You can become a college graduate, even with low grades in high school.

There are many reasons that even a high school rockstar may suffer a slump in grades and end up with a less-than ideal GPA. If your GPA is 1.7, don’t let this feel like a negative. Depending on where you're in your high school career, a 1.7 GPA doesn’t mean that colleges won’t consider you or that employers will glance over your resume. There are many ways to turn what may seem like a negative into a positive for a glowing future.

College Grading Scale

The college grading scale shows a 1.7 GPA as a D, or less than a 72 percent. If the GPA is in a first semester, don’t despair. If you currently have a D average and a few semesters left, you can bring the lagging GPA up to a B average with a bit of hard work. Ask your professors for extra credit and get the staff involved in your mission to raise your GPA above its current level. If you show initiative, often professors and teachers will step in to assist you as best they can. A GPA of 2.0 or higher can raise your opportunities for college and employment.

Positive Perceptions Matter

When applying to a college, you may feel a low GPA is a beacon that tells the admissions officer that you aren’t a serious student. That is just one of the many things that a college considers. The admissions officer will look at the entire application package that you have put together, from your personal essay to any outstanding circumstances that could have affected your low GPA.

Emphasize your strengths throughout your application and keep a positive tone. Make sure to mention everything you do outside of the classroom. Consider that the admissions officers are looking for stellar people, not a pile of papers with statistics and percentages they can tick off on some imaginary checklist. Present the whole you, not just the numbers you’ve accumulated over your academic career.

Colleges That Accept a 1.7 GPA

There are many online colleges that will admit a student with a 1.7 GPA, including Western Governors University and University of Phoenix. If you take the online courses, you can raise your GPA and gain entrance to a university you prefer at a later date. Local community colleges will also overlook a lagging GPA to assist students in gaining access to a higher education in order to improve their chances of more gainful employment.