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Military Service (the looks)

  1. Jun 21, 2005 #1


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    I've been in the Air Force for approximately 3-months now and some questions have arised within my head over the past few days. Basically, I tried college for 2-years and ended up with a 1.8 GPA and was put on academic probation for the following semester (which I didn't go to because I left for BMT). Currently I'm in tech school in Monterey, CA at the Defense Language Institute training to become a Pashtu (Afghan language) linguist. So now I'm wondering, how does military experience and the job you did while serving "look" on your resume or college application letter in the civilian world? I mean, do people with military experience along with an honorable discharge get a boost compared to those who haven't served?

    Because frankly, I'd like to go back to college and get my degree in some sort of science or engineering. And with my GPA so low, I need any sort of extra help I can get for getting accepted into a university of my choice. Also, if I decide not to go to college until after serving my time, will my military experience help me land a good job in the civilian world? I know the top secret clearance I have is a big boost towards getting a "dream job" since it shows employers that I am a very trustworthy person. I would just like to know if anything else I gain from the military will help me get enrolled into a good school or land that great job.

    Any help is greatly appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 21, 2005 #2
    do you know what kind of science or engineering youre interested in? Maybe while you're still in the military you could read some literature, perhaps even some college textbooks to help you decide what youre really interested in. Then, if it's something that requires high gpa, like premed or pre-ph.d in science, i suggest you just start all over, i.e. apply to college as a freshman claiming that you're straight out of high school and never took any college courses, because those courses would only hurt you. Of course if you're interested in being a science teacher, then it's possible to just go to any school that accepts you as a transfer, perhaps spend a semester at a community college in order to be able to transfer.
  4. Jun 22, 2005 #3
    ... and if you do this and fin. aid reviews your records for consistency and total loan/scholarhship amounts then you're screwed. They regularly yank people out that lied on their appilcation.
  5. Jun 22, 2005 #4


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    For getting into college, it helps when there is a big time frame between enrollments. However, you would probably be helped getting accepted to a university, but the grades will probably still haunt you when applying to a prticular school within the university, like an engineering school. You always have to include a written statement with applications stating, among other things, why you are wanting to go to college. That is where you can really hammer home the service and how you have matured since your last time in college. You may have to go a couple of semesters under a non-engineering major to get your grades up doing the required prequal courses, which really is no big deal since you'd have to do them anyways. Then after a year you could go back with better grades and reapply to the engineering college.

    The military experience's influence on your marketability in the workforce will vary. It's impact will depend heavily on the particular company you are dealing with. If you end up, say, designing shower heads, the military part of your resume is nice but it will be just one item on it. However, if you were to go to a government contractor, chances are it will count more. Let's put it this way, it will never hurt you (assuming an honorable discharge). Don't rely solely on it though. You really do need to perform well, no matter what your resume says.

    Good luck.
  6. Jun 28, 2005 #5
    For consistency, and to prove that all around you finish what you start, you could return to your old college and retake the courses you bombed, and continue to build your GPA. Take it from me; whether you fail or not is not as important as how you have grown and what you have learn from your failures. If you prove to the colleges you can pick yourself up after falling down, they'll welcome you with open arms.

    Look at it this way; if they rejected everybody with a shady background, all of us would be in JCs.

    As for rebuilding yourself, you could concurrently enroll at your college and at another junior/community college, building up credits and points pretty quickly (hint: community colleges offer alot of courses online...).
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