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Author Topic: Anyone know anything about the school admission process?  (Read 412 times)
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Lee
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« on: October 01, 2013, 02:12:49 AM »

Strange question, but I am having no real luck on internet searches.

I am applying for some universities and part of the admission process is to list "all" schools you have been to, whether you are including a transcript from that school or not. I am applying as a transfer student since I have been to about 5 different colleges over the years. This means I don't have to worry about SATs etc.

The problem is, right out of HS I took 2 classes at a community college, this was 1989 or so, and I barely remember them. The classes were something like Introduction to Computers and something to do with Word Perfect. BS classes that don't transfer to my current goal of Accounting or Finance (they obviously wouldn't transfer to anything today). The problem was I just stopped going to the classes. I called the school today, I failed one and passed the other, barely.

I currently have a 3.89 GPA if you don't include those classes, and I really don't want them on my record. If I don't list the school, is there some sort of database that the universities will see them on my record? I don't want to not put them on my application and then not get accepted for not listing them. It was so long ago though, and classes that really don't matter for today's standards.

Anyone know anything about how this works? Advice? Thanks for reading.
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CeeKay
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« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2013, 02:27:49 AM »

You may want to call the school and anonymously ask if stuff that old needs to be listed anyways.

when I started back up they took some of my classes from almost 20 years ago, those with passing grades and that they considered transferable (about 15 credit hours), and my GPA started fresh.  if I look at my current transcript the ones I know I failed aren't even there (basically one quarter I had to stop going but forgot to withdraw before the deadline).  A couple of the schools I have looked at for transfer into a 4 year program say that when you transfer in your GPA essentially is wiped clean.

Also, depending on the school, they may not even give you credit for classes that old even if you did pass them. 
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Abaddon
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« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2013, 03:35:19 AM »

You should absolutely contact the school or schools you are looking to attend. No need to do it anonymously either, not really sure why you would as I am fairly certain simply asking admissions personnel a question won't be held against you. I would also advise physically going to the school if at all possible.

Different schools have different rules particularly about transferring credits as this basically amounts to how much money the school can get from you.

Unless you have earned a degree prior credits have an expiration date, generally 8 to 10 years for classes like English or Math etc. and less time for sciences. This can also depend on the program your looking to pursue.

My understanding is transcripts are not normally just exposed from school to school and you would need to request an official copy be sent from an old school to a new school, based on how old those credits/classes are I would simply leave them off. The main reason most people try to dig up as many credits as possible is to avoid having to pay the cost for retaking classes.

Most schools will also have a VA department and you may be able to count military schools toward credits earned as well as your MOS or Specialty, schools sometimes refer to this as "life skills". The VA department can also be a good source of secondary information.

You may have already come across these but just in case;
http://www.collegexpress.com/interests/transfer/
http://www.collegetransfer.net/
http://www.collegeadmissionspartners.com/resources/transfer-help/

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Lee
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« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2013, 04:12:21 AM »

Thanks for the answers guys. I have called the schools in question on other details and I usually don't feel like I am getting much help, just the quick answers. So I figured if I called and asked on this subject I would get the "just put down everything" answer, without much thought. I want to know how it works, and how they weigh who gets accepted but I still don't understand the process. The VA reps have just routed me to admissions in the times I have called them (The VA in general has been worse than I expected so far).

Abaddon (is this Tao from OO?), I can't go to the schools because I am currently living on the other side of the country. I am trying to get everything planned out so as soon as I retire I know where I am going to live. Trying to figure out my options and what I can do at this point. It also seems the big schools won't take my AF associates degree, but it's not related to my planned major, so that makes sense. I will check out those links as well, thanks.

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wonderpug
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« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2013, 01:48:54 PM »

I was in a very similar situation a few years ago.  Someone advised me that you "should" list every college, even the one you barely went to and didn't do well in, but that the college you're applying to doesn't really have any way to find out if you omitted it.  You send them transcripts of the other colleges in your history, and they may verify with those colleges that you did go there, but if you don't send them the transcript for the 1989 community college?  It's not like they're going to call every college in existence to make sure you didn't leave something out.  If they do somehow catch you, though, they may be quite grumpy.

This was how I was advised, jeez, maybe a decade ago?  So it's possible things have changed.

