4.0 GPA Colleges: See Schools That Accept a 4.0 GPA
Grade point average (GPA) measures academic performance, assigning a numeric value to all final grades and computing your average. For example, a 4.0 GPA equals an "A+" grade and indicates that you have received an A+ in every class. If you have a 4.0 GPA, well done!
What is a 4.0 GPA?
The most common GPA scale in the US is the 4.0 scale, where an A is assigned a 4.0, a B is given a 3.0, and so on. On this scale, a 4.0 GPA equals an "A+" grade and indicates that you have received an A+ in every class.
Is a 4.0 GPA Good?
Yes! A 4.0 is the highest possible score with a regular class load, otherwise known as an unweighted GPA. It demonstrates academic excellence and the ability to earn the highest possible grade in every class. Regarding college applications, a 4.0 GPA far exceeds the 3.0 national average for high school graduates and is more on par with what very selective institutions, such as those in the Ivy League, seek out.
What Percentile is a 4.0 GPA?
A 4.0 GPA (Grade Point Average) is typically considered a perfect or straight-A average. Since it represents the highest possible grade point average, a 4.0 GPA would place you at the top of your class in terms of academic achievement.
However, it's important to note that GPA percentile rankings can vary depending on the specific school, college, or university. For example, at some highly competitive institutions, a 4.0 GPA may place you in the top 10% of their class, while at other schools, it may represent a higher percentile ranking.
What Colleges Can You Apply to With a 4.0 GPA?
A 4.0 GPA is at the very top of the scale and makes you eligible for admission at every school. From large public universities to small private colleges, we've assembled a representative sample of these institutions below. Be aware that no GPA guarantees acceptance, but all these institutions have a history of admitting students with a 4.0 GPA.
Freshmen and Sophomores
For freshmen and sophomores, keeping it up is the best course of action. You're already in a fantastic place, so keep up the stellar work. If you want to challenge yourself more, consider AP and Honors classes (if you aren't already taking them). Now is also the ideal time to explore extracurricular activity options. Whether you're more interested in clubs and organizations, sports, or community service, finding an activity to pursue outside of class will help you find what you're passionate about and really round out a great college application.
If you're a junior, it's time to turn a portion of your focus to preparing for standardized tests. Since most colleges consider ACT or SAT scores on approximately equal footing with GPA, it's essential to devote enough time to prepare. First, take a few practice tests and familiarize yourself with the format. Make notes about complicated questions and focus your study time on those areas. Then, if there's enough time, sign up for a test prep class offered by your high school to ensure you're as prepared as possible.
For seniors, concentrate on ensuring every part of your application lives up to the standard set by your GPA—from the essay to the list of after-school activities. Have your college counselor read through your personal statement to make sure that it reflects your skills and accomplishments, as well as your 4.0 GPA, does. Then, meet with visiting college admissions officers and network to determine what their college or university wants to see on an application.
What Are Colleges Looking At Other Than a 4.0 High School GPA?
Personnel in the admissions office look at potential students holistically — numbers, like those provided by the GPA and standardized testing, are just the beginning of a student's story. They show that a student can handle the academic rigor at an institution. Still, admission officers want to see what a student is passionate about and what they do outside the classroom. Therefore, make sure you include as many of the following as possible in your application:
- SAT Scores / ACT Scores
- Extracurricular/After-school activities
- Your Sports
- Application Essays
- Volunteer Work / Community Service
- Jobs / Internships / Special Projects
What Scholarships Can I Get With a 4.0 GPA?
You can apply to just about every scholarship requiring a GPA minimum! Make sure to apply for as many scholarships as possible, no matter the dollar amount, because even small amounts of money can help offset the cost of tuition.
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 common 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.