Can you get a scholarship with a low gpa?

Can you get a scholarship with a low gpa

Getting a scholarship is a dream for many students. It not only provides financial aid but also recognition for their hard work and achievements. However, one of the main requirements for most scholarships is a high GPA (Grade Point Average). This can be a major obstacle for students with a low GPA, as they may feel discouraged and believe that they have no chance of receiving a scholarship. But is it really impossible to get a scholarship with a low GPA? In this article, we will explore this question and provide valuable insights for students who are in this situation.

Importance of GPA in Scholarship Applications

Most scholarship providers have a minimum GPA requirement for applicants. This is because they want to ensure that the recipients of their scholarships are academically capable and have a high chance of succeeding in their studies. A high GPA is also seen as an indicator of a student’s dedication and hard work, which are qualities that scholarship providers look for in their candidates.

Moreover, scholarships are highly competitive, and a high GPA can give an applicant an edge over other candidates. It shows that the student has excelled in their academic pursuits and has the potential to excel in their future endeavors as well.

Read:Can you get a scholarship for taekwonDo?

Can You Get a Scholarship with a Low GPA?

The short answer is yes, it is possible to get a scholarship with a low GPA. However, it may require more effort and research on the part of the student. Here are some ways in which students with a low GPA can increase their chances of receiving a scholarship:

1. Look for Scholarships that Do Not Have a Minimum GPA Requirement

Not all scholarships have a minimum GPA requirement. Some scholarships focus on other criteria, such as community service, leadership skills, or financial need. These scholarships can be a great opportunity for students with a low GPA to receive financial aid. They can also showcase their strengths and achievements in other areas, which can make them stand out among other applicants.

For example, the “No Essay” College Scholarship by Niche does not have a minimum GPA requirement. Instead, it asks applicants to write a short response to a prompt. This scholarship is open to all high school and college students, making it accessible to students with a low GPA.

2. Highlight Your Strengths in Your Application

Even if your GPA is not as high as you would like it to be, you may have other strengths that can impress scholarship providers. These can include extracurricular activities, volunteer work, internships, or part-time jobs. Make sure to highlight these achievements in your application and explain how they have helped you grow as a person.

Read:Can you get a scholarship for gymnastics?

For instance, if you have been involved in a community service project, you can mention the impact it has had on your personal development and how it has shaped your future goals. This can show scholarship providers that you are a well-rounded individual with a strong work ethic and a desire to make a positive impact.

3. Explain Your Low GPA

If there were extenuating circumstances that led to your low GPA, such as a family emergency or a health issue, make sure to explain it in your application. Scholarship providers understand that students may face challenges that can affect their academic performance. By providing a valid reason for your low GPA, you can show that you are not defined by your grades and that you have the determination to overcome obstacles.

However, it is essential to be honest and not make excuses for your low GPA. Take responsibility for your academic performance and explain how you have learned from your mistakes and are working towards improving it.

4. Apply for Scholarships with a Smaller Applicant Pool

Some scholarships receive a large number of applications, making it more challenging to stand out among other candidates. On the other hand, scholarships with a smaller applicant pool may have less competition, giving students with a low GPA a better chance of receiving the scholarship.

Read:Do cheerleaders get full ride scholarships?

For example, the “Make Me Laugh” Scholarship by Unigo is open to all high school and college students with a minimum GPA of 2.0. However, it receives fewer applications compared to other scholarships, making it a great opportunity for students with a low GPA.

5. Improve Your GPA

While it may not be possible to improve your GPA significantly in a short period, you can still work towards improving it. This can show scholarship providers that you are determined to do better and are willing to put in the effort to achieve your goals.

You can retake courses in which you did not perform well or take additional classes to boost your GPA. You can also seek help from tutors or academic advisors to improve your study habits and time management skills.

Real-Life Examples of Students with Low GPAs Receiving Scholarships

There are numerous success stories of students with low GPAs receiving scholarships. Here are two examples:

1. Katelyn Ohashi

Katelyn Ohashi is a former UCLA gymnast who went viral for her perfect 10 floor routine in 2019. However, what many people do not know is that she received a full scholarship to UCLA with a GPA of 3.6, which is considered low for a top university like UCLA.

Ohashi’s low GPA was a result of her struggles with a learning disability and the pressure to maintain a high GPA while competing at a high level in gymnastics. However, she was able to showcase her talents and dedication through her gymnastics achievements, which ultimately led to her receiving a scholarship to UCLA.

2. Christopher Gray

Christopher Gray is the CEO and co-founder of Scholly, a scholarship search platform. He received over $1 million in scholarships to attend Drexel University, despite having a low GPA of 2.7 in high school.

Gray’s low GPA was due to his struggles with standardized tests, but he was able to excel in other areas, such as community service and leadership. He also took advantage of scholarship opportunities and applied to over 70 scholarships, which ultimately helped him fund his education.


While a high GPA can increase your chances of receiving a scholarship, it is not the only factor that scholarship providers consider. Students with a low GPA can still receive scholarships by highlighting their strengths, explaining their low GPA, and applying to scholarships that do not have a minimum GPA requirement. It is also essential to remember that a low GPA does not define your potential and that you can work towards improving it. With determination and hard work, students with a low GPA can achieve their academic and career goals with the help of scholarships.

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