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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College Degree Choices

You are in the last half of high school or just beginning college with the core curriculum. How do you choose what subject you want to major in?

Most students will approach this question from an emotional standpoint. What do they like doing? What are they passionate about? or what have they dreamt of becoming all of their lives?

Beyond these questions, it is only smart to look at where current jobs are available. After all, choosing a profession that is not in demand is not the smart thing to do. Additionally, choosing a profession that is predicted to die out is only going to require a person to have to get retrained in he future for a career that actually has solid jobs.

The bachelor degrees worth pursuing in these times are quite varied. The good degrees could end one up in a doctor’s office or hospital, a classroom, a bank or financial institution or elsewhere.
The following areas of study have the lowest unemployment rates and therefore would offer a good chance of employment after graduation.
Top Five Degrees

Nursing Degree
Elementary Education Degree
Finance Degree
Marketing Degree
Business Management & Administration

Based on current unemployment rates one would advise students not to pursue the following degrees due to the difficulty of finding employment in their chosen field.
Top Degrees To Avoid

Degree in Information Technology
Degree in Architecture
Degree in Anthropology
Degree in Film, Video, Photography
Political Science Degree

So it is important when you are choosing your major in college or university that you choose a profession that will be in demand when you finish your degree.  Further education is a huge commitment in time and money. Make it count!

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Who Wins in Education?

Everybody talks about the need for higher education but how do we pay for the ever-increasing costs of college and university education, and are students getting their money’s worth.

Costs of tuition, fees, room and board at public universities have doubled in the last twenty years, whereas middle-class wages have remained flat since the 1970s. Students are forced to take out loans to acquire a college education.

Colleges and universities are also being forced to take on massive debt to become more “market-oriented,” building the high-quality, expensive, living and dining amenities students say they want, excluding facilities that achieve excellence in education.

Unfortunately, graduation rates are falling, high costs are resulting in a decrease in enrollment numbers, some students drop out early, while others who graduate fail to earn enough in their first years of employment to repay their loans.

School administrators pay more attention to “profits” and “return-on-investment” than giving our students the education they need and deserve.

We need to refocus on education, not the popularity of our institutions. Students need to be freed from the burden of debt, scholarships and grants are preferable to higher levels of debt.

We must also distribute a far greater portion of our national wealth to help students get the education they need and deserve. Otherwise we further weaken our democracy and ruin the middle-class way of life that sustains it. When the banks win, students lose.

John G. Fike is an adjunct professor at the Eastern Michigan University Political Science Dept.

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GPA Higher Than 3.0 for 8 Clemson Teams

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Affordable Higher Education Vitally Important

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Stampede at South African University Kills 1

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Students Incurring Huge Private Loans

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