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Can a college find out the other colleges you've attended before?

aiharaaihara Registered User Posts: 96 Junior Member
edited June 2012 in UC Transfers
Is there something like a national database that'll allow them to do that? The reason I'm asking is because I briefly attended a college after high school and flunked out. I pretty much didn't even attend classes and didn't care about education.

Now it's years later and I want to finish my education, I got more mature. I've been attending a community college and have been doing very well. I plan to transfer to a better school but I don't want the previous college experience to haunt me (not only in the admission process, but also it'll affect my overall college GPA, which will hurt me for grad school later on too).

So I plan to not even mention it in my application. But I wonder if the college I apply to and find out anyway? I talked to a friend who used to be an admissions officer and she said they won't actively search for my history, nor is there a way for them to do so, but it'll be unethical for me to leave it out...
Post edited by aihara on

Replies to: Can a college find out the other colleges you've attended before?

  • lawlkinglawlking Registered User Posts: 1,418 Senior Member
    There is a national database called clear house--but they'll check only if enough evidence arises. Also, another way is through financial aid. If you applied for finaci aid in your old college, it will show on your record when you apply for financial aid in the new school.
  • md21887md21887 Registered User Posts: 80 Junior Member
    like the above poster said there is a database. they might not find out now but something might happen later on and they will not grant you a diploma so all that hard work would have been for nothing. are you debating whether or not to include schools on your app??
  • newsoulnewsoul Registered User Posts: 339 Member
    Any chance of getting something like academic renewal on the grades from the old college? That might be best.

    It's not the same case, but I actually had a horrible quarter early on in CC (including two F's). I retook the classes and explained it on my app. I got into Berkeley and UCLA even with those grades. Talking about what changed for you and why school is important now might be a way to use those poor grades in a positive way.

    We have a counselor at my CC who tells a story to every transfer workshop about a student who got into UC Davis by only reporting their most recent CC transcript. Allegedly, the student was in class for months before anyone found out about their past academic history. They were pulled from class and were banned from the UC system. That could just be a scare tactic, but I'm inclined to believe that they will kick you out if evidence does come up showing you were being dishonest about your academic history.
  • RosegrayRosegray Registered User Posts: 40 Junior Member
    Yep, its called the National Student Clearinghouse. They do random audits, and it's very easy to check if you've attended another institution before. Here is the link: National Student Clearinghouse - it literally takes them all of a few minutes.

    Coming from someone in your position - I didn't leave anything out. I did extensive research on not reporting a previous college I went to (and literally was put on probation on, my gpa sub 2.0) because I just stopped going to classes and stupidly didn't drop them. This was when I was 16-17. It weighed on my mind alot and I thought of even putting a FERPA block, but after calling the National Student Clearinghouse they said it would still say I was enrolled from x year to x year.

    I knew if I didn't report the colleges, I would always feel like I could get rescinded at the drop of a hat, and I worked so hard to be where I was (4.0 at current cc, with 80 units) that I decided to just come clean. I petitioned for academic renewal at my prior CCs and explained my lack of maturity (No sob story or anything, just admitted my faults) on my application, and I was accepted to every UC I applied to (UCLA, Berkeley, SD, SB). I think the upward trend may actually work in your favor and give you a story, as I had no volunteer hours, no extracurriculars, and no special program except for honors. :) I feel like a dead weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

    EDIT: One caveat - if you're planning on graduate school, they will count your prior gpa despite academic renewal.
  • LAforlifeLAforlife Registered User Posts: 1,102 Senior Member
    UCs will probably find out sooner of later (your CC doesn't care). Many people have had their acceptances rescinded becuase of this, and many of those have also been banned from applying to the UC system for life. Don't take that risk, the odds will definitely not be in your favor if you do.
  • MeStudyStuffMeStudyStuff Registered User Posts: 386 Member
    +1 for not lying on your app(which is essentially what you said you were thinking about doing), you're taking a massive risk if you do. The others have posted great advice though! I hope you get it all sorted out and I agree with you that it would be a shame to have what happened in the past mess up your chances.
  • fredfrepfredfrep Registered User Posts: 129 Junior Member
    I agree with LAforlife, they do place on your SSN in the educational history (which is a given in a simple background check) of the colleges/schools you attended, so not to list a previous college experience would be like a 'felony' for providing false information in cases like a background check and the UC's will know 100% through your SSN guaranteed (doesn't matter through a national database or anything, its already embedded in your SSN). If any case you don't report truthfully about your past history or even current history, the UC's will ask "why didn't this person put his/her past information on the application?" (second guess/doubt) and they will automatically place a red flag on your SSN. The UC application has a agreement of contract before you start and when you finish which includes "falsifying or withholding any information that is vital to your application will be invalid and be forwarded to the authorities/(might?) result in criminal charges" (or something exactly similar to that). So don't take that chance at all
This discussion has been closed.