What is a 2.0 GPA? What colleges accept a 2.0 GPA?

Do you have a 2.0 GPA? Are you wondering whether a 2.0 is good, and what colleges you can get into with a 2.0?

We've written the most detailed guide to your GPA here:

  • Find out which colleges you can get into with a 2.0 GPA.
  • Learn how you can raise your GPA.
  • Learn what you should be doing to maximize your chances of getting into the best colleges.

Quick disclaimer: unlike standardized test scores like SAT/ACT, GPA policies vary from high school to high school and from college to college. Some use weighted GPAs and others use unweighted GPAs. In this guide, we’ll generally talk about unweighted GPAs and compare you on a national and college level.

As we'll explain below, the actual GPA number is just one dimension of your coursework. The difficulty of your courseload is important - the more difficult your classes, the more colleges are willing to excuse a dip in GPA.

Finally, even though this guide focuses on a 2.0 GPA, our advice is the same for close GPAs, like 2.02 and 1.98 GPAs. You can use this guide for all GPAs between 1.95 and 2.04.

Is a 2.0 GPA good?

A 2.0 GPA means that you have a solid C average across all of your classes. This GPA is essentially the unofficial cut off point for how low your GPA can be in order to get into college. With a 2.0 GPA, there are only a couple schools in the country where you'll have a high chance of being accepted.

We've analyzed the student profiles at 1500+ colleges across the United States and the average GPA of its incoming students. Here's how a 2.0 GPA compares to the nation:

  • score-percent Percentile: 0th

    0.32% of schools have an average GPA below a 2.0.

  • score-compete Competitive For: 5 Schools

    You can apply to colleges and have a good shot at getting admitted.

  • score-missing Missing Out On: 1564 Schools

    You have a low chance of getting into with a 2.0 GPA.

To elaborate, the national average for GPA is around a 3.0, so a 2.0 puts you below average nationally. Keep in mind the 3.0 national average represents all students, not just students applying to college, so the average GPA of students admitted to colleges is higher than the national average.

Here's more custom advice for you if you have a 2.0 GPA. Click your grade level to see our evaluation.

You may have had somewhat of a difficult start to your freshman year, but it's not too late to improve your grades! Right now you're at the GPA tipping point for attending college, meaning there are only a couple schools where you would have a good chance of being accepted with this GPA. It's really important that you realize this now and start working hard to improve your study habits and give yourself a better range of options. As a freshman, you probably don't have a good sense of where you plan on applying yet, but if you're interested in any particular school, you can search for it with the tool in the next section and see your chances of admission. Even if your odds don't look great right now, remember that things can easily change in the next couple years.

If you have a 2.0 GPA your sophomore year, you could be heading towards a difficult time with college applications. Though your GPA still has the potential to change between now and senior fall, it's going to be hard to raise it significantly at this point. Improving your grades junior year is critical if you hope to have more safe options for college. If there are any schools that interest you at this point, you can search for them in the next sectiont to see what your chances of admission might look like based on your GPA. This isn't set in stone yet, but you're going to need to step it up next year if you want to be absolutly sure of attending college.

At this point, your GPA is pretty much set in stone as far as college applications go. This means that you'll face some struggles in the application process with finding safety schools. Unfortunately, there are only a few colleges where a 2.0 GPA will leave you with a high chance of admission. If you're thinking of applying anywhere in particular, you can search for schools using the tool in the next section. You'll be able to see your chances of admission based on your current GPA and test scores.

Your GPA senior year is the GPA you'll be using to apply to colleges. With a 2.0, there's no question that you'll be faced with limited options in the college application process. You can still expect to be admitted to a couple of the least selective schools, but your freedom of choice about where you apply is severely limited by your GPA. You may already have a list or schools planned out or have even begun applying, so if you're curious about your chances of admission at these schools you can search for colleges in the next section to find out where you stand.

Your Chances With a 2.0 GPA

This is probably the biggest question on your mind. What colleges can you get into with a 2.0? What are your chances of admission at your top choice schools?

We've built a custom admissions calculator that calculates your chances based on the 3 most important factors to determining your chance of admissions:

  • The school's admission rate
  • Your GPA
  • Your SAT/ACT score

Here's how to use this calculator:

  1. Choose the SAT or the ACT, depending on which you're taking
  2. Choose your current SAT/ACT score
  3. Enter the name of each college you're interested in
  4. Change your SAT/ACT score to see how your chances change

Pick your test: Old SAT ACT

SAT Score
School Name Location Chances: 2.0 GPA + Chances: 2.0 GPA + Average GPA
% %
*These calculations fix your GPA at 2.0, but you might have room for improvement. If you want to see your chances with a different GPA, at the bottom of this page you'll be able to switch to a different GPA.

