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Top Colleges for B Students (And How To Get In)

There’s a common misconception among high school students: if you have a B average, you can’t get into any good schools. This simply isn’t true. Not only do colleges take much more than just your grades into consideration during the admissions process, but there are plenty of high-ranking schools that accept a wide range of GPAs. 

In this article, we will explain what it means to be a B student and how B students can set their applications apart from others. We will also list some of the top national universities and liberal arts colleges that accept B average GPAs.

Defining a “B Student”

What does it mean to be a “B student?” The term usually refers to students with a high school GPA in the range of 3.0 to 3.3, meaning they have earned a B average across most of their classes. The national average GPA for high school students is right around a 3.0. However, the national average GPA for high school students who plan to attend college is a bit higher, falling between 3.5 and 4.0.

Every year, the U.S. News provides a ranking of colleges across America according to a variety of factors, such as graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, academic reputation, financial resources, and more. We have combed through the U.S. News 2022-2023 Best College Rankings to pick out some of the best and most accessible national universities and liberal arts colleges for B students. The schools on this list are located in various regions of the country and accept students with GPAs that range from 2.7 to 3.5.

Top National Universities for B Students

Below, you will find our list of 10 national universities that are highly attainable for B students. National universities tend to have larger class sizes with less focus on interactions between professors and students. If this sounds like the right learning environment for you, check out these schools from across the country!

University of Arizona

  • Location: Tucson, Arizona
  • Average GPA: 3.39
  • Average SAT: 1235
  • Acceptance Rate: 84.6%

Simmons University

  • Location: Boston, Massachusetts
  • Average GPA: 3.44
  • Average SAT: 1220
  • Acceptance Rate: 60.4%

Quinnipiac University

  • Location: Hamden, Connecticut
  • Average GPA: 3.47
  • Average SAT: 1175
  • Acceptance Rate: 72.5%

University of Idaho

  • Location: Moscow, Idaho
  • Average GPA: 3.41
  • Average SAT: 1116
  • Acceptance Rate: 77.2%

Ohio University

  • Location: Athens, Ohio
  • Average GPA: 3.54
  • Average SAT: 1170
  • Acceptance Rate: 78.3%

Biola University

  • Location: La Mirada, California
  • Average GPA: 3.32
  • Average SAT: 1180
  • Acceptance Rate: 69%

Mississippi State University

  • Location: Starkville, Mississippi
  • Average GPA: 3.43
  • Average SAT: 1180
  • Acceptance Rate: 73.4%

Robert Morris University

  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Average GPA: 2.73
  • Average SAT: 1120
  • Acceptance Rate: 33.8%

Oregon State University

  • Location: Corvallis, Oregon
  • Average GPA: 3.59
  • Average SAT: 1195
  • Acceptance Rate: 80.6%

Adelphi University

  • Location: Garden City, New York
  • Average GPA: 3.52
  • Average SAT: 1176
  • Acceptance Rate: 74.2%

Top National Liberal Arts Colleges for B Students

Liberal arts colleges vary from national universities in that they typically have smaller class sizes and take a broader approach to education. Students may be more interactive with their professors and will likely be required to take classes outside their specialization. Peruse our list of 10 national liberal arts colleges for B students below if this type of learning environment appeals to you!

Muhlenberg College

  • Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania
  • Average GPA: 3.31
  • Average SAT: 1237
  • Acceptance Rate: 48.4%

Beloit College

  • Location: Beloit, Wisconsin
  • Average GPA: 3.31
  • Average SAT: 1240
  • Acceptance Rate: 56.4%

Stonehill College

  • Location: Easton, Massachusetts 
  • Average GPA: 3.4
  • Average SAT: 1200
  • Acceptance Rate: 69.6%

Hampden-Sydney College

  • Location: Hampden-Sydney, Virginia 
  • Average GPA: 3.45
  • Average SAT: 1154
  • Acceptance Rate: 59%

Houghton University

  • Location: Houghton, New York
  • Average GPA: 3.25
  • Average SAT: 1180
  • Acceptance Rate: 75.4%

Berea College

  • Location: Berea, Kentucky
  • Average GPA: 3.54
  • Average SAT: 1123
  • Acceptance Rate: 38.2%

