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Getting an actuary job with a low GPA

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  • Getting an actuary job with a low GPA

    Ok, so my GPA isn't terrible, but it isn't great either. My cumulative GPA (between running start, which is just community college), and the University of Washington is about 3.03. My UW gpa alone is not quite as good (2.84 currently). My degree is a BS in math, and I am currently taking some very tough classes (basically I am taking 3-4 math classes that are level 300+ for the next year). I am hoping to pass my first actuarial exam in May of 2013, and then I would like to take my 2nd exam in April of 2014, I graduate in June of 2014. I was wondering, assuming I pass the 2 exams and my GPA doesn't change much, will it be tough for me to get a job as an actuary with that? What are some things, besides simply passing more exams, that I could do to increase my chances in the future? Do you think that if I just got a job for an insurance company before passing the 3rd exam, that would increase my chances of getting a job after passing the third exam?

    Also, when I apply for jobs, what should I put as my GPA? I would like to just put 3.03 as my GPA, but the problem is that when you look at my UW GPA, it isn't as good. I don't feel that it is misleading, it just kind of ''''s because my UW gpa isn't great, but that's partially because when I got to UW, I went straight in as a Junior, so I didn't take any easy classes that allowed me to boost my GPA much. Would it be dishonest for me to put 3.03 as my GPA? I actually had to calculate this by hand, because my GPA at community college was 3.17 and I took 91 credits, and then my UW GPA is 2.84, but I've only taken 58 credits (on my official transcript, those are the GPA's that show up, nowhere on them does it show a 3.03). As I get closer to graduating, I am getting more and more nervous about this GPA thing.

  • #2
    A low GPA isn't a killer. A low GPA with no exams is, though.

    You point out that your GPA slipped because you took harder classes at UW. The exams are pretty difficult; if you struggled with the harder classes, what says you're not going to struggle with the exams as well? An employer who hears you say the first sentence is going to ask the prior sentence; how are you going to answer that?

    Which GPA to put: ask your career center. My gut feeling is that you list your community college GPA for that school, and your UW GPA for UW - not a combined GPA, since that's not something employers can immediately see on a transcript to verify. What might help is if your GPA in your math classes is better than your overall UW GPA; if not, that's going to raise more questions for employers.

    Passing exams: you want to pass P in May, 2013 - but then not get the 2nd one until April, 2014. Any chance you can knock out that 2nd exam sooner - say, even February '14?

    Buckle down on your current classes and get your GPA up - especially since graduation is still a year and a half away. You've got time to make that look a lot better and eliminate that concern.
    "You better get to living, because dying's a pain in the ***." - Frank Sinatra - where I talk about the Blues and the NHL.


    • #3
      Well I think you still have time to catch up on your GPA. I graduated with a not to good GPA also and now I'm working on my Graduate degree. I can't tell you anything about whether or not you can get hired but I can tell you that you can get a better GPA. I graduated with over 300 credits, because I took a lot of unnecessary classes (classes that I don't have to take to get my BS in math) and I got horrible grades on science classes and language classes but I got a better GPA because I worked hard in the last a year and a half. I went from 2.9 to 3.18 and I think you can do it too. I think taking 3-4 300 level math classes isn't as hard as it sounds because lots of people are taking 3-4 500 above classes in my department and they still have 4.0 GPA. And they want to get into the actuarial field too. So these are the people we are competing with. IF we can prove we can do more than they do, then I don't think there is any reason for the employers to hire us.