Are average GPAs on school admissions pages on a 4.0 or 5.0 scale?

I'm confused about whether I should be looking at my weighted or unweighted GPA while doing my college search. Do colleges typically refer to just one on their admissions pages?

Colleges usually only give one average GPA in their admissions statistics, and most don't mention whether it's weighted or unweighted. Some average GPAs may even be combinations of the weighted and unweighted GPAs of admitted students.

The truth is that every high school is so different that average GPA is a borderline useless statistic for comparison purposes when applying to college. It's not like SAT or ACT scores, which are calculated the same way for every student. When considering GPA statistics, don't assume that you must match or exceed the average GPA at all costs. If you really want something to shoot for, you might consider is using the average GPA to decide on a safe range for yourself. If you're within 0.2 points of the average, you're probably doing fine.

Overall, try not to get too wrapped up in the exact numbers. The best thing you can do is for your transcript is to continue taking challenging courses and earning high grades. Colleges are more concerned with the rigor of your course load and your ability to maintain academic excellence in difficult classes than the number value of your GPA. If your school only records unweighted GPAs, you might have a 3.8 but be a much more impressive applicant than someone with a 4.0 because you took higher-level classes.

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