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Just ignore the transcript behind the curtain

LadyMLadyM Registered User regular
edited January 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
So. Seven years ago I flunked out of college spectacularly. The usual story, wasn't ready, wasn't mature enough, and had depression on top of that.

Cut to the present. I've gone back to college (community college for now, going to transfer to a four-year after that) and all is going well, hoorah.

I'm applying for a scholarship that requests all previous college transcripts but, unlike most scholarships I've applied for to date, does not have any space for "tell us miscellaneous data you want us to know", which is where I would normally explain why I flunked out years ago. It does require an essay. I could possibly try to work the information in there. I'm just worried it will sound awkward. ("My career goals are blah blah, I can't wait to get a job involving blah, and BTW don't worry about the flunking thing I won't do that again olol!"

Should I just turn in my old transcript without referring to it, assuming they'll see it was 7 years ago? Try to work it into the essay? Just not turn in my old transcript? (I'm afraid to do this, though.)

LadyM on

Posts

  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    You have to turn in the transcript, hell they specifically ask for it. If you think you can work it into the essay without it standing out and ruining the essay go for it.

  • EntriechEntriech Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I would turn in the transcript. While it's possible that this might avoid you having to deal with explaining those results, if they discover on their own that you withheld information it will look much worse.

    I think the fact that there is an essay is an excellent opportunity for you to show that you're capable of learning from your mistakes. Taking responsibility for your previous performance, and stating how you're going to improve/avoid that in the future shows both honesty and maturity, and that may weigh in your favour. Something in the style of "This is what I tried before, and this is why I failed. Here are the mistakes I made, and here's how I plan to avoid making them again."

    Gamecenter/Gamertag/Steam ID/PSN: Entriech
    Guild Wars 2: Entriech.3507 | Scythe Gearsnap, Phlork, Irenic
  • LadyMLadyM Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I should add that the essay has to be on something specific, career goals and academic interests (basically scientific interests since it's a science scholarship.) That's why I feel awkward shoehorning it in there.

  • EntriechEntriech Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    LadyM wrote: »
    I should add that the essay has to be on something specific, career goals and academic interests (basically scientific interests since it's a science scholarship.) That's why I feel awkward shoehorning it in there.

    In that case it may just be wise to attach a seperate piece of paper containing your explanation. Attach it to the transcript. I don't think you have anything to lose doing that. Either they're not interested in an explanation and will ignore it, or you'll get your information across. Just keep it short and to the point.

    Gamecenter/Gamertag/Steam ID/PSN: Entriech
    Guild Wars 2: Entriech.3507 | Scythe Gearsnap, Phlork, Irenic
  • SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited January 2009
    You could make it your opening.
    "Seven years ago, I flunked out of college because of BLAH BLAH and have regretted it ever since because it prevented me from realising my dreams of BLAH BLAH BLAH" etc.

  • EndomaticEndomatic Registered User
    edited January 2009
    That's a great idea.

    How many people do you think would try and hide this fact? You are flirting with the idea.

    So I would assume that there are at least a few people who actually go through with it (the omission) for every person that decides to man-up. Working the fact that you are admitting your mistakes, explain what caused it, and what you've learned from it could work pretty well.

  • tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Work into your essay how flunking out made you change your path and realize that x/y/z was important and it motivated you to do whatever.

    I find that people are usually impressed when you admit your shortcomings and analyze how you can overcome them.

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  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Keep it out of the essay. You need to convey information about a specific document which has little to do with the essay they want you to write. Working it in could be awkward and would take away from the focus of the essay and the chances you have to get that scholarship. If you can get it in without detracting focus, great, if not then I'd simply attach an additional letter explicitly explaining the transcript without having to tailor your essay to fit it in.

    3rddocbottom.jpg
  • ToefooToefoo Los Angeles, CARegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Talk to your counselor at your current college first. I'm transferring this fall, and I have the EXACT same problem: I fucked up my first 2 years and then left to work for 4, now I'm back. I talked to my counselor, and they agreed to wipe my old grades as long as they were at least two years old and that I could hold a current 2.4 GPA cumulative. I'm sure if you go in to the counseling office you can work something out before you turn in your transcripts.

    PSN: Soultics
    Weaboo List
  • LewishamLewisham Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    You can also talk to the HR person first (as in now). If you are very apologetic and explain to them things, they are usually very nice. It's their job to filter out unsuitable candidates, not adhere to some rigid rules. If you can convince them to let it slide, you'll be fine.

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    While, it is likely dependent on the college where you're applying. Slapping all this onto an ivy league school will likely not bode well, when including it in your essay. That said, it shows great character that you're able to rationalize and expand upon your shortcomings and assign yourself a goal and complete it. This is the type of character that a lot of colleges look for, they're not really interested in your dog or your cat or that you got four A's in high school. They want to know if you're going to drop out in the first week or if it's a waste of money to keep you there.

    Write about it, be honest, and don't hide shit.

  • LadyMLadyM Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Thanks for the advice, guys. :) I wrote the essay (am proofreading it now) and worked Ye Olde Fail in there . . . to good effect, I think.

    The recent discussion on reusing essays/academic dishonesty has got me wondering . . . Would it be academically dishonest to tailor this essay a little and use it as an entrance essay when I start applying to four-year colleges?

  • MurphysParadoxMurphysParadox Registered User
    edited January 2009
    It is an essay you wrote, correct? Use the heck out of it! Though, when you get to that stage of the game, you may find that you want to expound on it to meet various requirements the college may levy upon the essays.

    In college, my wife used one paper for three different classes in the same semester (english for science majors, tropical ecology, and evolutionary biology; it was about bats in costa rica). I was rightly jealous of her. In that case, she did need to ask permission since it was for three classes during the same semester and some times teachers can be assholes about that kind of thing. Since it was written for the graduate level class, she actually ended up dumbing it down for the other two so it wasn't exactly the same piece of work.

    Murphy's Law: Whatever can go wrong will go wrong.
    Murphy's Paradox: The more you plan, the more that can go wrong. The less you plan, the less likely your plan will succeed.
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