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Prospective Transfer Student, A fall from grace, The return? (Transfer & chances)

QuodRimorQuodRimor Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
Hello, I'd like to apologize for the lengthy post beforehand, but I write as if I speak. I am currently entering my second year at a two-year community college with hopes of transferring to Brown University. I am preparing to complete a 4 year Engineering bachelors specializing in a Materials or Mechanical discipline.

My academic achievements from high school were, in my regard, decent for the amount of effort I put in. I came out with a 2210 SAT (out of 2400 with writing/essay) and a 3.7 WGPA, along with 36 transferable AP credits. In addition I took the SAT Math II and Physics subject tests, scoring 800 apiece.

My first year in college was.. hairy, for lack of a better descriptor.
I was accepted into the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and began my Freshman year fall of 2014. I bit off a lot more than I could chew academically and tarnished my GPA pretty bad. I lost my merit full ride and, thinking I could save myself, did not withdraw from the courses when I had the chance. I've since had time to reflect on my performance.

My family background is lower blue-collar; I had minimal second-hand experience of what college would be like or how to "play my cards right." I refused to accept that I blew my chance at a degree, and enrolled in community college under financial aid (no intention of taking out loans at the time).

I took a different approach to my workload and placed a lot more emphasis on understanding the material - retook the core engineering classes like Multi-variable, Statics, Differential Equations, etc. I figured one should reflect on personal failure in life as a learning opportunity, not a demeaning stamp on the forehead. I pulled a solid 4.0 and told myself I shouldn't let the bad year hang over my head. With that resolve, I shall complete my Associates in engineering Spring of 2017.

I know this is quite a rocky foundation to stand on, especially for Ivy League, but I feel everyone gets knocked off their high horse at least once in life. I was unfortunate enough to have it happen to me academically. Numbers play a big role but if I can continue to show myself capable, as well as explain the value I hold for education having experienced failure firsthand, do I have a shot at transferring in? Having fallen and gotten back up [higher than before], is there a chance?

Additionally, since it will have been 3 years, should I retake the SAT regardless of where I transfer?

Replies to: Prospective Transfer Student, A fall from grace, The return? (Transfer & chances)

  • QuodRimorQuodRimor Registered User Posts: 3 New Member

    Dual Academy HS Graduate (IT & Engineering)
    HS GPA: 3.7
    3 Year old SAT: 2210
    HS Awards:
    Varsity with Honors x4 (Tennis)
    Varsity with Honors x2 (Cross Country)
    Honors in The Academy of Engineering
    Honors in Academy of Information Technology
    Honors in Physical Sciences
    AP Scholar with Distinction
    National Honors Society

    Had a bad year at a 4 year University, learned from mistake, enrolled in 2-year college

    Associates Degree in Engineering
    GPA: 3.9~4.0 expected
    SAE Baja 2 years (Design Lead one year)
  • T26E4T26E4 Registered User Posts: 24,274 Senior Member
    Your slippage while in college really negates any chance you have at a very competitive transfer student pgm such as Brown. Really, 4.0 students are routinely denied, I'm sorry to say.
  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN Registered User Posts: 2,893 Senior Member
    It seems like you have redeemed yourself but I would expect you to be competitive for schools you were originally competitive for in high school. Were you accepted in Brown-caliber schools then?
  • DreamSchlDropoutDreamSchlDropout Registered User Posts: 731 Member
    Your summary apparently leaves out the "bad year" and its effect on your GPA. Brown will not leave it out when evaluating your application.
  • QuodRimorQuodRimor Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    @CheddarcheeseMN I was advised not to apply for Ivy Leagues by my high school counselor due to my GPA, and that getting denied before building a transcript at a college would hurt my chances of transferring in the future. At 16 I took their advice as-is.

    I understand the bad year at a separate university will be taken into account, I was just wondering if "redeeming one's self" is even looked at when judging a person.
  • T26E4T26E4 Registered User Posts: 24,274 Senior Member
    It might be but you've got to understand the applicant pool. If they're rejecting +90% of applicants, you and your story simply have to be spectacular. Having up to 50% of your college career deemed "bad" sounds like a non sequitur in this context to me.
  • DreamSchlDropoutDreamSchlDropout Registered User Posts: 731 Member
    I was just wondering if "redeeming one's self" is even looked at when judging a person.

    It is, but it's harder to make the case for redemption when you are still so close to the fall from grace.

    For example, many top schools (Brown included) have an admission program for non-traditional applicants who have had a significant gap in their education. If you've been in the workforce for 5 or 10 years and had a successful career, it's much easier to come back and say "Those freshman grades weren't who I really am."

    As a sophomore, you can still try to tell that story, but it's a much harder case to make.
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