List of Common GPA Conversions
|Letter Grade||Percent Grade||4.0 GPA Scale|
Complete 4.0 GPA Overview
As a student, your GPA is one of the most important numbers to keep an eye on. But it can also be one of the most unclear and confusing as well.
What's a good GPA vs. a bad one? What GPA do you need to have in order to get accepted into your target schools?
Does the graduate program you have your eye on have a minimum GPA requirement? What about the company you're dreaming about working for?
If you're working towards raising your GPA to a 4.0, what steps can you take to get there? If you already have a 4.0, how can you make sure you keep it?
This guide covers everything you need to know about a 4.0, including:
What a 4.0 GPA means for you
For high school students: Colleges to consider if you have a 4.0
For college students: Next steps to consider if you have a 4.0
How to increase your chances of earning and keeping a 4.0 GPA
What is a GPA?
Before we dive into the specifics of having a 4.0, let’s do a brief overview of GPAs in general.
Your Grade Point Average, or GPA, is the average of all of your final grades earned in every class you’ve taken over time.
Unlike other commonly used metrics like standardized test scores, how a GPA is calculated can vary by school. There are also several different types of GPAs.
The two main types of GPAs are weighted and unweighted. Weighted GPAs take into account the difficulty level of the classes you’ve taken; unweighted GPAs don’t.
While unweighted GPAs are most commonly used, many high schools use weighted GPAs to better represent the accomplishments of students who have chosen to take more challenging classes, such as AP or college-level courses.
Is a 4.0 GPA good?
A 4.0 is an entire point higher than the national average GPA. In general, a 4.0 is the ideal GPA, as it means you’ve worked hard to achieve A’s in all of your classes.
In the case of unweighted GPAs, a 4.0 is as good as it gets. If your school uses a weighted grading scale, taking the difficulty level of the classes into consideration, the highest GPA would be a 4.5 or even 5.0.
What does a 4.0 mean for high school students?
If you’re in high school and have a 4.0, what does this mean for you?
For those of you looking to continue on to college, you’re in a great place! Overall, you can expect to receive positive feedback from most universities.
At this point, the most important factor is for you to continue to work hard and maintain your high scores across all of your classes.
A 4.0 also puts you in a unique position to potentially earn additional financial aid from scholarships that are based on academic merit.
So don’t let senioritis sneak up on you now! Keep up the hard work and you’ll be able to reap all of the benefits.
With that in mind, it is important to point out that your GPA isn’t the only factor that college admissions teams take into consideration.
These committees also spend considerable time analyzing your standardized test scores, the types of classes you’ve elected to take, and what type of, if any, leadership positions you’ve held during your four years of high school.
Still, a 4.0 is a huge checkmark for students going through the application process and you’ll have a long list of programs to choose from.
A 4.0 makes you an attractive candidate for most colleges as you’ve proven that you’re willing to put in the work it takes to succeed. Here is a list of schools that are likely to look favorably at a student who’s earned such a high GPA.
|School Name||Average GPA|
|University of Chicago||4|
|Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering||3.9|
|Worcester Polytechnic Institute||3.9|
|Lewis & Clark College||3.9|
|University of Pennsylvania||3.9|
|The University of Texas at Dallas||3.9|
|University of San Diego||3.88|
|United States Air Force Academy||3.88|
|Florida State University||3.88|
|California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo||3.87|
|University of California Berkeley||3.86|
|Soka University of America||3.86|
|University of South Florida Main Campus||3.86|
|University of Georgia||3.86|
|The University of Tennessee||3.85|
|Florida International University||3.84|
|College of Charleston||3.84|
|University of Wisconsin Madison||3.84|
|University of Michigan||3.82|
|University of North Carolina at Charlotte||3.82|
|University of Dallas||3.82|
|University of Central Florida||3.81|
|Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute||3.81|
|Colorado School of Mines||3.8|
|University of Rochester||3.8|
|Stony Brook University||3.8|
|SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry||3.8|
|University of Tulsa||3.8|
|Brigham Young University Provo||3.8|
On average, these schools accept students with an average GPA of 4.0 or close to it. If you apply to the schools on this list, your chances of being accepted are pretty decent.
