What is the Average GPA? | Average GPA in High School & College

Created By : Jatin Gogia

Reviewed By : Rajasekhar Valipishetty

Last Updated : May 22, 2023

What is The Average GPA?: Don’t know whether your GPA is good or bad? Well, in order to figure that out, you must first learn about the average GPA that one can achieve. You will learn a lot about the average GPA, like its definition, how it differs according to various factors, how it changes in high school and college, and more. So, keep reading for more information.

What is The Average GPA?

Your GPA is basically the result of finding the average of all your grades that you have earned during your semester or term. There are many types of GPAs, including cumulative GPA, semester GPA, weighted GPA, unweighted GPA, and more.

GPA represents a student’s academic capabilities. It showcases the strength of your academic performance as a numerical value. If you have a high GPA, this means that you are doing very well in your academics. So, we can understand that a higher GPA will make it more likely for you to get into college or get hired by potential employers. GPA is very important for recruiters and college admissions officers to determine which student is well-equipped and best-suited for their program or company.

Average GPA in High School

Your school will typically calculate your GPA from the 9th grade itself. According to research, the average high school GPA in the United States is 3.0, which is a B average. But this research was done quite a long time ago, but when we consider grade inflation, the current average high school GPA in the US must be somewhere around 3.38.

Grade inflation is an occurrence where higher grades are given out more frequently out of leniency. Grade inflation has made it nearly impossible to compare GPAs across schools, so it is hard to determine the ideal average GPA. This is why colleges also look through students’ ranks, standardized test scores, course rigour, and more, to get a better idea of the students’ academic track record.

3.0 is the average GPA in more well-off schools, but 2.59 seems to be the average GPA for schools that are less wealthy.

Additionally, female students are statistically prone to earn a higher GPA than male students. Also, research shows that the state of South Carolina has the highest average GPA for high schools, with a whopping 3.48. West Virginia comes close second with 3.44. Mississippi comes third with 3.42. From this, we can understand that many factors such as gender, state, etc., play into your average GPA.

We encourage students to research more about the GPA requirements for their dream colleges during this time, so they will be able to work efficiently towards their goal.

Average GPA in College

Similar to the average GPA in high school, the average GPA in colleges across the United States is between 3.11 to 3.15, which is a B average. Unlike in high school, the average GPA varies significantly based on the courses. For example, education, music, or arts degrees have a higher average GPA. Meanwhile, more rigorous courses like math, science, and more have a lower average GPA. There is also grade inflation in college.

Apart from your GPA, you should also focus on extracurricular activities, standardized test scores, and advanced classes, to name a few.

Recruiters will often weed out unsuitable students in the beginning stages of the hiring process, by using their GPA. So, it is very crucial if you want to get hired. Knowing the average GPA of your college and the GPA requirements for your dream job can help you work harder towards achieving your goals and earning an above-average GPA.

The highest average GPAs for some of the universities include 3.71 for Brown University, 3.66 for Stanford University, 3.64 for Harvard University, 3.62 for Yale University, and so on.

What to do if your GPA is Lower than Average?

Generally, we would advise you to always include your GPA on your application, unless it falls below 3.0. Having a below-average GPA can harm your chances of getting into college or getting hired. But, here are a few tips to follow, that can increase these chances of success.

  • Have a well-thought-out reason for why your GPA is below average. This may be because you were ill, or your home conditions were difficult. The point is, you can be truthful and explain why your GPA isn’t ideal.
  • Instead of including your total GPA, you can list down the GPA for all your course-related subjects, and include your standardized test scores.
  • Include any extracurricular activities that you have taken part in.
  • Add any volunteer work or internships that you may have done.
  • Focus on your personal essay and professional summary to make up for your GPA.
  • Try obtaining recommendation letters from staff members who can vouch for your academic capabilities.
  • Be more mindful of the colleges that you apply to. Try applying to community colleges, colleges that have an open admissions policy or an alternative admissions policy, and colleges that do not require high GPAs.

We advise you to visit lcmgcf.com if you have any more doubts regarding your GPA.

FAQs on What is The Average GPA?

1. What is the average GPA?

The average GPA is the average of all the grades that you earned each semester. The average GPA varies depending on the state that you live and study in, your gender, and more factors.

2. What is the average GPA for high schools?

The average GPA for high schools in the United States is around 3.0, which is a B average. Keep in mind that the number fluctuates from school to school, depending on the course's rigor.

3. What is the average GPA for college?

The average GPA for colleges in the United States ranges from 3.11 to 3.15. This is also a B average. However, the average GPA differs across colleges.

4. What is the highest GPA that you can get

On a 4.0 GPA scale, the highest GPA that you can earn is of course 4.0. Although this seems impossible to achieve, students are capable of getting this score. But it requires a lot of effort from the student’s side.


So, there you go! You have learned a lot about what an average GPA is, how it differs in high school and in college, and how to cope with a lower average GPA. We hope that with this information, you will successfully get into the college or company of your dreams.