Low GPA, Academically Dismissed — Need serious advice

Jan 27, 2020
4
3
Hi everyone! I have been an observer of SDN for a while now and absolutely loved the encouragements, as well as hard truths, everyone gave to prospective pre-med students to help them become stronger and more competitive. I decided to finally create an account and get your advice on my past academic performance and my road to reinvention/recovery (I have read Goro's thread on reinvention) to see if DO schools will even consider me. I want to thank you in advance and let you know I truly appreciate you reading my post.

Long story short, I have been attempting to get my bachelors since I began college in 2008. I refuse to give up, regardless of how many times I failed. I've attended 3 Universities and 1 CC since 2008, and averaged a 2.3 cGPA and 2.0 sGPA which includes a substantial amount of failed classes. In the summer of 2019, I was academically dismissed from the third University I attended, in which I was pursuing a bachelors in psychology in an online program due to the demands of my professional job in IT. This dismissal was a serious wake-up call and after evaluating all of my transcripts, I needed to understand WHY I kept failing over and over regardless of the multitude of gap years I took or researching on how to better my study habits. I am completely and 100% to blame for my poor academic performance and failing to seek help when I needed it years ago, so when I share the next part, I truly am not asking for sympathy and only sharing for context on how it changed me. Five months ago, I finally started talking to a therapist who helped me so greatly and pushed me in the right direction. With the help of my therapist, I gathered the courage to see a medical professional for evaluation. Following the visit, I was diagnosed with a neurodevelopmental disorder, which I didn't even realize I had because I just accepted that I was not as smart as everyone else in college. This acceptance came from my childhood, since my parents and close relatives labeled me as the "slow child" of the bunch (mental disorders are considered a taboo in my culture and completely ignored). Once I began treatment for my disorder and started classes again in my fourth University (I applied after beginning therapy but didn't start until I was ready, which happened to be following treatment), I have been able to maintain a 4.0 since the first term of psychology classes completed (8-week long classes). I am on my second term now, which ends in February and I am still maintaining a 4.0 with full-time class standing (3 classes this term) AND still at my full-time 40-50/hr a week professional job in IT to pay for tuition and living expenses. I am on track to graduate with UG in psychology degree this year and fully confident I'll graduate with a 3.8-4.0 GPA with 36 credits completed in this University (others are the transfer courses).

Given this turnaround, I want to do a post-bacc in a 4-year University by taking Orgo, Biochem (both failed back in 2011-2013) and additional senior level science classes to show the committee that I can handle an intense workload. In total, I'll be taking 7-8 post-bacc classes that I can afford out-of-pocket, which will be about 30 credits but I still won't be at a 3.0 gpa after this. I have considered SMP but I would not get accepted due to my incredibly low cGPA and sGPA, even with all those 4.0s. However, I want your honest opinion before I start this journey to reinvention. Do I have a shot at acceptance in any DO schools following the upward trend on my transcript or will my application be immediately discarded?
 
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Goro

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Hi everyone! I have been an observer of SDN for a while now and absolutely loved the encouragements, as well as hard truths, everyone gave to prospective pre-med students to help them become stronger and more competitive. I decided to finally create an account and get your advice on my past academic performance and my road to reinvention/recovery (I have read Goro's thread on reinvention) to see if DO schools will even consider me. I want to thank you in advance and let you know I truly appreciate you reading my post.

Long story short, I have been attempting to get my bachelors since I began college in 2008. I refuse to give up, regardless of how many times I failed. I've attended 3 Universities and 1 CC since 2008, and averaged a 2.3 cGPA and 2.0 sGPA which includes a substantial amount of failed classes. In the summer of 2019, I was academically dismissed from the third University I attended, in which I was pursuing a bachelors in psychology in an online program due to the demands of my professional job in IT. This dismissal was a serious wake-up call and after evaluating all of my transcripts, I needed to understand WHY I kept failing over and over regardless of the multitude of gap years I took or researching on how to better my study habits. I am completely and 100% to blame for my poor academic performance and failing to seek help when I needed it years ago, so when I share the next part, I truly am not asking for sympathy and only sharing for context on how it changed me. Five months ago, I finally started talking to a therapist who helped me so greatly and pushed me in the right direction. With the help of my therapist, I gathered the courage to see a medical professional for evaluation. Following the visit, I was diagnosed with a neurodevelopmental disorder, which I didn't even realize I had because I just accepted that I was not as smart as everyone else in college. This acceptance came from my childhood, since my parents and close relatives labeled me as the "slow child" of the bunch (mental disorders are considered a taboo in my culture and completely ignored). Once I began treatment for my disorder and started classes again in my fourth University (I applied after beginning therapy but didn't start until I was ready, which happened to be following treatment), I have been able to maintain a 4.0 since the first term of psychology classes completed (8-week long classes). I am on my second term now, which ends in February and I am still maintaining a 4.0 with full-time class standing (3 classes this term) AND still at my full-time 40-50/hr a week professional job in IT to pay for tuition and living expenses. I am on track to graduate with UG in psychology degree this year and fully confident I'll graduate with a 3.8-4.0 GPA with 36 credits completed in this University (others are the transfer courses).