Wheaton College

  • Location: Norton, Massachusetts
  • Average GPA: 3.44
  • Average SAT: 1245
  • Acceptance Rate: 73.9%

Augustana College

  • Location: Rock Island, Illinois
  • Average GPA: 3.29
  • Average SAT: 1260
  • Acceptance Rate: 59%

Cornell College

  • Location: Mount Vernon, Iowa
  • Average GPA: 3.45
  • Average SAT: 1210
  • Acceptance Rate: 61%

Goucher College

  • Location: Baltimore, Maryland
  • Average GPA: 3.14
  • Average SAT: 1200
  • Acceptance Rate: 79.2%

Improving Your GPA

If you’re a freshman, sophomore, or junior, you still have time to bring up your GPA before you start sending off applications to colleges. Here are some study techniques that could help you bump up a few extra points over the next few semesters.

Avoid Procrastination

Oftentimes, waiting until the last minute to complete your assignments keeps you from doing your best work. If you’re rushing to turn your assignment in, you won’t have time to check it over, edit, proofread, or polish it. Chances are, you’ll wind up with a lower grade than you would have earned by taking a little extra time to go over your work.

But avoiding procrastination is easier said than done. You may find it helpful to create a schedule for your assignments. Block out small increments of time to work on your assignment in between the date you received it and the due date to chip away at it without overwhelming yourself. By the time the due date arrives, you’ll have most, if not all, of the work done. With less looming anxiety, you can focus on making improvements to your work so that it’s the best it can possibly be when you turn it in.

Space Out Your Studying

It may help to take a similar approach to studying as well. Rather than cramming the night before a major test, try spacing out your studying during the prior week. One hour of studying per night will allow you to become gradually more and more familiar with the information on the test, embedding it deeper into your brain. When the day of the test rolls around, you’ll likely feel less stressed because you’re more prepared. 

Involve Yourself During Class

Another way to reinforce the information in your brain is to engage with the material during class. Raising your hand to ask a question not only opens the door for you to gain a better understanding of the concept in question, but you may also be more likely to remember the information by listening attentively to your teacher’s explanations. This will give you a headstart when it comes to studying for upcoming tests.

If you’re already an active participant in class, you may want to consider stepping up your note-taking game. The act of taking notes and writing information down, whether by hand or virtually, helps you commit it to memory. Not to mention, a detailed set of notes can help you practically relive a particular lesson, making notes an indispensable tool when it comes to studying for midterms or finals that cover information from throughout the year.

Setting Yourself Apart

If you don’t have time to change your grades now, don’t fret! GPA isn’t everything. Colleges take a ton of different factors into consideration during the admissions process. Let’s go over a few other ways you can set your application apart from the rest and snag that acceptance letter from your dream school.

Letters of Recommendation

Most colleges require letters of recommendation to help admissions professionals learn more about you than your transcript alone can convey. It’s generally a good idea to reach out to teachers, counselors, or coaches who know you well and can vouch for your achievements both honestly and enthusiastically.

Extracurricular Activities

Whether it’s sports, clubs, community service, summer jobs, or internships, extracurricular activities are a great way to make your application stand out from the others in the stack. Most colleges are looking for well-rounded individuals. If you excel in sports, have an aspiring business, or are a leader in your community, you may be able to gain acceptance to more prestigious schools, even with a B average.

College Application Essays

Some schools may only require a short personal statement, while others will require a longer essay. This is the perfect chance to showcase the most interesting aspects of your personality, life, or family. Did you spend a life-changing summer abroad one year? Have you overcome hardships in your life? Are you the first member of your family to attend college? Do you have a unique invention or business idea? Have you made an impact on your community and the lives of those around you? Make sure the admissions board comes out of your essay with a better understanding of you and why they should want you as a member of the school’s community.

Keep in mind that grades are important, but they don’t define everything about you. If you have time to bring your grades up, it doesn’t hurt to try. If you don’t, focus on other aspects of your application, and don’t lose hope! With nearly 4,000 different schools across the country, there’s most definitely a college out there for every type of student.

Prep Expert

Written by Prep Expert

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