What-If Scenarios: Calculating the GPA

A student asks, “If I get As in all my classes this semester, what will my GPA be?”

Why is the GPA important?  Students need to maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) to stay in good academic standing, to keep their financial aid coming, and to apply to a GCC Health Occupations program.  Students need a GPA of 2.5 or higher to qualify for MassTransfer.  To be a strong candidate for selective schools and scholarships, students need even higher GPAs.

Calculating Quality Points
1 2 3 4
 Grade  Credits  Credits Credits  Credits
A 4.0  4.0  8.0  12.0  16.0
A- 3.65  3.65  7.3  10.95  14.6
B+ 3.35  3.35  6.7  10.05  13.4
B 3.0  3.0 6.0  9.0  12.0
B- 2.65  2.65  5.3  7.95  10.6
C+ 2.35  2.35  4.7  7.05  9.4
C 2.0  2.0  4.0  6.0  8.0
C- 1.65  1.65  3.3  4.95  6.6
D 1.0 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0
F/0/FA 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

Look at your advisee’s transcript in MyGCC to obtain the Total Quality Points and Total GPA hours. (This is near the bottom of the transcript. The current cumulative GPA will already be calculated.)

mygcc screen

Now you are ready to try out a “what if” analysis by factoring in the current semesters’ imagined Quality Points.

When looking at different scenarios, remember the basics:

Cumulative GPA = Quality Points/GPA Hours

Don’t use Attempted Hours, Passed Hours, or Earned Hours—it is the Cumulative GPA and Quality Points that are the essential data in this calculation.

Retaking courses where a student received an F is an efficient way to boost the GPA because the most current grade replaces the failing grade in the calculation of the GPA.* This can be a good strategy if the failed course is relevant to the current major/degree. Banner calculates the GPA using the most recent grade.

Developmental courses do not figure into the GPA nor do those taken credit/non-credit or for audit. If a class is taken pass/fail and the student passes, the grade does not change the GPA, but if the student fails, the class is counted in the GPA.

When doing a what-if analysis for a repeated class, the change in quality points is used, but the GPA hours stays the same. For example, a student has 30 quality points and 15 GPA hours for a cumulative GPA of 2.0. If the student is repeating a three credit class that previously was an “F” the GPA hours would remain at 15. If the new grade was a C, you would now add 6 to the original quality points (the original class received zero quality points). Now the Cumulative GPA is 36/15 or 2.4.

Students who have taken fewer courses and are trying to improve their GPAs will be able to accomplish that quickly compared to students who have 30, 40, 50 credits or more.

* Some courses can be taken multiple times for credit, such as MUS 230. Taking such a class a second time will not improve the cumulative GPA as quickly, since the GPA hours for the failing course are not taken out of the equation.