Author Topic: High ACT but gpa in low 3s  (Read 2045 times)

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Offline jajji

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Re: High ACT but gpa in low 3s
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2019, 10:21:27 PM »
My kids aren't even in elementary school yet. Is it really this crazy now?

It’s not crazy. Life is tough. What do you expect?
Who said it was going to be easy?

I was referring to OP's kid having a near perfect ACT score and people suggesting community college because of his GPA. To mean that suggests overinflation of high grades, and a lack of common sense of admissions committees, or a severely flawed algorithm in the admissions process.

I'm aware life is tough and never suggested it was going to be easy lol. Been through med school and residency. Quite aware of the rigors of life.

Offline bones

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Re: High ACT but gpa in low 3s
« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2019, 06:13:08 AM »
My kids aren't even in elementary school yet. Is it really this crazy now?

It’s not crazy. Life is tough. What do you expect?
Who said it was going to be easy?

I was referring to OP's kid having a near perfect ACT score and people suggesting community college because of his GPA. To mean that suggests overinflation of high grades, and a lack of common sense of admissions committees, or a severely flawed algorithm in the admissions process.

I'm aware life is tough and never suggested it was going to be easy lol. Been through med school and residency. Quite aware of the rigors of life.


SAT/ACT is a test you can hack. Grades in school - not as much. Some colleges are now test optional although most of the elites haven’t gone that route yet (UChicago being the exception). Will be interesting to see if the SAT/ACT is still needed in 5/10 years.

Offline bones

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Re: High ACT but gpa in low 3s
« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2019, 06:20:26 AM »
Thanks for the feedback everyone. The unweighted gpa today is 3.2, by end of junior year could be 3.5. 3 semesters of foreign language offered through a local CC with a B which should help for weighted, along with several APs that are/will be As/Bs. So Weighted may get into the 3.8 range by end of high school. Legacy at the large private research university in LA not named Caltech, which actually outside of the Ivies is the only school where legacy matters. UC definitely seems to be a reach, though the top Bay area high schools generally get a lot more slots than LA/OC schools simply because there are more of them in the top 50. We work with a private college counseling service that has been very valuable and will hopefully really help come application/essay time as they use algorithms based on the thousands of students that have gone through their program to target the applications.

Looking forward to PSAT/NM notifications today!

USC might offer Spring semester enrollment if you have been a generous alum.

I disagree with your assertion about legacy.  It matters at most private schools, not just the Ivies and USC.

I also echo momopi's recommendation about attending a JC first.
JC works for sure, but it's a compromised college experience and eliminates high end on campus job recruiting the first 2 years. USC loves transfers - they redline admissions by zip code to minimize financial aid requests.

The USC/Ivy data point is anecdotal but i have seen it mentioned several times in various articles, especially after the Varsity Blues scandal broke. If you saw from the recent lawsuit Harvard admits legacies at a 6x rate. Does Northwestern or Chicago? Don't know. I can only hope USC does.

Make it loud and clear on the app that you’re willing to pay full sticker and your kid will get in somewhere decent. The low gpa is too much of a liability for the elites but the ACT and a willingness to pay will allow colleges to take a flyer on him - to offset the costs of the kids they really want. 

Offline eyephone

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Re: High ACT but gpa in low 3s
« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2019, 07:23:40 AM »
My kids aren't even in elementary school yet. Is it really this crazy now?

It’s not crazy. Life is tough. What do you expect?
Who said it was going to be easy?

I was referring to OP's kid having a near perfect ACT score and people suggesting community college because of his GPA. To mean that suggests overinflation of high grades, and a lack of common sense of admissions committees, or a severely flawed algorithm in the admissions process.

I'm aware life is tough and never suggested it was going to be easy lol. Been through med school and residency. Quite aware of the rigors of life.

My comment was for parents that were shocked that their kid turned out to be average. (The parents can see it throughout the school years and life.) Did the parent do all that they can do? (Tutoring, good parenting)

A lot of people are going to laugh it off. But maybe the student could of went to an easier HS.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2019, 09:39:06 AM by eyephone »

Offline jajji

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Re: High ACT but gpa in low 3s
« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2019, 09:50:32 AM »
SAT/ACT is a test you can hack. Grades in school - not as much. Some colleges are now test optional although most of the elites haven’t gone that route yet (UChicago being the exception). Will be interesting to see if the SAT/ACT is still needed in 5/10 years.

