Steve Jobs’s High School GPA Is Proof That Grades Aren’t Everything

Jobs had fantastic hair in high school, which is always more important than a GPA.

When you die as a billionaire who created one of the most influential companies in modern history, people automatically assume that you were pretty smart. And smarts mean good grades in school, right? That’s what your teachers want you to believe.

Mr. Stephen Paul Jobs was a genius, but not at getting As on his report card.<!–more–>

It’s common knowledge that Jobs was a college dropout. He left Reed College after only six months and ended up getting a job as a low-level technician at Atari. He would then go on to create the Mac with Steve Wozniak, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The Atlantic did some digging through Jobs’s recently released FBI file and found a great nugget of history: his high school GPA. During his years at Homestead High School (1968-1972), Jobs averaged a 2.65 GPA, meaning he got mostly Cs and Bs. So he wasn’t a bad student, but definitely not the scholar you would expect from a future industry titan.

  • SulaymanF

    Well it makes sense, he said he didn’t apply himself until college.

  • Andrew Newsome

    Business isn’t just formulas, so it makes sense.

  • Josepheffendy

    To do well in school, you have to do what the teachers what you to do. Doing things differently… sometimes they don’t like that.

  • iSteve

    Stay hungry, stay foolish – Steven Paul Jobs

  • denkyo

    “…not the Einstein you’d expect” is not a very well chosen phrase to use for this, since Einsein himself is actually also widely known to have had bad grades in school..

  • robogobo

    This isn’t so surprising. Most straight A students are just good test takers, meaning they figure out the system or just have really good memories, or they’re genuinely very good at learning and retaining. Neither of those things makes you particularly creative or business savvy.

  • ac1dra1n

    His yearbook says Stephen, and the article says Steven. Hm…

  • aardman

    With those grades today, he probably would not get accepted at Reed.

  • Obsidian71

    Straight A students are designed to be worker bees. To get straight A you must excel at producing the desired result with a high degree of accuracy. This is a fantastic employee trait for those companies that have a defined workflow but it doesn’t help much if the A student isn’t creative. Education in this country is a joke. The first thing to understand is that it’s a business and that business is keeping you in school longer regardless of whether that makes you smarter or more prepared.

  • Alex Reyes

    If he averaged a gpa of 2.65, how could he have gotten into Reed College, a well respected school with an acceptance rate of 36%?

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a senior writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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