GPA Scholarships

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What GPA is Needed For Scholarships?

Many scholarships do take your grade point average (GPA) into consideration. GPA scholarships may either look at your grades or set the bar at different places on the 4.0 scale.

So, whether you are an A or B student, there are many scholarships to consider. It is a myth that you need a 4.0 to get a high GPA scholarship. But if you have a 4.0 there may be different options for you so don’t slack off.

Some of the scholarships that accept lower GPA scores (E.g. 2.5) may be “needs based”. These may not look at your academic record at all. They may award scholarships to those who need financial aid. Or they may be open to students whose scores fall below 3.0.

Many colleges and scholarship providers look at your unweighted GPA. Scholarship providers usually ask for GPA between 3.5 to 4.0 to attract high achieving students.

That stated, there are different grading scales. In fact, some schools use a U.S. letter scale. If that sounds familiar, there is a way to calculate your GPA. You add the numbers that correspond to your letter grade. Then divide the total by the number of classes you took.

Number Grade Conversion Chart:

Numeric GradeStandard GradeGrade Point Average (GPA)
90 to 100A4.0
80 to 89B3.0
70 to 79C2.0
60 to 69D1.0
Below 69F0.0

What GPA Do You Need to Get an Academic Scholarship?

In short, the GPA you need to get an academic scholarship varies. Academic scholarships each come with their own set of criteria. These concern grades as well as what types of activities you do outside class. Leadership and community involvement may be a requirement for eligibility.

But many colleges and providers reward high achievers. What does it mean to be a high achiever?

The U.S. government started tracking high school student performance since 2009. They found the number of students completing rigorous curriculums is on the rise.

Yet one NCES study found that only 5.9% of college bound seniors have the following five criteria:

  1. A high school GPA of 3.5 or higher
  2. A score of 1100 or higher on the SAT
  3. A course taking pattern that included 4 English credits, 3 math credits, 3 science credits, 3 social studies credits, and 2 foreign language credits
  4. Positive teacher comments
  5. Participation in two or more school-related extracurricular activities

This means that many college bound students have GPA scores lower than 3.5 on the 4.0 scale. Many in fact score an average of 3.0.

Scholarships based on GPA in 2021

The following chart shows a list of scholarships which ask for a certain GPA range. There are many more in every range and from a wide range of sources like colleges and universities.

Minimum GPA RequirementScholarship Examples
1.0 to 2.0The Angel Scholarship
2.1 to 2.5Ascend Educational Fund
2.6 to 3.0Straight A Scholarship
3.1 to 3.5ABA Academic Merit Scholarship
3.6 to 4.0Microsoft Scholarship Program
No GPA RequirementsEducation Matters 5K Scholarship

What GPA Do You need to get a Full Ride Scholarship?

The GPA you need to get a full ride scholarship varies from college to college. Some scholarship providers may look for a certain GPA like 3.5 to 3.7 on a scale of 4.0. They may also assess your particular class rank (E.g. top 5% or 10% in your class). Others look at ACT or SAT scores.

One way to find out what test scores and GPA mean to a specific school is to visit their website or contact their financial aid office. Many colleges publish the academic marks one needs for certain merit scholarships.

What GPA is Needed for a Merit Scholarship?

A strong GPA and test scores may qualify you for a merit scholarship. But the actual grade point average needed varies from school to school. Some may factor in financial need or go to specific groups of students.

One example is the AG Bell College Scholarship. Eligible applicants need to have an unweighted GPA of 3.25. These scholarships are for full time students. Students must be deaf and hard of hearing and use Listening and Spoken Language. They must also be pursuing a four-year undergraduate degree or a graduate degree. This must be at an accredited mainstream college or university.

Another scholarship that rewards academic achievement is the BME/SAE Engineering Scholarship. Eligible applicants must be U.S. citizens with a minimum 3.75 GPA. They must also rank in the 90th percentile in both math and critical reading on SAT I or composite ACT scores.

Can I Get a Scholarship with a 3.0 GPA?

There are many 3.0 GPA scholarships available. One example is the American Florist’s Exchange Scholarship. Recipients must have a 3.0 GPA and higher. The Straight “A” Scholarship is another award. Available through the Harold C. Schott Foundation, it awards $2,000 to eligible students with 3.0 GPA.

You should also know that federal funding does not look at your GPA. For instance, a Federal Pell Grant factors in household size and income.

List of GPA Scholarships

Check out our list of 52 GPA scholarships worth $28K.

Ascend Educational Fund Scholarships

Ascend Educational Fund awards scholarships ranging from $2,500 to $20,000 to immigrant students and children of immigrants who are graduating from a New York City high school to attend public or private colleges and universities. Regardless of ethnicity, national origin, or immigration status.
Award Amount

Total:  $20000

Awards:  1


Deadline:  February 05

ABA Academic Merit Scholarships

These scholarships award high school students who are pursuing Academic excellence, Athletic Achievement, is actively serving in the community while possessing a strong Ambition, a winning attitude and the ability to overcome adversity. You must maintain GPA of 3.4 or higher. Click here to learn more and apply today!
Award Amount

Total:  $20000

Awards:  2


Deadline:  April 06

Dodell Women’s Empowerment Scholarship

U.S. women who are 35 years of age or older and are re-entering or continuing school n order to learn a marketable skill which will lead to economic self-sufficiency are eligible for this award. Students must live and attend school in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, or Ventura counties in California.
Award Amount

Total:  $4000

Awards:  2


Deadline:  April 09

Straight A Scholarship

The Straight A Scholarship awards high school students who are pursuing Academic excellence, Athletic Achievement, is Actively serving in the community while possessing a strong Ambition, a winning Attitude and the ability to overcome Adversity. Click here to learn more and apply today!
Award Amount

Total:  $5000

Awards:  1


Deadline:  February 23

George M. Pullman Educational Foundation Scholarship

The George M. Pullman Scholarship is available for graduating high school seniors from Cook County, Illinois. Students must have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher and demonstrate financial need.
Award Amount

Total:  $10000

Awards:  1


Deadline:  February 01

The African American Teaching Fellows (AATF)

The African American Teaching Fellows (AATF) is available for teachers working towards licensure in core areas (Elementary, SPED, Health/PE, Secondary English, Sciences, Mathematics, History/Social Sciences, or Foreign Language). Each applicant must have at least a GPA of 2.5- 3.0 in education courses or in the academic major.
Award Amount

Total:  $150000

Awards:  10


Deadline:  February 01

CRCA Scholarship Awards Program

This scholarship is available for U.S. high school seniors from the following Illinois counties: Boone, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, Stephenson, Will or Winnebago. Students must pursue a major in one of the following fields of study: liberal arts and sciences, engineering, architecture, or business.
Award Amount

Total:  $4000

Awards:  1


Deadline:  March 06

Lagrant Foundation Graduate Scholarship

This award is available for U.S. graduate students with a grade point average of 3.2 or higher who are of either African American, Asian/Pacific, Hispanic, or Native American heritage. The applicant must major in a field of study that has an emphasis on public relations, marketing or advertising.
Award Amount

Total:  $2250000

Awards:  30


Deadline:  February 26

SME Directors’ Scholarship

This award is for U.S. and international students who plan to study manufacturing engineering and technology. The applicant must have a grade point average of 3.5 or higher to be eligible. The minimum award amount is $1,000, but the student may receive a higher amount if more funding is available.
Award Amount

Total:  $9000

Awards:  3


Deadline:  February 01