It's Not Just About Your GPA... - COLLEGEdata - Pay Your Way

It's Not Just About Your GPA...

It's easy to assume that only super achievers get scholarships. While having a decent GPA is important, there are other ways to qualify.

If you don't have an awesome GPA, you should skip looking for scholarships, right? Wrong! Many scholarships don't specify a GPA at all. Even if a GPA is required, sometimes the minimum is only a C average.

Grades Might Not Enter the Picture

Many scholarships emphasize other requirements, such as your involvement in extracurricular activities, your residence in a particular city, or the employment of one of your parents by the scholarship's sponsor. This is not to say that these scholarships don't have any academic requirements; it's just that academics are not the primary basis for eligibility.

Grades Are Relative

While your GPA might not make you a candidate for Harvard, your grades might be attractive to less selective schools. These schools might offer scholarships and other aid to motivate students with your credentials to attend. Use tools such as College Match to look up the average GPAs and test score ranges of previously enrolled freshmen at the colleges that interest you. If your grades and scores compare favorably, you may qualify for a scholarship after all.

Don't Give Up

It is certainly possible to win a scholarship from less selective colleges or for reasons other than superior academic ability. So don't be deterred from looking for scholarships just because you're not in the top 5 percent of your high school senior class. The money's out there, waiting for someone like you to apply for it.

What's Next?

Note: Financial information provided on this site is of a general nature and may not apply to your situation. Contact a financial or tax advisor before acting on such information.

For Students Age 18 and Older

Have you received a Personal Invitation to apply for a Student Credit card?

Learn how to qualify for a Personal Invitation to apply for a Student Credit Card


1st Financial Bank believes students who pick colleges wisely will also want to learn how to use credit cards wisely.

College MatchFind the right colleges for you!
College ChancesWill you get in? Find out!
Admissions TrackerSee who got in where, who's applying & how you compare!
Financial Aid TrackerSee who's getting financial aid, how much & how you stack up.
Scholarship FinderFind money for college!
EFC CalculatorCalculate your Expected Family Contribution.
College Net Price CalculatorSee your true out-of-pocket cost to attend any college.
Compare Financial Aid AwardsFind out which college is offering you the best deal.
Dates &
Deadlines
My Data Locker

You must be logged in to view your Data Locker Dashboard

Log in to see all of your saved colleges, scholarships, articles, profiles and searches in one place. Access your Dashboard from any page.