|School Name||Average GPA|
|Elizabeth City State University||4|
|University of California Davis||3.99|
|University of North Carolina at Asheville||3.98|
|University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Campus||3.97|
|University of California Santa Barbara||3.96|
|Rose Hulman Institute of Technology||3.96|
|Georgia Institute of Technology Main Campus||3.95|
|Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University||3.95|
|University of California Irvine||3.92|
|New College of Florida||3.92|
|Illinois Institute of Technology||3.92|
As we mentioned above, a 4.0 alone isn’t a guarantee to get into just any school.
Some universities, particularly ivy league schools, have low acceptance rates meaning they only accept a small number of the applications they receive each year. These programs often have additional enrollment requirements beyond GPA including specific ACT or SAT scores and essay requirements, among other prerequisites.
|School Name||Average GPA|
|University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill||4.6|
|North Carolina State University at Raleigh||4.37|
|University of California Los Angeles||4.29|
|University of Virginia Main Campus||4.22|
|University of Miami||4.2|
|University of South Carolina Columbia||4.15|
|College of William and Mary||4.12|
|University of Maryland College Park||4.11|
|University of Florida||4.1|
|University of North Carolina at Wilmington||4.06|
|Appalachian State University||4.05|
What does a 4.0 mean for college students?
If you’re finishing up your college career, what’s a 4.0 mean for your future?
The answer depends on what your next steps are: continue on to graduate school or jump into the job market?
Though requirements vary by graduate program, the average GPA needed to be accepted is a 3.0. So with a 4.0, you’re already in great shape!
This score can vary widely on the exact program you’re hoping to apply for though, so it’s important to research the cutoff score for not only your program type but for the specific university you’re hoping to apply to.
A cutoff score is the absolute lowest GPA a grad school will accept when taking your application into consideration. So if you’re looking to earn a Masters in Finance, you’ll need to research for not only the average cutoff score for all MFIN programs but for your target programs as well.
It’s also important to find out the timeline of these GPAs. For instance, some programs will require a 3.0 but for junior and senior years of college only.
In short: do your research!
There are some schools that don’t require a cutoff GPA and instead will take your application as a whole into consideration. For instance, they’ll look at your GRE score, the types of classes you’ve taken, any internship positions you’ve had, and more.
Even schools such as Stanford don’t require a cutoff. So if you’re GPA isn’t exactly where you’d like it to be, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to limit yourself to lesser schools.
But perhaps you’re looking to go directly into the job market instead of pursuing a graduate degree.
If that’s the case, good news for you—most companies do not require a minimum GPA to apply. Instead, they look at the bigger picture, focusing on qualitative factors your GPA can’t capture such as your skills and leadership experience.
With that being said, requiring a minimum GPA is still a common practice in some cases. Most often this happens in highly competitive industries such as engineering, finance, or accounting. In these instances, companies use your GPA to gauge your general competency of information you should have learned in college.
Another reason a GPA requirement might be used is when a company regularly hires a lot of recent graduates. In this case, a minimum GPA is an easy way for their recruiting teams to move more quickly through applications and narrow down the number of applicants they’re considering to fill a role.
In the instance you do find yourself considering a job that requires a minimum GPA, what should you do?
The first step is, of course, to find out the exact minimum required along with any other requirements and measure these up against your own current standing and qualifications.
If you find your GPA doesn’t quite match up to what’s being asked, it’s not necessarily a sign that you should walk away. Remember your GPA is only one factor that companies will consider when evaluating your potential.
Look through your full transcript and try to discover why your GPA has landed where it has. Did you take on too many challenging courses at one point hurting your GPA? Were you juggling too many responsibilities at once—such as a job and internship on top of classes? Maybe you had a little too much fun your freshman year.
In these instances, look for places in your transcript where your GPA improved. This can show a potential employer that you’re able to learn from your mistakes and work hard to improve. It’s also important to add extra emphasis to your other accomplishments.
