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Maria Fischer

Campus Chatter: “Cs get degrees” saying isn’t always a good mindset

Cs do indeed get degrees, but when my coursework builds up, you can expect me to set down the drinks and pick up the books.

Like most students at Ohio University, I view college as a time for both work and play. Though we are here to get an education and advance in our careers, outside of the classroom is where we make our most cherished college memories.

But sometimes work piles up and the play is put on the backburner. It might seem like a no-brainer to make your grades a priority, but things get tricky when you have that one friend that always lays on the temptation:

“You shouldn’t be so hard on yourself! Take a break and go out with us! After all, you know what they say: Cs get degrees.”

There’s no denying the saying — Cs do get degrees. When May rolls around, the 4.0 students and the 2.0 students will get the same diploma.

So if you only need a bare minimum to earn your degree, just how important is your grade point average during college anyway?

The significance of your GPA in college depends on your post-graduation plans. If you plan on going to graduate school or medical school, your GPA is going to matter.

Just like undergrad applications, graduate school admission committees look at your transcripts and evaluate your work throughout your four years. They’ll see if you’ve been a consistently good student; they’ll see if your grades were low during your freshman and sophomore years but improved during your junior and senior years.

And unfortunately for many seniors, they’ll likely see if you had a serious case of senioritis and slacked off your last few semesters.

While it seems obvious that maintaining a high GPA is essential to being accepted into graduate programs at top schools, GPA is not the end all. According to Sandy Kreisberg, founder of the MBA admissions consulting firm HBSGuru, even a “perfect” Ivy League student with a nearly flawless GPA still only has an 85 percent chance of getting into the Harvard Business School graduate program.

“The biggest risk this person has of not getting into Harvard Business School is screwing up the interview, especially at HBS where the interview counts,” Kreisberg told CBS in 2011.

Kreisberg said there is more that goes into admittance than just solid grades. Everything from poor recommendations to “secret haters” can sway the opinions of admission committees.

However, Kreisberg points out that even though top schools will reject 4.0 kids for minor interview or recommendation slipups, “they rarely do.”

After living above a Court Street bar for almost a year, it certainly seems like the desire to go out and have fun flows through a bobcat’s blood. Though it’s tempting to jump at every invitation to hit the bricks, I want my GPA to be a reflection of the hard work I put into my undergraduate years. I haven’t decided if my academic future includes grad school or not, but why put my GPA at risk?

Cs do indeed get degrees, but when my coursework builds up, you can expect me to set down the drinks and pick up the books. 

Maria Fischer is a junior studying journalism. Email her at

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