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Elon University is not an ‘easy’ school per say, but it is no Harvard. Many students struggle to get A’s and A minus’s, but with the proper use of Elon’s resources and self-reliability you can do it. These tips that are presented apply to all majors, but note that it is harder to get and maintain a 3.5 in science majors than it is in communications, the arts, business, and political science. With that said, here are tips to get and maintain a 3.5


Elon prides themselves on small class sizes as they actually cap it at 33 students per class. Almost every class involves some sort of participation grade ranging from 5-20%. What’s unique about small classes is that you get to personally engage with your professor, and they almost always know everyone’s name a month into the semester. On top of participation accounting for a large portion of your grade, a lot of grading at Elon is subjective (essays, short answers, projects), and the more you participate the more generous your professor will be when they grade you in these portions of the class. Make meaningful comments that add to the discussion or points being made, and don’t be afraid to ask questions and PARTICIPATE!

Use Your Resources – Library, Tutors, Moodle

All university have good resources in their library centers and online databases, but again, Elon is a smaller school, which allows for each student to receive more resources. The Library has two incredible resources being the writing center and tutoring. Tutoring sessions are almost always available by walk-in or appointment, and the same can be said for the writing center. These resources are incredible, and will no doubt boost your grade in a course an entire letter grade if you are struggling, take advantage.

Pay Attention in Class

This tip is unique to Elon in the sense that on many of the quizzes and tests, if you simply paid attention in class and did none of the readings or work outside of class, you would likely still be successful. Other colleges have large lectures, and ultimately quiz and test their students based on the textbook and readings had, but this is not the case for Elon. If you truly pay attention and attend every class, you will be setting yourself up for success come the exam period.


Have a Strong Work Ethic: Homework & Studying

While this isn’t too unique to Elon, it is a problem many students have at Elon. Elon doesn’t tend to fail their students unless minimal effort is put in (never coming to class, and never doing the work). With that said, many students slack off and will do the bare minimum receiving a B- or a C. If you want to be successful, you must put forth a decent amount of effort to completing the homework and studying for exams. Completing the homework seems simple enough, but you’d be surprised at how tedious it can get, make sure to space it out and DO it. In terms of exams, studying may seem self-explanatory, but you cannot simply read the PowerPoints your professors post online, or just look over your notes. Studying means memorizing the necessary information and truly comprehending concepts that need to be understood. DO THE WORK.

Start off Strong

Your first year at Elon encompasses a lot of change. There is no way to prepare for this, as experience is the only way, and most people end up loving Elon. While trying to balance a social life and getting used to the often new warm climate, students can forget about how important their schoolwork is. Your first-year classes, some of which are mandatory, are not set up to hurt your GPA. They are set up for you to have a good understanding and grounding for the basics in math, English, and specific Elon curriculum. These are not the hardest courses, and you should take advantage of this and get as high of a GPA as you can to start off your college career. It’s a lot harder to raise your GPA if it is lower than it is to maintain it if it’s higher, so get after it!

Go to Office Hours

There is a policy that requires professors to have a certain amount of open office hours a week. On top of this professors are readily available by appointment that can be set up after class or by e-mail. This is an area that many students miss out on as professors want their students to come in. Going to office hours allows for your professor to specifically explain to YOU what to improve on, and you can ask for help on specific assignments as well. In any essay assignment, it is highly recommended to visit your professor before the final product and go over the topic, thesis, or a paragraph you’re unsure about. You’d be surprised at how your grade can change if you don’t go to office hours for the first half of the semester and then decide to start going towards the end.


It is not easy to get and maintain a 3.5 at any university. There is a decent workload and effort that must be put in, and without this, it is fair to say it’s impossible. With that said, some will have to work harder than others in understanding concepts and completing readings as everyone’s brain works differently. Regardless of your personal situation, these tips will surely enhance your ability and increase the ability of your receiving a 3.5 or above. Good luck!


Skyler De Groot

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