We hear it all the time: “Can I get into college with a low GPA?” This is a question I get asked by a lot of students who are worried about their grade point average. Or, they ask if their GPA average is high enough for a specific school. In either case, the answer is usually yes. 


That said, it’s certainly a lot harder to get into your dream college with a low GPA, and of course there are elite schools out there that won’t even consider you. But even the top-tier schools have been known to leave the door open for people with lower than expected GPAs. If the Ivy League schools wanted to fill their classes up with valedictorians, they could have done it ten times over already. You should never give up hope, but there are a few things to keep in mind.


Is Your GPA Actually Bad?

A lot of the time, the questions and worries come from students with strong GPAs that are just extra worried or humble bragging. They know that their GPA is fine and are just seeking confirmation. So, to start, you need to figure out if your grade point average is legitimately bad or not.  


I would say anything under a 2.0 is definitely problematic. That’s when we start having a hard time getting students into college, but it can still be done. Although there are always ways to explain why special consideration should be given. At Bridge to College, we have success stories of kids getting into very good colleges with a 2.0 GPA. It’s all about finding the right fit, which is why our survey is so helpful. 

What Classwork Does Your GPA Reflect?

The key thing about your GPA is what it reflects. You could have a great average that’s well above 2.0, but if the only A’s and B’s are coming from things like P.E. or office assistance, colleges will notice. Colleges are more concerned with the grades that are relevant to the course you’re applying for. Let’s say you’re applying to be a theater major and you have a 2.0 GPA. Already, you assume that college rejection is on the horizon but look at your individual subjects. You get an A in Drama and another good grade in a subject relating to the performing arts. Your GPA is low because you have D’s in biology, chemistry, math, etc. For a theater major, these D’s are unlikely to hurt as much. 


It is possible to get into college with a low GPA, depending on the college you’re looking at, and the area of study you’re hoping to major in. We can help you by finding what fits you the best. Take your GPA into proper context by looking at the individual grades and the main subjects that a college cares about for your intended major. Bottom line: there are more than 4,000 institutions of higher learning in this country and a workable path to a college degree exists for anyone who is willing to make the sacrifices and do the work. Our job at Bridge to College is to make the most out of the work you have done, and to keep those sacrifices to a minimum. Click here to take our free Bridge to College Survey and find your path with ANY GPA!

Topics:   college, college admissions, good GPA, getting into college, bad GPA, getting into college with bad grades, Low SAT score