How To Get Admission And Funding In USA & Canada With Low GPA

Estimated read time 9 min read

This article aims to help international students from countries like Ghana, Nigeria, etc. secure admission with some funding to their dream universities. Sometimes life does come at us, and things do happen. Your final GPA from your undergraduate studies might not be the best or be classified as fairly good.

But that does not mean you can’t make things happen. There are a few tips you can adapt to get admission to your dream school and also offer your dream programs.

Sometimes, with a low GPA, it’s very hard to find good programs at most schools in the USA and Canada. However, there are numerous schools that accept applicants with low GPAs.

What you should take into consideration is the program you’re willing to offer and the competition involved during admissions. In courses like computer science, you have some sort of competition, even though there are additional prerequisites and requirements before one can gain admission.

One of my good friends I met during my undergraduate study days will say that getting admission is not a problem, but getting proper funding or a scholarship to help reduce your financial burden during your studies is also very important.

To get some funding or a scholarship from most schools, you have to prove some sort of leadership skills and seriousness during your undergraduate studies. Or, let’s say, your previous graduate studies.

In this case, since you have a low GPA, work experience can be something you can use as a cover-up. And also, a good statement of purpose as well as a personal project embarked on or completed. All this will contribute to you getting some sort of funding from a school.

What’s Classified As A Low GPA

On average and according to multiple sources, a low GPA ranges from 0 to 2.5 on a scale of 4.0. This is because for most schools in the USA and Canada, their average or minimum GPA requirement is mostly 3.0 on a scale of 4.0. And some Ivy league and popular public universities have a minimum GPA of 3.3.

Tips To Get Admission With Low GPA

At the end of our researches and finding from experienced individuals we curated almost ten (10) tips that can help applicants with low GPA after undergraduate studies get admission into their dream universities to read their preferred programs.

1. Search school that accept applicants with Low GPA:

The first step to take trying to gain admission in a graduate school is to search for schools that accepts low GPA. This is not something hard to do. You can search for them on search engines like Google or Microsoft bing.

Curate a list of all this schools down in your book on PC and then check whether they offer the your preferred course. And if they do offer your preferred program check their requirements. Thus, minimum GPA mainly and few others to verify if you’re qualified to apply.

If you have any questions, you can contact the program or admission representatives through email and they will get your questions answered.

2.. Put in your application very early:

This some of the tip every advisor will tell someone having a low GPA is to put in he or her application very early. This is because some school do process applications very early and you applying earlier, your application can be considered if it strong.

Let’s say you’re willing to enter into your preferred school during the fall term, you should put in your application as an international student around September to early January the next year. Do not wait until regular periods like February, March, April etc were most applicants are drafting their applications.

Also, according to most schools, early applications are ones considered for scholarship opportunities. And sometimes do advise individuals who like to get some funding to apply very early in order to be considered.

3. Try WES evaluation or any similar transcript evaluation institution:

Another crucial thing to do have a low GPA is to order for a transcript evaluation. There are numerous evaluation institutions currently, but the most popular and widely accepted amongst most schools in the US and Canada is the WES.

Most schools do require WES evaluation for all international students with international certificates and transcripts. Although the WES evaluation can be expensive, it’s worth it. Sometimes, your low GPA can be boosted after this evaluation since some courses might be eliminated when considered as not useful. It might reduce as well, but with this its nit certain.

Having your transcript evaluated can help you get considered by the admission board and if you are lucky you can get some sort of funding as well. Apparently, the total cost involved in evaluation is $300 approximately.

You can get this done yourself. You just have to create an account with WES and fill in the right info, select your package and you’re ready to go. You can check out our previous article on how to complete your WES evaluation process.

4. Take GRE exam and try to attain high score:

Another good step to take in order to bag admission with your low GPA is to take GRE exams. This is because, most applicants from Africa skip the GRE thing because of it cost and fear to fail. In this case, having a GRE scores proves to the the admission board that you can still be considered for admission because you still got the brains to study.

Also: Tips To Get Application Fees Waivers

5. Have good recommendation letters:

Mostly, most school require you provide at least two recommendation letters. A good recommendation letter is required here. Not writing or submitting the recommendation is needed, but there should be some vital information that will make it a good one.

