GPA for Rank Policy
Beginning with the Class of 2019
Frisco ISD no longer publishes class rank beyond the top 10 percent of each graduating class.
Transcripts of students in the top 10 percent show their position relative to the total class size, in addition to their unweighted grade point average (GPA), which is based on a traditional 4.0 scale, and their weighted GPA, which is used to determine class rank.
Transcripts for the remaining 90 percent of students show both GPAs, but not class rank, so colleges and universities will have to consider students for admission based on factors other than class rank. This is especially important when large numbers of students are separated by a tiny fraction of a point in the GPA for rank calculation. The lowest-weighted GPA of seniors in the top 10 percent, first quartile, second quartile, and third quartile will be published in the Student Portal after each calculation period, so students will know generally where they fall in relation to their peers. Information for juniors, sophomores and freshmen will be published only in January and June.
Beginning with the Class of 2021
Beginning with the Class of 2021, juniors and seniors will have the option to designate one athletics or fine arts course each year to drop from the GPA for rank calculation. This option, which is voluntary and only applies to athletics and fine arts courses, is designed to encourage students to continue to pursue their interests and passions, without worrying about a potential negative impact to their GPA for rank. Eligible courses include:
Athletics - competitive sport, manager, trainer
Fine Arts - band, color guards, choir, orchestra, theatre, dance/drill team
Beginning with the Class of 2023
Beginning with the Class of 2023, FISD will adjust the weight given to specific types of courses. The new scale is as follows:
Level III - 6.0 GPA Scale
Advanced Placement (AP)
International Baccalaureate (IB)
Level II - 5.5 GPA Scale
Dual Credit Courses
Independent Study & Mentorship (ISM)
Project Lead the Way (Civil Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Digital Engineering, Engineering Design & Development)
Level I - 5.0 GPA
Frequently Asked Questions
There are two different grade point averages or GPAs that are calculated for each high school student. The unweighted GPA is a traditional GPA based on a 4.0 scale where all courses are counted equally. The GPA for rank or weighted GPA is based on a 6.0 scale where different courses carry different weights. Both the unweighted GPA and the GPA for rank are posted on a student’s transcript.
Frisco ISD is a highly-competitive school district and many students outside the top 10 percent have impressive academic and extracurricular credentials. By removing class rank, colleges will be forced to consider students in relation to all applicants from across the state and nation. This increases the chances of them standing out in the crowd. Additionally, FISD hopes to encourage students to pursue their passions and address a culture of over-competitiveness that can breed academic dishonesty and mental health concerns.
The state of Texas requires public schools to publish rank for the top 10 percent of students in each class. In Texas, students who are in the top 10 percent of their graduating class receive automatic admission to any public university or college in Texas, with the exception of The University of Texas. Students in the top 6 percent of their graduating class receive automatic admission to The University of Texas.
Concerns emerged from staff and students regarding the possible anxiety associated with competing for GPA for rank under Frisco ISD's previous policy. There was also concern that students may select or not select courses based on the belief that the courses could help or hurt their GPA for rank instead of selecting courses that they like or that will help them meet their educational goals. As a result of these concerns, Frisco ISD made several changes beginning in the 2018-19 school year related to the GPA for rank process that aims to alleviate those concerns.
Students outside the top 10 percent will not have a rank listed on their transcript, which will require universities and colleges to holistically review their application. The universities or colleges may rank students based on their system in comparison to other applicants, which FISD anticipates will benefit FISD students, who tend to perform well in comparison to students from other districts.
Students can find GPA cutoff information for each high school through the Frisco ISD Student Portal, which is available at https://portal.friscoisd.org. Once logged in to the portal, search and locate the GPA for Rank tile. Once you click on the tile, you will see two documents. The first contains the lowest-weighted GPA of students in the top 10 percent, first quartile (25 percent), second quartile (50 percent), and third quartile (75 percent) for your high school. This information provides a general idea of where students fall in the GPA for rank calculation in relation to their peers. The second document is a letter which can be shared with colleges and universities should students and parents want to provide more information about the District’s policy with their admissions application.
Frisco ISD has drafted a letter, which is also available through the Student Portal at https://portal.friscoisd.org. Students can share the letter to explain the District’s policy to admissions officers. It states, in part, that Frisco ISD is a highly-competitive school district with many students who have impressive academic and extracurricular credentials and community involvement. It goes on to state that large numbers of students are separated each year by a tiny fraction of a point in the GPA for rank calculation. This provides an option to students and parents who would like to communicate this as part of the admissions process.
Research indicated that the majority of student concerns with the previous system centered around athletics and fine arts courses.
Pre-AP courses were moved to the 5.5 level because they do not include a standardized assessment at the end of the course like AP. They are designed to be more rigorous than on-level courses, which is why they earn the 5.5 weighted credit.
Dual credit courses, while being rigorous, lack a standardized curriculum or exam. In addition, universities outside of Texas may or may not accept dual credit. Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate credit is widely accepted at universities and colleges throughout the world.
Several districts across Texas have switched to a no-rank policy for most students, including a handful in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. All the districts saw an increase in acceptance rate to schools that have an automatic acceptance policy, such as Texas A&M University and The University of Texas, because the colleges are required to review students' applications holistically and evaluate them in relation to the entire incoming class.