Given this turnaround, I want to do a post-bacc in a 4-year University by taking Orgo, Biochem (both failed back in 2011-2013) and additional senior level science classes to show the committee that I can handle an intense workload. In total, I'll be taking 7-8 post-bacc classes that I can afford out-of-pocket, which will be about 30 credits but I still won't be at a 3.0 gpa after this. I have considered SMP but I would not get accepted due to my incredibly low cGPA and sGPA, even with all those 4.0s. However, I want your honest opinion before I start this journey to reinvention. Do I have a shot at acceptance in any DO schools following the upward trend on my transcript or will my application be immediately discarded?
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MusicDOc124

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Oct 27, 2013
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I think it will be incredibly difficult.

Have you taken any sciences/are taking any now? The hard sciences will be more difficult than the courses youre taking for psych. Online courses are also arguably much easier than classes in person. I've done both. I wouldn't rely on two 8-week terms of a 4.0 which equates to 1 "Traditional" full time semester, especially if its psych and only online. The rigor won't compare to the sciences in person with labs. I have both a bio and a psych degree, and I've taken online classes for a total of a year at one point, but ultimately have my degrees from in person. What I state are my own experiences and observations.

Highly consider a plan B.
 
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Jan 27, 2020
4
3
I think it will be incredibly difficult.

Have you taken any sciences/are taking any now? The hard sciences will be more difficult than the courses youre taking for psych. Online courses are also arguably much easier than classes in person. I've done both. I wouldn't rely on two 8-week terms of a 4.0 which equates to 1 "Traditional" full time semester, especially if its psych and only online. The rigor won't compare to the sciences in person with labs. I have both a bio and a psych degree, and I've taken online classes for a total of a year at one point, but ultimately have my degrees from in person. What I state are my own experiences and observations.

Highly consider a plan B.
Thank you, I appreciate your honest feedback. I do agree that science classes are very difficult and it will take seriously hard work to get straight As in upper science classes. I’ve taken genetics in a previous 4-year university, as well other science classes with B and above grades. It’s my Es in A&P, Orgo and Biochem that contribute to my terrible sGPA and failing 5 other non-science classes to my cGPA. If I do go the route to reinvent my transcript based on Goro’s recommendations, I’m planning on taking 1-2 upper level science classes for the first two semesters, then gradually increasing to 2-3 classes per semester (second Bachelors degree declaration since many masters programs will be tough to get in with my gpa and post-bacc is going to cost me $80,000). Based on an AACOMAS cGPA and sGPA calculator created by another SDN member, I would need 24 science classes with a 3.9-4.0 GPA to achieve a 3.0 sGPA and cGPA. I talked to my in-state DO school’s academic advisor who stated they receive a lot of in-state applicants with low sGPA scores and that they combine grades from repeated science classes for the average grade for that class.

I know I’m holding on to a microscopic, nearly nonexistent piece of thread toward my dreams but I’m willing to do what I can to prove to the committee that my failures do not define who I am today.
 
Aug 1, 2019
26
14
My friend, realistically, plan B in healthcare is the most feasible option but if YOU truly believe that you're on to something since your treatment, give yourself, one last chance and if it doesn't work out, at least you are not gonna have any regrets. Additionally, you could also try to reach out to your previous universities to see if some will expunged some of your grades because of your disorder. Perhaps, some will change them to Ws.
Good luck!!!!!
 
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