<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 was my top choice based on the wide spread of classes offered, the great education, and the world changing young men and woman that have prospered out of ASU. My classes are challenging but with hard work A's are capable. I no longer...” – Joel from Chandler, AZ

New York University, more commonly referred to as NYU, is a private university with campuses and academic centers all over the world, including Abu Dhabi, Shanghai, Africa, and Europe. As one of the largest private universities in the US, it’s...

“…new york university is an academically strenuous and challenging school in the heart of downtown new york city. the campus is new york city, with lots of grand old buildings, mainly centered around washington square park. each of their programs are...” – Isabella from Los Angeles, CA

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...

“…As far as academics go, its a competitive field. So come ready to learn many new and exciting things from top of the line professors, many whom have a number of years experience in the subjects they teach.” – Jazzmyne @ UM

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...

“…If you know what you want to study, take the time to visit that specific department. This is good advice regarding any college. Do your best to learn about the research interests of faculty and graduate students in the department, but at the least,...” – Jessie from Eugene, OR

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...

“…Washington State University is large and inclusive academic institution that offers programs and opportunities for everyone. It has the small college-town vibe while also offering a robust and equipped campus that is constantly being improved. If you...” – Demetri from Temecula, CA

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...

“…My classes have been amazing. All of my professors are enthusiastic about the subjects they teach, which makes learning easy and interesting, and none of my classes have been taught by student assistants. Central also offers an honors program that...” – Ashley

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...

“…Although only finished with my first quarter at Ohio University, I've already delved into topics that I initially only had hopes of studying. An example would be that I was very interested in archaeology and mythology, and read much about it...” – R. from Athens, 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...

“…Temple University offers a spectacular range of majors. They also had so many fun and interesting courses that I had a lot of trouble choosing General Education courses, which is a really a good problem. (Incoming freshmen, or anyone for that...” – Corrine from Bear, DE

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...

“…At LSU, many of the professors are actually interested in you learning. After being in a class as small as 20, to being in a class as big as 300, the professors are always encouraging student involvement with questions and working in groups. They are...” – Shanae from Randallstown, MD

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...

“…This university has one of the best Natural Sciences programs in the country so I am privileged to be able to attend and learn from some of the most talented professors. Each one of my professors is passionate and outspoken on the subject that they...” – Morgan from Englewood, 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...

“…The instructors here are amazing. Every instructor I have had thus far has been willing to help out in any aspect of my school work. All you need to do is ASK for the help. The professors are very accommodating tot he students needs and are prepared...” – David from Peachtree City, 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...

“…This college offers many different kinds of learning. Since it is a Christian university, there is a strong emphasis on the spiritual education that you will receive. Everyone is required to take a class in Old Testament Bible, New Testament Bible,...” – Scott from Phenix City, AL

Founded in 1847, the University of Iowa is a 4-year public research institution in Iowa City, often considered one of the nation’s top college towns. Iowa grants undergraduate degrees in over 200 academic majors, minors, and certificate programs. The...

“…Iowa City is a fabulous learning environment. In my first semester, all of my professors were very knowledgeable in each of their respective fields. I feel that at Iowa classes and degree requirements are designed to enable students to actually...” – Jacob from Elmhurst, IL

The University of Kentucky is a land-grant university that was founded in 1865 in Lexington, Kentucky. U.S. News & World Report ranks UK as #63 in Top Public Schools. The most popular fields of study at this “selective” university are Education,...

“…Everyday that I go to class I am grateful and I feel as if my time was spent in a more efficient way. I listens to my profesor as he/she explains the material, and surely my mind is being stretched, and the way that I look at the world is completely...” – Demetria from LOUISVILLE, KY

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...

“…I have only attended Pace for a semester and I already think that Pace has been a great college. The professors are very helpful and are always there to answers the students' questions. The variety of courses given at Pace give the students the...” – Sasha from New York, NY

Founded in 1919, the University of Cincinnati is a 4-year public research institution and the second largest university in the state of Ohio. UC is home to 14 colleges and schools conferring degrees and is renowned as the first school to offer a co...

