Can Joining the Air Force and Improving My Grades Help Me Pursue a BS Degree?

  • Thread starter Cod
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In summary, the individual was suspended from school academically with a 1.6 GPA, and has now joined the US Air Force as a ground linguist. They will be learning a new language for 66 weeks, with the possibility of earning an associates degree in that language. They are also considering getting a Bachelor of Science degree in a different field, but are unsure of how to get into another school once they are stationed at a permanent location. Suggestions include attending a state school and maintaining good grades, as well as utilizing the GI Bill and college fund. The individual is also advised to write a letter explaining their academic improvement in the past 2 years when applying to schools, and to consider smaller colleges for a second chance. It
  • #1
Cod
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I was recently suspended from school academically after have a 1.6 GPA (4.0 scale) for consecutive semesters; therefore, I am not in school this semester. And just this past week, I joined the US Air Force as a ground linguist. I leave for BMT on April 19 and at tech school, I'll be learning a new language (won't know which language until I get to tech school) for 66-weeks. From the language training, the DoD offer as an associates degree in whatever language you learn; however, since I've already gotten all of my core courses out of the way, the school will present me with a Bachelor of Arts in the specified language.

Now, my question has to do with getting a Bachelor of Science degree in a scientific/technical field of my choice. I just want to use the BA in the language to complement the degree of my choice. I haven't quite decided on what I'd like to major in yet; however, do I have any chances of getting into another school of my choice that offers whatever major I decide on? I can't decide on a school yet since I'll be in training for almost 2-years before I get stationed at a permanant location. So I'd like to get all my options figured out before I get to my final destination. Also, remember, the USAF will pay for me to earn a BS in whatever field so I just need to figure out how to get into another school when I get to my permanant Air Force base.

So what can I do so that another school will take me? Do I need to join some societies related to my major (ex. ACM)? Anything I can/should do?

Any sort of help or tips are greatly appreciated. I realize all Air Force bases have an educational center to help me find schools, choose majors, etc. but I'd just like to get as much information as I can while I'm still at home. Thanks again for any help.
 
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  • #2
It shouldn't be a big problem. Spend some time at a state school. They should accept you if you are a resident of that state. If your new station is in that state you qualify as a resident of that state. There may be a 6 month period before you qualify for residency. Some state schools are pretty good so you could get your degree there, or you can go somewhere else later if you have the opportunity.

Your biggest problem will probably be keeping your grades up. I'm sure they will give you something to sign when you register for classes and hand them the bill. You will probably be required to mantain a certain GPA or they won't pay for the classes.

Oh, and don't forget to get your GI bill and college fund if you qualify. I'm lovin' my GI bill.

What was the question?
Huck
 
  • #3
What you said about "keeping my grades up" is correct. All branches of the armed forces will make you pay out-of-pocket for any classes that you fail or withdraw from.
 
  • #4
Yeah, try not to worry too much and study hard. Good luck with everything.

I've always wanted to speak another language so badly... and now I can
Huck
 
  • #5
When you start to apply to schools, I assume this will be in about 2 years, write a letter to include with your apps. Explain how you have changed in the last 2 years, what you have learned about school and life. Most schools understand that not everyone is prepared or motivated when they first get to college. As long as your not setting your sights on MIT or something, you shouldn't have a problem.
 
  • #6
In response to what kdinser wrote, how effective do you think that letter will be in admissions? If you worked at admissions, and you had thousands of applications to go through, and you saw this letter... would you necessarily put out the time to read it? I mean the prospect sounds very good to me, as my first year marks weren't that great. I've been gradually improving though!

K.
 
  • #7
Your best bet is probably going to be yourstate universities. They have to give preference to in-state applicants. In my home state (Virginia), you can be assured admission at Virginia Tech in certain majors by merely completing a 2-year assosciates degree at certain state community colleges and maintaing a 3.0.

Some schools are not into educating "second chance" adults, while others are. Most states have a few "elite" public universities, usually out in the boonies where everyone is a full-time student, and you won't find an undergrad older than 23, and others have "commuter" schools where there is a lot of part-time students, adults, night classes, etc. I would suggest you contact the admissions office of schools you are interested in.
 
  • #8
Depending on the state you're living in, with only a 1.6 GPA, I wouldn't count much on the large state universities. They aren't going to see that letter amidst a sea of applications unless you're really close to a cut-off point and fall in a gray area. A 1.6 GPA isn't going to cut it. Try applying to the smaller colleges in your state. They'll be more willing to offer a second chance, and only if you can get your grades up in your language courses. That's the key, you need to show improvement in order for them to be willing to consider your application.

