Be honest with me. Are 100%s in school worth anything more than straight A's?

Chou Toshio

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According to the guys in Admissions, my alma mater apparently routinely denies perfect 4.0s and 2400's (here's showing how old I am when I still think a flawless is 1600) if that one thing is all they have.

"3 legs to a table baby." Is basically what they said when I was asking for insight for my little sister's/cousin's applications. It's more important to be unique, differentiate yourself from the crowd someway and be balanced (for a lot of schools anyway, it all depends on where you're trying to go really).
Depending on where you live, it might translate into a lot of money for you to put in the effort to get top marks in high school. I've heard about a lot of Americans getting large scholarships, or even the entire tuition covered. It's probably worth researching specific scholarships available to you from varying sources and deciding whether your marks are going to matter for that.
A friend of mine made 10's of thousands in university getting all kinds of scholarships. He basically traded his social life for money on that one.


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As far as I know, no undergraduate institution in the United States differentiates based on your percent of a class' total score. What will really differentiate you from other high GPA students is receiving special recognition in some area (for example, winning an award in a notable math or writing competition, holding a high national rank in debate, or being extremely good at a sport). This is much more important than having an extra 3% in your classes, which I suspect is entirely irrelevant for an undergraduate application.

So no, it is not worth the effort for the extra few percentage points in a class; in fact, it may be detrimental as it distracts you from doing more beneficial things.


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Out of curiosity, are 100%'s in schools required for aspiring lawyers? Because as I understand, law is a very competitive course and I know Cambridge usually uses GCSE grades as one of their metrics (if you don't have mostly A/A* then forget it).
Nope. My girlfriend currently attends Cornell Law, and while she did very well in college, she certainly did not pull a 4.0. However, she was accepted into the program because of all the extra curricular activities that she did.

Grades do not matter as much as a lot of people seem to believe. A lot of top schools around the country don't really care too much if you pull a 100% high school average but didn't do anything else besides that. Schools are looking for individuals, not someone who is only a number and nothing else.

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