Will bad grades in high school affect my chances of transferring to a good college once I finish GED

I am currently a senior in high school and want to figure out what I should do. I was wondering if my high school GPA of 3.5 would affect me no matter what when transferring. Let’s say I excel within my classes at the community college then apply after two years, will my high school GPA hurt my chances at top tier schools?

I want to pursue a degree in Computer Science, specifically Artificial Intelligence, so I want to attend one of the top 20 schools such as Carnegie Mellon, Stanford, UC Berkeley, University of Washington, etc. I know no matter what, those are tough schools to get into but I am wondering if it will hurt me. If so, what else should I do to have the best chance possible at getting accepted to one of the top schools for Artificial Intelligence?

I know I can pursue a career in computer science without going to a top tier school but at the same time, they have reputation and connections to major companies.

Your title is confusing. You aren’t getting a GED. You are getting an Associate degree.

Your HS GPA might affect your admissions options, but the most important factor will be what you do in those years at the community college. Make an appointment with the Transfer Advisor at the CC you plan to attend, and find out more about how the process works and how you can optimize your chances of admission at your target institutions.

Programmer here. If you’re going into computer science, attending a “T20” school is generally a waste of time and money. The degree only teaches you the rudimentary basics to get your foot in the door for an entry-level job. Everything else is learned on the job. In fact, after about 3 years of experience, employers don’t even ask where you went to school. They’re more concerned with finding qualified applicants for a job that’s been vacant for 5 months.

Don’t fall for the B.S. that a brand name university is a ticket to a major company, and it’s somehow “worth” the piles of debt. I’ve been doing this long enough to know better. I went to a regional state university. In my last job search, I interviewed at Google, Amazon, USAA, GA Tech, Target Corporation, and Stanford Medical…to name a few. In technology, there’s no shortage of jobs even in major companies.

Agree that by the end of community college your HS grades won’t be relevant- but disagree that a 3.5 is “bad”.

I also disagree that you need a top name to get interviews at top places.- because I have seen otherwise. You have some expensive schools there- and you won’t get a higher starting salary b/c of the fancy name (seen this first hand), and you will have to service the debt. In fact, going straight to your in-state uni (v community college) could help you as much as anything, b/c you would be in a better place to get internships (including REUs), which will make you an attractive hire.

Your high school grades do NOT matter. Once someone starts college, it’s a clean slate.

Believe it or not, there are community college students who eventually attend Ivy League institutions, although I have to say the mindless obsession with them is misplaced.

@LZHope That is incorrect. Typically colleges do look back to student’s HS profile (including transcript, standardized tests) if they are transferring with less than two years at college.

However, if the OP plans to spend two years at CC and transfer as a junior then it is likely that only the CC record will be reviewed. But FWIW a 3.5 HS GPA is a far cry from “bad grades.” You should consider applying to four year colleges for CS.

Virtually every college website has a transfer admission page where they state the criteria that will be reviewed.

What is your home state?

For UCB, priority goes to California CC transfers. I also agree that CS is a highly employable major and you do not need to attend a top 20 school. A 3.5 HS GPA (cumulative or weighted?) can get you into many 4 year universities as a CS major.