Dropped out for 5 years -- What are my chances at Grad schools?

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Chiyaboi
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Hello, so i have an interesting schooling history and was wondering how that would effect my chances of getting into grad schools.

i went to community college for a couple of years but due to deaths in the family and severe financial hardships i really struggled attending and eventually stopped going all together. I finished with around 45 credits a 3.2 gpa and 5 withdrawals.

Fast forward 5 years and being in a much better place in my life i decide to pursue physics i started at a university and was able to get a 4.0 this first semester. I believe if i work very hard i can maintain a 4.0 or close to it for my last 4 or 5 semesters i have left.

I took no physics classes at community college so my major gpa is currently perfect and i hope to maintain that. With this in mind I was wondering what grad schools i would have a chance at with this gpa. i know other factors play an important role so i’m trying to do all the research i can the next two years as well as get good recommendations and test scores.

i just wanted to know how badly that time at community college will skew what schools will think of my application when it comes time. I desperately want to pursue astrophysics but i’m a goal oriented person and visualizing and setting an expectation of what my next step in pursuing a phd would help me out.
 
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  • #2
bob012345
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I just wanted to know how badly that time at community college will skew what schools will think of my application when it comes time. I desperately want to pursue astrophysics but i’m a goal oriented person and visualizing and setting an expectation of what my next step in pursuing a phd would help me out.
First, welcome to PF!

I don't know but I can make a couple of observations. I think it is going to be a lot more important how you do in school now and how you finish up undergrad than what happened 5 years ago. It may also be easier to get into the physics grad school at the school you are attending now than a different one. Nothing should prevent you from talking to counselors or people in admissions where you are now to probe their minds on the matter. You may not get into your first choice but it is highly likely you will get into some grad school.
 
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  • #3
Chiyaboi
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First, welcome to PF!

I don't know but I can make a couple of observations. I think it is going to be a lot more important how you do in school now and how you finish up undergrad than what happened 5 years ago. It may also be easier to get into the physics grad school at the school you are attending now than a different one. Nothing should prevent you from talking to counselors or people in admissions where you are now to probe their minds on the matter. You may not get into your first choice but it is highly likely you will get into some grad school.
Thank you! i found this site looking for someone with a situation similar to mine and it looks to have a ton of tools that are super helpful so i’ll be spending a lot of time here.

Thank you so much for your input the only thing about my current university is they don’t have an astronomy/astrophysics phd program and don’t really do any research in that area, but it’s great to know you think i have chances of getting in somewhere!
 
  • #4
Vanadium 50
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I don't think courses you took in community college will have a huge impact. Besides...how will you change things? Keep your 4.0, ace the GRE and get excellent letters, ideally involving research, and you'll be in good shape.
 
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