What is a Good GPA for a Freshman in High School?

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Are you a freshman in high school thinking about how you can graduate with a high GPA? Do you want to move to a top-rated college after your high school? The process begins now that you’re a high school freshman. You don’t want to graduate high school with a low GPA, so you must begin your journey by asking questions like “What is a good GPA in high school?” This article provides all the information you’ll need to help you start on the right foot and get the best GPA for your freshman year.

What's the Average High School Freshman GPA?What’s the Average High School Freshman GPA?

By now, you probably already know that grades begin to count from 9th grade. This means that calculating your GPA begins immediately after you enter 9th grade. So, if you have a top college in mind, start working towards it from your first year in high school. We recommend doing basic research about the requirements for your dream school from the start and working towards them. Some of the information you should find out includes:

  • GPA requirement for your dream college
  • Average high school freshman GPA

This way, you can know what to aim for. But what is the average high school freshman GPA? A 2018 study by the Fordham Institute shows that the average GPA for high school students attending top schools was 3.0 in 2016, while the average GPA for less affluent high schools in the same year was pegged at 2.59. Results from the same study also showed the average high school GPA to be on a steady rise over the years. This steady increase is mostly because of the grade inflation that has plagued the education sector.

What is Considered a Good GPA for a High School Freshman?

What is Considered a Good GPA for a High School Freshman?

One question that often comes to the mind of every first-year student in high school is, “What is a good GPA in high school?” Unfortunately, there’s no one-rule-fits-all when discussing a good GPA, so most blogs will just recommend going as close to the maximum GPA for your school as possible. Therefore, if your school uses an unweighted GPA, you’d want to go close enough to 4.0, which is the highest GPA. On the other hand, schools that use a 5- or 6-point system will have their students aiming to go as close to these points as possible.

As we’ve pointed out in the previous section, the average GPA for high school in the United States is 3.0, so if you can push your GPA to go above that, you’re off to a good start. However, this also depends on your school, as top selective schools prefer their students to perform above average, which means you must strive to hit the high 3s.

Some other questions that may pop up when discussing this topic include:

  • Is a 3.5 GPA good for a freshman in high school? Yes, a 3.5 is a good GPA to start and continue with, irrespective of school.
  • Is a 2.3 GPA good for a freshman in high school? Unfortunately, a 2.3 GPA is a below-average grade. Even though it’s still considered a passing grade, it won’t get you admission into any selective college. But the good news is that you can improve on this grade, and it’s not too late to start trying.

Do High School Freshman Grades Matter in College?

Do High School Freshman Grades Matter in College?

Going into high school, you’ll probably hear many things about your freshman year. One of the most popular myths about the first year is that colleges do not consider it as important as they do for other years. While this is true, it doesn’t mean you should dismiss the importance of starting your freshman year well. After all, the freshman year has its benefits and reasons to be taken seriously. Firstly, it sets the foundation for your high school adventure. Additionally, it’s the right time to get involved in extracurriculars to earn a spot on the club’s board in your later years.

5 Factors That Affect High School Students' GPA

5 Factors That Affect High School Students’ GPA

Now that we’ve talked so much about freshman GPA, you’re probably wondering how you can get off to a good start. It’s not so hard – you have to start working hard for a good GPA from the start. That said, here are factors that can affect your high school GPA if you fail to pay attention to them.

Poor Time Management

Although we often fail to realize it, time management goes a long way to determining the trajectory of our lives. For students, a lack of proper time management can affect productivity, coordination, organization, and grades. While engaging in social activities is okay, don’t let them distract you. Your main goal is to study hard and get the best grade possible. Therefore, you should learn to manage your time efficiently in a manner that allows you to handle your academic work without distraction.

Not Setting Clear Goals

We know you’ve come to school to graduate and earn the right certification to ease you into your next study phase. But doing this requires having clear goals from the start and pursuing them. Goals like the following can be your guide as you work towards improving your grades:

  • I want to graduate with a 5.0.
  • I want to graduate with a First Class.
  • I want to score 100% on this exam.

You’ll subconsciously think about the right steps to achieve these goals as you set them. However, note that your goals must be realistic, achievable, measurable, and time-bound to count.

Lack of Regular Studies

You can set all the goals in this world and still fail if you don’t work towards achieving them. One of the key ways to achieve your academic goals is to study adequately. You don’t have to wait until it is test or exam time to start studying. Instead, we recommend studying consistently from the first day. Once you’ve set clear goals on what you want to achieve, divide the goals into achievable milestones and begin to read to achieve your milestones from the start. This way, you’ll gradually and consistently improve your information retention and cognitive abilities.

Poor Learning Methods and Study Techniques

Yes, it’s good to start studying early, but even that can become counterproductive if you use the wrong study techniques. Everybody has a distinct personality and learning style. You must find your learning style and stick to it. If you’re a visual or kinetic learner, you may find long texts boring and incomprehensible. If you prefer to read during the day, you may struggle to assimilate whenever you join your friends to read at night. Therefore, you must find yourself and understand your strengths and weaknesses for studying to be easier and more effective.

Constant Absenteeism

Constantly missing classes will negatively affect your grade. Irrespective of your intelligence, you still need to understand each topic from the teacher’s perspective. Being absent when a topic is being taught may mean you’ll never understand it from your teacher’s perspective. If you miss classes for unavoidable reasons, explain to your teacher. If your reason is genuine enough, they’ll likely go over the topic again for your sake.

What Colleges Can You Get Into With Your GPA?

What Colleges Can You Get Into With Your GPA?

If you have a passing GPA, you’ll most likely find a college that suits your GPA. However, different colleges have different GPA requirements, and as we’ve pointed out, you must know the GPA requirements of your school and work towards getting them.

To get into most Ivy League Colleges, you must have a GPA of above 4.0. some of these schools and the average GPA of accepted students include Harvard University (4.15), Princeton University (4.14), Columbia University (4.14), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (4.15), Stamford University (4.13), Yale University (4.10), Cornell University (4.05), etc.

That’s not to say you can’t get into college with a relatively low GPA. The following table shows a list of colleges you can enter with your GPA.

College Name Average GPA Requirement Using an Unweighted GPA System
Indiana University Northwest 3.14
Louisiana State University 3.38
University of Illinois at Chicago 3.4
University of Maine at Presque Isle 3.0
University of Maryland Eastern Shore 3.07
Alabama State University 2.95
University of Alaska Southeast 2.94
Delaware State University 3.09
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth 3.37
University of Wisconsin Parkside 3.31

Data from PrepScholar

These are a sample size of the colleges in America. If your choice college is not here, head to their website to find their admission requirements.

Wrapping Things Up: What is a Good GPA for a Freshman in High School?

So far, in this article, we’ve answered important questions about the expected average high school freshman GPA. Hopefully, you now have enough information to begin your high school journey. Remember, you don’t have to wait until it’s too late to start working for a top GPA. But that’s not to say all hope is lost if you’re already done with freshman year. With the right work ethic, you can improve on your grade. Prioritize talking to an experienced counselor about your concern. They can help you fashion out strategies that will directly impact your GPA.

Picture of Professor Conquer
Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

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