Community College Success Stories

<p>hey tracykins quick question…can u say that when you transferred from a community college that you received more financial aid than you did when u applied to a four-year university at first?</p>

<p>Hey folks. I’m a recent entrant into the college world. I graduated high school in 2003, did 9 years in the Marine Corps, then one semester at a community college in southern california. My high school GPA was 2.14. My GPA for that one semester was 4.0 with honors. Just last week I got the call: Columbia accepted me :)</p>

<p>Great stories!
I went to a private high school on the East Coast and had a 3.5 with OK SATs. USC was my first choice last year but I did not get in. I turned down some other good 4 year universities because I wanted to go to USC. In my rejection letter I was offered the Trojan Transfer Plan and told that they wanted me but I had to earn a 3.6 in the classes they helped me choose.
I went to cc in California, joined a sport, earned a 3.9 and had a really fun year. I am attending USC next year and I’m so excited!
For those reading this and attending cc, get involved, work hard and have fun. You can meet some really great people.</p>

<p>I was inspired by a similar thread on this website many years back so I thought that I should pay it forward to the next kid who may not have much inspiration.</p>

<p>When I was in high school, I was not a serious student. I hardly did any work. If I had to take work home, then it wasn’t going to get done. I lived in a poorer area where being smart was not “cool” and I followed the peer pressure to not study/do homework etc. I finished with around a 2.6, which, in actuality, was better than I deserved.</p>

<p>During my senior year, with adulthood right around the corner, I had to decide what I was going to do with my life and what I decided was that I was going to be an aerospace engineer (a.k.a. rocket scientist). There was a program for this at a public ivy close to where I lived that had placed many people who ended up being very successful. They accepted a few community college transfers each year who had a GPA of around ~3.8.</p>

<p>I got job at the grociery store near where I lived so I could pay for school and enrolled at the local community college in the hopes of transferring in two years. A couple of weeks before starting school, my Dad, who worked in construction, told me he could get me a job as a roofer. When I replied that I’d rather be an engineer, he rolled his eyes and muttered something under his breath as he walked away.</p>

<p>When I was at the community college I devoted a significant amount of time to studying. My bar for understanding was higher than the teacher’s because my assumption was that the professors at the university were much more difficult than the professors at the CC (this was only partially true). While I was there, I met a former friend who informed me that two of my high school classmates that had worked hard and got into the university I was trying to get into from high school had flunked out of the engineering program.</p>

<p>In two years I finished my associates degree with high honors and was accepted to the aerospace engineering program at the University of Washington. I finished with a 3.6 and a NASA sponsored project on my resume. </p>

<p>I then went to graduate school at the same school, with funding from a research grant, finished a masters and went to work as an aerospace engineer with an initial salary around 75k/yr with retirement, health benefits 401k etc.</p>

<p>What an inspiring story meesh!</p>

<p>I should be able to add to this next spring. I’m kind of excited to share my story.</p>

<p>My fresh/soph years in high school I didn’t care about school at all… All I cared about was maintaining a 2.0 to be eligible for sports. I’m now a senior and I can’t really say what changed but I quit softball and my last semester. I was on the honor roll with a 3.8 gpa while maintaining a part time job.</p>

<p>I didn’t take my SAT or ACT and my overall gpa wouldn’t be that great for a 4 year university but I plan in attending my local community college then transferring but I’m still unsure of what my dream school is… I know I want to get out of LA and try somewhere new. thinking of majoring in business, sports management, political science. I’m torn between so many things but reading all your stories has truely inspired and motivated me that anything is possible and I shouldn’t be discouraged because with hard work anything is possible. </p>

<p>One day, I will return to one of these pages and will be able to be proud of my success, I will be able to post that I would be going to Berkeley even though I failed in high school.</p>

<p>I remember lurking around this thread for the longest time about a year ago, when I was deciding whether attending community college was a good idea. It gave me a lot of hope and inspiration so thank you to everyone who has posted their stories!</p>

<p>High school was a blur of emotional/social issues and needless to say it wasn’t the best time. I focused so much of my energy on always trying to be accepted and being someone I wasn’t that I was inevitably desperate, depressed, and careless about school. My depression seemed to be getting worse and worse and there were too many times to remember when I didn’t feel like living was worth it anymore. I always had high expectations of myself and imagined myself going to a top college somewhere but my actions and emotional state clearly didn’t reflect those expectations. I had an SAT score of close to 2200 and took mostly AP classes but consistently received less-than-stellar grades. I just barely graduated with a 3.2 after leaving school my senior year, through the help of several people who helped me so much. I considered taking a gap year but ended up deciding to go to community college to save money and continue learning. It wasn’t an easy decision but I can easily say that it was the best possible one.</p>

