<span>3.9 GPA Colleges</span>

3.9 GPA Colleges

Grade point average, or GPA, provides a numeric snapshot of high school academic performance by taking the average of all your final grades. A 3.9 GPA conveys that almost every grade you’ve earned has been an A.

Is a 3.9 GPA Good?

GPA is scored on a 4.0 scale. So strictly speaking, a 3.9 GPA is just a tenth shy of a perfect score and demonstrates academic excellence in every class. A 3.9 GPA far exceeds the average GPA that most colleges use as their unspoken baseline for competitive admission (3.0) as well as the benchmark GPA for more selective colleges (3.5). Because of this, a 3.9 GPA makes it possible to be considered for admission at most colleges and universities throughout the country, including at elite schools.

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

If you’re a freshman or sophomore, continue practicing all the good study and testing habits that earned a 3.9 GPA and stay motivated to maintain this academic performance. Since your GPA is in such a good place, it’ll be beneficial to focus some effort on extracurricular activities. Not only will joining after school clubs and organizations help you find something that you’re passionate about, but it will also benefit you during the college admission process. Colleges are looking for well-rounded students, so joining a sport and/or participating in community service projects looks great on your applications.

For juniors, it’s time to focus on preparing for standardized testing while continuing to maintain your GPA. Remember that many colleges weight SAT or ACT scores equally with GPA when considering applications so it’s important to devote enough energy to preparing for an entrance exam. Download a few practice tests and time yourself while taking them to get used to the format. If one’s available, sign up for a test prep class through your high school and put in the effort to make sure your standardized test score lives up to the precedent your GPA has set.

As for seniors, make sure that every part of your application depicts you in the best possible light including the essay, after school activities list, and test scores. Have your college counselor read your essay and offer suggestions for improvement. Meet with visiting college admissions representatives and do some networking to determine what they’re looking for on an application. And if you’re looking for ways to further enhance your academic record, consider taking a class for college credit. Explore your high school’s AP offerings or the “early college” classes offered at the local community college. These courses help show prospective schools that you’re able to handle a college-level academic workload.

What Colleges Can I Apply to With a 3.9 GPA?

A 3.9 GPA qualifies for admission to a large number of colleges and universities and we’ve compiled a sample list of them below. While GPA alone won’t guarantee admission, all of these institutions have a history of accepting students in the 3.9-4.0 range.

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Stanford University is a research institution located in the California town of the same name. The more than 8,000-acre campus features seven schools, the largest of which is the School of Humanities and Sciences, and 80 residential facilities. With...

“…Professors and students alike are passionate about what they do, and are eager to share it if you show interest. You will learn as much from the people in your dorm as you will being in class, and it's wonderful. ” – Elise from Portland, OR

Founded in 1868, the University of California at Berkeley is the original member of UC System with a campus overlooking the San Francisco Bay. UC Berkeley is known for its liberal student activism, most notably The Free Speech Movement student...

“…There is literally nothing holding you back at Berkeley from taking exactly the classes you want. In fact, the College of Letters and Science requires you to take classes in virtually every field. You might call that restrictive, but that would...” – Taylor from Santa Maria, CA

Founded in 1817, University of Michigan in Ann Arbor is the state’s oldest university. U of M has very high research activity and is a often referred to as a Public Ivy. The university at Ann Arbor offers upwards of 260 degrees for undergraduates,...

“…Didn't know I could learn as much as I did this past year. The school had so much to offer for my program and I couldn't have picked a better school. ” – Gabriella from Sandy Spring, MD

Boston University is a private, non-profit university with a heavy emphasis on research. BU’s main location is right in its name—Boston, MA—but the university has flagship locations around the world, including in London, Sydney, and Washington, DC,...

“…I've only given four stars due to my lack of interest in the required courses. I understand the purpose behind them, but they really put a damper on my enjoyment of my classes for my major. I absolutely love those classes (SMG Business) and the...” – Cristina from Haverstraw, NY

Purdue University-West Lafayette is a public research university founded in 1869 and the main campus of the Purdue University System. Purdue is home to 11 colleges and schools including a nationally renowned School of Engineering conferring degrees...

“…I started off my college career last year in the college of science, learning quite a lot of new material in all of my courses. Also, each course does not only deliver the information itself, but its connections with real-life situations as well....” – Cody from Lake Village, IN

Founded in 1746, Princeton University is a private, highly selective, Ivy League, the fourth oldest higher education institution in the nation, and one of the original nine colonial colleges. Princeton features a liberal arts education in the...

