3.9 GPA Colleges: See Schools That Accept a 3.9 GPA | Appily (2024)

Grade point average (GPA) numerically represents your high school grades or academic performance. It's usually calculated by the semester, the year, and then cumulatively for all your high school classes.

The most common GPA scale in the US is the 4.0 scale, where an A is assigned a 4.0, a B is assigned a 3.0, and so on. On this scale, a 3.4 GPA can be approximately translated to 89% or B+. However, it's important to note that conversions can vary between colleges.

What is a 3.9 GPA?

A 3.9 GPA stands for a Grade Point Average of 3.9 on a 4.0 scale. It indicates that you've earned a predominantly A average in your courses. A 3.9 GPA is considered a very good GPA and is an indicator of strong academic performance.

How Does a 3.9 GPA Affect College Admissions?

A 3.9 GPA is a very strong GPA. Admissions committees consider your GPA and your full application when making their decisions. In addition, they look at yourtest scores, extracurricular activities,recommendations, andessays.

A 3.9 GPA may make you a competitive candidate. But if you aren't sure, it's best to try to improve your GPA, which we discussed above. You can alsoput additional effort into extracurricular activities, sports, and community service to make your application more competitive.

Is a 3.9 GPA Good?

GPA is scored on a 4.0 scale. So, strictly speaking, a 3.9 GPA is just a tenth shy of a perfect score and demonstrates academic excellence in every class. Moreover, a 3.9 GPA far exceeds the average GPA that most colleges use as their unspoken baseline for competitive admission (3.0) and the benchmark GPA for more selective colleges (3.5). Because of this, a 3.9 GPA makes it possible to be considered for admission at most colleges and universities throughout the country, including elite schools.

What Colleges Can I Get Into With a 3.9 GPA?

A 3.9 GPA qualifies for admission to a large number of colleges and universities, and we've compiled a sample list of them below. While GPA alone won't guarantee admission, all these institutions have a history of accepting students in the 3.9-4.0 range.

Freshmen and Sophom*ores

If you're a freshman or sophom*ore, continue practicing all the excellent study and testing habits that earned a 3.9 GPA and stay motivated to maintain this academic performance. Since your GPA is in such a good place, it'll be beneficial to focus some effort on extracurricular activities. Not only will joining after-school clubs and organizations help you find something you're passionate about, but it will also benefit you during college admission. Colleges are looking for well-rounded students, so joining a sport and/or participating in community service projects looks great on your applications.


For juniors, it's time to focus on preparing for standardized testing while continuing to maintain your GPA. Remember that many colleges weigh SAT or ACT scores similarly with GPA when considering applications, so it's essential to devote enough energy to preparing for an entrance exam. First, download a few practice tests and time yourself while taking them to get used to the format. Then, if one's available, sign up for a test prep class through your high school and put in the effort to make sure your standardized test score lives up to the precedent your GPA has set.


As for seniors, ensure that every part of your application depicts you in the best possible light, including the essay, after-school activities list, and test scores. Have your college counselor read your essay and offer suggestions for improvement. Meet with visiting college admissions representatives and network to determine what they want on an application. And if you're looking for ways to enhance your academic record further, consider taking a class for college credit. Explore your high school's AP offerings or the "early college" classes offered at the local community college. These courses help show prospective schools you can handle a college-level academic workload.

What Scholarships Can I Get With a 3.9 GPA?

You can apply to just about every scholarship requiring a GPA minimum! You may find a scant few that require a 4.0, but they'll be few and far between. Make sure to apply for as many scholarships as possible, no matter the dollar amount, because even small amounts of money can help offset the cost of tuition.

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What Are Colleges Looking At Other Than a 3.9 High School GPA?

There's always a lot of focus on GPA during high school — which is very likely how you achieved a 3.9! Congratulations! Also, colleges and universities are interested in knowing more about you than just that single snapshot of your academic career — they want to know how you spend your time outsidethe classroom. What are you interested in? Where do you imagine your life taking you? To show that, include as many of the following as possible in your application packet:

  • SAT Scores / ACT Scores
  • Extracurricular/After-school activities
  • Your Sports
  • Application Essays
  • Volunteer Work / Community Service
  • Jobs / Internships / Special Projects

How Can I Improve My 3.9 GPA?

If you have a 3.9 GPA and would like to improve it, here are some tips:

  1. Identify areas of weakness: Identify the subjects or courses where you struggled or received lower grades. Work on improving your skills and understanding of these topics.

  2. Take challenging courses: Challenge yourself by taking advanced or honors-level courses in your areas of strength. This will help you demonstrate your academic abilities and show that you are willing to push yourself.

  3. Focus on time management: Manage your time effectively by creating a schedule that balances academic work with other commitments such as work or extracurricular activities.

  4. Attend office hours and seek help: Attend office hours and seek help from professors or tutors. They can guide how to improve your grades and understanding of the material.

  5. Study effectively: Develop effective study habits such as creating a study plan, taking notes, and reviewing material regularly.

  6. Stay organized: Keep track of your assignments, deadlines, and exams. This will help you avoid procrastination and stay on top of your academic work.

Remember, improving your GPA takes time and effort, so be patient and persistent.

What is a Weighted vs. Unweighted GPA?

A weighted GPA considers the difficulty of the classes you take. For example, honors, Advanced Placement (AP), and International Baccalaureate (IB) classestypically have a higher weight, meaning that a higher grade in these classes will result in a higher GPA. A weighted GPA is often used in college admissions to assess the academic rigor of a student's high school curriculum.

On the other hand, an unweighted GPA assigns a standard value to each letter grade regardless of the class's difficulty level. For example, an A in an honors class is assigned the same value as an A in a regular class. An unweighted GPA is often used in high school to give a general overview of a student's academic performance.

Explore Colleges for Every GPA with Appily

Ready to explore colleges that accept a GPA like yours? We have a comprehensive database to help you find and research schools. There, you can see essential data points likeacceptance rate,average financial aid award,average test scores, andapplication deadlines, including those for rolling admission,early decision, and early action schools.

Go ahead and search colleges now.

3.9 GPA Colleges: See Schools That Accept a 3.9 GPA | Appily (2024)


Will colleges accept a 3.9 GPA? ›

A 3.9 GPA qualifies for admission to a large number of colleges and universities, and we've compiled a sample list of them below. While GPA alone won't guarantee admission, all these institutions have a history of accepting students in the 3.9-4.0 range.

How rare is a 3.9 GPA in college? ›

98.02% of schools have an average GPA below a 3.9.

How many b's is a 3.9 GPA? ›

Subtract the total grade points needed to achieve a 3.9 GPA from the total grade points for all A's: 32 - 31.2 = 0.8. 4. Lastly, divide this number by the difference between points for an A and a B (4-3 = 1): 0.8 / 1 = 0.8. This means you can have close to one B throughout your high school career to maintain a 3.9 GPA.

Can I get into NYU with a 3.9 GPA? ›

Average GPA: 3.8

With a GPA of 3.8, NYU requires you to be near the top of your class, and well above average. You'll need mostly A's, ideally with several AP or IB classes to help show your preparation at a college level. If you're a junior or senior, your GPA is hard to change from this point on.

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