GPA & Class Rank

  • GPA & Class Rank A student's high school GPA is one of the most misunderstood topics that we encounter. This is because there is no single GPA formula that applies to all students, in all situations. Every high school has the freedom to assign weighted grade points to their GPA's - or not, as they see fit. Furthermore, depending on who (or which institution) is viewing a student's transcript, they all have differing views on how to calculate the GPA, what classes to include in the GPA, and whether to assign weighted grade points. The most important thing to understand is that colleges do not use a high school's GPA formula for their admission decisions! To help parents and students better comprehend this issue, we have provided a sampling of organizations and programs (below), that each has its own unique formula for calculating a student's GPA, what courses they use in their GPA's, and how they evaluate grades:

    As you'll note in the Princeton & USC Admission statistics (above), most private and independent colleges use an unweighted GPA in their admission review process. That does not mean they don't care about AP or Honors coursework. Private schools prefer to focus their attention on the overall rigor of a student’s program and how that student performed in the context of the school they attended - rather than assigning weighted grade points for advanced level courses in the GPA. The one thing that all colleges want to see is that students have challenged themselves in high school by taking the most rigorous curriculum they are capable of. This is clearly the best predictor of future success in college. Thus, the primary reasons a student should take Honors or Advanced Placement (AP) courses would be to learn more, to challenge themselves, and to prepare themselves for college - not for artificial grade points that their high school may choose to assign. Colleges will ultimately take the rigor of a student's overall program into account when they evaluate the transcript - each school in their own unique way!
     
    click here Click here for more information about GPA vs. Course Rigor in College Admissions  

    For all of the aforementioned reasons, the OPHS faculty believes that weighted grade points on the high school transcript should not be a deciding factor in a student’s course selection process. We always encourage students to take the most rigorous courses they are capable of in the subjects where they have both demonstrated ability and passion. Accordingly, effective with the class of 2010 Oak Park High School no longer assigned weighted grades for any courses. The OPHS GPA is calculated on a 4 point scale using the following grade points for all classes:

    A= 4 grade points; B= 3 grade points; C= 2 grade points; D= 1 grade point; F= 0 grade point. The (+ -) indicators are for information purposes only, there is no numerical value assigned to them. 
    Below is an example of how OPHS calculates it's unweighted GPA:
     

    CLASSES

    GRADES

    GRADE POINTS

    English II Honors

     A-

    4

    Biology AP

    B

    3

    World History

    C

    2

    Geometry

    B

    3

    Spanish II

    A

    4

    Physical Education II

      A+

    4

    Total Grade Points

     

    20

    Total Grade Points divided by
    6 classes = GPA

     

    20/6 = 3.33 OPHS GPA


    How do the UC & CSU Systems Calculate The High School GPA?

    As referenced above, the UC & CSU systems have their own criteria for calculating a high school GPA. For informational purposes, we have provided a brief summary of their criteria, and an example of how it compares to the OPHS GPA. The GPA for UC & CSU eligibility is the average of grades earned in the required “a-g” subjects completed in grades 10-11. Extra points are awarded for up to 8 semesters of UC-certified honors coursework. In the selection process, however, individual UC campuses may use a variety of other GPA’s - some capped at 4.0, some uncapped, some with a limit on the number of extra points allowed for UC-certified honors, and some with no limit on honors points.

    UC & CSU Honors Policy: The policy of the UC and CSU is that ninth and tenth-grade level high school courses that high schools might designate as ‘honors’ will not meet their honors definition, and, therefore, will not be granted honors credit by them. The UC & CSU systems award honors points for a maximum of eight semesters of approved Honors/AP courses when calculating their eligibility GPA. These points are granted for courses taken in 11th and 12th grades, including up to two UC-approved Honors/AP courses completed in the 10th grade. As a result, 9th and 10th grade Honors courses taken by Oak Park students (such as Global Science Honors, English II Honors, Algebra II Honors and Biology Honors) do not receive honors points in the UC/CSU formula. However, they do grant extra points for European History AP and/or Biology AP when taken in the 10th grade.
    The “a-g” Subject List: To view the list of UC/CSU approved courses for Oak Park High school go to our web page at the following link: "a-g" Subject List

    Below is an example of how UC & CSU will calculate the same student's GPA:

