Transferring from community college with very high GPA, but have a felony on my record.

Hi I am currently finishing up at my community college in Virginia Beach, VA and I am studying social sciences. Since starting college last year I have been able to almost finish 61 credits in a matter of 4 semesters. However, it will end up being five semesters and I will end up finishing 61 credits with an associate degree in social sciences. While being in school I only have made one (B) and the rest of my grades have been all (A)s. My current GPA is a 3.93 and the only classes I need to finish at my community college is four electives which I am going to finish this fall. In Virginia, all the state colleges have an guaranteed admission with community colleges if you have a certain GPA with over 32 credit hours. I am way past 32 credit hours obviously, but want to finish at TCC my school so I can my associates degree. I recently applied at Old Dominion University and they have an agreement with my school of only a 2.5 GPA with 32 credit hours for guaranteed admission. I looked at that and said well my GPA is much higher than that and I should have no problem getting into ODU. However, after applying they have given me a hard time about my past felony conviction. My lawyer, who is the best lawyer in Virginia Beach; wrote a letter explaining the crime and how much I have changed since he represented me on that case. Also, the governor of Virginia restored all my civil rights so I can vote, run for office, I can be on a jury, and can even be notary of the public. Not to mention, I am off probation and have done everything the court asked me to do. Anyways is there any advice out there on what to do in this situation? I cannot believe the stress I have gone through over something that happened years ago. I used have a drug addiction, but have done everything in my power to change my life and do good. Thats why I have gone back to school, so I can help people who have a drug problem. Anyways if anyone see’s this; please let me know what you think.

Can your lawyer contact the school directly? If you meet all of the provisions and you’ve been an upstanding member of society I feel like maybe he can advocate on your behalf? Perhaps an agreement can be reached in the school where you have to meet with a counselor maybe once every month just to make sure you’re progressing OK?

I was going to suggest that public universities may be more accepting of a felony record but I see that Old Dominion is public. Do you have a second choice if they don’t accept you?

I would have thought that two years with nearly straight A’s makes the point that you are no longer using drugs. If there was a felony relating to assault or robbery (which can sometimes go along with drug use) then it might be necessary to somehow get the point across that this was entirely related to the past drug use, which is obviously in the past.

Be polite and respectful at all times in dealing with the school, without regard for whether they are being reasonable (or polite or respectful). If all else fails you might need to find another option.

“That’s why I have gone back to school, so I can help people who have a drug problem.”

Did you make this point with your original application? This seems like something to mention up front. At some level your past problems make it far more likely that you actually can help others with this problem down the road. No matter how well meaning someone is, some problems in life can never be completely understood by someone who has never experienced that problem.

Thank you for the reply! Yes it was an assault charge and I should have never been charged. Not making excuses for my actions, but here in Virginia all it takes is someone to call the police and say something with no evidence for a conviction. However, I had gotten into trouble prior to this, but my lawyer always beat the charge or got something reduced.So the prosecutor had me this time and it was the same one I had in the past. Since my lawyer got me off so many times; the prosecutor went after me hard when this happened. I had the same prosecutor and I was offered a deal for time served. So I took the plea not realizing it would haunt forever. As mentioned above, I have changed my life since then and done everything in my power to show other colleges it was a mistake. Anyways I really do appreciate the answer and I did make the statement mentioned above my main point on the application. Also, I was honest about everything.

Thank you for your time,


Yes my lawyer has been retained; he wrote a letter explaining everything. If it does go south I am going to retain him. If I didn’t have this felony I would be guaranteed into the admissions. However, I do know a couple other felons who were accepted into ODU and became substance abuse counselors just like I want to become. Anyways I do appreciate it for you guys answering my questions with support.

Forgot to mention everything about my crime was drug related and the whole time the courts focused on my drug problem. Even though it was an assault the courts did not even talk about the assault, but focused on my drug addiction. I gave the court my sentencing order where it talked about my crime and why the judge focused on my drug problem and sent me to treatment in stead of any kind of long term jail term. By the way the governor of Virginia restored all my rights just like anybody who does not have a felony and I was released from supervised probation early.

So just wondering… did they admit you? I am going through the same thing right now.

What exactly was your felony? (Murder and drug use are two different things)

Congratulations to you for turning your life around and wanting to help others. You have proven yourself and you need to keep believing you will do great things. You have other options. NOrfolk State University has a reputable social work program.

And so does Christopher Newport.

Apply to ODU, but you may like those other programs at NSU or CNU better.

Look into who offers Masters degrees as well, because you will need your Masters in social work or you won’t find work. There may be options were you can get your Masters with just one more added year. Do your research.

And, would you consider going beyond Tidewater area? You may want your CC adviser to help you uncover your best options.

Good luck.