From C’s to Degrees: Here are the Best Colleges for C Students

Various sources agree that the average GPA of high school students in the United States is 3.0.

It means that most high school grads are B students, and numerous colleges and universities in the country with a mid-level selectivity will accept them should they decide to pursue an undergraduate degree.

There are B students, and there are C students, whose average GPA is 2.0.

So, what are the best colleges for C students?

The best postsecondary institutions for C students are the least selective schools, those whose acceptance rates are 75% and above.

High school graduates with a 2.0 GPA may also consider applying to open-admission or open-enrollment institutions that accept 100% of all applicants.

In the US, most open-admission schools are community colleges.

The only requirement at community colleges that accept every student who applies to them is a high school diploma or an equivalent, such as a General Educational Development (GED) certificate.

Whether you are a C or even a B student, it doesn’t matter!

C grade

Various Best Colleges for C Students

The best colleges for C students are institutions that accept most applicants, including those that admit 100% of college-bound teens with a high school diploma or a GED certificate.

A high GPA isn’t important to these schools, particularly open-enrollment ones.

Most of the time, C student colleges do not care about GPAs.

As long as they successfully pass high school or the GED, they can get in.

College-bound teens with a 2.0 high school GPA can choose from a variety of institutions of higher education where they can work on an undergraduate degree program:

  • Two-year colleges
  • Four-year colleges
  • Online colleges

Community Colleges

Among postsecondary institutions, community colleges have the highest acceptance rates.

As mentioned, many open-admission schools in the United States are community colleges — they mostly grant associate degrees, but some also grant a limited number of bachelor’s degrees.

You can attend a community college to increase your GPA, which can then increase your chances of getting into your dream four-year institution after earning your associate degree or before obtaining it.

Here are the top 30 community colleges from the Best Community Colleges listing of Niche:

Indian Capital Technology CenterMuskogee, OK
Collins Career Technical CenterChesapeake, OH
Foothill CollegeLos Altos Hills, CA
Las Positas CollegeLivermore, CA
Renton Technical CollegeRenton, WA
Ogeechee Technical CollegeStatesboro, GA
Lorenzo Walker Technical CollegeNaples, FL
Santa Barbara City CollegeSanta Barbara, CA
Lakeshore Technical CollegeCleveland, WI
Northwood Technical CollegeRice Lake, WI
Central Louisiana Technical Community CollegeAlexandria, LA
Mitchell Technical CollegeMitchell, SD
Fox Valley Technical CollegeAppleton, WI
Lancaster County Career & Technology CenterWillow Street, PA
Pasadena City CollegePasadena, CA
Mt. San Antonio CollegeWalnut, CA
Ohlone CollegeFremont, CA
Western Iowa Tech Community CollegeSioux City, IA
Ohio State – Agricultural Technical InstituteWooster, OH
Central Wyoming CollegeRiverton, WY
Marion Technical College – FloridaOcala, FL
Brazosport CollegeLake Jackson, TX
Lake Area Technical CollegeWatertown, SD
Southwest Mississippi Community CollegeSummit, MS
Allan Hancock CollegeSanta Maria, CA
Randolph Community CollegeAsheboro, NC
University of Hawaii – Maui CollegeKahului, HI
City College of San FranciscoSan Francisco, CA
St. Philip’s CollegeSan Antonio, TX
College of San MateoSan Mateo, CA

Four-Year Colleges

C students can apply to many four-year colleges and universities with the least selectivity level.

The least selective schools are those whose acceptance rates are not less than 75%, although it’s a wonderful idea for a student with a 2.0 average to apply to institutions with higher acceptance rates of 80% to 100%.

Worry not if going to a community college isn’t an option — there are many 4-year colleges for C average students!

US News has a list called Top 100 Colleges With the Highest Acceptance Rates.

However, it’s worth pointing out that the list is a combination of two-year and four-year institutions.

