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  • Fewer Employers Screening College Graduates by GPA

    BETHLEHEM, PA—Just 56.6% of employers are using GPA to screen college graduates from the Class of 2021 for open positions, according to a new report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

    NACE’s Job Outlook 2021 Spring Update reports that this is a sharp decline from just two years ago, when nearly three-quarters of respondents planned to screen candidates by GPA. (See Figure 1.)

    “Employers responding to social justice issues are committed to diversifying their workforces,” says Shawn VanDerziel, NACE executive director.

    “There has been a lot of conversation about GPA being a barrier to employment without it being a valid indicator of a candidate’s ability to do the job. Eliminating the GPA cutoff is one method employers are using to expand the candidate pool in order to produce more diversity in their new hires.”

    While fewer respondents are screening candidates by GPA, the average reported GPA cutoff remains at 3.0. In past reports, the groups of respondents using GPA cutoffs higher and lower than 3.0 were evenly split. This year, less than 9% of respondents will use a GPA cutoff greater than 3.0, while almost 20% will use a lower GPA cutoff (between 2.5 and 3.0) to screen new college graduates.

    Figure 1

    About NACE’s Job Outlook 2021 Spring Update: The Job Outlook 2021 Spring Update survey updates hiring projections for the Class of 2021. The original projections were reported in Job Outlook 2021, which was published in October 2020. The Job Outlook 2021 Spring Update survey was conducted from February 17 – March 12, 2021. Of the 207 total respondents, 146 were NACE employer members, representing 17.1% of eligible member respondents. The Job Outlook 2021 Spring Update survey was also distributed to nonmember companies; this group provided an additional 61 responses. 

    About NACE: Since 1956, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has been the leading source of information about the employment of college graduates. For more information, visit NACE maintains a virtual press room for the media.