I am a bit lost...

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Discus: College Admissions: March 2004 Archive: I am a bit lost...
By Fits123 (Fits123) on Friday, March 19, 2004 - 03:12 pm: Edit

Ok...I am 28 years old and am looking to attend a college this fall as a history major. I was stupid enough after high school to not go straight to college, and have been working full time for the last ten years. High school seems like a century ago, and I regret that my grades and SAT scores were not all they could have been (think "B" student). Since then I know I have grown a lot, and am far more prepared and serious about a college education. I have taken four 100 level courses at a local community college the past year, and have recieved an "A" in all of them. I know that means little, and I suppose my new attitude means nothing to schools. My question is: Will schools look at ANYTHING besides my high school records? I just feel they don't represent who I am now.

I would like to attend a good SUNY school like Binghamton or Geneseo, but feel I have no chance with my average high school record. Do I have a chance at schools like SUNY Oswego or Oneonta? Or will I be forced to go full time to a State Community College for a year or two, prove myself, and then transfer?


By Tonyv (Tonyv) on Friday, March 19, 2004 - 03:50 pm: Edit

Apply and see what happens. The college admissions process is overrated. It's not nearly as difficult as everyone thinks and say it is. Besides, I think the admission board will look at you positively because you bring diversity to the campus. I don't know much about the SUNY schools but it's worth a try if you really want it.

By Ariesathena (Ariesathena) on Friday, March 19, 2004 - 04:13 pm: Edit

My understanding is that schools will look very favourably upon an older (more mature) student. Your high school grades were from 10 years ago, so they will probably carry little, if any, weight in the admissions process.

I am not an admissions officer nor an expert on adult college admissions, but my guess is that you will do quite well in admissions. You need, however, to point out that you are more mature now, more serious about getting an education, and have been pursuing educational goals (community college courses). You would benefit greatly from a college education and probably get more out of it (and perhaps put more into it) than many of your younger fellow students.

Best of luck. :) I hope that things work out for you.

By Noodleman (Noodleman) on Friday, March 19, 2004 - 04:33 pm: Edit

I took the second route: I am currently finishing out my second year at a community college, and the last of 63 credits. I chose to do two full years because I wanted to be absolutely sure that admissions counselors would have no reason to doubt my seriousness, my aptitude, or my drive.

You say the "A"s mean little; I disagree. The "A"s mean you have what it takes to excel--though only four, in my opinion (and it is only that--my opinion--and not authoritative in the least) will literally force them to look at your High School record more closely. They need to base a decision on something, after all.

My thinking was that if I could show Colleges that I could balance 14-18 credits per semester, work full-time, adopt a newborn child, and maintain a 4.0 all at the same time, I stood half a chance of succeeding at their more rigorous institution. I have done that, and so I think I've got a fair shot. I have applied to UVA and Cornell and have been told by a good number of people in academic circles that I have a halfway-decent shot at both.

Also: I believe that in most states there are certain relationships between ccs and state Universities that may make a transition easier if you fulfill enough requirements for an Associates degree first. Look into that. I believe I am correct.

So go for it. You should be proud. I know I am.

By Noodleman (Noodleman) on Friday, March 19, 2004 - 04:34 pm: Edit

By the way: I'm 35. It is never too late to change your mind.

By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Friday, March 19, 2004 - 04:35 pm: Edit

Many colleges have special programs for students your age, and will evaluate people like you more based on what you did after high school than what you did while in high school.Not just community colleges do this. Also four-year colleges do this, including some very good ones.

By Fits123 (Fits123) on Friday, March 19, 2004 - 06:03 pm: Edit

Thanks a lot folks! I am going to look into a few options.

Thumbs up to you, Noodleman. You must be a very busy person. The fact that you can handle all that and excel is something to be very proud of.

By Noodleman (Noodleman) on Sunday, March 21, 2004 - 08:29 am: Edit

Thanks. I should also mention that I have an amazing wife who gives me all day Sunday for homework, and often keps our son occupied while I'm doing research or churning out papers. She's fantastico!

By Bjturlington (Bjturlington) on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 04:08 am: Edit

Hey there...

Also look at Northwestern's University College, Wash U. University College, Brown's RUE program, Havard's University College, UPenn's SGS, Johns Hopkins night school, Columbia University's SGS, Tufts REAL, Conneticut College (can't remember the program name), Sarah Lawrence, and Skidmore UWW to start.

Also, Union College likes people who have community college courses to show evidence of motivation, so if you have good grades add them to the list. Hamilton College also has a part-time program, and Trinity College has an adult program.

