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punkrockworld's avatar

How to get into a good university when you have a c-average?

Asked by punkrockworld (960points) June 8th, 2009

Before you answer, let me please explain myself further. I started college thinking that no matter how bad you do, you can just retake the class and there would be no harm.
I was so wrong! Ya think?!!
I started my first semester at a community college and had so much on my mind at that time that I got 2 C’s and a Fail.
And this semester I got 2 A’s and 2 C’s. College is really hard, coming out of highschool.
What can I do to get into a good university? I only completed 21 units so I will need at least another 39. Can I make it up? Or is there no way I will ever get to go to UCLA or something like that. I live in Los Angeles so I would prefer people from here to answer so it would be accurate for me.
Thanks! If you’re not from LA, please say so.

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10 Answers

Frankie's avatar

I’m not from LA, but I do have some advice. I attended a community college my senior year in high school to get a start on college credit and to get most of the general education classes out of the way. Although you seem to do better in school when you are completely focused and have less on your mind, I can tell you that regular colleges and universities are MUCH harder than community college.
Because I know next to nothing about UCLA, I don’t know if they will accept you with the grades you have. You should talk with an academic counselor at your community college to get advice; s/he may also tell you about various universities around your state who may have open admission, meaning they accept pretty much everyone who applies, no matter their GPA or standardized test scores. And don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that the university isn’t a “good” one.
Also, once you get into a university, I highly recommend that you utilize your school’s free tutoring programs if you find yourself struggling. I believe most universities have these programs; they are often staffed by grad students, teaching assistants, or upperclassmen. Also, don’t be afraid to ask your professors and their teaching assistants for help. From working with professors and TAs, I know their biggest complaint is that their students never come to office hours to seek help when they are having problems. Your university and professors will want you to succeed, you just need to seek them out.
Good luck!

jrpowell's avatar

You could always start over at a different Community College and never mention the previous one.

cwilbur's avatar

You’re not going to get into a good university until you demonstrate that you can handle the workload. If you’re getting C’s at a community college, where the educational mission is to help struggling students, you’re going to flunk out at UCLA, where it’s very much sink or swim.

You should set as your goal having one full year at your community college where you get a 3.5 GPA or better. If you can do that, and show that you’ve improved academically, you’re much more likely to get in to a school like UCLA.

Darwin's avatar

If from now on your grades are all A’s and maybe a B or two, you could explain to the university to which you are applying precisely what happened. You started college right out of high school without the focus necessary for college work. However, once you realized what you needed to do, you buckled down and concentrated on your classes. Because you now know how to study at college and how to realize when it is time to reach out for help, you will be successful in “Fill-in-the-Blank” University.

It may work or it may not, but it is worth a try. Frequently admissions committees are very well aware that students mature a lot their first year or two out of high school.

In addition, any time that you are not either in class, studying or working, see if you can get a volunteer position or an internship in something related to your field. If you then recount that experience to the university, it may help you because it can show your dedication to the field you wish to enter. Hence, you would be more likely to be a successful graduate.

Otherwise, find a university with less restrictive entrance requirements and get all the As you can there. You might be able to either transfer or be accepted to graduate school at a “better” university.

YARNLADY's avatar

Hire a PR agency that specializes in college admissions.

TheRocketPig's avatar

cwilbur and Darwin have this question down pat. I couldn’t agree more.

I teach at a community college in Florida and can vouch for the fact that if you cannot handle the workload at a community college, you won’t prove to the University that you can handle their class load.

This doesn’t seem to be the case as you are concerned enough to seek out for help. The one thing that I couldn’t express more is that you cannot let your personal life effect your school. In the long term, your education is the most important thing you have. College teaches you how to balance work and life, and trust me, you still have to balance that just as much (if not more) out of college.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

not from Cali, but my college started out a lot like you situation it seems. I didn’t do the work, smart enough, just didn’t have the effort part. I figured out what I needed to do and started doing it. I applied for a transfer to Boston College, wrote a kick butt essay, and explained to them that my poor grades in the beginning of my college career was due to my immaturity, but over the past semesters my grades skyrocketed, showing how well I can do when I put my mind to it. They accepted me. If I can do it, you can do it my friend.

Cardinal's avatar

I think you are SOL unless you lie.

punkrockworld's avatar

aBOYnaMEDbOOBS: THANK YOU!! You really helped me chill out about it! I’m going to make sure that I ace the rest of my classes!!

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