Hack to what degree. OP's kid made a near perfect score. For the ACT only the top 1% or so test takers make a near perfect score. If it was such an easy hack, then it would be larger than 1%. On the other hand, what's the % of kids who have high GPAs? Some high schools have so many valedictorians that it's diluted the meaning of it.

2 million people take the ACT, only <1% get a near perfect or perfect score. that's 20,000 kids. Most colleges would be lucky to have his kid.  He should not go to a CC. If he ends up there because of a GPA game, that's sad.

Offline WTTCHMN

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Re: High ACT but gpa in low 3s
« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2019, 10:49:51 AM »
Hack to what degree. OP's kid made a near perfect score. For the ACT only the top 1% or so test takers make a near perfect score. If it was such an easy hack, then it would be larger than 1%. On the other hand, what's the % of kids who have high GPAs? Some high schools have so many valedictorians that it's diluted the meaning of it.

2 million people take the ACT, only <1% get a near perfect or perfect score. that's 20,000 kids. Most colleges would be lucky to have his kid.  He should not go to a CC. If he ends up there because of a GPA game, that's sad.

With rampart grade inflation, then there is no reason why this kid shouldn't have a higher GPA.  I'm guessing bright but probably a slacker.

A community college might be just what this kid needs... a kick in the pants to work harder.

Heading straight into a UC with a poor work ethic, this kid will get crushed by the competition.

Offline eyephone

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Re: High ACT but gpa in low 3s
« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2019, 11:06:36 AM »
Hack to what degree. OP's kid made a near perfect score. For the ACT only the top 1% or so test takers make a near perfect score. If it was such an easy hack, then it would be larger than 1%. On the other hand, what's the % of kids who have high GPAs? Some high schools have so many valedictorians that it's diluted the meaning of it.

2 million people take the ACT, only <1% get a near perfect or perfect score. that's 20,000 kids. Most colleges would be lucky to have his kid.  He should not go to a CC. If he ends up there because of a GPA game, that's sad.

With rampart grade inflation, then there is no reason why this kid shouldn't have a higher GPA.  I'm guessing bright but probably a slacker.

A community college might be just what this kid needs... a kick in the pants to work harder.

Heading straight into a UC with a poor work ethic, this kid will get crushed by the competition.

Hey college is not for everyone. Maybe go to trade school or something.

Offline B2FiNiTY

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Re: High ACT but gpa in low 3s
« Reply #22 on: December 11, 2019, 12:06:50 PM »
Hack to what degree. OP's kid made a near perfect score. For the ACT only the top 1% or so test takers make a near perfect score. If it was such an easy hack, then it would be larger than 1%. On the other hand, what's the % of kids who have high GPAs? Some high schools have so many valedictorians that it's diluted the meaning of it.

2 million people take the ACT, only <1% get a near perfect or perfect score. that's 20,000 kids. Most colleges would be lucky to have his kid.  He should not go to a CC. If he ends up there because of a GPA game, that's sad.

With rampart grade inflation, then there is no reason why this kid shouldn't have a higher GPA.  I'm guessing bright but probably a slacker.

A community college might be just what this kid needs... a kick in the pants to work harder.

Heading straight into a UC with a poor work ethic, this kid will get crushed by the competition.

exactly what happened to me. I had a lowish gpa, decent SAT, went to a low end UC, got crushed lol

Offline moc

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Re: High ACT but gpa in low 3s
« Reply #23 on: December 11, 2019, 01:11:03 PM »
In my experience it's been much more important to major in something with solid earning potential/stable job opportunities (computer science, engineering, nursing) than it is to go to an elite university. As an example, I work with people who went to UCI and people who went to Cal Poly Pomona...one school is "better" (harder to get into/more prestigious) than the other but that has no impact on the quality of my coworkers or their career growth/opportunities.

I don't think a school with a low acceptance rate and a fancy name actually helps as much as people think it does.

