Colleges downplay GPA importance

By Katy Bass |

Watch out college students: that dreaded word “GPA” will haunt you even after high school.

Now, I don’t know what the rest of college students were told within their first two years at a college, but for me, I remember very distinctly that my cumulative college GPA would matter to potential employers as much as what my degree was and where I attended.

Unfortunately, I was sadly mistaken.

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Job Outlook 2010 survey, good communication skills or a strong work ethic are not likely to make up for a poor GPA.

Most college students understand what I mean when I say, if you have one bad semester, or two for that matter, your GPA will suffer to a point where it might be almost impossible to bring it back up unless you do outstanding for the rest of your semesters.

When I entered college as a freshman in 2006, maintaining a decent GPA was far from my mind. I was more concerned with the party scene and how many counts I could last in a keg stand. Needless to say after my freshman year, my GPA was looking a little rough compared to my other extra curricular activities.

By the time sophomore year rolled around and I had received the talk from the parents about my poor grades I found it a lot easier to focus on my schoolwork. I believe this was partly due to the fact I no longer lived in the dorms, so therefore I wasn’t bombarded with as many bad decision opportunities.

My GPA did not concern me though, because I remember being told how the “real world” did not ever look at your college GPA or even ask that it be displayed on your resume. I had time to pull it up before I graduated, and even if I didn’t, well then, no big deal.


As a graduating senior, I am now hearing all this talk and am seeing all these articles on the importance of an outstanding GPA for job employment.

“I actually came across an article a few years back about what your college GPA means, but I disregarded it,” Flagler College senior Lee Anne LaRue said. “I never thought the job market would come to this, and seeing how many students are graduating each year I guess it only makes sense to have some sort of GPA standard for applicants. It’s unfortunate for all the students graduating in my class, because it’s too late for a GPA miracle if they need one.”

According to NACE, due to the state the job market is in leading employers have higher expectations for the candidates they hire, and there is an increased emphasis on GPA. More employers are screening candidates for GPA than at any other time over the past five years.

After reading some of these statistics and talking to other college seniors, I realized I wasn’t the only one worried about finding a job anymore.

As students, we can’t go back and change our college experience and work harder that one or two semesters where our GPA was lacking. We, along with thousands of other soon to be college graduates, will have to begin the long process of applying for jobs. Even though potential employers are looking more closely at GPA, there is still a chance that they will look at other factors including: leadership skills, extracurricular activities, college attended, and others. Let’s hope.

This might sound like a simple task, but for all you college counselors or college officials out there, tell your students about the importance of their college GPA. It doesn’t make any sense why more students should be thrown for a loop and have a mental breakdown when they realize potential employers will not even look at their resume because of their GPA. When I say make students aware of the weight their GPA holds, I mean make them aware in their freshman year.

I am a prime example of how a bad semester and a lack of care due to a lack of awareness will get you in a tough situation.

So college students maybe take a night off from the party scene and focus on your future, because without a solid GPA, your ideal career might be a little tougher to find than you thought.

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