What a GPA Is Really Worth At Cal Poly

It’s no secret that Cal Poly students are smart. Really smart, in fact; according to PolyView, a short publication containing enrollment, graduation and student demographic data published after the fall quarter census, the average GPA of incoming first year students in Fall 2016 was a 3.92. That’s almost a straight-A average for incoming students, which is phenomenal.

A Change in Pace

For this reason, it can be frustrating to come from high school where classes are structured differently. Most high schools are on the semester system, and coming to Cal Poly with a much faster-paced quarter system takes time to adjust to. It requires students to learn information in a much more time-crunched setting.

Keep Your Head Up

Don’t be discouraged. The fact that you made it here shows that you are a hard enough worker to have made it through high school and that you’ll be able to push through the challenges you will face academically throughout your college career as well. You’ll come out on the other side with a degree you’ve truly earned.

Cal Poly’s motto “Learn by Doing” exemplifies the concept of taking major classes the first quarter you’re here and immediately immersing yourself in the curriculum. It gives you the chance to be hands on in your education which in the long run is more valuable than a 4 digit number on your transcript. A Cal Poly GPA does not only represent the ability of a student to memorize information from a book or lecture, but instead shows the dynamic range of skills students can acquire and someday put to use. A Cal Poly GPA shows what a student can really do.

Do Not Compare Yourself to Others

When you’re comparing GPA’s with your friends from other colleges or majors, know that the intensive style of teaching at Cal Poly and the experience of being in a classroom is what gives you real life skills which are actually applicable to a job in your future. Employers recognize that a GPA here means you will be successful in the workplace, because what you're “learning by doing” at Poly means you’ll know what you're doing when you’re ready to graduate and find a job.

You Are Not A Number

It’s also important to remember that there are a lot more factors which measure who you are other than a GPA. A 4.0 is impressive but a lesser high GPA with life experience such as a part time job, club involvement, or other practical knowledge is worth more than a perfect transcript on paper.

College is about more than your GPA. It’s about meeting your lifelong friends and (trying) to learn how to become an adult, so don’t judge your worth in a number but instead by what Cal Poly has taught you overall.