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will college gpa hurt transfer possibilities?

gibson99gibson99 93 replies20 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 113 Junior Member
edited November 2005 in College Search & Selection
Hey guys,

Right now I am a freshman at Lehigh University and have finally come to the decision that I want to transfer. I am a business major and the schools that I have decided to apply to so far are Boston U and NYU. My main concern is that my college grades will hold me back. I am taking 15 credits and expect to get mostly Bs and Cs. I actually have a 68 in geology right now!!! Should I drop it and only have 12 credits? or should I keep it and try to pull a C??? How much will my college grades hurt me in transferring? Also any other suggestions for schools would be appreciated. I am looking for a good business school in or near a city. My high school stats are SAT=1380, ranked in top 6% of 500 kids. Please give me feedback on if you think I will have a tough time transferring due to my poor college gpa. Will they take into account the difficulty and grade deflation of the school? I feel that Lehigh is very difficult. I would think that since they will only have 1 semester of grades to look at, that they would not weight it too heavily. Also, will the fact that I am coming from a pretty highly ranked school help me? hanks, sorry if this is so unorganized.
edited November 2005
19 replies
Post edited by gibson99 on
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Replies to: will college gpa hurt transfer possibilities?

  • lonestardadlonestardad 577 replies23 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 600 Member
    gibson99 - Yes, low college grades will sink your transfer chances to a comparable college/university. The usual "what have you done for me lately" holds for college transfers in particular so your current performance in college(academic and extracurricular) is going to be a predominant factor in your transfer application (barring extenuating circumstances such as extended illness, etc. that is not the case for you). There's still time to get the best grades possible you can this semester (including the "C" in geology). Colleges like to see persistence as well.
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  • ecapeecape 1024 replies165 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,189 Senior Member
    lonestardad, last year I was a very good student in the fall semester (3.6 GPA, 21 course hrs), spring semester a bunch of stuff went wrong including mono, so my GPA dropped (3.1, 17 course hrs). I'm taking this semester off. However, if I return to school next semester do you think sending strong mid-term grades (21 course hrs) with transfer applications would raise me to the status of an applicant who had a good GPA all along? Any ideas?
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  • lonestardadlonestardad 577 replies23 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 600 Member
    Escape - Yes, upward trends (a peak in first semester, a valley with the second semester and your illnesses, and a peak again in the third semester) always are positive for transfer applications, especially at private universities/colleges where there tends to be more discretion to interpret the numbers. Also, be sure to get to know professors who can really comment on the quality of your work. Be sure to also be active in campus or community organizations so you can show that you are not just a "grade grind". Finally, assuming essays are part of the transfer application at particular schools, feel free to comment on how you've learned/grown from the experience of the downer of the second semester, the semester you took off, and then the rising fortunes of your third semester. Even if they don't ask for it, provide the supplemental information anyway and regarding your downer semester, semester-off, and current semester

    By the way, I'm sure any college/university you apply to as a transfer will ask for final grades from your current semester so I wouldn't be concerned too much about your mid-term grades.
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  • ecapeecape 1024 replies165 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,189 Senior Member
    Actually, a lot of colleges don't ask for final spring grades for fall transfers, which is why I was thinking of making my own "midterm grade sheet" where teachers could sign off or something.
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  • lonestardadlonestardad 577 replies23 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 600 Member
    Escape - My apologies for not reading your original post more carefully. Your plan looks like a winner to me regarding submitting mid-term grades in the spring semester thus showing an upward trend. If possible, I would hold off submitting your transfer applications so that you have that opportunity to demonstrate the upward curve in your academic performance through high mid-term grades next semester. It also would seem that professors' recommendations regarding your academic performance could bear even more weight than usual for your situation in particular. Maybe there are professors from your high performing first semester that you could get reacquainted with again and could give you an excellent recommendation.

    As an aside, 21 hours sounds like a very challenging (and possibly draining) workload for your first semester back. If it is in your control financially, consider taking 16-18 hours next semester and achieve the high grades in all your courses. Don't put too much pressure on yourself. It is obvious you are a high achiever who is serious about your goals. I'm sure your transfer applications will demonstrate that regardless.
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  • lonestardadlonestardad 577 replies23 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 600 Member
    Escape - A little anecdote from my personal life regarding the benefits of hold ing off - if possible - on the transfer applications until you can put your best foot forward (i.e. excellent mid-term grades). I went to Carnegie-Mellon as a freshman liberal arts student. I had a pretty good first semester except for a finite math class that - despite my best efforts - I bombed. After getting those first semester grades, I took my transfer application to Northwestern and tore it up. Second semester went considerably better both academically and in participating in extra-curriculars. After my final exams were over and I went home in May, I called the University of Chicago Admissions Office and asked some questions about transferring after my second year. The U of C Admissions person said if I hurried up I could still apply as a freshman transfer. I scrambled long-distance and got a couple professors to write some thorough recommendations. Yes, Virginia, there was a Santa Claus that year. The moral of the story, no way could I have been admitted to U of C or Northwestern based on my first semester results. Though my waiting to apply for transfer was not by design, the net result was that I was able to factually demonstrate after one more semester that I was a good transfer candidate both academically and through extra-curriculars. I see definite similarities between you and me in that regard.
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  • ecapeecape 1024 replies165 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,189 Senior Member
    I do have teachers from first semester freshman year who are willing to write recs -I've already asked them. I think I could handle 21 hrs my semester back -Smith is actually slightly less challenging than my hs, but I'll see how stuff goes, since I do want to have a life as well. Will colleges allow you to submit applications 2-3 weeks late in order to include something like midterm grades, if you ask for permission in advance? I was thinking if not I would send in my app on time, and then send midterm grades later. ECs and essays should be fairly good. SAT: 1480. Also, I have no idea how my record at Smith will look to other colleges, but I'm looking at: Bowdoin, Oberlin, Davidson, Swarthmore if you have any guesses for how I'd do for fall transfer.
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  • lonestardadlonestardad 577 replies23 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 600 Member
    Escape - to answer your last question, be sure to submit your transfer applications by each school's deadlines. However, in each transfer application be sure to note in writing (in that supplemental essay perhaps) that you will be submitting mid-term grades as well to show that you are good-goods academically. Then do it. I would be surprised if any of the excellent colleges would turn you down. Even though these mid-term grades will not be officially from the Registrar at Smith, I would find it hard to believe that Admissions persons would totally ignore them (even if they told you they would). It's sort of like a jury hearing a remark in court that the judge then tells the jury to disregard. The jury heard the remark and can't just completely forget it. Admissions at each of the schools you are applying to is an individualized process, so I say go ahead and submit them. It can only help.
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  • ecapeecape 1024 replies165 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,189 Senior Member
    I appreciate your optimism. However, I feel I must note that all of these schools (except possibly Oberlin) turn down MANY qualified applicants.
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  • gibson99gibson99 93 replies20 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 113 Junior Member
    Hi guys,