For instance, if you did hold multiple internships or jobs while going to school be sure to heavily emphasize that point. Being able to juggle multiple responsibilities while still earning a degree exhibits some impressive skills that potential employers are looking for. You might also consider highlighting particular classes that are relevant, awards you’ve received, and student organizations you participated in.
How can I raise my GPA?
Assuming your school uses an unweighted GPA scale, there’s nothing you can do to raise your GPA—you’re already at the top!
Instead, your focus should be on staying diligent and continuing to work hard to maintain your grades:
Make a schedule and mark blocks of time in which you can study
Focus on developing your extracurricular participation and standardized test scores
Ensure you understand class concepts thoroughly with extra studying and practice work
How can I earn a 4.0?
Improving your GPA is possible for students who are willing to put in extra focus and work into their studies. Here are a few strategies that can help raise your GPA.
Calculate Your GPA and Track Progress Over Time
The first step towards earning higher grades is to make sure you have a clear understanding of where you stand now.
Start by calculating your current GPA. From here, you’ll have a better understanding of how far you have to go in order to reach your goals.
Create a Study Strategy
Once you know where you stand, it’s time to start moving forward. The best way to do this is to create a study strategy for yourself.
The best time for building a strategy is at the beginning of the semester when you’re able to plan ahead for your classes in entirety; however, it’s never too late! This can be done during any part of the year.
Start by reading the syllabi for each class; after all, you can’t create a game plan unless you know what’s coming up.
Be sure to mark down all upcoming assignments, projects, and exams on your calendar. This practice will help make sure you’re not missing anything and that you’ll be able to anticipate when you’ll need to start studying. It will also help you understand where you’ll need to spend the majority of your time and when.
Next, take a look at the content you’ll need to understand and create a plan for understanding it. This includes chapters you’ll need to read and projects you’ll need to complete. Look out for anything that’s confusing or surprising. If something doesn’t make sense, ask!
Creating a strategy for the semester will help set you up for success from the get-go.
Find your Ideal Study Environment
Good grades start with great study habits.
Though it may be tempting to study from the comfort and warmth of your dorm room bed, this isn’t very likely to lead to successful progress.
Instead, it’s important to take some time and understand what type of environment you work best in. This will help make sure that you’re not only studying hard but studying smart and using your valuable time as efficiently as possible.
Does silence seem deafening to you when you’re trying to focus? Then studying in a quiet room by yourself where you’ll easily get distracted probably isn’t the right fit for you. Alternatively, if even the slightest noise throws you off, maybe avoid busy coffee shops and give your school’s library a try instead.
Also, pay attention to who you study the best with. Though it may be tempting to study with friends, you may get more done alone. Finding organized study groups is also an option.
Finally, figure out the time of day where your brain is most “on”.
Reach Out for Help Early On
When a class or a subject doesn’t come easily or naturally, a common reaction is to avoid it for as long as possible. But avoidance can take us into a downward spiral with grades that are hard, if not impossible, to recover from before the end of the semester.
So when a class is coming up that you know might be challenging for you, it’s best to reach out for help as early on as possible.
This means making a beginning-of-the-semester stop at your school’s tutoring center. You can also try approaching your TA for office hours or find fellow students with a stronger grasp on the topic to act as your study buddies.
Making sure you get the help you need to understand the material as early as possible will help ensure that you secure the highest grade possible.
Moreover, it will help make the material more understandable and the semester much less stressful. And who knows, you might even discover that you actually do enjoy a class you thought you wouldn’t!
Get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and eat well. Sounds easy enough, right?
But perhaps it’s no surprise that many college students struggle to keep up with basic self-care. They stay up into the late hours of the night cramming for an upcoming exam. When schedules get too busy, the first thing to get cut out is a trip to the gym. And a healthy balanced diet looks more like ramen and meal-replacement bars.
But without covering the basics of self-care, there’s almost no hope of doing well in school. In fact, one recent study found students who didn’t maintain a regular sleep schedule had lower grades on average. In fact, some students lacked so much sleep that their bodies behaved as though they were in a different time zone altogether!
