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Is it still possible to get into a top 20 school with a 3.8 gpa?

For context in 9th grade I got a 4.0 gpa and for this year I got a 3.6 gpa for semester 1 despite the fact I had a 4 for all my classes except for marketing. I got a 3.2 which is considered an A at my school. But because I enrolled into marketing class late which is not my fault at all my teacher decided to give me 0.25/0.50 credit even though I made up the past work. My counselor decided to change my class before the end of the semester which I was so confused about and I wasn’t allowed to change my class. The way my school calculates gpa is extremely weird and unfair. There’s no way I got a 3.6 gpa for the first semester that doesn’t seem right.

I am in 10th grade.

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A. Michelle’s Answer

Aisha - A 3.8 GPA will not disqualify you automatically from admission to a top 20 school. Schools awill consider the difficulty of courses you take and the progression of grades. For the former, a 3.8 in rigorous classes (e.g. Advanced Placement) would be viewed more favorably. Similarly, increasing your GPA would be viewed positively. Remember that GPA is only one factor considered for admission. Selective schools also consider at essays/personal statements, recommendations, leadership, non-school activities and, in many cases standardized test scores.
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Xiaojie Johan’s Answer

Hello Aisha,

Thanks for asking! It is possible to get into a top 20 university/college with a 3.8 GPA, but it will ultimately depend on your other school activities such as outside of school activities, leadership positions and standardized test scores. It also depends on the strength of your high school as some schools are feeder schools to a top 20 university/college. You also will not know if you can get in or not unless you apply.

Hopefully this helps!

Best regards,

Johan
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Rafael’s Answer

GPA is just one factor they consider, along with test scores, extracurriculars, essays, and more. So, while a high/perfect GPA is a solid achievement, it doesn't guarantee admission. It's also important to remember that each school has its own criteria and the applicant pool can vary each year. So, keep working hard, focus on your strengths, and don't stress too much about the GPA calculation issue. Talk to your counselor or college advisors for more guidance. Good luck!
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