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  1. #1
    The Rock Cycle eofelis's Avatar
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    Does GPA matter?

    I'm a non-trad college student, working on a geology degree. I'm a senior, but will have another year of being a senior before I graduate (May 08 hopefully).

    I started college in my mid-30s, gung ho. Was gonna get all the As, probably because I didn't way back in high school. I did ok with this for a couple of years, loved that 4.0, until that awful B in Trig class. I was steamed about that for a year or so, but have since gotten over it. That was joined by 2 more Bs in my Gen Chem I & II classes. Glad I got all that chemistry stuff out of the way....

    I guess I'm less obsessive about getting all As. On one hand, y'know, who cares what grades I get as long as I pass the class. On the other hand, if I get less than an A, maybe I'm just a slacker. Being of an advanced age I know that school work has to come before fun (mostly).

    I guess I'm mostly concerned about GPA for getting scholarships (pays my tuition) and possibly grad school. But I suppose I don't need a 4.0 to get into grad school.

    Sometimes I envy my classmates who have a mixed bag of grades and seem perfectly happy about it.
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  2. #2
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    Yes and no.

    I'm a mid-30's non-trad student also. I'm finishing my undergrad this spring and planning for graduate school in the fall. Most graduate schools publish a profile of the last class they admitted, detailing average GPA and GMAT/GRE/LSAT scores of people they accepted. Figure out what schools you want to go to and look at those profiles. Don't fall below a 3.5 if you want to look like you have your act together. Don't worry about B's in gen-ed classes or classes outside your major. Admission interviews, test scores, resume/work experience and application essays seem to carry more weight than GPA, from what I can tell. However, some schools do have a minimum GPA requirement.

    Also, the more hours you complete, the less a few B's and C's will affect your GPA. I've got 130+ credit hours (I changed majors), and my GPA is around 3.7. This is with about 4 B's, one C+, one A-, and the rest were A's. 3.7 is pretty respectable. I'm pretty sure I'll be adding a C in calculus this semester.

    Don't sweat it, and don't kill yourself studying.

    BTW, this is my second year as a senior. I've been in school so long now, that I'm almost afraid to graduate.

    I really should be writing a paper right now.
    Last edited by screamtone; 09-20-06 at 07:30 PM.

  3. #3
    On my TARDIScycle! KingTermite's Avatar
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    I think if you are fresh out of school with nothing on your resume in the particular field, then it matters a little (not much [unless its really low], but a little). Once you have some experience, nobody asks for it or looks at it.
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  4. #4
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eofelis
    I'm a non-trad college student, working on a geology degree. I'm a senior, but will have another year of being a senior before I graduate (May 08 hopefully).

    I started college in my mid-30s, gung ho. Was gonna get all the As, probably because I didn't way back in high school. I did ok with this for a couple of years, loved that 4.0, until that awful B in Trig class. I was steamed about that for a year or so, but have since gotten over it. That was joined by 2 more Bs in my Gen Chem I & II classes. Glad I got all that chemistry stuff out of the way....

    I guess I'm less obsessive about getting all As. On one hand, y'know, who cares what grades I get as long as I pass the class. On the other hand, if I get less than an A, maybe I'm just a slacker. Being of an advanced age I know that school work has to come before fun (mostly).

    I guess I'm mostly concerned about GPA for getting scholarships (pays my tuition) and possibly grad school. But I suppose I don't need a 4.0 to get into grad school.

    Sometimes I envy my classmates who have a mixed bag of grades and seem perfectly happy about it.
    As a mid 40's nontrad student: My GPA matters a lot! I'm trying to get into a very competitive program (PhD Psych/Clinical) from scratch. I'm currently headed toward an RN and then I'm switching majors to psychology. The Nursing is a means to that end and still be able to eat if ya know what I mean! The better the GPA the better the chances. I'm not 4.0, but I'm not far off either at 3.87.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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  5. #5
    Senior Member granularus's Avatar
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    For perspective, I'm a college professor who has been an administrator for about 15 years. In this capacity I have been the major advisor for many students. GPA matters - but provided the GPA is decent, other things can matter more. In the sciences it's basically a given that students can do the course work if they go to grad school. The great unknown is if they are capable of independent thought, i.e. can they do research. Being a successful undergraduate researcher (success being defined as presentations at national meetings, co-authorship, and sometimes lead authorship of refereed publications) can be as, or more important. I've had students accepted into good programs with GPAs on the wrong side of 3.0 based on their research successes. Research success and a 3.6+ can often get you into really good programs. Successful student research can also help those going on the job market with a BS - essentially you've proved you can do something other than do well in classes. There are other routes, but in the sciences (and from what I've observed in the social sciences and business as well) undergraduate research can make a big difference.