Pile on lack of exercise and poor eating habits and all together you have unhealthy habits that can have long-lasting negative effects.
So the first step to maintaining and improving a GPA? Take care of yourself! Find consistency in your sleep schedule, leave time for the gym a few times a week, and eat a balanced diet.
Having a 4.0 GPA puts you in an excellent position for next steps, regardless of what stage you’re currently at!
If you’re a high school student with a 4.0, you can expect to receive positive feedback from most universities you apply to. But be aware that there are other application prerequisites, such as essays and standardized test scores, that also require your attention.
If you’re a current college student, a 4.0 also puts you in an excellent position for your next steps after graduation. A 4.0 is well above the cutoff score for most graduate programs, but be sure to clearly read through all application requirements. A 4.0 is also not required for most jobs out of college; however, it can move your application to the top of the pile and help you stand out from other applicants.
Finally, if your GPA isn’t quite at a 4.0 just yet, there are steps you can take to help raise your grades. Keeping track of your GPA over time, creating a study strategy, asking for help, and taking care of yourself are all steps that can help make improving your GPA possible.
How do I calculate my GPA on a 4.0 scale? ›
How do you calculate your GPA in high school? To calculate your high school GPA, add together your grades on the 4.0 scale after converting them from letter grades, and divide the sum by the number of classes you are taking.What is a 95% GPA on a 4.0 scale? ›
|4.0 Scale||4.3 Scale||100 Points Scale|
|3.80 ~ 3.83||4.08 ~ 4.11||96|
|3.75 ~ 3.79||4.03 ~ 4.07||95|
|3.71 ~ 3.74||3.98 ~ 4.02||94|
|3.67 ~ 3.70||3.93 ~ 3.97||93|
On the 4.0 scale, an unweighted 4.0 GPA means perfection. You need straight As in every class—not even one A- is allowed.What is a 7.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale? ›
|Original Scale||Multiplier||EX. GPA on 4.0 Scale|
For each unit of credit the following grade points are earned:
- A+ = 4.
- A = 4.
- A- = 3.7.
- B+ = 3.3.
- B = 3.
- B- = 2.7.
- C+ = 2.3.
- C = 2.
The Grade Point Average (GPA) is calculated by Multiplying the credits for each course by the grade points associated with the grade earned and totaling the points earned for all courses dividing the total points by the number of credits will give you your grade point average.
A 91 converts to a 3.7 GPA. All percent grades 90-92.9 are in the 3.7 range.What is the average GPA for Harvard? ›
Average GPA: 4.18
The average GPA at Harvard is 4.18. (Most schools use a weighted GPA out of 4.0, though some report an unweighted GPA. With a GPA of 4.18, Harvard requires you to be at the top of your class. You'll need nearly straight A's in all your classes to compete with other applicants.
Most colleges and school report GPA on a 4.0 scale. The unweighted GPA scale is the most frequently used GPA scale. Basically, the highest GPA you can earn is a 4.0, which indicates an A average in all of your classes. A 3.0 would mean a B average, a 2.0 a C average, a 1.0 a D, and a 0.0 an F.Will one C ruin my GPA in high school? ›
Will one “C” ruin my GPA in high school? While receiving a “C” will impact your GPA, it will certainly not ruin it. That “C” won't ruin your chances of getting into college either. However, how leniently colleges view the “C” will largely depend on what grade you received it in.
How much will an F drop my GPA? ›
|Letter Grade||Grade Points Per Credit|
Normally, you would expect the highest score to be the 'perfect' 4.0 score, however, there are several things that a student can do to receive an even higher score. For example, one student actually managed to get a 10.03 GPA score. He did this by taking 17 advanced classes at his school, which awarded him many points.Is it possible to have a 6.0 GPA? ›
Not All GPAs are Created Equal
There is wide variability in the scale used to calculate GPA. GPAs can be based on a 4.0, 5.0 or 6.0 scale.
