Is a 3.5 GPA Good? Top Colleges That Accept 3.5 GPA (2023)

Are you looking for top colleges that accept a 3.5 GPA? Your grade point average (GPA) is an important part of the admissions process. It is the first thing the admissions committee checks when reviewing your academic history. If you complete your high school education with a 3.5 GPA, you will have a solid chance of acceptance into many universities.

This article contains a list of colleges that accepts a 3.5 GPA, what a good GPA in college is, how to gain admission with a 3.5 GPA, and other important admission requirements that can help you on your college search. It also has tips on what to do if you have a low GPA.

Is a 3.5 GPA Good? Top Colleges That Accept 3.5 GPA (1)

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What Is a Good GPA?

A good GPA is at least a 3.5. Your GPA shows a history of acceptable academic performance in your high school career. What is considered a good GPA depends on your school, the rigor of academic courses, and your goals for college. Different schools have different GPA requirements for admissions, and you don’t need to have perfect grades to get in.

Take a look at the average GPAs of your choice schools. If it is higher than your GPA, it is probably a reach school for you, and there are high standards for incoming students. However, if it is around your GPA, you have a good chance of acceptance. You should apply to schools that you can realistically get into, which are also known as safety schools.

Is a 3.5 GPA Considered a Low GPA?

No, a 3.5 GPA is not considered a low GPA. In fact, it’s higher than the national average GPA. The national average GPA was at 3.11 in 2019, according to the National Center of Education Statistics. The letter grade for a 3.5 GPA lies between a B+ grade and an A-. This will raise you above the national average and allow you to be competitive in a variety of schools.

(Video) Is a 3.5 A good college GPA?

How Much Does GPA Matter for College Anyway?

GPA matters quite a bit in your college application. It shows your academic record and how well you performed in high school. However, the level of importance is determined solely by the admissions committee. For instance, a 4.0 GPA will almost guarantee admission into a state university. But for Ivy League and other highly selective schools, a perfect GPA is the minimum requirement for a candidate to be eligible for admission.

Your college grades are just one of many admissions requirements. Your academic performance will not be the only factor in admissions decisions. The admissions committee will also need to consider other factors, including standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, personal statements, after-school activities, whether you were part of an honors program, and other additional requirements.

Other Factors Taken Into Account During Admissions

  • Standardized test scores. Standardized tests like SAT or ACT provide a common data point to measure students against the same academic standards. A high standardized test score can balance a low GPA and improve your college application.
  • Letters of recommendation. A letter of recommendation reveals crucial details about the skills and character of a person. They help college admissions committees understand the personal history of the applicant.
  • Personal statement. Many colleges require personal statements or application essays from prospective students. It allows them to understand the student’s personality, academic abilities, and career goals.
  • Extracurricular activities. Active involvement in extracurricular activities like sports, clubs, and volunteer experience can boost your application. Getting involved in such activities can give you an advantage in the college application process. Extracurriculars show the university that you are involved in the community and are an active person.

Are There Colleges With No GPA Requirements?

Yes, there are colleges with no GPA requirements. These colleges do not require GPA scores. They are focused on the academic readiness of students rather than their past academic performance. Even with a low GPA, you can still gain acceptance into these schools and pursue your dream degree.

The Southern New Hampshire University, Colorado Technical University, and University of Arizona Global Campus are notable examples of universities that don’t require GPA scores. Your chance of admission is higher if you apply for these schools because there is a larger academic range of incoming students.

