If you currently have a 3.5 and are researching what this means to your academic future, this page has resources which will cover the following.
A 3.5 demonstrates that you are a serious student, well prepared for many selective colleges and universities and is solidly above the the average U.S. high school GPA of 3.0. It indicates you've achieved a balance of A's and B's in your coursework, exemplifying a solid academic performance. 3.5 GPA is often seen as the benchmark for many academic scholarships, honors programs and many selective colleges. There are many large four-year colleges to choose from where a 3.5 is well within their typical GPA range and you will find yourself a strong applicant.
A 3.5 grade point average is a numerical representation of your course letter grades on a 4.0 scale. Your 3.5 GPA indicates you averaged B+ grades in your classes and delivered above average performance. The percent equivalent of a 3.5 grade point average is 88% on the percentage grading scale. This means that you scored an average of 88% on tests and assignments. GPA values for B+ letter grades range from 3.3 to 3.6. Your 3.5 GPA positions you in the middle of the B+ range, demonstrating you have likely earned a mix of A's (4.0) and B's (3.0). Learn more about what the B+ letter grade signifies.
Cum laude or "with distinction" is a Latin Honor awarded to graduates with high academic performance. The precise range for cum laude designation varies by school but is generally between a 3.5 and 3.6 GPA. As a result, a graduate with a 3.5 GPA typically qualifies for cum laude honors at graduation.
Many high schools have honor rolls which are published to recognize students with consistently high performance. The qualifications for getting on the honor roll vary from school to school. Frequently, a high and standard honor roll is established with different criteria, sometimes for students above 3.0, 3.5 or 3.75 GPAs. In most cases a 3.5 will get you on the honor roll.
The table below will help you see how high or low you can possibly change your GPA if you currently have a 3.5. As you progress in school it becomes more and more difficult to improve your overall grade point average. Select the tab and table column corresponding to the last semester you completed. Then find a row for your predicted future letter grade average. The result would be your GPA at graduation if you can maintain that letter grade.
By examining the average high school GPA for students who were admitted to 1,352 selective four-year colleges, we can see how a 3.5 compares when applying to college. As you can see, a 3.5 is higher than the average accepted GPA for two thirds of the colleges in the U.S.
Here are 802 selective four year colleges where the average high school grades for incoming freshman is in the 3.5 range (+/- 0.2). You have a competitive chance getting into all of these schools with a 3.5. Some popular colleges are...
There are 257 reach colleges where you can possibly get in with a 3.5 GPA. Acceptance may be more difficult because your grades are a bit lower than their average or competition for acceptance is high.
Additionally, you should keep in mind these 633 safety schools where their average GPA is either lower . You are likely to get into these colleges so they are a good backup plan.
Conversion table of the unweighted 4.0 grade point scale with letter grade and percentage equivalents. This unweighted GPA scale is used my most U.S. high schools and colleges.