Grade Inflation: The reason why test scores have unofficially become the most important admissions criteria

By College Advice, General Education Advice

“A 95 GPA is too low for the colleges you are applying to… ” The mom of a student at a top public school in Shoreline, CT relayed her conversation from an off the record conversation she had with a friend who is a college admissions official at a well-regarded college in Connecticut that claims to be test-optional.  The parent had been counting on test-optional colleges for her daughter.   Then the official confided one of the increasingly well-known admissions secrets: any high ranked school that is test-optional requires incredibly high grades.    Why? Because they still do consider tests for those who choose to submit their SATs (or ACTs).  They fill the class with those with high scores so that their US News & World Report rankings remain high.  Those that do not submit their scores are in the second batch of candidates.   Moreover, as the official confided, “everyone has grades in the 90s and, due to weighted GPAs, many students have over 4.0 GPAs.  Frankly, we are having a hard time deciphering grade differentiation between students.   But we have an easy time evaluating SAT comparisons.

So there you have it.  And, how can you blame busy admissions officials?