“…The classes are definitely extremely challenging, but after taking a summer class at Pace (a local Westchester private college), I am really missing the pace of Princeton classes and how intelligent my peers are. ” – Tiger '13

The University of Southern California is a high-research institution located in Los Angeles, California, where it’s been educating students since 1880. The university is comprised of two campuses, the main University Park and the Health Sciences...

“…USC is known for a lot of things: football, film, expensive, prestigious and snobby by students and non-students. While the last category is debatable, depending on who you meet, USC known for being the University of Stolen Colleagues by the...” – Janet from Moreno Valley, CA

The University of Washington is a selective institution located in Seattle, WA, with two satellite campuses in Bothell and Tacoma. At this Public Ivy, sustainability is a major focus and the school has made The Princeton Review Green College Honor...

“…University of Washington is a school with very strong academics and different options on campus. There's a big culture of discovery, of debate, and of moving into the future. It's a rainy, rustic campus with a lot to offer to students.” – Alexandra from WA

The University of California in Davis is a public institution in northern California and one of the largest universities by enrollment in the UC System. UC Davis is home to four colleges conferring undergraduate degrees and six professional schools....

“…The professors here all really know their stuff! And even if you're a little confused about a topic, the grad student assistants are always there to help you out and fully understand a topic better. I love how at Davis, the actual professors teach...” – Jennifer from Oceanside, CA

The University of Georgia is a land- and sea-grant public research university in Athens, GA. Founded in 1785, University of Georgia is one of three public universities to hold the title of the oldest public university in the US. With 17 different...

“…Academically, UGA has a lot to offer. Although most classes you will take in the beginning are prerequisite classes before getting into your major, they are for the most part interesting and challenging. If you want to learn, you will most definitely...” – Amanda from Cohutta, GA

The University of California in Irvine was founded in 1965 in the town and state of the same name, and is the youngest member of the Association of American Universities. This high-research institution offers 92 majors and 86 minors and the campus is...

“…There are some inspirational professors and TAs here who go above and beyond the class material to help students learn about life. College prepares us for the real world and not only am I learning material relevant to that, but I am also learning how...” – Erica from Irvine, CA

The University of South Florida is a public research university located in Tampa, FL, offering more than 180 majors and concentrations. Ranked on multiple lists for its research efforts, USF Tampa’s Office of Undergraduate Research allows all citizen...

“…Every college has a learning community, but USF does what they can to make students comfortable while learning. Our brand new student center has plenty of study rooms, and a very large computer lab that is very useful.” – Miranda from Fruitland Park, FL

Founded in 1787 as the Pittsburgh academy, the University of Pittsburgh is a 4-year state-related research institution. Pitt is composed of 16 colleges and universities granting undergraduate degrees in numerous academic majors and minors. The Pitt...

“…The student atmosphere and faculty here are amazing. You also have the balance of an Urban campus with 456 acres of green space 5 min away. The city is our playground and just enhances your overall education, with plenty of job opportunities and...” – Luke from Pittsburgh, PA

Auburn University
Auburn University, AL

Auburn University is a 4-year public research institution and the second largest university in Alabama. Auburn encompasses 15 colleges and schools offering undergraduate degrees in over 140 academic majors. Outside of the classroom, Auburn is home to...

“…This is the place to be if you enjoy classes that are challenging and teach you things that will actually be used in the real world. The teachers help in anyway they can, they want us to enjoy learning.” – Christopher from Addison, AL

Vanderbilt University was founded in 1873 as a private research university in Nashville, Tennessee. Academically, the university focuses on an interdisciplinary approach,  encouraging students to take courses from any of the 143 areas of study. The...

“…Last semester, my 3rd at Vandy, was the first time I began to understand This is why I am at Vanderbilt. Never have I been as challenged intellectually. As an education major, it was important for me to see that Vanderbilt's high rankings were more...” – L from Chicago, IL

Named for a well-known abolitionist and philanthropist, Johns Hopkins University is a private institution in Baltimore and the first research university in the United States. JHU confers degrees and certificates in over 260 academic programs....

“…Although Johns Hopkins has a reputation for being an ultra-competitive institution, this does not mean the people there want to sabotage you grades in order to better their own. People are always willing to help you understand the subject matter...”

The Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, also known as Virginia Tech, is a 4-year public research university in western Virginia. Virginia Tech encompasses nine colleges offering bachelor’s degrees in 110 academic majors. To promote...

