Grades at School, from Life in the USA: The Complete Guide for Immigrants and Americans

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Life in the USA
Education in America
Applying to College

Grades at School
Most American high schools use letter grades to evaluate student performance. An A is the highest, B very good, C just average and D not very good. An F means that you have failed a course and must repeat it.

For use in transcripts to colleges, these letter grades are turned into a numerical cumulative grade point average (GPA); 4.0 is the highest. Thus a person who has a 3.67 GPA has gotten mostly A's and some B's and has a good chance of getting into a competitive college. A 3.0 average would be equivalent to a B average, a 2.0 average to a C average.

The colleges you apply to will need transcripts of your high school grades. For this purpose you may need to coordinate paperwork with both the high school and the colleges. Assume nothing, and follow up with both schools to make sure the transcripts have been sent and properly received.

If your grades are from a foreign school, you will need to ask the college what procedures are necessary for the grades to be transmitted. Inquire whether any document or part of a document will need to be translated into English. You might have to have this done at your expense. Leave plenty of extra time for these procedures.



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