Impact of GPA on College Admissions

Students with a higher high school grade point average (GPA) are more likely to enroll in college, as demonstrated by this chart. This chart is based on the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS:09), as of the November 2013 follow-up. It shows the percentage of students enrolling in college, based on high school GPA. The data includes students who were enrolled in college part-time in addition to students enrolled full-time.

Percent Enrolled in College, Fall 2013

But, college admissions offices are more focused on information that can be gleaned from the high school transcripts than the student’s overall weighted or unweighted high school GPA. In particular, college admissions staff will consider the following data:

Students with an A average are twice as likely to enroll in college as students with lower grades, on average.

The most selective colleges typically have a 3.75 or higher average high school GPA for admitted students.

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