<span>3.5 GPA Colleges</span>

3.5 GPA Colleges

Grade point average (GPA) takes into account all of the final grades from every class taken during your high school career to provide a single number that sums up general academic performance. A 3.5 GPA correlates to an A- average and indicates that you have consistently earned above-average grades.

Is a 3.5 GPA Good?

Arguably, as the top letter grade, an A- is considered “good.” A 3.5 GPA means that a student consistently performs well on homework, tests, and projects in every subject, making it a desirable GPA across the board. The national average GPA for high school graduates is 3.0 and a large number of colleges and universities consider a 3.0 the competitive benchmark. A 3.5 GPA exceeds that number and also matches the benchmark that several more selective colleges use.

I Want to Go to College, What Do I Do?

As indicated above, a 3.5 GPA means that you’ll be able to apply to a very large number of colleges and be competitive for the vast majority of them. The best plan of action, no matter where you are in your high school career, is to keep it up.

For underclassmen, the real question now becomes what kind of college to attend. A 3.5 GPA will be highly competitive and admission can be reasonably expected at many colleges, but it’s not the most competitive at places like Harvard, Yale, and Dartmouth, which, on average, accept students with GPAs exceeding 4.0. Since a 3.5 GPA qualifies for consideration, and even possibly admission, to selective colleges and universities, it can elevate you to an entirely different playing field if that’s the route you’re interested in. If you’re dreaming of Ivy Leagues and are still in your first semester of freshman year, it’s possible to increase your GPA to as high as 3.9, but it would require flawless grades for 4 solid years. If available, taking honors or AP courses could make you eligible for an even higher GPA.

Being a well-rounded student involved in afterschool activities, sports, and community service should still be at the forefront of every high schoolers mind. Make sure to find subjects you’re passionate about—not only will this help you determine what to major in during college, but it also elevates the competitiveness of your application when the time comes.  

As for juniors, after establishing a 3.5 GPA, concentrate your efforts on preparing to take the ACT or SAT. Because most colleges weigh standardized test scores on par with GPA, do the studying necessary to make sure those scores are as representative of your skills as your GPA. Set aside study time throughout the week for practice tests and, if possible, enroll in an SAT or ACT prep course through your high school.

And for seniors, now is the time to make sure that all components of your college application are as strong as your GPA. Consult your college counselor so that they can give feedback on your essay and advice for making sure that your list of extracurricular activities represents your high school career in the best possible light. If an admissions officer from a college or university that interests you is visiting, attend the session and network with them. With a 3.5 GPA, you have a great foundation for getting accepted to most institutions, but standing out from the crowd never hurts!

What Colleges Can I Apply to With a 3.5 GPA?

A 3.5 GPA is eligible for acceptance at a sizable number of colleges and universities including some more competitive ones. We’ve compiled a representative sample in the list below. While GPA alone doesn’t guarantee admittance, all of these schools have a history of accepting students with GPAs in the 3.5-3.6 range.
 

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Pennsylvania State University, Penn State, is a land-, sea-, and space-grant university with a main campus in University Park. This public research institution was founded in 1855 and is one of the largest universities in the US by student body. Its...

“…Penn State was a large beautiful school. It offered many different fields for students to choose to major in. There were many activities to do, organizations to join, and people to meet.” – Michelle

Arizona State University, located in Tempe, Arizona, is a large public university founded in 1886, making it the first higher education institution in the state. ASU also has campuses in downtown Phoenix, in Glendale, a Polytechnic in Mesa, in Lake...

“…Arizona State is a rigorous state school that can provide many opportunities to those who know where to look. The school is expensive, but provides many unique services to the students. If one is willing to put in the work, ASU is a great place to be...” – Joseph from Henderson, NV

Syracuse University is a private, research institution located in the New York town of the same name. SU’s 13 academic divisions offer 200 majors and 100 minors for undergraduate students, as well as multiple international study programs in  60...

“…This school has an immense amount of school pride. The list of things to do on campus is endless. Everyone who goes here is really happy to be a student here and always puts their best foot forward in everything they do.” – Imani from Syracuse, NY

Founded in 1925, the University of Miami is a private research institution in south Florida. The U encompasses 11 colleges and schools conferring undergraduate degrees in over 180 fields of study. Away from the classroom, the Miami campus is home to...

“…It is very diverse university and feels like home. The weather is great and there are always events taking place on campus. There is a lot of opportunity for various career paths.” – Nik from Coral Gables, FL

Howard University is an HBCU comprised of 13 schools and colleges located two miles from the US Capitol. Nationally-ranked programs at HU include social work, business, and communication sciences and disorders. Howard has three honors programs for...

