How Important are Grades for College Admissions?
As a college-bound high school student, you’ve probably heard over and over how important grades are for your future. While it is stressful to make sure you’re getting high grades in all of your classes, it does play a big role in college admissions. Want to know more about how grades affect your chances? Below are a few things to consider when thinking about your grades and GPA.
Grades Really Do Matter
It wasn’t just your teachers trying to get you to do homework; grades really are important for getting into college. In fact, they’re pretty much the most important thing. In a survey by the National Association of College Admissions Counselors, it was revealed that 81% of universities surveyed placed “considerable importance” on grades in all courses. This means that your grades and GPA are one of the largest determining factors on whether you get in.
So Which Grades Matter Most?
Because high school is such a massive transition from middle school or junior high, colleges rarely take into account grades from 9th grade. Generally, student grades are lower their freshman year and aren’t truly indicative of a student’s performance or potential.
You should make sure that your grades during your junior and senior years are up. Keep track of your GPA starting your sophomore year, so you know exactly how to approach your last two years. Obviously, always try your hardest, but keeping track of grades will help you know where to focus your attention.
Core classes are the most important in terms of grades—that’s math, English, science, and social studies. However, your chosen major may also affect which grades are scrutinized the most. For example, if you’re trying to get into an engineering program, your grades in math will matter more than your English grades.
If you’re looking to impress colleges, even more, consider college prep classes, AP courses, foreign languages. Slightly lower grades in more demanding classes will appeal much more to colleges than straight As in basic courses.
Why Do Grades Matter?
It may feel like an undue amount of pressure with colleges looking at your high school grades, but remember that your grades are a good indication of how you will perform once you get to college. Schools want to be certain that you’ll be able to handle the rigor of courses and proceed to graduation. If your grades are low in high school, you’ll seem like too big of a risk. By keeping your grades up in high school, you’re proving that you are a worthwhile investment for the college, and you’ll be more likely to be accepted.
While it’s true that grades aren’t absolutely everything on the college application, and that certain other aspects can reveal your suitability for the college, they are a good indicator of whether you’ll be a good match. If you’re in doubt, now is the time to improve those grades and working harder to achieve success in preparation for college admissions.