When you graduate from college on of the things that you take with you, that stays with you forever, along with your diploma is your GPA. As a parent I stressed to my two children how important GPA was, both in high school as well as in college. I think most parents do. I think most of the kids who head off from high school to college get the GPA thing, although for some students it is really too late to do much about it by the time they realize that it may affect where they go to college, and if they will be eligible for any scholarships or grants.
Meanwhile with the college students, they often see that the students with the highest GPA get first go at a number of things. It might be opportunities to present to the class, lead the class project or some other event with perceived prestige. At the institution where my oldest son attend one MAJOR employer was there to recruit for their Company, but were only interested in speaking with the students in the top 10% (as measured by GPA) of the class.
Now where I am going with all of this is on to Human Resources and hiring college graduates. As an employer do you want to see the students GPA? What do you do with this information? What does it indicate or not indicate to you. Do you exclude candidates because of a low GPA? I am no longer sure it means too much.
You see, I know another recent graduate whose GPA was under three, 2.8 to be exact. That in and of itself is not too impressive, I agree. She did not make very good grades. So, what does this tell us or indicate? She is not very smart or didn’t apply herself at school, maybe or maybe not.
Here are a couple of other facts about this young lady. She worked the whole time she was going to college, as she paid for her own education. She took out student loans as well. During the time she attended college, she also took care of her mother who is and remains nearly bedridden. She also spent a lot of time looking after her younger brother, who was still in high school, because her father lived and worked out of the state. She was also involved with a number of campus activities, many of which were volunteer and community based activities. Lastly, she was involved with a boyfriend and had a long-distance relationship. A busy girl to say the least.
So it would appear that even though her GPA was not stellar she is capable of managing multiple priorities, a hugely important skill in business today. Given her endeavors she seems to have a pretty good “moral compass”. Now I know that most of the good HR folks can sift through the crap and find out what really is going on in someone’s life, but if your Company has a GPA exclusion, you will never get to talk to them. Then because of this exclusion, you and your Company may be missing out on some Rock Star Talent. Capiche?