Benefits associated with staying on top of your grade point average (GPA) start even before you enroll in an accredited college or university. To start, your GPA can impact your ability to get scholarships, grants, fellowships and other forms of federal, state and local financial aid. Fortunately, it’s not hard to stay on top of your GPA if you practice a few proactive steps.
The United States Department of Education reviews student GPAs before they allocate money to students for initiatives like the TEACH Grant program. For example, education majors must have at least a 3.25 GPA to qualify to receive the grant. Other public and private financial aid organizers and distributors also require students to maintain a certain minimum GPA before they’ll award them money to help pay their college or university tuition.
You can stay on top of your GPA by:
- Scheduling time to study each week (for example, you can set aside Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to study recent college textbook chapters and other material your professors covered in class)
- Start to work on upcoming college course assignments and projects (e.g. essays, term papers) the same day that your professors inform you that the work is due
- Review your college syllabus for each undergraduate or graduate college course you’re taking. The syllabus is important because it tells you which chapters of assigned textbooks the class may review and dates that test are scheduled to occur on. You can also find out the percentage each tests, quiz and project have on your GPA if you read your college course syllabi.
- Study with one or more people who are taking the same courses you’re taking
- Taking notes during each of your college or university courses (if you record your notes in a spiral notebook you can avoid losing note cards)
- Reading through college textbooks quickly, highlighting facts, figures and data that jumps out at you
- Enjoying a walk or meditating before you sit down to study to clear your mind
- Scheduling time to meet with your professors once a month to discuss low tests grades and other concerns you have about excelling in one or more courses
- Attending all of your college or university courses (this includes arriving to class on time so you don’t miss material your professors discuss at the start of class)
Incorporate Relaxation into College Study and Projects
You can also promise yourself a treat or moment of relaxation after you finish your school assignments. For example, you can play a favorite game (e.g. tennis, golf, video game) after you finish studying and writing college papers. This may serve as positive motivation to focus on your college assignments and projects, ensuring that you complete the work to the best of your ability rather than rushing to finish the assignments just so you can say they’re done.
Also use the services of your academic advisors. Meet with your advisors once or twice a month to discuss additional steps you can take to keep your GPA up. If you’re concerned about your grade in one or more college courses ask your professors to tell you how you’re doing before mid-terms and/or finals arrive. Ask your academic advisors to assign you a tutor if your professors tell you that your grades are low.