You may still need to take some additional courses as night classes or at a community college without actually matriculating just to demonstrate you can handle college level work with your newly found interest in learning.
 
  • #9
You do realize that you are joining the armed forces? There is no guarantee that you will be stationed at one base longer enough to obtain a degree, and with the current world situation what you're told know can change in about 90 secs. You need to fully understand the oath and what your getting into. If you're ordered to a far away land to die, you follow that order. You don't argue to your CO that you only signed up to get into a college. With that said, I think the services are a great oppurtunity for some people. If you apply your self and go in with an understanding of what you will be asked to do it will be an experience that you will benefit from for the rest of your life.
 
  • #10
In my case, I was also suspended for getting D's two straight semesters (GPA 1.2), and found that the school most likely to take me back was the one that suspended me. I.e. few schools wanted to take me in with that record, but my original school was loath to admit their mistake and let me back in after a year of proving my maturity.

i subsequently graduated, got a scholarship to grad school and eventually became a professional. At length I returned to my original school as a prestigious postdoc, and was asked: "where did you go to school?" as they could not figure out where an apparently well qualified person had come from, that they had not heard of.

So anything is possible. But you have to change whatever bad habits caused you to get two straight semesters of bad grades. The army usually accomplishes that. The most dedicated students I have ever had were ex army. For me being married with children and having to put food on the table did the trick. good luck.
 
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  • #11
NBO10, I was planning to join the armed forces after college. My plans just changed a little bit when I realized I'm not exactly ready for the pressures of college just yet. So believe me, I understand everything about the armed forces and how they work. Going to college while I'm in the Air Force is just a perk of the service. And if I like the Air Force a lot, I may make it a career in which case I'd like to earn my degree within 4-6 years. So if I decide to leave the AF after my enlistment is up, I'd like to either have a degree or be well on my way to earning one.

Mathwonk, hank you for the encouraging works. I'm hoping the armed services will help me turn my life around for the better.
 
  • #12
not trying to derail the topic but... :eek:

mathwonk said:
In my case, I was also suspended for getting D's two straight semesters (GPA 1.2), and found that the school most likely to take me back was the one that suspended me. I.e. few schools wanted to take me in with that record, but my original school was loath to admit their mistake and let me back in after a year of proving my maturity.

i subsequently graduated, got a scholarship to grad school and eventually became a professional. At length I returned to my original school as a prestigious postdoc, and was asked: "where did you go to school?" as they could not figure out where an apparently well qualified person had come from, that they had not heard of.

So anything is possible. But you have to change whatever bad habits caused you to get two straight semesters of bad grades. The army usually accomplishes that. The most dedicated students I have ever had were ex army. For me being married with children and having to put food on the table did the trick. good luck.


Wow that's a pretty huge change. Kudos.

Question: When getting back into school, how did you deal with anxiety and thinking about the time wasted when you got Ds? I'm struggling with this right now. I know it's all in my head, and in most cases I put on a good attitude and go forward but often I end up in a corner for a couple hours simply doing nothing but contemplating my life in the past few years.
 
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  • #13
I've read what some of y'all had mentioned about going to a local community college and getting an Associates degree. And then I realized, the Air Force has their own community college (CCAF - http://www.au.af.mil/au/ccaf/) and they offer mathematics as well as science courses. So should I go there for a few semesters so that I can get my grades up and then enter a university? Would that be my best route towards a Bachelors degree of my choice?

In fact, I would only have to take a few extra classes after technical school to obtain my AA in Communications Applications Technology (http://www.au.af.mil/au/ccaf/catalog/2005cat/ter_2ial.htm) since my AFSC is 1NXXX.
 
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  • #14
Cod said:
I've read what some of y'all had mentioned about going to a local community college and getting an Associates degree. And then I realized, the Air Force has their own community college (CCAF - http://www.au.af.mil/au/ccaf/) and they offer mathematics as well as science courses. So should I go there for a few semesters so that I can get my grades up and then enter a university? Would that be my best route towards a Bachelors degree of my choice?

Yes, good grades in getting an associates degree will help override a bad prior record. Basically, anything that can demonstrate you've changed your attitude about education and have the ability to succeed is going to help.
 

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