“…I am currently in UC's college of DAAP- Design, Art, Architecture, and Planning. It is a fantastic place to study; the majority of the professors are UC graduates who teach part time. They start from the basics no matter how much previous experience...” – Caitlin from Akron, OH

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 university of kansas offers a quality education while also teaching it's students important life skills. it is a place where one truly has the freedom to explore their interests, and it has all the tools they could possibly need to do so. the...” – Samantha from Villa Park, IL

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...

“…There are some classes I have taken that I have looked back on and wondered what the heck I learned. But, for the most part, the courses are challenging and apply to real life scenarios. The teachers here are wonderful people who are always happy to...” – Hannah from Ames, IA

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 is a great place to learn and explore San Francisco at the same time. This University is extremely costly to attend so look at your financial aid first. Also, the dorms are not the best but you only have to spend the...” – Dean from Fernley, NV

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....

“…WVU has a lot to offer. It has a reputation as a big party school, but most of the people are here to get their Study On. The professors are very helpful and want to see their student succeed and there is free tutoring provided throughout the...” – Julian from Rockville, MD

Founded in 1841 by the Catholic Diocese of New York, Fordham University is a Jesuit institution in New York City and the oldest Catholic university in the northeast. With three campus locations throughout the city, Fordham is home to four...

“…Fordham truly has some amazing professors and courses. Naturally, you'll also run into some not so awesome ones as well, but my positive experiences have far outweighed the negative experiences. I have found that the overwhelming majority of...” – Lauren from Phoenix, AZ

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...

“…The teachers are very friendly and are quite willing to answer any questions you have during office hours. I've only finished my first year, I truly feel I have learned a lot because of the staffs openness to students.” – Lindsey from Chino Hills, 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,...

“…the teachers here are great. 71% of the classes have 30 or less students which help us have a more personal relationship with the teachers who prefer that because they want us to succeed. they give you their office hours and encourage you to come and...” – Sara from Shawano, WI

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...

“…The professors are all very knowledgeable in the subjects they teach. They also make themselves readily available to assist students with questions and other issues. The variety of subjects offered allows each and every student to study what they...” – Lisa from Centennial, CO

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...

“…The professors I have taken really have a passion for what they teach. Of course you'll run into the professors the student body isn't fond of but thats a given at any campus. My experience with student teachers has also been a good one. The student...” – Richard 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...

“…I love my classes here! The professors know what they're talking about and are pretty easily accessible; they like telling you when their office hours are and are pretty friendly. I have e-mailed back and forth with professors when I've had questions...” – Hailey from Mashpee, MA

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...

“…The professors I have had so far are very informative. They give great lectures. There are notes you need to take but it is pretty simple. The grading system is pretty fair and if you participate and show the professor that you are trying, it will...” – Justin from Romeoville, IL

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 Classes are great and the professors seem over qualified which is great. Make sure to become involved in the school to get the full benefit of the learning enviroment.” – William from Corvallis, 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...

“…Really great school for many different majors. I am a business major, and could not be happier with the professionalism and personal attention for all of the professors in the college of business. When here that Illinois State is a big school with a...” – Paul from Pocahontas, 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...

“…Throughout the time that I have attended San Jose State, I have been able to have knowledgable, helpful teachers who can relate to the topics their teach through their past real-life experiences. The teachers are always available to arrange meetings...” – Nicholas from San Leandro, 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...

“…I have switched majors...oh...five times at NAU, but wouldn't change it for the world. NAU, for the most part, has amazing professors and staff who absolutely love teaching their students. They never give off the feeling that they don't want...” – Laura from Phoenix, 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,...

“…Santa Cruz is a fantastic place for anyone looking for a unique college experience. There is a perfect balance between academic focus and rigor, extracurricular opportunities and social opportunities. The campus is astonishingly beautiful and the...” – Zachary from Newport Beach, CA

The University at Buffalo is a 4-year research institution offering more than 125 undergraduate degree programs. UB is the largest university in the State University of New York system by enrollment, but maintains a student-faculty ratio of 14:1...

