College Grades: What is “Good” and Do They Matter?

You know you need to keep your high school grades up in order to graduate and get into a good college, but do grades really matter when it comes to college? The short answer is “Yes.” They absolutely do matter and they not only impact your opportunities during college but your life after. But what is a good college grade?

What is a “Good” College Grade?

The answer to this question is slightly subjective. To some students, only a 3.5+ or A will matter to them. For other students, aiming for a 3.0 or higher could be their goal. And in a few classes, professors state that they never give out A’s, so a B is the highest score you can earn for that particular course.

However, on the other side of the coin, you do need to earn a minimal grade in order to remain in good academic standing at your college. This is usually a 2.0 cumulative GPA and term GPA. If you fall below this number for an extended period of time, you could risk your chances of remaining at the school.

Do Good Grades Matter in College?

Yes! As stated previously, grades absolutely matter while you’re in college – just like they did in high school! Just because you’re paying for this education does not mean you won’t reap consequences simply because you’re earning less than stellar grades in the class. You could very well lose out on any tuition money and be kicked out of the school if you don’t keep those grades up!

Here are just a few reasons why grades matter in college:

1. They Keep You In Good Academic Standing

The main reason good grades matter in college is the fact that they keep you in good academic standing with the school. This is necessary to continue your education at the college. Dip too low and you could receive warnings or even expulsion from the school. 

2. They May Be Necessary For Scholarship Requirements

Many scholarships require applicants to have a particular grade or higher in order to qualify. If your GPA is lower, you could miss out on some free money. And for scholarships that are ongoing, meaning they pay you every semester or every year, you may very well have to maintain a certain GPA in order to continue receiving the award.

3. You Could Graduate with Honors

Graduating with honors or making the Dean’s List is something you can write down on future resumes! It looks impressive and shows graduate schools and potential employers that you’re intelligent, committed, and have plenty of drive.

4. They Can Help With Positions During College

One job many students opt for while in college is tutoring. However, if you go through the school, certain grades in the related classes may be required in order for you to be hired. You could know the material backward and forwards, but if you don’t have the GPA to prove it, you may miss out on this job opportunity.

5. A Strong GPA Matters to Many Employers

While not every employer is going to ask about your GPA or achievements during college (it should at least be on your resume), there are plenty that do. If you didn’t receive good grades during your time at school, it could negatively reflect on your ability to do the work. You could very well be passed over for your dream positions.

Good grades during college show employers that you are intelligent, dedicated, driven, and a hard worker.

6. It Can Impact Your Chances of Getting into Graduate School

If you’re thinking about entering graduate school rather than the workforce after you complete your undergraduate studies, your GPA will impact your chances of acceptance. In some cases, if you failed a related class or earned too low of a score, the school could request you redo that course in order to be considered for acceptance.

7. Classes Need Over a Certain GPA to Count Towards Your Credit Total

This is especially true if you’re taking college classes in high school. For AP classes, for example, you need to earn a 4 or 5 on the end-of-year test to receive credit for the course taken in high school. A 3 will only earn you elective credits. A 1 or a 2 means you receive no credit. For college classes through your local community college and high school, you will also have to maintain above a certain grade to have your credits transferred.

And if you fail a class or earn too low of a grade in college, you could very well have to retake it to graduate!

How Can You Earn Good College Grades?

Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be difficult to earn good grades in college! Many of the lessons you learned in high school regarding grades are the exact same as they are in college, too. Here are some quick tips to ensure you are working towards a strong GPA:

  • Attend your classes – don’t skip them!
  • Create a class schedule that works for your schedule and sleep cycles
  • Talk over decisions with your advisor
  • Meet with your professors outside of class
  • Ask questions
  • Join a study group
  • Look into tutoring if you’re struggling with the coursework
  • Complete homework and assignments on time
  • Don’t rush homework or assignments
  • Study and complete readings even when you don’t have homework
  • Retake classes you failed or earned lower scores than required
  • Ask for help when you need it

Grades don’t stop mattering just because you graduated high school. If you’re continuing your education, a strong GPA could very well make a difference in your future. Whether you’re going to graduate school or entering the workforce, grades can impact your ability to be hired or accepted!

While keeping good college grades is important, it is equally important to remember that college is so much more than that.

Learning life skills

College is a time to learn crucial life skills—managing your money, living on your own, managing your time, working with others, taking up a part-time job, and making lifelong friends. Along with spending time studying, it is just as important to grow emotionally and socially.

Well-rounded students

After graduating from college, well-rounded students find it easier to get a job as compared to those who earned all A’s but cannot relate to others or work well with other team members. Landing a job is not just about your GPA only. Employers want to hire workers who are smart and also have the necessary soft skills.

And grades absolutely matter when it comes to your scholarships. Have you been earning a high GPA recently? You may just want to see what free money you’re now eligible for. And here’s an easy way to find them: College Raptor’s Scholarship Search Tool.