Does Your GPA in College Really Matter?

There seems to be a common misconception on the rise that your college GPA doesn’t matter once you graduate. After all, how many prospective employers actually look at your GPA or factor it in? Isn’t it enough that you have your diploma?

While high school GPA is a major factor in college admissions, you might start to wonder why you’re busting your hump to hang onto a 4.0 in college. Do employers care if you earned a 3.0 or 3.5 GPA in college so long as you graduated?

In all honesty, not every employer is going to base your eligibility for hire on the GPA you earned in college. However, some employers will, and there are other reasons to keep your GPA up, as well. Here are a few reasons why maintaining a high GPA in college can make a difference.

PerksThe first reason to keep your GPA up while you’re in college is because it may qualify you for certain perks, such as some types of financial assistance (scholarships, grants, and even federal student loan status). You must also maintain a certain GPA in order to remain on the honor roll.

Honor roll students often receive special considerations, such as access to restricted library resources, special areas for private study, and opportunities for internships that other students aren’t privy to, just for example. If you want to preserve your status on the honor roll or the Dean’s list, maintaining certain minimum standards for GPA is a must.

Grad SchoolYou may not go into college with the intention of entering a graduate program following your bachelor’s degree, but you should probably proceed as though you might, one day, go on to grad school. This means maintaining a high GPA.

Although many graduate programs have additional requirements like testing (GMAT, LSAT, etc.), you’ll also need top marks in order to gain admission to master’s or doctoral programs. Whether you apply before graduation or you take a few years in between to gain some industry experience, grades earned during your baccalaureate program will play a role in the admission process.

Competitive ProfessionsSome companies recruit students before graduation. Others hire interns as a means of selecting the best and brightest students and testing their abilities in the work setting. Some wait for college grads to come to them.

Regardless of how you go about starting your professional life, you should know that your GPA tells employers something about you. While some employers may not be unduly swayed by a 4.0 on your resume, others see it as proof that you are a hard worker, that you can set goals and accomplish them, and that you are concerned with achieving excellence in your endeavors.

A high GPA, whether it’s from Villanova University or Harvard Business School, shows that you are competitive, academically adept, and a valuable addition to any team. Your GPA can also make a difference in highly competitive fields like accounting, engineering, finance, and tech industries.

Not every industry or every employer will prize an exceptional college GPA, but if you’re willing and able to maintain one, it certainly can’t hurt. Whether you’re shooting for internships during college, you plan to continue your education and earn further degrees, or you’re entering a competitive field, your college GPA matters and you shouldn’t treat it as a trivial matter.

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