Do trade schools look at GPA?

Trade schools

A trade school provides programs that require practical skills. Thus providing vocational courses. These courses include fields like plumbing, bartender, welder, bookkeeper, mechanic, chef, and many more. These are provided in the form of certificate courses, associate degrees (specialization), and diplomas. These curriculums are very specific and thus are not selected by a large group of people. But it is also a great way to kick start your career if you are sure about the field you want to pursue. This is also beneficial to the students as it saves time as well as money. The program aims at specific and quick employment so that people don’t waste time learning subjects they don’t want to pursue in the future. In this article we shall see if trade schools look at GPA?

Do trade schools look at GPA?


Grade Point Average or GPA refers to the standard system which is adapted throughout the United States to evaluate students’ performance. It depends on the overall percentage that the students achieve. For example, 90.0% is considered grade A. Following grade A, the range of 80.0% and 89.9% is considered grade B, and so on. Percentage below 65.0% is the grade F. As the words Grade Point suggest, the grades A, B, D, D, and F are numbered 4 to 0. Thus, 4 is the highest GPA any student can achieve in most high schools. You also have to consider Weighted and Unweighted GPA. Which one your high school considers depends on the high school itself. They generally mention it beforehand. 

Types of Grade systems

The Unweighted grade system is simply the grade point average of the percentage received. The Weighted grade system is a bit complicated. In this system, the high school takes the difficulty of the program. The difficult courses go a bit lenient on the GPA, while the easy courses don’t. On average, the highest GPA is achieved in non-academic subjects (for example, Physical Education, Health, etc.) while the lowest GPA is achieved in core subjects (for example, Mathematics, English, etc.). If GPA is asked, one should always tell the highest GPA of the two if it is not specified. Many people who avoid colleges either have low grades and are not interested in further studies or need a quick paycheck. But high school doesn’t allow students to get employed. For these students, trade schools are the perfect option. 

Trade colleges require high school or General Educational Development (GED) test certification. Many trade colleges don’t require any GPA requirement. Others, if they do, needless GPA which, in most cases, is 2 (grade D). Some of them also require prior experience in the respective field that the student is applying. For some schools, SAT and ACT scores factor in. But considering this certificate course/diploma takes considerably less time than a Bachelor’s degree, a trade school is a great option for people who want to earn quicker. Some of the highest paying jobs include masonry, nursing, plumbing, carpentry, heavy equipment operating (construction), commercial diver, and electrician.

Trade schools are spread all over the United States, including Ohio, Texas, Iowa, Dakota, etc. The ranking of the college changes with the courses. A school can be famous for a particular program while another is famous for another program.

Fee structure 

The fee of the course depends on the college as well as the course the student undertakes. Tuition can be between $1,000 to $70,000 or even more. The average tuition fee for 2017-18, according to The U.S. Department of Education’s College Affordability and Transparency Center (CATC) is

Public two-year: $3,588

Private not-for-profit, two-year: $14,182

Private for-profit, two-year: $14,547


Even though trade schools cost less than bachelor’s degrees, some students might require financial aid to pay for the need. Below are a few of the grants provided by the state: 

1. Oklahoma Tuition Aid Grant (OTAG): Students attending courses who want to pursue a career in technology can receive up to $1,000. The student should be eligible for a Pell Grant. They should also be a part of an undergraduate degree or certificate program which is at least part-time.

2. California Cal Grant C: Low- to middle-income students are eligible for the California Cal Grant. Those who want to attend technical or vocational programs can apply for this grant. The program should be at least 4 months long. Qualifying students get up to $2,462 for tuition and an additional $547 for books and other equipment.

3. Washington College Grant Program: Based on the individual’s school, family size, income, and program cost, Washington state gives grants to eligible students.

Overall net price, including tuition, books, and supplies after applying for financial aid,

Public two-year: $7,505

Private for-profit, two year: $18,711

Private not-for-profit, two-year: $20,402

Trade schools are useful to those who don’t want to pursue mainstream education (graduation) and focus on one particular skill. 


Trade schools do not look at GPA in most cases. If the school mentions that it is, it is not more than 2.0.