Do You Have to Be Smart to Be in College?

If you ask the average high school student what they think is the biggest factor in college success, you might get a variety of answers: intelligence, hard work, good study skills. Those are all important aspects of college, but if you want to succeed, you need more than just those things.

Grades are a big deal, and they play a major role in admissions decisions at many colleges. In addition to grades, colleges also look at extracurricular activities, essays, and recommendations.

GPA requirements: Unless you are applying to an extremely competitive, highly selective college (less than 60% acceptance rate), your GPA should be at least a 2.0 or higher. Some schools, especially at four-year universities, may require even higher numbers.

SAT/ACT scores: These tests are required at most selective colleges, and can significantly increase your chances of getting in. However, some schools are test optional (meaning they do not require standardized tests as part of the application process).

A good college GPA is essential for being accepted to most four-year colleges. It can also help you qualify for merit scholarships and other forms of financial aid.

You should aim for an upward trend in your grades: Having a high grade point average that gradually increases over time is often a sign of a student who will be able to overcome the challenges of college life. It also shows that you’re willing to put in the necessary work to achieve your academic goals, and this will make an impression on a college admissions officer.

If you have trouble achieving the grades that you need, consider taking a few extra classes at a community college or online. This can help you increase your GPA and make up for any deficiencies in your high school course load.

Keep in mind that not all colleges accept community college credits. For example, some colleges prefer a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university, and others require the completion of a specific number of college credits before they will admit you.

Attendance: Most colleges have a set standard as to how many days you need to be in class to receive credit for a particular course. You should aim to get a passing grade in every class that you take, and you should always be prepared to attend class when necessary.

Staying on top of your homework is another key factor in college success. It is best to start studying and doing your assignments well in advance of the due date. This will allow you to avoid the trap of “getting behind.”

Learn how to manage your time effectively: In college, it is common for students to have multiple jobs, a family, social life, and other responsibilities. A good time management plan can ensure that you have enough free time to do all of these things.

Don’t over-study: While it is important to be well-versed in the subject matter that you will be learning in class, it is not a good idea to study all day long. You should take breaks from time to time and allow your brain to rest.