2023 Best Colleges that Accept a 2.5 GPA

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There are many colleges that accept 2.5 GPA. If you have a grade point average that is lower than the national average, this does not mean that your dreams of going to college have to end.

Best Colleges that Accept a 2.5 GPA

Colleges and universities are always searching for future students with the potential to do great things—something that is not measured solely by GPA. There are many other factors that can contribute to the strength of your college applications.

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If you are a dedicated learner with a desire to attend a 4 year college, there are a number of colleges with a 2.5 GPA requirement.

Colleges That Accept 2.5 GPA

Colleges That Accept 2.5 GPA

If you have an overall 2.5 grade point average (GPA), you still have the opportunity to attend college. Although your school options may be different from a student with a higher GPA, there are plenty of choices available for you to pursue.

So, what does earning a 2.5 GPA actually mean? It means that you have earned low Bs and high Cs throughout your high school career. This puts you slightly under the 3.0 national average. When colleges and universities judge prospective students, they do so on a variety of different criteria—including, but not limited to, GPA.

In addition to considering your GPA, many schools will look at your:

  • Personal essay
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Standardized test scores

These items can provide a more complete picture of who you are.

There are also alternative routes to a 4 year degree. For example, you might consider attending a junior college before you apply to an undergraduate program.

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Many students find that junior college provides the opportunity to achieve the outstanding grades that they had difficulty attaining in high school. A junior or community college can also help you explore your interests and decide on a major before you get to a 4 year university.

If you have your heart set on attending a 4 year college right out of high school, you can also try checking the admissions policies of different schools. Colleges and universities vary in their admissions criteria, and some may be more lenient than others when it comes to GPA.

Some schools also offer flexible admission. This means that they might accept you based on other pieces of your application, even if you do not meet their outlined admissions criteria regarding minimum GPA.

Similarly, schools may also offer conditional acceptance. These schools may allow you to enter as long as you complete and submit the items they ask for, such as proof of higher grades during your senior year or early college semesters.

Deciding on the best option for you will depend on your high school transcripts and your college aspirations.

What Is a 2.5 GPA in College?

2.5 GPA in College

Traditionally, your grade point average is determined by the numerical score associated with your letter grades. An A to A+ ranges from 93% to 100%, with a B to B+ ranging from 83% to 89%, and so on. The average of all your grades in each class will be your GPA.

A 2.5 GPA is typically an average of high Cs and low Bs, between 77% and 82%.

GPA calculation is not always that straightforward, though. Some schools award higher points for pluses or minuses, while others do not. An unweighted GPA scores grades on a 4.0 scale, while a weighted GPA scores on a 5.0 scale, taking the difficulty level of a class into account.

For instance, some schools grant one letter grade higher to grades earned in an Advanced Placement course. A B earned in an AP Biology class may be worth a weighted GPA of 4.0 with an unweighted GPA of 3.0. Colleges take all of this into account when assessing transcripts during the admissions process.

Is a 2.5 GPA Good in College?

GPA range in College

Whether a 2.5 GPA is considered good depends on the colleges in question. Every school will have a different GPA range that they find acceptable.

The typical GPA range for students headed to college straight after high school is 3.0 to 3.15. There are a number of colleges for C students or above, though, that have open admissions and consider candidates with a variety of academic backgrounds.

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Looking into the admissions process for your schools of interest can provide helpful information regarding your eligibility. If you are still unsure, you can apply anyway. If you have a strong application overall, you may still be considered.

Can You Raise Your GPA?

Raise Your college GPA

Depending on your high school grade level, it could be possible to raise your GPA. It is important to note that the closer you get to graduation, the more difficult it is to raise your overall grade point average.

