Colleges that Accept Low GPA

Finding colleges that accept low GPA applicants can be challenging. Luckily, there are plenty of options available, even if you didn’t earn the grades you would’ve liked in high school.

In fact, several schools have no GPA requirement at all, and their admissions teams weigh a variety of factors, including life experience, when making admissions decisions.

List of 8 Colleges That Accept Low GPA

Whether you’re ready to begin studies toward a bachelor’s degree, complete them, or elevate your career with a graduate degree, your goal is within reach—no matter your GPA.

Check out the sponsored list of low GPA colleges below and some of the popular programs at each.

#1: Grand Canyon University

GPA Requirement: 3.0 (Other factors are considered)

Undergraduate Admissions Requirements:
GCU requires applicants meet one of the following requirements:

  • High school GPA of 3.0 or above
  • ACT score of 19
  • SAT (Math and Reading only) score of 1000
  • GED and transcript of all credit-bearing coursework of 680 or higher

For more than 65 years Grand Canyon University has remained committed to a Christian worldview that creates greater unity across the university. Since 2009, the school has invested millions into the university to improve the quality of academic offerings and student experiences.

Popular Programs at GCU:

#2: American Intercontinental University

GPA Requirement: No GPA Listed

Undergraduate Admissions Requirements:

  • High school transcripts
  • High school diploma or GED certificate
  • Proficiency in English and math

Designed to provide the varying educational needs of a diverse and career-oriented student body, American Intercontinental University was founded on the premise that universities should transcend the bounds of the traditional, theory-based approach to education.

#3: Colorado State University Global Campus

GPA Requirement: 2.3 (Lower GPAs may be accepted to provisional admission)

Undergraduate Admissions Requirements:

Originally designed only for adult learners, CSU Global Campus requires that high school graduates (or GED equivalent) need the following for admissions:

  • More than 12 transferable credits from an accredited university or college
  • GPA of 2.30 or above

Applicants with less than a 2.30 cumulative GPA on all prior college credit or for students who have more than 50% of their cumulative credits should apply for provisional admittance, which includes submitting:

  • Statement of purpose
  • Current professional resume
  • Complete 30-minute assessment

CSU Global Campus now also accepts first time freshmen who have less than 13 transferable college credits. The school requires that these applicants have a 3.2 high school GPA and meet other requirements.

About CSU Global Campus

Providing academically authoritative, career-focused degree programs, CSU Global Campus provides an adaptive environment that goes beyond traditional higher education models. Designed specifically for working adults, the school constantly reevaluates programs to ensure they align with fast-changing industry practices and innovation.

#4:  Purdue University Global

GPA Requirement: No Minimum Listed

Undergraduate Admissions Requirements:

  • Complete Enrollment Agreement
  • Complete an informational interview (parents or spouses are welcome)
  • Complete financial arrangements prior to starting class
  • Consider a tour of the onsite location and/or online learning environment
  • Attest to certain technological requirements

About Purdue University Global

Dedicated to adult students looking for flexibility to fit learning into their busy lives, Purdue University Global uses an innovative approach to teaching and modern curriculum to prepare you to make an impact in your career.

Popular Programs at Purdue Global University:

#5: Colorado Technical University

GPA Requirement: No Minimum Listed

Undergraduate Admissions Requirements:

  • Connect with an Admissions Advisor
  • Complete online application
  • Submit documentation

About CTU

Colorado Technical University introduced their online school in 1995 and they continue their commitment to educating career-focused adults through effective, innovative, and flexible degree programs.

#6: Ashford University

GPA Requirement: No Minimum Listed for Undergraduate, 2.0 for Gradute Programs

Undergraduate Admissions Requirements:

  • Official transcript(s)
  • Over the age of 22
  • Once enrolled, attain a cumulative grade of C- or better by Day 6 of Week 3 in the course

Ashford University is a for-profit school with 100% of your curriculum completed online. You may also receive college credit for work experience, bypassing material you already know, saving both time and money.

