# GPA Scale

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If I give a 4.0 grade points for an A, and 5 grade points for an A in an honors class, is that considered a 4.0 grading scale or a 5.0 grading scale?

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5.0

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37 minutes ago, daijobu said:

If I give a 4.0 grade points for an A, and 5 grade points for an A in an honors class, is that considered a 4.0 grading scale or a 5.0 grading scale?

Just wondering - if you give a 5 for honors classes, what are you going to give for ap or dual credit? I gave an extra 0.5 for honors and an extra 1.0 for ap and dual credit classes.

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The district we’re moving to gives 4.5 for honors and 5.0 for AP/DE. I’ve also seen some smdistricts do 5.0 for honors and 6.0 for AP/DE.

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Our district gives 5.0 for both honors and AP.

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Is anyone using (or has anyone used) unweighted GPA only?

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So my question is, when the Common App asks if I'm using a 4.0 or 5.0 grading scale, which one is it?  Where 4.0 = A in regular class and 5.0 = A in honors/AP class?

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It's my understanding that's a 5.0 grading scale. Hopefully someone else will chime in, though.

ETA: I'm not so sure now. I've read arguments from various sources that say it's a 4.0 scale and others that say it's a 5.0 scale.

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9 minutes ago, daijobu said:

So my question is, when the Common App asks if I'm using a 4.0 or 5.0 grading scale, which one is it?  Where 4.0 = A in regular class and 5.0 = A in honors/AP class?

5.0

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8 hours ago, Woodland Mist Academy said:

Is anyone using (or has anyone used) unweighted GPA only?

I only use unweighted. Most schools reweigh according to their own formulas anyway.

i made the decision to go unweighted with my 2014 high school grad. Having honors classes, AP classes, and then multiple DE 300 level physics classes, no option made any sense.

I didn't weigh 2017 dd's transcript, either. It did not affect either one during the admissions process.

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19 hours ago, Woodland Mist Academy said:

Is anyone using (or has anyone used) unweighted GPA only?

I did, for both kids.

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18 hours ago, daijobu said:

So my question is, when the Common App asks if I'm using a 4.0 or 5.0 grading scale, which one is it?  Where 4.0 = A in regular class and 5.0 = A in honors/AP class?

5.0

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On 8/27/2018 at 6:45 PM, Woodland Mist Academy said:

Is anyone using (or has anyone used) unweighted GPA only?

That would make sense, unless of course you happen to live in CA. ? GPA is probably one of the most important metric for many UCs, and local schools weight AP and Honors at 5.0, so a ton of kids graduate with 4.5+. Modesty isn't a good strategy in this state. ?

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That would make sense, unless of course you happen to live in CA. ? GPA is probably one of the most important metric for many UCs, and local schools weight AP and Honors at 5.0, so a ton of kids graduate with 4.5+. Modesty isn't a good strategy in this state. ?

I'm not sure it's modesty. Maybe just the opposite: A belief in the strength of the application even without weighting the grades. ?

In all seriousness, though, you are correct. Location and context definitely matter!

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It's not modesty. Most schools unweighted the GPA, so it made more sense to us to not weight. L the merit scholarships he applied to unweighted, too.  It did not affect his acceptances/ honors program/ merit aid results.

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I would look at the colleges you may apply to....one of dss safety schools gave automatic merit aid using a weighted gpa

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Can someone explain to me why the GPA in the OP's situation is based on 5 points and not 4 points?  I thought that the purpose of weighting the gpa was to distinguish the rigor of the classes taken?  For example, a student who took a regular class and received an A would be granted 4 points, and a student who took an honors level version of the class who received an A would also receive 4 points when calculating his unweighted gpa, so the maximum gpa would be a 4.0.  Then when you took the weighted gpa into account, the honors student would be granted 5 points while the regular student would be granted 4 points.  The honors student's weighted gpa would then be 4+/4 while the regular student's gpa would still be 4/4.

My oldest is at a school that is on a 5 point scale.  If he takes an honors level class and gets an A, that is worth 5 points.  If he takes the non-honors version of the class and gets an A, that is also worth 5 points.  This scenario seems to me much different than the scenario when an honors class is worth more points than the non-honors class.

What am I not getting?

