GPA Calculations

GPA Calculation

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 what institution) is viewing a student's transcript, they all have differing views on how to calculate the GPA, which classes to include in the GPA, and whether to assign weighted grade points. The most important thing to understand is that colleges don't use a high school's GPA calculation for their admissions decisions!

The one thing that all colleges want to see is that students have challenged themselves in high school by taking the most rigorous curriculum of which they are capable. 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.

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. 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.

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. 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 English 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 10th grade.

The “a-g” Subject List: To view the list of UC/CSU approved courses for Oak Park High school go to the following link: "a-g" Subject List