    CLASSES

    GRADES

    Weighted Grade Points for UC/CSU approved Honors & AP courses

    *English II Honors

     A-

    4

    AP Biology

    B

    4

    World History

    C

    2

    Geometry

    B

    3

    Spanish II

    A

    4

    **Physical Education II

     A+

    N/A

    Total Grade Points

     

    17

    Total Grade Points divided by
    5 classes = GPA

     

    17/5 = 3.40 UC/CSU weighted GPA

     
    *English II Honors is not UC an approved Honors course.
    **Physical Education is required for H.S. graduation but is not a course that the UC or CSU use for the determination of admissions eligibility.
    Calculate your GPA


    Calculate your own UC/CSU GPA:
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    CLASS RANK

     

    Why Doesn’t Oak Park Rank? Many private/independent universities and scholarships want to know how a student has performed within the context of their school. In the class of 2015 alone there are 18 OPHS seniors with perfect 4.0 GPA's and 65 more with unweighted GPA's of 3.75 or r higher. At Oak Park High School an outstanding GPA of 3.75 does not even place a student in the top 10% of their class! Furthermore, we have an additional 57 seniors with cumulative unweighted GPA’s between 3.50 and 3.75 that would only rank them in the top 30% of their class. At a high performing school such as ours, it is a challenge to adequately give recognition to so many outstanding students. As a result, we chose six years ago to delete a student’s class rank from our transcripts. This practice is gaining wide acceptance at the country's most prestigious college preparatory high schools. Accordingly, whenever a class rank is requested, we simply respond “Oak Park H.S. does not rank” and refer them to our School Profile for more information about Oak Park High School.


    Repeated Courses

    There are a variety of policies with respect to repeating courses depending on what context a student's transcript is being reviewed. The transcript is a legal document that must document the exact history of a student's academic records. At Oak Park High School, when a student repeats a class, the will put an "R" (for repeat) notation on the student's transcript next to the original class. The Registrar will then post the new class on the transcript and use the new grade in recalculating the OPHS GPA. This process does not happen automatically - students must notify the Registrar that a class has been repeated or it will simply be averaged into the student's overall GPA, and no "R" will be posted next to the original class.

    Note: It is important to note that in cases were a student has earned a "D" or higher grade the first time they took a class, they will not receive additional credit towards graduation when they repeat the class. So, student's should always consider the impact on their progress towards graduation when repeating a class they have already received credit for. Students should always discuss the credit issue with their counselor before repeating a class. They should also confirm that a course they want to take for remedial purposes will be considered equivalent to the original class they took at Oak Park.

    For UC/CSU admissions: Courses used to satisfy the "a-g" requirements in which the student earns D or F grades must be repeated with grades of C or higher received. The repeated grades are used in calculating the Scholarship Requirement GPA. Each course in which a grade of D or F has been received may be repeated only once.

    Note: When repeating classes where a student originally earned a C or higher - Oak Park High School will use the new grade when recalculating the student's OPHS GPA. The UC's however, do not treat repeats the same way as Oak Park High School. If a student repeats a course used to satisfy the UC's "a-g" requirements in which he or she originally earned a grade of C or higher, the repeated grade will not be used in calculating the UC GPA. What OPHS does when calculating its GPA (in C or higher repeat situations) has no bearing on how the UC system will calculate its GPA.


    Pass/Fail Grades

    All Students Class of 2010 & beyond: Must take all classes (core and elective) for a letter grade. The one exception is when 10th-grade students receive Athletic credit in lieu of PE for their participation in a CIF-sanctioned sport, Dance or Cheer team. In these cases, student's will have a "P" for Pass grade entered on their transcript. A "P" carries no grade points and has no impact on the student's GPA.

    Scholastic Eligibility for co-curricular activities: To be eligible for participation in co-curricular activities (i.e. sports, drama, ASB etc..), students must maintain a 2.0 or "C" grade point average with no "F" (fail) grade in all classes taken during the preceding marking period. Eligibility will be checked only at the quarter and semester report card times. Students with a 2.0 GPA and one "F" may be granted a probationary period to participate by petitioning the Eligibility Committee at the time of final clearance for each season/production. Scholastic probation may be granted to a student only once in his/her high school career.


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Last Modified on August 31, 2017