Feb   2016



Why Grades Aren't Everything

Student, University High School of Tolleson
Last Updated: Feb 4, 2019

Many students believe that their success in being admitted into college solely relies on grades. It has been embedded in students from a young age that grades are the determining factor of their career and intelligence. Many students (especially during high school) often ponder if their grades are sufficient enough to obtain a college education essential to their career path. Eventually some students come to question the importance of grades at all and often wonder if grades in the end really matter. The answer is both yes and no.

During high school, pupils are repeatedly encouraged to do well in school with the promotion of after-school tutoring, special programs for those falling behind, and a number of other examples. It is this encouragement that compels students to perform extraordinarily in their academics. But then there are those who struggle to perform to the standards and are left behind pondering as to whether they are good enough for university acceptance.

Grades do matter in the case of grade point average. GPA is utilized as a measurement of how a student performs academically and rules out any extracurricular activities a student may have participated in. Universities take GPA into account while reviewing thousands of application forms, and an admission counselor is only given so much time with an application that sometimes GPA can be quickly overlooked. It is important to keep grades up and to at least pass all classes with a C or above in order to graduate with a decent GPA, but it is even more crucial for a student to present themselves holistically as a successful and capable person by providing their accomplishments through AP exams, extracurricular activities, and volunteer experiences. Skills such as the ability to use Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, or Excel and languages spoken can also be mentioned.

The actual application will not convey all this information, but rather the résumé. Instead of stressing all their effort on grades, students should try to balance grades and accomplishments during high school equally. The résumé is a crucial part of the application process and helps a student appeal as a more capable candidate. For example, universities such as Stanford are rigorous and are labeled as extremely difficult to be accepted to due to their GPA requirements, but this is not entirely true in all cases. Universities will sometimes accept lower GPAs than the listed requirement if a student shows excellence in accomplishments within their school and community (such as outstanding community service and/or volunteer commitments).

Grades are not the determining factor of whether a student is capable of being accepted into college. All high school students have the ability to be accepted into college. High school graduates sometimes ignore the fact that their diploma represents their completion of the required academics; they passed all of their classes in order to receive that diploma. And in the end grades do indeed matter. But remember, they are not the only indication of a student’s intelligence or academic capability.

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

About Carla Salas

I am a very unique person who has a passion for English and literature. I love reading books and completing new writing assignments. I am also a fan of music and very much enjoy classical, instrumental, and post-rock. (I also play the flute and piccolo). I hope my writing is fun and joyful! :)


Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
CollegeXpress Logo


Are you our next winner?

Register now for our scholarship giveaway