What Grades Do You Need to Get a Scholarship?

If you were asked, what grades do you need to get a scholarship, what would you say?

Many students aspire to receive scholarships to help fund their education. Scholarships are a form of financial aid that does not require repayment and are typically awarded based on merit or financial need. 

While the requirements for scholarships vary depending on the organization offering them, one common factor is academic achievement. In general, scholarships are awarded based on a combination of academic achievement, extracurricular activities, community service, and other factors such as leadership or special talents.

However, academic performance is usually the most critical factor in determining scholarship eligibility. Many scholarship programs require students to maintain a certain GPA or grade point average to qualify.

In this article, we will discuss the grades needed to qualify for scholarships, why high grades are even important in scholarships and explore how to win scholarships with low grades.

what grades do you need to get a scholarship
what grades do you need to get a scholarship

Why High Grades are Important for Scholarships

High grades are important for scholarships because scholarships are often awarded to students who have demonstrated academic excellence. Scholarship committees and organizations want to invest their funds in students who have a proven track record of success in their academic pursuits. 

High grades are a way to demonstrate academic excellence and show that a student has a strong work ethic, dedication, and the ability to perform well in their studies. By maintaining high grades, students show that they are committed to their education and are willing to put in the time and effort required to succeed.

Also, many scholarships have a limited number of awards available, especially fully-funded scholarships, so this makes the competition very intense. So your high grade will help reduce the noise and increase your chance of winning available scholarships.

What Grades Do You Need to Get a Scholarship?

The truth is the higher your grade the better your chance of getting a great scholarship. Especially when you intend to go for any fully-funded scholarship, because the scholarship committee will be focusing on a very high GPA – perhaps a perfect GPA of 4.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Having a GPA of 3.5 to 4.0 keeps you on a high pedestal of winning available scholarships, but GPA is not the only grade schools consider, because so many students probably have high GPAs depending on the programme they are going for and college.

In fact, recent findings showed that the average GPA of high school students has increased. 

So most schools add some other criteria like High SAT or ACT scores, extracurricular activities, community service, leadership skills or special talents, etc. So, don’t only depend on improving your GPA, also make sure other areas are strengthened.

Furthermore, not all scholarships require you to have a very good GPA or a perfect grade, most scholarships reduce their minimum GPA to 3.0 which they consider a good grade. 

Also, there are awards that don’t even consider your grade, but your financial situation, these scholarships are known as need-based scholarships. We’ll discuss more of this in the next session.

How to Win Scholarships Even with a Low Grade

As we said earlier, most of the scholarships go to those with good grades, this is their reward for being consistently academically competent. But, does that mean those with poor grades are left with nothing but regret and lots of funds to pay for their fees?

Certainly not, there are lots of scholarships out there that you can get even though your grade sucks, you just need to know where to look, and that’s what we’ll share with you here. 

Before we proceed, I love a story shared on Yahoo Finance regarding Hatcher, who was advised by her high school guidance counselor not to even consider college because of her poor grade. She didn’t only get admission, but she did the “hard work” of applying for 300 scholarships and was awarded $130,000 from them, and she focused on local scholarships in her community.

1. Apply to Any Eligible Scholarship

That brings us to the first approach, which is to apply to as many scholarships as possible, as long as you’re eligible. There are scholarships that don’t require any GPA or accept students with GPAs lower than 3.5, you can go for them.

One of the worst mind-dithering questions that hinder students from applying for scholarships is “can I win this scholarship, are you sure I can win this Scholarship, or what are the chances of winning this scholarship?” it can come in several forms. So my simple answer to that is, “you’ll never win any scholarship, or you’ve got a zero chance of winning any scholarship if you don’t try.”

Remember, Hatcher, applied for more than 300 scholarships.

2. Ask Around

You don’t necessarily need to depend online to search for scholarships (which is important) you can ask your family, friends, co-workers, and neighbours, they might be in organizations that provide scholarships to their children or friends. You can ask your religious gathering, they usually have committees that donate money to sponsor their members’ tuition fees.

Also, you can look up online for some specific kind of scholarship that is personal to your condition. There are scholarships that are focused on tall people, those focused on short people, and even scholarships focused on people with ADHD.

3. Go for Lottery Scholarships

Yeah, you heard me right, there are scholarships that are based on luck, you just need to add your details and cross your fingers hoping you’ll win. Even though the chances of winning this kind of scholarship are slim to none, like I said earlier when you don’t apply, your chances of winning are completely ZERO.

4. Apply for Need-based Scholarships

Need-based scholarships are funds received with a focus on your financial capacity. That means, the organizations providing these scholarships will be judging you based on your family financial statement, the lower it is the higher your chances of getting financial support.

5. Apply for Sport Scholarships

If you can’t get it with good grades – perhaps you can get it with your talent. There are lots of scholarships that award students prolific in one sport or the other.

Allow your talent and love for the sport to pay your tuition fee.


 It is essential to research and understand the specific eligibility requirements and deadlines for each scholarship to increase your chances of securing one. In addition, students can also seek assistance from their school’s guidance counselors and financial aid offices to explore various scholarship opportunities and create a competitive application. 

Ultimately, obtaining a scholarship requires hard work, dedication, and a commitment to academic excellence and personal growth.

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