“…The faculty is very knowledgable and is intent on helping you succeed in whatever major you may choose.” – Saul from San Antonio, TX

Emory University is a liberal arts institution located in Atlanta, Georgia, with a second campus in Oxford. The 600-acre campus in the Druid Hills neighborhood is home to four undergraduate and seven graduate colleges, as well as over a dozen...

“…At Emory, professors truly seem to care about their students' academic success. They make time to meet with students to discuss everything from ways to prepare for graduate school to confusing topics covered in the classroom. Emory tries to keep...” – Molly from Woodland Hills, CA

The University of San Diego is a private research university affiliated with the Roman Catholic church. USD offers 42 different bachelor's degrees and 54 minors, in addition to various study abroad programs, and more than half of the student body...

“…I am a freshman who is a science major. The teachers in the science are so knowledge and very available to help every student. I also found my Calculus 2 teacher to be very helpful and found that class great. Overall I enjoyed all my teachers...” – Erin from Auburn, WA

The University of Rochester is private, research university highly ranked in the National Universities list by U.S. News & World Report. It operates under the mission "Learn, Discover, Heal, Create—and Make the World Ever Better" and students can...

“…The quality of education at Rochester is superb. The professors know what they are talking about and are willing to help you individually after class. Your classmates are some of your best resources because they are struggling through the material at...” – Faye from Rochester, NY

Originally founded as a school for math and science teachers, Stony Brook University is a 4-year public university on Long Island and part of the State University of New York system. Stony Brook is home to 12 schools and colleges conferring degrees...

“…Stony Brook University is known for its science and engineering-you need to work for your grades. People are smart and motivated and it's very easy to find someone to help you. The more you put in, the more you will get out, especially since...” – Mika from California

Florida International University is the only public research university in Miami. FIU offers bachelor’s degrees in over 190 academic fields of study. In addition to classroom facilities, the FIU campus houses the International Hurricane Research...

“…The teachers are great here. Most of them will help you and have office hours. Unfortunately, the office hours are not very flexible with your schedule. I have only had a bad experience with the math teacheres here, but all my other professors have...” – Stephanie from Miami, FL

Brigham Young University-Provo is a private research institution located in Provo, Utah, and founded by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. BYU offers study abroad programs through their satellite campuses in more than 20 sites,...

“…I can feel my brain expanding and soaking up information every single day.” – Rach from Illinois

One of two polytechnics in the CSU System, the California Polytechnic State University, more commonly known as Cal Poly, has a competitive admissions process for its programs, which focus in arts, technology, and sciences. The university is located...

“…I have only been at Cal Poly for one quarter so far, but I do think I am learning a lot. Through services at Cal Poly (like career service and my advisor) and my intro class, I think I learned more about what I can do with my degree after college...” – Rebecca from San Luis Obispo, CA

The University of California-Riverside is a public institution on 1,200 acres of land in Southern California’s Inland Empire. A part of the UC system, UCR is home to colleges of Humanities, Engineering, and Natural Sciences conferring undergraduate...

“…With the great diversity in the student body, one gets to learn and live with others from other ethnic groups. By living with these different people with different cultural backgrounds, one gets to celebrate the diversity that makes up our world.” – Matthew from Pasadena, CA

Carnegie Mellon University is a research institution located in Pittsburgh, PA. Founded by steel magnate Andrew Carnegie in 1900, CMU is labeled the #24 University in the World by Times Higher Education and has been rated #25 in National Universities...

“…You definitely get a great education at CMU. The professors are masters in their fields of study, but they still care a lot about the students. For example, my physics professor told us he wouldn't be in class the next day because he would be in...” – Hira from Hamilton, NJ

Founded in 1809, Miami University is a 4-year public research institution in southwest Ohio and the state’s second oldest university. Miami of Ohio confers bachelor’s degrees in over 120 fields of study. For recreation, Miami is home to a unique...

“…The professors here have great qualifications to be teaching, and prove it by helping me learn a lot. There have been many situations where i was not certain what exactly I was supposed to be learning, but the professor would always take the time to...” – Mike from Cincinnati, OH

From its main campus located atop a hilltop in Wisconsin’s state capital, the University of Wisconsin-Madison is a 4-year public institution and the flagship campus of the UW system. Founded in 1848 at the same time that Wisconsin achieved statehood,...

