What are your chances of acceptance?

Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
Duke University
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Is a 2.5 GPA Good? Colleges that Accept a 2.5 GPA

What’s Covered:


While it’s true that GPA is one of the most important factors considered by college admissions officers, it’s a myth that you’re doomed if you don’t have a 4.0. With a 2.5 GPA, there are unfortunately some schools that are unlikely to accept you. Nevertheless, each college prioritizes different things in its student body, and there are plenty of schools that recognize that a GPA doesn’t tell an applicant’s full story. This post will present you with a list of colleges that regularly accept applicants with a 2.5 GPA.


Not sure what your unweighted GPA is on a 4.0 scale? Use our GPA converter.


Is 2.5 a Good GPA?


Every college evaluates GPAs differently, but for some general context, a 2016 study found that the national average GPA for SAT takers is a 3.38, which corresponds to about a B+ in terms of letter grades. Obviously, that’s higher than a 2.5, which is between a B- (2.7) and C+ (2.3) on the letter grade scale.


However, as mentioned above, whether or not a 2.5 is a “good” GPA depends on which school is reviewing your application. For example, many schools list a 2.5 as the minimum GPA they will consider, which means that you will clear their initial academic threshold. So, you still have options to consider with a 2.5 GPA.


If you want to see how your GPA stacks up at your dream schools, check out our free chancing engine. In addition to your GPA, it will take your test scores, extracurriculars, and course rigor into account, and let you know how to improve your profile.


How Do Colleges Evaluate GPAs?


The answer to this question will vary from school to school. Many admissions committees actually recalculate applicants’ GPAs using their own method so that they can give appropriate weight to the factors they feel are most important.


For example, some colleges weigh AP or honors classes more heavily, or include only core classes (math, science, history, English, and foreign language), not electives, in their calculations. If your high school gives you a weighted GPA, this first strategy may be one you’re already familiar with. If you haven’t heard of weighted GPAs before and want to know more, you can check out our post on the difference between weighted and unweighted GPA.


Finally, it’s important to note that your GPA isn’t the only factor colleges use to evaluate your academic achievements. Your standardized test scores are also considered, so if your GPA isn’t as high as you would like, a strong SAT or ACT score can help increase your chances of acceptance. In fact, an applicant’s GPA and test scores are often boiled down to a single numerical score using a calculation called the Academic Index.


Which Colleges Accept a 2.5 GPA?


Below is a list of the top colleges that have freshman classes with an average high school GPA of 2.5.


**It’s worth noting that the schools on this list aren’t the only institutions that students with a 2.5 GPA should consider. A number of universities don’t publish accepted students’ average GPAs due to variations in how high schools calculate GPA, so do your research before definitively deciding whether or not to include a school on your list.**


School Name


Undergrad Enrollment

Acceptance Rate

Miles College

Birmingham, AL


Not reported

Chipola College

Marianna, FL


Open enrollment

City Colleges of Chicago-Wilbur Wright College

Chicago, IL


Open enrollment

Johnson C. Smith University

Charlotte, NC



Saint Augustine’s University

Raleigh, NC



Sitting Bull College

Fort Yates, ND


Open enrollment for students with a high school diploma or GED certificate

Western New Mexico University

Silver City, NM


Not reported

Suffolk County Community College

Selden, NY


Open enrollment

University of South Carolina Upstate | USC Upstate

Spartanburg, SC



LeMoyne-Owen College

Memphis, TN



Wiley College

Marshall, TX


Not reported


How to Improve Your GPA


Especially if you are a freshman or sophomore, you may still be hoping to raise your GPA to give you a better chance of acceptance at more colleges. Here are some suggestions on how you can improve your GPA.


Seek Academic Help


While struggling in a class can feel isolating or even embarrassing, remember that your teachers are there to help you! You won’t be the first student to ever need extra help, so they’ll likely already have some suggestions ready for you. Sometimes even a seemingly small change to your study habits, like the way you take notes, can go a long way.


If your school offers study groups or tutoring, those are also excellent resources to take advantage of. And if not, think about setting up an informal study group with friends, or utilizing some of the many free academic help resources available online, like Khan Academy.


Take Easier Classes


Very few students go through high school without running into a class or subject that’s especially difficult for them. That doesn’t mean you want to panic over one low test score, or shoot for the “easy A.” However, if, for example, math has always been challenging for you and you’re in an accelerated geometry course, consider switching down a level. That will not only make the class more manageable, but it’ll also leave you with more time and energy to dedicate to your other courses.


Increase Your Course Load


If you have an opening in your schedule, from a free period or an early dismissal for seniors, filling that gap with a class in a subject you enjoy and are successful in can help raise your GPA. You want to be careful not to overextend yourself, especially if you have a busy extracurricular schedule or sometimes struggle to manage your time. But if there is a class that appeals to you and won’t limit your ability to take care of your other commitments, think about signing up!


What If You Don’t Have Time to Improve Your GPA?


Of course, you always want to shoot for good grades, but unfortunately, if you’re a junior or senior, you just don’t have much time left to substantially improve your GPA. And remember that schools also consider test scores when calculating your Academic Index.


So, since there are only so many hours in the day, spending a little extra time studying for the SAT or ACT may be a productive use of your time, as a strong test score can have a big impact on your chances of acceptance.

Short Bio
Adrian is a current senior at Dartmouth College, originally from Seattle, WA. At Dartmouth, she studies philosophy and neuroscience, and has been involved with research in the philosophy department, sexual assault prevention on campus, and mentorship programs for first year students. She spent her junior fall studying abroad at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.