whiteSG

10+ Year Member
Feb 7, 2009
46
0
Kirkland, WA
Status
Pre-Medical
1. Your age and GPA and MCAT if you have it.
23 and no MCAT taken yet. I plan to take it in between my junior and senior year most likely.
AMCAS freshman GPA 2.68, BCPM GPA 2.88, sGPA 4.0.
Only 45 credits of my completed coursework currently is being applied to my degree. I need 180 credit hours total so 135 more credit hours.
2. Your financial and work situation.
I make $30k a year working Mon-Fri in an operating room as a Surgical Services Assistant. I receive Post 9-11 GI Bill benefits. I currently receive a small amount of financial aid money and I have not taken any loans out yet.
3. Your family and significant other situation.
I am married with no children.
4. Your plan or your path to success.
This is a long story. Here is where I am at:

I graduated high school in 2005 and attended a Central Arizona College in Arizona which gave me an academic scholarship. I had a shaky high school career and did not take high level science and math courses. In my first semester in Fall of 2005 my courses/grades were:
Eng 101(3 credit hours)-B
Psy 101(3 credit hours)-A
Phi 112(world religions 3 credit hours)-A
Mat 091(introductory algebra 4 credit hours)-C
Ecn 201(macro 3 credit hours)-W(I was unable to balance the course load)
Semester GPA: 3.15
Honors List

I withdrew from Spring semester 2006 and my courses/grades were:
Bio 156(4 credit hours)-W
HOC 125(CNA course 6 credit hours)-WF(missed a few classes and missed one day of clinicals due to strep throat, I know AMCAS will consider this a F)
NTR 104(nutrition 3 credit hours)-W
Semester GPA: 0.00
Cumulative at this school: 2.16

I signed a unique reserve contract with the United States Navy and was on active duty from September 2006-July 2007 for Basic Training, Naval Hospital Corpsman "A" school, temporary duty Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, and Field Medical Service School "C" school. I was then transferred to the Navy Reserve and re-started school in January 2008 spring semester at Chandler-Gilbert Community College in Arizona. My courses/grades were:
Eng 102(3 credit hours)-A
Mat 121(intermediate algebra 4 credit hours)-B
Psy 230(intro to stats,3 credit hours)-W(withdrew from switching career choice from goal of Nurse Practitioner to Physician after deciding it wasn't too late for me and that I had what it takes to be a doctor.)
Semester GPA: 3.429

Fall 2008 courses/grades:
Bio 181(1 of 3 for Bio major 4 credit hours)-A
Glg 110(environmental/geological disasters 4 credit hours)-C
Mat 187(pre-calc 5 credit hours)-D(re-taking at Bellevue College which will replace this course with my planned grade of an A), I know AMCAS will still see this even though my school will replace the grade)
Pos 223(civil rights 3 credit hours)-B
Semester GPA: 2.375
Cumulative at this school: 2.696

I re-located from Arizona to Washington State in December 2008. I did not attend school immediately due to being classified as a non-resident and could not afford it. I was involuntarily recalled to active duty from July 2009-Aug 2010. I went to Afghanistan with a Marine Corps unit as their Fleet Marine Force Hospital Corpsman. Upon returning I am now considered a resident due to my military service and maintaing an address here for 1 year. I am now attending Bellevue College and my current courses/grades are:
Mat 099(placed into intermediate 6 credit hours)- C-
Chem 161(1 of 3 for Bio major 6 credit hours)- F

When switching from Semester to Quarters there was a difference in calculating credits and I currently have 45 credits of all the courses listed above applied to my Associate in Science Transfer Degree to University of Washington. A sophomore is considered to have 44-90 credits. All my elective slots have been used due to having to make up lower level math and catch up on science courses. I do not currently have a Bellevue College GPA as this is my first quarter there. I have buckled down and am focusing on maintaining my 4.0sgpa and raising my cumulative.

