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Ask Mike: What’s More Important: GPA or SAT Score?

Dear Mike,

Is my son’s SAT score as important as his GPA?  Is the score more important??

Mom in New York

Dear Interested Mom,

This is a question that is better answered by a qualified and experienced college guidance counselor or, even better, a college admissions officer. Even so, I’ll give you my opinion, but first, here’s a typical “Mike answer”: it depends!

Different schools place different emphasis on the many aspects of the application, and as such, not all schools treat SAT scores equally (remember that some schools don’t even require SAT scores at all). So it is up to your son to do a bit of research to find out how the schools he’s applying to value standardized test scores.

Now, if you want my opinion, I would say that at nearly all of the most selective universities and many of the most selective liberal arts colleges,  high school GPA,  application essays, and SAT scores will–with few exceptions–play the most significant role in the admissions committee’s decision, so make sure they’re all on par with those of other students!

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