I just finished my sophomore year, and i have reasonably good grades. All of my overall quarter averages are above a 95- but i do have an 87 in algebra 2 honors in quarter 2 (i got a 96 on the midterm though, and its my only grade in the 80s). i’ve only taken one ap class so far (ap world), but i’m taking 2 next year plus a course through niagra university. i don’t know exactly where i want to go to college (i do have some time), i was just wondering how good is good enough?
Most top 20 colleges do not award merit aid. Among colleges that do the more selective the school the higher the bar for merit aid. Getting merit aid at Duke is more competitive than getting merit aid at Boston University. Getting merit aid at BU is more competitive than at the University of Alabama for example.
What schools are you thinking about.
Schools look at final grades, not quarterly grades. “How good is good enough” depends on the school, your intended major, and whether you are hoping for merit $$.
In general, admissions counselors look at the rigor of your classes first (AP & honors preferred), then grades/GPA and text scores (SAT/ACT), followed by extra-curricular activities/accomplishments, jobs and volunteering.
Sounds like you have a great start! Best of luck.
In general, I’ve found that you can generally only get merit aid if you are willing to go to a school you wouldn’t go to otherwise. This might mean your in-state flagship or a lower-ranked private. If you get a hefty merit scholarship, it indicates that you could have gone to a much higher ranked college. Are you willing to accept this?
That’s enough depending on what caliber school you’re looking at and how large a scholarship we’re talking. My grades were lower than that (more Bs than As in all honors and some APs/Post-APs at a STEM magnet school) and I got full tuition scholarships at two different schools, however, both had the additional component of also being based on my music abilities as well as my academics. I specifically looked for schools where I thought I would have a chance at merit, instead of chasing prestige. I also received a small outside scholarship from my father’s work, and my GPA was obviously fine for that as well.