What Colleges you can get into with a 4.0?

Having a 4.0 GPA broadens your choices to apply for top college. Here is a list of best colleges that accept 4.0 GPA, related facts, GPA scales and more.

Updated by Zubin Thomas on 7th October 2020

Incoming undergrad grade point averages for a large portion of U.S. schools and select targeted colleges where students have more chance of getting in with a 4.0. These colleges are ranked by the best colleges ranking. 

A high school GPA of 4.0 or an average may place you in the middle of the academic range at some of the colleges and the top in others. This is dependent on the type of adopted GPA scale by the school/college/university. 

The college admissions process is sometimes as mysterious as it is complex. Few colleges outline exactly how they make admissions decisions, and many decisions ultimately rely on other subjective factors like your essay or an interview. What little information we know for certain about admissions at particular schools is almost always pieced together from their released admissions statistics.

What are the GPA scales?

All schools consider an applicant’s grade point average. A grade point average, or GPA, is proof of a student’s work in high school and shows a scoring average from all of their classes. GPAs are weighted according to the difficulty of a student’s selected courses. 

Highest GPA in Unweighted scale

Grades

Points (Unweighted scale)

A

4

(Best)

B

3

(Good)

C

2

(Average)

D

1

(Low)

F

0

(Least)

On an unweighted GPA scale, only grades are counted to calculate the GPA excluding the difficulty level of a subject. That means an 'A' in AP class and 'A' in a regular session are the equivalent ones. In this scale system, the highest GPA is 4.0.

When you score ‘A’ in all the subjects, then the average comes out to be 4.0. This is the highest GPA in an Unweighted scale. This system of calculating the grade point average is followed in all hierarchy of educational institutions( high school, college, Grad-school) of the U.S.

Highest GPA in Weighted scale


Grade


Point (Weighted scale)

A

5

(Best)

B

4

(Good)

C

3

(Average)

D

1

(Low)

F

0

(Least)

On a Weighted GPA scale, the average is computed taking the difficulty of the course into consideration. The grade point increases by +1 point than the unweighted scale. Thus, the total GPA also increases. 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, if a student secures ‘A’ in non-regular classes or the Advanced Placement sessions.

You can read more about the List of AP classes

Weighted GPA vs. Unweighted GPA

Weighted GPAs consider the difficulty of the class, along with a student’s performance, to calculate a grade. Weighted GPAs use a scale ranging from 0 to 5.0 and unweighted GPAs are scaled between 0 and 4.0 with higher-level classes such as Advanced Placement and honors measured with the weighted scale. 

You can read more about Weighted vs Unweighted GPA

How GPAs are calculated and weighted vary from high school to high school, colleges are aware of this and will calculate your GPA using their own system. This way, they can compare applicants from different schools in a more standard way.

Why GPA Scales Matter?

GPA scales matter as they help you to make informed decisions about college admissions. It’s very difficult to compare yourself to other college applicants with mixed scale

Schools That Accept 4.0 GPA

Here is a list of few schools and their latest accepted GPA. 

Institution

GPA

California Institute of Technology 

4.21

Rice University

4.18

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

4.17

Yale University

4.13

Columbia University

4.13

Harvard College

4.18

Princeton University

3.9

University of Pennsylvania

3.88

Stanford University

3.94

Brown University

4.09

Dartmouth College

4.09

4 common myths about a 4.0 GPA and the truth behind them

Here are a few myths about a 4.0 GPA.

4.0 Grade Point Average is EVERYTHING for 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 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.

Scholarships Are Only For Students with a 4.0 GPA

Fact: A good grade does matter for scholarships but, not as much as you may think. What the scholarship committee looks for is 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 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.

Only Students with 4.0 GPA Get Into Top Tier Universities

Fact: This myth prevents many deserving students from applying to top universities. They do look at applicants’ GPA but that’s not all they look at. In assessing applications, these universities take into consideration a combination of factors. They look at leadership qualities, academics, motivation, involvement in the community, and others. 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 best in the theoretical aspects of a field of study. But the theory has its limitations. Many students with a 4.0 GPA are not able to apply their knowledge to practical applications. By doing an internship shows that you have valuable first-hand experience in that field. Having a lower GPA but a first-hand experience has more weight than having a high GPA with absolutely no experience. Of course, both 4.0 GPA and internship experience are a combination that can’t be beaten.

Conclusion

GPA is a very important factor in admissions and a strong predictor of success in college. 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 demonstrating that you challenged yourself in high school.

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