College Ready: What You Need to Know – Academic Grades
How are colleges using academic records to reach their decisions? Your GPA is one of those “hard factors” that colleges consider; grades and course enrollment. Four year universities often prefer that you have at least a GPA of 3.0 or B average. For some, this means hard work whereas for others, this is a relief. Of course, high grades are often equated with entrance into prestigious universities and success in higher education. High school students in honors and AP programs earn as much as 5 points on the 4 point GPA scale thereby resulting in a GPA exceeding a 4.0. However, grades reveal more than a number. Participation in rigorous courses and passing AP exams shows determination and the willingness to take on a challenge; aspects for consideration into honors programs at distinguished universities. Nevertheless, person with a 4.3 is not necessarily guaranteed to get into the college over another candidate with a lower GPA. The best approach is to continually challenge yourself, master the knowledge and skills that you learn in school instead of solely focusing on a GPA number. In short, keeping your grades as high as possible can give you an advantage, yet your GPA is only one piece of the whole picture.
Taking into account all of the “hard factors” and “soft factors,” preparing for college is a tremendous endeavor. After studying and preparing for the college admission exam, loading up your schedule with advanced courses, writing amazing essays rounding out your identity as a desirable candidate with athletics, the arts, club participation and community service, the college board or scholarship committee may turn to social media to get a full picture of the person that they are reading about in the college application.