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Admissions Am I Screwed? (Undergrad Admissions)

  1. Mar 20, 2010 #1
    I'm wanting to go into aerospace engineering. I'm looking at Texas A&M, U-Texas or U-Texas Arlington for my bachelors (grad school decisions will come later, I guess). Problem is, I don't know whether I can get in or not.

    I'm a homeschooled student, and have been homeschooled since a little ways into 6th grade. Except, I wasn't homeschooled at all. Due to a freak combination of circumstances, I wound up teaching myself. My mathematics suffered horribly (ever try teaching yourself mathematics?). However, I'm very passionate about my education, so I certainly didn't waste my time entirely. And I hate to brag, but I don't exactly consider myself unintelligent -- just lacking in knowledge.

    Well, with this background, I didn't even waste my money on the application fee for applying at the aforementioned schools. I chose to attend a community college to do 'the basics'. Unfortunately, these basics don't include chemistry (the one course I'll need is not transferable) or physics (the courses that transfer require Calculus I and II as corequisites). I am currently taking a precalculus course, and it would take an act of the Great Sky Fairy to cause me to not get an A. My GPA is 3.75 from last semester, and I have twelve credits to my name. This semester will net me an additional sixteen credits, and again, unless the Great Sky Fairy intervenes, I'm on track for A's in every class.

    I currently have an application pending at Texas A&M, but I decided not to apply to the other two for Fall semester (I will, however, apply at all three for Spring semester if I'm rejected at Texas A&M). My question is, do I have a snowball's chance in hell of ever getting into any of these schools, or is my life pretty much screwed over by not going to high school?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 20, 2010 #2
    Talk to admissions people, but I'm pretty sure a solid CC GPA will counteract not having any high school, as the material is on par or harder.
  4. Mar 21, 2010 #3
    This. And your life is definitely NOT screwed by not going to high school. A very good childhood friend of mine was in your exact situation and did the same thing you're doing now. He went to a CC for two years, got good grades (iirc he came out with something like a 3.5) and is now in a radiology program at a 4 year university. I went to highschool but only did 1 semester at CC before transferring to a 4 year university, similar to what you're doing now.

    Story645 is right. If you've taken CC courses and have a 3.75 then the university will put less weight on the high school diploma not being there. However, because you don't have a high school diploma and have only completed one semester at the CC they might require you to take some placement exams for things like math and science, depending on what courses you took at the CC.

    I assume you live in Texas. I'm not sure if Texas has anything similar to the MACRO agreement here in Michigan but if you complete a two year degree at a CC in Michigan then most 4 year universities in the state will waive all your gen ed requirements for your bachelor's. That might be something you might want to consider too, if it applies.

    I would get in touch with admissions at these places to find out their specific requirements.
  5. Mar 21, 2010 #4
    And I forgot yesterday, but there's also the GED. You may be required to take it or you may want to look into it, as it is sort of considered a measure of equivalency.
  6. Mar 21, 2010 #5
    I forgot to mention, but I did take my GED, and received extraordinarily high marks in everything except math (a miserable 76 -- oi).

    Some universities have arrangements with some community colleges, but mine does not (I checked). But it's for the best. I really don't want to spend six years on a bachelors.
  7. Mar 21, 2010 #6
    5 years is becoming standard for science and engineering, and I know plenty of people who took 6 or more. The time just flies bad, so don't let that be your hang up.
  8. Mar 21, 2010 #7
    This is mostly because a MS is becoming standard for most jobs in science and engineering. I plan on getting a MS in physics and my adviser told me that it would be advantageous to me if I could stay another semester or so and complete some of the very upper level physics courses before moving on to graduate school as it would better prepare me for the graduate work instead of stopping after completing the bare minimum. I'm sure it's the same way for engineering.

    And what's the rush? You should concern yourself with the quality of your education, not how quickly you obtain it. If you take 6 years to get a degree but take more advanced courses you'll have a much better understanding of your field that someone who did the 4-and-out route. This is assuming of course you're taking progressively more higher level courses. English 101 isn't really going to do much for you in your 6th year, heh.
  9. Mar 21, 2010 #8
    It's actually more basic than that. The coursework is so crazy condensed that to do it in four years requires taking 5 or 6 major courses a semester, which is theoretically possible but practically academic suicide for a lot of people 'cause they don't have the time or energy to devote so many brain cells to that much engineering. Another factor is that there are far fewer upper level engineering courses than lower level ones, so we've always got a few people stuck here for another semester for their last two courses.
  10. Mar 23, 2010 #9
    Well that's the thing. I've already spent a year in college, plus another half a year if A&M turns me down for Fall. Then I'm looking at another five years to get my bachelors, then likely another year (at least) if I decide to pursue the masters. It's a major time investment, which is why I was hoping to cut down the time expenditure as much as possible (summer classes, etc).

    Ah well. I'm glad to know I'm not likely screwed.
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