What GPA Do You Need to Get a Full Scholarship?

What grade point average (GPA) qualifies you for a full ride scholarship to college?

Elizabeth Hoyt

August 08, 2019

What GPA Do You Need to Get a Full Scholarship?
Who would want to pay for school when you can potentially get a full ride scholarship instead? These highly coveted opportunities can make it possible for a student to have a successful college career who otherwise could not afford to attend. So, naturally, students often want to know the magic number: What grade point average (GPA) qualifies you for a full ride scholarship to college?

What GPA Do You Need to Get a Full Scholarship?

If we could provide that answer, we would. But, unfortunately, it’s a little more complicated than that. There’s more to scholarships than GPA and, even those based on GPA aren’t all the same. There isn’t a magic number, but the better your grades are, the more likely you are to meet eligibility criteria. It’s common for scholarship providers to set up grade point average eligibility criteria to narrow the pool of scholarship applicants. There will be a minimum GPA level specified in the scholarship eligibility criteria if that is a factor in the provider’s qualification process.

GPA Isn’t Everything, But It Helps

It’s important to note that you don’t need a 4.0 GPA (grade point average) to get scholarships (though it would certainly be beneficial)! Scholarships are awarded to all types of students for all sorts of reasons. It’s up to a scholarship provider what the qualification criteria is for each scholarship. One of the most common grade point average requirements is a 3.0 average. (Again, every scholarship provider is different and it’s up to them to set their eligibility criteria, not us.) While some scholarships are based on a student’s GPA, most scholarship aren’t only about a student’s GPA. Rather, providers use grade point averages as a piece of scholarship qualification criteria (For example, the details may note, “Students must have a 3.0 GPA or above to apply.”)

Types of Scholarships

There are different types of scholarships, which explains why some scholarships may be awarded to a student based on their grades and another may be awarded to a student for an achievement or an entirely different reason all together. Three main types of scholarships include, but are not limited to: Academic or Merit-based scholarships: Merit-based scholarships are awarded to students based on their student resume, which can include grade point average, extracurricular activity participation, clubs, awards, etc. Need-based scholarships: Need-based scholarships are awarded based on a student’s financial needs. Race, Ethnicity or Gender scholarships: Race, ethnicity or gender are also common attributes scholarships are awarded for. While these are some common types of scholarships, it’s important to note that scholarships are not only limited to these examples. Scholarships can, and are, awarded for just about anything you can imagine! Check out Fastweb’s Scholarship Directory to learn about more types of scholarships available on Fastweb.

5 Steps to Help You Get on the Path to a Full-Ride Scholarship

1. Begin your college search early in your high school career.
2. Research and decide which colleges you’d like to apply to.
3. Boost your chances – Cast a wide net by applying to five or more colleges.
4. Keep your grades up - A lot of scholarships require a certain grade point average (GPA) to qualify.
5. Build a robust student resume - Get involved in student volunteer and extracurricular activities throughout your high school career.

Common Places to Find Full-Ride Scholarships

• Colleges & Universities
• In-State Programs
• Field of Study/Major-based Programs
• Large Scholarship Programs
• Military Branches
Learn more about places you can find full-ride scholarships here. Have more scholarship questions? Check out these frequently asked scholarship questions:
How Can I Qualify for a Scholarship?
Can You Use Scholarship Money for Anything?
What are the Requirements for a Scholarship?
Can I Get a Scholarship for Being Hispanic?

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