Popular Programs at Ashford

Ashford offers 60 degree programs across in-demand fields including health care, information management, business administration, education, and environmental studies. Some of these programs include:

  • BA in Business Administration
  • BA in Early Childhood Education
  • BA in Psychology

#7: Grantham University

GPA Requirement: No Minimum Listed

Undergraduate Admissions Requirements:

  • No SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT or standardized test requirements (for most programs)
  • High school transcripts

Grantham University's 100% online format with frequent course starts and eight-week classes, allow you to have an online degree program structured around the demands of your busy schedule.

Popular Programs at Grantham:

  • Bachelor of Business Administration 
  • Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management

#8: Argosy University

GPA Requirement: 2.0

Undergraduate Admissions Requirements:

  • ACT composite score of 18 or above, or combined Math and Critical Reading SAT score of 870
  • Passing score on Argosy University entrance exam

The supportive academic environment at Argosy University emphasizes teaching and practical training and each program is designed to instill the knowledge and interpersonal skills of professional practice. Their passion is teaching and learning and Argosy has developed programs to help students succeed because of an engaging and supportive community.

Popular Programs at Argosy:

  • Bachelor of Science (BS) in Information Technology
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Liberal Arts
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology

Increased College Enrollment

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the projected number of students attending American colleges and universities in the fall of 2018 is 19.9 million. Total enrollment is expected to increase to 20.5 million students in the fall of 2027.

What Is a Good GPA?

While it is hard to measure, usually, the average high school GPA for college-bound students is about 3.0. However, as the schools above show, you can get into college with a GPA that is lower than 3.0 or even lower than 2.5.

Plus, every school has different requirements, which means that each school decides what they consider a good GPA.

5 Reasons Not to Be Discouraged by a Low GPA

Yes, both undergraduate and graduate schools consider your GPA as part of the application process. However, as the schools above show, there are plenty of options if you do have a low GPA.

Check out the list below for reasons why you shouldn’t get discouraged by a low GPA.

#1: Highlight Your Strengths

Though your GPA may not be as impressive as you’d like it to be, there are still plenty of reasons why you’re a great candidate for a particular school.

Whether you worked as a cashier at a supermarket and worked your way up to lead cashier or assistant manager, or if you earned a high score on the SATs, or anything in between, you have positive experiences that can highlight why you’d be a good fit at a particular school.

#2: Holistic Admissions

Though many schools still require a minimum GPA, many others look at your application in its entirety. This includes standardized test scores (either SAT or ACT), GPA trend (such as improving your grades as an upperclassman), extracurricular activities, leadership positions, and professional experience.

Any of these are a great opportunity to add depth to your application and for schools to see you as a complete person, rather than just your GPA.

#3: Write a Great Personal Statement or Essay

Your GPA is a static number, but your essay or personal statement gives you an opportunity to actually show what you’ve learned and that you can apply it. Some students choose this as a chance to include why their GPA may have suffered, but you don’t have to do this.

Whether you choose to address your GPA or not, more important is taking the time to write a well-thought out essay that meets the specific requirements, such as length, and can highlight your strengths, and your writing skills.

#4: High-Quality References or Letters of Recommendation

Though your GPA may not be as high as you’d like, letters of recommendation can show a number of qualities that the school may miss by only looking at your GPA.

For instance, references from teachers saying that after poor academic performance as a freshman and sophomore, your effort and GPA have improved as an upper classman.

Plus, references from employers (as well as coaches and teachers) can show your work ethic and performance both inside the classroom and outside in a professional setting, and how you apply lessons and training.

#5: Some Schools Offer Conditional Acceptance

For those applicants who don’t have a strong enough academic record for full acceptance, some schools offer conditional acceptance.

Usually, this means you have to maintain a specific GPA or take a certain number of credits per semester. Other schools ask that you take remedial courses before you enter the program. After a certain amount of time, or after you meet the requirements, many schools remove the conditions when they deem you’ve satisfactorily met them.

Check with each school to see if they offer conditional acceptance and what their specific requirements are.

Find Colleges with Low GPA Requirements!

Click on any of the sponsored listings on this page to contact the school directly and learn how to apply. Or, complete the form on this page to get matched to the perfect program for you!