View Full Version : Do adcoms take into account rigorous grading standards

07-30-2007, 03:16 PM
Now I know people will say every school is hard and could be right within their own respect! But with all the debate on grade inflation at schools like Harvard, Stanford and others but I've also read that schools like Chicago, Berkeley and I'll shamefully say University of Toronto (add on other schools that I've missed) engage in "grade deflation".

Now we know that GPA is a big (but not the only) factor that adcoms look @ but would adcoms tend be able to see that (I'm speculating here) a 3.5-3.7 at UofT is equivalent to that of say a 3.8 at Harvard, NYU? I'm sure reactor and other folks at UofT can expand on this but the way this university runs, it's got very tough standards and getting an A here (at an undergraduate level too) is very hard. I currently have a 3.68 here and cus everyone says that 3.7 is the threshold to be considered by top 10 adcoms, would they see that UofT is tougher than others? Thanks

07-30-2007, 04:26 PM
"We do not publish average GPA scores of incoming students since not all students come from systems with comparable grading scales, and since the quality of the undergraduate (or graduate) institution can measurably affect how the GPA is evaluated."
-University of Maryland Department of Economics

If UMD knows that "quality of the undergraduate institution can measurably affect GPA," I think it is safe to assume they factor in that grade inflation/deflation varies from school to school.

07-30-2007, 06:07 PM
Yes and no.

Yes: When faculty write letters of recommendation they often say something about the school's grading scale if they are a harsh grading school. For example: "Gauss has taken a very challenging course load and earned a 3.5; quite an accomplishment at a school where courses are generally curved to a C+ and As are rare." This also comes through when faculty are asked to compare the student to others.

No A: When they are comparing you to another applicant from your school you both had the same harsh grading, so if that student has a higher GPA they will notice. So, if the school has a rule of thumb that says admit the best student 2 applicants from Chicago, it will matter.

No B: Sometimes the university has minimum gpa requirements for admissions and fellowships, etc. To my knowledge, these aren't scaled by school.