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1 minute ago, alewife said:

Can someone explain to me why the GPA in the OP's situation is based on 5 points and not 4 points?  I thought that the purpose of weighting the gpa was to distinguish the rigor of the classes taken?  For example, a student who took a regular class and received an A would be granted 4 points, and a student who took an honors level version of the class who received an A would also receive 4 points when calculating his unweighted gpa, so the maximum gpa would be a 4.0.  Then when you took the weighted gpa into account, the honors student would be granted 5 points while the regular student would be granted 4 points.  The honors student's weighted gpa would then be 4+/4 while the regular student's gpa would still be 4/4.

My oldest is at a school that is on a 5 point scale.  If he takes an honors level class and gets an A, that is worth 5 points.  If he takes the non-honors version of the class and gets an A, that is also worth 5 points.  This scenario seems to me much different than the scenario when an honors class is worth more points than the non-honors class.

What am I not getting?

I had the same thoughts bc it makes it look like a 4.5 is not an A avg.

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That would make sense, unless of course you happen to live in CA. ? GPA is probably one of the most important metric for many UCs, and local schools weight AP and Honors at 5.0, so a ton of kids graduate with 4.5+. Modesty isn't a good strategy in this state. ?

Do UC schools recalculate GPA or are ALL schools in the state, public and private, using the exact same grading scale?  In some states, things are different from district to district. Most U's have applicants from systems with different scales and they recalculate based on their own parameters. Some only include specific courses in their GPA calculations and omit course grades for subjects like PE that are calculated in the high school GPA.

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4 minutes ago, alewife said:

Can someone explain to me why the GPA in the OP's situation is based on 5 points and not 4 points?  I thought that the purpose of weighting the gpa was to distinguish the rigor of the classes taken?  For example, a student who took a regular class and received an A would be granted 4 points, and a student who took an honors level version of the class who received an A would also receive 4 points when calculating his unweighted gpa, so the maximum gpa would be a 4.0.  Then when you took the weighted gpa into account, the honors student would be granted 5 points while the regular student would be granted 4 points.  The honors student's weighted gpa would then be 4+/4 while the regular student's gpa would still be 4/4.

My oldest is at a school that is on a 5 point scale.  If he takes an honors level class and gets an A, that is worth 5 points.  If he takes the non-honors version of the class and gets an A, that is also worth 5 points.  This scenario seems to me much different than the scenario when an honors class is worth more points than the non-honors class.

What am I not getting?

I just see the "5" as referring to the most number of points that can be given for the classes offered at a school. (For ours it was regular classes=4, Honors=4.5, IB/AP=5) Our high school always gives both the weighted and unweighted GPA.

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11 minutes ago, Jen500 said:

I just see the "5" as referring to the most number of points that can be given for the classes offered at a school. (For ours it was regular classes=4, Honors=4.5, IB/AP=5) Our high school always gives both the weighted and unweighted GPA.

What is the maximum unweighted GPA a student can have?  Is it a 5 or a 4?

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1 hour ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

Do UC schools recalculate GPA or are ALL schools in the state, public and private, using the exact same grading scale?  In some states, things are different from district to district. Most U's have applicants from systems with different scales and they recalculate based on their own parameters. Some only include specific courses in their GPA calculations and omit course grades for subjects like PE that are calculated in the high school GPA.

They must be somehow standardizing it.

I have heard though (and I don’t know if that’s true) that given the sheer number of applications, the first pile of rejections is determined by the GPA possibly by computer. I don’t know how true that is or how true it is for all UCs.

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They must be somehow standardizing it.

I have heard though (and I don’t know if that’s true) that given the sheer number of applications, the first pile of rejections is determined by the GPA possibly by computer. I don’t know how true that is or how true it is for all UCs.

Do UC applications use SRARs (self-reporting academic records)?  Many large systems have switched to that process. Students enter their courses (which have a drop down menu choice of standard, college prep, honors, AP, DE, etc as qualifiers) and their grades. I am assuming, don't know positively, that the schools select their own weighting system to be computed based on those entries.

I have believed for a couple of yrs now that only students with computer-generated numbers that exceed some cut off based on the info entered into the SRAR (which also has students enter test scores, ECs, etc) actually have their applications reviewed. The rest are "dumped."  After acceptances are sent out, students have to send in verifying information.

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1 hour ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

Do UC schools recalculate GPA or are ALL schools in the state, public and private, using the exact same grading scale?

“UC has a specific way to calculate the grade point average (GPA) it requires for admission.

