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Hi Parents! Can You Help Me With a Transfer Decision?

branwafflesbranwaffles Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
edited August 2014 in Parents Forum
Spent 3 semesters at the University of Rochester with an exceptionally low GPA during the first two semesters (I'm talking sub-2.0) and a decent GPA for the third (~2.8-3.2) leaving me with a current GPA of ~2.0

Strongly considering going to a local community college (I live in NC) in order to start over again with a completely fresh GPA. If I take the CC route, I plan to transfer out to UNC-Chapel Hill or another school of similar caliber.

Will it be worth my time to leave the University of Rochester and to transfer elsewhere after obtaining a decent GPA, or to stay where I am and simply work to improve what I currently have?
My main worries are:
1. When it becomes time for me to apply to grad programs, I may be viewed in a more negative light due to the difficulties experienced earlier on in my academic career. Even if I continue to shape up and improve my academic performance, my GPA will not reflect my ability as a student.
2. I can't predict the way that I will perform during the upcoming 5 semesters at Rochester.This worries me because, obviously, I could very well not perform satisfactorily during the rest of my time there or my performance could plateau where it currently is (~3.0 each semester) and I would end up completing my undergrad with a very lukewarm GPA.

I can say that I've become a much more mature student in terms of my general work ethic, but to me, this is not a reliable determinant for my future success.
Should I take a gamble on my GPA and stay where I'm at? Or should I stay safe and go to a CC where I know that I am able to perform well?
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Replies to: Hi Parents! Can You Help Me With a Transfer Decision?

  • HannaHanna Registered User Posts: 14,694 Senior Member
    "in order to start over again with a completely fresh GPA."

    You can't start over again with a completely fresh GPA. Your grades from these three semesters are what they are, and they will always count for transfer and graduate school admission. Any highly selective school like UNC will look at all your grades. If you bring your grades up, of course that will help you, but that will be more or less the same whether the improved grades come from UR or elsewhere.
  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Super Moderator Posts: 35,830 Super Moderator
    ^ This. Even if you got a 4.0 for your 4th semester you'd only have a 2.5 for transferring. At this point your best bet is to stick with UR and do well.
  • blossomblossom Registered User Posts: 8,991 Senior Member
    Why are you worrying about grad school? Worry about continuing to improve your study habits or whatever it is that held you back.... and focus on the here and now. You do realize that lots and lots of kids with a BA don't ever apply to grad school?
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 84,077 Forum Champion
    You can't start over. Schools use a national clearing house to search each student's past history. Your CC will know, UNC will know, and any grad school will know.

    You need a different plan because likely grad school is not in your future. Grad schools don't typically accept students with GPAs that low. They are highly competitive.
  • conmamaconmama Registered User Posts: 3,557 Senior Member
    My advice to you is to put off grad school until you have some work experience, which will count for something. Plus, many employers will pay for your school. When it's time to interview, make sure you show them what your GPA is without that first 3 semesters. You can tell them that it took you awhile to mature and become a serious student...but once you did, this is how you can perform and reflects more who you are now. Also, you can show them the GPA from your major, and talk about that, too.
  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys Registered User Posts: 16,494 Senior Member
    I couldn't say whether grad school is or isn't in your future, so my advice is to focus on today and keep moving that GPA upwards. If you've spent 3 semesters where you are you probably have at least 1 year's worth of credits so I'm not sure there is value in transferring to a community college, especially if you've finally figured out how to balance and get some decent grades. But everyone is correct, your transcript stays with you throughout your entire educational experience so there is no reset button where the past is wiped off your transcript.
  • HannaHanna Registered User Posts: 14,694 Senior Member
    This is a really good reminder of why it's better to take a gap year if there is any significant doubt about a student's readiness for college. If you go off to college and lay down bad grades, that will follow you much more than anything that happens in high school.
  • cobratcobrat Registered User Posts: 12,285 Senior Member
    edited August 2014
    When it's time to interview, make sure you show them what your GPA is without that first 3 semesters.

    If you did that with most employers I know of and a given applicant attended the same college throughout, they'd consider that a serious enough omission to call into question a job candidate's integrity into question and thus, greatly increase the likelihood of a rejection.

