Should you round up your GPA? The short answer is no. While it’s tempting to turn that 2.95 into a 3.0 or that 3.95 into a 4.0, you should not round up your GPA. I could give you a lot of reasons why you shouldn’t do it or how you may not get caught even if you do, but the short answer that will never get you into trouble is to NOT round up your GPA. Report it as it is to the hundredth place (unless it truly is a zero, and then you can just use one digit after the decimal).
Should you put your GPA on your resume / CV?
For applications to top business and policy schools, I recommend that you only include your GPA if it is 3.6 or above. Otherwise, just leave it off. Admissions committees are going to see your GPA anyway when they review your transcripts and application data. There is no need to remind them that your GPA is in the low 3’s by including it on your resume. For job applications, it depends on how competitive the job is. If you’re applying for a job with one of the big consulting firms like McKinsey, Bain, or BCG, I recommend including your GPA if it is 3.6 or above (as well as your GMAT score if it is higher than 700). For more mainstream jobs, you can include your GPA if it is 3.4 or above. Anything less than 3.4 should probably be left off of your resume no matter what kind of job it is (unless the job doesn’t require a college degree at all, in which case they may not care what your GPA was anyway). The temptation to round up your GPA often comes from a sense of inadequacy. If I can just squeeze into that next category above where I am, then I’ll be good enough, you think. Admissions at the top schools like Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton doesn’t work that way. As you’ve probably read a dozen times before, they can fill their schools with people with perfect test scores and flawless grades. Ivy League admissions committees aren’t looking for academically perfect people; they are looking to create a diverse, vibrant, complementary, and cohesive class. Your job when applying to school is to show them how you fit into the puzzle they are putting together. The less time you spend worrying about minutiae like whether or not to round up your GPA or whether or not to include your study abroad coursework on your resume, the more time you have to spend on crafting outstanding essays, one of the most important elements of why some people are admitted to their dream schools while others are not.