Weighted College Applications

Marietta Lehmitz, Staff Writer

Getting into college is no easy task. Throughout our lives we are told that we need a good
GPA, extracurricular activities, rigorous classes, and high ACT or SAT tests scores to get into a
good college. If being a high school student isn’t hard enough we have had to keep all of these in
mind in anticipation of choosing and applying to colleges. I think that college applications
should focus on different aspects of the student’s life instead of just test scores and cumulative
The majority of students don’t like the ACT or SAT not only because they are long tests
but because they feel the scores are not accurate. The ACT is basically a test to test your ability
to take tests. Instead of testing the testing ability of subjects it might be more beneficial to base
college acceptance off of an IQ test which test the ability to think through problems. Colleges,
such as Utah State University, have applications that only take about fifteen minutes to fill out
because they only ask for your personal information, grades, and ACT scores. On the other hand
Brigham Young University uses three aspects and weights them equally.
Colleges ask for a cumulative GPA instead of a weighted GPA. You don’t need a 4.0 to
get into a great school, but all four years of high school will be considered in the initial
screening. It seems unfair to students who take rigorous classes and end up getting a B when
others take easy classes to get an A.  The latter may show a higher cumulative GPA, but the
former probably learned more and worked harder in their classes. Weighing GPAs can reward
students for academic achievements when enrolled in tough classes.
An index score is often used to determine college acceptance and eligibility for
scholarships. The index score can be found when your ACT score and GPA intersect on a chart.
Colleges believe that there is a direct correlation between the two. However, you can be a good
student with a good GPA but a bad test taker, or vice versa. These combinations make your
index score lower, which may limit your ability to get into the college of your choice or to be
awarded a scholarship.  Either way, your index score doesn’t accurately represent all that you
offer as a student, or your ability to learn.
Some colleges do focus on extracurricular activities in their application process. These
are the things you do in your free time and can reveal a lot about you. According to
bigfutures.collegeboard.org, colleges want to know what your accomplishments are outside the
classroom to show you what you’re passionate about and that you have qualities valued by
colleges. Colleges really like to see certain clubs and organizations like athletics, service and
leadership clubs. It’s a good thing to keep a list of activities, competitions, services, and
leadership opportunities so when it’s time to apply it makes you look better. However, not all
colleges look at your extracurricular activities when you apply. I personally don’t feel that
colleges weigh your extracurricular as much as they should.
Overall, applying to college makes you wish that the process was done differently.
Colleges should reevaluate how much they weigh portions of their application instead of
focusing on just ACT scores and unweighted GPA. Students spend so much time participating in
extracurricular and it isn’t being credited for college applications.