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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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Grad School and Low GPA - August 1st 2016, 04:49 AM

Hi Guys,


It has been a while since I've posted for advice but I'm stuck and I do not know what to do. I'm kind of panicking right now.
I have a very low GPA (I'm not on academic probation, have not been academically dismissed and I have not had those actions discussed with me). My GPA is above a 2.0 (which is required to keep financial aid) but it is below a 3.0) which is required for just about every grad program I looked at.
I'm first trying to decide if taking the GRE would be worth showing the proof I can indeed do academic work or if it would be a waste of time and energy. Any thoughts?
Second, since my GPA is crap, is there any way an admissions committee would accept me. I have legitimate reasons for having such a low GPA. Is there any way I can explain my reasoning and prove to them that I can do the work?
I've seen `on some college websites that they only look at the last 60 credits but some of that is not very great while some of it is.
Has anyone else ever been in this place?
I know what I want to study but I cannot get in any program in the field without a 3.0 minimum or a school taking my circumstances into consideration.
Thanks for anyone that reads all of this and responds.
Christina


"i don't care your intentions. I just want you to know my self-hatred never took me where I wanted to go. At the end of the day...I can pick at the pain but I can't cut it away."
   
  (#2 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Grad School and Low GPA - August 1st 2016, 05:56 AM

Hey Christina,

Good GRE scores can compensate for a lowish GPA, but only to a point. So, if you want to get in with below a 3.0, you'll have to take it, then it's a matter of how well you do. If you can, I would calculate your last 60 credit GPA and see where you stand. If that's better, focus on programs that place more importance on that rather than the whole thing. If you have relevant work or volunteer experience, that can also help.

An explanation of your reasons for it being low could go either way. It could prove that you can work through less than ideal life circumstances and did the best you could considering, or it could backfire if they see it as you making excuses. That also depends on your transcript. If you had one or two bad classes or semesters that dropped it, that looks a lot better than having a low GPA for years on end. I'm not saying it's not an option, but it's a risky one. If you do decide to explain your reasons, include how or why things would be different. For example: the circumstance has passed, you've learned to cope with it by doing XYZ, or if it's a long term issue, how you would manage it (take advantage of student services, etc.) Be careful not to get too personal though, they don't want or need to know your life story, they're trying to decide whether you'd succeed in their program and later, the profession based on all the application materials.

Post-Bac classes would be an option for you also. One of my friends did that when she had a low GPA. Life happened and then she realized she had almost no chance at grad school because of it. You probably wouldn't have to take a lot, but enough to prove that you're capable. I don't know how they work though, having never done this.

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Re: Grad School and Low GPA - August 1st 2016, 02:18 PM

I think that really great GRE scores could help you immensely! So I think that is definitely worth looking into. There are several apps that can help you study, as well as online practice tests that you can take.

Are you referring to your overall GPA or the GPA for your major? Some committees will be most concern with the GPA for your major.

Also are you looking into a grad school for a program that you already have a degree in? Will you need to take any post bac courses? I agree with Katie, you can prove to the school by take those courses and acing them. This will make a difference!

Another thing to consider is that a lot of online programs don't require as high of GPA scores. Even online programs for established brick and mortar schools. So you might want to consider those options as well. There are many fantastic, credible online programs these days by top name universities.




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  (#4 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Grad School and Low GPA - August 1st 2016, 06:17 PM

Thanks to both of you for the suggestions and advice.
I will give you more of an understanding of my circumstances.
I originally started college out with a low GPA because transitioning was a challenge. I was on Dean's list one semester and then I had difficulties with a few classes due to access issues and accommodations that were not suitable. i retook all of those classes this past spring (except one but I knew it would not be worth the trouble of trying the class again) with hopefully hire grades (still finishing some things up currently).
I will calculate both my major GPA and last 60 credits GPA. Should that give me a good indication of where I am academically even though I have a few more classes? Or should I wait until my undergrad is complete for the final picture before applying to grad programs?
Which online schools would you recommend? I've looked into a few programs but I have seen mixed reviews for some.


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Re: Grad School and Low GPA - August 1st 2016, 08:50 PM

If you're set on starting grad school as soon as possible, you'll want to apply before you finish or you'll end up delayed at least a semester because of deadlines and time it takes to gather your materials. If you don't mind waiting to start, then that's less of an issue, but I wouldn't suggest waiting only to see how your grades come out. Also, if you don't have them yet, recommendations are much easier to get if you're still in school and it will be better to ask professors in person before having to resort to email, especially if you run into a problem with one and have to track somebody down. Calculating all of your GPA's (overall, major, last 60 hours)now should give you a pretty good idea where you stand unless you have a lot of classes left, are doing really poorly in one, or something crazy happens.

