The average GPA at four-year colleges and universities in the United States is 3.11. The average GPA at private colleges and universities is slightly higher than average at 3.30, while the GPA at public colleges and universities is 3.01.

The average GPA of four-year colleges and universities has risen steadily since the 1950s due to a phenomenon known as grade inflation. In the 1950s, the average GPA was 2.52. In 2006, that number rose to 3.11. Schools have tried to combat grade inflation with grading policies. In 2004, Princeton University decided to limit the number of A's given to 35 percent. Education and language majors were awarded the highest GPAs, 3.3 and 3.35 respectively. Chemistry majors have the lowest average GPA at 2.78, and math majors have the second lowest at 2.90.