Ask Sr. Sally: Do Grades Matter?

Parents, teachers, and parents are always harping on the importance of students’ grades. Are they right to do it? Why do they matter?
Q: Do you think upperclassmen take their classes more serious than underclassmen?
A: For most of us, yes.

As an upperclassman at Central I can vouch for the good majority of us that take our grades seriously. Although I’ve always been good about keeping my grades up, I can definitely say that passing a class as a senior seems far more like life and death compared to passing a class during, say, freshman year.

As a freshman and sophomore, you might not know what you want to do when you graduate high school, but for the majority, getting into college is the goal. I know that even when I was a junior I didn’t know where I wanted to go to college, what I wanted to do, or how I was going to pay for it (the latter still applies). It wasn’t until the end of junior year and the beginning of senior year that I started to realize the importance of my grades in relation to getting into college. When you start applying to colleges you must fill in lots of blanks, one of which being your GPA. For instance, to get into Black Hills State University, you must meet one of three requirements. You must have at least a 2.6 cumulative GPA, be in the top 60% of your class, or get a minimum of an 18 on your ACT. If you’re not great at taking standardized tests and you aren’t in the top 60% of your class, you will have to rely completely on your GPA in order to get into that college. In the end, it’s a lot easier to stay focused on your grades and maintain the best GPA possible so you won’t be stressed when it comes time to fill out those college applications.senior-sally

As a senior, I can also say that in previous years I took my education for granted. Not in the sense that I didn’t care about my grades, but that I didn’t think about how much the classes I was taking would cost if I were to take them in college. After researching college tuition costs, I soon developed a new-found appreciation for free public schooling. These college students are paying $20,000-$25,000 dollars a year for their education! It only makes sense to take advantage of dual enrollment while you can. Western Dakota Tech offers free tuition and books to high school students in Rapid City who wish to dual enroll. This is a great opportunity because you can get a jump start on your degree without paying a single penny for classes. Of course, to qualify to dual enrollment have a decent GPA.

In the end, your grades should matter to you no matter what grade you are in.

In the end, your grades should matter to you no matter what grade you are in. The earlier you start taking your education seriously, the more scholarships, grants and acceptances to colleges you will receive. The easiest way to do well in your classes is to just show up, turn your assignments in on time, and put in effort. Take advantage of dual enrollment and extra credit and you should be set for graduation and beyond in no time!

Artwork by Sydney Bitz