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Old GPA Haunting Second Degree/Transfer

  1. Jun 6, 2015 #1
    I got my first degree in sociology way back in 2000. Last year, I decided to pursue a second degree in computer science and enrolled at a tiny, private LAC that I chose solely based on low cost. I just completed my first year there and did well, earning a 3.6 GPA. However, I'm not happy at the college and want to transfer.

    The issue I'm facing is that my CGPA from my prior undergraduate work is low. The better schools require a CGPA of 2.5 for transfer admission and I fall just short at 2.4 even after adding in my current grades (I keep a spreadsheet). Being that I'm looking into state schools (I'm a veteran, so I can pay in-state rates in several states), I won't have the opportunity to explain on applications that I have a serious autoimmune disease that was beginning to manifest way back when, and was not diagnosed until 2004 - four years after I graduated.

    So, I'm hoping that some of you knowledgeable folks here could point me in the direction of some schools that have solid academics, academic reputations, and that would **put more weight on my current grades** than grades 15+ years old. I'm also open to private universities, but I know transfers don't get a lot of merit aid, etc.

    Here's some more info that might help:

    School Size: Medium. Not so small that course rotation is limited to once a year for required/core CS courses. Large enough that a good and interesting selection of elective CS courses are offered every semester. Large enough that there's enough faculty members to teach the courses that need to be taught, including the electives (or why else even list them in the catalog like my current school does). Undergraduate research opportunities, tech recruiters at job fairs, etc.

    Location: City/Suburban. Proximity to internship sites, Amtrak, airport. I do have a car. Prefer warm climates, but can handle Midwestern and Mid-Atlantic winters. I survived the Catskills' winters in upstate NY, but barely, LOL. I'm from South Carolina, so yeah... don't send me to Rochester or Buffalo, NY or insanely cold places like that. I'll cry real tears, LOL.

    Reputation: Solid. That's good enough for me.

    Hooks: Double URM for STEM major (black female), veteran, have a disability.

    Major: Computer Science w/ minor in Physics OR Physics w/ minor in Computer Science (I have 18 hrs of 300/400 level CS credits, plus Discrete Math which is a 200-level course at my current school; at some schools these 21 credits are enough for a minor already and for others I'm sure I'm pretty close). Engineering Physics if available. One word: Nanotechnology.

    ETA: Just to keep all my options open, I'm taking the GRE on Monday. Keeping my fingers and toes crossed!

    Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2015
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 11, 2015 #2
    Thanks for the post! This is an automated courtesy bump. Sorry you aren't generating responses at the moment. Do you have any further information, come to any new conclusions or is it possible to reword the post?
  4. Jun 12, 2015 #3


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    Gold Member

    First, contact your original school where you have your low GPA. Ask them to drop or remove a bad grade (chances are they won't, but hey, you can ask). Next, ask if you can take a department exam or retake a course or two. Pick the ones that you did poorly in, not a B and get an A, but a C, D or F and get replaced with a new grade or often just a Pass/Fail. Pass/Fail often is usually removed from your GPA if you pass (counts as an F if fail). But some schools do have Pass/Fail options that they make available for department exams (you didn't sit in the classroom and earn a grade, you simply demonstrated adequate knowledge of the course).
    You would ideally take D or C grades that were originally on your transcripts and have them replaced by taking a departmental exam and passing. The class grade would then be converted to a P and would be taken out of the college transcript GPA formula. Attempting 2-3 classes like this might help. Most colleges have some courses where they can offer you a department exam for a certain fee (may be the actual cost of the course, but some colleges won't gouge you).
    I attended one school that allowed me to test out of chemistry vs transferring in a poor grade. That same school also allowed me to replace a low grade in Calc II with a higher grade upon completion of their Calc II (most schools keep both grades for GPA calculation).
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