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Repairing a GPA before reapplying to college?

Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt (effective against the Irish)Registered User regular
I'm trying to lend a hand to a friend who's trying to put her life back together after going through some issues, and one of those is finally feeling ready to go back to college. However, she ended up flunking out of school the first time, and is trying to figure if there's anyway she can repair her GPA from that time, or otherwise prove that she's turned things around and would be a good candidate for applying school and financial aid.

Is there anyway to go about rebuilding an academic standing (community college classes?) so that previous failure doesn't weigh as heavily?


  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    How long was she out for?

    If you're past your early twenties schools treat you completely differently.

  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    I would recommend some community college, yes. Both so that she has firm evidence of her change in attitude since she flunked, as well as to refresh her on concepts she might have forgotten.

    While it doesn't seem that any rich were eaten. It definitely feels like a soup course with broth made from rich stock - bouillonaire if you will - was had.

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  • CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
    I second the recommendation for community college. Another alternative is to take classes as a "student at large," which would allow her to take courses at a standard four year college or university to demonstrate her abilities.

  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    OP: She needs to talk to her college, specifically a readmissions counselor or advisement.

    Each college has their own policy but I believe they are all some variant of the following, assuming she was academically dismissed and wants to return to the same college:

    1) To be readmitted, you have to make your case to some panel (usually via letter/essay and evidence, if you have any, of reasons you failed before)

    2) If you readmit, you will carry your grades and your GPA forward.

    3) You may be able to either appeal some grades or retake classes if you can prove a hardship that lead to the failing/bad grade (such as a death in the family with a death certificate as proof) but there is usually some maximum you can retake.

    Depending on how bad her situation, it may make more sense to transfer her viable credits to another school, if she can get in, in which case she will not carry the old, poor GPA.

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  • Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt (effective against the Irish) Registered User regular
    She's looking at different schools, and most certainly isn't trying to reapply to the original - her living situation is transitive right now, and I happen to be one of the few people trying to offer objective advice and not be a shithead as she's trying to assemble a long term plan. My initial suggestions had been to try and work to build up some funds and take some CC classes, as she's still early 20s, and then look at going back to school once things had stabilized some. The above suggestions do give more to work with though, and are appreciated.

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited July 2014
    Admissions between adult continuing education and high school entry are completely different.

    Community or state sponsored colleges are the way to go.

    If I wanted to drop into the local University here, I probably wouldn't need to do much other than to into admissions and tell them I wanted to get a degree. No writing essays or a $100 application. They didn't even ask me for past grades last time I checked, just to take an admission test.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • JaysonFourJaysonFour Classy Monster Kitteh Registered User regular
    edited July 2014
    Take a year or two and let her boost up her grade point with CC classes. High grades there could lead to wonderful, amazing things like grants and possible scholarships- not to mention CC credits can often transfer over into the four-year school and make her stay there shorter and less expensive, not to mention give a great example of how she's turned her study habits around.

    JaysonFour on
  • zagdrobzagdrob Registered User regular
    If she's still in her early 20's, it's possible she'll have a hard time getting admitted, but she'll want to talk to the admissions office to be sure.

    One major factor though will be how many credits she received. Aggregate GPA is one thing, but if she passed enough classes to be admitted as a sophomore / junior, the other classes she failed will matter a lot less. This obviously won't be the case if she failed hard as a freshman, but at the same time it'll be a lot easier to retake the classes she failed - turning just a few Fs into A/Bs will bring her GPA up really fast.

    I'd generally recommend she go to a CC to either retake classes that are negatively affecting her GPA, or take classes that are available. Community College is usually a lot cheaper and more flexible than even a local university, and will let her quickly get her core curriculum out of the way. It'll also let her 'test the waters' so to speak and refresh herself / make sure she's ready. Just make sure the classes she's taking transfer to her goal university and count towards the degree she's hoping to attain.

    Really, I'd recommend anyone take the first year or two of college at the local community college before going to a 'real' university. The amount of money that can be saved is ridiculous and usually makes it a lot easier to get in if you're aiming to transfer to a university with competitive admissions. Plus, if you can get an Associates degree, it gives you a lot better job prospects if you don't or while you're getting your Bachelors. Finding a job that contributes to college is a huge perk and really alleviates a lot of financial burden.

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  • Captain MarcusCaptain Marcus now arrives the hour of actionRegistered User regular
    Community college is fantastic. On tuition alone I saved about 3 grand a year, and that's with taking a full load.

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Does she want to transfer credits? If not, then her first attempt may be irrelevant.

    Depending on how the admission papers are worded, she can leave off her first attempt at college. I don't know if that would work for financial aid, but it works for some undergrad application processes.

    Don't be dishonest on applications. If they ask for previous institutions, tell them.
    But don't be more honest than you need to be. If they don't specifically ask, they likely don't care.

  • PacificstarPacificstar Registered User regular
    My good friend flunked out of/dropped out of community college MULTIPLE times, and still got accepted to both the University of Florida and George Washington University.

    1) Go to community college and get an AA with GOOD GRADES (A's and maybe a few B's). The big key here is to go to a community college that has a history and close relationship with your target university.
    2) Have a clearly defined course of study you want to pursue and contact not just the admissions office but also the particular department in which you want to apply
    3) Write a kick ass essay that tells the story of who you are, how you've changed, and how you passionately want to pursue a particular course of study
    4) If you get rejected write an impassioned plea letter
    5) Get in an after a semester change your major because who really knows what the fuck they want to do?

    For what it's worth, I helped me friend with his essays, and wholesale wrote the appeal letter when UF rejected him (he had good reasons). He went to a community college in Florida that is known for feeding students into UF, spoke with his department of choice and admissions and they basically told him "if you can maintain X.XX GPA you'll be in".

  • SpiritfireSpiritfire Brookfield, WIRegistered User regular
    Truly agree with the suggestions to go to community college to get back on your feet. After cruising (coasting) through high school with reasonably strong grades I found myself at a private university with a very rigorous program in certain disciplines. Unbeknownst to me, many freshmen already had a solid background in these fields while I did not. In less than a year I was placed on academic leave due to poor grades. My college GPA was so low that I couldn't even transfer to the state university that seemingly took anyone. At my family's insistence, I applied to the local community college to earn some basic credit and more or less get back on my feet. Two years including summer school and I not only had the GPA to transfer, but I also saved a ton of money and got my core curriculum of transferable credits out of the way. This allowed me to move right into my degree program and focus on the cool stuff I wanted to learn while taking advantage of a few fun courses that were now available at the state university. It was a circuitous but worthwhile journey that thankfully landed in a degree and job. Nobody during the interviews ever questioned my little 6 year tour of local sites of higher education, either.

  • Pi-r8Pi-r8 Registered User regular
    Can she go to a different college (either a cc or otherwise)? If she can, she can probably just start over with a new GPA, and that's best. It takes a LOT of A's to repair a low GPA.

  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    Yeah, only something like 40% of people who graduate on their first try finish in 4 years, so some extra time is increasingly common, especially as programs become more demanding in terms of credit hours.

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