Meeting a high GPA requirement is often the goal of high school students who want to attend reputable colleges. This is because most prestigious universities require a 3.5 to 3.75 GPA on a 4.0 scale for admission. However, there are some great colleges that accept 2.5 GPAs from interested students, and some colleges waive the minimum requirement for grade points altogether.
While 2.5 isn’t a low GPA, you still need to do your research to find the best schools that will admit you. This article contains a list of colleges that accept 2.5 GPAs. You will also find answers to questions like what is a good GPA, the importance of a GPA when it comes to college admissions rates, and how to get into college with a 2.5 GPA.
What Is a Good GPA?
A good GPA is at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or 4.0 on a 5.0 scale. This is a grade B GPA average and is considered the gold standard in most schools. If your GPA is between 3.7 and 4.0 on a 4.0 scale, you are considered a straight-A student. A 2.5 GPA is a grade C, and while it isn’t considered perfect, it is still good enough to get you into a good university.
Is a 2.5 GPA Considered a Low GPA?
Yes, a 2.5 GPA is considered a low GPA. According to the National Center of Education Statistics, the national average GPA was 3.11 in 2019. You will be a grade C student if you have a 2.5 GPA, but your university of interest may grant you provisional admission if you demonstrate grit.
You can also support your 2.5 GPA with high ACT and SAT scores for high school graduates. During your college search, emphasize your other strengths with an admissions essay or recommendation letter.
How Much Does GPA Matter for College Anyway?
GPA matters a lot for college admissions because it is the minimum requirement that represents the academic standing of prospective students. Your GPA shows the college that you are a dedicated student who would use the admission opportunity wisely. It proves that you valued your academics in high school and would treat your college admission with the same diligence.
Other Factors Taken Into Account During Admissions
- Grades and GPA. Your grade point average (GPA) is one of the most important factors the typical admissions committees look into when you are being considered for admission. A high GPA can increase your chance of acceptance. However, there are lots of colleges that don’t require GPA scores.
- Extracurricular activities. Beyond your education, colleges also consider your participation in extracurricular activities in and outside of school. The schools also care if you participate in volunteer work, if you are an athletic student, or if you thrive in structured social activities.
- Disciplinary record. Students who have never faced serious disciplinary action like expulsion or suspension due to cheating or violence are more likely to get admitted into college. This is why you need to strive to keep a clean record that will help you secure glowing letters of recommendation when necessary.
- Standardized tests. For most students, getting high standardized test scores is vital to meet the admission requirements at most schools. Examples of such tests include the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and American College Testing (ACT). Graduate students may also need to pass the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).
- Personal statement and admissions essays. For most selective colleges, students are required to write personal statements and compelling essays. You may be given a topic for the essay, or you may be required to come up with something personal. In any case, it has to be unique and reflect your personality.
Are There Colleges With No GPA Requirements?
Yes, there are some colleges with no GPA or low GPA requirements. Most of these colleges have open admission policies, so 100 percent of students who apply are accepted irrespective of their high school GPA. Some schools with no GPA requirements are Colorado Technical University and Purdue University Global.
The Best Colleges That Accept a 2.5 GPA
|School||GPA requirements||Tuition and fees||Acceptance Rate|
|Albany State University||Applicants must have earned a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 in their high school program. Applicants with GPAs lower than 2.0 may be admitted into the pathway program on a provisional basis.||$6,053||73%|
|Benedictine University||Applicants must have earned a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 in their high school program. Applicants also need to be in the top 50% of their graduating class and active in an extracurricular activity.||$34,290||80%|
|Colorado Technical University||Applicants are not required to meet any GPA requirements. Applicants are only required to provide proof of high school attendance or an equivalent qualification.||$12,581||100%|
|ECPI University||Applicants must have earned a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 in their high school program. Applicants from an associate degree program are also required to get a 2.5 GPA.||$17,479||82%|
|Full Sail University||Applicants must have earned a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in their high school program. Applicants may also need to complete a few Full Sail admission courses before they can start their program.||$25,687||100%|
|Metropolitan College of New York||Applicants must have earned a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 in their high school program. Applicants also need to submit their official high school transcripts along with the diploma.||$20,188||77%|
|Purdue University Global||Applicants are not required to meet any GPA requirements. Applicants are only required to provide proof of high school attendance or equivalent qualification, but some programs may have additional requirements.||$10,125||100%|
|Southern University at New Orleans||Applicants must have earned a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in their high school program. Applicants also need to pass standardized tests, scoring at least 20 in the ACT composition.||$7,059||79%|
|Strayer University||Applicants must have earned a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in their high school program. Applicants for any of the graduate programs need a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.||$13,515||100%|
|University of Arizona Global Campus||Applicants must have earned a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 in their high school program. Applicants with a GPA of 2.0 may have their application terminated, even if they get accepted.||$12,736||87%|
Top 2.5 GPA Colleges: A Closer Inspection
Albany State University
- Location: Albany, Georgia
- Admissions rate: 73%
Established in 1903, Albany State University is the flagship university in the Albany school system. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to offer certificate programs and associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. It has a high admission rate and lower-than-average admission requirements.
