University of Mississippi

How Important is GPA?

Sometimes faculty hear students saying things like “My GPA is 2.5 so I’m OK…” as if there is no reason to try to maintain a higher average. In fact, many people will only consider students who have a GPA above a particular level and won’t want to interview students with GPAs below that level. A minimum goal level for GPA should be a 3.0, however, many employers (for permanent jobs, summer jobs and internships) may not be willing to consider students with GPAs of less than 3.2 or even 3.5.

It is not OK to let your grades slide Freshman or Sophomore year and plan to “bring them up” during your last years. This strategy will make it difficult to get summer positions and scholarships that may help you find the future you want. Even if you don’t want to Co-op today, or don’t know what you want to do with yourself after graduation, it is a good idea to try to stay on a solid footing with your GPA.

On the other hand, if you have a rough first few years, it is never too late to do yourself some good by bringing up grades now. It is possible to quote a GPA that is calculated from grades during Junior and Senior year or “in major” to show that you are capable of doing solid academic work.

If you are struggling to do well in class, a trip to the Counseling Center may be in order. They have study skills classes, test taking strategy classes etc., as well as individual counseling that you might find helpful. It is always a good idea to seek help as soon as you think you might need it, rather than after your grades end up below your goal levels.