The Best Colleges That Accept a 3.5 GPA

School GPA requirements Tuition and fees Acceptance Rate
Arizona State University Applicants must earn a minimum GPA of 3.00 in competency courses or be in the top 25 percent of the high school graduating class. $11,348 88%
Kansas State University Applicants must have earned a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 (weighted or unweighted) in high school. $18,494 96%
Kennesaw State University Applicants must have earned a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 in their high school coursework. Applicants without ACT and SAT can be admitted if they have a GPA of 3.2 or higher. $6,436 82%
Louisiana State University Applicants must have earned a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in 18 units of college-preparatory high school courses. $11,958 71%
Oklahoma State University Applicants must have a minimum unweighted GPA of 3.0 and rank in the top 33 percent in the high school graduating class. $9,244 68%
Oregon State University Applicants must have an unweighted high school GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. $12,188 89%
Pace University Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 to qualify for admission. $48,830 88%
San Jose State University Applicant must have a minimum GPA of 2.50 on their 10th,11th, 12th-grade a-g courses. Non-residents must have 3.0 GPA. $7,852 84%
Temple University Applicants must have earned a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in their high school classes. The coursework must contain English, mathematics, foreign language, history, science, arts, and other college preparatory courses. $17,378 72%
University of Arizona Applicants must attend a regionally accredited high school and
have a 3.0 unweighted GPA through your sixth semester in the core competency requirements.
$12,736 87%

Top 3.5 GPA Colleges: A Closer Inspection

Arizona State University

  • Location: Tempe, AZ
  • Admissions rate: 89%

Arizona State University ranks among the top schools for academic excellence. It is the number one school in the US for innovation, according to the US News & World Report. It offers over 800 high-quality academic programs at the associate, bachelor, master’s, and doctoral levels. Its course catalog also includes 300 programs that are fully online for distance learners.

Kansas State University

  • Location: Manhattan, KS
  • Admissions rate: 96%

Kansas State University is a public research university founded in 1863. It operates in a four-campus system in different locations including Manhattan, Olathe, Salina, and online. It has over 250 undergraduate programs and 165 graduate programs and a total enrollment of over 20,000 students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate degrees.

» MORE: University of Pennsylvania Pre-College Programs

Kennesaw State University

  • Location: Kennesaw, GA
  • Admissions rate: 82%

Founded in 1963, Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia. It has 11 colleges offering undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees to over 43,000 students. School students can pursue a wide range of degrees, including nursing, biology, psychology, management, marketing, and mechanical engineering.

Louisiana State University

  • Location: Baton Rouge, LA
  • Admissions rate: 71%

Louisiana State University is one of the few universities in the country that has land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant designations. It is reputed for its excellent law school, dental school, medical school, veterinary school, and elite MBA program. It focuses on learning, research, and community engagement.

Oklahoma State University

  • Location: Stillwater, OK
  • Admissions rate: 68%

Oklahoma State University is known for having the largest comprehensive university student union in the US. It is a land-grant university dedicated to providing undergraduate, graduate, professional, and online degree programs. It has 24,649 students enrolled in academic programs across a five-campus system. It offers numerous learning options for students including over 200 undergraduate majors, 79 master’s programs, and 45 doctoral programs.

(Video) Is a 3.5 GPA good in community college?

Oregon State University

  • Location: Corvallis, Oregon
  • Admissions rate: 89%

Oregon State University is a public research university and one of the three land, sun, and space-grant universities in the country. It has over 200 academic programs in many fields ranging from agriculture, business, humanities, and healthcare to engineering. It has 28,697 undergraduate students and 5,833 graduate students.

Pace University

  • Location: New York, NY
  • Admissions rate: 88%

Pace University was founded in 1906 to support students in their academic endeavors at any college level. It has over 12,835 students taking classes in New York City and Winchester. Students can pursue different degrees such as accounting, arts, psychology, business administration, computer science, and law. You will also benefit from support services including immersive academics, dedicated advising, and resume-building experiences.

San Jose State University

  • Location: San Jose, California
  • Admissions rate: 84%

San Jose University is one of the most transformative universities in the country. It provides comprehensive university education including bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in more than 250 areas of study. It has a total enrollment of around 36,000 students. It focuses on preparing students for successful careers through research, scholarships, and industry experience.

