SHS Discusses Weighted and Unweighted GPA

By: Emma Botelho (Correspondent)

To weight or not to weight—that is the question.

Sharon High School has a GPA based on a 6.0 system, unlike many other schools where GPA is based on a 4.0 system. Having a weighted GPA system ensures that the difficulty level of classes students take are taken into account for their GPA rather than having an unweighted system, meaning that class difficulty is not taken into account. Sharon High will not immediately be changing to a unweighted GPA system; however, there is still discussion for this to change in the future.

“At this point, there will be no change to the GPA structure for next year, though this is being discussed as many high schools have an unweighted structure,” said school counselor Tanya Keeney.

“It is a topic we are exploring and studying. No timeline or content has been rolled out because we are still investigating the pros and cons of moving in that direction,” said SHS Principal Dr. Jose Libano. Libano added that social media is “a source of a lot of misinformation.”

Although GPA is not changing to a unweighted system right now, many students have opinions on whether they believe the system should be changed or not, and the rumors are flying throughout the school.

“So what I have heard is that they are all going to be [weighted] the same. Which I really don’t think is fair because the whole point of taking an honors class is to show your intelligence and I think if you put the effort in and work hard you deserve the extra credit,” said SHS freshman Ashley Young.

“I definitely think GPAs should be weighted because people who are taking more challenging classes deserved to be rewarded for that,” said SHS senior Lili Ross.

GPA impacts in the college application process, as many schools in the United States have a 4.0 based GPA system. Colleges look for both weighted and unweighted GPAs. When looking at weighted GPAs, they look for things such as class rank, and how rigorous the workload was.

“Definitely in the college process GPA has a lot to do with what colleges you are looking at and what colleges you are applying to,” added Ross.

“I think that [GPA] is more towards comparing myself with other people in other schools because we are both doing this college experience together so we are weighted differently,” said SHS senior Rachel Shatz.

Shatz says with Sharon having a different based GPA than most other schools, she sometimes finds herself wondering if she will have a different chance of getting into a school due to the high GPA scale in Sharon.

Keeney says colleges “don’t care” about SHS GPA scale because they end up calculating it on their own scales, so it does not directly affect students abilities of getting into a school.

One of the main reasons Sharon is looking into not having a weighted GPA system is due to stress being induced, and students not taking classes they want to because they are concerned about having a good GPA for college.

“It’s hard because you have a lot of other things you want to do like hang out with friends and do sports and other stuff…people will do honors a lot just because they want a better GPA, which is stressful,” said SHS Freshman Sofie Zeleny.

Zeleny says that she believes people do not always take honors classes for the right reasons. She says that some people only take honors classes for a better GPA.

“As a freshman, I am not really concerned about my GPA, but some future Math, English and History classes stress me out because I don’t think I am going to do too well,” said SHS freshman Preetish Paul. Paul added that taking away the weighted GPA system would be “annoying.”

Parents in the Sharon community have also expressed their concern about this topic on Facebook groups such as “Sharon What’s Up” and “Everything Sharon.” Many shared that their kids came home “distraught” upon finding out GPA may not be weighted in the future. Questions about how this will affect their children stirred up the comment section.

“Students who take higher level classes should get credit for the greater challenge and course load they take on. Otherwise, why wouldn’t they just take classes that are much easier? I can’t understand why they would change the policy, so I’m wondering if the rumors only tell part of the story,” said one Sharon community parent on Facebook.

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