Should You Convert Your GPA if You Attend School Outside the U.S.?

You don’t need to use a GPA conversion calculator. 

In fact, you don’t need to convert your GPA at all—and the admissions representatives do not expect you to. 

The fine details: Higher education institutions across the globe agree that it is their job, not the student’s, to understand international students’ documents within a greater context. They will take the time to convert your grades/marks/notes into a grading system that works for them. Not only that, but they’ll also consider country context, university program requirements, high school rigor, recommendations/personal statements, and more. 

A set of fantastic universities from the UK, Europe, and the United States—both public and private—kindly agreed to answer a survey and demystify some of the most frequently asked questions/comments they get from international students about grades. 

My high school does not use the same grading scale as the universities to which I will apply. The university won’t understand my grading system and that will totally affect my admissions decision! 

Hmmmm. Unlikely. In fact, not a chance. 

Universities have been welcoming international students, in many places, for centuries. Somewhere along the line, they developed a set of resources dedicated to understanding international applicants.

There are admissions representatives that travel across the globe getting to know regions and schools so they know how to ‘read’ the students better; there are courses, conferences, and literature by specialists such as ACCRAO Edge, NCAA, and WES iGPA calculator; UK Naric and the British Council and the Netherlands Universities Foundation for International Cooperation; many more reach out directly to the high schools, local EducationUSA offices, a country’s ministry of education, colleagues, and local counselors for more context when needed. In other words, this is their job—and they are good at it. 

There are admissions representatives that travel across the globe getting to know regions and schools so they know how to ‘read’ the students better. This includes:

  • Courses, conferences, and literature by specialists such as ACCRAO Edge, NCAA, and WES iGPA calculator

  • UK Naric and the British Council and the Netherlands Universities Foundation for International Cooperation

  • Input from local high schools, local EducationUSA offices, a country’s ministry of education, colleagues, and local counselors

In other words, this is their job—and they are good at it. 

Straight from the source: what admissions officers want to share with you about recalculating grades:

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