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Frequently Asked Questions During the Application Process

September 6, 2023
A post by Julie Du Pont, Senior Assistant Director of Admission

Richmond appreciates that students bring a wide range of academic and personal experiences to our campus. However, some experiences that students think are specific to them are shared by many other students. Let’s look at some situations that are more common than you might think.

My school does not offer AP, IB, or Dual Enrollment courses. Will my coursework not be considered as rigorous as the courses of students who have AP, IB, or Dual Enrollment course designations in their schools?

Comparing students at different schools with varying curriculums is like comparing apples and oranges — so we don’t do it! Instead, we are looking at your course selection within the context of what is offered at your school. Your guidance office or college counseling office provides us with a School Profile, which tells us more about your school’s course offerings and denotes which courses are considered to be at the same level as an AP/IB/Dual Enrollment course. Your counselor’s letter of recommendation might also highlight the classes you took that were at your school’s most rigorous level. If you’ve taken many advanced courses or many honors courses when those are considered the most rigorous classes you could take, then we’ll know that you’ve challenged yourself academically.

My high school does not calculate GPA on a 4.0 scale. Will this hurt me in the application review process?

Not at all! While the School Profile often tells us about your school’s GPA calculation, Richmond also recalculates the GPA of all applicants. We recalculate your GPA using only your core classes (English, science, second language, math, and social studies) and we remove the weight from any AP, IB, Dual Enrollment, or Honors classes. However, we are still considering your course rigor when looking at your transcript.

I transferred high schools. How does that change how Richmond views my application?

We see applicants who have transferred high schools quite often, and we know it happens for a variety of reasons. Maybe you have moved, are seeking a personal change, or you simply want a different academic experience. Not to worry! We will be able to evaluate your full educational experience using the context of all schools you have attended. Please just ensure that you are sending us the transcripts from each school. You will also be required to provide us with a brief explanation of why you changed schools on the “Education History” section of the Common App or in an “Additional Information” section if you complete a different application.

I experienced a serious personal/medical/family situation that impacted my grades and/or extracurricular activities. How do I let you know about that?

We understand that life happens—and there is space for you to tell us more about that. For things that impacted your entire school (virtual classes during COVID, hurricane flooding, etc.), that information will likely be in the School Profile that your guidance or college counseling office sends us. For events that were personal to you, you are welcome to disclose them if you feel comfortable doing so in the “Additional Information” section of your application. You also might ask your counselor to include it in their recommendation letter (only if you are comfortable sharing). Any context we have about you as a student or as a person is helpful in our review process.