You should also know that the college may care very little about your GPA, or at least, may care a lot less than if you were a traditional transfer student. 

CeeKay's also correct that some colleges won't even count credits that old.  Mine accepted any credits you threw their way, no matter how old, as long as you had a valid transcript.  But my college is one of the most friendly to non-traditional adult learner situations.

Another thing for you to consider is to look at how your prospective new colleges treat "prior learning assessment" credits, or PLA.  There's a somewhat standardized process to look at the learning you did outside of school and evaluate how many college credits that learning may equate to.  For example, if you learned a lot working in a billing department for 5 years, you might be able to have that learning count as having taken a college level accounting class.  The PLA stuff is most definitely not a quick & easy way to get 'free credits'.  The documentation process I went through was a lot of work, and I didn't even qualify for everything I requested.  That said, the PLA thing is worth it since it can save you both time (the lengthy paperwork is a lot quicker than attending a class for a semester) and money (you have to pay a bunch for the PLA credits, but it's way cheaper than regular tuition).

If you have any more questions about what it was like to go back to college as an adult, or the process, feel free to ask me here or in a PM and I'd be happy to share.
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Lee
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« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2013, 01:18:46 AM »

Thanks Wonderpug, very helpful advice as well. I don't think I am going to list that school in 89 after reading the posts here and thinking about it. Most of my credits are from the last couple of years from the other schools, except for one government class 10 years ago. I am right at the edge of minimum transfer credits, so I have to hope they accept that older class.

I am playing with the idea of just finishing my associates at a community college and then go on to a university afterwards. In my experience CCs will take anyone, especially since I basically have a full scholarship as far as they are concerned.

I have found that the universities I have looked at don't take PLA's at all, that seems to be a community college thing, but unfortunately most of the stuff where I could credit don't transfer for a business degree.

Really not looking forward to being a 40 year old in a classroom full of 20 year olds, but I have worked with people in that age group most of my life, so I have already learned to avoid them.

Thanks for taking the time to reply guys, I really appreciate it.
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Abaddon
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« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2013, 02:28:13 AM »

Yes this is Tao from OO.

I am a huge proponent of Community College and was going to suggest it as an option but I don't know your full situation so didn't know if it was applicable or something you were considering. Community colleges are WAY cheaper than 4 year Universities and a great way to complete your core classes and 100 series requirements, English Comp is English comp whether you pay 100 bucks a credit or 400 bucks a credit. Same for Algebra, Calculus, and any of the 101 courses. Colorado Community Colleges actually have GT courses (Guaranteed Transfer) which have been approved and will be accepted by any public college up to 31 credits. Several of the Universities here have special considerations with the local Community Colleges such as 2x4 (do two years at a CC and start as a junior in a 4 year school). Obviously if your not planning to go to school in Colorado this wont apply to you but I'd be surprised if this is the only state with this type of structure. Definitely worth looking in to where ever you plan to attend.

While every University is different (repeatable axiom for this entire conversation) GPA from my experience and talking with other students can play a pretty big role in acceptance and definitely in receiving funding and scholarships. Community College is a great way to boost your GPA.

Most Community Colleges have transfer agreements in place with various 4 year schools which tend to persist from year to year and new schools are often added. These agreements are not geographically based as a Community College in one state can have a transfer agreement with Universities all over the country. Again something you might want to gather more info about from whichever schools your looking at.

The one caveat I will mention about getting another Associate is be careful of the A.A.S. degrees (which I am guessing is what your AF Associates is) as these are considered technical "career" degrees and don't always transfer well. They are designed (or morphed into) a degree for folks looking to jump into the work place rather than continue their education. Even though you take most of the same classes as an A.S. or A.A. they tend not to carry as much weight with 4 year schools.

