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Top Scholarships Based on GPA

By Zach Skillings

Zach Skillings is the Scholarships360 Newsletter Editor. He specializes in college admissions and strives to answer important questions about higher education. When he’s not contributing to Scholarships360, Zach writes about travel, music, film, and culture. His work has been published in Our State Magazine, Ladygunn Magazine, The Nocturnal Times, and The Lexington Dispatch. Zach graduated from Elon University with a degree in Cinema and Television Arts.

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Edited by Maria Geiger

Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement. Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.

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Updated: February 29th, 2024
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!

Also see: Scholarships360’s free scholarship search tool

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. 

Types 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. 

See also: What GPA do you need to get a full scholarship?

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.

Top scholarships based on GPA

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: 

Clubs of America Scholarship Award 

  • Eligibility: Open to college students who write an essay on their career aspirations and have a GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Amount: $1,000
  • Deadline: August 31 of every year

Cameron Impact Scholarship

  • 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
  • Deadline: September 5, 2024

Coca-Cola Scholars Program Scholarship

  • 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: Beginning of October of each year

Jack Kent Cooke College Scholarship

  • Eligibility: Open to academically impressive, college-bound high school seniors with very high (typically 3.5+) GPAs
  • Amount: Up to $55,000
  • Deadline: November of each year

Dell Scholars Program

  • Eligibility: Open to college-bound high school seniors with a minimum 2.4 GPA who participated in a college readiness program and are eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant 
  • Amount: $20,000
  • Deadline: December 1 of each year

College-specific scholarships

Many colleges and universities award scholarships to incoming students based on their GPA. Below we’ve listed some of those schools:

Eastern Kentucky University

  • 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+) 

Indiana Wesleyan University

  • This school awards annual scholarships ranging from $4,000 (2.79 and below GPA) to $13,000 (4.0 and above GPA) 

Massachusetts State Universities

  • The Paul Tsongas Scholarship awards Massachusetts students (who have a minimum 3.75 GPA) with a tuition waiver at eligible Massachusetts state universities 

Montana State University Billings

  • Incoming first-year students who have at least a 3.5 GPA are eligible for a $4,000 renewable scholarship

Northeastern Illinois University 

  • Incoming first-year students who have a 3.35 GPA or higher are eligible for a full-tuition scholarship 

Northwestern Oklahoma State University

  • This school offers a variety of scholarships based on GPA and test scores, ranging from $500 to the full cost of tuition 

Saint Louis University 

  • Incoming first-year students who have a minimum 3.85 GPA are eligible for the full-tuition Presidential Scholarship 

Taylor University

  • Incoming first-year students who are eligible for $10,000 to $20,000 per year depending on their GPA

Texas A&M – Texarkana

  • Incoming first-year students who have at least a 3.65 GPA and minimum 26 ACT are eligible for a $8,500 renewable scholarship 

University of Iowa

  • This school offers multiple merit-based scholarships based on GPA and test scores, including the $8,500 renewable Iowa Flagship Award

University of Rhode Island 

  • 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

University of St. Thomas

  • Incoming first-year business students who have a minimum 3.7 GPA are eligible for a full-tuition scholarship

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

  • Incoming first-year students who have a 3.75 GPA and 29 ACT are eligible for a $5,000 annual scholarship 

University of Virginia 

  • Current students who have at least a 3.4 GPA are eligible for a variety of merit-based scholarships 

Western Michigan University

  • Incoming first-year students who demonstrate financial need and have a 3.7 GPA or higher are eligible for a $16,000 annual scholarship  

Western New Mexico University 

  • 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 

William Woods University

  • 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. Be sure to check with the colleges you’re considering to see what types of scholarships they offer. Good luck!

Frequently asked questions about scholarships based on GPA

What GPA is needed for most scholarships?

For academic scholarships, most require a 3.0 minimum. However, there are scholarships offered for students with other talents, such as for the arts and athletics.

What GPA do you need to get a full academic scholarship?

That depends on each individual school and their specific requirements. Full ride scholarships are competitive to earn no matter the college, so make sure that you have other options as well.

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