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Grade point average importance varies with employers, schools

April 9, 1997

Keirsten Layne

Lariat reporter

According to some students and employers, a solid grade point average is important. It is not necessarily the most important factor, but it does weigh in as a consideration for admission to graduate schools and jobs.

Peterson's Guide to Four-Year Colleges says that 'teaching, scholarly attention to discovery, and service to others are emphasized' at Baylor. Entrance into the University focuses mostly on test scores, so grade point average is not as important.

Among Texas schools, Baylor is one university unable to give a definite figure for an average GPA. Dr. Jimmy McCluskey, dean for student development and services, said he was not sure the University's average GPA was computed for publication.

The average published cumulative undergraduate GPA for the University of Texas at Austin is 2.85, Texas A&M's average is 2.768 and the Southern Methodist University average is 3.2. These universities keep current records of their GPAs.

Jessica Hays, an Arlington sophomore and music performance major, plans on attending graduate school. She said she believes the most important thing is experience, not grades.

'GPA will help get you scholarship money, but how you play will get you into graduate school,' Hays said.

Getting into graduate school is the major reason a high grade point is considered necessary.

'I don't think that a GPA would be as important for getting a job as for getting into grad school,' said Elizabeth Hagan, a junior from Amarillo.

Employers have their own opinions about the importance of a high GPA.

Sam M. Griffith, the owner of an accounting firm in Waco, said he considers work experience to be the most important factor when looking at job prospects.

'I would rather have a person who worked and fit in school. If they have been out of school for three to four years, I like to see a transcript,' said Griffith.

Blake Richter, a Houston senior, said, 'It's (GPA) one of the deciding factors employers use when looking at resumes. It weighs differently.'

No one seems to agree on the perfect formula for success outside of college, whether getting into graduate school or finding a job. However, high marks on a transcript could only be helpful.

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