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All GPAs Are Not Created Equal

August 24, 1995

In The Times' recent feature on independent educational consultants, "In Search of a Perfect Match" (July 12), one of the consultants quoted is misinformed. Betsy Frederick hypothesized: " . . If a student has a 2.8 GPA and a low SAT, he can probably get into the University of Denver."

The average SAT in our entering first-year class last fall was 1015. The average class rank for incoming freshmen is the 86th percentile. Nearly one-third of the students graduated in the top 10% of their class. It's true that a small percentage of the entering class had high school GPAs below 3.0. To imply that a 2.8 GPA would be a "perfect match" for the University of Denver is just plain wrong.

The problem with Frederick's comments is that it implies that all GPAs are created equal. They are not, and there are many reasons why. For example, some college freshmen have lower GPAs because they choose extremely challenging courses in academically rigorous high schools. Should they be excluded in order to keep the numbers up? Of course not.

Frederick's offhand comment ignores the fact that GPAs and SAT scores are never a complete measure of learning potential nor prediction of academic success. Good independent educational consultants--and good college admission counselors--always look beyond the numbers.

ROGER H. CAMPBELL

Dean of Admission

University of Denver

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