“…Howard has excellent academics and is the MECCA of all HBCUs. At Howard, students have a voice, a say in what goes on. Organizations at Howard build character and connections for a lifetime.” – My-Xaviera from Spencerport, NY

With a campus along the Willamette River, the University of Oregon is a 4-year public university in Eugene and the flagship campus of the UO System. The UO is home to nine colleges hosting more than 300 degree-granting academic programs. To provide a...

“…The University of Oregon is by far one of the most beautiful schools I have ever seen. Everyone is extremely kind and accepting of each other. The faculty is very dedicated and they do as much as they possibly can to make college enjoyable as well as...” – Katelyn from New Braunfels, TX

Founded in 1890, Washington State University is the state's first land-grant university. Washington State University offers more than 200 fields of study, including 96 undergraduate majors, 86 minors, and more than 140 graduate and professional...

“…WSU is more than meets the wheat fields in that it is diverse and full of great opportunities on campus and within the town. Known for being friendly, people in Pullman will welcome you whether or not you are a student or they are a faculty member of...” – Demi from Franklin, MA

Originally founded as a teachers college, Central Michigan University has grown to become a 4-year public research institution. CMU encompasses eight colleges offering bachelor’s degrees in over 200 academic programs. In addition, CMU is home to...

“…cmu is a great college to attend. i have been extremely happy with all of my classes and professors. the program i am enrolled in is exactly what i was looking for.” – Maxwell from Traverse City, MI

The first university chartered by an Act of Congress, Ohio University is a public research institution in southeast Ohio. The Ohio campus hosts nine colleges conferring degrees in over 250 undergraduate and graduate-level fields of study as well as...

“…I love Ohio University! It is in a very safe and beautiful location. There is a small-town lifestyle but with plenty to see and do.” – Lauren from Glouster, OH

Temple University is a 4-year public research institution in Philadelphia. With its main campus set against the Philly skyline, Temple is home to 17 colleges and schools conferring degrees in over 400 academic programs. In addition, Temple features...

“…The absolute best university ever! Campus is user friendly and everything is very accessible. Professors are personable and keep in constant communication with the students.” – Alex from Silver Spring, MD

The Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College, more commonly known as Louisiana State, is the most comprehensive university in the state. This public university is located in Baton Rouge and is a designated land-, space-, and...

“…LSU is a huge, diverse university with tons of tradition and school pride. From academics, to football, to student groups and Greek life, LSU has something for everyone. You are guaranteed to learn and live well at LSU.” – Michael from Tucker, GA

Colorado State University is a land grant university located in Fort Collins at the base of the Rocky Mountains. Business Administration, Kinesiology, and Human Development are popular fields of study at this flagship university. A Student Recreation...

“…Fun. Student-centered. An experience. ” – Maya from Aurora, CO

Georgia State University is a 4-year public university with seven campuses throughout Atlanta and the largest university in the state by enrollment. GSU features 10 colleges and schools conferring degrees in over 100 areas of study. Additionally, the...

“…Georgia State University is a very engaging urban campus in the heart of downtown Atlanta, GA. It is the home to over 30000 diverse students, and faculty. Even though the university is located downtown, it has a tight-knit community feel.” – Post-Baccalaureate Student from Snellville, GA

Liberty University is a Christian institution located in Lynchburg, VA. The 7,000-acre campus hosts more than 550 programs of study within its 17 colleges and schools. LU's mission of creating "Champions for Christ" is encouarged through the...

“…I absolutely love Liberty University. I'm not from the mountains, so the weather is a bit of a shock, but I love their sunsets. This campus has a fixed mark on who God is and a huge vision for this generation in the Great Commission. ” – Hailey from Lynchburg, VA

Founded in 1847, the University of Iowa is a 4-year public research institution in Iowa City and Iowa’s first institution of higher education. Iowa grants undergraduate degrees in over 200 academic majors, minors, and certificate programs....

“…U of Iowa is an institution that invites young minds to grow and develop with the help of highly educated leaders. Family values are important within the administration and add value to the environment within the grounds of the university. Service is...” – Eric from Pingrey Grove, IL

DePaul University is a private, non-profit institution located in the heart of Chicago, IL, featuring campuses both in the business district and Lincoln Park. DePaul is the nation’s largest Catholic university, founded by the Vincentians more than...