    First I just want to tell you all how much I appreciate your time and effort. It means a lot to me to have people I don't even know go out of their way to help me. I just got back today from Boston. I went for the weekend to look at BU. It seemed to me that Boston is a very clean, safe, and fun place with lots of college kids. I was with my friend who goes there and we were walking around the city at 3 am with no worries at all. While the dorms I saw were not great, and the security policy was a pain, I don't think that those issues would be a problem for me since I would probably just get an apartment.
    I talked to an admissions person before the info session. We talked for a while about the transfer process. She mentioned that the average transfer gpa was a 3.6 for last year's applicants. She understood that I was in a tough situation but she did not really give me any real answers or advice. She suggested possibly going back home next semester to go to a comm. college in order to raise my gpa. My fear of this option is that I go home to community college, apply to schools and don't get in. This would leave me stuck at a community college after leaving a well respected university all for nothing. Not to mention all the crap I would have to take from my friends about going back to comm. college. I really do not feel that it is worth leaving Lehigh to take a chance on rasing my gpa to apply to other schools.
    I really did like the city of Boston. I keep hearing about the incredible amount of grade deflation there, and how students have to work very hard just to earn B's which should probably be A's. This scares me. But I feel that I would really enjoy living in an apartment in Boston, as opposed to being stuck in a dorm here for ANOTHER WHOLE YEAR, as they just made a rule saying that all sophomores must live on campus from now on.
    I had no intention of going in for so long so I will try to sum it up here. I liked Boston, BU had some positives and some negatives, and I don't really want to stay here or go back home. I am going to D.C. soon to look at GWU and will try to keeo an open mind, regardless of some things that I have read. Thank you everyone for all your help.
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  • ophioliteophiolite 1020 replies34 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,054 Member
    "Not to mention all the crap I would have to take from my friends about going back to comm. college. I really do not feel that it is worth leaving Lehigh to take a chance on rasing my gpa to apply to other schools."

    That sends up a red flag for me...do you really want to be friends with those who don't respect any decision you make about your education? If you want to raise your GPA and it's not happening there, you likely need that change...but you may find out the hard way (prove me wrong...)
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  • gibson99gibson99 93 replies20 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 113 Junior Member
    But even if I did go home to community college next semeseter, colleges would not see those grades since I would be applying for fall of '06. At best they might see midterm grades. Am I correct in this thought? I would not want to have to go to community college for more than 1 semester to raise my grades unless i was gauranteed to get into other schools.
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  • ophioliteophiolite 1020 replies34 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,054 Member
    If the admissions counselor suggested community college, even though you think she wasn't being helpful you likely weren't asking the right questions or stating them a manner to which she couldn't give a helpful answer. Do you have her email address? You should probably email her to clarify what the progress would be if you did decide to go to community college for a semester, even if you don't decide to go home, it's good to know the timeline of every option open to you.
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  • gibson99gibson99 93 replies20 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 113 Junior Member
    I will tell you guys my plans as of now, so let me know what you think.
    I am going to leave Lehigh after this semester with 13 credits(i am actually going to go drop my 2 credit calc course right now so i don;t risk getting an F on my transcript). So I will leave after this semester with probably around a B average. I will go to a school near home called Monmouth University. This is not a very competitive school, so I am expecting to do extremely well there. I expect my gpa to jump there. I will check out schools over winter break and then send in apps sometime around the beginning of Jan/Feb? For Monmouth, I do not need letters of rec and they will not look at my college work. Their average sat is 950 and they want a 3.0 in HS(i had a 1380 and a 4.8) The app deadline for spring is Dec. 1st so i will get that done. My question is will this route work for getting into a school for fall of next year such as BU, GWU, Northeastern, and other schools on those levels? Will they look down on me for leaving Lehigh and going to Monmouth? Also, will they be able to see my grades improving soon enough for admission for Fall '06? Also, for the apps for next year, would I have to get letters of rec from profs at Lehigh or Monmouth? I am still somewhat confused as to how I will get to the schools I eventually want to go to, but I am just happy that I will no longer have to struggle for mediocre grades after this semester. All advice and guidance is much appreciated. Thanks
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  • northeastmomnortheastmom 11939 replies440 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 12,379 Senior Member
    I cannot help you with your questions, but many ppl leave schools for many reasons, financial, wrong fit, illness, family illness or emergency, parent job loss, and the list goes on. I know you will get easy As there. From what I have heard, you won't be challenged. I know someone who is attending this semester and she has all As. She told her parents that there are a lot of poor students there.
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