Grade Grubbing

Earlier this month, I was sitting with a Class of 2015 client, who was nervous about her college admissions chances.

I looked over her transcript – she enrolled in her school’s IB (International Baccalaureate) program, one of the most competitive, well-respected curricula out there.  (An IB class is weighted the same as AP, or Advanced Placement courses.  Each is weighted higher than honors courses.)

Her grades were mostly As, with one or two B’s.  She was wondering whether she should take some easier classes to get her grades up (!).

“Oh, you mean ‘Grade Grubbing,’” I said.


I explained that, far and away, the most important characteristic that every college wants to see in an applicant is his or her zest for learning.  Meaning, how much did the student challenge himself for the sake of learning.

NOT just to achieve a high GPA.

Another way to look at it – they’d rather take the kid who stayed after class to discuss the Vietnam War instead of the guy who cries that his 89 should have been a 95.

I advised my client that, since her grades were outstanding in the most challenging courses offered by her school, she should suck it up and continue to push herself.  (Of course she was thrilled at getting advice opposite that which she was hoping for.  But that’s why I get the big bucks – to tell kids what they don’t want to hear.)

Same advice to you, pal.

Your Correspondent,

– Andy Lockwood


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Lockwood College Consulting
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Plainview New York 11803