Tips for Improving Your GPA
There are many factors that affect students' academic progress, including part-time employment, social and financial pressures, emotional issues and uncertainty about choice of major or career.
If you are currently in academic jeopardy or simply not getting the grades you would like, there are things that you can do to boost your GPA.
- A great strategy for improving your GPA is to repeat courses in which you earned a grade of "F". Your new grade in the course will replace the old grade when calculating your GPA. The courses must be repeated at KU to impact your GPA. You can discuss changes to your schedule with the assistance of your advisor. NOTE: "All Undergraduate students will be limited to a maximum total of six repeats at Kutztown University. A single course can be repeated a maximum of three times and the most recent grade (regardless of whether it is higher or lower) will be the grade used for the GPA calculation." (Exceptions may be made to repeat a course whether a student has exceeded the rule for individual courses (3 repeats) or overall (6 total repeats) by completing the "Repeat Approval Form", filing it with the registrar, and obtaining Dean of the College approval.)
- In some cases, it may be advantageous for you to repeat courses in which you earned a grade of "D". These courses must be repeated at KU in order to improve your GPA. Be aware that the new grade, whether higher or lower will be the grade that is now calculated into your GPA. Changes to your schedule can be made with the assistance of your advisor or staff in the Department of Academic Enrichment. Repeating a "D" will not add new credits toward the twenty-four (24) new credits required each year to meet the Financial Aid Progress Requirements.
- Assess your study habits and skills.
- Be sure that you are scheduling at least 2-3 hours of study time for each hour of class each week, i.e. a 3-credit course requires approximately 6-9 hours of study time outside of class. Click here for more information about time management skills.
- Use a monthly planner to organize your time, assignments, projects and examinations. Click here for a free printable planner.
- Learn your professor's name, office location, and scheduled office hours. Visit him/her for assistance and clarification of difficult coursework.
- Get to know your fellow classmates. Discussing class topics with classmates can help you know if you understand the material. Also, if you must miss a class, classmates are an invaluable resource for getting covered material to help you stay on track.
- Request a tutor for subjects that you feel are difficult for you. Accessing Tutoring Services early in the semester is key for your success.
- Click here to access Student Study Tool Kits that review topics such as note taking and test taking skills along with time management and other useful academic skills.
- If you received accommodations in high school or feel that you may have a learning or other disability, contact Disability Services for more information on accessing services in college. Ask for assistance early. (Do not wait!)
- Consider your academic load. Students generally enroll and complete at least fifteen (15) credits each semester to make adequate progress toward graduation. However, if you have not completed fifteen (15) credits in the past semester, or you feel you would be unable to manage such a course load, work with your advisor to plan a lighter course load during the fall and spring semesters. Register for summer or winter courses to make up additional credits. It is important that you work with your advisor on this plan since not all courses are offered at KU during the summer and winter sessions.
- If you plan to take courses at another college or university, only the credits will transfer, not the grades. That means that courses taken at another college or university will not count towards your GPA. Please check the Transfer Course Evaluation to confirm transferability and applicability of courses. Also, you will need to complete a "Request to Study at Another College" form.
- Prioritize how you spend your time when balancing your academic, social, and personal needs. While the merits of part-time employment and involvement with extra-curricular activities are significant, if your commitments are interfering with your academic performance it is time to re-evaluate the benefits of your commitments. If you are consistently late for class or miss classes all together, or if you have little to no quality study time because of your busy personal schedule, you should consider making changes. If you cannot make changes to your personal schedule and commitments, consider lightening your academic load (see #5).
- Personal, interpersonal, and family problems can be overwhelming and affect your ability to perform at your best. Talking with a professional counselor in the University Counseling Services may help you to better manage your personal concerns so you can focus your attention on your academic coursework.
- It can be difficult to focus on your courses when you are not sure why you are taking them or how they may help you to achieve your career goals. Exploring your preferences for careers through the Career Development Center can help to find the major that is right for you.