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Your Unweighted GPA and How Colleges Read Transcripts

Students and parents ask all the time about how colleges value weighted and unweighted GPAs.

The admissions office at College of the Holy Cross shared its in-house analysis form with the New York Times, allowing a peak into how carefully colleges look at your transcript.

The form can be found here.  It’s interactive, and quite helpful to see exactly how admissions officers evaluate things.

Notice that they look not only at the GPA, but at the curriculum you are taking. How rigorous is it?

Also notice that the admissions offices do keep track of your contact with them, including whether you visited, attended a college fair, or spent the night.

As you can see, your curriculum, your GPA, and your class rank are all very important.

Mark Montgomery
Educational Consultant in Denver

Reader Interactions


  1. Hey mark, I am extremely confused about my unweighted GPA… I have never gotten a B, and only a few A- but my unweighted GPA is still a 3.7. Could you possibly explain this to me? Thanks!

  2. Hello! There are a number of possible reasons for this. The best thing to do would be to check with your high school (counseling office or registrar) as each school does have slightly different policies in regards to weighting grades. Sometimes, different courses hold different weights in schools so depending on your schedule this may be part of the issue. For example, does your school offer honors/AP/IB courses? Have your taken any? Do you have a number of “elective” courses on your scheduling that aren’t receiving the same weight as academic courses? Those are just a a few things to check.

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