Scholarships for an Above-Average GPA

by Barbie Carpenter ; Updated July 27, 2017

Students who earn an above-average GPA can apply for a variety of merit-based scholarships throughout their academic careers. These scholarships, offered by individual institutions as well as private foundations, can help offset the cost of tuition for students. Some scholarships depend on high school GPAs whereas others judge students based on their current cumulative college GPAs. Many merit-based scholarships are available for students with high GPAs.

Institutional Scholarships for Incoming Freshmen

Many colleges and universities offer merit-based scholarships to incoming freshmen. Often, students do not have to complete a separate application for these scholarships; the school considers all admitted students for these scholarships. Such merit-based scholarships require an above-average GPA. For example, Southern Methodist University offers eight merit-based scholarships to incoming freshmen. Lewis and Clark University administers the Barbara Hirschi Neely Scholarship for incoming students, and students with a minimum 3.3 GPA are eligible.

Institutional Scholarships for Current Students

Current college students, along with incoming college freshmen, are eligible for institutional scholarships if they have an above-average GPA. These scholarships are based on the student's current college GPA. Often, students can find these merit-based scholarships within their individual academic departments. For example, the University of Kentucky's College of Education offers a number of scholarships for current undergraduate students. The College of Education Development Council Undergraduate Tuition Scholarship requires a 3.5 cumulative GPA as well as a 3.5 GPA in College of Education courses.

Private Scholarships

Private foundations are another source of scholarships for students with above-average GPAs. Students can use this scholarship money at any school they choose to attend. They can find these merit-based scholarships from a number of sources, including their high school alumni association, local chapters of their college alumni association or businesses. Since these scholarships are often based on merit, students have to demonstrate academic excellence to earn the scholarship, often by meeting a minimum GPA requirement.


The availability of scholarships for students with above-average GPAs depends on a number of factors. The school the student chooses to attend has a major impact on the availability of merit-based scholarships -- some schools simply have more to offer scholarships than others. Moreover, the student's specific GPA plays a role in her ability to earn a scholarship. The higher the GPA, the better her chances for earning a merit-based scholarship.

About the Author

Barbie Carpenter worked as a technical writer and editor in the defense industry for six years. She also served as a newspaper feature page editor and nationally syndicated columnist for the Hearst Corp. Carpenter holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Florida and a graduate certificate in professional writing from the University of Central Florida.