What is a Good High School GPA?

One of the queries that most prospective students have is - What exactly is a Good GPA? In this article, let us discuss in detail regarding good GPA.

TCM Staff

6th May 2020

If you are beginning your journey towards the college selection and application process, it is but natural to have quite a few queries. One of the queries that most prospective college-goers have is - What exactly is a Good GPA?

Precisely, the average unweighted high school GPA is about a 3.0, which is graded as a B average. Keep in mind that this is the average for all students in the country, which includes 34% of high school students who don't go to colleges. 

The average high school GPA for college students is greater than 3.0. However, you may be able to gain admission to a less selective school with a low GPA of 2.0. The detailed and specific numbers are less important than your individual experience. 

Let us discuss this in detail now.

What is a Good GPA for You?

Every school is different and has different guidelines. Also, the category of students varies. You should always remember that colleges will take into account every information they have about your high school when estimating and weighing your GPA. Admissions officers recognize that two students from different high schools may have different GPAs but rather equal academic potential.

If a high school uses a weighted system that includes additional credits for advanced placement, admirably your GPA would be over 4.0.

Your odds of gaining entry to a highly selective school are pretty good if your GPA is above 3.7. While it is also possible to attend a selective school if your GPA is below 3.7, you will have to show some extraordinary results in various other areas of your application.

For you, as a student, it is important to Set your College Goals-

Have you set a goal for the top colleges or are you planning to seek admission into a college with low tuition fees?

Seeing the standards and measures of top schools, it is likely that most of the GPAs are earned in the highest-level classes. Hence, when there is such a level of selectivity, the coursework of students will be analyzed just as closely as the numerical values of their GPAs. Top schools are only looking for the top-performing students in the highest-level classes hence it is important to set high goals to get into the top colleges.

Step by Step: Figuring Out a Good GPA for Your Situation

  1. How to decide whether your GPA is good in the situation of your proposal for college? Following these steps will give you a clear idea of where you are and where you need to be

  2. Figure out a list of colleges you are interested in. Perhaps doing research on colleges and making a list based on your preferences is a great start to proceed further.

  3. Find out the average GPAs of the colleges and their admission rates

  4. Contrast your GPA with the average GPA of the schools you desire to get admission into. 

Examine the admission rates of the schools you have selected. Two schools may have very different admission rates but the same average GPAs. This means that the more selective school expects the same GPA but with more demanding coursework.

Extremely demanding coursework along with average GPA is required for schools with a lesser admission rate whereas for schools with an admission rate up to 40%  will require demanding coursework to an extent. 

For admission rates greater than 40% will require mid-level coursework. With a  greater than 60% admissions rate, you won’t require much coursework since your GPA is quite good.

How can you improve your GPA?

It is not a cakewalk to improve the GPA, however, with consistent efforts and hard work nothing is impossible to achieve. Let us look at some of the tips which will help you to improve your GPA.

Take the challenging and difficult classes

Your GPA will be more impressive to colleges if it is earned in harder classes. It shows your ability to work hard and that you are competitive enough to accept such challenges. 

You should follow this only if your GPA is already good by the numbers but you are not taking difficult classes. If you are not able to cope up with the current workload under all the stress, try to finish it first and gradually move towards accepting such challenges.

Be organized with your schedule and concentrate

Be enthusiastic and focussed on increasing your scores. You need to be consistent with your study habits and should not pile up assignments for the eleventh hour. Hence it is essential for you to develop a schedule for each day so as to be persistent with your studies.


Hence it's important to consider the following-

  • How your school calculates GPA

  • The levels of your coursework and also selectivity of choosing the colleges

Though improving GPA is a challenging task, you may be able to make significant changes if you're a dedicated freshman. You can do so by challenging yourself with your coursework, asking for extra help, and revising your study habits.

If it's too late to significantly improve your GPA and you don't feel that it's quite as good as it should be, you should rather focus on improving your standardized test scores. This will give you a better return on investment for the hours you spend studying. Hence, just keep working hard, and don't get discouraged!

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