There are many factors that influence the decisions of college admissions officers. One of the biggest mistakes prospective students make is that they put too much emphasis in one or two areas of the application, but leave the rest in mediocre condition.

One of the areas of the application that tends to get the most attention is GPA. This is, in part, because it is easily quantifiable. You can generally go to any college’s website or to, and look up GPA statistics for incoming students. These numbers give students an actionable goal.

For example, you might really want to get into NYU. The statistics on CollegeBoard say that 44% of the students who get in have a 3.75 or higher, and 45% of students who get in have between a 3.25 and 3.74. What this says about this school is that they tend to be more lenient about GPA. A school that places more emphasis on GPA might have 75% of their incoming class with a 3.75 or higher. Whatever the stats are for the school or schools you plan to apply to, you will know how to proceed with your coursework in high school to achieve this goal.

But GPA isn’t the only section of your application. In fact, academic achievement is not the only factor that weighs into the admission decision. Admissions officers also look at your essay, your recommendation letters, your extracurriculars, your interview, etc. Have you ever wondered why some people with perfect SAT scores and GPA get rejected from certain schools, while others with imperfect scores and GPA get accepted? It’s because there is more to your application than just numbers.

Colleges, especially top colleges, are looking to breed successful people. Successful people are often quite book smart, but they also possess many other qualities. They are passionate people, they are affable people, they are interesting people. That’s why there are sections of the application apart from just ones that measure intellect.

So, to answer the question:

How important is GPA on your college application?

It is very important, of course. But is it more important than the other sections?

My advice, as a college admissions expert, is to pay more attention to those other sections that many people let fall by the wayside. That’s where BeatAdmissions can help! The purpose of the BeatAdmissions Dream School Academy is to teach you exactly what top schools are looking for in an applicant so you can easily optimize your application.

Go to to learn more about what we do to get you into your Dream School!