Top Scholarships Based on GPA
Some scholarship programs rely on Grade Point Average (GPA) as a way to sort through applicants. In fact, there’s a variety of scholarships based on GPA. It goes without saying that the higher your GPA is, the better chance you have of earning a scholarship. But how high does your GPA need to be exactly? There’s no clear-cut answer, but in this guide, we’ll cover what you need to know about applying to scholarships based on GPA. We’ll also provide a list of top scholarships you can apply for that take GPA into consideration. Let’s get started!
What GPA do you need to get a scholarship?
That depends on a few things. In most cases, your GPA alone won’t earn you a scholarship. Many scholarship committees will consider your GPA alongside a variety of other factors including essays, recommendations, extracurricular activities, interviews, and strength of course schedule. That means having an impressive GPA doesn’t automatically translate to scholarship money. Having a strong overall application is usually better than relying exclusively on your GPA.
That being said, a solid GPA can put you in contention for a variety of scholarships. This is especially true when scholarships have minimum GPA requirements. Some scholarship committees only consider applicants whose GPA meets a certain threshold. Minimum requirements range from around 2.0 on the lower end to 3.75 or higher for competitive academic scholarships. Generally speaking, a 3.0 GPA or higher will give you a decent shot at qualifying for a variety of scholarships.
You should also be mindful of the types of scholarships you’re applying for. Academic merit-based scholarships typically have higher GPA requirements. Because these scholarships are based solely on academic achievement, GPAs are considered more heavily when determining recipients. Meanwhile, GPA is less important for need-based scholarships, athletic scholarships, and talent-based scholarships. Your GPA may still be considered for these types of scholarships, but probably not in the same way as merit-based scholarships.
What if there’s no minimum GPA requirement?
Some scholarship applications don’t list minimum GPA requirements. In fact, many top-notch merit scholarships don’t have specific GPA requirements. These scholarship programs typically still take GPA into account, but they also rely on other methods of evaluating applicants. For instance, they might consider applicants based on their class rank, standardized test scores, or difficulty of courses taken.
The reason for this is that GPA is not always a reliable indicator of academic success. GPA scales vary between high schools, meaning that a 4.0 GPA at one school may not mean the same as a 4.0 GPA at another school. Additionally, weighted GPAs must be considered differently versus unweighted GPAs. Because of all this, many scholarship programs forego minimum GPA requirements. Your GPA is still important for these types of scholarships, but you won’t have to worry about meeting a certain cutoff to be considered. Rather, you’ll be evaluated based on the strength of your overall application.
Jump ahead to…
Top scholarships based on GPA in 2021
Many programs award scholarships to students based on GPA. Below we’ve rounded up a few of the top scholarships that have minimum GPA requirements:
- Eligibility: High school seniors who have a minimum 3.0 GPA and plan to pursue a college degree
- Amount: $20,000 for undergraduate study
- Deadline: October 31, 2021
- Eligibility: College students (who have a minimum 2.0 – 3.5 GPA) pursuing a degree in agriculture or floriculture
- Amount: $300 – $4,000
- Deadline: May 1, 2022
- Eligibility: Graduating high school seniors (who have a minimum unweighted 3.7 GPA) planning to enroll in an accredited four-year U.S. college or university
- Amount: covers the full cost of tuition
- Opens: February 2022
- Eligibility: Graduating high school seniors (who have a minimum 2.5 – 3.0 GPA) pursuing manufacturing and engineering related degrees
- Amount: Varies depending on the scholarship
- Opens: November 1, 2021
- Deadline: February 1, 2022
- Eligibility: Graduating high school seniors (who have a minimum unweighted 3.75 GPA) pursuing an engineering or related science degree
- Amount: $1,500 per year
- Opens: January 4, 2022
- Deadline: March 15, 2022
Many colleges and universities award scholarships to incoming students based on their GPA. Below we’ve listed some of those schools:
- This school offers scholarships ranging from $3,000 per year (3.0 – 3.29 GPA) to the full cost of in-state tuition (3.80 – 4.0 GPA and ACT 28+)
- This school awards annual scholarships ranging from $4,000 (2.79 and below GPA) to $13,000 (4.0 and above GPA)
- The Paul Tsongas Scholarship awards Massachusetts students (who have a minimum 3.75 GPA) with a tuition waiver at eligible Massachusetts state universities
- Incoming first-year students who have at least a 3.5 GPA are eligible for a $4,000 renewable scholarship
- Incoming first-year students who have a 3.35 GPA or higher are eligible for a full-tuition scholarship
- This school offers a variety of scholarships based on GPA and test scores, ranging from $500 to the full cost of tuition
- Incoming first-year students who have a minimum 3.85 GPA are eligible for the full-tuition Presidential Scholarship
- Incoming first-year students who have a 3.88 GPA and a 1330 SAT or 29 ACT are eligible for a $16,000 annual scholarship
- Incoming first-year students who have at least a 3.65 GPA and minimum 26 ACT are eligible for a $8,500 renewable scholarship
- This school offers multiple merit-based scholarships based on GPA and test scores, including the $8,500 renewable Iowa Flagship Award
- This school offers several scholarships based on GPA and class rank, ranging from $1,000 per year to $12,000 per year
- Incoming first-year students with a minimum 3.2 GPA are considered for scholarships ranging from $1,500 per year to $15,000 per year
- Incoming first-year business students who have a minimum 3.7 GPA are eligible for a full-tuition scholarship
- Incoming first-year students who have a 3.75 GPA and 29 ACT are eligible for a $5,000 annual scholarship
- Current students who have at least a 3.4 GPA are eligible for a variety of merit-based scholarships
- Incoming first-year students who demonstrate financial need and have a 3.7 GPA or higher are eligible for a $16,000 annual scholarship
- Incoming first-year New Mexico residents who have a 3.75 GPA or higher are eligible for nearly $9,000 of financial assistance per year
- Incoming first-year students who have a 3.8 GPA or higher are eligible for a $5,500 annual scholarship
- Incoming first-year students who have at least a 3.75 GPA are eligible for a scholarship covering full tuition, room, and board
Our list is just the start…
Our list just scratches the surface of merit-based scholarships that take GPA into consideration. There are many other scholarships out there, some of which do have minimum GPA requirements and some of which don’t. Use this list as a jumping off point to find other scholarships you may be eligible for. And be sure to check with the colleges you’re considering to see what types of scholarships they offer. Good luck!