“…Each professor has their own teaching technique to make their class interesting, and many classes have teaching assistants who can help you individually. One small problem you might encounter with the teaching assistants is a language barrier, but...” – Kristin from Madison, WI

East Carolina University is located in Greenville, NC, and is comprised of 13 colleges. This public research university offers 84 bachelor's and 71 master's degrees, and claims a spot as the state leader in distance educated by providing 90 online...

“…Since enrolling at East Carolina University, I have learned what it means to merge and accept other peoples opinions and different points of view on religion, politics, humanity, etc. I have also learned and educated myself so much, and have finally...” – Brandon from Greenville, NC

Founded by Baptists in 1833, Mercer University is a private non-denominational institution in central Georgia. Mercer houses both the largest pharmacy school and the oldest college of nursing in Georgia as well as one of only four medical schools in...

“…Before coming to Mercer, plan ahead for the rigor and the demand from professors. However, do not be too afraid of professors because they are all willing to help each student in any way that they can once you reach out to them. Be prepared for lots...” – Jabria from Lithonia, GA

Butler University is a private, liberal arts institution located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Butler’s 300-acre campus houses six academic colleges: Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Business, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Communication, Education, and the...

“…Butler University is a small school with all of the benefits of a large school. The professors know me by name, the students truly care about each other, and the university makes it easy to feel at home. It is perfectly located close enough to...” – Miranda from Maple Grove, MN

Established in 1819, Colgate University is a selective 4-year private liberal arts institution in central New York State and one of the oldest universities in the northeast. Colgate confers bachelor’s degrees in 56 academic majors and the campus is...

“…Colgate is a liberal arts university and there are a lot of distribution requirements that we must fulfill. Some people feel that this forces them to take classes that they would rather not take. However, I enjoyed all of my classes, even the ones...” – Michele from Simsbury, CT

The College of Charleston, founded in 1770, is a public university and is the oldest campus in South Carolina. The university offers 61 undergraduate majors and 78 minors from six schools, plus 24 master's degree programs and 10 graduate-level...

“…The majority of your educational experience will likely be fantastic. My professors have ranged from very good to excellent, and my classes have all been very interesting and well-taught—although, this is partly because most of my gen-ed stuff is...” – Laura, who is an Astrophysics/Biology major, who is at CofC

Chapman University is a private, liberal arts institution in Orange, California, that offers 110 areas of study through 11 schools and colleges. Chapman is also home to several independent research centers, as well as creative research centers,...

“…I am learning about subjects that were unclear for me in the past, and being able to expand my knowledge on subjects that are interesting and not commonly discussed is what someone should look for in a college.” – Erin from Woodland Hills, CA

Elon University is a selective, liberal arts institution located in central North Carolina. The 656-acre Greensboro campus hosts six schools and a number of academic ceenters, which include the Center for Enviornmental Studies, the Doherty Center for...

“…overall, elon university is a great school in which you will obtain all the resources you need to succeed. from the impeccable environment, rigorous classes, clubs/organizations and people on campus, elon always exemplifies excellence and the belief...” – Brian from Burlington, NC

The Pratt Institute is a private college based in Brooklyn, NY. Pratt offers more than 25 undergraduate degree programs and concentrations, more than 26 graduate degree programs, and six programs leading to an Advanced Certificate award. The 25-acre...

“…I just completed the freshman foundation year for the school of Art and Design (the required classes vary between schools); and though I have yet to take any major specific classes(Jewelry and Metal-smithing), my understanding of the art world and my...” – Odette from Mclean, VA

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...

“…The professors and the people are among the most helpful! They'll even appreciate the stupid questions, everyone has always been more than happy to help! ” – Kellie from Little Elm, TX

The largest public university in New England, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst is the original campus in the UM System. UMass is a land-grant university with the “Highest Research Activity" and the U.S. News & World Report ranks the UMass...

“…Due to the wide range of educational opportunities--whether those are research-based, scientific, liberal, political or extra curricular--The University of Massachusetts Amherst ensures that there's a niche designated for every type of student. With...” – Ashley from West Yarmouth, MA

Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is the oldest continuously operating technological research university in the United States. The main RPI campus in Troy, NY, is situated on 275 acres featuring 746 labs, studios, and technology...

“…If you've looked into RPI as your prospective university you know of its academic merit but that merit is tied to the expectation of your academic dedication and excellence. The professors will expect a lot from you but if you put in the effort they...” – Diana from Lauderhill, FL

Formed by a merger between Marymount College and Loyola University, Loyola Marymount University is a private school affiliated with the Jesuit religion and one of the largest Roman Catholic universities on the West Coast. Spread across 142 acres in...

