GPA—the dreaded three letters that can make or break your college dreams. While the average acceptance rate of US colleges is 57.94%, the number drops to 4% or less for top universities like Harvard or Stanford.
We don’t want to scare you, but let’s face it—improving your GPA is one of the most important steps to be worry-free about your college application. Whether you’re aiming for an Ivy League or a state school, let’s understand why improving your GPA matters and how you can use it to bag that sweet acceptance letter from your dream college.
What are GPA and weighted GPA, and how are they calculated?
GPA, or grade point average, reflects your average score in your courses. A high school GPA is calculated by dividing the total course grades and dividing them by the total number of credits. This is calculated on a scale of 4.0.
Another measure of your academic merit can be a weighted GPA. It gives higher weightage to difficult courses, and the scale ranges between 0 to 5. Colleges consider weighted GPA in most cases now, so students who take up difficult courses will have the upper hand.
How a good GPA can help you get into your dream college
When you’re filling out the application for your dream colleges, you will need many other things besides your details.
You will be required to submit the following:
- A college essay (a great way to showcase your individuality and stand out from other applicants)
- High school transcript (details of which courses you took in high school and how much you scored)
- Standardized test scores (such as SAT or ACT)
- Three letters of recommendation (from your school counselor or subject teachers who have taught you in the last 2 years of high school)
- Details of extracurricular activities that you took part in.
GPA is often used as a screening tool to check if an applicant meets the basic requirements for admission. It helps showcase your academic prowess, potential, commitment to learning, and inclination toward the subjects you’re studying.
The top universities on your wish list will most likely have a sky-high average GPA (weighted) requirement. Let’s have a look:
Source: Crimson Education
When you meet or exceed the minimum GPA requirement of a college, it can significantly increase your chances of getting admission. Not just that, a high GPA will also make you eligible for grants and scholarships, taking away a big load off your student loan.
Recommended Reading: 5 Most Impressive Extracurricular Activities For Ivy League (2023)
5 Tips to Improve GPA
Improving your GPA (Grade Point Average) requires a combination of dedication, hard work, and smart study strategies. Here are some tips that can help you improve your GPA:
- Attend all your classes: Make sure you attend and pay attention to the lectures. Take good notes and ask questions if you’re unclear about anything.
- Review and revise your notes regularly: Spend time each day before and after school to review and revise your notes. This will help you retain the information you’ve learned and prepare for exams.
- Study smartly: Use effective study techniques such as flashcards, mind maps, or summarizing the material in your own words. If you’re tech-savvy, you can also use note-taking apps like Notion to document your learnings and access them on the go.
- Manage your time: Prioritize your time and create a schedule for studying and relaxation. Avoid procrastinating and leaving everything to the last minute.
- Take advantage of extra help: Seek extra help if needed, such as attending tutoring sessions, office hours, or online study groups.
Final Thoughts: Balancing is the key
GPA isn’t the sole factor that can earn you a seat in your dream college, but it’s the first point the admission officers consider when reviewing applications. The good news is there are plenty of ways to improve your GPA and set yourself up for a successful college acceptance. The secret is balance—stay organized, keep up with your school assignments and daily coursework, and focus on learning. Be open to asking for help from teachers, tutors, or peers whenever needed.
Emphasize the other requirements of the application process as well— build a good rapport with your teachers, pay attention to your SAT or ACT preparation, and have fun with extracurricular activities. The process may seem daunting, but once you crack how to balance things, it gets a lot easier.
Moonpreneur offers STEM programs in robotics, game development, app development, and other futuristic sciences to help students build top-notch profiles and pursue their passion projects. Start your journey to success today!