  6. #6
    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    In most fields, practical experience in the field wins out over GPA. Once you enter the workforce after your education, nobody really cares what your GPA was. it might be helpful for scholarships, etc while you're IN school.... but I would be more concerned with getting some practical experience via internships, research, part time jobs, summer jobs, etc. that's what will get you a job more than anything else.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by granularus
    For perspective, I'm a college professor who has been an administrator for about 15 years. In this capacity I have been the major advisor for many students. GPA matters - but provided the GPA is decent, other things can matter more. In the sciences it's basically a given that students can do the course work if they go to grad school. The great unknown is if they are capable of independent thought, i.e. can they do research. Being a successful undergraduate researcher (success being defined as presentations at national meetings, co-authorship, and sometimes lead authorship of refereed publications) can be as, or more important. I've had students accepted into good programs with GPAs on the wrong side of 3.0 based on their research successes. Research success and a 3.6+ can often get you into really good programs. Successful student research can also help those going on the job market with a BS - essentially you've proved you can do something other than do well in classes. There are other routes, but in the sciences (and from what I've observed in the social sciences and business as well) undergraduate research can make a big difference.
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  8. #8
    The Rock Cycle eofelis's Avatar
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    My GPA is a 3.89 (or something like that). I have about 50 credits left.

    I do have a lot of field and research experience in geology. I have work as a paid or unpaid assistant on several field research projects since I started school. My advisor got a USGS grant for a project he set up for me, mapping some local areas that had not been looked at in detail before. I did an oral presentation on this project at a GSA Section meeting last spring. I was very nervous and forgot to say some things, but I got a lot of compliments on it. I also met some profs from other colleges there.

    I'm not even sure if I want to go to grad school. I'll be 40 when I graduate and I might want to do something else. I like doing the research, but I may be sick of school by the time I get done here. None-the-less, I am taking the extra class I need just in case I go to grad school: second semesters of chemistry, calculus, physics. So far these have not been easy classes for me and I'm not expecting to ace them.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eofelis
    My GPA is a 3.89 (or something like that). I have about 50 credits left.

    I do have a lot of field and research experience in geology. I have work as a paid or unpaid assistant on several field research projects since I started school. My advisor got a USGS grant for a project he set up for me, mapping some local areas that had not been looked at in detail before. I did an oral presentation on this project at a GSA Section meeting last spring. I was very nervous and forgot to say some things, but I got a lot of compliments on it. I also met some profs from other colleges there.

    I'm not even sure if I want to go to grad school. I'll be 40 when I graduate and I might want to do something else. I like doing the research, but I may be sick of school by the time I get done here. None-the-less, I am taking the extra class I need just in case I go to grad school: second semesters of chemistry, calculus, physics. So far these have not been easy classes for me and I'm not expecting to ace them.
    Sounds Great, like you already have a head start...! My Dad was a geologist for thirty years, working on mostly mineral exploration and economic geology... my grandpa, also a geologist, was one of the first to extensively map and write about the gold deposits in the carolinas, (I think)...
    "Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

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  10. #10
    pluralis majestatis redfooj's Avatar
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    in short: NO.

    although i, too, wish i had *better* grades for scholarships (cant turn down free money) and easier entry to top-notch graduate programs.

    btw, my former geology TA got into a top program (guess which) with a 2.6ish? anything can happen


    btw, 3.89?? what have you got to worry about!!!?!?

