State to change how GPAs are calculated

Kathleen Cook, Editor-In-chief

A new GPA scale will come into effect with next year’s freshman class.

With the new scale, AP classes will be worth one point, and honors classes will only be worth half of a point. This differs from the extra two points for an AP class and one point for an honors class currently given.

One of the main concerns is how it will affect college admissions officers’ views on Wake County students’ GPAs.

“Admissions officers can adjust to a new grading scale. NC State receives applications from high schools around the country and around the world. The new scale is closer to the scale that many other high schools in the U.S. currently use,” admissions representative from NC State Thomas Griffin said in an e-mail.

At Duke, officers focus more on student’s transcripts rather than his GPA. The new scale change won’t affect Duke’s admissions.

“Instead of a bottom line GPA, we review a transcript course by course, grade by grade, as a four year biography of a student’s time in high school,” Margi Strickland, Duke admissions representative said in an e-mail. “A change in a grading scale at a high school will not put a student in our applicant pool at an advantage or disadvantage.”

Another worry is that the new scale will deter students from taking AP classes due to the reduced difference between honors and AP classes.

“The main reason I take AP classes is to give my GPA a boost,” senior Maddie Fingers said.

Both Duke and NC State encourage students to take AP courses, but neither have a required number.

“Similarly to the fact that the bottom line grade point average is not a factor in our admissions process but rather the grades and courses themselves, there is no magic number of AP courses that will prevent or guarantee admissions,” Strickland said.

Griffin said NC State felt similarly.

“There is no specific number of AP courses that NC State is looking for. We expect applicants to have taken advantage of the academic opportunities available at their high schools.”

Overall, admissions are not based solely on one’s GPA. Colleges look at the whole student.

Strickland said, “We look at students within the context of their lives, looking at challenges they have faced, opportunities they have embraced and special talents and perspectives that they will bring to our community.”