I'm personally weary of fully-online schools or programs because sometimes they don't have to maintain the same standards and can run you into financial issues. Start with online programs from brick and mortar schools before opting for well-known online ones. If fully online schools make sense for you, make sure they're ACCREDITED regardless of what the program is for. It's possible for a school to be accredited and for the program not to be, you want accreditation for both the school and the program you choose. Also, make sure it's not-for-profit. The for-profit ones are the ones you hear stories about where people can't escape their debt later.


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Last edited by Kate*; August 1st 2016 at 09:37 PM.
   
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Re: Grad School and Low GPA - August 1st 2016, 09:21 PM

What type of programs are you considering? GRE helps but also having a large amount of volunteer or work experience to compensate!


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Re: Grad School and Low GPA - August 1st 2016, 10:04 PM

I'm looking into online Masters programs for social Work or Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
I know that I can list my experience as a staff member on TH in my resume and I just completed an internship that I can use the advisor as a reference for.
Can experience in high school be valid as well? I was a member of a local program that helped other youth.
I also have done a variety of volunteering with families, kids and just community service type things.


"i don't care your intentions. I just want you to know my self-hatred never took me where I wanted to go. At the end of the day...I can pick at the pain but I can't cut it away."
   
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Re: Grad School and Low GPA - August 1st 2016, 11:27 PM

Some grad applications have a special circumstances portion that allows you to make note of any issues with grades. Say there were semesters where you were having medical problems or you didn't have access to services and your GPA suffered from that. Also, you can make note of it in the statement that you write for grad school as well, if they don't have a special circumstances portion.

You could talk to the academic counselor at your school about this issue as well and they might be able to help you. I talked to my counselor about it years ago amd we discussed this option.


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Re: Grad School and Low GPA - August 1st 2016, 11:29 PM

I would not recommend a clinical psych program online. The programs are very in-person heaving, particularly when learning the different assessments. I think an online clinical program would greatly hinder you. Not only because employers would know the difference between an online clinical and an in person clinical.

I think an online MSW would be less of a problem.




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  (#10 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Grad School and Low GPA - August 2nd 2016, 03:44 AM

Thank you both.
I believe my questions have been answered but I am definitely accepting of anymore input anyone would have.


"i don't care your intentions. I just want you to know my self-hatred never took me where I wanted to go. At the end of the day...I can pick at the pain but I can't cut it away."
   
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Re: Grad School and Low GPA - August 2nd 2016, 04:01 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Bat Queen View Post
Hi Guys,


It has been a while since I've posted for advice but I'm stuck and I do not know what to do. I'm kind of panicking right now.
I have a very low GPA (I'm not on academic probation, have not been academically dismissed and I have not had those actions discussed with me). My GPA is above a 2.0 (which is required to keep financial aid) but it is below a 3.0) which is required for just about every grad program I looked at.
I'm first trying to decide if taking the GRE would be worth showing the proof I can indeed do academic work or if it would be a waste of time and energy. Any thoughts?
Second, since my GPA is crap, is there any way an admissions committee would accept me. I have legitimate reasons for having such a low GPA. Is there any way I can explain my reasoning and prove to them that I can do the work?
I've seen `on some college websites that they only look at the last 60 credits but some of that is not very great while some of it is.
Has anyone else ever been in this place?
I know what I want to study but I cannot get in any program in the field without a 3.0 minimum or a school taking my circumstances into consideration.
Thanks for anyone that reads all of this and responds.
Christina
I got into grad school with a low GPA, they let me take classes but didn't let me enroll into the program officially so I couldn't take out loans so I paid out of pocket for my first four classes. I have a 3.4 GPA now and I'm fully enrolled.

Some schools will let you in if you have a high GRE score but may limit you or put you on probation immediately. Study for the GRE, kill it and talk to admissions in different universities.
   
  (#12 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Grad School and Low GPA - August 2nd 2016, 05:29 PM

I am glad to know this is possible.
How soon before I take the exam should I start studying?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dominant View Post
I got into grad school with a low GPA, they let me take classes but didn't let me enroll into the program officially so I couldn't take out loans so I paid out of pocket for my first four classes. I have a 3.4 GPA now and I'm fully enrolled.

Some schools will let you in if you have a high GRE score but may limit you or put you on probation immediately. Study for the GRE, kill it and talk to admissions in different universities.


"i don't care your intentions. I just want you to know my self-hatred never took me where I wanted to go. At the end of the day...I can pick at the pain but I can't cut it away."
   
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Re: Grad School and Low GPA - August 3rd 2016, 01:48 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Bat Queen View Post
I am glad to know this is possible.
How soon before I take the exam should I start studying?
Asap, I studied six months before the gre
   
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