An academic grade point average, or GPA, is a quantitative measure used to assess a student's academic achievement. A majority of public and private institutions calculate GPAs on a numeric scale with an upper boundary of 4.0. To understand the meaning of a GPA of 2.4, you must first develop an understanding of the way a GPA is calculated and utilized to assess achievement.
Understanding Grade Calculations
Letter grades correspond with both a percentile score that is calculated out 100 and a numerical equivalent representing on a scale that ranges from 0.0 to 4.0. Grades represented by the letter A correspond with a percentile score from 90 to 100. Most academic institutions calculate that a percentile score of 95 to 100 corresponds with the numerical equivalent 4.0. A percentile score of 94 corresponds to a 3.9, a 93 corresponds to a 3.8 and so on through a score of 65, which typically corresponds to a 0.0, though some schools make minor adjustments so a 60 corresponds to a 0.0. A GPA is a quantitative average of your total corresponding numerical scores for a semester, academic year or entire academic program.
A grade point average of 2.4 corresponds with a letter grade C or C+. Most academic calculations determine that a GPA of 2.4 corresponds with a percentile score of 79. A 2.4 may indicate that a majority of your percentile grades are represented in the range of 75 to 84, but it may also indicate that you have grades that include several high scores in the 80s as well as several low scores in the 60s. A 2.4 GPA indicates that, when the sum of your scores are averages together, the average score is a 79, or C+.
Both grades and GPAs are indicators of student achievement. Generally speaking, the letter grades A, B, C, D and F are treated as a bell curve so students who receive As and Fs are in the minority and the majority of students receive Cs. Using this system, a GPA of 2.4 would be regarded as an average or slightly above average GPA. However, most public and private educational institutions use standards-based grading programs. In a standards-based system, students are expected to meet a higher standard of proficiency to achieve advancement. These scoring systems typically assert that a student has met the standards for proficiency at a percentile score of 80 or GPA of 2.5, and, therefore, a 2.4 would only qualify as "approaching standard proficiency."
A GPA of 2.4, at most public and private high schools, qualifies a student to graduate. Admissions officers in colleges also consider an applicant's GPA in making admissions decisions. A GPA of 2.4 is typically not considered high enough for the country's most selective and highly selective colleges, which tend to look for GPAs of at least 3.5. A 2.4 is an acceptable GPA for a range of public universities, especially in light of extenuating circumstances or supplementary application materials. In higher education, students are often required to maintain a target GPA within their major or program in addition to their overall GPA. Though a 2.4 is not regarded as a GPA worthy of academic suspension in most colleges and universities, rigorous degree programs in subjects like law or medicine may require a student to maintain a GPA above 2.5 or even 3.0 depending on the selectivity and academic rigor of the institution.
- "What It Really Takes to Get Into the Ivy League"; Chuck Hughes; 2003
- "Admission Matters: What Students and Parents Need to Know About Getting into College"; Sally Springer, Jon Reider and Marion Franck; 2009
- "Formative Assessment and Standards-Based Grading: Classroom Strategies That Work"; Robert J. Marzano; 2009
- Princeton Review: GPA Conversion Chart
Hannah Wahlig began writing and editing professionally in 2001. Her experience includes copy for newspapers, journals and magazines, as well as book editing. She is also a certified lactation counselor. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mount Holyoke College, and Master's degrees in education and community psychology from the University of Massachusetts.