“…In three sentences I would label The University at Buffalo as follows.... 1.) Being a transfer student from a local community college, UB contains the most intimidating lecture hall I have ever been a part of. 2.) There are unlimited resources and...” – Taylor from Lewiston, 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...

“…I did learn a lot. The lecture classes are large but the harder classes like science and math have smaller groups were you get more attention and practice. The English classes are even capped to be under 20 students! It's an awesome set up they have...” – Samantha from Lewisville, TX

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...

“…Towson has so many classes you can choose from with great professors. There are classes I took in high school that I needed to retake at Towson where I learned so much more than I did originally. I haven't had any negative problems and was even on...” – Melissa from North Beach, MD

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...

“…the school is great. everyone wants to help you with all different types of academic work. also, there is something for everyone.” – Nicole from Wayne, NJ

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...

“…I have enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The Professors i have talked to are nice and know a lot about their subject.” – Donyea from Springfield, IL

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...

“…Hunter primarily offers courses in the social sciences causes many of the courses to be repetitive and the curriculum to lack diversity. Although the course listings are very bland the staff is extremely qualified and knowledgeable. Personally I...” – Danielle from New York, 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...

“…The professors I've had here have been great (with maybe one exception.) All of them have been really interested in having their students succeed, and most of them will provide extra time to meet up (outside of office hours.) ” – Courtney from Belleville, IL

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,...

“…The classes are challenging, but the professors at Manchester are very helpful and will do their best to help you. All you have to do is ask and talk to them. You will learn a lot and also have a lot of fun.” – Braden from West Lafayette, IN

One of the top 50 largest public schools in the United States, the third-largest university in the state, Kennesaw State University is a 4-year institution with two campuses in the Atlanta metro area. KSU is home to 13 colleges granting degrees in...

“…All my professors have different approaches, so the learning styles are very diverse. They all want their students to be successful and move forward, you just have to make an effort on your part. There are many different courses and each teaches...” – Essance from Marietta, GA

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...

“…i'm not afraid to ask questions here. i thought that going into college i'd feel too intimidated by my professors and refuse to talk to them. however, after my first chemistry class i had an actual conversation with my chemistry teacher and he was...” – Halie from Avon, IN

Texas Tech University is a 4-year public research university and the flagship campus of the TTU System. Texas Tech encompasses 12 colleges and schools and is the only Texas college to feature an undergraduate university, law school, and medical...

“…Its crazy (in a awesome way) how they are so involved with students! I just fell in love with campus just from being at orientation. They will help you with anything you need know about Greek life, football traditions, inside the classrooms, etc.” – Olivia from San Marcos, TX

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...

“…I'm not going to exaggerate and say that every professor on campus is awesome. Just like any other academic institution, there are some gems and some very shiny pieces of glass. However, the best professors aren't just good, they're fantastic! They...” – Raven from Milwaukee, WI

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...

“…This is to my knowledge the only place in the country where one may obtain a Bachelor's in Translation. The program is fabulous, and languages available at this University are diverse: French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, and Swahili...” – Danielle from Paso Robles, CA

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...

“…I came to Bucknell for an Engineering degree, not fully realizing how much I would begin to get out of it. My classes are interesting and involved, taught by professors who care about how you are doing and go out of their way daily to make sure that...” – Maddie from Trappe, MD

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 an excellent college with an outstanding health/science program. I am interested in the Nursing Program at the University of Louisville's Nursing Program because of their Instructor's qualifications and background and...” – Alyssa from Cleveland, OH

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...

“…In addition to incredible professors with office hours, this university offers lab classes, counseling, SI sessions (which act as a free tutoring option to further explain material covered in class and review for exams and quizzes), as well as many...” – Paige from Dearborn, 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...

“…How much you learn depends on what classes you are taking, what professor is teaching and how much you are studying. In college the classes don't go into as much detail as they did in High School. To make sure you learn all you need to know make sure...” – Jessica from Lakewood, CO