  • Freshman. Early on in your high school career, there is plenty of time to improve your grades. You can identify the subjects or assignments that are a struggle for you and reach out for help. Many schools have guidance counselors or teachers who would be more than happy to assist you.
  • Sophomore. Your sophomore year marks the halfway point on the road to your college applications. You still have time to improve your grades, but it could be more difficult as you near the end of your sophomore year.
  • Junior. This is the year during which most college-related activities happen. Students take standardized tests and gather the required materials to begin applying to colleges. It is more difficult to raise your grades at this stage in high school, so it might be helpful to begin looking into alternative options rather than setting your mind on highly selective colleges.
  • Senior. During your final year of high school, it is not likely for a 2.5 or lower GPA to be bumped up. You can research schools that accept students with a variety of GPAs, or you might look into attending junior college before applying to a 4 year university.

No matter your final high school GPA, there are always options for those who are committed to earning their bachelor’s degree.

Other College Admissions Considerations

College Admissions process

While most schools do factor in your overall grade point average during the admissions process, 2.5 GPA colleges also consider a number of other items.

  • Statement of purpose. Your personal essay is your time to shine. This is your opportunity to show the admissions team who you are outside of transcripts and academic records. You may want to focus your time and effort on this piece of your application, especially if you have a lower-than-average GPA.
  • Letters of recommendation. A stellar letter of recommendation can help schools understand you from an outside perspective. If a mentor or teacher in your life has wonderful things to share about you, this can speak volumes. Remember, the more personal, the better. It’s beneficial to reach out to adults who can speak in detail about your strengths.
  • Extracurricular and leadership activities. How you choose to spend your extra time can say a lot about your priorities and values. Colleges and universities want to know that you are dedicated to bettering yourself and your community. Participating in activities outside of school can demonstrate that you are a hard worker and a compassionate human, qualities that schools look for in applicants.
  • SAT or ACT scores. If you excel on standardized tests, this can be another area of consideration. High SAT or ACT scores are very appealing to many colleges, but don’t be discouraged if you don’t have great scores to submit. There are plenty of colleges, such as test-blind or test-optional schools, that don’t require standardized test submissions.

It is helpful to remember that colleges and universities want students who are dedicated learners, passionate leaders, and empathetic community members. While it can help to have a high GPA, this is not the only piece of your application that schools will take into consideration.

Can You Get into College with a 2.5 GPA?

university Lowest GPA

Yes, you can still get into college with a 2.5 GPA, although your path to a 4 year degree may look different than that of a student with higher grades.

While there are selective private schools that require a higher GPA to be considered, you can always research universities that accept 2.5 GPA or lower. If you would like the chance to earn a higher grade point average before applying to schools, you can also attend a junior college before heading to a 4 year university.

What Is the Lowest GPA a University Will Accept?

The lowest GPA that a university will accept varies between schools. To provide some context, a low GPA is considered anything below the average GPA of 3.0.

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Selective colleges often require a minimum of a 3.0 GPA, while highly selective schools look for GPAs of 3.5 or higher. There are an increasing number of colleges with low GPA score requirements. These schools will take your other achievements and abilities into greater consideration.

What Colleges Accept a 2.5 GPA?

college admissions gpa

While grade point average is still one of the main factors taken into consideration by admissions teams, there are many schools that accept 2.5 GPA.

You can research schools that offer flexible admissions or conditional acceptance. These schools accept students based on their achievements outside of their grades or on the promise that they will continue to show progress leading up to the start of their college career.

Additionally, you can attend a junior college prior to earning your 4 year degree. This can give you the opportunity to earn higher grades before applying, which can expand your options. Most community colleges, as well as some universities, have open admissions.

How Much Does GPA Matter for College?

gpa Colleges and universities

Every college is different, and the emphasis placed on your high school transcript will also differ between institutions.

Colleges and universities are hoping to secure candidates who will experience success at their schools and contribute to the community in positive ways. While your GPA does shine a light on your high school academic performance, it is not the only important information about you.

In addition to your GPA, schools will pay close attention to the other parts of your application, such as your letters of recommendation. It is helpful to keep in mind, though, that selective schools will still require higher than average GPAs.

