The advice I have for you should go without saying. Your parents have said it, your teachers have said it, and hopefully the third time will be the charm.

No matter where you are in your academic journey, you must maintain a competitive GPA. Your future depends on it.

Some argue that grades don’t necessarily measure a student’s potential or performance. No matter which side of the debate you fall on, there is no doubt that good grades will be essential as you pursue graduate programs, jobs, and scholarships.  As a high school counselor, this is something I teach my incoming and outgoing students each year.

Academic counselors are a resource for students. We evaluate your workload and performance and advise you on the best method in which to achieve your dreams.

At the beginning of each school year, counselors make it a point to remind students of the importance of a good GPA. We encourage them to maintain good grades and to pursue academic support from teachers, friends, tutors, and the many resources available to them.

We explain the significance of a good GPA on future opportunities, while demonstrating the potentially devastating effect of even one bad grade. Yet, some students still fail to listen and inevitably suffer the consequences of bad grades.

The lessons we instill in high school students are even more applicable to college students. As a college student, you are entering the final leg of the academic race. You’re on your own at college with minimal supervision and plenty of distractions, so staying focused and disciplined is crucial.

The benefits of maintaining a good GPA:

1. Future Personal and Career Opportunities – An integral part of the college experience is the abundance of social opportunities, such as clubs and organizations, including fraternities and sororities. Many students attend college with the intention of joining a fraternity or sorority, making admittance extremely competitive. Grades affect acceptance into many organizations and are a prerequisite in admittance to graduate school or landing that first job.

2. Scholarships – Some students receive scholarships immediately upon entering college, and often times are required to maintain a certain GPA. Additionally, there will be more scholarship opportunities as college progresses, and these typically go to students with the best grades. College is very expensive, so any amount of financial assistance is valued. Without good grades, you will not be the one receiving that assistance.

3. Knowledge – When you receive good grades, it usually means you are retaining the information you spent all that time studying, and that’s a good thing! Knowledge really is power, and the more you know, the more you can achieve.

Our country is full of young, bright, and creative people and we need you to be our future. However, I would be remiss if I led you to believe that the world you are entering is not a competitive one.

You’ve worked hard to make it this far and should be proud of yourself. The road ahead may seem daunting, but if you keep your grades up, there is no doubt you will succeed. College will be one of the most exciting and rewarding times of your life. I encourage each of you to have a good time, meet new people, and experience life!

Give H.O.P.E. Live H.O.P.E.

Elysse Gazza
Guest Blogger

About the Author

Elysse Gazza is a high school counselor in Northern Virginia. Originally from Central Pennsylvania, she has a Psychology degree from Penn State University; and recently obtained a master’s degree in Counseling from Marymount University. When Elysse is not helping today’s youth, she can be found outdoors, traveling, or playing with her kittens. She resides in Arlington, VA with her fiancé.

The HOPE Scholarship Blog is going DAILY for a special back-2-school (B2S) blog series. Whether you’re an incoming freshman or a super senior you will find our specially selected posts beneficial to navigating college life. Check back with us daily to get the new tips.