What does my GPA mean?
Most schools will have a minimum GPA (Grade Point Average) requirement. This will vary by the prestige of the college or program you are applying to. Your high school transcript may have both a weighted and unweighted GPA.
Which GPA do I use when I apply?
When applying to college, many schools across the country are shifting to self-reporting grades and GPA instead of sending your transcript in. When deciding which GPA to put in, some school applications will explicitly tell you which to enter in. If not, go with the higher of the two.
What is the difference between weighted and unweighted GPA?
A weighted GPA will be weighted on a 5.0 or 6.0 scale depending on the classes that are offered to you. This is usually the higher out of the two GPAs on your transcript. This means if you take classes like advanced classes like AP and IB those will factor into your weighted GPA.
An unweighted GPA will be weighted on a 4.0 scale. This is the common scale for most schools. If you take advanced courses like AP or IB these will be factored into your GPA but weighted the same as a standard class.
What do I do if I have a low GPA?
My philosophy is to apply anyway! Many schools across the country are now changing their admissions processes for more of a holistic view. Meaning they look at more than your GPA and SAT/ACT Scores. They look at you as an individual rather than another number.
The only way you will have a 100% chance of being denied is if you don't apply!
If you still are hesitant, you always have the option of going to community college for two years, then transferring to a 4-year university afterward. Many schools across the country have partnerships and pipeline programs for students to transfer in and be automatically accepted into certain colleges. If this interests you, contact the college you are interested in and ask about how their transfer process works.