GPAs usually play a significant role in vet school admission decisions because schools want students to be academically prepared for the rigors of vet school. Schools may consider some or all kinds of GPAs while assessing an applicant such as cumulative, science (all STEM classes taken), last 45 hours/credits (~last 3-4 semesters or 11-12 Princeton courses), and prerequisite GPA. However, GPAs are still one of many other factors (rec letters, experiences, essays, interview, personal qualities) that admissions committees review. There are a ton of forums and posts online about the experiences of students with “low” GPAs getting into vet school that you can research and look to for inspiration.
Generally, 3.5+ GPAs are considered competitive. Keep in mind that Princeton GPAs tend to be slightly lower than other schools overall so don’t beat yourself up for being below or near average. In 2016, HPA reported that the average GPA of Princeton applicants accepted to medical school is about a 3.55 while nationally, it is about a 3.7. In 2020, HPA reports that the average overall GPA of Princeton applicants accepted to veterinary school is a 3.47 and the average science GPA is a 3.48. However, keep in mind that both Princeton averages ranged from 2.6 to 3.9 and were computed using a total of only 13 accepted applicants that applied during the 2016-2019 application cycles. Additionally, the averages are based on Princeton, summer, and post-baccalaureate coursework. When analyzing the average GPAs of 32 US schools and 2 schools in the West Indies using AAVMC data, we find that the average overall GPA of accepted applicants from the 2019 cycle was a 3.56 and the average science GPA was a 3.47.
Not all schools are transparent about average GPAs of accepted students, but some do post admissions statistics and/or incoming class profiles. Examples are below, but you can google “[insert vet school e.g. Tufts vet] class profile statistics” to search for updated statistics, other previous years, or the profiles for schools of your interest.
Another useful resource is the AAVMC tool called Profile of Admitted Students which lists the average cumulative and science GPAs, number of seats, GRE scores, and class sizes from a recently admitted class. An example is shown below. You can use the filters to narrow down schools based on mean GPA or hover over schools to view any school’s stats. Notice that some schools have higher (e.g. 3.8 for Tufts) or lower (e.g. 3.2 for St. George’s) average GPAs than others.