Art by Peau Porotesano
College is an experience of a lifetime. Students from across the country and the world are thrown together to live in proximity while pursuing higher academics. Because of this closeness of peers, it is clear that a whole college education is not solely academic, but instead is academic in tandem with social and extracurricular educations. It is important, therefore, to foster both of these aspects of a college education rather than neglect one and forsake the other. While having a high GPA is important, at a certain point, the pursuit of a high GPA should not get in the way of your extracurriculars.
“Pepperdine is a Christian university where students grow in both knowledge and character. Seaver College provides the University’s liberal arts education, along with rich opportunities for spiritual exploration within a diverse community,” according to Seaver College’s homepage. This statement regarding the Seaver experience seems to imply that a Pepperdine degree is more than academic, but a high GPA seems to be paramount in finding work after college.
“Some highly competitive roles and very desirable employers use GPA standards as a way to cut down the list of potential employees to consider,”according to Robin Reshwan in her article “Does GPA Matter when applying for a job?” published by U.S. News on April 26, 2016. “Since the percentage of graduates who complete school with a 3.5 (for example) or higher is quite small, requiring a 3.5 or higher is an effective way to tighten the applicant pool immediately. While there are a few employers or select employment programs that target GPAs of 3.5, most companies that have a GPA requirement target 3.0 or 3.3 and higher. These requirements still limit the applicant pool, but clearly are more inclusive.”
While GPA does matter, most employers are looking for applicants with a 3.0, and only the very prestigious jobs search for above a 3.5.
This sentiment is corroborated in an interview with Dan Black, the director of recruiting for the Americas at professional services giant, Ernst & Young.
“Employers want to see a GPA of 3 or higher, and many put the floor at 3.5. But… there is no hard cut-off. Even a student with a 2.1 could get a job at Ernst & Young if he had a good reason for his lagging grades, like being called up for military service in the middle of a semester. The applicant with the higher GPA doesn’t always get the job either. For instance a student with a 3.2 could beat out an applicant with a 3.9 if the student with the lower grades were working 30 hours a week to put himself through school and at the same time serving as class treasurer,” according to Susan Adams in her article “Do employers really care about your college grades?” published to Forbes.com Dec 6, 2013.
Grades are important, but they are not everything. Employers want to know that you did well academically, but they by no means are looking for applicants with 4.0s. What this means is that you can turn back the dial on academic stress and focus a bit more on social and spiritual growth. So go ahead, call friends up for brunch and still get hired.
Follow Abigail on Twitter: @profvanhorn