I'm an intern at a very large company. I'm still in school and interns at my company are required to be maintain above a particular GPA.

In theory, I believe my HR manager is supposed to ask for my transcript after every semester to see I'm above the requirement, but they have not done so. I have no confirmation that this is something that they ought to be doing and just aren't for one reason or another or not.

If nothing else, though, when students are applying (through our school's program), they definitely do check their GPA and only employ students that meet the requirement. However, due to a connection I had, I did not apply normally through my school and was admitted without them ever asking my GPA or for a transcript.

I only recently found out about this requirement. I have not been meeting this requirement the entire time I've been there, which has been over a year (on and off) now. Now I'm left stewing in anxiety that eventually they will ask for my transcript and fire me. Considering I'm planned to stay in this program for at least another year while I finish school, I'm not sure how to proceed.

I feel guilty that I'm in a position I am explicitly not qualified for. However, this job means so much to me. It's an absolutely incredible "in" to the industry, especially considering that I am very mediocre in my studies, and pays significantly higher than any other position that my school will offer. In addition, due to its location, it's perhaps the only location that I can work while maintaining my current living arrangement, which is very important to me. I have never had any poor reviews during my time employed here, which makes me feel that I'm able to do this job despite the fact that I'm not meeting this one particular requirement. Obviously I'll try to raise my GPA, but this won't be relevant until spring. I want to tell the truth to my employer on the principle that it seems like the right thing to do, but it really does feel like I've got everything else telling me that "it'll be fine and not worth the heart and headache"

What are the potential ramifications of coming clean to my employer versus staying quiet?

Minor detail: My school is structured such that it requires that I am employed at an internship full-time for a total of half of the year each year I'm enrolled. This gives a bit of background why I'm so dire to retain this job.

  • 1
    hey cssenior, I edited the questions in your post, as "should I" questions are off topic here (as they are asking us to make a choice for you)... instead, I focused and rephrased the other one you had, which is answerable. Welcome to TWP :)
    – DarkCygnus
    Oct 1, 2018 at 18:32
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    Good work trumps a bad GPA.
    – bishop
    Oct 1, 2018 at 19:09
  • I agree with that, @bishop, but I think this question might be more applicable to other situations as well, so I don't want to just fall back on that line of thinking.
    – cssenior
    Oct 1, 2018 at 19:25
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    I can understand why you would worry. I too worried at some point in my career that I didn’t know enough or had the right GPA. After fifteen years, I can tell you it doesn’t matter as much as you think. This is your ticket. Do a good job and continue to do a good job. Eventually the GPA stuff will fade and as long as you graduate, it won’t matter in the end. No one asks for your GPA after your first job. Oct 1, 2018 at 22:49
  • 7
    "Never interrupt your enemy when he's making a mistake" - Napoleon
    – solarflare
    Oct 2, 2018 at 0:30

3 Answers 3


If it was that important to the company, you would have been informed and screened when you applied and were accepted. The important part is you were accepted. Perhaps an exception was made due to your connection, or perhaps a mistake on their part was made.

You should not say anything about your GPA. You should continue to do good work, and you should try to improve your GPA. But the most important part is to do good work. That is what you were hired for and what is expected. Continue to do that and you will usually continue to be employed.

Note: Some might say that by not coming clean you are depriving some other student from the job that you have. That would be true if you were hired through the school's program, but you were hired outside that process, so I don't think it applies.

  • 1
    I agree with this - they likely use the GPA requirement as a screening requirement for unknown applicants (there's very little someone still in school can offer in the way of proving themselves, generally they won't have work references and the like for example). Since you bypassed that screening process and were recruited via other means, they likely consider it non-essential in your case.
    – delinear
    Oct 2, 2018 at 10:21

When I was in school, I was in a similar internship/co-operative program and many companies had a hard GPA requirement including the one that eventually hired me. My company checked my GPA for my initial term, but never checked me again for subsequent terms even though my GPA had dipped below the company requirement. I believe this is because the GPA requirement is only a form of screening needed for the initial term. Whether you are invited to return for subsequent terms depends mainly on your work performance. It's likely in your case, you were able to bypass the GPA screening due to your internal referral.

If the GPA requirement was important to the company, they would have done the check with you too. I personally wouldn't worry.

  • The company I work for requires transcripts be provided every semester. If the OP's HR has never followed up, either they don't require it or don't follow their own rules. Either way it is their problem, not the OPs...
    – Jon Custer
    Oct 2, 2018 at 13:15

I have never had any poor reviews during my time employed here, which makes me feel that I'm able to do this job...

Irrelevant. You'd be turning yourself into HR. HR exists to protect the company.

Obviously I'll try to raise my GPA...

Yes, do that.

I want to tell the truth to my employer on the principle that it seems like the right thing to do...

You'll get fired. Right then and there.

I've seen this happen, from their point of view they won't have a choice.

...it really does feel like I've got everything else telling me that "it'll be fine and not worth the heart and headache"

If you get your GPA up before they ask? Yes, it will be fine.

You'd be deep into "it didn't happen" territory. What HR cares about is "now".

  • "You'll get fired. Right then and there." - in my opinion there are more reasons that this wont happen than there are... The OP states that they weren't aware, and if they've been doing a good job then an employer why go through all the hassle and lost productivity? Oct 3, 2018 at 6:11
  • @LamarLatrell Last year we did this to eight people. And yes, it caused hassle and lost productivity but we're talking about interns so whatever. Rules are rules. I asked the head of the intern program if we could make an exception for one and his reply was "No, I don't want to get fired". Oct 3, 2018 at 12:08
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    Disregarding the human component here (firing 8 people on the spot) I maintain that hassle and lost productivity isn't in my opinion, 'whatever' ... But hey, if rules are rules then I guess 'it is what it is' ;) Oct 3, 2018 at 12:28

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