Do you have a 4.0 GPA? Are you wondering whether a 4.0 is good, and what colleges you can get into with a 4.0?
We've written the most detailed guide to your GPA here:
- Find out which colleges you can get into with a 4.0 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 4.0 GPA, our advice is the same for close GPAs, like 4.02 and 3.98 GPAs. You can use this guide for all GPAs between 3.95 and 4.04.
A 4.0 GPA is generally considered the gold standard for GPA. If your school uses unweighted GPAs, a 4.0 does mean that you have all As - in other words, perfect grades! If your schools uses weighted GPAs (which take course difficulty into account and usually go up to a 5.0), you may have all As in low level classes, As and Bs in mid level classes, or mostly Bs in high level classes. Try to focus less on the number and more on how much you're challenging yourself in your classes.
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 4.0 GPA compares to the nation:
98.4% of schools have an average GPA below a 4.0.
You can apply to colleges and have a good shot at getting admitted.
Missing Out On:
You have a low chance of getting into with a 4.0 GPA.
To elaborate, the national average for GPA is around a 3.0, so a 4.0 puts you above 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 4.0 GPA. Click your grade level to see our evaluation.
This is probably the biggest question on your mind. What colleges can you get into with a 4.0? 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:
- Choose the SAT or the ACT, depending on which you're taking
- Choose your current SAT/ACT score
- Enter the name of each college you're interested in
- Change your SAT/ACT score to see how your chances change
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:
- PrepScholar customizes your prep to your strengths and weaknesses. You don't waste time working on areas you already know, so you get more results in less time.
- We guide you through your program step-by-step so that you're never confused about what you should be studying. Focus all your time learning, not worrying about what to learn.
- Our team is made of national SAT/ACT experts. PrepScholar's founders are Harvard graduates and SAT perfect scorers. You'll be studying using the strategies that actually worked for them.
- We've gotten tremendous results with thousands of students across the country. Read about our score results and reviews from our happy customers.
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:
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|
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 4.0 GPA. As we explain next, your best chance at improving your chances of getting in may be to improve your SAT/ACT score.
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 SAT perfect scorers. If you apply the strategies in this guide, you'll study smarter and make huge score improvements.
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.
What schools can you get into with a GPA of 4.0?
We've picked out a set of schools that are within range. Click on each school to learn more about it.
Reach Schools: Harder to Get Into
These schools are hard for you to get into now, because their average GPA is higher than a 4.0. But if you improve your SAT or ACT score, you'll have a much better shot.
|California Institute of Technology||Pasadena, CA||1545||36||4.19|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology||Cambridge, MA||1535||35||4.17|
|Harvard College||Cambridge, MA||1520||34||4.18|
|Yale University||New Haven, CT||1515||34||4.14|
|Duke University||Durham, NC||1510||34||4.13|
|Princeton University||Princeton, NJ||1505||34||3.9|
|Stanford University||Stanford, CA||1505||34||3.96|
|Columbia University||New York, NY||1505||34||4.12|
|Rice University||Houston, TX||1505||34||4.12|
|University of Pennsylvania||Philadelphia, PA||1500||34||3.9|
|Dartmouth College||Hanover, NH||1500||34||4.11|
Same Level: Equally Hard to Get Into
These schools have average GPAs that are close to 4.0. If you apply to these schools, you'll have a decent chance of admission. If you improve your SAT or ACT scores, you'll significantly improve your chances .
|Brown University||Providence, RI||1485||34||4.08|
|Cornell University||Ithaca, NY||1480||34||4.07|
|Tufts University||Medford, MA||1465||33||4.04|
|Northeastern University||Boston, MA||1465||34||4.04|
|Boston College||Chestnut Hill, MA||1420||33||3.96|
|Boston University||Boston, MA||1420||32||3.71|
|College of William and Mary||Williamsburg, VA||1415||32||4.27|
|Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute||Troy, NY||1409||31||3.91|
|Binghamton University||Vestal, NY||1375||30||3.7|
|University of California, Santa Barbara||Santa Barbara, CA||1355||29||4.12|
|California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo||San Luis Obispo, CA||1335||29||4|
Safety Schools: Easier to Get Into
With a GPA of 4.0, you're already strongly competitive for these schools. You're very likely to get admitted if you apply. If you improve your SAT or ACT score, your Safety Schools will get better and better.
|Stony Brook University||Stony Brook, NY||1335||29||3.84|
|University of Georgia||Athens, GA||1325||30||4|
|University of California, Irvine||Irvine, CA||1310||29||4|
|Rochester Institute of Technology||Rochester, NY||1300||30||3.7|
|University of Massachusetts Amherst||Amherst, MA||1290||29||3.9|
|University of California, Davis||Davis, CA||1280||28||4.03|
|United States Military Academy||West Point, NY||1270||28||3.9|
|Florida State University||Tallahassee, FL||1270||28||4.07|
|University of North Carolina at Wilmington||Wilmington, NC||1260||25||4.18|
|Auburn University||Auburn University, AL||1235||28||3.9|
|Florida International University||Miami, FL||1195||26||4|
Curious about what your profile is with a different GPA? Choose any GPA to see what you'd be able to do!
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.
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