Start Caring about Your GPA Early

Start Caring about Your GPA Early

Li Chen, Staff

Have you ever thought how important your grade point average actually is? Most students know it as their GPA, a combination of all letter grades weighted as decimals and calculated to get a number that represents your GPA. 

“My 1st quarter GPA for my sophomore year of high school was a 2.5; I wasn’t satisfied with it because it’s low compared to most people’s,” sophomore Timothy O’Neal shared. “It’s very important and people should really focus on it because GPA can determine what colleges you will get in which can have a direct impact on your future jobs.” 

For those who don’t know, the formula to calculate your GPA is pretty easy. A’s are weighted as 4.0, B’s are 3.0, C’s are 2.0, D’s are 1.0, and E’s are 0. By adding up the decimals and dividing it by the number of classes you take, the result is your GPA.  

“I had a 3.0 GPA last quarter; I got a couple A’s and mostly B’s. I think my GPA is very important for the future because I want to go to a decent college and get a good scholarship so I will be able to succeed in life,” freshman Isaiah Stokes said. 

GPA indicates how hard a student has worked, and where their strength and weakness are. When you apply for a college or university they look at your paperwork to see if your fit for that school and they determine that by looking at your GPA; it often has the biggest impact on if you get accepted into the college of your choice.  If you want to go to a prestigious college or university such as Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Cornell, and Columbia, you will probably need a high GPA.  

“My GPA last quarter was a 3.25 and that was because I had 2 C’s in GT classes. My GPA really matters to me because I want to be an entrepreneur and I will need a great scholarship to get a company established,” freshman Devin Hughes remarked. “GPA in high school can determine my future before it even happens: first, it will affect the college I go to.” 

Colleges look at your GPA because it tells them how well you are able to balance coursework across classes and against other demands like a job or clubs/sports.  

“GPA importance depends on what the student wants to do after high school. Most of our students will be attending a four-year college where their GPA is one of the most important factors to getting into college,” guidance counselor Todd Pinson explained.  

While the GPA itself might be very important, the degree of challenge offered by classes matters, too. You can’t just take easy classes and get a high GPA. You should ask to get moved up to a GT or even AP class, which gives more challenging materials.  

“Students who had a low GPA in high school most likely took a different route to get in a better college than they originally were going to attend,” Mr. Pinson said. “Colleges want students to challenge themselves as much as they possibly can, but at the same time they want to see success. If students are looking to go towards military or community college first, then the GPA wouldn’t be very important.” 

Most colleges would agree that they would prefer a student who is willing to challenge themselves by taking the more difficult class, even if they don’t get as impressive of a grade than someone in a standard, less challenging, class. Many students would agree that GPA is very important to their future and a lack of effort on their GPA would have dramatic impact to them in the future.