California applicants must earn at least a 3.0 GPA and nonresidents must earn a minimum 3.4 GPA in all "a-g" or college-preparatory courses to meet this requirement. To see how to calculate your UC GPA, follow our instructions below.

#### How to calculate your UC GPA

Convert the grades earned in all “a-g” courses completed between summer after 9th grade through summer after 11th grade to grade points: A=4 points, B=3 points, C=2 points, D=1 points. (Pluses and minuses don't count.)

If you're a California resident and want to know which of your classes count as “a-g” courses, see your high school’s “a-g” course list. If you're not a California resident, refer to the A-G course list site (a database of UC-certified course lists in California schools) and the 15 college-preparatory course categories can provide guidance on the types of courses that have been UC-approved.

2. Give yourself an extra point for each semester of a UC honors-level course, with a maximum of 8 points between 10th and 11th grades.

For California residents:

• For 10th grade, you cannot use more than 4 honors points.
• Grades of D or F in an honors course do not earn an extra point.
• Honors courses are Advanced Placement courses, International Baccalaureate Higher Level and designated Standard Level courses, UC-transferable college courses and UC-certified honors courses that appear on your school's course list.

Nonresidents:

Honors courses are calculated differently. UC will grant honors weight for AP or IB courses only, but not for school-designated honors courses. The weight is given to letter grades of A, B, or C.

This is your UC GPA (for example: 3.57). Do not round up or down.”

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1 hour ago, alewife said:

What is the maximum unweighted GPA a student can have?  Is it a 5 or a 4?

The maximum unweighted GPA in our school district is a 4.0

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1 hour ago, Jen500 said:

The maximum unweighted GPA in our school district is a 4.0

If you had to state the scale on the common app, would you state that your school is on a 4.0 scale?

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8 minutes ago, alewife said:

If you had to state the scale on the common app, would you state that your school is on a 4.0 scale?

I'm pretty sure we put in the weighted gpa on a 5.0 scale (my disclaimer--dss did this on their own, so it must have been obvious to them as they didn't ask for my input)

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6 minutes ago, Jen500 said:

I'm pretty sure we put in the weighted gpa on a 5.0 scale (my disclaimer--dss did this on their own, so it must have been obvious to them as they didn't ask for my input)

Thanks for the replies.  I didn't remember seeing more than one option when reporting the gpa scale.  However, my D's transcript only lists an unweighted gap, so maybe once that was indicated on the common app, the other questions pertaining to a weighted gpa did not appear????

If I am understanding correctly now, it looks like you can enter both a maximum unweighted scale and a weighted scale?  That would make more sense to me.

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15 hours ago, alewife said:

Can someone explain to me why the GPA in the OP's situation is based on 5 points and not 4 points?  I thought that the purpose of weighting the gpa was to distinguish the rigor of the classes taken?  For example, a student who took a regular class and received an A would be granted 4 points, and a student who took an honors level version of the class who received an A would also receive 4 points when calculating his unweighted gpa, so the maximum gpa would be a 4.0.  Then when you took the weighted gpa into account, the honors student would be granted 5 points while the regular student would be granted 4 points.  The honors student's weighted gpa would then be 4+/4 while the regular student's gpa would still be 4/4.

My oldest is at a school that is on a 5 point scale.  If he takes an honors level class and gets an A, that is worth 5 points.  If he takes the non-honors version of the class and gets an A, that is also worth 5 points.  This scenario seems to me much different than the scenario when an honors class is worth more points than the non-honors class.

What am I not getting?

Thank you, alewife.  I was starting to think I was crazy for thinking it was a 4.0 scale, when everyone on this thread is telling me it's 5.0.  Even though it sounds like an oxymoron, I hear so many kids earning, say, a 4.5 on a 4.0 scale.  The extra half a point is for all the A's in honors classes that were earned.

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So is there a definitive answer?

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I don't know what the answer is, but someone in the comments of the "What is a Weighted GPA" article asked the very same question about 4.0 vs. 5.0 scales. The reply echoes the posters on here who said if you weight a GPA, you have to say it is out of the higher #. So, according to that logic, there is no 4.5 out of a 4.0 scale.

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On 8/29/2018 at 5:49 AM, alewife said:

Can someone explain to me why the GPA in the OP's situation is based on 5 points and not 4 points?  I thought that the purpose of weighting the gpa was to distinguish the rigor of the classes taken?  For example, a student who took a regular class and received an A would be granted 4 points, and a student who took an honors level version of the class who received an A would also receive 4 points when calculating his unweighted gpa, so the maximum gpa would be a 4.0.  Then when you took the weighted gpa into account, the honors student would be granted 5 points while the regular student would be granted 4 points.  The honors student's weighted gpa would then be 4+/4 while the regular student's gpa would still be 4/4.