The average GPA in America for high school students is 3.0, and 3.1 for college students. While this number is important to your education, it also isn't everything and doesn't define you as a student completely.Can you get a 5.0 GPA? ›
Typically, high schools that employ weighted GPAs use a 0–5 scale, with 5.0 being the best score available. Although a GPA above 5.0 is uncommon, schools occasionally design their point systems so that students enrolled in difficult courses might accrue extra points.How can I calculate my GPA fast? ›
In its easiest form, an A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1, F=0. For each class you have, you assign the correct number to the letter grade, add all of your grades together and divide by the number of classes you have taken.
A 3.5 GPA is equivalent to 90% or a B+ letter grade.What is the highest GPA you can get in high school? ›
High school GPAs are measured on one of two scales: weighted or unweighted. The unweighted scale is most common, and the highest possible GPA on this scale is a 4.0. The unweighted scale doesn't take the difficulty of a student's classes into account.How do you calculate GPA with AP classes? ›
Multiply your unweighted GPA by the total number of classes you have taken. Add . 5 for each intermediate class and 1.0 for each AP® or honors class. Divide that number by your total number of classes.What is a 93.6 GPA on the 4.0 scale? ›
|Letter Grade||GPA Value||Percent Grade Earned|
Is a 1.88 GPA good? ›
The answer is No. The national average for a GPA is around 3.0 and a 1.8 GPA puts you below that average. A 1.8 GPA means that you've gotten only C-s and D+s in your high school classes so far. Since this GPA is significantly below a 2.0, it will make things very difficult for you in the college application process.What is the hardest school to get into? ›
Harvard, Stanford and Princeton, unsurprisingly, are America's toughest colleges to get into in 2023, according to Niche's most recent rankings.What GPA is required for Yale? ›
In truth, you need close to a 4.0 unweighted GPA to get into Yale. That means nearly straight As in every class.What GPA is required for MIT? ›
There is no minimum required GPA, but competitive applicants generally have a GPA of 3.5 or above, and mostly A's in mathematics and science courses. Testing must be completed by the October test date for spring (February) entry and by the March test date for fall (September) entry.Will an A ruin my 4.0 GPA? ›
Typically, weighted GPAs will go up to 5.0 instead of 4.0. Honors and AP classes will usually assign a 5.0 instead of a 4.0 to an A or A+ letter grade. This means that you could earn an A- and still achieve a 4.0 GPA on a weighted scale if you earn an A or A+ in a class that is weighted more heavily.How rare is a 4.0 GPA? ›
A 4.0 scale is common, but education experts say it's hardly universal. Some schools use a 5.0 scale or even a 12.0 scale. Paparella says she's seen some schools use a 100-point scale, much like a standard classroom grading scale in which a 90-100 would be an A.What's your GPA if you have all A's one B? ›
Students who earn an unweighted 4.0 GPA, through the seventh semester of high school, will receive valedictorian designation.Which year of high school is the hardest? ›
While each year of high school will have its own stressors, many will say junior year is the most challenging. Junior year can be the hardest for several reasons, but with the right prep and expectations, high school students can make the hardest year just a little easier.What is the most important year of high school? ›
- Doing well freshman year significantly affects whether or not you graduate on time.
- Colleges look at your freshman year grades just as much or more than your senior year grades!
- A successful freshman year shows that you can meet or even exceed academic requirements.
