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Students have possibilities to hurdle GPA goals

May 4, 2012

Like many students, Casey Mayton was one of many first year students to attend UW-River Falls. Unlike some of his incoming peers, Mayton was rejected by Madison when he applied to the business program because of an average grade point average (GPA).

“I think that [grades] and then specific courses [are the reasons I didn’t get in],” said Mayton. “It was a 3.5 cut off and that’s what I had. I heard they take the 4.0, and then the 3.9, then the 3.8.”

Mayton, who decided to attend UWRF and take advantage of the accredited business program, set a goal for himself to achieve a 4.0 grade point average for the rest of his academic career, and with the exception of a winter class that brought his GPA down to a 3.9, he had achieved this.

When he started taking classes at UW-Marathon County (UWMC) in Wausau, Wis. after graduation, he had planned to move onto a 4-year college afterwards to pursue a Bachelors degree in Business, but he just didn’t know where.

He was originally thinking about going to Green Bay because of they had a business program, and so he could follow the Green Bay Packers, his favorite football team, at a closer location. After more research he found that the program wasn’t accredited so he looked elsewhere. Other options for him included UW-Stevens Point, UW-Eau Claire, and UW-Madison.

He applied to Madison in high hope that he would be accepted because he enjoyed the campus and was told about the business program by one of his professors at UWMC. Eventually, he received a letter telling him that he was not accepted into the program.

Even though he was not accepted into Madison, it gave him a whole new incentive to try harder in classes so that he could get into a good graduate school program.

“It was good motivation to try hard and be successful,” he said. “[Without that experience] I would have gotten good grades, but it wouldn’t have been as motivated.”

Like Mayton, many students on the UW-River Falls campus have set goals for themselves to achieve high ranking GPA’s. With the average GPA on campus for all 6,140 students on campus at 2.86, not all students are setting their goals on a 4.0 like Mayton, but through different programs on campus, this could be a reality for some.

For freshman who are living in the dorms, one of these opportunities could be to live in learning communities. Research on the River Falls campus has indicated that students retain education at higher rates, which means they are more satisfied on campus, said Sarah Egesrtrom.

“That seemed like a natural fit with so many of our first years students living here on campus.”

Originally this program started as a Pilate with the College of Arts and Sciences. Now there are five of theses communities, which include roughly 300 first-year students.

The grades of these students are typically higher because it encourages things like more classroom discussion, more frequent class attendance, and higher exam scores than their peers, among other things.

For other students, from freshman level to senior level, there are different resources available for students to utilize to ensure that they too can receive the grades they strive for. These include the math tutors located in North Hall and the writing center helpers located in the Kleinpell Fine Arts building.

Using these resources and his newly found motivation, Mayton was able to meet the bar he set for himself. He recently was awarded a scholarship in the business program because of his high grades and success in the classroom.