My plan for Bellevue College is as follows:
Fall 2010
Mat 099(intermediate algebra 6 credit hours) C-(re-take)
Chem 161(1 of 3 for Bio major 6 credit hours) F(re-take)(so much for buckling down and mantaining a 4.0 sGPA)

Winter 2011
Mat 099 Re-take(pre-calc 1 5 credit hours)
Chem 161 Re-take( 1 of 3 for Bio major 6 credit hours)
Bio 211(1 of 3 for Bio major, even though I got an A in Bio 181 at CGCC and BC accepted the course I am re-taking to ensure I'm not lost by jumping right into Bio 212 and completing the series at one school)

Spring 2011
Math 141(pre-calc 1, 5 credit hours)
Chem 162(2 of 3 for Bio major 6 credit hours)
Bio 212( 2 of 3 for Bio major 6 credit hours)

Summer 2011
Math 142(pre calc 2, 5 credit hours)
Phy 114(physics 1 of 3 6 credit hours)

Fall 2011
Mat 151(calc 1, 5 credit hours)
Bio 213(3 of 3 for Bio major, 6 credit hours)
Phy 115(physics 2 of 3, 6 credit hours)
(Apply to graduate BC)

Winter 2012
Mat 152(calc 2, 5 credit hours)
Chem 163(chem 3 of 3 for Bio major, 6 credit hours)
Bio 275(Bio Genome Research)
Quarter ends end of March
(Apply for UW transfer deadline 12/15/2011)


Spring 2012
Mat 153(calc 3, 5 credit hours)
Phy 116( physics 3 of 3, 6 credit hours)
Bio 276(Bio Genome Research)

Apply for UW Sumer Quarter 2012(deadline Feb 15)

University of Washington
Summer 2012-2014(age 25-27)
I did not take foreign language and UW Seattle requires 3 quarters so I plan on taking 3 quarters of Spanish while there and O-Chem and other high level Bio/Chem courses such as BIOCHEM, MICRO, A&P.
Possibly go to UW Bothell which is closer and doesnt require foreign language.
Graduate with BS in Bio(Physiology) and minor in either: chem, econ, or psych to broaden my academics and resume.
Planning on doing research here If I can.
MCAT- Prep for 4 months and take in between junior and senior year in April or May. Get scores back in 30 days. Apply to medical school after scores are received unless my score is low then re-take.

Medical School
Fall 2014-2018(age 27-31)
Fund with loans/financial aid/remainder of Post 9-11 GI Bill, HPSP(USN), FAP(USN), or USUHS(USN).
As of now leaning towards Surgery or Emergency Med.
Surgical Residency 5-7 years(age 31-36/38)
Emergency Med Residency 3-4 years(31-34/35)
Potentially change my mind multiple times before then which could change my plan.



Extra Curricular/volunteer work/medical experience:
Central Arizona College:
While attending this school I volunteered for my church with St. Marks Outreach Program(4 hours a week) and Habitat for Humanity(one build). I also worked as a Lifeguard at a community pool.

Chandler-Gilbert CC:
Philosophy Club

Bellevue College:
Psychology Club
Chemistry Club
Docs and Dents Club

Current Certs:
BLS/PALS/ACLS
CNA
ARMA
Expired Lifeguard, CPR, and First Aid for the Professional Rescuer

US Navy
Naval Hospital Corpsman "A" school
Hospital Corpsman Basic Skills course
Field Medical Service School
Combat Trauma Management course
Combat Lifesaver course
Combat Lifesaver instructor course
Combat deployment to Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom
Worked at: Chicago VA hospital, Naval Hospital Great Lakes, Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, Naval Base Clinic San Diego, Medical Department Phoenix Reserve Center, Medical Department Everett Reserve Center.


Should I be doing more extra-curricular or volunteer work even though I'm positive I want to become a doctor and work side by side with them and have worked in various healthcare positions? Do/will my life experiences make up for my shaky start if I finish real strong?

I currently work in an operating room assisting surgical RN's, PA's, DO's, and MD's. I function as a scrub tech in a limited fashion, a central sterilization tech in a limited fashion, and a CNA certification is required to work there. I am also a RMA(registered medical assistant) with ARMA(American registry of medical assistants). I have also had a great deal of patient care in a clinical setting and on the battlefield in the Navy.

My goal is to get my cGPA and sGPA as close to 4.0 as possible and shoot for a 35+ MCAT score and not attend a DO school. All input is appreciated.

Updated EC's:

Alternating volunteer work between these organizations 4 hours a week:
American Heart Association
American Cancer Association
UW Medical Center
Pacific Science Center
National MS Society
Local Soup Kitchen
Veterans Affairs
Local Environmental Restoration Projects

Currently shadowing Physicians:
Surgery
Anesthesiology
OB/GYN
ER
Neuro Surgery
 
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Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
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Sep 4, 2006
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1) Should I be doing more extra-curricular or volunteer work even though I'm positive I want to become a doctor and work side by side with them and have worked in various healthcare positions?
2) Do/will my life experiences make up for my shaky start if I finish real strong?
1) Your military/work experience covers the need for clinical experience and (probably) leadership splendidly. Your military service will be looked on as volunteerism, and you have the Habitat and Outreach Program to list, too, but staying involved in something like these would be nice to see. Eventually, you should formally shadow some stateside docs in a few fields. I see that you planned an eventual research experience, so you have that covered too.

