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Articles / Applying to College / GPA Cutoffs

GPA Cutoffs

Sally Rubenstone
Written by Sally Rubenstone | June 26, 2002

Question: I applied to a university and my GPA was a 2.242 and I needed a 2.5. My application was denied. How do I appeal that decision?


Larger universities get so many applications that they apply more rigidly quantitative selection criteria than smaller schools that look at personal qualities. Your GPA was probably the major factor for your denial.


To appeal, your should write a letter or e-mail to the dean of admissions and offer some supporting information that shows, if possible, that your academic performance was on the rise and continued to rise after you submitted your application. Perhaps your guidance counselor would be willing to write also, or even better, make a phone call on your behalf.

However, be prepared for the likelihood that your appeal will also be denied. This is due to the high number of qualified applicants universities receive. The reason for the 2.5 GPA requirement is that the university wants to be sure that you have the academic strength and/or motivation to succeed in college.

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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