Do Grades Define You

Does Learning Trump Grades

If you are like me, grades are always on your mind. You are obsessed with them; you want to get that A and settle for nothing less. You’ve also heard from your professors and other people you know that grades are not important compared to what you learned; in fact a Dean of College stated, “I’m mostly interested in whether you felt you really learned something important and pushed yourself to go beyond what you thought you could do.” Trust me, I have learned more and more every semester. You’ve probably also heard that a 3.0 student may be smarter than a 4.0 student. Trust me, I have been on both ends of the spectrum and it’s true.

I’ve struggled with these statements, knowing these statements are true; yet, they are false at the same time. Yes, learning is more important and yes, grades don’t define your smartness. Here’s the problem, life in the post graduate world doesn’t work that way. It’s sad, but it doesn’t. Here is one thing you should know, and you probably do.

Higher Grades Means Employers are more Likely To Hire You

Yes, employers are more likely to hire you if you have high grades. In other words, employers do care about grades. In fact, according to four career service directors, at schools like at NYU and Brandeis, said the employers do care about grades[1]. They don’t want employees to not put forth the effort. Furthermore, the career service directors say that employers put the cut line at 3.5 GPA- in other words, those with a lower than a 3.5 probably won’t get the jobs they applied for.[2] Yes, they are exceptions, if the person with a lower GPA has higher qualifications than a person with a higher GPA- like being class president or being a president of a club- then they may get the job.[3]

Final Thoughts

If the above is the case, then why do people say learning trumps grades? Does learning more about oneself and learning how to improve oneself, improve one’s grades? I would like to end by posing this question to you: Do you think it is more important to earn an excellent GPA and learn minimally or have an average GPA, but learn tons?


[2] ibid

[3] ibid


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