Grades do matter. Many parents are not sure of this, but it’s definitely true in regard to student college financial aid. With financial planning for college, parents always take their income and assets into account. Taking control of the financial aspect is key, as we constantly say here at WPC … however, so is taking control of a child’s ability to achieve.
Colleges do give merit scholarships. And they base the student’s financial aid package on how well they do academically. Why? Well, think of it this way: Would you invest in a student that has a poor academic record, displays no interest in school activities and/or the community? Probably not. And neither will the school.
On paper, a student who does poorly will not receive a dime. A student who does just enough to get by will not receive a dime as well. It is the student who goes above and beyond to achieve that the colleges will look favorably upon. Remember, colleges at the core are a business. A multi-billion dollar business that invests in each of its students. An institution will give more college grant money to a student who it feels will contribute to the name of the school in the future. Think of the student as an employee. Would you hire a so-so candidate to work in your company or a stellar one?
In general, WPC finds upper middle class (UMC) students to be competitive in academics and at school. Now more than ever, it’s imperative that the student is top tier to receive money from the school itself and outside scholarships.
We’ve also noticed a trend that top tier students are focused on one interest that umbrellas to other interests. For example, if a student loves animals, s/he works with the local Humane Society, has started a school program to help animals and has her/his own start up organization helping animals as well. Three separate extracurriculars, but one specific focus.
In fact, the College Board says:
Keep in mind, colleges are not interested in seeing you “do it all.”
“We’re looking for a commitment to and a passion for an activity outside of the academic setting—we’re looking for depth rather than breadth,” explains Nanci Tessier, a college admissions director.
So make sure the student has great grades and shows a focus in extracurricular activities to back up the smarts. A well-round, focused student has a much better chance of receiving educational financial aid from the school. So, yes, grades matter.
Source: “Extracurricular Activities” collegeboard.com.