Best Schools to Get into with a 3.7 GPA
A grade point average (GPA) of 3.7 is a strong high school GPA for college admissions, equaling an A-. This is particularly true if this average is unweighted, meaning it doesn’t factor in the rigor of your curriculum and whether you’re taking challenging courses.
Still, many competitive candidates for top-tier colleges and universities have higher GPAs, and a GPA of 3.7 may limit your chances of acceptance to some schools.
Is a 3.7 a Good GPA in High School?
GPA is not the only factor colleges take into account. Many, aside from some large public universities, perform a holistic admissions process, looking at your full profile including test scores, essays, extracurricular activities, and personal qualities. GPA is certainly an important component, but since many students have strong GPAs, small variations matter less than other achievements applicants can bring to the table.
Furthermore, GPA is not a standardized figure; different high schools have different standards for grading. Therefore, it’s hard to say whether a 3.7 is a good score, since some schools may give out As selectively, while others may have a high and potentially inflated class average. Still, if your GPA is around the average of a freshman class at a given college, you can probably assume it’s a target school, while higher or lower may indicate that it’s a reach or safety respectively—taking into account the many other components of your profile, of course.
Ultimately, admissions committees are looking to create a freshman class that will contribute to the school in a positive way and later excel in their fields. GPA is one predictor of how you’ll perform academically, but other qualities demonstrate your leadership potential and more.
Which Colleges Have an Average Freshman GPA of 3.7?
There are many competitive colleges whose freshman class had an average GPA of 3.7 in high school. They include:
|University of Southern California||Private||California||Far West|
|Colgate University||Private||New York||Mid East|
|Purdue University-Main Campus||Public||Indiana||Great Lakes|
|Clark University||Private||Massachusetts||New England|
|Villanova University||Private||Pennsylvania||Mid East|
|Indiana University-Bloomington||Public||Indiana||Great Lakes|
|Michigan State University||Public||Michigan||Great Lakes|
|Loyola University Chicago||Private||Illinois||Great Lakes|
|North Carolina State University at Raleigh||Public||North Carolina||Southeast|
|SUNY at Binghamton||Public||New York||Mid East|
|University of Colorado Boulder||Public||Colorado||Rocky Mountains|
|University of Delaware||Public||Delaware||Mid East|
|University of Denver||Private||Colorado||Rocky Mountains|
|University of Vermont||Public||Vermont||New England|
|University of California-Riverside||Public||California||Far West|
Steps to Increase Your GPA
If you’re looking to improve your GPA, there are some ways you can strengthen it. Here’s what to do:
If you’re a freshman or a sophomore, there is still time to improve, and many students do. Consider your weaker areas and devote more studying time to these subjects. It might help to work with a tutor to develop strategies. If you’re a junior or a senior, it’s unlikely that your GPA will make a 180, since it encompasses your performance as an underclassman. While you should still strive to do your best, of course, keep in mind that a GPA of 3.7 is not the end of the world.
Increase your course load.
Taking more classes, particularly ones in your stronger areas, can also help, especially if you’re fairly sure you’ll do well in them. The more classes you take, the less any individual one matters. Just make sure you’re focusing on areas that enhance rather than detract from GPA. If you’re a math whiz, load up on math courses, because this will likely improve your GPA; don’t add more humanities courses that might lower it.
Play to your strengths.
While you should challenge yourself in all subjects, if you’re concerned about your performance in a particular subject, focus on taking AP and honors courses in subjects in which you excel, rather than weaker subjects. It’s better to get an A in a regular-level course than a C in an AP course. Plus, if you’re really struggling in a challenging course, it’s probably taking away time from your other assignments, further impacting your grades.
Know where you stand.
You should also make an effort to know where you stand, which will help you understand how much improvement you need. Here’s how to calculate your GPA on a 4.0 scale.
What If You Don’t Have Time to Increase Your GPA?
Remember that GPA isn’t the only factor in the admissions process. If you don’t have time to improve your GPA, it’s not the end of the world. Focus on strengthening other areas. You might, for instance, pursue a leadership position in a club or another activity or look for an internship at an organization in a field you’re thinking of pursuing.
You should also make an effort to improve your standardized test scores. Since your GPA accounts for every course you’ve taken in high school, it can take a long time to improve it substantially — time you won’t have if you’re nearing college season. However, many colleges will only look at your highest standardized test scores, so making sure your scores are stellar is less of a challenge. Prepare for each test iteration, doing practice problems, reviewing weak areas, and working with a tutor if need be.
Why Does GPA Matter?
Your GPA is an average of your academic performance in high school. While it’s not necessarily a predictor of how you’ll perform in college, it does give colleges insight into your capabilities and commitment to academics.
That said, colleges recognize that high schools have different ways of measuring students’ performance. In other words, your 3.7 could be a 4.0 at another school. That’s why colleges pay more attention to how demanding your curriculum is (whether you took the most challenging courses available to you) and how your performance compares to that of your peers. If your school ranks, for example, colleges will account for this factor, too.
Ultimately, GPA does matter, but it’s not your entire application or profile.
If you’re a freshman or sophomore looking to strengthen your GPA, consider CollegeVine’s Early Advising program. Under the guidance of a mentor from a top 30 college or university, you’ll learn strategies for improving your grades, choosing the right curriculum, and maximizing your chances for success.
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