It comes as no surprise that your GPA can be a significant factor that employers take into consideration. But what does your GPA really say about you? I would say that the answer is different for adult learners compared to their younger counterparts.
For the most part a traditional college student can devote most of their time to attending class, studying, reading, etc. For the non-traditional student this may not be the reality. In addition to school there are priorities such as family, work, and many other responsibilities.
A traditional college student who focuses most of their time and effort should be able to maintain a great GPA if they want to. For those who are trying to balance school with work, family, grocery shopping, paying bills, mowing the grass, and other responsibilities it is virtually impossible to pull the same GPA because of the lack of time to devote to studies. Does that mean the non-traditional student is not as hard working or intelligent as their traditional counter-part? Definitely not!
In fact, a student with a full-time job, two kids, and a wife who pulls a 3.0 is probably a better student than the 18 year old you works 15 hours a week and lives at home who earns a 3.3. This isn’t a bash on younger students because they are taking advantage of the opportunities afforded to them by attending school without all of the barriers. Younger students should be applauded for their efforts and wisdom to attend school while they are still young.
GPA isn’t the accurate measuring stick it used to be because the educational landscape has dramatically changed. Years ago college campuses were filled with students directly out of high school. There was no such thing as a “non-traditional student” or an “adult learner.” Over time the community college and the internet have caused a major demographic shift. In fact, the “non-traditional” student label placed upon adults is becoming a misnomer because the number of adult students is virtually equal to those directly out of high school.
So if your grade point average is not where you would like it to be don’t get down on yourself. Take a moment to look at the entire situation in perspective. It’s probably not because you’ve been lazy or that you don’t care about your education. The fact of the matter is you have a lot on your plate trying to balance all of your responsibilities.
If a potential employer brings up your GPA during an interview, which would probably not happen anyway, it is your time to turn it around and show them how you were able to graduate and obtain your degree despite juggling so many other responsibilities. Employers do not necessarily care about your grade point average. What they care about is your work ethic, faithfulness, and ability to handle adversity. So keep on studying and remember that while your GPA says something about you as a student it does not tell the entire story.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments!