In the mid-80s, I attended college for a degree in arts-based Subject A. Got a good 75 credits on my transcript before dropping out. Fast forward. I’m now attending a community college for a degree in science-based Subject B. The four-year I’d really like to transfer to, however, has a “90 unit limit”- they won’t accept me if my transcript has over 90 credits, which I very well will have when I’m ready to transfer. Since a good 75-80% of my old credits are in classes and subjects that are not requirements for, and have absolutely nothing to do with, Subject B, could I somehow pretend this old transcript doesn’t even exist, even if it would mean taking 1 or 2 classes, at most, over again?
My school (and I suspect others) has a thing called “academic fresh start”. If you haven’t been enrolled in 4 years, you can ask to have your old GPA and transcripts disregarded.
YMMV, ask your advisor, etc.
The Cal State system calls it “academic renewal.” It’s really no big deal. Talk to the registrar - she’ll have the appropriate paperwork.
Academic renewal appears to be designed more for people that had a bad semester they’d rather forget about, mostly for GPA reasons.
I’m looking more for throwing out six semesters of credits that are now seemingly counting against me. I have 25 credits of GE requirements that transfer, but not into classes I need, e.g., my English 101 class from 1983 transfers now as English 261; I still have to take the English 101 class at my current community college as a requirement for the four-year I wish to transfer to. 50 or so of the credits for the music theory/history/performance classes I took transfer also, but I need none of them for Comp Sci. The one class, Linear Math, that transfers that I can use toward my new major I’d really like to take over anyway, since I’m probably going to need it and I don’t remember squat from 20 years ago.
I guess what I’m asking is can I simply not mention my previous credits? Is this illegal, or rather, can they find out, and can they expell me for it? The fact that my current school is already aware I know is a wrench in the whole deal…
Many schools of Higher Education are very much aware of “selective transcript submission” and are working to stop it. I have heard of certain agencies that are used by colleges to share key info about attendance, etc. If it were discovered that you had attended a college and had not reported it, you would likely be expelled. It is basically an act of forging academic background which is highly frowned upon in Higher Education.
As to the “heard” part. I was a college prof for many years. This is part of the info you get told about from time to time when serving in various capacities, etc. I don’t know first hand about an occurence of this, and for good reason: privacy laws. Which, as an advocate of privacy laws, I don’t try to circumvent, but at the same time makes me wonder about how the “sharing” thing can happen given the stringent Federal family&education privacy laws.
The best thing to do is just go find someone and ask what you should do and do that. You will be surprised at how little they really care about some bad grades from a long time ago. They will likely mentally erase all really old transcript info on you when you folder reaches the top of the pile.
In short, revealing the old info isn’t as big a deal as you think while not revealing it could be quite bad.
Let this be a lesson to anyone thinking of dropping out. I finished a four year science degree in the mid '80s. When I looked into getting a Master’s of Public Health Administration, it was like I was 18 all over again. I’m too old for that.
Are you really sure that they won’t accept you if you have more than 90 credits? Or is it that they just won’t allow you transfer more than 90 previous credits to their program? Suppose, for the sake of argument, that in the '80s you had earned a BA in English, and now you wanted to get a BA in chemistry? They really wouldn’t let you in? I vote for telling the school about everything. If you’re a good student, I’ll bet they find a way to accept your tuition money.
This is how it works in my current University. You are only allowed to transfer something like 90 credits. They will let you transfer the class, i.e. they will accept that you have taken a certain course, but they may not count those credits toward your graduation.
I agree with the dropping out part. But the 18 all over again part is fantastic! It’s not at all like when I was in college the first time; the girls really seem to dig the nerdy guys now!
And from an email from one of their transfer counselors:
These are not bad grades I’m trying to hide; they’re good actually- Honors courses, 3.46 GPA cumulative over the six semesters. I’d love to keep them if only I weren’t being penalized for them. Sad, but true; I’m better off without them. I understand the school needs to be selective. I just don’t understand the punishment for having extra work under my belt. :mad:
In the end, I’m sure I’ll tell the truth. It’d suck to have some lie hanging over me for my time there. But I insist on striving for the best- who do I have to beg, and what do I tell them?
It seems like their own policy allows at least a little wiggle room.
1/ Can you talk to someone informally and find out how may of your earlier credits are “UC transferrable”? You might find that at least some of them won’t transfer to your new program, which would be to your advantage.
2/ The policy seems to make a general assumption about most students with more than 90 credits. Can you demonstrate to them that you, personally, will be able to complete your particular program without exceeding the 130-credit limit?
3/ If not, ask what is the basic purpose of the 130-credit limit? If it is intended to make aimless kids choose a major and get out, maybe they would waive it for you if you demonstrate seriousness of purpose and a specific plan to finish your degree, even if you need a few extra credits. You might make a point of telling them what you want to do with your new degree and why it’s important to you.
My academic experience is not as extensive as some people’s, but my impression is that college administrators are not like DMV clerks. They will try to help you if you give them a good reason.
Thanks observer, I like your somewhat methodical approach. And thanks to the rest of the responses, too. This’ll help with fall semester registration tomorrow. I was trying to decide what should dictate my schedule- the concern for what I need to learn, or the concern for keeping my earned credits low. I’m going for the learning. Thanks all!