Will one B ruin a 4.0 GPA high school? ›
If you you only got one B in a standard 8 semesters, your GPA would be (4x39+3)/40, which is 3.98, which many places would round to 4.0 anyway. In the U.S., it is assumed that a perfect GPA reflects a soulless person who won't be a good employee. Major companies prefer a 3.8 to a 4.0.Is it possible to raise your GPA senior year? ›
Yes! During any semester students have the opportunity to raise their GPA by earning top grades or grades that are increase over previous semesters.Why did my GPA go down if I got all A's? ›
You are in a system with weighted GPA's, and you are not taking the weighted classes. This occurs in American high schools. If you are taking “regular” classes that max out at 4 grade points, and your weighted GPA is above 4.0, these courses will bring your GPA down, even if you earn all A's.Who is the black kid with a 5.0 GPA? ›
Akintunde Ahmad is an African American student at Oakland Technical High School who has earned a 5.0 GPA and scored 2100 on the SAT test.What was Einstein's GPA? ›
Einstein got average marks while in ETH and received his diploma in 1900, is GPA was 4.6 out of 6.0. Einstein eagerly applied to numerous Universities, looking for an assistantship but was denied to all of them.Can you have a 7.0 GPA? ›
No matter what kind of coursework a student takes, the highest possible GPA in an unweighted system is a 4.3. NOTE: some schools do not differentiate between an A (5.0 weighted, 4.0 unweighted) and an A+ (5.3 weighted, 4.3 unweighted). Your school office can confirm what the highest GPA possible is for you!What is a 3.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale? ›
A 3.5 GPA, or Grade Point Average, is equivalent to a B+ letter grade on a 4.0 GPA scale, and a percentage grade of 87–89.What is a 3.7 GPA on a 4.0 scale? ›
A 3.7 GPA, or Grade Point Average, is equivalent to a A- letter grade on a 4.0 GPA scale, and a percentage grade of 90–92.Is A 3.5 A Good GPA? ›
Is a 3.5 GPA Good? As a top-letter grade, a B+ or A- is considered "good." A 3.5 GPA means that a student consistently performs well on homework, tests, and projects in every subject, making it a desirable GPA across the board.Is A 2.7 A Good GPA? ›
The national average GPA is 3.0 which means a 2.7 is below average, and so you may have to work harder to catch up.
Is a 3.75 GPA good on a 4.0 scale? ›
Overall, it's an impressive GPA and a 92% percentile grade. On a 4.0 scale, a 3.7 GPA is impressive! A 3.7 GPA on an unweighted scale will place you in good standing at many colleges.Is a 3.3 GPA on a 4.0 scale good? ›
A 3.3 GPA (Grade Point Average) corresponds to a B+ passing grade on a 4.0 scale. The 3.3 score equals 87-89 percent. The national average GPA is 3.0, so a 3.3 is greater than the national average.What's the lowest GPA Harvard accepted? ›
You should also have a 4.18 GPA or higher. If your GPA is lower than this, you need to compensate with a higher SAT/ACT score. For a school as selective as Harvard, you'll also need to impress them with the rest of your application. We'll cover those details next.What is the GPA for Harvard on a 4.0 scale? ›
The average high school GPA for admitted students at Harvard University is 4.18 on a 4.0 scale.How many A's do I need for a 3.7 GPA? ›
Let's take a look. A 3.7 GPA is equivalent to 92% or an A- letter grade. The national average GPA is 3.0 which means a 3.7 is well above average. A 3.7 GPA can be hard to raise as it's already so high, but if you're really determined you can make it happen.Is a 3.5 GPA good enough for Ivy League? ›
However, for college applicants, the average GPA is more likely between 3.5 and 4.0. If you're aiming for a top university such as one in the Ivy League, Stanford, MIT, or others of the same caliber, a 4.0 GPA — or close to it — is expected.Is 3.5 GPA good for Ivy? ›
It may be difficult to get into an Ivy League school with a 3.5 GPA. Most Ivy League schools require that applicants have an average GPA of 4.0.How rare is a 3.5 GPA in college? ›
A 3.5 GPA is equal to a 90% average. Many employers and graduate programs use a 3.5 GPA as the benchmark. However, outside of the top 10 graduate schools, the average GPA for law, medical, and business graduate school are as much as 0.74 below 3.5.Can I get into Harvard with a 2.7 GPA? ›
Continue to work hard, take difficult classes, and show your passions outside of school! To get to Harvard your GPA has to be at least a 4.0 and even then if you get in your lucky but they require at least a 4.18 GPA only .Can I raise my GPA from 3.3 to 3.5 in one semester? ›
If you have a 3.0 GPA and 15 credit hours, by earning straight A's during your next (15 credit) semester, you can bump your GPA to a 3.5. However, if you have already earned 60 credit hours and have a 3.0 GPA a straight-A semester will only bump your GPA to a 3.2.