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Marlborough School Student Newspaper
The Student News Site of Marlborough School

The UltraViolet

The Student News Site of Marlborough School

The UltraViolet

The college perspective

The UV spoke with admissions officers at Harvard, Columbia, Kenyon, USC and Penn. Here’s what they said about the importance of grades and of high schools reporting class average GPAs.

“The real question is have we lost any context to the meaning of grades? The problem might be more of a cultural issue for America. It’s not grade inflation. It’s the view of a C from 1959 v. 2009 perspective.”
– Liz Forman, Kenyon

“We haven’t seen much of a change in conducting our decisions where there has been grade inflation in the country. Education in the U.S. is very un-standardized. We have to be clear that just because GPAs are higher, it doesn’t change their chances of getting into Penn.”
– Peter Silberman, Penn

“When a school provides no context for grades the officer who reads that school has to work harder to figure out what a grade actually means.  This means that we make assumptions that would better be informed by the schools.  In the absence of “hard data” we make informed assumptions.  Obviously we would prefer the “hard data.”  I do not think, however, that the absence of grade charts or average school GPAs impact the decisions that we make.”
– Peter Johnson, Columbia

“Over time, if we see students come in with high GPAs but not do well here, we’ll take [the high school’s grading policy’s] into consideration.”
– Lisa Rhone, USC

“A lot of schools provide a graph of where the senior class fell junior year. There are no strict guidelines on what they have to provide us. … For Marlborough, students come in solid in writing and with an ability to have done research, which is something that most other students haven’t had before.”
– Danielle Early, Harvard

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