"I wish I knew how important your GPA is while in high school and college."
Brianna B., 23, Hollis Center, Maine
"How important is my GPA?" is always a tricky question to answer for students. In my experience working in Admissions and being a student phone caller, a lot of times students will ask, "My grades aren't the best, how important are they?" Colleges and universities look at a plethora of characteristics about each student before they make their final acceptance decisions.
Ultimately though, your Grade Point Average (GPA) does matter. It will determine the types of scholarships you receive, what programs you can get in, and your life at college. Succeeding in academics is hard work, whether you graduate Valedictorian or not, especially at the college level. So, getting a jump start on creating a study routine with your classes can help you through the rest of your high school and college experience.
In high school, your teachers are right there during your study halls, lunch periods, and homerooms, so the opportunity to ask questions is right in front of you. Use them to help improve your grades if you are not satisfied. Look into extra credit assignments or extra projects you can do to lift your GPA for that class too.
In college, however, you need to seek your professors out. Each professor will have "Office Hours," where they sit in their office with the door open and hope for students to come and ask questions. This is a great opportunity to work with your professor if you are having trouble in the class. You can discuss a paper you need to write or an upcoming exam. Additionally, each university has a tutoring center where you can request a tutor for your class (usually this is an upperclassmen who did well in that course). They also may run workshops for students on topics like note-taking and reading strategies. In college, seek and use these resources to improve your GPA.
If your GPA isn't where you want it, discuss this with your Guidance Counselor or your Academic Adviser to create a plan to improve your GPA for the future plans you have. Don't be discouraged because it is possible!
enjoy the chase,