Benefits of Getting Good Grades in High School

Talking points with teens

Talk to your teen about the benefits of getting good grades.
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It can be frustrating when you suspect your teen isn't living up to his academic potential. Whether he doesn't bother to study or he could care less about homework, being too relaxed about his grades could be a problem.

When talking to your teen about grades, it may be tempting to discuss the dangers of academic trouble. But scare tactics like, "You'll never get into college," or "You won't get a good job," aren't likely to be effective. 

Talk about the benefits of getting good grades instead. Give real-life examples that will motivate your teen to study harder today. Here are five benefits you can use to jump start your conversation with your teen: 

1. Good Grades can Lead to More Scholarships

Colleges and scholarship committees will review your teen's transcripts. Better grades, higher test scores, and involvement in a variety of activities can help your teen get more money for college.

Talk to your teen about the realities of student loans. Discuss how academic scholarships can help cover the costs. Discuss how student debt can negatively impact your teen's future, well into his 30s. 

Unfortunately, many college graduates can't accept their dream jobs because they can't afford to do so. Instead, they have to take jobs that will help them afford their monthly college loan bills.

2. Good Grades Lead to Fun Opportunities

Students who get good grades are given opportunities at high schools through programs like the National Honor Society. Talk about various events that your student may be able to participate in if he gets good grades.

Your school's guidance counselor may be able to provide your teen with information on academic achievement and the opportunities that come with good grades. Sometimes, hearing from someone other than you can help reinforce your message. So don't be afraid to encourage your teen to start a conversation with the guidance counselor. 

3. Better Grades Open the Door to Future Opportunities

If your teen strives to do well in anything set before them, he'll have more career opportunities. Yet, many teens just don't see the need to do well in school.

Sometimes they say things like, "I'm going to get into sales. I won't ever need geometry," or "I'm going into the military. They don't care about my grades."

Make it clear that even if those things are true, there may be times when your teen's grades do matter. He may want to go to college someday or he may apply for a job where his transcripts will be reviewed. Explain that it's important to keep as many opportunities open as possible as he might change his mind someday.

4. A Higher GPA May Lead to a Better Social Life 

Students who care about their grades will earn the respect of their teachers and their peers. Yet, many teens worry that good grades will cause them to be viewed as a "nerd."

Talk to your teen about successful people who did well academically in high school. Make it clear that people with good grades as a teen often go on to do great things in the future.

Encourage your teen to spend time with friends who care about their grades. Friends that care about their grades will probably spend more time studying and going to school and will encourage your teen to do the same. It'll be tough for your teen to stay on track if none of his friends do their homework.

5. Good Grades Can Boost Your Teen's Confidence

Sometimes, teens are afraid to try hard because they're afraid of failure. Make sure your teen is willing to give it his best academically. The better he does, the more confident he'll become

When your teen sees that his effort leads to better grades, he'll be more motivated to keep up the good work. It can also prepare him for the responsibilities of adulthood.  

A Word From Verywell

In the end, you can't force your teen to get better grades. You can, however, set rules about homework, create consequences for late work and offer rewards that could motivate him to try harder. Ultimately, it's up to your teen to decide how important grades are to him.