Whether you’re the one applying to colleges or you’re helping your kids to fill out application forms, you’re likely to ponder how much high school grades matter. Some scoff at the importance of their grades at this level, but attending a school that helps students to improve in their academics is actually quite important. Better understanding of the whole picture of grades in high school and applying to colleges can help you to better know what to do.
The School’s Admission Standards and Process
In most cases, how far back colleges will look and how much high school grades matter depend upon the individual college. A seriously competitive school is likely to place more emphasis on how much high school grades matter. This information is usually available to the general public. You can visit the websites of colleges and universities to see how many students are accepted, and you can also view the average high school grade point average of incoming classes. Speaking with an admissions counselor is also a smart way to find out if you need to improve your grades before seeking acceptance into the school.
High School Grades Matter If You Plan To Submit An Early Application
You may also decide that you want to apply early action or early decision. Individual schools might have their own programs that allow you to obtain an earlier answer and to submit your final decision well before your classmates have done so. However, these programs could have higher admission requirements. When your scores fall below the minimum requirements for these special programs, you may want to wait until the regular application deadline to increase your chances of attending the school.
High School Grades Matter Specifically When Seeking Scholarship Opportunities
Another consideration to take into mind is whether or not you’re pursuing scholarship opportunities. If you know that you’ll need assistance paying for college, researching minimum requirements for scholarships and starting to get your grades up before your junior and senior year is a wise move. Do keep in mind that while not all scholarships are based on grades, many of them are. Even if you qualify for an athletic or art scholarship, for example, you will likely still need to have and maintain certain grades.
A number of colleges and universities have honors programs. Some schools will offer admission to you after you have achieved certain grades in a semester or two of college, but many also have first-year students enroll in such programs. When you’re looking to enroll in a school’s honors program or honors college, you are almost certainly going to need higher grades than if you were seeking standard admission. In fact, the program could very well require both a higher grade point average and higher standardized test scores.
Standardized Test Scores
Knowing the standards of the schools to wish you are applying is pivotal. For example, some colleges and universities don’t look at standardized tests scores anymore whereas others still place a strong emphasis on them. Furthermore, you may be able to offset a poor standardized test score with a high-grade point average or vice versa. In other cases, the schools will require you to meet the minimum requirements for both categories in order to receive acceptance.
The specific program to which you are applying will also dictate what grades you need. Imagine that you are applying to the top university for nursing in the country. In order to qualify for the nursing program, you will surely need higher grades than you would to qualify for other programs at the school. In the event that you don’t get into the particular program, you may still receive an offer for admission to the school. Find out if it is possible to enroll, get your grades up and then reapply for the program that you initially wanted.
Once you are into a program, you might think that you can just start to get whatever grades you want and allow your studies to slide. However, you could find yourself kicked out of the college or university if you do so. Even when the consequences are not quite that drastic, you may end up on academic probation for a semester or lose your scholarships or placement in a particular program at the school.
Clearly, grades do play an important role when you’re applying to colleges. And, it’s certain that high school grades matter when you’re seeking scholarships or admission into top programs. As a result, now is the time to seriously consider how you are doing in terms of grades and figure out what steps you need to take to make a more beneficial situation for yourself. Enrolling in a program that helps to foster your learning and bolster your academic situation is a decision that can seriously help. This reason is one why many choose to pursue their high school studies at a college preparatory school.