<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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Situated atop a hill overlooking the farms of mid-Ohio and featuring distinctive Gothic architecture, Kenyon College is a 4-year liberal arts college and the oldest private institution in the state. Kenyon offers undergraduate degrees in over 50...

“…their application process was free and effortless! i haven't even graduated from high school yet, but they've been so wonderful to me already. they've sent me free gifts and a handwritten card welcoming me to the school!” – henry from bronx, ny

Affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Brigham Young University-Idaho is a 4-year institution in eastern Idaho and the state’s largest private university. BYU-Idaho is home to six colleges and schools conferring...

“…BYU-Idaho has helped me become a better person. Though at first I had trouble adjusting to the differences there, I can now notice clear as day the transformations it has created in my life. Going to BYU-I has strengthened my testimony of the...” – Emily from Roseville, CA

Situated on a hilltop across the river from New York City, the Stevens Institute of Technology is a technological and engineering university in northeast New Jersey. Stevens is home to four schools conferring bachelor’s degrees in 35 academic majors...

“…Stevens is the perfect way to experience a beautiful small college while being a 5 minute train ride from New York City. You receive personal attention in classes, and are part of a Division 3 athletics power house. It truly is the best of both...” – Sarah from Prince Frederick, MD

Smith College is an all-female liberal arts institution in western Massachusetts and the largest all-women’s college in the country. The biggest school among the Seven Sisters Colleges, Smith offers degrees and certificates in over 50 areas of study...

“…Smith has a beautiful campus and downtown, faculty that (for the most part) treat you with respect, and an incredibly diverse student body. It is very liberal (and not just in the liberal arts sense) and most students are comfortable voicing their...” – Laura from Windsor, CA

The Colorado School of Mines is located in Golden, Colorado. Established in 1873, Mines has been focusing on the sciences and engineering for more than 130 years, expanding its focus to include understanding the Earth, harnessing energy, and...

“…This school is academically more challenging than anything you have or will ever experience. The social life is almost non-existent, but school spirit is very strong. The hard work put in at the school will pay of huge down the road when it's time to...” – Michael from Leesburg, VA

Gonzaga University is a Roman Catholic university in eastern Washington state and a member of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. Gonzaga offers 15 undergraduate degrees featuring 52 majors. As a Catholic institution, Gonzaga...

“…This is a great campus. clean, friendly, beautiful :)” – Catholic school girl from San Diego, CA

The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art is a 4-year college comprised of four schools: the School of Architecture, School of Art, School of Engineering, and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. Since it was founded by Peter...

“…Can be challenging even to the smartest person. It's a small school so literally everyone knows each other after a while. The academic opportunities are endless ” – John from Brooklyn, NY

Pitzer College is a 4-year liberal arts college in southern California and a member of the Claremont Colleges. Pitzer offers bachelor’s degrees in over 40 academic majors including the first Secular Studies program in the nation. To provide a...

“…Pitzer allows for a great opportunity to be a part of the consortium of 5 colleges. Pitzer focuses on interdisciplinary courses. Pitzer has a great ratio of students to teachers. ” – Larry from Los Angeles, CA

Kalamazoo College is a private liberal arts institution based in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Kalamazoo offers students an immersive first-year experience that includes an 18-day wilderness adventure and a Summer Common Reading conversation. All students are...

“…Kalamazoo College is a great school. It is academically challenging but with the great professors, success is always possible. The school doesn't just worry about grades though it helps you grow into a well rounded and informed person.” – Cassandra from Kalamazoo, MI

Founded in 1865, Worcester Polytechnic Institute is a school of engineering and technology in central Massachusetts. WPI grants bachelor’s degrees in 32 technical and scientific fields of study. In addition, every academic program is centered around...

“…WPI is a great school. The professors love what they do and it shows. The classes are really enjoyable.” – DeWitt, NY

Hillsdale College is a nondenominational liberal arts college in southern Michigan and the country’s first college to officially ban discrimination on the basis of race, gender, and religion. Hillsdale confers undergraduate degrees in 46 fields of...

“…Hillsdale College is small, academically rigorous, and conservative. The size makes the class discussions and campus life extremely vibrant, as you get to know your fellow students very well in and out of class. The academic level is as high as the...” – Nicholas from Ottawa Lake, MI

Christopher Newport University is a 4-year public liberal arts university in the Norfolk area. CNU is home to departments of Business, Natural Sciences, Arts & Humanities, and Social Sciences with all degree-granting programs focused on a liberal...

