Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

Does a high GPA from an okay college hold the same weight as a high GPA from a good college?

mel159mel159 Registered User Posts: 74 Junior Member
I attend a great, public university. We're ranked high nationally as a school and we're ranked in the top 100 in many areas from fine arts, to liberal arts, to business, to law. I know some people from my high school who were rejected from my school and attended a handful of colleges that aren't selective. Some of them who were rejected to my school got scholarships to attend these other schools. I have a good GPA and I have friends that have good GPAs too and they're working hard. My high school was tracked with Track 1 being Honors as the highest and 4 being the lowest. I know people in the 2nd and 3rd tracks who now have 3.9s and 4.0s and in some cases are on the Dean's list at the colleges they attend. When I mention their schools, people from other parts of the state have not even heard of them. And when I looked them up, they were ranked regionally but not ranked nationally at all.

It's clear to me that the average student at my college had to do more to get in than the students at these lesser ranked schools. And I also think that their schools are less challenging academically. Say we had the same major and applied for the same job and had the same GPA, would we be viewed the same or would the person from the superior school receive more consideration?

Replies to: Does a high GPA from an okay college hold the same weight as a high GPA from a good college?

  • DefineGravityDefineGravity Registered User Posts: 116 Junior Member
    It is uncommon that everything is similar, including experience but if that was so then I'd say yes, the superior college wins.
  • FourthmomFourthmom Registered User Posts: 138 Junior Member
    I do think job applicants benefit from the school they attend. I would have loved to have sent my daughter to the most selective school that she was applying to, but it was far beyond what we could afford. She's going to a private LAC with a great reputation in our region, but I don't know if the person who looks over the job applications is going to decide that she should be called in for an interview based on that. I think they'll look to see what she did while she was there. I want her to have a good resume with a list of college activities that are appropriate for her field. I want her to have solid work experiences. If she doesn't have that and another student from a less selective college does, I think the other student is the stronger candidate. In the end she'll be applying for jobs where she'll be going against applicants who were at stronger schools and lesser schools. Right now, I think she's doing everything right and she's not going to get called in for every job she applies to.
  • NorthernMom61NorthernMom61 Registered User Posts: 3,959 Senior Member
    It might make a difference for the first job, but after that your job experiences and job performance make a bigger difference.
  • stradmomstradmom Registered User Posts: 4,895 Senior Member
    Congratulations on having friends who may have struggled in high school but found the right place to attend college where they could achieve to their fullest potential! Sounds like they share your work ethic and possibly even your career interests - I hope you can all build a professional network that's mutually beneficial for the successful adults you've all become.
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 12,468 Forum Champion
    Think of it this way...At an Ivy, say, there are many many tippy top kids there. It is hard to stand out.
    But at your very good Public U, you have a greater chance to shine. Talk to professors. Get a chance to do research or whatever interests you.
  • juilletjuillet Super Moderator Posts: 12,653 Super Moderator
    It depends.

    Most jobs don't really care where you went to school. They care about your performance and what you did there. Some jobs do have GPA preferences or requirements. So it's possible that someone with, say, a 3.6 at a less well-known school could get a job over someone with a 3.4 at a well-known public university, all else being equal.

    Some jobs do care where you went to school. In some industries, your alma mater is important. In those industries, sometimes doing well at a less prestigious school isn't enough - you have to go to a prestigious school just to get a foot in the door. IN that case, your public university might get your foot in the door whereas their school might not.

    For most jobs it really just depends on a variety of factors.

    For graduate school where you went kind of matters and kind of doesn't.

    What I will say is

    -Rankings are usually based on inputs, not outputs. U.S. News ranks HYP et al. highly because the students who go there are competitive; their rankings have very little to do with the quality of the education. There are many colleges and universities that are less selective, but have excellent reputations and/or competitive student bodies and/or great educations on offer. (For example, the acceptance rate at Virginia Tech is 70%, but they are well-known as an excellent university, especially for engineering.)

    -Whether or not a random person on the street has heard of a particular college has absolutely zero to do with the quality of education offered there.

    -How hard you had to work to get into college doesn't mean anything now. What matters is how you perform and what you do now.
  • MandalorianMandalorian Registered User Posts: 1,754 Senior Member
    Some of the high-tier schools (HYP etc) do inflate GPA to a degree.

    As far a jobs go, unless you are aiming for some highly selective position such as a hedge fund manager for Goldman Sachs, it doesn't make a huge difference once you cross a certain threshold. If you went to a big state school or well known private school, you're fine.

    GPA matters less than you would think in a job. If you have a graduate degree, no one cares period. Otherwise as long as it's good enough and not something like a 1.0 or ridiculously low, it's not a huge deal. It might be used as a last resort tie-breaker to separate two identical candidates, but other things are much much more important.

    After the first job though, no one cares about GPA.
  • hungryteenagerhungryteenager Registered User Posts: 893 Member

    91% of Harvard students graduate with honors. That's not a degree, that's a full phase shift.
This discussion has been closed.