As a parent, you hope that your child’s college degree will lead to a satisfying and successful career. However, does it really matter if he or she aced Organic Chemistry or merely scraped by? Maybe it’s enough to simply earn a diploma rather than get on the Dean’s List.
At OneClass, we’re committed to helping students succeed in school so that they can succeed in their career. Let’s review why college GPA matters and what you can do to help your kids get better grades.
Why Does College GPA Matter?
College grades can have real-world implications and a lasting effect on a student’s opportunities and future career. Here are seven reasons why college GPA matters.
1. Admissions to Graduate School
The most obvious way that college GPA can impact a student’s future is for the application to graduate school. Many professions require additional schooling. Just as a high school GPA was used during college admissions, college GPA is used for applications to graduate schools. In fact, GPA is frequently weighted heavily, as college admissions officers predict future academic success based upon past academic performance.
2. Access to Financial Aid and Scholarships
Many financial aid opportunities require that students maintain a specific grade point average. Not only do grades affect access to additional funding, but GPA requirements could be embedded into funding they already have. In the worst-case scenario, a semester of poor grades could mean that your family will have to pay more in tuition, causing years of financial problems.
3. Graduate on Time
To graduate, there are minimum GPA requirements. Poor grades could cause delays in graduation if a student needs to retake a class. It could even result in disciplinary action that changes the student’s academic standing within the college. If the student’s GPA falls below the threshold of the college or degree program, then the first step from the college would be to place the student on academic probation. The next step could be an academic suspension.
4. Get a Job
Many top employers use a recent graduate’s GPA as a way to determine which resumes are even worth reviewing. For example, at McKinsey, a GPA higher than 3.5 is needed before a hiring manager will review an application. While an employer’s GPA requirements are often not set in stone, an applicant with a lower GPA could face additional resistance that they wouldn’t have faced if his or her grades were higher.
5. Demonstrate Grit and Consistency
Grades are often linked to a person’s character. It’s frequently assumed that those who have good grades were willing to put in the hard work of studying for exams and had the consistency to turn in their homework at every class. For students who achieve top grades, there can be an unspoken assumption that they have high achievement potential and can successfully navigate the requirements of academic success.
6. Have Higher Job Satisfaction
Surprisingly, a higher college GPA may correlate to higher job satisfaction. One study found that among graduates who had a college GPA higher than 3.0, about 35 to 41 percent report that they’re very happy with their current job. Comparatively, among graduates who had a GPA of 3.0 or less, only 17 to 21 percent report they’re very happy with their current job.
7. Earn More Money
A higher average GPA may also correlate with a more lucrative career. For graduates who earned a GPA higher than 3.0, about 70 to 77 percent have a household income more than $50,000. Of students who have a GPA of 3.0 or less, only 56 to 65 percent have household income higher than $50,000.
What Can You Do to Help Your Student Improve His or Her GPA?
As a parent, you have limited control over how well your kid does in class. However, there are ways to support and encourage success. Try these three ways to help your student improve his or her GPA.
1. Provide Access to Resources
Students who are using shared online resources could have a leg up over their classmates who are attempting to DIY. With platforms such as OneClass, students can search for their school to see what study guides and class notes have been shared by their classmates. This can help students catch up on missed lectures, review information they struggle with, and better prepare for exams.
Shared online resources have helped millions of college students, and 90 percent of OneClass users report that they improved by more than one letter grade.
To help students better understand course material that they’re struggling with, OneClass also offers 24/7 Homework Help. Simply snap a photo of your homework question, and subject matter experts will reply with a step-by-step solution that’s catered to grade level and professor specifications. With on-demand tutoring support, students can resolve questions before they’re called on in class. Explore past solutions by reviewing OneClass’ online knowledge bank, and try your first question free.
2. Troubleshoot Their Challenges
College life can present new challenges and unexpected hurdles that didn’t affect high school grades. As parents, you can work with your students to help them identify why their grades are slipping, and suggest a constructive solution.
For example, a seemingly benign issue of a noisy dorm could have a significant impact on grades. In another case, a student may face time management problems due to the freedom of college life. A parent could help troubleshoot this problem by suggesting a better way to plan time or suggest a social media blocking app.
Another common challenge for college students is when night owls sign up for morning classes. Being out of sync causes more than simply the grogginess of early morning; it also causes decreased productivity and lower grades.
3. Help Them Take the Right Classes
If your student is performing better in some classes, there could be a reason why, and digging into each grade can provide insight to help the student take the right classes.
For goal-oriented students, it’s not easy to perform well when required classes feel like busywork or like they’re taking classes that aren’t in line with their interests. While they may not be able to avoid graduation requirements, it may be possible to strategically take these classes at a later time.
By putting off classes that could be a struggle, the student has the opportunity to achieve early success and lessen the impact of a poor grade with several years of coursework. For example, earning a C in a required English Composition class would have less impact on the overall GPA when the student is a Junior than when a Freshman.
Learn more about how OneClass is helping students improve their GPA.Image attribution: michaeljung – stock.adobe.com