Grade Point Average (GPA)

"Grade Point Average (GPA)" submitted by SchoolGrantsfor Editorial Team and last updated on Thursday 21st July 2011

Grades are standardized measurements of varying levels of comprehension within a subject area. Grades can be assigned in letters (for example, A, B, C, D, or F), as a range (for example 1.0 - 4.0), as descriptors (excellent, great, satisfactory, needs improvement), in percentages, or, as is common in some post-secondary institutions in some countries, as a Grade Point Average (GPA). The GPA can be used by potential employers or further post-secondary institutions to assess and compare applicants. A Cumulative Grade Point Average is a calculation of the average of all your grades for all semesters and courses completed up to a given academic term, whereas the GPA may only refer to one term.

Grade point average, or GPA, is the means by which total performance in school, usually from middle school through college, is calculated. The evaluation of performance by number has been a part of education for over 200 years, and was first championed by tutor William Farrish at Cambridge University in the late 18th century. However, the way in which GPA is calculated, and the specific ins and outs of assessing performance may be unique to a single school, or a country.

For Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG):
The ACG is for undergraduate students who are enrolled in the first or second a year of an eligible program in any field, who have completed a rigorous secondary school program of study, and who also have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA at the end of the first year.

For National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (National SMART Grant):
For Pell-eligible students enrolled at least half-time in third or fourth year (or fifth year of a five-year program) majoring in certain subject areas with at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA

For National SMART Grant:
The National SMART Grant is for undergraduate students who are enrolled in the third or fourth year of an eligible program (or fifth year of a five-year program) and pursuing an eligible major with at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA in physical, life, or computer sciences, mathematics, technology, engineering or a critical foreign language, or a non-major in a single liberal arts program; and have at least a 3.0 GPA as of the end of the second award year and continue to maintain a 3.0 GPA that must be checked prior to the beginning of each payment period (e.g., semester). A student does not have to complete a rigorous secondary school program of study to be eligible for this grant that must be checked prior to the beginning of each payment period (e.g., semester). For a list of National SMART Grant-eligible majors, visit: http://ifap.ed.gov/dpcletters/GEN0909.html

GPA Calculation:

Your grade point average (GPA) is calculated by dividing the total amount of grade points earned by the total amount of credit hours attempted. Your grade point average may range from 0.0 to a 4.0.

For example:
A=4 grade points
B=3 grade points
C=2 grade points
D=1 grade point
WF/F=0 grade points

P/NP (Pass/No Pass) courses are not factored in the student's GPA
I (Incompletes) and W (Withdrawals) do not receive grade points and do not have an effect on the GPA.

Example Student Transcript
Course Credit Hours Grade Grade Points
BiologyBiology Lab
English 101
Mathematics
31
3
3
AB
C
F
123
6
0
10 Total Credit Hours Attempted 21 Total Grade Points

To get the example student's GPA, the total grade points are divided by the total credit hours attempted.

Total Grade Points

Total Credit Hours Attempted

                                               divided by

21

10

= 2.10

You can total your current semester courses and credits with our online GPA Calculator (above). To calculate your cumulative G.P.A., total the credit hours and then the grade points from all semesters. Divide the total grade points by the total credit hours.