Extenuating Circumstances and College Life


I graduated high school in 2017. I did not perform up to my standards that I hold for myself, earning only a 3.0 GPA (although I received a national award in music) I took a a gap year and was struggling with depression following some very difficult emotional circumstances.

My parents pressured me to enroll in a local private college in August 2018, even though I wasn’t ready. I wound up failing all of my classes within a semester, and now I will be attending a community college in fall 2020 with the intent of transferring back to my home institution, even though I failed there.

My question is: will enrolling in a community college prevent me from retaking my classes at my private college in August 2021? Can I wipe the slate clean so to speak?

I understand that this may not be the best place to search for advice, but it would be appreciated.

It really depends upon that college. Colleges often have rules about these things, including how they handle retaking classes.

Please take a deep breath and assess whether this is a good move to make right now. I’m saying this as a mom of someone who took a 14 year hiatus before going back and getting their college degree. This was after enrolling in several programs at local colleges, including community college, and bombing them after taking a leave of absence from a 4 year residential college. In retrospect, it was a mistake to get right back on that horse after falling off. Some time, perspective, direction and maturity were needed to focus on an academic course. When that happened, a degree was procured in very little time with a 4.0 at the school chosen to finally finish that undergrad degree.

I’ve been out of school for 3 years now, and I’m living at a parent’s house which is making things even more difficult. I can move out if I attend college.

It says “Students may repeat a course in which a grade of D or F was earned to improve their grade point averages. While a record of both courses will remain on the transcript, only the grade assigned for the repeated course will be computed into the student’s cumulative grade point average. The most recent repeat grade recorded will be used in calculating the grade point average. Students who repeat a course in which a grade of F was originally earned will receive credit hours for the repeat course, provided that a passing grade is earned. On the other hand, students who repeat a course in which a grade of D was originally earned will not receive credit hours for the repeat course, since credit hours have already been awarded.
Students who earn a grade of D or F in a course may not repeat that course at another institution for purposes of transferring the grade or the credit back to our institution. No course may be attempted more than three times; withdrawals are counted as attempts.”

I think that if you start doing well in your community college courses now, then after two years of very good grades you will be able to transfer to a good 4 year university. I do not think that you need to “replace” your old failing grades. You just need to show what you can do now.

Your story is actually not all that unusual. Universities know that different students mature at different rates and at different ages. Students taking two or three years off from studying and coming back more mature and more focused is something that they have seen many times.

To answer your question: whether the original college will take you back is the first question- there is probably a re-admission process. Taking CC classes would typically help, not hurt the appeal process, just don’t take any of the classes that you plan to re-take if/when you are re-admitted to the original college.

But: do you want to go back to the original college? What are your goals for after college? You can’t ‘wipe the slate clean’ completely- and as @DadTwoGirls points out, it’s not even necessarily the best way forward. The clearer you are about why you want to go to college, and what you want to do with your college degree the better.

And then, of course, there is the all-important money question: what can you afford? Can you afford your old college? From your other threads it looks as though you are in Fl, a state with unusually good affordable options. Depending on your post-college goals, there might be other colleges/universities that are a better bet for you after CC- a lot of FL institutions have articulation agreements that guarantee you a place on successful completion of your AA- talk to your CC GC. And, again depending on what you want to do post-college, you may be able to satisfy your desire for more ‘competitive’ academics at a big-name grad school.

Thank for your response.

I do definitely want to go back to my original college. After college, I want to be an attorney. I have a love of political science.

I know it sounds crazy, but I honestly want to attend Harvard, Princeton or Yale after college, for graduate school.

Then your twin goals are the highest GPA possible AND little/no debt, and then plan on working for a couple of years after college (pay off any debt, get some experience & references, study for the LSAT).