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Ready for a Fresh Start

TacosAndTatersTacosAndTaters Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
edited December 2013 in Non-Traditional Students
Hello, CC!

I'm a third year engineering student at a California community college, and technically ready for transfer. However, I have a dark secret in my past that I fear will make it impossible to transfer, and would like some input from the community!

I spent my first-year at an out-of-state university purely because they offered me money, without actually preparing myself for the rigors of the study my scholarship demanded-I spent a lot of time wasting time playing video games, hating my roommate's boyfriend, and dining on a diet of Mountain Dew and cookie dough because no parents to say eat veggies. As such, I ended up leaving the university after two semesters and returning home with a 1.4 GPA and 31 units of C's, D's, and E's(you know, F's). It was an absolute disaster and embarrassing and overall stressful.

Now, two years later, I've accumulated another 21 units of A's and B's and a 3.6 GPA, and 14 units in progress on track for a 3.7 GPA. I've gotten my marbles together, got a part-time job to start paying off the loan I incurred out-of-state, volunteer like crazy, and participate in clubs related to my major(where I've gotten lots of support from fellow engineering hopefuls). Furthermore, I've found what I am passionate about studying: Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering(different from my Biomedical Engineering major that I hated because it turns out I hate studying biology).

Along with my 21 CCC units(soon to be 49 after Spring semester) and my 12-24 units of AP/CLEP credit(only 9 of my out-of-state units have a possibility of transferring as GE credits), I'll have more than enough units to transfer, but, unfortunately, my current transferable GPA is....2.31. An absolute travesty for a transfer to a UC(my transfer goal is UCSD or UCB), and a moderate tragedy for a transfer to a CSU(I'm applying to Cal Poly Pomona and Cal State Long Beach, where engineering is an impacted major that demands a 3.8 GPA). Obviously, putting that on my Cal State application will make them laugh as they electronically shred my application, and even with an explanation, I can't really expect the UCs to overlook such an awful number. Even with another year of full time CCC schooling, the highest GPA I can possibly get is a 3.0(almost a 3.1), and that's being optimistic that I can get 4.0s from now until forever.

But, then, I see there are other people with this problem, but so far they're just trying to figure out what to do after that year or don't know what they want to study or if they want to study anything at all, or some other issue that isn't "I'm ready to transfer, what do I do?"

Now, if this were it, I would just say hey ho diddle dee and stay for another year-after all, there are about five to seven courses I could take to finish IGETC requirements and get an AAT, which would look more impressive, but unfortunately, my parents, who have been insanely supportive through all of this(thank goodness), are moving to San Diego after this school year, which unfortunately, means I need to either get into UCSD now so I won't have to worry about rent and food, get a full ride elsewhere so I won't have to worry about rent and food, or buckle down, move out(something I'm deathly terrified of due to my irresponsibility out of state), and attempt to stay in my CCC for another year to bring my GPA up and have a better chance at transferring where I want to next year. There's absolutely no chance of me changing majors, but I have considered transferring out of state, although not extensively because tuition out of state is so grossly expensive, but rent out of state will probably be cheaper than SoCal.

Regardless of my chances, though, I am still going to apply to all my schools now just in case they take pity on me and give me the benefit of the doubt.

So, lovely CC members, what is your take on my situation? Should I begin seriously considering an out-of-state education, lower my standards for transfer school, power through another year of school and face my fear of being on my own again(and possibly crash and burn in the process), or some other option I haven't thought of?

Thanks for making it through that wall of text and your replies!
Post edited by TacosAndTaters on

Replies to: Ready for a Fresh Start

  • crazymomstercrazymomster Registered User Posts: 1,872 Senior Member
    You aren't going to get a scholarship anywhere. So what financial means do you have? Can you transfer to a CC in San Diego?
  • da6onetda6onet Registered User Posts: 653 Member
    Admissions minions at large publics will likely say they can't help you, or worse, give you misinformation.

    If you know what you'd like to major in, find the appropriate academic dean within the university's college of xx"insert major here"xx who has the authority to review internal appeals. They will know the bureaucratic process well and you need them as you ally. They may not have authority to admit you, but they may be able to get your case in front of the right person (director of admissions for example).
  • TacosAndTatersTacosAndTaters Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    @crazymomster: Well, that certainly is unnecessarily and absolutely discouraging. I'm not comfortable sharing financial information with you, as I don't see how that would affect my decision. I can't transfer to a CC in San Diego without ruining the extracurricular foundations I have here.

    @da6onet: Thank you, I will get in touch with the deans of engineering at these schools and see about their appeals process.
  • BrownParentBrownParent Registered User Posts: 12,776 Senior Member
    Have you discussed this with the CC transfer adviser? You might actually have a better chance with the UC's because they use holistic admissions, where the CSU's don't. I don't think in that long blurb you ever mentioned your CCC gpa. Some might be persuaded to use that, don't know, the transfer adviser will have more experience.
  • TacosAndTatersTacosAndTaters Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    @BrownParent: The transfer advisor said apply, but that I can always stay if I'm not accepted and get an AST in Physics. However, if I do get accepted, I'm still unsure whether I should go ahead and accept or stay in hopes of getting more experience. My CCC GPA is 3.6, and will be 3.7 at the end of the semester, but combined with the 1.4 from the out of state, my transferable is 2.31. The transfer advisor wasn't familiar with how to handle my out of state credits, so I found an advisor who is, but she wasn't clear as to whether the credits that won't transfer from the out of state to here will affect my GPA, since I can only use a few of the classes towards graduation.
  • mikemacmikemac Registered User Posts: 9,580 Senior Member
    Make yourself an appt with a counselor at UCSD to get better info that the counselor at your CC is able to give. For starters there is this
    One of the most important criteria considered is the GPA in UC-transferable college courses based upon the applicant's self-reported academic history.
    Application Review Process - Transfer
    It isn't clear when you say "I can only use a few of the classes towards graduation" if you mean they aren't relevant to your current major, or if UC won't give you credit for them at all. If the latter, perhaps an escape clause in the snippet above.

    One other thing you need to discuss with a qualified counselor is excess units. The UCs are changing their policies, but there are caps of some sort on how many units you can have if you have attending 4-year and 2-year colleges. There didn't use to be a cap if they were all from a CC, not sure if that is still true.
This discussion has been closed.