It seems like everyone everywhere is always talking about how you need a perfect standardized test score and a GPA over 4.0 in order to go to college. So what happens if you have a 3.5 GPA? Don’t kiss your college career goodbye just yet. Yes, there are some very competitive schools that require you to have the best of the best in terms of GPA and test scores, but there are also plenty of colleges that will happily accept you and your 3.5 GPA. Ready to learn more?
What Schools Can You Get into With a 3.5 GPA?
Please keep in mind that in the college admissions process, your GPA is not the only determining factor for you being accepted or not. Admissions boards also consider things like your essays, standardize test scores, letters of recommendation, and what extracurricular activities you’ve been involved in. But when you’re looking for colleges to apply to, using your 3.5 GPA as a starting place can help you narrow down what schools to learn more about.
Reach SchoolsBelow are some schools that will be harder to get into based on your 3.5 GPA alone. Remember, these are not all of the schools that can be a reach school for you; they’re just a sampling I’ve put together.
Now, your Match Schools are the ones that you and your GPA are a good fit for. Below are a few schools to get you started with your college search. They’re by no means the only ones!
These are the schools that will look at your 3.5 GPA and probably send you an acceptance letter on the spot. You have a much higher chance of getting into these schools than the others we’ve discussed, but they’re just a starting point for you!
What Can You Do Next?
Honestly, this depends on where you are in your high school career. The advice that works for a freshman will not apply to you if you’re a senior. So, I’ve organized my words of wisdom based on your grade. If you’re a
- Freshman: You have plenty of time to improve your GPA so you can apply to more competitive colleges. Now is a great time to work with a tutor if you’re struggling with specific subjects or a personal coach if you have a time management problem.
- Sophomore: Don’t worry, if you work really hard this year and your junior year, you can bring up your GPA slightly. You should concentrate on developing good study habits and working with someone to keep you accountable.
- Junior: Because the GPA you have now is what will show up when you apply to college, there’s not much you can do to change your GPA. I suggest you maintain your grades and focus your efforts on test prep instead.
- Senior: You’re probably in the middle of applying for schools right now! Work with a college consultant to help you identify more schools that fit your GPA and standardized test scores.
Remember, if you want to go to a more competitive school, but it’s not possible right now, you can always work towards transferring. Be sure to do your research to make sure you can coordinate classes and that the move won’t be a great strain financially.College admissions is really competitive and leaves a lot of students feeling left out if your GPAs aren’t over a 4.0, but trust me when I say you have every right to be proud of your GPA. I know these schools aren’t always talked about as often, but I don’t want you to think that just because you have a 3.5 GPA that you have no good options in terms of colleges. You now have 33 options to choose from. And that’s just a sampling!Do you have a 3.5 GPA? What are your thoughts on some of the schools we talked about? Comment below and tell us what’s on your mind!