is a subjective decision.

 

In fact, I think grades overall are completely squishy, outside the context of a single teacher with a group of students. All they're good for is comparing one student to another within the same body of students. They are not an absolute, objective metric because they are not at all standardized, even between teachers at the same school sometimes, let alone between different schools across a state or across the nation.

 

However, grades, "honors" vs "regular" vs "AP" classes... all of it is a system we have to do our best to work within. There is no absolute, objective answer.

 

 

Mostly I was just looking for confirmation of how to calculate weighted GPA, assuming a weight of +0.5 for some classes and +1.0 for some classes (and no additional weighting for some classes.)


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#12 Barb_

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 04:32 PM

Totally agree w/ the subjectivity & squishiness factor of "honors" vs anything else. That's why I cannot write "honors" without putting it in quotes! It's completely subjective. If a provider labels something "honors," I'll take it. Or, if a standard college text is used, I'll also call it "honors," as with Lukeion's Greek 1 & 2 which use the Athenaze text. But, yes, that is a subjective decision.

In fact, I think grades overall are completely squishy, outside the context of a single teacher with a group of students. All they're good for is comparing one student to another within the same body of students. They are not an absolute, objective metric because they are not at all standardized, even between teachers at the same school sometimes, let alone between different schools across a state or across the nation.

However, grades, "honors" vs "regular" vs "AP" classes... all of it is a system we have to do our best to work within. There is no absolute, objective answer.


Mostly I was just looking for confirmation of how to calculate weighted GPA, assuming a weight of +0.5 for some classes and +1.0 for some classes (and no additional weighting for some classes.)


Got it :) If nothing else, your thread proves everything about transcripts is actually pretty squishy lol
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#13 RootAnn

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 09:07 PM

33/7.75 = 4.26 weighted GPA for the year?

 

The way you explained it is how I have calculated it on dd#1's transcript-in-the-works. So, I think you did it correctly. :-)


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#14 yvonne

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 09:14 PM

Thank you so much, RootAnn!  It seems pretty straightforward to me, (once one decides on amount of weighting & for what) but an irl friend thought I was off.

 

Thank you!



#15 katilac

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 10:12 AM

I've _heard_ that it can affect scholarship/merit aid offers not to have a weighted gpa. That's the only reason I'm including it. I'll have the unweighted GPA by year and a cumulative unweighted GPA.  The only place I'll indicate a weighted GPA is up at the top, under the unweighted GPA, and I'll put a note in the notes section about how I weighted (0.5 for honors, 1.0 for AP/College). 

The school can completely ignore it, or they can go in and re-weight according to their own standards. I really don't care. But I don't want to leave out a data point that might possibly matter.   I don't see any downside to including it.

 

You might have heard that from me, I post it about once a day on these boards, lol! 

 

Yes, colleges can simply ignore it if they don't want it. But, if they do accept it for scholarship purposes, it can equal a lot more money. 

 

dd did have the unweighted score she needed for her scholarship, but if her GPA had been 1/10 of a point lower, it would have cost us $6,000 per year or $24,000 total with an unweighted score. I would do a lap dance in the admissions office for that kind of money, so I'm not going to fret over 'squishy' categories. If it's weighted in my school district, it's weighted on my transcript. 

 

So, yes, I very much regard it as worth it to include both weighted and unweighted GPA on the transcript. One could always plan on sending weighted only to certain schools, but what if there is a scholarship you aren't aware of, or you stick the wrong transcript in the envelope? Good luck convincing them that your official transcript should have included weighted GPA, and you would really like to change it now and get a scholarship. Because you won't know you did that until they send you an awards package! 

 

It's 12 extra characters on the transcript. My constant advice it to calculate it, include it, and then don't worry about it. 


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#16 yvonne

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 10:20 PM

Katilac- Did you include electives (PE, "instrumental music", etc) in your GPA calculations?  Either unweighted or weighted?

 

On the Common App, I'm planning to list the unweighted, but on my transcript, I'll have an extra 12 characters lol giving the weighted gpa, at the top, just under the unweighted.  Is that what you did?  Or did you list the weighted on the CommonApp form?

 

Thank you!
 



#17 PinkyandtheBrains.

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 09:03 AM

Does someone have a sample transcript with weighted grades they would be willing to share so I can see how you set up the two GPA, weighted and unweighted. 



#18 katilac

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 01:50 AM

 

Katilac- Did you include electives (PE, "instrumental music", etc) in your GPA calculations?  Either unweighted or weighted?

 

On the Common App, I'm planning to list the unweighted, but on my transcript, I'll have an extra 12 characters lol giving the weighted gpa, at the top, just under the unweighted.  Is that what you did?  Or did you list the weighted on the CommonApp form?

 

Thank you!
 

 

 

Yes, every class they get credit for is calculated into the GPA. None of our at-home electives are weighted (mostly foreign languages and fine arts), but the ones taken DE at the university are weighted because that's how my school district does it. 

 

I don't really remember how we did the Common App, but I am sure I put weighted GPA unless they explicitly state that you can't, lol. If schools are going to recalculate, then they are going to recalculate no matter how you do it. 

 

 

Does someone have a sample transcript with weighted grades they would be willing to share so I can see how you set up the two GPA, weighted and unweighted. 

 

I do my transcripts as a table, and I just have both GPAs in one cell side-by-side: ~Weighted: 4.78 ~Unweighted 4.0 

 

I use a small black circle instead of "~" on the actual transcript, but I don't know how to do that here. 

 

Tomorrow I'll try to actually show a transcript sample. 


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