My oldest is at a school that is on a 5 point scale.  If he takes an honors level class and gets an A, that is worth 5 points.  If he takes the non-honors version of the class and gets an A, that is also worth 5 points.  This scenario seems to me much different than the scenario when an honors class is worth more points than the non-honors class.

What am I not getting?

I think we are all agreeing. That’s what our school does as well. So unweighted GPA would be 4.0, but the weighted one would be on a 5.0 scale.

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On 8/29/2018 at 7:49 AM, alewife said:

Can someone explain to me why the GPA in the OP's situation is based on 5 points and not 4 points?  I thought that the purpose of weighting the gpa was to distinguish the rigor of the classes taken?  For example, a student who took a regular class and received an A would be granted 4 points, and a student who took an honors level version of the class who received an A would also receive 4 points when calculating his unweighted gpa, so the maximum gpa would be a 4.0.  Then when you took the weighted gpa into account, the honors student would be granted 5 points while the regular student would be granted 4 points.  The honors student's weighted gpa would then be 4+/4 while the regular student's gpa would still be 4/4.

In this example, the unweighted GPA for both students would be 4/4. The weighted GPA for the regular student would be 4/5 and the honor's student would be 5/5 - thus showing the rigor of the honor student's schedule.

Edited to add:  I don't get the 5 pt scale thing at all, but I know there are examples on the internet about switching between a 5 pt and 4 pt scale.

Edited by RootAnn
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4 hours ago, RootAnn said:

In this example, the unweighted GPA for both students would be 4/4. The weighted GPA for the regular student would be 4/5 and the honor's student would be 5/5 - thus showing the rigor of the honor student's schedule.

Edited to add:  I don't get the 5 pt scale thing at all, but I know there are examples on the internet about switching between a 5 pt and 4 pt scale.

Ok. This makes sense.  The school profile for my public school lists the grading scheme as college prep classes A = 4. Honors classes A = 4.5, and AP classes A = 5 points.  The colleges must have a fun time evaluating GPAs with all of these different weighting scenarios.

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On 8/30/2018 at 5:06 AM, Woodland Mist Academy said:

So is there a definitive answer?

Not that I can see.  I'm getting 4's and 5's and arguments for both sides.  I got a response on hs2coll for 4.0.  But this is from the Common App help page:

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• 2 weeks later...

I thought I was all set with the 5.0 GPA weighted scale, but now I'm not so sure.

When the Common App asks for highest GPA in class, do you put your teen's GPA? Or 5.0? Wouldn't a student need to take all AP or dual enrollment to get a 5.0? If the student didn't because it wasn't a feasible option, do you put 5.0 anyway? How can that be the highest GPA in the class if there's only one student, and they didn't get a 5.0? I would just go with unweighted scale and 4.0, but it might make a difference somewhere.

I don't see a place on the common app to list both weighted and unweighted GPA and scales. Am I missing something?

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I think I skipped answering that question because it didn't have a little star by it. I admit to not answering a lot of the questions that weren't mandatory. Hitting Preview on that section, it seemed silly to put anything there when it clearly stated right above there that the class size was 1.

There are a couple on the page with the counselor letter that I'm pondering skipping. The answer to "How long have you known this student and in what context?" seems like a "Duh!" I might still answer "what are the first words that come to your mind to describe this student?" if I can answer it on a good day. The first words that came to my mind on some days might not be the best ones to include here . . .

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1 minute ago, RootAnn said:

I think I skipped answering that question because it didn't have a little star by it. I admit to not answering a lot of the questions that weren't mandatory. Hitting Preview on that section, it seemed silly to put anything there when it clearly stated right above there that the class size was 1.

I totally missed that the question was optional. I'll probably just skip it. Thanks!

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It seems ridiculous to put rank and even more so to weight it, but it's used for some scholarship purposes, so I'm hesitant to leave it off. So many decisions...

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I'm confused now. Putting 4.0 makes perfect sense to me, and is what I had put in, but the screenshot from Common App makes me pause. I could put 5.0, but there's no way my daughter could actually get that because I cannot afford more than a couple DEs each semester. She has all As, but only has so many honors and DE. Not sure what to do? I may just leave the 4.0?  I think her transcript is pretty self-explanatory.

