Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.
Please take a moment to read our updated TOS, Privacy Policy, and Forum Rules.

Dropped out of college 6 years ago with low gpa and back with honors - Grad school?

ranaruranaru Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
edited December 2009 in Graduate School
I graduated high school in 1999 and entered college that same year. I struggled a great deal and ended up with a 2.3 overall gpa, mainly because I lacked direction and suffered from depression. I attended 3 different schools until I called it quits in 2003. I started school again (Depaul U) last summer and have already taken 7 courses and have a 3.9 GPA (All A's and 1 A-). How much will my past affect my chances at getting into a good graduate school? I am currently studying for the GRE and I'm sure I'll do pretty well. The thing is I only have about 2 or maybe 3 trimesters left. Is that enough to prove to the universities that I'm capable? I plan on obtaining a masters in Sociology. In terms of work experience, I practiced real estate in the state of New York for about 4 years before I called it quits at the end of 2008.
Post edited by ranaru on

Replies to: Dropped out of college 6 years ago with low gpa and back with honors - Grad school?

  • cosmicfishcosmicfish Registered User Posts: 4,203 Senior Member
    I had a similar experience - graduated high school in 1993, kicked out of college in 1998 for <2.0 gpa, returned in 2004 (w/ clean gpa), graduated in 2006 with high distinction. I applied for PhD programs in 2006 but chose to go industry instead, then applied again in 2009 and am now pursuing my doctorate.

    A lot of the result will depend on your approach. You can certainly make the point that you were a different person then, and make it stick - it's possible, if not easy. Some schools will still reject you, although some will allow you to appeal - One school was not going to admit me based on an "overall" gpa, but after I went down there and talked to them they allowed my "official" gpa and even offered me funding!

    Remember that you have a few things to offer that a 22yo cannot, and you should have a decent chance. I would be very surprised if you could not get into a couple of decent schools. Of course, in sociology funding might be tricky...
  • geraldJgeraldJ Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    Thanks for the post!

    I also had a similar experience, where I graduated from high school in 2001, kicked out of college in 2006 with a sub 2.0gpa (although mostly all of my requirements were fulfilled). I've tried to retake a couple of courses that would have set me over 2.0, but failed since I attempted too soon while I still lacked focus and had started work full time. I've had a lot of time to find direction and gained a few years of work experience since I last tried to retake courses, but I've always wanted to return and ultimately get into grad school.

    cosmicfish & ranaru - How difficult was it to return? Did you get a second chance at the same school? I've talked to a couple advisers at the school where I was kicked out and it sounded like they might consider my reentry if I could submit a compelling appeal and retake a couple of classes that would bring my former gpa to a 2.0. It's definitely not a guarantee and a big financial gamble for me to try to regain admission, but hopefully worth a shot to advance my career.
  • cosmicfishcosmicfish Registered User Posts: 4,203 Senior Member

    I returned to my original school - other schools will often pass you over as a bad risk, while your original school may try to "save" you and boost the numbers. In my case I had to get the approval of the department head, the undergraduate program supervisor, and the dean of my college - they need to hear a convincing story of what went wrong and why it will not happen again. In my case they also asked for detailed academic plans and a few other hoops.

    Thankfully, my school had a "rehabilitation" program for which I qualified - I lost all credit for courses graded below a "C", but they restarted my gpa from scratch. This enabled me to finish in two years and gave me a nice gpa to show to other schools and employers. If they do not have a similar program this may not be worthwhile - what is your best terminal gpa and how competitive is it? Busting your ass for 2 years to get a 2.5 gpa may not be worthwhile.

    Please note that this never goes away, and will be an issue anytime someone looks at your transcript. On the bright side, if you have been out a few years and can show a convincing transformation you may get some grad schools to admit you despite that low cumulative gpa, based solely on your recent performance.
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Registered User Posts: 25,362 Senior Member
    Generally speaking, your most recent grades are the ones that will count the most when it comes time to apply to grad school. If you can make a convincing demonstration that you now have your act together personally and academically, even though you will still have to submit copies of those old ugly transcripts, people will be more interested in the new good ones.

    Wishing you all the best.
  • nsaule3991nsaule3991 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    edited June 2015
    Scratch my last comment.

This discussion has been closed.