Average GPA for Cadets

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by fencersmother, May 16, 2009.

  1. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Now that finals are over for this term, I was wondering if there is an average "GPA" for cadets? For instance, at some colleges, the average academic GPA is around 3.0 (out of 4.0), which I would consider to be high. At my son's civ college (Hillsdale), the average GPA is closer to 2.15, with a 2.0 considered to be "average" work.

    Does the Academy post such info anywhere?
     
  2. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    It's traditionally about a 2.7.
     
  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Wow I would think a 2.0 would be low for an avg, since that means you are pulling all C's in every single class. I would have thought a 2.5 would be more of an avg. I think that the AFA probably would have a higher avg gpa due to fear of academic probation.
     
  4. CadCandMateus

    CadCandMateus Recent Grad

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    haha, one would think.
     
  5. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Well, if "average" work is a C (= 2.0), and let's assume that the highest point on the bell curve is the C, then the 2.7 is a bit high. Of course, I would expect the Service Academy's to have more classes NOT graded on a curve.

    However, I could be (and often am) wrong.
     
  6. usafa84

    usafa84 Member

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    When a cadet came out to speak to potential future cadets...her exact quote was "2.0 and Go." It wasn't very inspiring to say the least.
     
  7. air_power

    air_power Member

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    Are there any classes at the service academies graded on a curve, and if so, how many? It seems it would be really hard to get good grades with all the competition.
     
  8. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    You can not accurately compare the gpa of the Air Force Academy to other colleges.

    1st: Do you compare it to the "University of Wyoming" (No offense Wyoming); or do you compare it to the gpa of Stanford or Harvard.
    2nd: ALL STUDENTS at the Air Force Academy graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree. That means that even if their major is History, English, Behavioral Science, or Mechanical Engineering; ALL STUDENTS took Aero and other engineering, math, chem, physics, etc... type classes. Classes that the average History, English, Behavioral Science, etc... degree student never would have taken.
    3rd: Most important. The average student at the University of BFE or Harvard/Yale; is NOT having to do military studies every day. They aren't required to do formations, parades, room inspections, general military, etc... They also aren't required to participate in athletic activities and MANY other "Time Consuming" activities. As such, the average civilian student has MUCH MORE TIME to do their school work and do better on their grades.
    4th: Also; VERY IMPORTANT. The "Average" college student who does graduate (Average is 47% of college students graduate); do so in 5-6 years on average. The Air Force Academy; except under some very extraordinary circumstances such as death in the family or physical injury; require graduation in 4 years. Also; the average CREDITS required for the Air Force Academy graduate is approximately 144 credits. That's an average of 6 classes per semester. The average civilian college student; who doesn't change their major every semester; is 120 credits - 5 classes per semester.

    So, trying to compare an academy GPA to a civilian school isn't really practical. The academy students have less time, more classes, harder classes, and much more stress than any other civilian school.

    Finally; when it comes to college/universities and a student's graduating gpa; most employers and co-workers don't even care about your GPA. If you're applying to graduate school, they care about your under graduate GPA. But your employer and co-workers won't ask. An Academy graduate has the prestige and the benefits that come along with such a degree. And an academy diploma is sort of like being "PREGNANT". You are..... or you aren't. There is no sort of, kind of, possibly, etc.... If you have the academy diploma, you are the same whether you graduated with a 2.5, 3.0, or 3.90. later... mike....
     
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  9. HNeedle

    HNeedle Member

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    to answer about some classes being curved: they are. some only a few points, based on everyone's average. some, (chem 100, the freshman chem class) are curved 10 pts. it all depends on the class. but yes, some are, and some arent.. just depends.
     
  10. usafa84

    usafa84 Member

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    ChristCorp this is where you are wrong. My husband and his close academy friends graduated with a high GPA. However, those who had the" 2.0 and go" grades thinking "heck I am at the Academy it is a better school" found out in the real world no one cared. They did care what your GPA is when trying to get into a "good" master program. You better believe it matters when you are trying to get into Test Pilot School. You don't have the grades you are not getting in, and yes, you are competing with kids from MIT, Harvard and Notre Dame etc.. Who are working their buns off to get that 4.0.
     
