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How much does GPA actually factor into college selections if you plan to major in Hardware engineering?

I am currently a junior in the second semester of high school so I feel as if I it is too late to raise my gpa, I am currently in band and have officer positions in two clubs.

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Anthony’s Answer

Hello Elise,
How much does GPA actually factor into college selections if you plan to major in Hardware engineering?

There will be two parts to your question: 1 - getting into (4-year degree) college and 2 - getting into your major (Assuming Computer Engineering.) Some college/university will admit student directly into the major. The universities I know about admit students for the first 2 years general requirements course then to a major through an application process. I will answer from my perspective and from my observation. I am not a colleges/universities admission personnels, so I do know how they make the determination.

1 - To get into college/university, high school GPA plays an important role, but that is not the only factor. Colleges/Universities also look at the difficulty of the classes you took, SAT/ACT (or similar entrance exam) scores, personal/professorial statements, recommendation letters from your teachers, and/or extra curriculums.(your club participations or sports.) The higher the GPA, the better chance of admittance to college/university of your choice (or mor competitive schools.) So you are competed with your high school peers (applied to the same school.)

2 - After getting into colleges/universities. Your high school GPA does not matter anymore. To get into your major (Computer Engineer) will be based on your college GPA (this may include AP courses or college course you take from high school.) Again, the higher the GPA (along with other factors), the better chance of getting into the major.

You have 3 semesters before you graduate from high school. However, college application normally takes place in the 1st semester of your senior year. (I am not going to sugar coated this.) That mean, whatever GPA you get after your current semester is what will be on your application and colleges/universities will not see your senior year grades unless you apply after graduation. If your GPA is not high enough to get into the 4-year degree colleges/university, it is not the end of the line. You can look for a good community college (normally a 2-year school) and do a transfer program. Instead of doing the first 2 years of general study at the 4-year degree colleges/universities, you will do this at the community college, but you need to take the courses that fulfill the requirement for applying for transfer to the 4-year degree schools (you can fulfill the requirements for applying to the major at the same time or take additional courses after transfer.) If you plan to go this way, it is important to get the transfer application requirements and major application requirements and work toward that goal. To be safe (competitive,) work as hard as you can to get the highest GPA since it demonstrates your academic capability.

It also worths mentioning that some colleges/universities also look at geographical location and demographical population when determine admission decisions. Applicants from these groups may get admitted with a little lower GPA. It is probably to your advantage to do some research the schools, set your goal and work hard toward that goal.

I hope that helps.
Anthony
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Fred’s Answer

It's not too late. You may not be able to raise your overall GPA, but schools don't just look at the single number If your senior years shows better grades than the first 2-3 years, you can point that out - "while my overall GPA is a 2.3, if you look at just my senior year it's a 3.7" (or something like that). It can show how you have grown and matured through high school. Being an officer in a club (or two) is also good. It demonstrates leadership, which schools tend to want to see.
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Noah’s Answer

That's a pretty technical career path and there is quite a bit of demand in that field overall so GPA will matter likely matter less than something like popular majors like psychology or business but it ultimately depends on how selective the university you're applying to is. GPA matters a lot less than most people think, especially as people get more and more competitive about college applications. Other, more unique things, like extracurriculars matter more and more when it comes to college apps these days. And even in cases where GPA does matter, I ensure you that it's not too late to change your GPA to something acceptable. Anything above 3.0 is usually fine and 3.5+ is great. You could also try taking extra classes that fit your interest or are less difficult to try and increase your GPA. But I would recommend that you don't overthink it too much. Try to focus on things that will last your whole life like relationships, connections, career-development and personal-interest projects rather than just a number.
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Laur’s Answer

It really all depends on the college you are trying to go to, a lot of schools have a minimum GPA that they will accept students with which you are able to see by looking at the school you want to go to. As for majors, many schools have certain GPA requirements in order to be in a particular major, if your GPA is not high enough you will have to major in something else and switch once you receive your first round of grades, however your grades must be good in order to switch majors so take classes you know you will do well in. Really the best way is to research the colleges you want to go to and what their requirements are. Do not get discouraged because of your GPA, you still have time to bring it up. Write a killer essay and have extracurricular and those will help a lot. Wish you the best!
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