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Fixing a low GPA

  1. Jan 25, 2005 #1
    I made some very stupid mistakes a few years ago when I dropped out of college. At the time, I assumed that I would never be going back and basicly signed up for 2 semesters of courses and never went to class or dropped the classes. Does anyone know if I would have a chance of getting that last year of college removed from my transcripts? Looking at my transcripts shows pretty clearly that something rather drastic must have happened that year. I had an overall GPA of around 3.2 and 3.6 in my major of biochemistry.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 25, 2005 #2
    Well, you could start over. Some schools restart your GPA if you transfer in, so it's back up at a 4.0. Since you didn't get a degree, some courses should transfer and when an employee or what not looks at your transcript it'll be full of 4.0s :)

    Some universities let you retake a course and replace your previous grade with your current one, but this is more of a new thing. I think your best bet would to go back to a school that resets your GPA.
  4. Jan 25, 2005 #3
    That's the direction I'm heading, but I would still like to do something about them if possible. Retaking those classes is not an option and I doubt I'll ever attend that school again, they don't offer the degree that I'm after.
  5. Jan 25, 2005 #4
    Some schools may allow you to transfer some of those credits (ones that you got a C or higher in for example) toward a degree and then start fresh with your gpa at their school, so you would not have to take some of those basic english, humanities, social science, etc. classes again. This is kind of what ktpr2 said. I would say contact the admissions people at the schools you are considering to find out if they do that, or what they can do for you.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2005
  6. Jan 25, 2005 #5
    I had a friend in a similiar situation. He recieved straight F's his last semester at a school 10 years ago. From what he told me, it is impossible to erase any part of your record. One could always "start over" and never claim that he went to that original shcool, but if your new school ever finds out then you will be kicked out never to return no matter what. In another scenario, I had a friend who did horribly at a university and then started all over via the community college circuit. When he transferred to another school, he never told them about his previous record. He got his degree just fine, but I still think it's russian roullette. When they transferred they had two GPA's computed (actually many more, but 2 main ones); one for their work only at the new school, and one for their overall college academic career.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2005
  7. Jan 25, 2005 #6
    I wouldn't call 3.2 or 3.6 low. That is pretty good in my book depending on the major.
  8. Jan 26, 2005 #7
    Thanks for the input guys, looks like it would be waste of time to peruse this with the college, guess I'll just have to live with it.

    I can't really try to hide it, I need to transfer a lot of credits from this school in order to graduate in two years instead of four or five. So far, admissions advisors have been pretty understanding. The length of time between the F's and now seems to help. It's a lot easier to try and convince someone that your attitudes have changed after five years as opposed to one or two semesters.

    The 3.2 and 3.6 were before the F's :cry: Fortunately, I don't think my GPA's will transfer to the schools I'm considering going to this fall. I should still be able to put a strong GPA on my resumes when I do graduate.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2005
  9. Jan 26, 2005 #8


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    Contact the university. Explain you are trying to make amends for your checkered past. Express your new goals, list the courses for which you wish to do penance, and be compliant to their suggestions. It is easier if you return to the scene of the crime, but still doable. When you do return to school, allow for some quality lip to butt time in your schedule [think TA]. Befriend an advisor and play the game. Been there, done that. It's been a decade or so, but I assume there is still a system and it is still run by people. People will go to great lengths to help you when you go to great lengths to cooperate in the effort.
  10. Jan 26, 2005 #9


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    Once you're past the admissions office, nobody else knows or needs to know your GPA. This isn't high school where your teachers get to look at your "permanent file" before the year begins to label kids as troublemakers before they even have a chance to change.

    The next time your GPA and year of failed classes will become an issue is applications to graduate/professional school, or some jobs. If you have a transcript showing a 3.6 GPA, then a year of F's, a 5 year gap in formal education (assuming you can account for what you were doing in those 5 years with work experience), and then a return to excellent grades, any reasonable person looking at the application will look to an essay or cover letter for an explanation of that year when something unusual was going on. So, for things that require transcripts, expect to need to explain that year, but if you get top grades now, that alone will go a long way toward demonstrating that whatever was going on back then has been resolved.
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