Don't fret about it, check out these places. They welcome adult applicants.

Hope this helps.
Rob :)

By Sardonia (Sardonia) on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 06:35 am: Edit

My fellow reentery student brother:

I am 29 and have also returned to community college after a long absence. I have been attending for three long years now, and have finally completed the prerequisite units, grades, etc to give me a shot at a great school.

So, there are many, many other reentry students making the SMART choice by getting themselves a college education. It is hard as hell but at least we have a chance, as many others simply have no chance.

If you keep your grades up to 3.5 or better, have honors courses, do community service work, and join a club or two, you will have a chance at some great schools. MANY schools do not require an SAT score for transfer admittance. Alternatively, they view your freshman + soph grades as the main factors is considering your admittance.

Keep up the good work!

By Flyguy (Flyguy) on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 07:39 am: Edit

Go to Harvard Extension! Nobody outside of Boston/Cambridge knows it isn't a real Harvard degree. ;)

By Najy (Najy) on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 08:01 am: Edit

isnt that EXTREMELY expensive tho? or am i confusing it with something else.

By Nsmith1 (Nsmith1) on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 08:29 am: Edit

Huge pats on the back to all of you who are "mature" and going back to finish up. I went to college right out of HS, got my BS degree and always had the best of intentions for going back to grad school, but career, kids, and other "stuff" always seemed to be my excuse. At 50, sending one kid off to LAC this fall, with a full-time job and WAY too many things going on, I think I've accepted the fact that I'm stuck where I am. I have nothing but respect for all of you who have found a way to do it - whether you're going for your BS or higher, whether you're 30 or 50 or even older! Stick to your guns - you'll never regret it!

By Aparent4 (Aparent4) on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 08:45 am: Edit

Wow, I am awestruck by all of you. I am sure you are all getting more out of your college educations than did those of us who attended when we were 18. To Fits123, it sounds as though you are in NY. Do you know about Empire State College? http://www.esc.edu/esconline/online2.nsf/eschome?openform
This is SUNY's customized degree program. It gives you credit for life experience, work, corporate distance learning, and regular courses. Most of the people I know who have been involved with it have found it to be amazing. I don't know whether you really want a campus experience, in which case I don't think Empire State College would be the right thing for you, but it would be a good idea to go talk to the people there anyway. I am sure that in looking over what you've already accomplished, they will offer some clues as to how you look on paper and where you need to go from here.

Re the community college, why not look into its honors program? People who attend our local cc's honors program often come out and finish up at very elite schools, fwiw. They seem to be a smart bunch. And the price is right.

By Noodleman (Noodleman) on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 09:37 am: Edit

Any Ivy extension school will be expensive, yes, but, if you can afford it, perhaps well worth the bucks. Just my opinion.

By Bjturlington (Bjturlington) on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 01:17 pm: Edit

Harvard extention classes are 500 for a 4 credit class...if you take 8 classes a year that's 4000.00. UPenn is like 800-1000 a class (4 credits) Both also give out great aid packages. Northwestern is about 1000 per 3 credit class, while Wash U. is about 800.00 a 3 credit class. These programs are far less expensive than their traditional counterparts. Same diploma.

SUNY--Empire State College is 400 a 3 credit class, but does not have the reputation that the others do. By doing some investigating...look at my earlier post...you'll see that cost is not prohibative.

Here are some of the sites, I like given my sensitivity to cost:

Wash U.:
Connecticut College:
Johns Hopkins:
Northwestern U.:
Sarah Lawrence:

Hope this helps.

PS--Connecticut College charges 600 a 4 credit class 4800.00 @year, but no aid. Brown, Tufts, and Columbia University School of General Studies are the only ones that charge the same as for traditional undergrads, although they privide good financial aid.

By Bjturlington (Bjturlington) on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 01:23 pm: Edit

This is the Brown University RUE link.


I like the RUE program, if you can relocate to Providence and are single. You can stay in campus housing and they guarentee to meet financial aid needs.

Rob. :)

By Bjturlington (Bjturlington) on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 01:44 pm: Edit

Also, if you are interested in a more traditional program, call the schools you are interested in to see how to proceed.

I took some time off myself, but I applied to traditional programs as well. So far, I got into URochester, Denison U., Lewis & Clark, Reed, DePauw U., UWashington, College of Wooster and a few others. I'm just waiting on Grinnell (got a call that said my application reads well), and Wesleyan U. I also applied for aid and the schools have been very generous.

I had good grades and scores; some schools were more accomidating than others, but with all of them...communication was and is important. I sent an extra essay, and an extra rec.

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