#042 Will grade inflation hurt your teen?

Show Notes


High school grade and GPA inflation has become rampant since COVID, and families can be caught off guard when they realize that when it comes to GPA, pretty good is no longer good enough. Brian Eufinger explains how we got here and gives tips on how to best navigate your family’s college-bound journey in the current climate so your teen can avoid roadblocks when applying to college.


Brian Eufinger is my guest today. He is a test prep and tutoring provider for the Greater Atlanta area, and he has some shocking statistics to share with you as well as some helpful advice. While test scores are certainly important, even impressively high scores are not going to be enough for many schools if your student’s grades are not up to snuff. Like it or not, grades are the most significant factor in college admissions decisions.

The reality is that because of grade inflation, the GPA that got you as a parent into college decades ago may not even be considered passable for your high school student by today’s standards. There are many factors that have played into this, including no zero policies high school teachers must adhere to and opportunities for second chances brought about by COVID. What this ultimately means is that the bar is much higher than it used to be for what qualifies as a remarkable GPA.

But this doesn’t have to be all bad news. There is a way for you to get ahead of the curve. Ideally, you should be starting early with your young teen. If your student can begin earning high school credit in the eighth grade, that is a great way to get a leg up. If you’re already past that point, consider the core courses that your student is taking and how they affect unweighted GPA. And if they’re enrolled in any AP courses, discuss with them that taking the exam will add more value to the course in the long run.


  • Why your teen’s GPA can’t be compared to yours
  • How grade inflation combined with AP coursework has compounded problems for GPAs
  • What grade compression is and how the bottom likely isn’t where you think it is
  • Advice that begins with students who are in 8th-grade

Meet Our Guest

Brian Eufinger, the co-founder of Edison Prep, has personally tutored over 10,000 students for a combined 30,000+ hours for the ACT and SAT. He has taught over 400 ACT group classes in Edison Prep’s home office in Atlanta and is hired by school districts throughout the Southeast each year to do on-site ACT Bootcamps at high schools in GA, TN, AL, and FL. He is a nationally sought-after education expert who has appeared in outlets such as CBS MoneyWatch, The College Solution, and others on test prep and cutting the cost of college. He’s spoken on the SAT and ACT at national education conferences and is a frequent podcast guest on college topics

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Links mentioned in this episode

Launch College & Career Clarity Course

Launch College and Career Clarity Facebook Community

Edison Prep Website

Instagram: @edisonpreptutoring

Episode #037 ACT-SAT Test Optional Admission Data


[3:00] What was considered a decent GPA will no longer pass in the current college climate.

[6:01] How no zero policies have contributed to grade inflation.

[8:30] AP classes offer a huge bump to GPA, even when students don’t end up sitting for the test.

[12:43] How inflation compresses the grading scale.

[15:43] How a ranking percentile system to communicate to parents where grade inflation is affecting the individual school profile would be helpful.

[17:46] Phenomenal test scores are often not enough to balance out a less-than-stellar GPA.

[20:39] Students should always test, even for test-optional programs.

[23:10] Covid learning loss has led to significantly lower average ACT and SAT scores.

Access the episode transcript here.