What Colleges Can I Get Into with a 4.0 GPA?

All about the 4,0 weighted GPA. Are you wondering, what colleges can I get into with a 4.0? Or how to get a 4.0 GPA? Read on.

TCM Staff

22nd August 2021

College admissions teams assess a bunch of documents and scores when deciding on successful candidates. Letters of recommendation, transcripts, SAT and ACT scores, and Grade Point Average (GPA) are all examples of factors for consideration. Generally, students have a great chance of scoring admission into top colleges with a 4.0 weighted GPA. 

A high school GPA of 4.0 may place you in the middle of the academic range for admission at some colleges, and at the top of the range for other colleges. This depends on the type of GPA scale that the college adopted. Additionally, not all colleges even have minimum GPA requirements, including Yale! But, if you look at admission statistics for accepted applicants to top universities, their GPAs tend to be higher than average.  

What Are the GPA Scales?

All schools consider an applicant’s grade point average, or GPA. A GPA is a number that tells you how well you performed in your courses, overall. Usually scaled between 1.0 and 4.0, GPAs show colleges, in conjunction with other factors, whether or not a student meets their academic standards. 

GPAs are measured on an unweighted scale, which accounts for a student’s grades, or a weighted scale, which accounts for the difficulty level of the classes. 

Unweighted GPA Scale

Unweighted GPA scales, only count grades are counted to calculate GPA. These calculations don’t account for the difficulty of a subject. So, an A in an AP class and an A in a regular class have the same unweighted GPA. In an unweighted GPA scale system, the highest possible GPA is 4.0.

When you score ‘A’ in all of your classes, the average GPA comes to 4.0, the highest GPA on an unweighted scale. 

Most educational institutions in the US, including high schools, colleges, and grad schools use this system of using grades to calculate the GPA. 

Highest to Lowest GPA in an Unweighted Scale


Points (Unweighted Scale)
















Weighted GPA Scales

On a weighted GPA scale, the GPA is calculated while considering the difficulty of a given course. A GPA on an unweighted scale increases by +1 point on a weighted scale. The following table shows the weighted scale calculation for the highest GPA in a school or college. 

In this system, the highest GPA you can get is 5.0. Students can achieve this by securing As in both regular classes and more difficult classes, such as Advanced Placement (AP) sessions.  

Colleges and universities consider both weighted and unweighted GPAs, but often calculate their own form of a GPA to better compare applicants. 

You can read more about Weighted vs Unweighted GPA


Highest to Lowest GPA in a Weighted Scale


Point (Weighted scale)
















You can read more about the List of AP classes

What Is a 4.1 GPA?


A 4.1 GPA is outside the scope of an unweighted GPA scale (ends at 4). This means that a GPA of 4.1 was calculated with a weighted GPA scale (ends at 5), and took the difficulty of classes into account. You might be thinking, is a 4.1 weighted GPA good? Absolutely — a 4.1 GPA is a stellar score.

Woman sitting at her computer studying


Can You Get a 4.0 GPA in College?

Achieving a 4.0 unweighted GPA in college is difficult, but possible. To achieve this GPA, you would need to score As in every single one of your classes. 


To score a weighted 4.0 GPA in college, it’s slightly easier. That’s only because it isn’t the absolute highest score you could get on a weighted scale. 


Schools That Accept Applicants with a 4.0 GPA

Mind you, most colleges and universities will be impressed with a 4,0 GPA. However, these schools listed below not only accept students with a GPA, they often are used to seeing applicants with a 4.0 GPA. 



California Institute of Technology 


Rice University


Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Yale University


Columbia University


Harvard College


Princeton University


University of Pennsylvania


Stanford University


Brown University


Dartmouth College



How Do I Get a 4.0 GPA? 

To get a 4.0 GPA, you must aim for perfection. To achieve an unweighted 4.0 GPA, you must score As in all of your classes. Here are some tips to bring that GPA up:


    1. Ask Your Teacher for Help

Don’t be afraid to seek support from your instructor if you’re having trouble with any concept taught in class. Catching it early helps you avoid mistakes down the line. It also builds your relationship with your teacher, which might help influence your grades. 


    2. Take Care of Your Body

Your physical health plays a big role in your ability to concentrate, study, and get your grades up. Eat healthy meals, sleep well, and exercise regularly to make sure you’re physically feeling in tip-top shape. 


    3. Mind Your Social Circle

Having friends with diverse interests is great, but it’s wise to make connections with classmates that have similar goals to you. That way, you can both keep each other accountable, study together, and share a mindset that’s tailored to succeeding. 


    4. Join a Study Group

If you’re struggling to make time for your studies or find yourself procrastinating, join a study group. Find other students in your classes who also want to dedicate time to homework or studying. 


4 Common Myths About a 4.0 GPA and the Truth Behind Them

We hear about the illustrious 4.0 GPA everywhere — whether it’s at school, on T.V., or a college blog! It’s easy to breed misconceptions, so let us take you through a few myths about a 4.0 GPA.


Myth #1: A 4.0 Grade Point Average is the Only Thing That Matters in College Admissions

Fact: Yes, good grades matter. But they are not the last word when it comes to college admissions. When going through your application, admissions personnel will consider several other factors too. Some of these include community service, extra-curricular activities, test scores, and research experience. Some may even want to know whether or not you completed any Advanced Placement course. In most schools today, having a 4.0 GPA may not help you much as you’d think if you don’t have any other accomplishments.

Myth #2: Scholarships Are Only For Students With a 4.0 GPA

Fact: A good grade does offer more potential for scholarships but, not as much as you may think. Scholarship committees look for someone passionate about what the school and their scholarship can help them achieve. Your GPA is only a part of what is important for a scholarship committee. For them, the most important part is whether your passion and values coincide with theirs. Students who are involved in extracurricular activities or are active in their community are more likely to win.

Myth #3: Only Students With a 4.0 GPA Get Into Top-Tier Universities

Fact: This myth causes many deserving students to hesitate in applying to top universities. Admissions teams do look at an applicant’s GPA; but, that’s not all they look at. In assessing applications, universities consider a combination of factors. They look at leadership qualities, academics, motivation, involvement in the community, and more. The reason is simple; all colleges want to create a class of students with different capabilities and skills. The only way to do this is to pick students who have achieved levels of performance in varied fields, not just academics.

Getting a High GPA is More Important than Doing an Internship

Fact: Having a high GPA shows that you are the best in the theoretical aspects of a field of study. But that theory has its limitations. Many students with a 4.0 GPA are not able to apply their knowledge to practical situations. By doing an internship, you gain first-hand, practical experience in a field. Having a lower GPA but also a first-hand experience has more weight than having a high GPA with absolutely no experience. Of course, both a 4.0 GPA and internship experience are a combination that can’t be beaten.

A photo of a student examining their grades



Your GPA is a very important factor in your college application, as well as a strong predictor of success in college. You should certainly consider how to get a 4.0 GPA and then learn what colleges you can get into with that GPA. However, a student’s average GPA is just one of the considerations in the admissions process. An impressive GPA will go a long way toward being accepted into a top-flight school, but so will strong standardized test scores, outstanding extracurricular activities, and internships.


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