<p>I made sure to do lots of online research about transferring to four-year universities from community college (including this thread) and discovered that it wasn’t a super uncommon process. One fantastic resource was a girl named Isa Adney who I found on youtube one day. If you’re looking for some good advice about succeeding in community college and transferring, she’s the person to go to.</p>

<p>Once I got there I got involved as soon as possible by starting a community service club, joining student government, and meeting lots of people. Earlier in the year I’d also started working on a project for North Korean refugees and volunteered for several organizations in my city. This past spring I was invited to attend the Clinton Global Initiative University which was an eye-opening experience. These combined extracurriculars were the most powerful part of my application and really helped me find my purpose.</p>

<p>I got accepted to UT Austin, USD, Cornell, American University and GWU out of the eight colleges I applied to. I remember finding out about my acceptance to Cornell during my communications class and bursting out into tears because I was so happy and surprised. Similar thing happened when I got accepted to UT Austin, my top choice. Unfortunately they gave me too little financial aid and so I’m heading to Washington DC to go to GWU this fall. Very excited to experience DC for all its adventures and opportunities!</p>

<p>There are so many positive aspects to my community college experience. First of all, it was super easy to get involved since not as many students were doing so. I also can’t complain about the cheap cost, or nearly free in my case since I got a scholarship that covered tuition. Taking the classes I took helped me narrow down my major (marketing/international relations) and figure out what I want to be when I “grew up”, but the best part were all the awesome friends and professors that genuinely made me feel at home.</p>

<p>The downsides? Being surrounded by people who don’t care much about school, getting asked where I was going to college and being judged, missing out on the typical college experience that my friends were having, feeling kind of alone in the transfer process sometimes. I think it’s easy to feel isolated and bored in the community college environment, but there are always groups and organizations that can vastly improve your social life.</p>

<p>Wow that was an extremely long post but I’ve been itching to tell someone my story for a while now. Community college truly made me a better person and I can hardly believe that I was the girl I was a year ago. Good luck to everyone going through this process, I wish you all the best!</p>

<p>This thread gives me hope. @CelloDiego‌ that’s awesome. </p>

I’d love for this to come back!! I’m finding out where I’m accepted in the next two months and would love some success stories :slight_smile:

Wrecked my motorcycle fall of my HS junior year, grades took a severe “hit”.

Rejected by all four year schools.

Opted for plan “B” - drove cross country and enrolled in a CA JC (Foothill).

Improved study skills, accepted to UCSB College of Engineering.

I graduated (others didn’t). Thankfull for my JC professors.

Congrats @ucsb82 ! Glad you are doing well after your accident!!

What a great post. Thank you for sharing it.

Stay with it, because there will be opportunities opening up for you that you never dreamed up.
All the best to you.

Thanks, but it’s gone now though. I used some profane language and it got deleted my bad.

Long time lurker here. My first post was deleted due to some… colorful language, I’ll make this one much shorter. Home life sucked I dropped out of HS got my GED at 21 when my friends were getting their bachelors (really depressing). Went to CC basically flunked out 1.20 GPA. After a couple of years of doing crappy odd jobs working with people whose only motivation in life is to get to the weekend so they could get drunk. I wanted something more, I decided to seriously think about school again. Through the magic of google I ended up here and I tell you this thread gave me life. I went back to school lacking scared but full of determination and got straight As. This gave me the confidence boost I needed so I retook whatever classes I could turned Fs and Ds into As. I’ve managed to pull my gpa from a 1.20 to a 3.44 overall with a 3.67 UC transferable and a 3.90 major GPA. One thing I had going for me was those Cs were in non transferable courses.

Today I was accepted to UCI as an electrical engineer major I applied through tag and got into UCD as well. I’m currently waiting on UCSD, UCLA and UCD. I’m posting this because this thread, and the stories I read here really gave me hope and inspired me to give it my all. I hope my story is useful to anyone reading this it is never too late!


Any advice for kid (in WA state) who did Running start in HS at CC, ended up with a low GPA overall, then took a gap year and worked, started back at CC and earned Associates Degree with a 3.88

Now it’s time to transfer to 4 year college, but the Running Start HS grades are factored into the cumulative CC grades because it was the same CC., making the cumulative (HS and after HS) around a 3.3.

Is this something that he has to address in the personal essay or is there a way to just separate the post CC academic record from
The one he had in HS? Thanks.

That’s a great question, @raincat. You should make a separate thread, though, so it doesn’t get lost in a 4-year-old thread.

It might be better for his college advisor to address it in a recommendation letter, but I think a lot depends on the type of schools he’s considering. Where is he thinking of applying?