2) Your miliary experience, status as a nontaditional applicant, long-ago poor grades, and recent upward grade trend will serve you well in the application process, improving your odds from what one might expect.


It would be helpful if you correctly calculate your cGPA (translating your quarter units into semester hours) so you know exactly where you stand. Here are some helpful tools for that purpose:

AMCAS grade conversion guide: https://www.aamc.org/students/download/125250/data/2011conversionguide.pdf.pdf
AMCAS GPA calculator: http://medschool.ucsf.edu/postbac/pdf/AMCAS%20GPA_Calculator%20Version%204%20Final.xls

Then tell us how many credit hours make up your current cumulative GPA, not by your new school's rules, but rather by AMCAS rules, which include every course ever attempted (the WF counts as an F) even if they were not accepted in transfer at the third school. You may not have taken into account that the grades earned in the military must be included also. Does that help or hurt you? Do you know how to access your on-line military coursework transcript?
 
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whiteSG

whiteSG

10+ Year Member
Feb 7, 2009
46
0
Kirkland, WA
Status
Pre-Medical
I did some research and found out that even if I retake the Pre-calc they will average the two so: D in 7.5 credits and hopefully A in 6 credits averages to 2.7 but I have so many courses to go I should be fine. I've been unsure of my GPA but I will use the links above and calculate it and post. I do have a copy of my military smart transcript which does not help/hurt me. The only thing accepted was 3 credits for PE as an elective. All my military credits are worthless even though they are evaluated and have course credit recommendations by ACE. Thank your for your reply and info.

Do I include the WF as an F and not include the W's? Or do I put in the WF and also include the W's?
 
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Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
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Sep 4, 2006
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AMCAS calculates in retake grades exactly as if they were new coursework.

If your miliary credits earned you a grade, rather than P/F, then AMCAS will include them in your application GPA calculation, even if your current school did not. Doesn't the military grade you?

See page 50: https://www.aamc.org/students/download/125246/data/new_document.pdf


If a transcript is available directly from the military school listing individual courses with letter grades (e.g., A, B, C, etc.) and credit hours convertible to semester hours:

Include the military school on your list of colleges attended.

Enter course data as it appears on the transcript.

AMCAS will include this course work in AMCAS GPAs.

If the transcript does not list individual courses with corresponding grades and semester hours (or course units convertible to semester hours), but the program attaches ACE credit recommendations to the transcript:
You must:
Include the military school in your list of colleges attended.


Prepare a transcript request to be sent to the military school. Handwrite on this request that the transcript should include ACE recommendations so that our Records office will know to expect this information and the school will know to send it.

Enter course data as it appears on the ACE recommendations.


AMCAS will not include this course work in AMCAS GPAs; however, AMCAS will include this course work in cumulative Pass/Fail - Pass credit hour totals.
 
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whiteSG

whiteSG

10+ Year Member
Feb 7, 2009
46
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Kirkland, WA
Status
Pre-Medical
For the first link the page was not found. I just uploaded my AMCAS GPA calculation. Could you please review and advise if any corrections need to be made? I will upload my SMART transcript as well. Thanks again.
 

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whiteSG

whiteSG

10+ Year Member
Feb 7, 2009
46
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Kirkland, WA
Status
Pre-Medical
Here is my SMART transcript. The only grades I had were given while becoming a Hospital Corpsman where we took 13 tests and the 6 tests while becoming a Field Medical Service Technician in lamenst terms a Combat Medic or Corpsman. Even though I graduated fifth in my graduating Hospital Corpsman Class and 15 graduating classes early and second in my Field Medical Services Tech course it only gives me knowledge for my sake. No grades are given just unit hour recommendations. Skip to Page 9 where it lists the summary for course listings and ACE recommendations. Thanks again.
 