- Location: Lisle, Illinois
- Admissions rate: 80%
Founded in 1887, Benedictine University is a private school located in the heart of Illinois. The school is known for providing students with numerous employment and hands-on learning opportunities. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to offer undergraduate and graduate degrees to students with a low GPA.
Colorado Technical University
- Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
- Admissions rate: 100%
Established in 1965, Colorado Technical University is a private higher institution of learning in Colorado Springs. It has an open admission policy, which means every student with a high school diploma or GED gets admitted irrespective of their GPA. Colorado Technical University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
- Location: Richmond, Virginia
- Admissions rate: 82%
East Coast Polytechnic Institute, popularly called ECPI University, is a private university that was founded in 1966. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The Richmond-based school sets a low GPA requirement for its online students, thanks to its guaranteed admission program.
Full Sail University
- Location: Winter Park, Florida
- Admissions rate: 100%
Founded in 1979, Full Sail University is a private school that started as a recording studio for teaching arts. It is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges to offer degrees in arts, business, and a range of other disciplines. The school is known for providing students with the real-world experience they need to forge a rewarding career path.
Metropolitan College of New York
- Location: New York City, New York
- Admissions rate: 77%
Established in 1964, Metropolitan College of New York is a private higher institution accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The school was originally a female-only school called Women’s TalentCorp. High school students with a GPA of 2.5 and above may apply for admission, but international students need to submit English proficiency exams.
Purdue University Global
- Location: West Lafayette, Indiana
- Admissions rate: 100%
Founded in 2018, Purdue University Global is an online school that has gained popularity in the United States. It is the flagship online school in the Purdue University system, and it is known for offering career-focused training at undergraduate and graduate levels. It offers some of the best online bachelor’s degrees available, and you don’t need to meet any minimum grade point requirement to get admitted. All you have to do is complete the application process.
Southern University at New Orleans
- Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
- Admissions rate: 79%
Southern University at New Orleans is a historically black college that was founded in 1956 as a space-grant school. The school has five colleges and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to over undergraduate and advanced degrees. It is one of the best historically black colleges in the country.
- Location: Herndon, Virginia
- Admissions rate: 100%
Established in 1892, Strayer University is a multi-campus private institution of learning that also has an amazing online platform for global students. The school’s headquarters is located in Washington, and all branches are accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award different degrees.
University of Arizona Global Campus
- Location: San Diego, California
- Admissions rate: 100%
The University of Arizona Global Campus is one of the largest online schools in the United States. The global campus itself was launched in 2020, but the university has been evolving since 1918 when it was called Mount St. Clare College. It is currently accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission.
How to Get Into College With a 2.5 GPA
Go for a Low Credit College
The best way to get into college with a 2.5 GPA is to apply to colleges that accept 2.5 as the minimum GPA. There are also schools that have open admission policies with no admission requirements. Applying to a competitive school that prioritizes stellar academic performance over other metrics is not an ideal strategy for someone with a GPA of 2.5.
Enroll in a Credit Recovery Program
Credit recovery programs are courses, classes, and a wide range of educational pathways designed to help high school students boost their GPA. If your GPA isn’t enough to get you into the college of your choice, a credit recovery program will add points to your official transcript. Just make sure that the school accepts weighted GPAs on college applications.
Secure Some College Credits
Some community colleges will allow you to enroll as long as you have a high school diploma or an equivalent qualification. You can take these courses, gather some credits, and apply to a bachelor’s degree program. Some schools may allow you to enroll with a 2.5 GPA and a few college credits with the submission of high school transcripts.
Take Extra Courses in High School
If you are still in high school, you can take extra courses that are not mandatory for graduation to get more credits and increase your cumulative GPA. Your school counselor can help you select the right courses and guide you as you work to boost your GPA. They may also encourage you to engage in extracurricular activities to increase your chances.
Attend Summer School
Summer school is one of the most popular options for high school students, especially seniors, with low GPAs. The credits you get during your summer school program may increase your chances of getting into college. Some schools also allow you to take additional coursework to help you fulfill the admissions criteria.
How Can I Raise My GPA?
You can raise your GPA by attending summer school, taking college classes, or simply taking extra classes for additional credits in your high school. You may also benefit from high school courses offered by colleges to students who were unable to pass these courses in high school.
Colleges That Accept 2.5 GPA FAQ
The lowest GPA a university will accept, unofficially, is a 2.0 on a 4.0 scale. Note that this is an unofficial rule of thumb for any undergraduate program in most standard schools. Some schools with open admissions policies may also reject your application or only offer provisional admission if your GPA falls below 2.0.
No, you cannot get into Harvard University with a 2.5 GPA. The minimum GPA for admission into Harvard is 4.18 on a 4.0 scale on your official high school transcript. This means that you have to be an advanced placement student to stand a chance of getting admitted to Harvard University. You need to have a grade A in a higher level class, not the standard level class.
No, a GPA of 1.0 is not good. In the United States, having a GPA of 1.0 may lead to dismissal or you may be required to repeat your level and retake old courses. The national average grade point average is 3.11, and you may boost your chances of admission with a 2.0 to 2.5 but not with a cumulative GPA of 1.0.
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A perfect GPA is an unweighted 4.0. This means that the student needs to have a grade of A in all their regular classes without boosting their score with weighted credits. A GPA of 4.0 will get you into most schools, but you may need advanced classes for some other selective schools.
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