First of all, let me specify that I am not currently in this situation, however my significant other is. He was recently rejected from 13/14 grad schools he applied to and is trying to figure out why. Right out of high school, he went to Purdue for applied physics. He wasn't prepared for college, and failed out after three years. He went back to the work force, saved enough money for a second chance at school, and went to a different university at age 28 (this is where we met). He had clearly gotten his act together. He graduated with a math and physics degree in three years with a 4.0 GPA, had several publications in phys rev A, excellent letters of recommendation, and knew people "on the inside". Everyone figured he was a shoe-in for graduate school. He applied to fourteen different ones, was only accepted to one. His expectations weren't very high and he did not apply to any "shoot for the moon" schools. For those of you who have experience in admissions: How important is your past academic career? Is it only the school you graduated from that matters? Is it unethical to not list a poor academic record for a school you didn't get a degree from?