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whiteSG

whiteSG

10+ Year Member
Feb 7, 2009
46
0
Kirkland, WA
Status
Pre-Medical
As of now: sGPA 4.0(only one course taken so far) cGPA 2.45 BCPM 2.41 Freshman GPA 2.48
 

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Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
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Sep 4, 2006
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Camp SDN: The Place for Summer Fun
I just uploaded my AMCAS GPA calculation. Could you please review and advise if any corrections need to be made?
Take out the Ws that were not a WF. The program is counting them as an F which is making the GPA inaccurate.
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
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Sep 4, 2006
32,369
11,976
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Here is my SMART transcript. The only grades I had were given while becoming a Hospital Corpsman where we took 13 tests and the 6 tests while becoming a Field Medical Service Technician in lamenst terms a Combat Medic or Corpsman.
OK, I see what you mean. No benefit there to your GPA. Or harm, either.

You can remove that link now for the sake of anonymity.
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
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As of now: sGPA 4.0(only one course taken so far) cGPA 2.45 BCPM 2.41 Freshman GPA 2.48
OK, that looks closer to what I was expecting to see.

Now, just for fun, you might add in this quarter's anticpated grades (note the check box for quarter grades on the far right), and see where that gets you. Post the credit hours and new cGPA.

Yes, your sGPA, as AACOMAS (DO) calculates it without the math, is different, but AMCAS (MD) schools are not going to look at your BCPM without the math.
 
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whiteSG

whiteSG

10+ Year Member
Feb 7, 2009
46
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Kirkland, WA
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Pre-Medical
This Fall Quarter is the first time I will receive grades at a school that bases them off the Quarter system and all my other courses were on a Semester system. So shouldn't I check the boxes?
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
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This Fall Quarter is the first time I will receive grades at a school that bases them off the Quarter system and all my other courses were on a Semester system. So shouldn't I check the boxes?
Sorry,typo. Yes, check the box for quarter grades.
 
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whiteSG

whiteSG

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Feb 7, 2009
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Kirkland, WA
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Pre-Medical
Here ya' go. Thank you.

AMCAS freshman GPA 2.68, BCPM GPA 2.88, sGPA 4.0.

Only 45 credits of my completed coursework currently is being applied to my degree. I need 180 credit hours total so 135 more credit hours.
 

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whiteSG

whiteSG

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Feb 7, 2009
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Kirkland, WA
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Pre-Medical
I forgot to check BCPM for the Math and Chem courses which would
raise my 2.41. I will do this when I get home.
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
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[Sorry for the hiatus; had to eat turkey leftovers for lunch.]

So with 50 credit hours with 2.72 cGPA, assuming it takes 120 hours to graduate, by the time you complete 70 more semester-equivalent hours, if your GPA for all that time would be at least 3.7, you'll end up with a 3.29 cGPA. And with a 4.0 for all the remaining time, you'd have a 3.46.

Let's say you want to have more GPA repair accomplished before you apply because your test-taking skills are not terrific: then another year academic year of 4.0 (30 additional semester hours) you could be at 3.56.
 
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whiteSG

whiteSG

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Feb 7, 2009
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Kirkland, WA
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I forgot to check BCPM for the Math and Chem courses which would
raise my 2.41. I will do this when I get home.
I went back and made the corrections above.
 
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whiteSG

whiteSG

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Kirkland, WA
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So when I re-take Chem 161 my school will only post the new grade on my transcript but I still have to report that I took it twice correct?
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
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So when I re-take Chem 161 my school will only post the new grade on my transcript but I still have to report that I took it twice correct?
Yes, that is the rule if you let the D stand. Why not try to get the hardship withdrawal? Then the D won't show up and you won't have to report it..
 
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whiteSG

whiteSG

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Because then I would have to repay the VA for my living stipend and for the course. Does AMCAS take into account "pre-college" math in SCGPA and CGPA? I want to clarify that AMCAS takes every single class I took. How can they take a withdrawal fail in a CNA course and apply it to my CGPA?
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
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1) Because then I would have to repay the VA for my living stipend and for the course.
2) Does AMCAS take into account "pre-college" math in SCGPA and CGPA? I want to clarify that AMCAS takes every single class I took.
3) How can they take a withdrawal fail in a CNA course and apply it to my CGPA?
1) what if you petitioned to have the grade converted to a P/F grade? It seems counterproductive for the VS to ask for their money back when the military reactivated you and it's their fault. Have you Searched in the Nontraditional Forum for exmilitary posters? Maybe you could ask there how others have handled this problem.
2) Yes, if you took it while in college.
3) A WF is counted the same as an F in calculating your GPAs. But you knew that, so maybe I don't understand what the question is.
 

