Nontraditional transfer student--Advice?

<p>So, my HS transcript is less-than-desirable due to a rush to join the army. After completing my contract in the army I got out, worked for a couple years (until I got divorced) and enrolled in a CCC. I'm finishing my 3rd semesters worth of credits (several of which are likely worthless for transfer) over the summer with an expected GPA of around 3.6 or 3.7 after these classes...</p>

<p>My intented course of study is physics. I have tuition paid for more or less thanks to the G.I. Bill. Now the problem is that the only academic track record I have at all is a terrible distance-learning diploma and a comm college. What can I do to prepare to apply so I don't end up at some second rate school? I'd like to take this all the way through grad school, so research programs are a definite consideration.</p>

<p>Any advice on how to straighten out a lifetime of bad decisions on paper? :P (currently hoping for Upenn as my 1st choice)</p>

<p>Columbia's School of General Studies has a page on its website welcoming military veterans (Military</a> Veterans | General Studies).</p>

<p>Also check out this out: List</a> of programs and colleges for non-traditional students - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia</p>

<p>Being a military veteran may help "balance out" a bad high school record. You should search the transfer student forum to find schools that don't require high school information for some safeties/ matches. (Ohio State is one). Also, see if any colleges that change lives (Colleges</a> That Change Lives | Changing Lives, One Student at a Time) appeal to you. </p>

<p>Have you taken the SAT/ACT? If so, what was your score?</p>

<p>There are plenty of schools that won't even require a high school transcript or sat/act scores as long as you have a good gpa and a decent number of credits completed such as 30-60+.</p>