5 answers

If I have an unweighted GPA less than a 4.0, will it look bad to any Ivy League schools that I apply to?

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Hey! I'm Ila (pronounced ee-la). This question has been something that I've been trying to find an answer to for a while. I currently have a 4.0, but my classes are pretty hard, and I can only hope to keep my 4.0 at the end of the semester. Any advice helps- thanks! #school #college #college-admissions #college-advice #gpa

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5 answers

Sharon’s Answer

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Ila,
I fully agree with Sheryl's advice. I also graduated from one of the Ivy's (and have a master's from another). I have been interviewing high school seniors for my alma mater for many years. I would encourage you to research the schools online and visit if possible. Identify specific programs and activities that interest you and be prepared to discuss these in your application and interview. Assuming your test scores and GPA are competitive and you've taken a rigorous courseload, focus on what sets you apart from your classmates with similar stats. Be prepared to discuss specifically what attracts you to the school(s) - this could include professors, research, classes, majors, concentrations, clubs, student project teams, etc.
All that being said, I agree that you have some great options as a Georgia resident.
Good Luck to you!
Sharon

Sharon recommends the following next steps:

  • Research schools online
  • Visit schools (if possible)
  • Talk to current students at the schools on your list
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Sheryl T. Smikle,’s Answer

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Ila,

As a Seven Sister graduate and the friend of many Ivy League alumnae/i, I will tell you that you do not need a perfect GPA. However, you do need an academic record that demonstrates intellectual rigor, breadth, and consistently strong grades. Additionally, your SATs/ACT scores should be very competitive.
Having substantive extracurricular activities also helps to round out what you have to offer. Admissions Officers actually construct a college class that is a community, representing the values and aspirations of the institution.
Better to visit some of these colleges first before applying. The insight gained from first hand knowledge will reduce the concerns you have about one data point. Remember: these schools attract many students with strong GPAs, including valedictorians and salutatorians. What will be the differentiator is how the student applicant presents on paper wholisitically, not just grades--although they are a key element.

Good luck! This is an exciting time for you.

Sheryl Smikle, PhD
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Angela D.’s Answer

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Hi Ila! Greetings from Atlanta! Great question! Okay, Ivy League schools focus not only on GPA, but test scores as well. They also consider your essay and letters of recommendation. Acceptance rates are higher for early decision/action too. It also depends on the major that you are pursuing. Speaking with your school counselor will help. Please note that you have several top notch universities here in Georgia,.,,UGA, Emory, Georgia Tech, etc. and you won't pay out of state tuition. May I gently ask some questions for you to ponder upon...what are your goals, both in university and career? Short-term and long-term? If you want to spread your wings and travel, consider a semester or summer abroad. Volunteering at something that has meaning to you is also a laudable way of not only giving back, but learning more about yourself. These opportunities make for wonderful letters of recommendation, but you need to be sincere about your service. Also note that if the university that you land at isn't a good fit, you can always transfer and most, if not all, credits will come with you. May I humbly suggest that it is your success in all ways (self, service, school, career, life) that is the most important. I wish you the best in your endeavors, Dr. B

Angela D. recommends the following next steps:

  • Research
  • Self reflection
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Meghan’s Answer

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Hi Ila - I agree with Angela! Schools look at a full range of your profile as a student. I would encourage you to apply where you want to go - but make sure you're focusing not only on if a school is good / prestigious / etc, but also whether you feel like you can see yourself there. It's so important to think about the community you're entering and what you want that to look like. For me, that was as important throughout college as the education itself.
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Jennifer’s Answer

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Hi lla, the only thing I would add here is that most colleges and universities will ask for unweighted GPAs now. This has been for the past 5-10 years, as the AP system in high schools has grown and those classes don't carry as much weight as they used to.
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