  11. #11
    Code Warrior mwrobe1's Avatar
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    Well...I'll tell you...for IT programming job...no, don't matter a damn bit. I kick myself sometimes for even going to college. Of course, that is not the case for everyone/every field of study either. Experience matters a hell of a lot more in my field. I mean, you can't teach someone to use Visual Studio dotnet (VB or C#) and create various workable and bug free applications/websites in 9 credit hours of college instruction; hell you're not even considered an "expert" unless you've been coding "in something" for 5 years. In retropsect...I should have taken the money I earned to send myself to college and paid for a few Microsoft certifications right out of high school...they mean alot more on the resume anyway than a BS in Information & Decison Sciences.

    Sigh...all that time I wasted trying to get good grades...I could've been out raising hell!
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  12. #12
    That darn Yankee TexasGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mwrobe1
    Well...I'll tell you...for IT programming job...no, don't matter a damn bit. I kick myself sometimes for even going to college. Of course, that is not the case for everyone/every field of study either. Experience matters a hell of a lot more in my field. I mean, you can't teach someone to use Visual Studio dotnet (VB or C#) and create various workable and bug free applications/websites in 9 credit hours of college instruction; hell you're not even considered an "expert" unless you've been coding "in something" for 5 years. In retropsect...I should have taken the money I earned to send myself to college and paid for a few Microsoft certifications right out of high school...they mean alot more on the resume anyway than a BS in Information & Decison Sciences.

    Sigh...all that time I wasted trying to get good grades...I could've been out raising hell!
    ditto. I think only one person gave me a dirty look when they saw that I didn't have a GED or equivalent. But It hasn't stopped me from getting jobs with pretty influential companies.
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    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    In my field (electronics), the degree itself and where it's from matters more than GPA....of course that's if you have work experience.

    I have experience well beyond my years, thanks to working for a start-up that expected a person with a technician's level of knowledge to become an engineer at the drop of a hat. Just have a good thirst for knowledge, and never let that thirst die out....keep learning, keep thinking, and keep questioning what you have learned...once in a long while, something learned is proven to be less than concrete.
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    The Dude Skaog's Avatar
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    depends. For Grad school and Scholarships it mattters a lot.
    For jobs it depends what the job is and if you are applying based on your education or experience or a mix.

    If all you have to get you a job is your education you better have done well in college. But if you have experience then most employers could care less what your grades were in school.
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    Senior Member Mr. Gear Jammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eofelis
    I'm a non-trad college student, working on a geology degree. I'm a senior, but will have another year of being a senior before I graduate (May 08 hopefully).

    I started college in my mid-30s, gung ho. Was gonna get all the As, probably because I didn't way back in high school. I did ok with this for a couple of years, loved that 4.0, until that awful B in Trig class. I was steamed about that for a year or so, but have since gotten over it. That was joined by 2 more Bs in my Gen Chem I & II classes. Glad I got all that chemistry stuff out of the way....

    I guess I'm less obsessive about getting all As. On one hand, y'know, who cares what grades I get as long as I pass the class. On the other hand, if I get less than an A, maybe I'm just a slacker. Being of an advanced age I know that school work has to come before fun (mostly).

    I guess I'm mostly concerned about GPA for getting scholarships (pays my tuition) and possibly grad school. But I suppose I don't need a 4.0 to get into grad school.

    Sometimes I envy my classmates who have a mixed bag of grades and seem perfectly happy about it.
    Depends on your career path.

  16. #16
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    It was an advantage to me when I applied to graduate school, and it automatically put me up two pay grades when I went to work for the federal government (I think the cut off was 3.75 for the higher grade).
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  17. #17
    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ efrobert's Avatar
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    Not only does a GPA not matter, a College degree doesn't matter. College was a convenient waste of time, and I've never used my degree.

  18. #18
    pluralis majestatis redfooj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by efrobert
    Not only does a GPA not matter, a College degree doesn't matter. College was a convenient waste of time, and I've never used my degree.
    worst generalization ever.

  19. #19
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by efrobert
    Not only does a GPA not matter, a College degree doesn't matter. College was a convenient waste of time, and I've never used my degree.
    Should have studied something besides Postmodern Existencialism Philosophy?
    (Sorry, couldn't resist!)
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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