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How much does college GPA matter when applying for a SA position

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  • How much does college GPA matter when applying for a SA position

    I graduated college with a dual major in criminal law and psychology, and had a overall GPA of 2.944.

    Is there a GPA requirment to apply for a SA job (FBI or ATF)?

    How much does GPA actually weigh in when they look at applicants?

    Thanks.

  • #2
    Having solid real world experience is more important.

    Add in some other skills like language, foreign experience, advanced degrees, military experience, prior LE, etc...you are well on your way

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    • #3
      From what I have been told they don't really matter, agencies that have minimum GPA requirements just care that achieved the GPA. So if an agency says minimum GPA of 3.0, they don't really care if you have a 3.1 or 3.9, all they care about is if you have a 3.0. However your GPA can impact where you start on the pay scale, some agencies hire entry level SA's at the 7 level which means you have to have above a 3.0 cumulative or a 3.5 in your major, whereas at the 5 level they just care if you got a degree.

      So for you with a GPA of 2.944 you would not be eligible for the 7 level, unless you had a 3.5 or better in your major. Now if you have other work experience that could help but I am just talking about meeting requirements with education only. So if your GPA in your major is less then a 3.5 then you can only apply at the 5 level, if you are only applying based on your education.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by myu2 View Post
        I graduated college with a dual major in criminal law and psychology, and had a overall GPA of 2.944.

        Is there a GPA requirment to apply for a SA job (FBI or ATF)?

        How much does GPA actually weigh in when they look at applicants?

        Thanks.
        When applying for federal jobs, you have to have higher than a 3.0 GPA to qualify for SAA (superior academic achievement). SAA qualifies you for gs-7 positions. Since your GPA is lower than that, you might only qualify for gs-5 positions based on your education.

        So yes GPA does matter somewhat. I know a lot of 1811 positions don't even advertise gs-5 entry level openings, and even gs-7 is rare lately.
        What is Perseverance?
        -Perseverance is commitment, hard work, patience, endurance.
        -Perseverance is being able to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint.
        -PERSEVERANCE IS TRYING AGAIN AND AGAIN.


        BOP - BPA - ICE

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        • #5
          Having solid real world experience is more important.
          If this were actually true with every agency, there would be no degree requirements in fed law enforcement whatsoever. In fact, there ARE people with so much experience that degree requirements are waived or who easily get hired without a degree. There are also people with a ton of "real world experience" who can't put two sentences together or write an investigative report to save their lives. But I think what the poster is asking is if one already has a degree, how much does GPA matter.

          Outside of meeting any specific standards for GS grades, these are some intangible aspects to a GPA that, while they may not matter as far as agency requirements, may "get one noticed" at the interview stage. A 3.9 may impress an interviewer, as might an average GPA, but at an impressive school. An extremely low GPA may also raise some eyebrows, and I think anyone with a 1.8 GPA should be able to show WHY they got a 1.8.

          In any case, a 2.9 is certainly respectable and you should have no problems.
          "Sir, does this mean that Ann Margaret's not coming?"

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          • #6
            Originally posted by GreenLine View Post
            Outside of meeting any specific standards for GS grades, these are some intangible aspects to a GPA that, while they may not matter as far as agency requirements, may "get one noticed" at the interview stage. A 3.9 may impress an interviewer, as might an average GPA, but at an impressive school. An extremely low GPA may also raise some eyebrows, and I think anyone with a 1.8 GPA should be able to show WHY they got a 1.8.

            In any case, a 2.9 is certainly respectable and you should have no problems.
            Very valid points GreenLine.

            My point was most 1811's are not straight from college unless if they have something really special in their background (language skills, family member currently in agency, etc).

            Therefore you need real world experience to help especially during panel interview. For example, the defense contractor I work for now has an opening in NC. Most of my division are former Feds and we all have at least BA/BA and most with advanced degrees. We interviewed a guy last week with BS, MBA, and Ph D...really impressive resume.

            Under work experience there was nothing in the "real world" except college training and he was asking to start at 150K, needless to say it was a short interview. My point is/was you need to bring something more to the table then just a BA/BS with decent numbers, a college degree today is the equivalent standard to HS Diploma 40 years ago.

            Can't teach life experience...stay safe all.

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            • #7
              Coming from someone who has been through multiple application processes and interviews with only a bachelors degree, a masters degree in the works, and no LE or military experience, my GPA helped me move through the process a great deal. I had a 3.5 for my undergrad and currently maintain a 3.8 in my masters program. It seems as though this helped me through the early selection phases, by keeping my application out of the trash, as well as the interview portions. If I had some LE or military experience I'm not sure my GPA would have mattered as much as just having the degree in general, but because my education represents almost the whole of my qualifications as a candidate, I'm sure it didn't hurt that I was putting up good numbers.

              Good luck to you with your applications!

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              • #8
                myu2- There's actually a few different requirements to reach the GS or GL-7 level under Superior Academic Achievement. Look 1/2 down this page: http://www.opm.gov/qualifications/po...nOfStds-04.asp Even with a 2.9, if your class standing is in the top 1/3 or you had a 3.0 in your final 2 years of school you would meet the requirements for "Superior Academic Achievement". Most importantly when you apply for a position review the requirements for each pay scale, BOP Correctional Officers only allows GL-6s with experience or some graduate credits in a related field.

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