High School Valedictorian’s GPA

Traditionally a 4.0 is considered a perfect grade point average, but Dhara Patel, a high school senior at Plant City High School in Hillsborough County, Fla., has earned an off-the-charts 10.03 GPA.

AP Classes

Patel took 17 Advanced Placement classes. AP classes, which are on par with college courses, are often weighted, meaning that students who take them receive extra points. That helps students accumulate a GPA way off the traditional 4.0 chart.


In addition to AP classes, Patel also spent nights, weekends, and summers studying at Hillsborough Community College. To add to her accomplishments, she’s earned her associate’s degree before even graduating from high school.

It’s not just books and good grades for Patel. She is well rounded student. A member of seven high school clubs, holds leadership roles in half of them, and sits on the executive board of student government. She also volunteers at a local hospital. While none of this factors into Patel’s GPA, her resume paints the picture of what colleges and universities are looking for in a student in the 21st century.

There’s an ongoing debate among educators about what makes a student ready for college and, subsequently, a career. For years, a high GPA and high standardized test scores indicated a successful student who was prepared for college.

Annual surveys by the National Association for College Admission Counseling show that most admissions officials put a high priority on grades, especially grades in college-prep courses. The NACAC’s 2013 State of College Admission report showed that “students’ grades and the academic rigor of their course loads weigh more heavily in decisions to admit than standardized test scores, high school class rank, or demonstrated interest in attending.”

A high GPA can open more doors for high school students when the time comes to apply for college. Colleges set a minimum GPA and will only look at students’ applications if their GPA exceeds the minimum. A one-point increase in GPA doubles the likelihood of students completing college—from 21 percent to 42 percent—for both men and women.

A high GPA also leads to increased opportunities for grants and scholarships.
Employers require students to include their GPA on resumes. A higher GPA can help students get their dream job or an internship going into college. A one-point increase in high school GPA is thought to raise annual earnings in adulthood by around 12 percent for men and 14 percent for women.

Increase Your GPA

A student can increase their GPA by asking their teachers for help, searching educational websites on line or hiring a tutor to help them in subjects they are struggling with.

Even if a student’s GPA isn’t stellar, focus can be placed on other areas such as portfolios, essays, interviews, recommendations, life experiences, and community involvement to impress college admission officers.

Colleges in the 21st century are looking for well rounded individuals who have demonstrated their ability to juggle various responsibilities while still scoring high marks in their academic studies.

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Advantages of Taking College Courses in High School

What are the advantages of taking college courses while you are still in high school?

High School students have the option of taking more advanced classes while they are still attending high school. These can be taken during the regular school year or taken at summer school, where students can earn college credits and free up time during their school year to take more electives.




Advanced Placement(AP) Classes are available in all core-curricular subjects and are offered on site as part of the regular high school day. Students are required to pay a fee for the standardized AP Test at the end of the course but if you do well you will receive a college credit for your hard work.

AP classes are assigned a course value that is 1 point higher than a regular high school class so they can go a long way to increasing your high school grade point average. Taking these advanced courses offers you the opportunity to experience more challenging college classes that require a higher level of thinking and problem solving skills. This introduction to college level learning gives you a competitive edge in the college admissions process.

The number one advantage of taking college level courses during high school is the reduced cost of a college education. Taking college classes while still in high school can decrease the cost of college because you will need to pay for fewer classes to graduate. Many colleges and universities use these advanced classes to determine who qualifies for a scholarship which you can apply towards tuition costs, books or living expenses. Finally, as these courses are held at your high school you do not have to pay out of pocket expenses to travel to the college campus to attend classes.

It is, therefore, a huge benefit for you to take AP classes in high school. It will put you on the right path to achieving all your education goals.