Offline paydawg

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Re: High ACT but gpa in low 3s
« Reply #24 on: December 12, 2019, 03:29:40 PM »
UC definitely seems to be a reach, though the top Bay area high schools generally get a lot more slots than LA/OC schools simply because there are more of them in the top 50.

Are you saying the top Bay area HS's vs the TOP So. Cal. HS's?  It doesn't sound like you're comparing apples to apples here.  It sounds like you're saying the UC schools allocate a disproportional share of spots to Bay Area students. 
Thanks in advance for the 'thanks'!!

Offline WTTCHMN

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Re: High ACT but gpa in low 3s
« Reply #25 on: December 12, 2019, 04:23:21 PM »
UC definitely seems to be a reach, though the top Bay area high schools generally get a lot more slots than LA/OC schools simply because there are more of them in the top 50.

Are you saying the top Bay area HS's vs the TOP So. Cal. HS's?  It doesn't sound like you're comparing apples to apples here.  It sounds like you're saying the UC schools allocate a disproportional share of spots to Bay Area students.

It's all a numbers game and has nothing to do with Nor Cal vs. So Cal.

As much as you'd like to think Irvine kids are so great, it's nothing compared to the caliber of kids coming out of the Bay Area.

In 2017, Uni had 32 National Merit Semi-Finalists, a respectable number for sure.

But Mission San Jose had 91 Semi-Finalists in a single class of 500 kids.  So that's 18% of the class that scored in the 99th percentile on the PSAT.

Offline bones

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Re: High ACT but gpa in low 3s
« Reply #26 on: December 12, 2019, 06:01:25 PM »
UC definitely seems to be a reach, though the top Bay area high schools generally get a lot more slots than LA/OC schools simply because there are more of them in the top 50.

Are you saying the top Bay area HS's vs the TOP So. Cal. HS's?  It doesn't sound like you're comparing apples to apples here.  It sounds like you're saying the UC schools allocate a disproportional share of spots to Bay Area students.

It's all a numbers game and has nothing to do with Nor Cal vs. So Cal.

As much as you'd like to think Irvine kids are so great, it's nothing compared to the caliber of kids coming out of the Bay Area.

In 2017, Uni had 32 National Merit Semi-Finalists, a respectable number for sure.

But Mission San Jose had 91 Semi-Finalists in a single class of 500 kids.  So that's 18% of the class that scored in the 99th percentile on the PSAT.

https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/infocenter/admissions-source-school

You can actually see all the numbers here.  Using WTTCHMN's two school examples - threw in Northwood for good measure.

Overall UC system:  Mission San Jose (447 applied, 375 admitted); Uni (404 applied, 285 admitted); Northwood (372/276)
UC Berkeley: MSJ (344/63); Uni (279/40); Northwood (232/39)
UCLA: MSJ (370/46); Uni (312/37); Northwood (290/39)

MSJ has ~500 graduates, Uni has 500ish, Northwood 500ish graduates.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2019, 06:34:13 PM by bones »

Offline OCtoSV

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Re: High ACT but gpa in low 3s
« Reply #27 on: December 16, 2019, 07:38:47 AM »
Not a slam on Irvine schools at all - that's where I would be living if I moved back to OC and still had school age kids. The quality of Bay area public high schools is broad and deep with many charters as well. It's also super liberal so bond measures pass pretty easily. For my $900K assessed valuation my property tax bill is over $12K without any Mello-Roos, so schools are very well funded and parent support groups raise millions of $$ across many districts.

Great UC site. My kids high school shows systemwide 314 applied, 232 admitted. Cal was 212/34; UCLA 249/29; UCSB 248/79

Offline OCtoSV

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Re: High ACT but gpa in low 3s
« Reply #28 on: December 16, 2019, 07:44:02 AM »
Looking at an ultra competitive Bay area school like Saratoga HS (Saratoga RE starts at $2.5M) - Cal 168/38; UCLA UCLA 196/28

Offline nosuchreality

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Re: High ACT but gpa in low 3s
« Reply #29 on: December 16, 2019, 07:55:35 AM »
Yes, a very good stat site.


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