If you’ve ever wondered how much your high school and college GPA matters, you’re not alone. Let’s unpack why your GPA matters at all stages of your education.
Your GPA and College Admissions
While all college admissions teams look at your GPA, some colleges place a higher weight on it than others. Even though all admissions teams review your grades and test scores, many believe your GPA is a strong indicator of college success. If you are applying test-optional, your GPA will likely be a larger part of the admissions equation because you won’t have test scores to review.
Think about your unique situation. How competitive are the schools on your college list? Are they test-optional? How do you feel about your test scores and current GPA?
How to Improve Your GPA
If you’re unhappy with your GPA and feel it isn’t an accurate reflection of you, there are ways to improve it.
Start your semester strong.
After summer vacation, your mind is fresh and rested. Use it to your advantage and work extra hard on those first assignments, projects, and tests. When you score highly in the first few months of your classes, you give yourself a buffer in case you don’t test as well later in the semester. Consider taking advanced courses that could increase your weighted GPA.
Do the extra credit.
Usually, teachers and professors address their extra credit policies in their syllabi. Approach them with respect and let them know you are willing to put in the effort to improve your grades. Ask about extra credit questions in advance, and don’t inquire about bonus points a few days before the final exam.
Get extra help.
If you’re struggling in a class, ask your teacher or school counselor about tutoring resources. Look into after-school help, peer help, office hours, and writing centers. There are plenty of options for students in both high school and college.
Consider summer school.
If you didn’t get the grade you hoped for, consider retaking the class in summer school. Some high schools allow you to replace your current grade with an improved one! If you plan to take the course at a different school, first get approval from your high school counselor.
Your GPA in College
Companies in math and science-based industries often ask for your college GPA. However, even if you choose a math or science major, your GPA only matters for an entry-level position. As soon as you start your career, your resume will revolve around your work experience.
Graduate admissions teams want to know if you can handle the rigor of a graduate program. If you want to attend graduate school, a high college GPA may set you apart from other applicants, especially if you’re applying to a prestigious law school or medical school.
Many college scholarships require you to maintain a certain GPA. If you have one of these scholarships, keeping your GPA high will help you keep the scholarship and pay for your college education.
A high GPA can help you stand out in your college application and future job. Make an appointment with your high school counselor or college guidance counselor if you have questions or concerns about your GPA,