“…At CNU we are definitely a tight-knit community and a family. The courses are challenging and inspiring, and taught by top-of-the-line professors who truly care about the success of each student. Any student looking for an academic challenge, strong...” – Elizabeth from Centreville, VA

Originally established in 1873 as Springfield College, Drury University is a liberal arts college based in southwest Missouri. DU is home to the Your Drury Fusion academic program combining professionally-oriented majors with concentrations in purely...

“…Drury University is an outstanding education for a very reasonable price. Drury remains rated 11th Best Midwest Universities by U.S. News and World Report and was named one of the nation's 50 Best Value private colleges in 2010 by the Princeton...” – Gail from Sioux Falls, SD

The Rhode Island School of Design is a fine arts college in the state capital of Providence and one of the first art and design institutions in the United States. RISD confers bachelor’s degrees in 21 fine arts fields of study such as Ceramics,...

“…RISD is a diverse community. RISD is well known for its strong academics. Students are very talented and enthusiastic about art in general.” – Julie

Founded in 1876, Calvin College is a 4-year Christian liberal arts college in Grand Rapids affiliated with the Christian Reformed Church. Calvin grants bachelor’s degrees in over 100 academic majors and programs. For students interested in the arts,...

“…Calvin is an amazing place to meet wonderful Christian people who truly love God. Calvin puts an emphasis on community, faith, and academics, and integrates them all very well. There are so many fun activities to be involved in, and i wish i had more...” – Alison from Cincinnati, OH

Located in Walla Walla, Washington, Whitman College is a liberal arts institution chartered in 1883. Today, the Whitman’s residential campus offers more than 35 departments and programs, houses its student body, and doubles as both an outdoor art...

“…I would highly recommend Whitman College because of the relations and connections you get to establish. I rate this school from a 10 scale a 9.5 and I take the .5 because it is in a very small town, however it does not take away from how great the...” – Natalia from Camas, WA

Originally founded as the Masonic University of Tennessee, Rhodes College is a 4-year liberal arts college in Memphis. With a campus noteworthy for its numerous Collegiate Gothic buildings and line of trees known as “Oak Alley,” Rhodes awards...

“…Rhodes is a small, private liberal arts college in a big city. Not many other schools can provide an intimate learning environment, an all the opportunities of a big city. This along with its Honor Code, high caliber students and its gorgeous campus...” – Taylor from Memphis, TN

Founded in 1846, Taylor University is a private institution and one of the oldest evangelical Christian colleges in the nation. The school is based in Upland, Indiana. All students, staff, and faculty are required to resist tobacco, alcohol, and drug...

“…When I first came to the University, I was surprised that the descriptions of it being in the middle of a cornfield were spot-on. Being in such a remote location though, drives community together and a chance to get to know more of the 2,500 people...” – Jason from Wheaton, IL

Founded by the Church of the Nazarene in 1902, Point Loma Nazarene University is a Christian liberal arts college in San Diego. PLU offers undergraduate degrees in over 60 fields of study and the university’s Office of Strengths and Vocation provides...

“…Point Loma Nazarene University is a small, Christian school nestled on the edge of Sunset Cliffs in Point Loma, a small region of San Diego. You really get the best of it all here; mountains, downtown, the suburbs and the ocean. Point Loma offers a...” – Dandy from Cape Cod, MA

Affiliated with the United Methodist Church, Oklahoma City University is a 4-year liberal arts and sciences university in Oklahoma’s capital city. OKCU hosts 10 colleges and schools conferring undergraduate degrees in over 70 academic majors. For...

“…A private university that has a very good student to professor ratio and only the highest degree of professor are hired. This a very good school recommended to anyone.” – Lorenzo from Oklahoma City, OK

Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, IN, is a Catholic, women’s institution with a focus on “creating leaders & women of action.” The college offers more than 30 majors, which include 6 nationally accredited programs, and four graduate programs, which...

“…Saint Mary's College is a very hands-on, all-girls school with a variety of clubs; however, the clubs in which I have tried to participate aren't as organized as should be expected! The college partners with Notre Dame University for clubs, classes,...” – Rachael from Granger, IN

Truman State University is a 4-year public liberal arts college in northeast Missouri. Truman confers bachelor’s degrees in 36 academic majors and its Liberal Studies program combines “traditional learning” and “personal investigation.” Truman hosts...

“…Truman State features very comfortable class sizes and student to teacher ratios. Classes are challenging but for the most part hold great value. Campus is a nice size, and there are many organizations and activities for students to be involved in. ” – Olivia from Spirit Lake, IA

Founded in 1837, Mount Holyoke College is a 4-year women’s liberal arts college in western Massachusetts. The oldest college among the Seven Sisters, Mount Holyoke grants undergraduate degrees in 48 academic majors and also gives students the...

