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College 101

How Important Are Good Grades?
Article Type: Quick and Dirty

Listen, we aren’t here to lie to you or sugarcoat things, that’s what the news and grandmothers are for. Shmoop is going to give it to you straight. Grades are important. In fact, combined with a challenging course load, grades are a pretty important factor for college admissions.

Drats. Says the B- student. OK, hold on a minute. Grades are very important, and if you have your sights set on the Ivy League or other hyper-competitive schools, you are pretty much going to need straight A’s in challenging courses. If you don’t have straight A’s, you are going to need to start looking at the hundreds of other amazing schools out there.

And really ask yourself, if I didn’t get straight A’s in high school, how would I really do at Harvard anyway? There are close to 1000 in the United States who admit between 50-75% of their applicants, meaning they are ranked as “somewhat selective”.  The long and the short of it is that grades are important. If you are early in your high school career, great, get studying.  If you are a senior ready to begin looking for colleges to apply to and your grades haven’t been stellar, get studying. But also think about other ways to strengthen your application. Even if you have a few B’s here and there, it’s still possible to get into those hyper-competitive schools if you work hard on, and get involved in activities. Many schools not only look at grades, but also consider applicant as a whole in making admissions decisions.

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