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I've already submitted one document with the 5.0 scale. Now I'm second guessing as well. From now on, I may leave the Common App unweighted and put both weighted and unweighted on the transcript . I will also put explanations in the school profile, as well as the homeschool section that asks about grading scales.

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I submitted an unweighted GPA, which seems to be the clearest, most credible number to submit, so I used a 4.0 scale.

On the transcript, I also put down an overall, weighted GPA, up at the top, under the unweighted GPA. I explained the weighting GPA calculation in the "Key to Grading" box on my transcript as well as in my "School Profile."

Edited by yvonne
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I only did unweighted for my first son. His first choice was a school that told me there was no reason to weight his grade as they would recalculate it anyway.

My second (this year) son is getting both weighted and unweighted. He needs a weighted GPA for scholarship applications as some will not recalculate his GPA and even if he has  4.0 on a 4-point scale, it doesn't compare well to kids that have a weighted GPA.

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1 hour ago, Julie of KY said:

I only did unweighted for my first son. His first choice was a school that told me there was no reason to weight his grade as they would recalculate it anyway.

My second (this year) son is getting both weighted and unweighted. He needs a weighted GPA for scholarship applications as some will not recalculate his GPA and even if he has  4.0 on a 4-point scale, it doesn't compare well to kids that have a weighted GPA.

How do you know how to weight it? What scale do you use? Does the scholarship application specify?

I was going to use unweighted on a 4.0 scale and weighted on a 5.0 scale, then I realized a local public school uses a weighted 6.0 scale. (Where's the banging head emoji?!)

Maybe I'll use one of my four available transcript uploads to have a chart calculating the many and varied ways to weight the GPA. ?

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2 hours ago, Julie of KY said:

I only did unweighted for my first son. His first choice was a school that told me there was no reason to weight his grade as they would recalculate it anyway.

My second (this year) son is getting both weighted and unweighted. He needs a weighted GPA for scholarship applications as some will not recalculate his GPA and even if he has  4.0 on a 4-point scale, it doesn't compare well to kids that have a weighted GPA.

How did you know that a non-weighted gpa would be penalized regarding merit aid?  Was it stated on the college website or did you have to call and ask?

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The fact that I should have weighted the grade for a scholarship application, I found out after the fact in talking to the college. I will weight the grade for my second specifically for these scholarships. I do find it unfortunate that schools can't take an unweighted grade with multiple AP classes and compare it to someone else that has a weighted grade.

For my older son's first choice, I specifically emailed and asked the admission counselor if I needed to weight the grade. She said there was no need to weight the grade since they unweight everything and redo it. She also told me that I didn't need to call anything honors for that school.

I think the more that a school has a real person look at the application and course descriptions, the more they will form their own opinion as to level of courses and GPA. Most schools however simply take a number and fill in the blank.

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1 hour ago, alewife said:

How did you know that a non-weighted gpa would be penalized regarding merit aid?  Was it stated on the college website or did you have to call and ask?

Last year when we were applying, some colleges had charts on their website with criteria for automatic merit, and they were obviously using a weighted scale. (i.e. GPA 4.2+ with SAT 1480 for xx amount of merit aid)

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Just now, Jen500 said:

Last year when we were applying, some colleges had charts on their website with criteria for automatic merit, and they were obviously using a weighted scale. (i.e. GPA 4.2+ with SAT 1480 for xx amount of merit aid)

Yeah, I have seen those ones.  I am just wondering if there are some schools out there that don't publish the fact that weighted gpa's are given more weight when awarding merit money by their school.

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Do you include the grades so far this year on the Common App and transcript? At what point would you list the current year's grades? For example if you submit it now - no, but in October or November -yes? There's a place to mark what date the grades are included through. Would it be appropriate to include the current grades through whatever date it's submitted? If the weighted scale is used and grades for the current year aren't included yet, the senior AP and honors classes don't count, correct? In other words, the GPA would be higher once those grades are included because of the weight of APs, DE, etc. If applying early, the lower GPA might be what the decision is based on. Or am I misunderstanding?

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Also, I just remembered some local schools factor in + and - . A+ gets 5.33 instead of 5.  If some scholarships are given without using a universal scale for GPA , some students will miss out just because of how the grades are calculated. I really need to let go of the idea of fairness or that this process should make sense...

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