Are there any academic programs or jobs where elementary school grades are relevant?

At least in the US, once you get a Bachelor’s degree, High School basically becomes irrelevant. Undergraduate curricula or GPA may be relevant even after achieving a Masters or a PhD, though.

Are there ANY instances where an adult would be evaluated based on an Elementary (a.k.a. Primary, which in the US is generally K-6) School transcript, assuming that they at least made it into high school? E.g. to qualify for further education, for professional licensure, or for employment?


Mr. Jones, you record is excellent. Your MA is impeccable, and you received your Bachelor’s degree with honors and strong recommendations. Your High School performance is decent, but when we looked at your primary school records, we found this. It turns out that your third and fourth grade report cards include significantly derogatory History and English grades. We’re sorry, we cannot extend an offer of employment at the present time due to this.


Mr. Robinson, while your law school grades are acceptable, and you passed the Bar exam, a review of your qualifications revealed a significantly derogatory academic history lasting from first to fourth grade. This is so bad that not even a 3.5 BA GPA and a 3.2 law school GPA can overcome it. Sorry, we will be unable to admit you to the bar.

I can’t even begin picture a situation in which this would be the case.

From what I’ve seen, in the non-academic sector, once you start working, the importance of your academic career (particularly your grades) becomes very low, if not non-existent – and that’s high school or college, much less grade school. Generally speaking, what’s going to be important is the most recent part of the resume – if you have no job experience, then it’s your last bit of schooling. If you have job experience, it’s your job(s).

Even in academia, where there’s probably going to be more focus on your academic record, that focus is going to be on college and graduate school, not high school, much less grade school.

Are you trying to build a case for how your kid’s grade in 5th-grade social studies is going to be an everlasting mark on his “permanent record”? :smiley:

In all seriousness, you’re talking about stuff which is (a) ten to twenty years (or more) in the job applicant’s past, and (b) happened when he was not just a minor, but a pre-teen. Even a criminal record from when you’re that age generally doesn’t follow you around.

Work it backwards.

In order to get hired at [insert prestigious firm here], you need to have an advanced degree from a prestigious graduate school.

In order to get into the prestigious grad school, you have to have gotten your Bachelor’s at a prestigious undergrad school.

In order to get into the prestigious undergrad school, you have to have graduated from a prestigious private high school.

In order to get into the pretigious private high school, you have to have exemplary grades from a prestigious private middle school.

In order to get into the prestigious private middle school, you have to have exemplary grades from a prestigious private grade school.

In order to get into the prestigous private grade school, you have to have gone to a prestigious pre-schoool.

As I understand it, this is why so many New York parents are so fiercely uptight about where their kids go to pre-school, and why pre-school admissions therein are so competitive.

Such as? What schools are so restrictive that WHAT high school you went to matters, and that a person with, say, 3.7-4.0 from a public high school can’t get in?

It’s all hypothetical at this point, honestly. IMHO the New York parents who are freaking out about their tots getting into a top-flight pre-school so he can get into a top-flight grade school etc. are much ado about nothing. AFAIK no public or private university in this country will deny admission to a graduate of a public high school (assuming she had the right grades, extra-cirriculars, etc.).

I don’t know about the US, but here in Quebec school records are sealed for 75 years and no one but the student has access (his parents do until age 16, I believe).

3.7 to 4.0? That will not get you into a prestigious college. You need to be taking the AP courses (basically the first college courses in a discipline). Generally the AP course give you one extra point for that. So an A in AP physics would counts as a 5 when computing your GPA. So you need above a 4.0 to get in to prestigious colleges. Some schools offer more AP classes than others.

The point is, attending a rural or inner city public high school does not eliminate you from consideration at any college or university, given that you meet whatever the normal criteria for admission.

Harvard has over 3000 valedictorians apply each year: they accept about 1400 kids total each year, and many of them are not valedictorians. This is true at all of the tier I schools and quite a few tier 2 schools.

It’s very, very difficult to get accepted to the University of Texas if you are not in the top 8% of your senior class, and in some schools a 3.7 would not put you there–especially if you opted for a lot of extracurricular classes or just regular classes instead of advanced classes.

Eliminate you? No. Make it significantly more difficult? Yes. Actually, the group that has it the hardest for the tier I schools are probably kids at very good public suburban high schools. Exclusive admissions committees want a bunch of different “types” in each class, and so there’s only so many “nice suburban kid, good scores, good activities, good interview, good rec” slots, and a whole lot of kids that fit that profile and apply. The inner-city and rural kids aren’t competing with as many demographically kids, and the top private school kids are less numerous and have had more opportunities to develop stuff on their resume that really stands out (“What I learned volunteering in Somalia” is a better essay than yet another “what I learned when I didn’t make cheer squad”.)

Not grades, but I’ve been told that in the process of vetting people for high security clearances they may call your grade school teachers.

I doubt this very much, if for no other reason that a considerable number of elementary schools, including the one I attended, don’t give out “grades”. IIRC, when the teachers had discussions with the parents (twice a year), they did break things down into subjects, but unless the teacher recommended summer school (and even then, I don’t know if this was ever enforced, as the schoolyard stayed open during the summer, and I don’t remember ever seeing, or even hearing about, anyone attending summer school), what was discussed never went into a student’s record. (The only thing that might be available for “outside perusal” is the results of standardized tests.)

Then why do so many employment applications ask not only which elementary school I attended, and the address, but the subjects I studied? I grant you that they’re not asking for a transcript or for my grades, but I never understood why the heck there is a “Subjects Studied:” space that I’m expected to fill in. Is there that much of a variety among elementary schools that they need to know whether I took spelling or not?

Where have you run into that?

Frankly, I’ve never seen anything like that. For what sorts of jobs do you see this on the application? Are these jobs for which a degree (something beyond a high school diploma) is typically required?

Also, does that section of the application have the same “format” for college, high school, and grade school (i.e., is it a grid in which the same questions are being asked for each level)?

My stepbrother-in-law served in the Marines, and was selected to serve on the guard detail at Camp David. When he was chosen for the post, he had to produce a list of all of his schools (and teachers), as well as every job at which he had ever worked (including the summer job he had at age 15, taking tickets at the movie theater), and every instance in which he had left the country. And, he had to come up with that complete list within 24 hours.

He wasn’t sure of the extent to which they checked all of that background information; he suspected that part of the purpose was to see if you were together enough to be able to come up with all that information on short notice.

Billy from the Family Circus has already answered this question

Could be that my memory is faulty, or maybe traditional job applications have changed over the decades.

Anyway, I went to Google Images, and entered “job application”. I found an awful lot of applications which asked about high school AND college AND other schools, which is clearly more information that most of the posters here would think is needed.

After about 10 or 15 such hits (I looked only at the ones which clearly had some sort of grid to fill in) I did find this one. Look at Page 3 there, and you’ll see that tis does ask about all sorts of schools. Please note that this employer will hire kids as young as 15, but even they would already be in high school, making the Elementary School questions irrelevant.

This is where I have seen such forms. I highly doubt they expect you to fill in the info for elementary school, and I never bother.

It’s my guess that a company using that sort of application uses it for every position in the company- some people haven’t completed elementary school and some jobs probably don’t require it.