“…DePaul University has a very diverse student population. The atmosphere is welcoming, plus faculty and staff are always willing to take time and help you with anything you need. The academics here help build not only your intelligence but your...” – Esthefany from Glen Ellyn, IL

Originally founded as a one room accounting school, Pace University is a 4-year research institution in Manhattan. Pace is home to six colleges and schools conferring bachelor’s degrees in over 65 academic majors. In addition, the Manhattan campus...

“…Pace University is a great school that has afforded me so many fantastic opportunities I would not have received had I gone elsewhere. Pace has the most fantastic location in the heart of downtown Manhattan, making it ideal for anyone who wants to...” – Sarah in Brooklyn, NY

With a campus overlooking Malibu Bluffs and the Pacific Ocean, Pepperdine University is a 4-year Christian institution in Malibu affiliated with the Churches of Christ. Pepperdine is home to colleges of Business, Law, Arts & Sciences, Public Policy,...

“…Pepperdine University stretches its student to grow in every aspect. Pepperdine University is like no other place on earth. It is filled with love and support and is a magnificent university.” – Kaitlyn from Scottsdale, AZ

The University of Kansas is a public research institution. The main campus is located in Lawrence, Kansas, and is one of five in the University of Kansas system. KU offers more than 200 undergraduate majors in one of the largest college towns in the...

“…The campus is very beautiful, and well maintained. Basketball seems to be in the blood of every student at KU, everyone seems to enjoy it. It is a great school to attend, and be part of the Jayhawk culture.” – Nick

Iowa State University is a public, land-grant university located in Ames, IA. The 1,813-acre campus features 6 undergraduate colleges offering 100+ majors, as well as residence hall, apartment-style, and Greek-life housing options for more than 35...

“…Iowa State is probably the best decision I could have made. It's an amazing school for engineering and agriculture. As well as it's in an extremely friendly town and it has a beautiful campus. N” – Student from Saint Louis,MO

Founded by Jesuits in the mid-nineteenth century, the University of San Francisco is a private Catholic university and the first university established in the city. The 55-acre urban campus located near Golden Gate Park is home to 49 academic majors...

“…The University of San Francisco can be summed up in a word: diverse. From the students who go there to the classes that are offered, there are hardly any days that are the same. USF is a school where you will be challenged to the very core of what...” – Warren from Los Angeles

West Virginia University is a public, land-grant institution that operates 10 experimental farms and four forests across the state. Sociology, Journalism, and the Arts and Humanities are popular fields of study at this research-intensive university....

“…The most diverse college in West Virginia It is a really huge college The mountains and hills reinforce the beauty of the town ” – Toussaint from Martinsburg, WV

California State Polytechnic University-Pomona is a public university in southern California and one of two polytechnic institutions in the Cal State system. Cal Poly Pomona is home to nine colleges and schools conferring undergraduate degrees. In...

“…This school is great. They have lots of opportunities for students to exel in their studies. This is also a great place to have lots of fun interacting with other students.” – Maria from San Bernardino, CA

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis is the result of a merger between Indiana University and Purdue University and offers degrees from both institutions. IUPUI hosts 17 schools granting degrees in over 350 areas of study. Additionally,...

“…iupui is a great place to get involved, and i am very happy with my decision to attend here. there are fewer parties than traditional campuses, something that is positive for the image of a university. the staff and professors are friendly and always...” – John from Indiana

Tulane University is private nstitution located in New Orleans, Louisiana. As one of only 62 members in the Association of American Universities, TU is considered a top research university. The campus features five undergraduate schools that provide...

“…It has academics like an ivy, the partying of a state school, an eastern feel, a southern locale, an urban city, and a suburban campus. Tulane and the city of New Orleans are places that I miss the second I leave them--they are my home. Coosing...” – Jennifer from Lakewood, NY

Originally founded as a small branch college, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas is a 4-year public university and an Hispanic-Serving and Minority-Serving institution. UNLV encompasses 16 colleges and schools conferring undergraduate degrees in...

“…A great school if you're willing to put in the effort to experience all it has to offer. Teachers are varied between great and okay, but upper level teachers all tend towards being awesome. There are many programs and extracurriculars for anything...” – Ripley from Las Vegas, NV

The University of Utah is a public research instititution situated in Salt Lake City that offers more than 100 undergraduate majors. The U is home to three professional arts organizations to complement the College of Fine Arts, and even features a 3...