How would your chances improve with a better score?

Try to take your current SAT score and add 160 points (or take your ACT score and add 4 points) to the calculator above. See how much your chances improve?

This is important when you're considering your GPA. You probably know how hard it is to pull up your grades and GPA. If you improve your SAT/ACT score, you'll be able to show colleges that you're academically prepared for college.

At PrepScholar, we've created the leading online SAT/ACT prep program. We guarantee an improvement of 160 SAT points or 4 ACT points on your score, or your money back.

Here's a summary of why we're so much more effective than other prep programs:

There's a lot more to PrepScholar that makes it the best SAT/ACT prep program. Click to learn more about our program, or sign up for our 5-day free trial to check out PrepScholar for yourself:

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Can You Improve Your GPA?

We’re not going to sugarcoat it: GPAs aren’t easy to improve. The later you are in high school, the less your GPA will change before you apply to college.

For example, if you're currently a junior in high school, your grades in freshman and sophomore year will anchor your GPA so that your junior grades won't be able to change your total GPA much.

Here's a calculator for you to see how much your GPA can improve in different cases. Choose your current grade level, and then choose your future grades up until college applications. We'll show you how high or low your GPA can be, depending on your grades from now forward.

Your Grade Level Current GPA Semesters Remaining Future Grades GPA for Applications

0 2.0

Warning: Because you have no semesters left, your GPA won't change by the time college applications are due. You'll need to apply with a 2.0 GPA. As we explain next, your best chance at improving your chances of getting in may be to improve your SAT/ACT score.

Final Verdict and Advice

Since you're still a freshman, it's early enough that you have the potential to make big changes to your GPA before you apply to college. Your current GPA is low enough to put your chances of getting into college in jeopardy, so the time to take action is now. Try to figure out what's going wrong in your classes, and ask for extra help if you need it.

You have at least two full school years ahead of you to turn things around and give yourself many more reliable options for college. You'll also be taking standardized tests that have the potential to boost your chances of acceptance significantly if you study and do well. It's a good idea to start your test prep earlier rather than later so that you don't end up underprepared. Remember to keep pushing yourself, and try not to let the struggles you're having this year define the rest of your time in high school.

You have a low GPA, but you can still make changes before senior year. A 2.0 at this point will put you at some risk of not getting into a four year college. That's why it's important to set goals for yourself for next year and figure out where you're having the most problems. Don't be afraid to ask for help from your teachers or to change your study habits.

You should also start thinking seriously about standardized tests. The best time to take the SAT or ACT for the first time will be early next year, so you should start preparing as soon as you can. If you manage to get a good score, you will increase your chances of admission at most colleges. The key is not to let yourself become complacent in your current academic situation - you still have at least a full year to make changes!

As a junior, you don't have much time left to make changes to your GPA. If you used the tools in this article, you know that having a 2.0 GPA places very severe limits on your options for college. You still have a couple of safe choices, but any schools that are slightly selective will end up being reaches. Though your GPA may not be easy to change this late in the game, you can still make a difference in your chances of admission through standardized test scores.

Over the course of this year, you should try and study for the SAT or ACT and improve your scores as much as possible. If you manage to get high scores, you will have a much better chance of admission at most schools. You'll have opportunities to retake the SAT or ACT up until your senior winter, so there's plenty of time for more test prep. You should also continue trying to improve your grades over the course of this year - even small changes will help you in the long run!

Since you don't have much time left before you apply to college (or may already have begun applying), your GPA isn't going to change. At this point, you just need to be smart about where you apply. Make sure you send out applications to at least one or two schools where you have a strong chance of getting in even though your options are severely limited. You can also improve your chances of admission by retaking the SAT or ACT and raising your scores. A little bit of studying for standardized tests can go a long way. If you raise your scores by a couple hundred points, your chances of getting into college will increase significantly.

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Exclusive: Want to learn how to improve your ACT score by 4 points? image description

Download our free guide on the top 5 strategies you must be using to improve your score. This guide was written by Harvard graduates and ACT perfect scorers. If you apply the strategies in this guide, you'll study smarter and make huge score improvements.

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Colleges that Accept a 2.0 GPA

What schools can you get into with a GPA of 2.0?

We've picked out a set of schools that are within range. Click on each school to learn more about it.

Change My GPA

Curious about what your profile is with a different GPA? Choose any GPA to see what you'd be able to do!

Analyze Your SAT/ACT Score

Wondering about how competitive your current SAT or ACT score is? We've created strategy guides for each SAT and ACT score so you can see what your chances are at schools, and what will happen if you improve your score.

Data on this page is sourced from Peterson's Databases © 2023 (Peterson's LLC. All rights reserved.) as well as additional publicly available sources.

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