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How do I accomplish this dream? Advice needed.

differentdifferent Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
edited October 2013 in Non-Traditional Students
(well great the first time I decide not to save a log of my post before I hit submit just in case the system logged me out just had to be this time..)

For the past 8 years, 27 now, without any strategy or goal in mind I have been taking only courses that interest me at a community college. Unfortunately that has left me with an AA degree in Humanities, and a 2.5 GPA. But now I wish to pursue the passion I have found in these 8 years, and that is film. The school I wish to go to is USC. Though with my W's, C's and retakes of D's and F's. My chance is next to impossible. So I was thinking of going as a non-matriculated student, then being officially accepted as a student if I do well enough. Though that brings about a few questions.

1. If going as a non-matriculated student is a real way to get into your dream college, why worry about community college/high school GPA?

2. Should I stay a few more semesters at my community college and take transferable courses and get A's in those then try to transfer over officially?

3. Connecting the above questions. What are the advantages and disadvantages of going as a non-matriculated student vs officially transferring over from a community college?

Honestly I would like to go to any decent college. My transferable GPA to UCLA system is a 2.8. Also my GPA is mostly bad because of courses I never needed to take in the first place such as difficult language classes, and higher science classes when I thought I wanted to be a doctor. My math/english and other regular courses are A's/B's.

I have other questions about non-matriculated students entering.. But I'll save those for if I actually decide to attend as a non-matriculated student.
Post edited by different on

Replies to: How do I accomplish this dream? Advice needed.

  • DreamSchlDropoutDreamSchlDropout Registered User Posts: 731 Member
    Generally, unless a college *specifically* describes a path for non-matriculated students to gain full admission, it is not going to directly help you to transfer there.

    A few schools do have such a program (e.g. Sarah Lawrence B.A. Program for Adults at The Center for Continuing Education), but it appears that USC does not.

    That being said, taking some non-mat classes at USC could still help you indirectly. If you excel in those courses and are able to obtain letters of recommendation from a couple of profs at the very school you are applying to, that would likely help your application.

    Hindsight is 20/20, but your real mistake was taking difficult courses for credit when you did not need the credit or have a plan that required them. You probably could have saved yourself money and some of your current difficulty by taking some of those in a non-credit status that would not impact your GPA.

    Now, it is what it is. The reality is that even in non-mat status both USC in general and the specific classes you wish to take may have minimum academic standards that you won't be able to meet. So investigate that thoroughly before you decide to make the jump.

    Also, consider that with your limited status you will likely be ineligible for financial aid, so you'll need to pay for those classes fully out of pocket.

    Whether you go to USC or stay at the CC, right now your needs are:
    A) Get your grades up. Way up. And...
    B) Demonstrate focus. Stop cherry-picking the course catalog and show that you have chosen a purposeful direction in your studies. You can likely get accepted to a good school even with your past, but they will want to see that you have changed your tune. Everything about your application, and your studies from this day forward, should be conveying the message "I used to be indecisive, but now I know where I am going."

    Best of luck to you!!
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