3.5 GPA Colleges: See Colleges That Accept a 3.5 GPA
Grade point average (GPA) considers all of the final grades from every class taken during your high school career to provide a single number that sums up general academic performance.
The most common GPA scale in the US is the 4.0 scale, where an A is a 4.0, a B is a 3.0, and so on. On this scale, a 3.5 GPA can be approximately translated to B+ or an A-. However, it's important to note that conversions can vary between colleges.
What is a 3.5 GPA?
A 3.5 GPA is 90% or a B+/A- average. This means you probably mainly earned B's (3.0) and A's (4.0) in your coursework. Of course, the exact grades that make up a 3.4 GPA will vary from student to student.
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. The national average GPA for high school graduates is 3.0, and many colleges and universities consider a 3.0 the competitive benchmark. A 3.5 GPA exceeds that number and matches the benchmark several more selective colleges use.
What Percentile is a 3.5 GPA?
A 3.5 GPA is a percentile of 90%, which is a grade of B+ or A-, depending on the grading scale your school uses.
How Does a 3.5 GPA Affect College Admissions?
A 3.5 GPA is a strong GPA, but it may not guarantee admission to highly selective colleges. Admissions committees consider your entire application when making their decisions, including your test scores, extracurricular activities, recommendations, and essays.
A 3.5 GPA may make you a competitive candidate. But if you aren't sure, it's best to try to improve your GPA and other areas of your application.
How Can I Improve My 3.5 GPA?
To improve your GPA, you'll want to figure out what's been keeping you from getting the grades you've wanted so far. For general ideas, try a combination of studying more effectively, seeking additional help from teachers or tutors, and ensuring you're doing all your classwork and assignments. You can also consider taking more challenging weighted classes- but only if you're sure you can make A's in them.
What Colleges Can I Apply to With a 3.5 GPA?
A 3.5 GPA is eligible for acceptance at a sizable number of colleges and universities, including some more competitive ones. We've compiled a representative sample in the list below. While GPA alone doesn't guarantee admittance, all these schools have a history of accepting students with GPAs in the 3.5-3.6 range.
The best plan of action, no matter where you are in your high school career, is to keep it up.
For underclassmen, the real question is what kind of college to attend. A 3.5 GPA will be highly competitive, and admission can be reasonably expected at many colleges. Still, it's not the most competitive at places like Harvard, Yale, and Dartmouth, which, on average, accept students with GPAs exceeding 4.0.
Since a 3.5 GPA qualifies for consideration and possibly admission to selective colleges and universities, it can elevate you to an entirely different playing field if that's your interest. If you're dreaming of Ivy Leagues and are still in your first semester of freshman year, increasing your GPA to as high as 3.9 would require flawless grades for four solid years. If available, taking honors or AP courses could make you eligible for an even higher GPA.
Being a well-rounded student involved in afterschool activities, sports, and community service should still be at the forefront of the mind of every high schooler. Make sure to find subjects you're passionate about—not only will this help you determine what to major in during college, but it also elevates the competitiveness of your application when the time comes.
As for juniors, after establishing a 3.5 GPA, concentrate your efforts on preparing to take the ACT or SAT. Because most colleges weigh standardized test scores on par with GPA, do the studying necessary to ensure those scores represent your skills as your GPA. Set aside study time throughout the week for practice tests and, if possible, enroll in an SAT or ACT prep course through your high school.
And for seniors, now is the time to ensure that all college application components are as strong as your GPA. Consult your college counselor so that they can give feedback on your essay and advice for making sure that your list of extracurricular activities represents your high school career in the best possible light. If an admissions officer from a college or university that interests you is visiting, attend the session and network with them. With a 3.5 GPA, you have an excellent foundation for getting accepted to most institutions, but standing out from the crowd never hurts!
What scholarship can you get with a 3.4 GPA?
A 3.5 GPA will make you eligible for many different scholarships. You may find some that require a 3.5 or higher, but those should be few and far between. Check out our extensive scholarship database to find scholarships!
What Are Colleges Looking at Other Than a 3.5 GPA?
When you're applying to a competitive school with a 3.5 GPA, they will look closely at your extracurriculars and standardized test scores. Make sure to be involved and show that you're well-rounded to earn a spot at a competitive institution. Colleges look at potential students holistically, so you'll want to show off:
- SAT Scores / ACT Scores
- Your Sports
- Club Affiliations
- Community Service
- Extracurricular Activities
- Job History / Internships / Special Projects
How Do You Calculate GPA?
You calculate grade point average like this:
1. Assign a numerical value to each letter grade received. For example, most schools use a 4.0 scale, where an A is a 4.0, a B is a 3.0, a C is a 2.0, a D is a 1.0, and an F is a 0.
2. Multiply the numerical value of each grade by the number of credits for each class. For example, if you received an A in a 3-credit class, the grade point for that class would be 3 x 4.0 = 12.0.
3. Add up the total grade points for all classes. For example, if you received three grades, an A, B, and C, with 12.0, 9.0, and 6.0 grade points, respectively. The sum would be 12.0 + 9.0 + 6.0 = 27.0.
4. Divide the total grade points by the total number of credits. For example, if the total number of credits for the three classes is 9, the GPA would be 27.0 ÷ 9 = 3.0.
This is the basic formula for calculating GPA. However, some schools or universities may use a different scale or assign a different weight to some classes, so it's essential to understand the specific method used by your school.
What is a Weighted vs. Unweighted GPA?
A weighted GPA considers the difficulty of the classes you take. For example, honors, Advanced Placement (AP), and International Baccalaureate (IB) classes typically have a higher weight, meaning that a higher grade in these classes will result in a higher GPA. A weighted GPA is often used in college admissions to assess the academic rigor of a student's high school curriculum.
On the other hand, an unweighted GPA assigns a standard value to each letter grade regardless of the class's difficulty level. For example, an A in an honors class is assigned the same value as an A in a regular class. An unweighted GPA is often used in high school to give a general overview of a student's academic performance.