“…I once heard Mount Holyoke College described as Harvard meets Hogwarts meets the movie 'Mona Lisa's Smile'. It was not until my first week on campus that I realized the truth behind this description. Not only was I sitting in a classroom with some of...” – Emma from Saint Michaels, AZ

Founded in 1842, Willamette University is a liberal arts institution in northwest Oregon and the oldest university in the western half of the United States. Willamette’s College of Liberal Arts offers undergraduate degrees in over 40 academic fields...

“…Students at Willamette are dedicated, passionate, and involved. The school fosters great student-professor relationships that result in a personalized education system. The campus community is vibrant and active, with lots of extracurricular activity...” – Jacqueline from Los Gatos, CA

The University of Dallas is a small, private Catholic institution based in Irving, Texas. The school offers programs in business, liberal arts, and ministry. A majority of students participate in study abroad programs and have traveled to places such...

“…I highly recommend this university because it shapes students into well rounded individuals-in science, classical philosophy, literature, politics etc. The small student body is made up of incredibly warm, friendly people who are ready to help and...” – Cecilia from Irving, TX

Messiah College is a private liberal arts and sciences institution based in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. It was founded by the Brethren in Christ Church and has a “more selective” admissions process. Students are required to sign a Community Covenant...

“…I love Messiah college! It is a fantastic school focused on building relationships and academics. You are free to express your views as a Christian on campus, allowing your faith to grow. ” – Carly from Mechanicsburg, PA

The University of Maryland-Baltimore County is a 4-year public institution based in Baltimore and part of the University of Maryland system. UMBC is home to seven colleges and schools hosting over 55 undergraduate degree-granting programs. In...

“…UMBC has an excellent academic atmosphere as well as an amazing president. There are so many different cultures, ethnicities, and perspectives on campus; it offers a rich opportunity to immerse yourself in a new and exciting environment. I would...” – Vanessa from Smithsburg, MD

New College of Florida is a public liberal arts and sciences institution and honors college situated in Sarasota, FL. It is part of the State University System of Florida and has been rated as having a “more selective” admissions process. Favored...

“…This is a good environment to be in and there is plenty of opportunity. The only catch? You have to put good work in if you want awesome results out. Get ready to be pushed past limits that you have already set for yourself.” – Maria from Cocoa, FL

The University of Alabama in Huntsville is a public school in northern Alabama and part of the UA system. UAH is home to nine colleges and schools conferring undergrad and graduate degrees in over 80 academic fields of study. In addition to classroom...

“…the academics are challenging for everyone. if you have trouble with a subject there are free tutors that are a tremendous help. there are clubs and activities around campus for everyone.” – Aileena from Madison, AL

Founded by an Oregon Trail explorer, Whitworth University is a 4-year Christian institution in Spokane affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. Whitworth hosts colleges of Arts & Sciences, Education, and Business offering over 100 undergrad and...

“…This university contains some of the most intellectually sound, yet compassionate professors anywhere in the world. Not only do almost all of them hold doctoral degrees from outstanding universities (University of Washington, University of Oregon,...” – Joshua from Mission, TX

Salem College
Winston Salem, NC
Salem College is an all-female institution located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Established in 1772, the college is the oldest women’s college in the south and one of the oldest female educational establishments in the US. The college houses the...

“…Salem College is a perfect place to make life-long friends, receive a great education and grow as a person. It is a small school with relatively small classes where the professors learn your name and get to know you as the individuals you are. Salem...” – Melina from High Point, NC

With a campus along the coast of Tampa Bay on Bayboro Harbor, the University of South Florida St. Petersburg is a separately accredited member of the USF system in St. Petersberg. At the mid-size USF-St. Pete campus, students can choose from 27...

“…It's a beautiful campus. The administrators really seem like they want to help and are really involved. Campus safety is definitely not an issue with all the emergency poles located around campus.” – Melanie from Fort Myers, FL

Agnes Scott College is a private all-female institution affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. The campus is located in Decatur, Georgia, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Agnes Scott has been called one of the “Seven...

“…Aesthetically Agnes Scott is like being transported to Hogwarts. The professors, staff, and other students are always willing to work with you and happy to do so. The tuition isn't cheap, but financial aid will do everything possible to work with...” – Brianna from Decatur, Georgia

Founded in 1876, Hendrix College is a private liberal arts institution based in Conway, Arkansas. Hendrix College is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and provides weekly chapel service, Bible study, and fellowship meals. Hendrix is rated...