    Especially considering some job application forms do ask if someone has ever been suspended/expelled for academic reasons or even placed on academic probation during one's college/grad school years and if so, to explain themselves.
  • mom2andmom2and Registered User Posts: 2,501 Senior Member
    Yes, you have a challenge, but don't give up yet or let those that say you will never do grad school discourage you. i would agree that if you continue to get Cs you will likely not get into grad school and that your grades will follow you, but I would also think that 5 semesters of good grades in your major will allow you to gain admittance. Nobody is washed up at age 20.

    What has kept you from doing well at UR and what are you planning to change to improve? Was the work too hard or did you goof off too much? What is your major and would you consider a change? Do you have an LD? if you can't fix what is broken, then transferring to an easier school may be the answer. if you can fix it or get tutors or do whatever you can to get mostly over a 3.5, you will probably be OK.

    I have seen kids do a "do over". It may not be possible to go to UNC Chapel Hill from a Community College, but if you went to a CC in a completely different field it may be possible.

    Good luck and stay optimistic. You can still be very successful.
  • saxsax Registered User Posts: 5,428 Senior Member
    Many people give two GPAs. One is of all course work. One is only those courses in your major. Maybe you can make that work for you.
  • cobratcobrat Registered User Posts: 12,285 Senior Member
    Yes, you have a challenge, but don't give up yet or let those that say you will never do grad school discourage you. ...but I would also think that 5 semesters of good grades in your major will allow you to gain admittance. Nobody is washed up at age 20.

    +1

    If you stay and URochester, get help for academic/study skill issues/other impediments, and get good grades from here on out, good employment and grad school don't have to be ruled out.

    One older relative, in fact, graduated from your very college with a GPA sometime in the late '80s just a smidgen under 3.0 because he received abysmal grades for his first 3 semesters. While it did impede his job search in comparison to peers during and right after graduation, he managed to get hired and promoted within a few topflight tech firms.

    Along the way, one such firm PAID NEARLY EVERYTHING for him to pick up an engineering master's at a respectable grad school. Only thing he needed to pay for was the 20% tuition for one course where he ended up with a B. Employer paid for everything else.
  • electronblueelectronblue Registered User Posts: 1,304 Senior Member
    You would have trouble applying for funded grad school programs but I think you will be just fine if you are self-funded. Please don't think you have blown your chance at life because you screwed up in the beginning. Do your best, get out there in the workforce for a couple of years, and you will be fine.
  • ConsolationConsolation Registered User Posts: 22,786 Senior Member
    If you did that with most employers I know of and a given applicant attended the same college throughout, they'd consider that a serious enough omission to call into question a job candidate's integrity into question and thus, greatly increase the likelihood of a rejection.

    I don't think the poster was advocating misrepresenting the GPA. I took it to mean that the OP could calculate his GPA without the first couple of semesters, and say "Yes, my overall GPA is X, but after I learned how to be a mature student this is how I did." Nothing wrong with that.
  • cobratcobrat Registered User Posts: 12,285 Senior Member
    I don't think the poster was advocating misrepresenting the GPA. I took it to mean that the OP could calculate his GPA without the first couple of semesters, and say "Yes, my overall GPA is X, but after I learned how to be a mature student this is how I did." Nothing wrong with that.

    The best approach according to the managers I've worked with is to come clean and include the bad first few semesters into one's GPA, but then emphasize one's improvement and general upward GPA trend from that point on.

    That approach is compelling as it shows the applicant overcame a setback and grown from that point without seemingly concealing the initial negative factor.

    Not to mention if the company requires college transcripts or does background checks to verify enrollment/GPA status, concealing/discounting the poor first few semesters can raise red flags when inconsistencies are discovered between what the applicant reports vs the college.
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 11,754 Senior Member
    edited August 2014
    Not sure what is meant by "grad school". What field, for instance? For something like an MBA, great work experience can definitely trump a low GPA for some schools. And yes, many professional masters programs (even at elite schools) may not care too much about your GPA.

    Staying at Rochester and upping your game is definitely the less risky path (because you're not guaranteed admission to UNC with your GPA). If you have a good GPA in your major or key classes and pick up key skills, that may be good enough for some jobs/employers. Also try to pick up work experience. If you start as an intern somewhere and impress the people there with your work ethic and abilities, they probably could care less how you did the first 3 semesters of college.

    What major are you in?

    BTW, if you are worried that you can't bring up your GPA at Rochester, why do you think you can bring up your GPA elsewhere?
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