What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
+ add school
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Ideal GPA for college admissions—Is there a 'magic number'?

Feeling the pressure and could use some advice! What's seen as a good GPA when applying to colleges? I know this might be subjective, but I'm looking for a ballpark figure. Also, do colleges care more about GPA or the rigor of the classes you took?

7 months ago

It's understandable to feel the pressure when aiming for college, but remember that GPA is just one part of your application. While there's no 'magic number,' a 3.5 or above is typically competitive for a variety of institutions. More selective colleges often have higher expectations, sometimes looking for GPAs closer to 4.0, weighted or unweighted, depending on your school's grading system.

With respect to GPA versus class rigor, colleges do weigh both. They prefer to see strong grades in advanced courses, demonstrating that you've challenged yourself. However, what's most important is finding a balance. It's beneficial to push yourself, but not to the point where the rigor negatively impacts your GPA.

For example, an 'A' in regular classes might be viewed less favorably than a 'B' in advanced placement courses, as long as the rigor is reasonable in the context of your overall academic record. Focus on excelling in the most challenging courses you can manage well.

7 months ago

About CollegeVine’s Expert FAQ

CollegeVine’s Q&A seeks to offer informed perspectives on commonly asked admissions questions. Every answer is refined and validated by our team of admissions experts to ensure it resonates with trusted knowledge in the field.