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Upward GPA Trend

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Joined: 03 Nov 2010
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Upward GPA Trend [#permalink] New post 03 Nov 2010, 22:22

I'm wondering about how an upward trend looks for recruiters, when compared to an average (or below average cum. GPA).

UGrad: Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical) with Distinction*
School: Top 5 Canadian University

So, the reason for the asterisk is after my 1st year I transferred to a different school after finishing with a 2.45 GPA (bad home life situation at first school, etc, etc). The school I transferred to could be considered roughly the same in overall quality. Going into 2nd year at the new school I began to take my academics much more seriously and went to a 3.1 by 2nd year, to nearly two back-to-back years of a 4.0 GPA in 3rd and 4th year.

Finished at the new school ranked 2nd in my program (fortunately for me they didn't count my first year into this calculation), graduated with distinction, received a couple academic + community service awards, and a big award for highest graduating year GPA.

So, I have a very upward trending GPA (split over 2 schools), that ends up averaging out to about a 3.3ish. What will *top* schools think when assessing the trend (and I guess the split)? The awards for finishing strong are nice and the last couple years of near perfect GPA I’m sure help my case, I'm just wondering if I should consider myself as part of the "need to be more than exceptional" in other categories to make up for the first year.

Any thoughts the upward trend and what it would mean for an application?


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Re: Upward GPA Trend [#permalink] New post 08 Nov 2010, 23:34
Hi There,

I am in a similar situation to you, except in my case I spent the first few years of college enjoying "the college experience" a little too much. I spoke with several admissions directors about this very issue and they told me that they view upward trends positively. Many schools also look at cumulative GPA vs. GPA in the last 60 credit hours to see if there is a big difference, the reason they do this is because they believe that people are still growing up in college and the first few years aren't usually the strongest for them academically. You can contact your schools admission department to see what their policy is.

In my case, i used the optional essay to explain/point out my positive trend in GPA. Its important though that if you choose to use the optional essay to explain your GPA that you "fall on your own sword" and don't try and make excuses, after all no one is to blame but yourself.

Re: Upward GPA Trend   [#permalink] 08 Nov 2010, 23:34
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