Also its advisable to take two recommendation letters from your alma mater and one from your previous or current work place. Workplace because, most graduate programs require some sort of experience or work experience and mostly applicants with work experience are somehow considered.

6. Have a good statement of purpose:

Your statement of purpose is going to represent you in front of the admission board when the admission process is in commernce. Simply, an SOP is a summary about yourself, academic background, experience and career after studies.

A good SOP will not only help you get admission but also help you get a full scholarship if its well convincing and on point. I read an article on how an Indian applicant got a fully funded scholarship at Harvard university because of how good his statement of purpose was.

Writing a statement of purpose is nothing complex. We have a full article or guide on how to write a good or better one.

7. Have some work experience:

Having some valid work experience can help you gain admission to the graduate school with your low GPA. Just as mentioned earlier most graduate schools do want students with at least 1-5 years working experience. Having some work experience will add you to the favorites.

Individuals willing to apply to programs like compute science, computer engineering, data science, Information systems, management of information systems should try to gain some work experience before planning to further their education with their low GPA.

This is because programs like this have an average GPA of 3.0 so for a 2.5 tp 2.99 GPA holder to accepted one should have some work experience to support him or her.

8. Target schools in Colder regions:

Another thing to do is to target cold regions. This is because most people won’t apply to school in colder regions because of the weather conditions. And mostly schools in colder regions are not that popular.

It mostly not common to hear about universities in the US like University of Maine, University of Idaho, Vermont university and in Canada Calgary university. This is because they are in cold regions and mostly people do avoid living in areas with bad weather.

In this case, you can take this as an advantage and apply to at least two schools in these regions. Mostly, some of these school in cold regions have extremely low GPA’s since they are not that internationally recognized.

9. Target school in rural cities:

The last of our list is , to target school in rural areas. This should be actually added to the colder region point. But we decided to seperate it becuase it looks like a broad point and should stand on it own.

Mostly in Canada and in the US, most univerities do have different campuses. And example is university of Northeastern having campuses in Oakland California, Boston Massachusset, Vancouver Canada, Seattle Washington etc, Northwestern University also having numerous campuses in Canada and USA, University of Houston, University of Florida, University of Michigan having several campuses as well as University of Alabama and few others.

The tip here is try to apply to the branches of these big universities. The main campus might have or require a high GPA and tought requirements to gain admission but its other campuses might have lesser requirements.

Read Also: IPMC Ghana Courses And Certifcations

List Of Schools In The USA That Accept Low GPA

1. Western New Mexico University

2. Tulane University

3. Kalamazoo College

4. University Of Vermont

5. California State University

6. University of Dayton

7. University of Houston –  Victoria

8. Marywood University

9. University of Bridgeport

10. Lincoln University

11. Johnson & Wales University

List Of Schools In Canada That Accept Low GPA

1. Athabasca University

2. Cape Breton University

3. Thompson Rivers University

4. Lakehead University

5. Mount Saint Vincent University

List Of Colder Cities And States In The USA

Below are some of the cities and states in the US that are classified to be in the cold regions. Its good to check out universities in the below listed cities and state.

1. Alaska : 30.7°F

2. North Dakota : 42.4°F

3. Minnesota : 42.5°F

4. Wyoming : 43.9°F

5. Montana : 44.6°F

6. Maine : 44.9°F

7. Wisconsin : 45°F

8. Idaho : 45.3°F

9. Vermont : 45.7°F

10. Michigan : 46.7°F

In a nutshell, this is almost everything one should know when willing to bag an admission with a low GPA. And also, if funding is what you want, this guide will be of good use to you. To be able to do this, you just need to make all necessary preparations to prevent rush and mistakes.

This is nothing difficult you can’t do as a graduate willing to further his or her education to the masters or PHD level. Remember, a perfect and well put together application will increase your chances of bagging admission with your dream scholarships.


Michael Rashaan is a webmaster and co-founder of Kbroda Groups. I currently hold a double major degree in Information science and Political science. During my Information science days at the university, I got enlightened more on how vital and powerful information is to human and businesses. As an information science graduate, I love to give out information that seems important for free through my research-oriented blog posts. Another part of me is, I also love to give back to the society, even though I don’t have much. This has made me develop the habit of writing and publishing. I see this to be the little role I play to make the society better. Contact me on

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