Calculation of GPA : The B-School Application
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Calculation of GPA

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Manager
Joined: 15 Mar 2010
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Schools: Kelley Class of 2013
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07 Aug 2010, 13:55
Hi Everyone,

In reality this likely makes no difference at all as adcoms will review all college transcripts and thus they will have some weight, but I wondered if anyone could give me any clarification on how undergrad GPA is calculated for purposes of reporting to places like USNews, FT, etc (or when people say: undergrad GPA 3.4, etc. around here).

Here is the situation:

(1) I spent 3 semesters at one Big Ten school (school of engineering), and flunked out with a 1.5 . This was 15 years ago, cuz i'm ancient, unlike all the young guns around here.

(2) I spent the next 2 years at a junior college getting my feet wet again, getting a 3.8 (including getting an associates degree).

(3) I then went to another Big Ten school, majored in Poli Sci, and finished with a 3.65 from this school (and a 3.8 in major).

(4) I went to law school at yet a third Big Ten school , finishing with a 3.66 and in the top 2% of the class.

(5) I have recently taken 8 credits of math classes at UCLA extension with a 4.0 to show i'm not a total math dummy.

Now, when I applied to law school, they had the independent LSAC calculate your GPA, and they pulled in all undergraduate grades into one total GPA (i.e., they included all 3 schools' grades at that point). I think this came to like a 3.1 or something.

My question is: When a school says that the median GPA of its incoming class is a 3.4, what exactly does that mean? From reading between the lines, it seems to me that this is the cumulative GPA from your undergraduate degree (B.A, B.S, etc.) granting institution. In my case, that would be a 3.65.

Now, obviously adcoms will look at everything, but even with that, for reporting purposes I would think it would be better to have a higher GPA that would be reported than a lower one, as a lower one will pull down the school's numbers.

Does anyone have any insight into the reported numbers?

Thanks very much,
Tom
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16 Aug 2010, 11:41
Good question. I'd be interested to hear an answer. Were my school's system to give above 4.0 credit for an A+, my GPA would probably be close to a 4.0. As it stands, it is a 3.7. So I'm interested to know how the schools will calculate the GPA.
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16 Aug 2010, 21:50
I'd say all schools have their own way of calculating the GPA.
Manager
Joined: 15 Mar 2010
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16 Aug 2010, 22:12
I'd say all schools have their own way of calculating the GPA.

For evaluation purposes? Sure. But I would think that for purposes of submitting numbers to places like USNews there has to be some standard, or at least "most common" way of calculating GPA.

I can't speak for MBA reporting, I know that for law school reporting to USNews there is a very detailed methodology that schools are supposed to use when submitting things like GPA, LSAT median, LSAT range, average starting salary, etc.

Edit: I can't speak for other schools, but I found this on the SMU Cox website:

Tom
Re: Calculation of GPA   [#permalink] 16 Aug 2010, 22:12
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