“…The University of Utah encompasses all students and is constantly growing and evolving. There are new and exciting things going on all the time whether its life changing research, guest speakers, athletics or free pizza at the Union. ” – Victoria from Draper, UT

Originally founded as an extension of New York University, Hofstra University is a 4-year research institution and the largest private university on Long Island. Hofstra is home to 12 colleges and schools offering undergraduate degrees in over 160...

“…Hofstra University is a place where you can find yourself, be yourself, and express who you are. It allows students to interact and network with others within and outside of the University to improve social, networking, and individual abilities. The...” – Kimberly from Hempstead, NY

Originally founded to educate returning World War II veterans, Portland State University is a 4-year public institution in the heart of Portland. The PSU campus encompasses eight colleges and schools conferring undergraduate degrees in over 120...

“…Small classrooms and good teachers.” – Garrett from Portland, OR

Founded in 1857, Illinois State University is a 4-year institution in central Illinois and the first public university in the state. The ISU campus hosts six colleges and schools as well as an Honors Program and Milner Library. In addition, ISU is...

“…I will be a sophmore in the fall of 2012 . I attended last year and my colledge experience has changed my life! I just love it , I work really hard and enjoy going there!” – Katlyn from Lockport, IL

San Jose State University is the oldest public university on the west coast, and is the founding campus of the 23-campus California State University System. Located on 154 acres in downtown San Jose, SJSU offers more than 145 areas of study with an...

“…San Jose State is a great school that offers many different options for students. Students have many different clubs or sports to join. Also, they offer a variety of tutoring services should you need it.” – Nitza from Pomona, CA

Northern Arizona University is a 4-year public research institution in Flagstaff and a designated Hispanic-serving institution. NAU is home to nine colleges granting bachelor’s degrees in 12 academic divisions. To take advantage of its setting in the...

“…This is a fabulous extended campus in Prescott Valley, Arizona. The class sizes are small. I feel like I matter at this college.” – AW Prescott, AZ

Founded in 1965, the University of California-Santa Cruz is a public institution and part of the University of California System. UCSC offers undergraduate degrees in 65 academic majors within departments of Arts, Humanities, Physical Sciences,...

“…UC Santa Cruz is a prestigious 4-year college in an ideal location. Not only do you have the beach and the small college-town feel, but when you're on campus, you are surrounded by beautiful redwoods and are set back from the bustle of the life in...” – Devin from Sacramento, CA

The University at Buffalo is a 4-year public research institution and largest university in the State University of New York system by enrollment. Buffalo is home to 14 colleges and schools conferring undergraduate degrees in over 125 academic majors...

“…SUNY UB makes the transition from High School to College easy with their many opportunities for clubs and other fun activities. UB's classes are challenging, yet very informative and most professors really do try and help students. There are plenty...” – Christina from Orchard Park, NY

Founded in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is a 4-year public institution in central Oklahoma. OU offers bachelor’s degrees in 170 academic fields of study. In addition to classroom space, the OU campus hosts the National Weather Center featuring a...

“…Great campus! It looked like there was so much to do there and many great people. I really liked the only all-you-can-eat Chick-fil-a in the world!” – Gibson from Little Rock, AR

Originally established as a teacher-training school, Towson University is a public institution in the Baltimore area and part of the University System of Maryland. TU is home to six colleges and schools conferring bachelor’s degrees in 64 majors. In...

“…Overall, I think Towson University is a wonderful school! I originally was going to go to another university in Philadelphia, however I fell in love with Towson while on a college tour. One thing that I especially love is that because it is a big...” – Carly from Maryland

With campus a short drive from the Delaware River, Rowan University is a public institution in southern New Jersey. Rowan confers bachelor’s degrees in 74 academic areas of study and is one of just over 50 American colleges to offer programs in...

“…Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey is a diverse college that is full of opportunities for students that desire a better education. It offers over 200 programs for different majors and connections that will last a lifetime. Student Life appeals...” – Nora

Established in 1837 and named for former Chief Justice John Marshall, Marshall University is a 4-year public research institution in southwestern West Virginia. Marshall is home to seven undergraduate colleges conferring bachelor’s degrees in 57...

“…a great mid-size university with numerous course offerings and majors. you can enjoy the smaller university atmosphere while having access to the amenities of the city of huntington wv. while small. there is a multi-cultural feel and it is one of...” – Amanda from Le Roy, WV

Located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, CUNY Hunter College is a public college and the largest school in the City University of New York System. Hunter is home to six colleges and schools conferring degrees in over 170 fields of study. In addition...