“…Well, what can I say. I just finished my first semester at LMU and I am loving it! The first thing I told my dad when he picked me up last week was, I think I learned more this semester alone at LMU than during my four years in high school. You...” – Alejandro from Chula Vista, CA

The United States Air Force Academy is a military training institution in central Colorado and the youngest of five American service academies. USAFA confers bachelor’s degrees in 31 academic majors and all students are expected to complete a core...

“…The Air Force Academy is a place that challenges you in all aspects of life. Everything you do here is important and has meaning. You will find who you are and what you represent after going through the four vigorous years here.” – Isaac from U S A F Academy, CO

Belmont University is a 4-year liberal arts institution in Nashville and the largest ecumenical Christian university in the United States. Belmont is home to 10 colleges and schools conferring undergraduate degrees in more than 90 fields of study,...

“…belmont university an amazing private university with a faith centered community that caters to the needs of the students and has top tier programs in the college of visual and performing arts, massey school of business, and mike curb college of...” – Mimi from Houston, TX

Situated between the Everglades and the Gulf of Mexico, Florida Gulf Coast University is a public institution in southwest Florida. FGCU hosts Colleges of Business, Education, Arts & Sciences, Health, and Engineering conferring undergraduate degrees....

“…I learn something new everyday in and out of class. I joined the Honors Program and love it. All my professors wished me the best in my classes. The classes are small which presents the opportunity to get to know the teachers and receive one on one...” – Amberose from Osprey, FL

Brandeis University is a private, nonsectarian institution founded by the Jewish community and named after the Supreme Court’s first Jewish justice. The 235-acre campus is located in the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts, and home to more than 100...

“…I am offered tons of opportunities to explore Academics at Brandeis. I love that can take courses that count towards my major and minors, while still taking courses that just happen to spark my interest. For instance, last semester I took beginning...” – Audrey from Littleton, CO

The University of North Florida is a 4-year public institution in Jacksonville and a member of the State University System of Florida. UNF is home to five colleges of Health, Business, Arts, Computing, and Education hosting degree-granting programs....

“…I have learned a lot from my classes here. The professors are knowledgeable and approachable, and most class sizes are small and give you a more personal interaction with your fellow classmates and professors. The professors have office hours were...” – Rebekah from Orlando, FL

Founded by Jesuits in 1818, Saint Louis University is a private research institution and one of the oldest Catholic universities in the United States. SLU is home to 11 colleges and schools conferring undergraduate and graduate degrees. For students...

“…I was nervous going into classes at SLU because in high school classes were too easy. After being challenged and being put to the test of studying and putting effort into classes, I realized that I was actually learning information, especially in...” – Juliana from Joliet, IL

Created by the merger of Lewis Institute and Armour Institute, The Illinois Institute of Technology is a scientific and technical research institution in Chicago. IIT hosts eight colleges and schools conferring undergraduate degrees in over 40 fields...

“…I am currently a third year business student here a IIT and I love my coursework. It really provides me with a lot of hands on experience rather than sitting in a huge class just listening to a lecture. In several job interviews I have talked about...” – Daniel from Chicago, IL

Stetson University is a private university in DeLand, FL, with regional campuses in Tampa, Gulfport, and Orlando. Stetson is home to a college of Arts and Sciences and was also the first institution in the state to host schools of Business...

“…Stetson definitely delivers on academics. A few programs are especially rigorous, like the music program. I personally am a biology major, and all of the professors I've had so far have been excellent teachers. They have also been very helpful and...” – Jasmine from Palm Coast, FL

Founded by the Presbyterian church, Davidson College is a 4-year private liberal arts college in southern North Carolina. Davidson confers bachelor’s degrees in 29 academic majors and 40 minors. Davidson also features an Honor Code forbidding...

“…Davidson is a hard school academically, meaning there is no such thing as an easy A. The students at Davidson have a work hard play harder mentality. The teachers are great and easily accessible for the most part. ” – Jamie Johnson

Founded in 1886, Winthrop University is a 4-year public school in the greater Charlotte area. Winthrop consists of five colleges offering bachelor’s degrees in over 40 fields of study and is also home to Think College, a program that offers post...

“…I am truly learning a lot from being here. Had it not been for the professors, I don't think my experience would have been this easy. They are willing to help you one on one whenever you don't understand and they offer tutorial sessions when needed....” – Nontombe from Columbia, SC