I am currently a full time student at a Community College and have been for about the past 2 years. Received my A.A.S. in Information Technology in May and I am just finishing up a few classes to get a second Associates in Computer Information Systems which has a guaranteed transfer to one of the local 4 year schools (the 2x4 program I mentioned). I am in my 40's and a lot closer to 50 then 40 and I found my age to be a huge benefit not a detriment. Truth be told Community Colleges are extremely diverse and I'd say in at least 50% of my classes I am NOT the oldest student. Yeah working with young 20 somethings can be a pain in the ass at times but like most things in life  there are plenty of smart, focused and eager younger students just as there are lazy, ignorant older students. With your experience, maturity and military background I think you will be surprised how much of an asset it can be.
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CeeKay
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« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2013, 02:40:05 AM »

Quote from: Abaddon on October 02, 2013, 02:28:13 AM

I am in my 40's and a lot closer to 50 then 40 and I found my age to be a huge benefit not a detriment.

same here.  Turning 40 in a few months and I've found plenty of what I've learned in the real world transfers great into classes.  it actually helped out quite a bit with a few electives and 100 requirements.  either that or I've just become great at bullshitting people over the years biggrin
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Lee
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« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2013, 02:51:21 AM »

Thanks Tao, I miss the CO OO guys. I still think about you telling me to use my clearance to get a job. I just don't really want to work in some job just to get by, I want to do something that interests me. I like accounting and want to do it for a living. Plus the idea of being a bum for awhile sounds great. Just have to get used to being poor.

I won't be paying for school. The Post 9-11 GI Bill will pay for everything, as well as pay for my housing, and at least some of my books. So it doesn't really matter where I go, at least as far as money goes. I just want to pick an area in WA and settle there (has to be WA or FL so I meet residency requirements, and there is no way in hell I want to stay in FL).

As you mentioned, the community colleges I am looking at do have programs that help transfer to universities, and one of the admission guys I talked to was very helpful with advice in that area. I figure my current AAS is nothing more than resume fodder at this point, so I am not to worried about it.

Thanks for the advice and encouragement, and good like to you as well. Hope it works out for you. If I ever pass through CO again I will look you up.
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Lee
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« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2013, 02:55:18 AM »

Quote from: CeeKay on October 02, 2013, 02:40:05 AM

Quote from: Abaddon on October 02, 2013, 02:28:13 AM

I am in my 40's and a lot closer to 50 then 40 and I found my age to be a huge benefit not a detriment.

same here.  Turning 40 in a few months and I've found plenty of what I've learned in the real world transfers great into classes.  it actually helped out quite a bit with a few electives and 100 requirements.  either that or I've just become great at bullshitting people over the years biggrin

Agreed, except on papers. I am so stuck in my way as far as how I write that I am finding it extremely hard to change. People in my classes comment on my "direct, easy to read" writing style but are always telling me to check my grammar. I am so lost on the grammar part I feel I need to go back to HS english and just learn the basics. Although I have done quite well on papers in other classes. This English Comp II is killing me.
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CeeKay
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« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2013, 03:18:53 AM »

Quote from: Lee on October 02, 2013, 02:55:18 AM

Quote from: CeeKay on October 02, 2013, 02:40:05 AM

Quote from: Abaddon on October 02, 2013, 02:28:13 AM

I am in my 40's and a lot closer to 50 then 40 and I found my age to be a huge benefit not a detriment.

same here.  Turning 40 in a few months and I've found plenty of what I've learned in the real world transfers great into classes.  it actually helped out quite a bit with a few electives and 100 requirements.  either that or I've just become great at bullshitting people over the years biggrin

Agreed, except on papers. I am so stuck in my way as far as how I write that I am finding it extremely hard to change. People in my classes comment on my "direct, easy to read" writing style but are always telling me to check my grammar. I am so lost on the grammar part I feel I need to go back to HS english and just learn the basics. Although I have done quite well on papers in other classes. This English Comp II is killing me.

one of my English classes required me to get the Little, Brown Compact Handbook, which has come in quite handy in helping me write proper papers.
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« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2013, 02:14:06 PM »

I would work the other end and call up the original community college and ask what you can do to have your ancient transcript expunged.

I'm just saying, I suspect it can be done.
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Lee
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« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2013, 11:44:15 PM »

I decided (at least until I change my mind again) to go back to the school I failed those 2 classes at. Even though they were 23+ years ago they will still factor into my GPA. So my GPA went from a 3.8 to a 3.1. Should I care about this? There just aren't any other 2 year schools in the area I am looking that offer a wide range of classes and that is in a decent city. Once I get my associates, I can transfer to the one of the several universities that has campuses in the Seattle area. Just not sure how much GPA matters. Old computer classes wouldn't be part of my core classes.
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