Weighted Grades


What are weighted grades?

Weighted grades are grades that are assigned a higher number when calculating grade point average (GPA).

What courses are weighted?

PHS students will earn weighted grades for completing AP (Advanced Placement) and CIS (College in the Schools) courses.

Are PSEO courses weighted?

No.  The only college level courses that are awarded a higher “weight” are those that are taken through the CIS program.

What is CIS (College in the Schools)?

The CIS program is a partnership between Princeton High School and Anoka-Ramsey Community College, St. Cloud State University, and the University of Minnesota. This program allows eligible high school juniors and seniors to enroll in college courses taught at PHS. These are dual-enrollment courses, meaning students are able to earn both college credits through the corresponding college or university, and credits toward meeting PHS graduation requirements. College tuition is paid for the student through the Post Secondary Enrollment Options Act (PSEO). Princeton High School offers: College English, College Biology, College Government, College Psychology, College Chemistry, German III, German IV, Spanish III, Spanish IV, Basic and Applied Statistics. Please see course descriptions in registration guide for specific requirements and prerequisites.

Why are we weighting the grades/GPA?

Weighted GPA is often employed by high schools to better represent students’ academic accomplishments.  Weighted GPA takes into account course difficulty rather than providing the same letter grade to GPA conversion for every student.  Usually, weighted GPA is measured on a scale of 0 to 5.0, which is the format PHS is transitioning to. An A in a CIS or AP class translates into a 5.0 weighted GPA, while an A in a non-weighted class will translate to a 4.0 GPA.  

How will this affect a student’s GPA?

Seniors will have a 5.0 GPA and a 4.0 GPA this year.  As we transition from a 4.0 to a 5.0 system, both GPAs will appear on a student’s transcript.  

How will senior class rank be affected?

Class rank will be calculated using both 4.0 and 5.0 GPA calculations.  Both ranks will be posted for students who may choose whichever is in his/her best interest.  Both ranks are valid for scholarship and entrance applications.  

How will honors for graduation be determined?

A dual system will be in place for the Class of 2017.  Using unweighted grades, any student, or students,  with 4.0 (or highest GPA) will be identified as having Valedictorian status.  The student, or students, with the next highest GPA will be identified as having Salutatorian status.  Using weighted grades, any student, or students, with 5.0 (or highest GPA) will also be identified as Valedictorian status.  The student, or students, with the next highest GPA will also be identified as Salutatorian status.  These calculations are determined at the end of the 11th trimester of high school.

Will that create multiple Valedictorians and Salutatorians?

Yes.  Typically, PHS has had multiple Valedictorians and Salutatorians.  If a student meets criteria, they earn the distinction.   

Are we still having Valedictorians and Salutatorians?

The policy for academic recognition has changed from Valedictorian (highest GPA)  and Salutatorian (second highest GPA) to Graduation with Honors (see below).  The class of 2017 will have both systems in place.  

Summa Cum Laude (3.9000 - 4.000) or (4.900 - 5.000) Gold Cord

Magna Cum Laude (3.700 - 3.899) or (4.700 - 4.899) Red Cord

Cum Laude (3.500 - 3.699) or (4.500 - 4.699) White Cord