“…Not only is Hunter a place where inspiration can become one at any moment, it is a place that provides the tools needed to identify inspiration. With inspiration, Hunter gives an avenue for thought and inquiry through experience, such as through...” – Lauren from Hicksville, NY

Formerly known as Southwest Missouri State, Missouri State University is a 4-year public institution in southwest Missouri and the second largest university in the state by enrollment. The main campus of the MSU system, MSU Springfield is home to...

“…missouri state university is an absolutely wonderful school. the classes are generally small and close-knit. there are so many programs to join and feel welcome!” – Kelly from Hazelwood, MO

Originally founded as the Roanoke Classical Seminary, Manchester University is a liberal arts university in northeast Indiana affiliated with the Church of the Brethren. Manchester is home to colleges of Arts & Humanities, Health Sciences, Business,...

“…Fun quite college, every one is friendly. All your Professors wont's to help you. Classes are small usually about 15 to 20 students.” – Jordan from Indianapolis, IN

Originally founded as a teacher’s college, Ball State University is a public institution in eastern Indiana. Ball State is home to seven colleges conferring undergraduate degrees in more than 120 academic majors. Throughout the year, Ball State...

“…The people are extremely nice and helpful when you need help or get lost. The students are friendly and open to the incoming freshmen. The campus is beautiful and fun to explore.” – Crystal from Noblesville, IN

Emerson College is liberal arts college focusing on communication and the arts located in Boston, Massachusetts. Founded in 1880 as a "school of oratory," Emerson still focuses largely on communication, just through 26 majors that culminate in a...

“…Emerson College's Film Program is a great place for determined artists to find their voice and hone their filmmaking skills. The professor's are all very attentive and try their best to help each student get the education they need in any given class...” – Emily from Campton, NH

Oberlin College is a liberal arts institution that was founded in 1833 in Oberlin, OH. Only two colleges operate on this private university’s campus, a College of Arts and Sciences and the oldest continuously operating Conservatory of Music in the...

“…A fantastic culture of tolerance that works to promote ideas from all areas of the world. Every opportunity is available to any student; nothing is shut off, and this all comes from a school that manages to maintain a great class ratio. There is also...” – Ethan from Hudson, OH

Originally founded as a teacher-training school, Kent State University is a 4-year public research university in northeast Ohio. Kent State hosts ten colleges conferring undergraduate degrees in more than 300 areas of study. Additionally, KSU is home...

“…Kent State University is an overall great school to attend. Between the academics, learning facilities, overall campus environment, camaraderie among students, and possibilities for student involvement you get the best of every world. It is just a...” – Nicole from Kent, OH

Bucknell University is a highly selective, private liberal arts college located in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. Offering more than 50 majors, Bucknell classes 100% taught by professors, never grad stduents, and the campus is home to several research...

“…Bucknell is a great place to challenge yourself academically in any field you so choose. Professors are dedicated to their students and are open to questions and very flexible with office hours. There is plenty to get involved with on campus such as...” – Juliana from Falls Church, VA

The University of Louisville is a member of the Kentucky State University system and the first city-owned public university in the US. Louisville features three campuses hosting 12 colleges and schools and the university’s Health Sciences Center is...

“…the university of louisville is a great school, and i am excited that in just a few months, i will be a part of it! everything about it feels like home, and the general mood of the university reminds me of my high school. i encourage everybody...” – Barry from Louisville, KY

Michigan’s third largest institution of higher learning, Wayne State University is a public university in Detroit. Wayne State is home to 13 colleges offering over 300 undergraduate and graduate degrees. In addition to classroom facilities, Wayne...

“…Everyone is friendly. The professors are fantastic. There is always something to do during the evening on campus.” – Colleen from MI

The University of Hawai’i at Manoa is a 4-year public university on the island of O’ahu and the flagship campus of the UH System. The largest and oldest of the Hawai’i campuses, UH Manoa confers bachelor’s degrees in 100 academic majors. Additionally...

“…Most incredible scenery and environment. The atmosphere is simply overwhelming you can feel the fun and excitement in the air. The campus is also very diverse in organizations and events for every student.” – Ying Wai from Honolulu, HI

Founded in 1887 as Troy State Normal School, Troy University is a 4-year public school in southeast Alabama and the flagship of the Troy University System. Troy is home to five colleges conferring undergraduate and graduate degrees in over 260...

“…At Troy University, you can meet the whole world in one small campus. Troy also stands as one of the top schools in the Southeast according to reviews by sources such as Forbes Magazine and the Princeton Review. Here, you can receive a great...” – Derrick from Opelika, AL