I took the liberty of alphabetically listing below some four-year colleges with 100% acceptance rates included in the list:

Albizu University – MiamiMiami, FL
Baptist College of FloridaGraceville, FL
Benedictine CollegeAtchison, KS
Cameron UniversityLawton, OK
Criswell CollegeDallas, TX
Divine Word CollegeEpworth, IA
Grand View UniversityDes Moines, IA
Lewis-Clark State CollegeLewiston, ID
Middle Georgia State UniversityMacon, GA
Missouri Western State UniversitySt. Joseph, MO
Naropa UniversityBoulder, CO
North Florida CollegeMadison, FL
Southern Virginia UniversityBuena Vista, VA
South Florida State CollegeAvon Park, FL
University of ProvidenceGreat Falls, MT
The University of Texas at El PasoEl Paso, TX
Wayne State CollegeWayne, NE
Western New Mexico UniversitySilver City, NM

Online Colleges

Generally speaking, online colleges have higher acceptance rates than traditional colleges.

In many instances, the online campuses of in-person colleges and universities usually accept more non-traditional applicants than traditional applicants enrolling in their physical campuses.

Therefore, C students have higher chances of getting into college if they enroll online.

Refrain from assuming that online colleges for B and C students confer degrees that are worthless — degrees from accredited online institutions have value and are accepted by employers and graduate schools.

According to Forbes, the following are the best online colleges with 100% acceptance rates, listed alphabetically:

InstitutionGraduation Rate
Bellevue University50%
Hobe Sound Bible College48%
Idaho State University45%
The University of Texas at El Paso49%
Touro University Worldwide53%
Unity Environmental University69%
Utah Valley University38%
Western Governors University45%
Wilmington University45%

What C Students Can Do to Increase College Admission Chances

A GPA of 2.0 means you passed high school.

Congrats! It means that college is next in your academic career.

But can c students get into college?

C students can definitely get into college, although it’s worth noting that their institutional options may be substantially limited because a 2.0 GPA isn’t particularly appealing to some of the most selective schools in the land.

Fortunately, there are things you may do as a C student to boost your chances of getting accepted to college.

Highlight Your Strengths

First things first: stick to colleges and universities that review applications holistically.

Their admissions officers look at many things in a candidate’s application besides the GPA — they range anywhere from work experience to being a first-generation student, depending on the school.

In your application, ensure that your strengths pop.

Whether it’s your outstanding leadership skills, unique volunteer experience, or exceptional musical ability you want to leverage, see to it that the college of your liking knows about it.

Ace the SAT or ACT (And Submit Your Score)

Just because your top-choice college is a test-optional school doesn’t mean you can skip the SAT or ACT.

Test-optional institutions accept test scores if applicants submit them and consider them in the admissions process, too — some even accept scores from various test dates and consider only the highest section scores.

It’s not uncommon for some test-optional colleges to require applicants to submit their test scores if they have low GPAs or are interested in certain majors or programs.

Of course, if your SAT or ACT scores are horrible, it’s best to keep them to yourself.

Obtain a Strong Letter of Recommendation

Don’t just pick any teacher to write your letter of recommendation.


Choose one who can vouch for your true strengths and potential to succeed academically and professionally!

See to it that you approach a teacher who knows you inside and outside the classroom and can talk about your positive qualities in a convincing and compelling way.

Does the college accept optional additional recommendations? Grab the opportunity!

Apply to the Right Colleges

Filling your college list with nothing but Ivy League or Ivy-like colleges is unwise.

It’s also a complete waste of time and application fees!

Instead, apply to match schools (colleges where the academic profiles of incoming first-year students match yours) and safety schools (colleges where you exceed the academic profiles of incoming first-year students).

For this, it’s a must that you look into the typical GPA and test scores of successful applicants.

Explain Your Side of the Story

Last but not least, think about pointing out any extenuating circumstances.

Did someone in the family get sick, and you had to look after him or her? Did you suffer from a health crisis? Did you have to work to support yourself while attending high school? Were you diagnosed with a learning disability?

Not all high school students with a low GPA are too lazy to study or don’t care about school.

If your 2.0 GPA is due to low grades as a result of life events beyond your control, let the college learn about it.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the College Reality Check.

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