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Academic Amnesty-vs-Transferring during undergrad: how does each affect graduate school admission?


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I entered college back in 1994 and was academically dismissed in 1999, and needless to say my transcript is atrocious. I only require a few semesters to graduate and I am planning to go back to get my bachelors and then masters. I was accepted for reenrollment by my old college and was offered an Academic Amnesty program where I can get a fresh start on my GPA. The transcript will still show all the classes previously taken, but the ones with D’s and F’s will not count towards graduation requirements, and my GPA will only be calculated using the newly taken classes after reenrollment. So technically I have a chance of achieving a 4.0 GPA. Down side is that there is no online class option, so I will have to do evening classes or leave work early two days a week for a few semesters.

Please correct me if I am misinformed, but I believe that transferring to another college will in essence do the same thing. Transferrable credits move over, new GPA calculation, etc. But the transcript with the terrible GPA will still exist at my old school. One major plus for this option is that I can transfer to a college offering online programs so I can pursue my degree with minimal affect to my job.

I would like to know how much emphasis graduate schools put on each scenario.

  • If I transfer to an online college and graduate with high GPA, would graduate schools also look at the transcript from my old school and average it?
  • Or would the GPA from the institution that I get the degree matter most?
  • If I have a solid GPA after the Academic Amnesty option, would grad school not care?
  • Is an online degree a significant negative?



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I don't think online programs are viewed well for grad school applications.


If you did transfer, you would have to submit all transcripts (in most cases), so they would see your old grades. I think, given that it's long enough ago, they probably wouldn't care that much provided you do well this time around.

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