“…Hendrix is a liberal arts school that has a wonderful professor to student ratio. It has a small, homely feel to the campus and the faculty and staff are very interactive. The academics and social life both have high rankings when it comes to it and...” – Desire from Sallisaw, OK

Founded in 1874, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology is a 4-year STEM-focused institution in west central Indiana. Rose-Hulman grants bachelor’s degrees in 25 science, engineering, and mathematics-related fields of study. In addition, the institute...

“…Attending Rose-Hulman is one of the best decisions I have made in my life. I can already tell that this school has everything I need in order to better myself for the huge world that is out there. I love being a fighting engineer!” – Patrick from New Salisbury, IN

Founded in 1814 by the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Spalding University is a 4-year institution in Louisville. Spalding grants bachelor’s degrees in 14 academic fields of study. All classes at Spalding follow a block schedule format where students...

“…I rate it a 9 out of 10 because the small is small and everybody gets to know each other like a family which I find very good.” – William from Jeffersonville, IN

The United States Coast Guard Academy is a service academy located in coastal Connecticut and the only military academy overseen by the Department of Homeland Security. The Coast Guard offers bachelor’s degrees in nine professional or engineering...

“…The Coast Guard Academy is an institute for leadership. This is no ordinary college. The primary mission is to develop young leaders into mentally tough, physically fit and academically strong officers in the Coast Guard.”

The University of South Carolina-Aiken is a public institution rated as having “selective” admissions that offers programs grounded in the liberal arts and sciences curriculum. USCA promotes individual attention for students through small classes and...

“…Everyone here on this campus is here to help you. Professors, staff, and some students are all available to help. There is always something to do here!” – Sierra from Jackson, SC

The King's College is a nondenominational Christian institution focused on a liberal arts curriculum. It is located in the Financial District in New York City. All students must sign an honor code to not “lie, steal, cheat, or turn a blind eye to...

“…A+! The King's College is a fantastic school that really has you broaden your horizons as you face the city life as well as the school's obstacles. It helps you mature and really brings out who you really are and what sort of things you might be...” – VICTORIA from Grosse Pointe Shores, MI

The University of West Florida is a 4-year public school in the Florida Panhandle and a member of the State University System of Florida. UWF hosts five colleges conferring undergraduate and graduate degrees in over 70 fields of study. For students...

“…The area is amazing! I love being close to the beach, and the sunny warm weather most of the year. The campus is not too big, but it has plenty of things going on for new students.” – Haley from Pensacola, FL

SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry is an environmental studies institution in Syracuse and the oldest forestry-related college in the United States. SUNY ESF grants bachelor’s and associate degrees in 27 ecological fields of study and...

“…I'm just starting my second semester here, and I'll note one thing - the people here are extremely friendly and enthusiastic, but definitely are NOT your typical college crowd. We're not all hippies like you'd expect, but you'll begin to notice that...” – Ravyn from Romulus, NY

Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering is a private engineering school in the greater Boston area dedicated to training future innovators. Olin features a curriculum that encourages collaboration and culminates in undergraduate degrees in...

“…LESS CROWD - MORE ATTENTION - 9:1 TEACHER - STUDENT HARD WORKING STUDENTS CAN ACHIEVE A LOT SOBER CROWD ” – Shruti from India

The New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology is a doctoral-level university that focuses on STEM disciplines, including information technology, computer science, physics and civil engineering. The campus is situated in the Rio Grande Valley,...

“…New Mexico Tech is wildly underrated by prospective students.It's so small that opportunities are abundant. Classes are excellent.” – Quintessa from Socorro, NM

Established by a collaborative partnership between the American and Bulgarian governments, American University in Bulgaria is a college in western Bulgaria and the first American-style liberal arts university in Eastern Europe. AUBG confers...

The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee is a public, 4-year institution that offers 19 undergraduate and 8 graduate majors and programs. USF Sarasota-Manatee is the smallest of the three USF campuses, with most classes having fewer than 20...

Oxford College of Emory University is a two-year liberal arts institution located in Oxford, Georgia, and affiliated with the United Methodist Church. They operate an 11-acre organic farm which is used as an educational research tool and functional...

“…Small, but an excellent school.” – Garrett from Spartanburg, SC

Hope College is a 4-year liberal arts institute located in downtown Holland. Hope partners with the Reformed Church in America but welcomes students of all faiths, as well as those of no faith. The liberal arts curriculum at Hope is threaded through...

“…Hope is a high quality school with excellent academics. It provides an amazingly supportive christian community to its students. No matter where you come from or what you believe, Hope has a place for you.” – Kelsey from Ann Arbor, MI