Do you think I can get a 3.7 gpa?
I got a 3.080 GPA freshmen year because I screwed up, but even if I get good grades/all A's junior and senior year, is it possible for me to get to a 3.7?
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I actually just did some GPA math for someone else on another post here: https://www.collegevine.com/questions/1926/3-6-gpa-to-at-least-a-4-0-is-it-possible#answer-1957. You can actually calculate this, because GPAs are just letter grades assigned a number. As a note, this is UNWEIGHTED GPA, because that's what matters most to colleges. Different schools will weight GPAs differently, so colleges don't typically care much about weighted GPA.
Your overall GPA will look like this (as long as you take roughly the same number of courses each year). (1/3)*3.080+(1/3)*(X)+(1/3)*(Y)=Target GPA. X is your sophomore year GPA and Y is your junior year GPA. Senior GPA doesn't factor into college applications. Some will look at your first semester grades for senior year, but you shouldn't depend on those because they won't be worth as much.
Let's say that you have a 3.5 in sophomore year, and are targeting a 3.7. Y is still junior year GPA. That means our equation looks like:
Y = 1.5*3 = 4.5
The highest GPA you can have is a 4.0 for straight As, or a 4.3 if your school offers A+s. So in that case, that would be impossible, because you can't get a 4.5 for junior year. But if your sophomore year GPA is a 3.9, let's look at this again.
Y = 1.37*3 = 4.1
Basically, what this means is that you more or less need a 4.0 in sophomore and junior year to bring a freshman 3.1 up to a 3.7 by the time you're applying to colleges, so that target may not be realistic. That doesn't mean all bad things though, because colleges also care about GPA trends—and if your GPA goes up each year, that adds a strongly positive spin to your application.
I hope that's not too discouraging, but I wanted to give you some concrete numbers and context behind how GPA works. The most likely scenario if you do pretty well this year and next is that your GPA ends up in the mid-3s, and you should base your preliminary college searching around schools in that range. If you really hit it out of the park, then you can expand upward to more competitive places.
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