GPA rounding question (kinda unique circumstances)

malidsty's picture
Rank: Chimp | banana points 12

I'm currently a senior at a fairly prestigious university in the US. Barring any unforeseen emergencies, I anticipate that I'll graduate this spring with roughly a 3.31-3.32 cumulative GPA (my major GPA is virtually identical, maybe about .01-.02 higher). This is roughly average for my school; I believe the average cumulative GPA in my program is ~3.35.

On to my unique circumstances: I was pretty much sick af all the way through my freshman and sophomore years. My grades took a MAJOR hit, and no doctors could really tell me what was wrong with me. I took a medical leave of absence between my sophomore and junior year. I finally figured out what was wrong, made a full recovery, and have been getting straight As/A-s since returning to school (my GPA has been 3.8 over the past several semesters).

So I'm in a bit of a conundrum. I didn't bother going through the fall finance recruiting season because I was still closer to 3.2 at that point and knew I wouldn't be getting any calls back. I'm currently applying to a number of boutique PE/IB/consulting firms. I'm experiencing a lot of difficulties in getting interviews, period; I've noticed many places require a minimum GPA of somewhere between a 3.4-3.6.

I've heard conflicting advice from various sources. Some people I know have suggested that rounding a 3.31 up to a 3.4 on my resume won't be the end of the world; if a firm requests my transcript and takes issue with the discrepancy, I can explain my medical circumstances. Other people have told me absolutely not, I run a high risk of being blacklisted if I list anything other than a 3.3 on my online applications. [And side note: obviously, I would never ever consider forging information on my transcript; this is more a question of whether it could be considered acceptable to round up the GPA I list on my resume by .09 or .08 instead of the standard .05.]

I guess I'm just looking for some additional opinions. Thank you in advance for any help.

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Comments (3)

Feb 1, 2019

Rounding that much is completely unacceptable, sorry. Stick with the 3.31. If a firm catches you rounding, medical reasons are not a good defense. You can and should mention the last few years of 3.8 if asked about the GPA though.

It's hard to land boutique IB/PE without connections, try sending some interest emails, you'll have a much higher success rate than the black hole of online apps. Alternatively, if the GPA is a big issue you can take some summer classes or delay graduation until the fall - could bring your GPA up and still benefit from on campus recruiting.

Feb 1, 2019

If you honestly think rounding a 3.31 to a 3.4 is acceptable, I wouldn't want to hire you. It shows (a) you don't understand basic math, i.e. round if the last decimal is 5 or higher, (2) you are dishonest and can't be transparent about yourself - which they will realize you need to submit your transcripts, (c) you are completely oblivious as to look at the other 50 forums that have addressed this same question, and (d) you are beyond naive if you genuinely think that 0.09 points on your GPA will make/break a hiring decision. I'm not trying to be rude - I just want you to understand what a hiring manager will think when you tell them you have a 3.4 GPA and then they realize you lied on your application (and the inevitable conversation you'll have to have defending your actions).

Feb 1, 2019