How is GPA looked at?

bananooo

New Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2021
Messages
4
Hi, I had a quick question on how your HS GPA is taken and handled within the admissions office at USAFA.
I started off high school badly, I was extremely focused on my sport and definitely spent minimal effort school wise. This left me with a Freshman Year GPA of around 3.3-3.4 unweighted and 3.6-3.7 weighted (all possible Honors classes). I have recently improved in my 1st semester of sophomore year with a 3.5 unweighted and a 3.8 weighted. I definitely need to improve this either way but my question is, will USAFA see the improvement of grades throughout high school or simply look at my cumulative GPA? In other words, if I do not meet expectations first year but show that I am ready for college courses at USAFA now and next year, will USAFA handle my GPA differently? I also want to ask, when you search up average GPA for USAFA, an average result is around 3.75-3.8, however I was wondering whether that is weighted or unweighted.
 

USAFA_86

2025 appointee
Joined
Dec 17, 2019
Messages
204
1. It is awesome that you are thinking about USAFA already. This makes you way ahead of your competition.
2. USAFA will certainly see your improvement. The transcript that you will submit as a candidate will outline every year of high school. So, if your grades improve, it will be very obvious to USAFA.
3. Your improvement and struggle with balancing sports with academics will make an OUTSTANDING essay, so keep that in mind when you go to apply.
4. The average GPA for USAFA is a weighted GPA that is calculated by admissions. No one here knows exactly how they do it, but they account for things like school difficulty, class selection, etc.

Good luck and keep working hard!
 

bananooo

New Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2021
Messages
4
1. It is awesome that you are thinking about USAFA already. This makes you way ahead of your competition.
2. USAFA will certainly see your improvement. The transcript that you will submit as a candidate will outline every year of high school. So, if your grades improve, it will be very obvious to USAFA.
3. Your improvement and struggle with balancing sports with academics will make an OUTSTANDING essay, so keep that in mind when you go to apply.
4. The average GPA for USAFA is a weighted GPA that is calculated by admissions. No one here knows exactly how they do it, but they account for things like school difficulty, class selection, etc.

Good luck and keep working hard!
Thanks for putting my mind somewhat at ease. School isnt my strong spot but I am willing to improve for the academy. I appreciate the time you spend helping me and others on this forum. I read through threads sometimes and your always giving insightful help!
 

Don't Give Up the Ship

BGO Affliliate & USNA 2023 Dad
Joined
Jun 21, 2018
Messages
398
My guess is the approx 3.7 GPA one sees on the college SAT sites is unweighted. Your grades are competitive, especially if your increase your GPA. What can really assist is if you play one or two Varsity Sports, are a team Captain, have other strong ECA's. SATs and ACTs also matter. I dont think one outstanding essay is a deal breaker. Your essays need to be excellent, but more importantly, don't forget about Physical Fitness, applied leadership, etc.

Try this, make short and long term goals for: Academics, Sports, CFA Prep and more....write them down-put them on your mirror. Focus on your dream.

USAF_86 is correct: it's awesome that your working your plan now. Keep it going!
 
Last edited:

MidCakePa

Member
Joined
May 22, 2018
Messages
2,970
There’s a reason why you read so little about GPA in the SA websites: GPAs are a slippery, amorphous, mysterious thing. A 3.5 in one place may be better than a 4.2 elsewhere, and what exactly is a 5.7? In other words, there’s no national standard that allows any meaningful comparison between schools.

Therefore, as explained to us by a very well-regarded SA admissions consultant (in passing, because we weren’t clients), SAs pay most attention to your transcript, looking to see if you took the hardest classes your school has to offer and excelled at them. They examine your performance in the context of your school profile, so they know exactly what your school offers. They also, through that profile, have a good sense of how rigorous your school is.

So don’t get too caught up in the single number, though as others have said, an upward trajectory is always good.
 

HCopter

Member
Joined
May 16, 2017
Messages
490
Get a copy of your school's profile and see how you stack up.

Class of 2024: The USAFA GPA cited is UNweighted, but it is also USAFA's ADJUSTED UNweighted GPA which can be LOWER, AT, or HIGHER than your stated unweighted GPA, and that is why some candidates show GPA > 4.0 in their USAFA portal. Of all the SAs, USAFA is the one that "shows their hand" at how they ultimately view YOUR (as in you, the individual) GPA on an adjusted basis vs. everyone else. Keep in mind your class cycle of 2026 may or may not show the same information if the application migrates to a new platform.

I also would not count on, or not rely on someone else doing the legwork IF your intent is to show improvement YOY. On a master resume, with your own notes, have your stats down cold. Meaning, actual GPA improvement, slice and dice it by course, particularly by core courses. I would do it by core courses with and without foreign language. Then you really know in all measures how you are doing/improving. It also helps you set a goals, as well as a sensitivity analysis of your grades.
 

KiwiBird

USAFA Appointee, Co 2025
Joined
Oct 8, 2020
Messages
209
1. It is awesome that you are thinking about USAFA already. This makes you way ahead of your competition.
Yeah, I only found out about the SA's the second semester of my junior year! Thankfully I had enough time to complete my applications to USAFA and USCGA.
 
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