Here’s Why the Average Millionaire’s College GPA is 2.9

Featured Video Play Icon

GPA may be a more accurate measure of how well students comply with rules.

Almost everyone, at one point or another, has wondered what really successful people do differently from the rest of us. Perhaps surprisingly, on average, millionaires have a mean college GPA of 2.9, which is slightly below the national average of 3.0. Human behavior expert Eric Barker, author of Barking Up the Wrong Tree, discusses why this is, based on Karen Arnold’s research conducted at Boston College, which looks at the success of class valedictorians.

The study found that American schools teach students to comply with rules, and those who are good at functioning within the system become part of the system, not change it. While valedictorians generally score high when it comes to conscientiousness, those who are more likely to become millionaires are the ones with “grit.” They might not be very good at following the rules, but they do not lose sight of their long-term goals.

“And that’s how they do really well,” Barker says. “And sometimes they don’t play by the rules, Sometimes they do things differently. Because in school, rules are very clear. In life rules are not so clear. So a certain amount of not playing by the rules is advantageous once you get out of a closed system like education.”

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.

Photo Credit: wk1003mike / Shutterstock.com

For more than 10 years, Fair Observer has been free, fair and independent. No billionaire owns us, no advertisers control us. We are a reader-supported nonprofit. Unlike many other publications, we keep our content free for readers regardless of where they live or whether they can afford to pay. We have no paywalls and no ads.

In the post-truth era of fake news, echo chambers and filter bubbles, we publish a plurality of perspectives from around the world. Anyone can publish with us, but everyone goes through a rigorous editorial process. So, you get fact-checked, well-reasoned content instead of noise.

We publish 2,500+ voices from 90+ countries. We also conduct education and training programs on subjects ranging from digital media and journalism to writing and critical thinking. This doesn’t come cheap. Servers, editors, trainers and web developers cost money. Please consider supporting us on a regular basis as a recurring donor or a sustaining member.