Can You Get a Scholarship with a 2.5 GPA?

college Scholarships with gpa

For many students, scholarships can be a deciding factor in attending a university.

There are many different scholarships available, including ones that are not based on high grades. If you have great letters of recommendation or an excellent essay outlining why you are qualified for this financial aid opportunity, you can still have a chance to land a scholarship.

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It is beneficial to pay close attention to the requirements listed before applying for a specific scholarship. If you do not meet the GPA requirement for a specific scholarship, it may be more beneficial to search for alternative options rather than take the time to apply.

Best Colleges that Accept 2.5 GPA as Admission Requirements

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format. In addition, the universities accept 2.5 GPAs as part of their admissions requirements.

California State University – San Bernardino

California State University San Bernardino

California residents applying to California State University—San Bernardino are required to have a 2.5 GPA in the classes the university has determined as key preparatory coursework. Nonresident applicants must have a 3.0 GPA. Students who fall below the GPA thresholds but above 2.0 may still be considered for admission.

California State University – San Bernardino is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Central State University

Central State University

Central State University requires applicants to hold a minimum 2.2 high school GPA to be considered for admission. Students hoping to be considered for university scholarships must have at least a 2.7 GPA. Some degree programs may have additional SAT or ACT score minimums.

Central State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

East Coast Polytechnic Institute University

East Coast Polytechnic Institute University

Virginia Community College graduates are offered guaranteed admission to East Coast Polytechnic Institute as long as they meet certain criteria. They must have a 2.5 GPA and meet all other admission requirements. ECPI does allow transfer credits from qualifying coursework. No more than 75 credits may be transferred.

East Coast Polytechnic Institute is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Elizabeth City State University

Elizabeth City State University

Applicants to Elizabeth City State University must meet minimum course requirements for admission and have a GPA of 2.5 in those courses. Requirements are 4 units each of English and mathematics, 3 units of science, and 2 units each of social studies and a foreign language.

In addition to the GPA requirement, applicants must also have a score of 19 on the ACT or 1010 on the SAT.

Elizabeth City State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Fayetteville State University

Fayetteville State University

Fayetteville State University expects all applicants to complete the high school preparatory coursework stated on their admissions website and hold a GPA of 2.5 or higher. Applicants must also submit official transcripts and a personal statement.

Fayetteville State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Georgia Southern University

Georgia Southern University

Georgia Southern University gives preference to applicants who have at least a 2.5 GPA in their core preparatory classes, but all applicants are considered regardless of GPA.

Applicants are expected to have minimum scores of 17 on both the Mathematics and English portions of the ACT or minimum scores of 480 in Reading and 440 in Mathematics on the SAT.

Georgia Southern University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Grace Christian University

Grace Christian University

Applicants seeking admission into Grace Christian University’s associate or bachelor’s degree programs must have a high school diploma or GED certificate. Students seeking admission to the graduate programs must have a bachelor’s degree with at least a 2.5 GPA.

Grace Christian University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Gwynedd Mercy University

Gwynedd Mercy University

Undergraduate applicants to Gwynedd Mercy University are expected to have at minimum a 2.5 GPA. Some degree programs, such as nursing, may ask applicants to have a higher GPA to qualify for admission.

Gwynedd Mercy University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Idaho State University

Idaho State University

Applicants seeking admission to Idaho State University need to achieve a GPA of 2.5 or higher and complete all the Idaho Core Requirements prior to applying. Students must submit transcripts and a high school diploma or GED certificate with their application materials. From 2022 to 2025, ISU will remain a test-optional university.

Idaho State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities.

Kentucky State University

Kentucky State University

Kentucky State University requires all applicants to hold a high school diploma or GED certificate, with a 2.5 GPA in their coursework. The university prefers applicants who scored at least a 960 on the SAT or 18 on the ACT. While test scores are optional, they do assist KSU in determining placement and scholarship eligibility.

Kentucky State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Metropolitan College of New York

Metropolitan College of New York

Metropolitan College of New York expects applicants to have a minimum high school GPA of 2.5.