KickedOut

Really Worried
Jul 2, 2010
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1) what if you petitioned to have the grade converted to a P/F grade? It seems counterproductive for the VS to ask for their money back when the military reactivated you and it's their fault. Have you Searched in the Nontraditional Forum for exmilitary posters? Maybe you could ask there how others have handled this problem.
2) Yes, if you took it while in college.
3) A WF is counted the same as an F in calculating your GPAs. But you knew that, so maybe I don't understand what the question is.
I have read through the post and I'm not sure of the exact circumstances but I thought I'd shed a little light hoping that this might help.

1.) Benefits cannot be paid for a course from which you withdraw, or a course in which you receive a grade that does not count toward graduation unless acceptable mitigating circumstances are presented.

2.) If you received benefits and had to withdraw from training because of being called to active duty or being transferred while on active duty you may have additional entitlement.

I would recommend talking to your school's VA rep if you have any questions or need any guidance. I've found they are always there to help you keep money to which you are entitled. If you have to call the VA to ask a question...always call back and ask the same question to a different person. Get the name and employee ID # of anyone you talk to...my personal experience has been that the operators at the VA are less inclined to preserve your entitlement check.

I hope at least some of this info has helped. Good luck to you, let me know if I can help out in any way (even though you were in the Navy :laugh:)
 
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whiteSG

whiteSG

10+ Year Member
Feb 7, 2009
46
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Kirkland, WA
Status
Pre-Medical
The VA gives one freebie on a failed course. Normally they dont pay for repeat courses. I got a C- in Mat099 and required to go to Mat141(pre-calc) is a B-, so Im forced to take it again but I passed so the VA is paying for the course. I was going to take a hardship withdrawal in Chem161 but I would then have to pay back money to the VA. I messed this quarter up on my own and will just have to re-take the courses.
 
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Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
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I have read through the post and I'm not sure of the exact circumstances but I thought I'd shed a little light hoping that this might help.

1.) Benefits cannot be paid for a course from which you withdraw, or a course in which you receive a grade that does not count toward graduation unless acceptable mitigating circumstances are presented.

2.) If you received benefits and had to withdraw from training because of being called to active duty or being transferred while on active duty you may have additional entitlement.

I would recommend talking to your school's VA rep if you have any questions or need any guidance. I've found they are always there to help you keep money to which you are entitled. If you have to call the VA to ask a question...always call back and ask the same question to a different person. Get the name and employee ID # of anyone you talk to...my personal experience has been that the operators at the VA are less inclined to preserve your entitlement check.

I hope at least some of this info has helped. Good luck to you, let me know if I can help out in any way (even though you were in the Navy :laugh:)
Thank you very much!
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
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Sep 4, 2006
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The VA gives one freebie on a failed course. Normally they dont pay for repeat courses. I got a C- in Mat099 and rerquired to go to Mat141(pre-calc) is a B-. I was going to take a hardship withdrawal in Chem161 but I would then have to pay back money to the VA. I messed this quarter up on my own and will just have to re-take the courses.
Why did you get a low grade in Chem 161 and what would be the basis for the hardship withdrawal? I see now that it was not because you were activated to go abroad since you started the class 8/2010. (Sorry, but the tale is so long I'm forgetting the beginning.)
 
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whiteSG

whiteSG

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Feb 7, 2009
46
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Kirkland, WA
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The instructor was willing to give me a hardship withdrawal because he knew this was my first quarter back to school from Afghanistan and balancing 2 jobs and school and marriage and EC's and was giving me a break. I got behind in the course and wasn't prioritizing and it was too late and then bombed the last parts of the final. I got back into my swing of things too late.
 
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whiteSG

whiteSG

10+ Year Member
Feb 7, 2009
46
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Kirkland, WA
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Pre-Medical
Re-taking Mat and Chem and the VA is paying for both. I also updated my grades and EC's.

Freshman GPA 2.2, BCPM GPA 2.0, Overall GPA 2.5

Thats for 10 classes on semester based system and 2 on quarter based system. Looks like I have some work to do.
 

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whiteSG

whiteSG

10+ Year Member
Feb 7, 2009
46
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Kirkland, WA
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Pre-Medical
Also, am I taking A&P way late if Im taking it in my Junior year? I took it in high school but not in college yet?