OPINION: Importance of GPA reaches into the real world

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For some students, college is a giant party and class is optional. For others, college is a direct link to their future careers that cannot be interfered with. I’ve always had the mindset that GPA is the most important way to measure your academic success; however, not everyone thinks the way I do.

Those who do not believe GPA matters need to take a look towards the future, buckle up and start trying to get better grades because you almost certainly need a good GPA regardless of your future plans.

When it comes to your potential post-grad employment, a 2015 survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers indicated that more than 65 percent of potential employers who screened potential job candidates based on their GPA used a 3.0 GPA as the cutoff when hiring. Some, however, communicated that the GPA cutoff could be dependent of the student’s major.

Not everyone plans to go directly into the workforce right after college, which makes your GPA an important factor to consider when looking at graduate school or any other postgraduate program.

For example, a minimum of a 2.8 GPA is required and no grade less than a C in a course will be accepted when applying to the Kansas State College of Veterinary Medicine.

In contrast, Harvard Medical School requires a 3.8 average GPA, Yale Law School takes a 3.9 average GPA and Stanford Business School takes a 3.6 average GPA, according to CareerBuilder.com. Though all of those schools are deemed prestigious, but that does not hamper the importance of having a good GPA when looking at other graduate schools.

In college, however, the importance of GPAs does not just begin when looking at what to do after graduation. For many students, GPA is important for keeping and applying for scholarships or maintaining greek or club memberships.

Students who are involved in greek life are also held to grade standards to keep membership within their houses. The All Greek GPA for the 2014 fall semester was approximately 3.2, a GPA which could get you into vet school. Additionally, incoming freshmen who receive renewable scholarships from the university as a whole are required to keep a 3.5 GPA in order to renew their scholarships.

I know firsthand how difficult it is to keep that scholarship GPA. One C can throw off your plan for the semester, but it is a learning experience that paves the way towards your future.

GPA is important. It is important when looking at your future and where you want to go with life. If you want to get into graduate school or even keep those scholarships, you need to start planning the best way to get the best grades now.

Jena Ernsting is a freshman in agricultural communications and journalism.

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