Temple University

  • Location: Philadelphia, PA
  • Admissions rate: 72%

Temple University offers more than 150 academic majors in different fields including engineering, healthcare, business, and law. It has academic programs that shape the perspective of students through knowledge, research, and practical experiences. Students also benefit from a support system that steers them towards their personal goals.

University of Arizona

  • Location: Tucson, AZ
  • Admissions rate: 87%

The University of Arizona is a land-grant institution with the primary mission to equip students with the skills and knowledge to solve the problems of modern society. It ranks 103rd on the list of the best national universities, according to the US News and World Reports. It offers over 300 academic degrees across diverse disciplines. It has a total enrollment of 49,471 students.

How to Get Into College With a 3.5 GPA

Is a 3.5 GPA Good? Top Colleges That Accept 3.5 GPA (2)

Try to Raise Your GPA Score

A 3.5 GPA is a fairly strong GPA, which can help you gain admission to many schools. However, you will still be competing with many students with higher GPAs. If possible, you should try to increase your school grades before your final year. Take AP courses that complement your strengths and try to get high grades. You can also get help from a tutor to help you improve your grades.

» MORE: GRE Score Range for Graduate Program School Admission

Look for Schools With No GPA Requirements

Even if you do not have the best grades, you may still be able to gain acceptance into a college. Schools with no GPA requirements offer conditional or provisional admission to students with low GPAs. This allows students to bypass the GPA requirements with other admission requirements such as SAT or ACT, work experience, and letters of recommendation.

Get High Standardized Test Scores

You can significantly improve your chances of admission by acing your SAT or ACT. Standardized exam scores are an indicator of strengths and readiness for college work. The admissions committees will use it to assess the math, writing, reading, and language skills you will need in college. Excellent test scores can boost your college application.

Improve Your Involvement in Extracurricular Activities

While academic performance gets the most attention in the college admissions process, the admissions committee is still going to review your extracurriculars. They want to ensure that they admit well-rounded students with at least one extracurricular activity. You should demonstrate active involvement in sports, community service, leadership positions, or clubs.

How Can I Raise My GPA?

You can raise your GPA by putting extra effort into your academics, creating smart study plans, using educational resources, and developing a close relationship with your teachers. You can also form study groups with academic achievers in your class.

(Video) I Applied to 30 Colleges: Here's What Happened.

Study groups can be a great support system to broaden your knowledge, develop good study habits, and motivate you to achieve your study goals. If you are a well-rounded person with decent SAT scores and grades, you will be able to get into the degree program of your choice.

Is a 3.5 GPA Good? Top Colleges That Accept 3.5 GPA (3)

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Colleges That Accept 3.5 GPA FAQ

Can I get into an Ivy League with a 3.5 GPA?

It may be difficult to get into an Ivy League school with a 3.5 GPA. Most Ivy League schools require that applicants have an average GPA of 4.0. However, you can still improve your chances of acceptance with a strong application, including active involvement in extracurriculars, personal essays, and recommendation letters.

(Video) how i got into ucla with 3.5 gpa

Is a 3.5 good to get into college?

Yes, a 3.5 GPA is good to get into college. It is above the national average, providing a solid chance of admission into a competitive school. However, more selective colleges may require you have a grade point average as close to 4.0 as possible.

Is a 3.5 GPA good for Harvard?

No, a 3.5 GPA is unfortunately not good for Harvard. You should aim for a 4.0 GPA to have good admission chances into Harvard. However, Harvard employs a holistic admissions process, so having a 3.5 GPA doesn’t eliminate your chances completely. You can improve your chances of admission with a strong application.

What is the minimum GPA to get into college?

The minimum GPA to get into most colleges is 2.0. Students with 2.0 GPAs have only a limited number of schools to apply for admission to. However, some schools might have a higher minimum GPA requirement for admission, so make sure to check with your chosen school.

(Video) How To Get a 3.5 GPA in College EASY


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