An Eligible College Student must make the most of their time During School Hours. This includes getting good grades. What are good grades? The best grades you can obtain, with effort. If you often don’t bother with homework, studying for tests, and asking for help when you are confused, then you are not getting good grades.
The good news is that if you have not been getting good grades, it’s usually not too late to make a change for the better. See Grades and Test Scores – How do I Fix This? for advice.
If your grades/GPA are less than stellar, you will have to look closely at which Colleges heavily weight GPA and have high average GPA’s for incoming Freshman. Unless you believe you have extenuating circumstances (health issues, difficult home life, etc.) or a phenomenal talent that compensates for your grades, you will find it difficult to enroll in a highly selective college that heavily weights GPA. Remember that your GPA is a reflection on both your academic abilities and efforts. A low GPA, unless you have extenuating circumstances, means you either struggle in school or don’t try very hard at school. Colleges want to admit students who they believe will be successful. If they believe their school’s academic rigor will be too hard for you, or wonder if you are ready to better apply yourself in College, they may choose to not admit you.
An easy way to estimate how highly a college considers your GPA is through collegedata.com. Type in the name of a school, choose the Admission tab and scroll down to Selection of Students. Many factors that can impact admission are listed, including Academic GPA. Factors are categorized as either Very Important, Important, Considered or Not Considered. Below the Selection of Students Section, a section titled Grade Point Average of Enrolled Freshman might help you determine average GPA. Many Colleges choose to not report that information. If that College publishes the Common Data Set, you can find that information there.
If you have a particular College you are interested in, the best way to learn more about how your grades will impact your admission chances is to call, or better yet, meet with an Admission Officer from that school. They have a much better understanding of this process, and can give you the most accurate information. If you start asking around, you will hear about multiple students applying to the same school. On paper, one applicant appears to clearly be more qualified, but they are not accepted, while another, seemlngly less qualified applicant is accepted. Admissions is complicated, and something you will never fully understand.