To prove proficiency in the English language, all applicants must also score at least an 18 composite score on the ACT or an 860 composite score on the SAT. International students may complete one of the other approved language competency tests.

Metropolitan College of New York is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

Northeastern Illinois University

Northeastern Illinois University

Applicants seeking admission to Northeastern Illinois University need to provide official high school transcripts indicating at least a 2.5 GPA in their coursework and ACT or SAT scores. There are additional requirements for international students, including visa information and proof of language proficiency.

Northeastern Illinois University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Our Lady of the Lake University

Our Lady of the Lake University

To be considered for admission to Our Lady of the Lake University, applicants need a minimum high school GPA of 2.5 in college preparatory courses. The following courses are required: 4 years of English, 2 years of a foreign language, and 3 years each of math, natural sciences, and social sciences.

Our Lady of the Lake University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Portland State University

Portland State University

Applicants who hold a GPA of 2.5 or higher can receive automatic admission to Portland State University. Students with a GPA lower than 2.5 may still be considered based on other admission factors.

All students admitted with less than a 2.99 GPA are required to complete a college prep course the summer before their freshman year.

Portland State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Tennessee State University

Tennessee State University

For both Tennessee and non-Tennessee residents, Tennessee State University requires a minimum high school GPA of 2.5 and either a score of 19 on the ACT or 900 on the SAT. Applicants with a GPA of 3.2 or higher are guaranteed admission.

The submission of standardized test scores is only required for students that are 21 years old or younger.

Tennessee State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Texas Southern University

Texas Southern University

To qualify for admission to Texas Southern University, applicants must meet one of several requirements. Options are a 2.5 high school GPA, an ACT composite score of 17, an SAT composite score of 900, or a completed associate degree with a GPA of 2.0 or higher.

All applications are reviewed holistically to determine admission.

Texas Southern University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

University of Montana

University of Montana

To qualify for admission to the University of Montana, applicants must have completed the required college preparatory coursework. They must also provide high school transcripts indicating they ranked in the top half of their graduating class or earned a GPA of 2.5 or higher.

Applicants who do not meet these requirements may still be considered on an individual basis.

The University of Montana is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

University of Tennessee – Chattanooga

University of Tennessee Chattanooga

The University of Tennessee—Chattanooga asks that applicants seeking admission have a 2.85 GPA and a minimum score of 18 on the ACT or 960 on the SAT. If applicants hold a GPA of 2.5 to 2.84, the minimum test score requirement increases to a 21 on the ACT or 1060 on the SAT.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Toledo

University of Toledo

Unconditional direct admission to the University of Toledo is offered to applicants with a 2.5 GPA and a score of 15 on the ACT or 830 on the SAT. Admission is also offered to applicants with a 2.0 to 2.4 GPA and a score of 16 on the ACT or 880 on the SAT.

Applicants with a 3.0 GPA are not required to submit standardized test scores for admission.

The University of Toledo is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of West Florida

University of West Florida

The minimum requirements for admission to the University of West Florida are a 2.5 GPA and qualifying scores on either the ACT or SAT. Students who fail to meet the threshold may be offered conditional admission. Minimum requirements are subject to change.

The University of West Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Getting Your College Degree Online

College Degrees Online

Even with a 2.5 GPA, you have a number of opportunities to earn your college degree online. Based on your personal interests, career aspirations, and high school transcripts, you can apply to the schools that best fit your needs. There are many available colleges for 2.5 GPA students.

Many applicants with lower GPAs use their applications as a way to highlight the ways in which they truly shine, both inside and outside of the classroom.

It’s advantageous to consider your strengths and the things that make you unique as you begin your search for accredited online degree programs.

Ready to start your journey?
Molly Doyle
WRITTEN BY
Molly Doyle
Molly holds a B.A in Literature from the University of California - Santa Cruz and a Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of San Francisco. A Seattle-based educator, Molly focuses on student-centered instruction and creating culturally responsive curriculum.