average GPA from good school, or high GPA from bad school

  1. I am curious to know which is better. To have an average GPA from a really good school, or to have an outstanding GPA from an easier school. I only ask because like most people, I have to accept a C (hopefully) in one of my classes, and I started to think if this was really fair.

    I have aspirations to hopefully continue my education, but I dont want the person from the school that is way easier to get accepted over me because they had an easier system. I know nursing school is hard in general, but some programs seem to be much easier. I am in a hard program where usually only 30-50 % of the class graduate.

    Having said all that, I wouldnt change schools for anything because I truly believe that it will benefit me in the long run, but sometimes it just doesnt seem fair to me lol. Anyone think differently or have anything to add?
  2. Visit mkhoaja profile page

    About mkhoaja

    Joined: Dec '09; Posts: 64; Likes: 22
    RN; from US


  3. by   juliaann
    I think it really depends. I personally would go for the excellent GPA from the less-challenging school.

    Not everyone is going to look at a "C" and say, "oh, this person went to a really tough school, I bet they would get a higher grade at X school"....because that's just speculation. Who's to say that your grade was due to the challenging instructor/pace/setting, or that it was due to personal problems or poor study habits? The admissions committee of another institution can't really make that call.

    Sure, I think nationally-recognized challenging schools might get someone more leeway when it comes to GPA (as long as it's still decent), but I definitely wouldn't count on it. Perceptions of other schools depends a lot on personal preference and can vary widely from place to place -- who's to say that the admissions committee of the school you're applying to will recognize it as a challenging program? It may be likely, but it won't be certain.

    It will probably vary from admissions committee to admissions committee if/how they view a lower GPA from a more rigorous school - if you know where you'd like to apply or what kind of programs you're looking at, maybe call their advising department and ask what they would prefer to see?

    Edited to add: what kind of further education are you planning? I think if you're planning for CRNA as opposed to NP, your chances might be different. I'm sure it will still vary from school to school, though.
    Last edit by juliaann on Aug 10, '10
  4. by   mkhoaja
    You're right juliaann. There is nothing that can measure one program with another because the number of variables are virtually infinite. I had a 3.6 gpa from the first semester of school, which was pretty good, but this summer has been brutal and I will be lucky if i walk away with a 2.7 (medsurg, pharm, and clnical). After this though, the reaminder of my program is setup for one class, and one clinical the rest of the way. Thank god lol. So I am still hopeful that my GPA will be reasonably good for my ADN. Then if all goes according to plan, I would like to boost that in a BSN program too, and eventually apply to CRNA schools.

    I am hoping that admission committees do look at schools, but its unrealistic to expect them to know how good and how bad programs are. That being said, I have heard from alot of nurses and message boards that the interviews are a BIG part of the admission process, and hopefully that is where I can excel.
  5. by   RNKPCE
    Are you talking high school or college grades?

    If they base admission to nursing on gpa it is objective. It would be unfair to weigh a person's gpa based on a "good" or "bad" school. As the above posters have said whose to say why someone gets a "C". Even "bad" school have "good" professors as well.

    You got to get the best grades you can at whatever school you are attending.
  6. by   dthfytr
    Nursing schools are regulated by the states. Each state Board of Nursing keeps stats on what percentage of new grads from each school pass their license exam on the first try. If I understand your question, IMHO I'd go with the school with the highest pass rates. I've seen exclusive expensive private schools with pass rates in the 20% range, while community college grads pass 90% of the time. Hope this helps, good luck.
  7. by   USN2UNC
    Quote from mkhoaja
    I am in a hard program where usually only 30-50 % of the class graduate.
    30-50% attrition rate?!!! This sounds like the program doesn't really care about the students.

    Honestly, I think the higher GPA wins. An 'A' student will do whatever it takes to succeed. However, we are human and slip up and a C isn't the end of the world. I too went to a top tier school so I know how you feel.
  8. by   kas2027536
    unfortunately...this is the way it works. No matter what school you go to there is no way to really award points based on a harder school or harder course. Most nursing programs just look at a C, as a C, no matter where it is from- and award points based on this grade. Some schools do offer honors courses which may award more gpa points per course you take. I have found myself in this boat too. I had a super hard BIO 201 teacher and a C felt like a congressional medal of honor. In the long run you will be better prepared and it will benefit YOU more by taking a difficult course, but i am sure your problem at hand is not your preparation for nursing school, but actually getting into nursing school. If you do not get it (or while you wait) maybe consider looking oat ratemyprofessor.com and picking a teacher that is well rated so you can really show what ever school you are applying to that you can get an A given the opportunity- thats what I am doing. I also live in Arizona, so that is the way things work here, from other nurses I have talked to in different states, this is the way it works there too. Unfortunately a C is a C.
  9. by   kayern
    :redpinkheI do a great deal of interviewing and look very carefully at grades and GPA. My institution is not hiring AAS nurses and I don't hire nurses with anything less than a 3.5. We have very high standards and our passing grade is 90%.
  10. by   TDCHIM
    I guess I'd probably favor the person who went to the weaker program but made the most of his or her opportunities and ended up with high grades as a result. Clearly, there are other factors one weighs in considering candidates, but grades are a solid indicator. Even at a so-called "bad," or less prestigious program, there are plenty of tough classes and professors; it takes consistent effort to maintain a high GPA. I'm not going to play school snob and assume a C student from an Ivy League school (this is just a general hypothetical, obviously) is automatically a "better" candidate than an A student from a state school.

    Don't worry about whether your grade is "fair" or sit there comparing yourself to other potential candidates - it's a waste of time and energy. Just concentrate on doing your best each day. No one expects perfection; however, consistent hard work will show itself in your grades and skill level, no matter how challenging your program happens to be.
  11. by   JacobK
    Is it wrong to say go with the "good" school, and maintain a high GPA?

    However, of your two choice I would say go for attaining a high GPA. A 2.5 from anywhere is a 2.5, just like 4.0 from anywhere is a 4.0.
  12. by   guiltysins
    I think it depends on what you consider a bad school. Just because standards are a little lower doesn't make the school a bad program. Most employers don't go through the trouble of researching nursing programs, they look at your GPA and go by that. There are some very good nursing programs that some peole have never heard of because they are very small programs. They're not going to take the time to try and find out about that school.

    Think about people from out of state. They don't have time to look at what's got a lower retention rate, if it's accredited that's all they really care about.
    Last edit by guiltysins on Aug 10, '10
  13. by   EmergencyNrse
    Never had an employer ask me for my GPA.

    If you're looking to further your career in school sure,
    pad the resume with the "good grades".
    Nothing replaced quality. I'd rather have someone of quality working
    next to me.

    If you're striving for mediocrity go for the cakewalk.
    If you're wanting to do well in career accept the better program.
    Work hard.