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Should I Prolong My Graduation Date for a Higher GPA?


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I am currently in the process of trying to decide whether or not I should prolong my graduation, in order to get a higher GPA. Currently I am able to graduate about two years earlier (I started in Aug 2016) for my undergrad than anticipated, if I do this, then my cumulative GPA for when I start applications will be a 3.69. I am mainly seeking to apply to NYU Tandon(first choice) and Stony Brook University for their graduate programs, with their Technology Management programs being my choice. Long story short, if I were to apply this upcoming semester,  my application would include the following:

-Recipient of around $50,000 in outside organization scholarships that I am using currently for undergrad tuition, recipient of a $28,000 dorm scholarship from my institution, Honors College member and recipient of a $2,800 book scholarship, 2 year Resident Assistant (RA), 3 technology related internships -all of which seek to help higher education, Residential Hall Association President, Residence Hall Council Treasurer, I served as my institution's National Communications Coordinator, National Residence Hall Honorary Member(NRHH), Omicron Delta Kappa Honors Society member, Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society member, former tutor at my institution's Writing Center, and IC3 Global Standard Digital Literacy Certification.

Alongside this, I speak two languages other than English, I am half-asian, and I can obtain three strong recommendation letters from the Honors College Director, the Head of Student Placements (NYU undergrad and grad alum), and a Computer Science Professor whom I have taken classes and done an internship with. 

I am currently taking a GRE prep class, so I have no knowledge of my score on that yet. I am mainly worried about my GPA, and the fact that it is a 3.69 which places me in the B+ overall range. I currently have the option of completing my degree this coming December, or prolonging it to next May and obtaining around a 3.75 GPA if I did so. I am honestly unsure if getting the higher GPA is worth it or not, so if I could have advice on this then it would be appreciated! I am fully aware that many different factors go into being accepted towards graduate programs, however, I wish to know if at this point staying where I am or trying to move up is what seems best in other people's eyes. 

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  • 3 months later...


So I'm from a different field (biological sciences) but I would say that your GPA is not the only factor in your application. In fact, as long as there are no red flags (which for you there doesn't seem to be any), it is merely a number they use to screen out candidates. With your awards and experiences, I would say that your profile seems strong. The only thing grad programs may be concerned about is your maturity/age. Admissions panels want to make sure you know what you're heading in for. So, I think as long as your letters of rec and statement of purpose put you in a professional light, I think you should have no problem applying.

I do agree with rising_star about looking into classes offered by your university that may better prepare you for grad school. 

Best of luck!

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