How do colleges feel about an "extreme upward trend"

Hey, so basically I screwed up and left a 4-year college with a very very low GPA. I took a year off, and then am just finishing up a year plus a summer term at a very well-regarded CC with straight A’s the whole time. My cumulative GPA is now a 2.8. Basically, will I be regarded as a 2.8 student in terms of admissions, or a bit closer to an A student b/c of my most recent performance?

Your upward trend will be noticed, but no, you will not be treated as an A student, especially because it hasn’t been that long since you left that 4-year. Expect to be treated at about your GPA with a little more consideration, but of course, this is highly dependent on who looks at your app and what school.

Best of luck. I had a rough first year too.

This is exactly what happened to my brother. He had a very tough time in college and basically flunked out. He took a year off and worked at a computer store with no real plan. At some point he decided to go to a local CC, did very well and applied to PharmD programs. He got accepted everywhere and ultimately went to UWashington. Point is, keep working to put yourself in the best possible position then apply. There will be opportunities. Do the research, figure out what are realistic schools.

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well, that doesn’t seem quite fair - it has been a full 2 + years now. Also, if I’ve shown I can pull straight A’s, wouldn’t that make me smarter than a consistently b + student? But, I guess life isn’t fair. Thanks for the advice. I’m applying to 8 schools with between a 40-80% acceptance rate, all state flagships. honestly if I just get into 1 or 2 id be happy.

Awesome, makes me feel a lot better! Especially cuz U Washington is right in the tier of schools I’m applying to. I’m applying to 8 state flagships with acceptance rates varying between 40 and 80 percent.

I mean it kind of depends. If it’s been long and you retook the same courses and got better grades, or you were able to use academic renewal to remove them from GPA calculations, there’s going to be a bit of a difference than if it was a year or two ago and you didn’t retake the same courses, stuff like that.

It’s minor details like that that play a big difference. You can definitely come back. My first year at CC was like 2Ws, 2Fs, and a D. I think I have 7 or 8 overall Ws. Still ended up getting accepted to Cal Poly SLO’s business program(15% admit rate) for the fall, but my overall GPA is 3.72 because I retook every class I got a subpar grade in and I also have some huge ECs going for me.

Since it’s still in your GPA calculation, it’s up in the air how much they’re going to care about it, but I don’t think it’s going to be a small amount.

But it can definitely be done.

Again, thanks for the advice. The College I left has this ridiculous policy that even if you retake a course, the original grade is still factored into your GPA in addition to the new one. So I basically just had to leave.

I’m hoping what redeems me is the year I spent after I left college and before I went to CC. I traveled, worked, got a professional certification. I never lived at home even for a day. And then, again, I’ve had a 4.0 this past whole year. So I really think my story shows personal growth and that my poor grades are behind me. I also have really good test scores. So I’m optimistic. Fingers crossed!

I agree, your story is compelling and shows great growth. Good on you, very similar to me, except I joined the Army to kick off the growth and decided to work professionally later.

Since it’s still factored into your GPA, just make sure that your overall GPA meets the minimum transfer requirements. If you meet that, perhaps the institution won’t care about your previous grades because they’ll see your growth.

Either way, just be careful and don’t bet on it, and lookup transfer GPA ranges for your unis and make sure you’re applying to a good amount of schools where your overall GPA meets or exceeds the 25th percentile of GPAs.

Thanks for the advice! And awesome job in the Army - from what I’ve heard, basic training must make the discipline of school seem like a piece of cake.

Honestly, though, all but like two of my schools have minimum GPA’s higher then what I have/I’m not in the 25th percentile. I know people say “reputation isn’t everything” but the first school I went to was not highly ranked and it really showed in the quality of teaching and level of academic focus of the other students. If I don’t get into any of my schools, I’d rather just do another semester at community college and try again next year. I really want a quality academic environment.

Of course man. And no, honestly, I disagree with the growing idea of “reputation doesn’t matter”. There’s this big taboo topic about speaking anything negative about any school, but the honest truth is that these reputations are built from somewhere. It’s not as important as rank snobs think, but overall, reputation is based off of some truth.

I’m in the same boat as you. Left a four year with like a 1.9 gpa and did okay my first sem at a cc but after that first semester Ive gotten nothing but A’s and now I’m at a 3.4. I️ was able to retake some previously failed classes to get to this point but my gpa is still low for the colleges I️ want to go to. I️ am hoping the past year of straight A’s and unit overloads will make look like I️ am trying. Best of luck to you, and congratulations on bringing yourself up!

Hey, thanks for reaching out! I wasn’t sure anyone else with a story as extreme as mine even existed, lol. I know it’s tough being under those GPA cutoffs thinking “If only I had applied myself earlier” but we can’t live in the past, just take pride in knowing you were smart all along. And, at least your college lets you retake failed classed for a new grade - mine does not and has zero grade forgiveness, smh, so I’m at barely a 2.8 despite a year of straight A’s, as I mentioned previously. Good luck, and I’d be curious to know where you do get in!

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