  11. USAFA hopeful

    USAFA hopeful Member

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    usafa84, just tryin to point out that christcorp noted this in his post. I think he meant the GPA matters for any continued education to include things such as pilot training, etc.
     
  12. ds52262

    ds52262 Member

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    I'll take the middle ground between CC and USAFA84. I will tell you that if you want to be a Dr, Rocket Scientist, and yes Test Pilot you are most likely going to have a higher GPA even for the Academy. I know the 2.0 and go attitude too. Our Cadet like most everyone else had a High School experience that resulted in few if any "B" grades. After two years at the Academy I will gaurantee she would kill for a 2.5, 3.0, or better. Those that know her also know she is far harder on herself then the system could ever be...

    That said, if your desire is a Grad School like (Harvard, Yale, MIT or Stanford), or Med School straight out of the Academy you are probably chasing those A's. The majority of the cadets are jumping for joy when the report card has a "C" instead of a "D" or worse yet and "F".
     
  13. Gasdoc

    Gasdoc Member

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    Your GPA is a major contributing factor to your OPA and your OPA probably factors into whether or not you get to do something fun (e.g. jump) your first summer. In the end cadets with higher GPAs probably have more options.

    A 3.1 or 3.2 GPA your 4 dig year will put you in the top quarter of your class.
     
  14. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    2010 finally made a semester average of 3.0.
    The academy average is 2.7-2.8. Most colleges have had an upward GPA trend in the past 40 years. USAFA has not.
     
  15. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Wow, I have really learned a lot so far!

    ChristCorp, I think I was just trying to figure out whether academic grade inflation was prevalent at USAFA. Of course, the only schools comparable to AFA are other SA's, and possibly schools such as the Citadel.

    When I write on another forum with moms whose kids all go to (swanky) civ colleges, the moms are shocked at how much the AFA kids accomplish.
     
  16. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    To expound slightly. The Dean showed 2009 a graph of several colleges including USAFA. It had the average GPA plotted for each college over time. Most had a significant upward trend. USAFA was an island with a GPA that hasn't changed, our average now is comparable to what it was 40 years ago.
     
  17. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    usafa84; I was in no way saying that a gpa isn't important. Or that it is somehow insignificant. As hopeful pointed out, I clearly stated that if you are continuing your education, of course your GPA is important. However; my point is that it's difficult to compare the class GPA of the academy with the class GPA of a civilian school. Then again, graduate schools do take the school into consideration when they measure your gpa. E.g. A 3.0gpa from the academy, Harvard, Princeton, etc.... is different than a 3.0gpa from the University of Whereverthehell. And definitely there are a lot of students who are trying hard and busting their butts off. My son is holding a 4.0gpa and cares very much about his grades. But the premise of my previous posts were that some people might look down at a 2.5-2.8gpa. And they shouldn't look down at a 2.5-2.8 from the academy. A 2.5-2.8gpa at the academy is a lot more impressive than a 2.5 at most civilian universities. later... mike.....
     
  18. PDub

    PDub Prospective

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    lol, I love CC's posts. Insightful and funny!
     
  19. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    PMJI, but when I applied to grad school, I was really worried about my USNA GPA. The law schools to which I was applying claimed their average for accepted students was 3.6-3.8. Well, I was nowhere near that and, quite honestly, neither was the overwhelming majority of my USNA class.

    Here's what did help. First, class rank. I won't go into pesonal details but it does put things into perspective for whomever is looking. And, unlike some schools, the SAs do rank academically.

    Second, the folks you're being ranked against. At most colleges, a decent number of students don't graduate, or at least take 5 or more years to do so. The fact that you are competitive among a highly competitive group helps.

    Third, strength of the curriculum. They know that SA grads can't take "fluff" courses to ease their schedule and that SA grads take (at least in my day) an average of 19 credit hours a semester, plus labs.

    Fourth, you do get bonus points for all the other stuff that comes with a SA education as well as time in the military.

    I don't know how grades are done today, but in my day a 3.3 put you in roughly the top 100 academically in the class. There was no grade inflation.
     
  20. BR2011

    BR2011 USAFA Cadet

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    the CGA adds a full point to the GPA's of people who leave and apply to other colleges
     

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