Author Topic: University Related - Is this reasonable to ask?  (Read 1561 times)

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Roodabega

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University Related - Is this reasonable to ask?
« on: February 07, 2013, 03:13:44 PM »
<bg>Our child picked and went to a university that was a long way from home.  The first year they did well, making it on the Dean's list.  However the second year, they started having issues with sleeping and depression.  They ended up missing a lot of class time (unknown to us at the time) and failed or received an incomplete for all of their classes.  We took them to a professional, who gave them antidepressants and sleep aids, but when they went back for the next semester, they experienced the same issue so we did a withdrawal from the university.

The child in question has had regular visits to a professional, and is now attending a university that they can commute to from home.
</bg>

For any education professionals out there, would it be reasonable for us to talk to the first university and see if some accommodation can be made regarding grades for the "bad" semester?  No matter how well our child does with the rest of their degree, that one semester is going to be a major drag on their final GPA.

gramma dishes

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Re: University Related - Is this reasonable to ask?
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2013, 03:18:46 PM »
Many colleges and universities will 'drop' such negative information off their transcript.  It would be as though your child never took those classes. 

In addition, if your student is retaking those exact classes, some colleges will simply replace the old grade (from college #1) with the newer grade for that same class at college #2.

I'd wait and see how this particular student does at the new college close to home.  If his/her grades improve substantially, I'd inquire at the "new" college first and get their suggestions as to how to handle it. 

Roodabega

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Re: University Related - Is this reasonable to ask?
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2013, 03:19:18 PM »
Also, to go along with the first question, does anyone have ideas on how my child might respond to a potential employer in the future with regards to the education gap?  Or if we can't get that semester modified, how would they explain the dismal showing for that semester?

Sebastienne

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Re: University Related - Is this reasonable to ask?
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2013, 03:22:46 PM »
The last school I taught at did have a form of retroactive withdrawal, used only in very, very, very special circumstances--circumstances so special that our Dean, who had been there for over a decade, had never seen it used. So it's something that may exist, and it may not hurt to ask, but you should ask expecting the answer to be no.

As for employers, there's probably no need to explain; most employers I've encountered don't ask for transcripts. Proof of a degree, maybe, or GPA, but no transcripts. And his "old school" GPA shouldn't play into his "new school" GPA if credits are transferred over.

LadyL

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Re: University Related - Is this reasonable to ask?
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2013, 03:37:17 PM »

As for employers, there's probably no need to explain; most employers I've encountered don't ask for transcripts. Proof of a degree, maybe, or GPA, but no transcripts. And his "old school" GPA shouldn't play into his "new school" GPA if credits are transferred over.

POD. In my experience, employers and even grad school don't care about GPA as much as you'd think. I'm sure there are people who have great academic records but no actual job skills and vice versa. It's not a kiss of death to have some low grades. If it were ever to come up for any reason, I think it's acceptable to say "I was having a medical issue at that time that affected my performance. The issue has been completely resolved and I feel my current work speaks to the standards I hold for myself."

katycoo

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Re: University Related - Is this reasonable to ask?
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2013, 06:12:10 PM »
For any education professionals out there, would it be reasonable for us to talk to the first university and see if some accommodation can be made regarding grades for the "bad" semester?  No matter how well our child does with the rest of their degree, that one semester is going to be a major drag on their final GPA.

I don't think its reasonable for you as a parent to talk to the school.  Your child is an adult.  They should do the talking.

The topic, OTOH, I think is reasonable.

snowfire

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Re: University Related - Is this reasonable to ask?
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2013, 06:25:45 PM »
POD. In my experience, employers and even grad school don't care about GPA as much as you'd think.

YMMV.  DH graduated from college in 1982.  About 5 years ago he was applying for a job.  The company wouldn't even consider anyone who didn't have a minimum 3.85 GPA.  Even if you had been employed in the industry for over 20 years.  Even if you had DESIGNED some of the products that this company was contracted to work on.  (DH had actually written the firmware for these products while working at the original company, but since his GPA was 3.80, they would not hire him.  ::) )

If there is any way that they can get the bad classes dropped from their transcripts, do it.

Sebastienne

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Re: University Related - Is this reasonable to ask?
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2013, 06:31:15 PM »
In my experience at several different universities (as both a student and a faculty member), though, transfer credits are recorded on a transcript as just that--credit, no grade. So if his degree comes from New School, the Old School GPA won't come into play.

I mean, check that, of course. Most online student systems (even if it's a physical campus, students have a site where they go online to register for classes) have an "unofficial transcript" option. Check that, and see how his Old School classes are showing up. If they're just listed as credits, or even "P," you really have nothing to worry about.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2013, 06:35:00 PM by Sebastienne »

Slartibartfast

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Re: University Related - Is this reasonable to ask?
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2013, 06:40:13 PM »
I graduated with a 3.85, in the top third of my class - and no one has ever asked about it.  DH graduated in the top 90% of our class (i.e. just barely passed) and nobody has ever asked him either.  I think once you're a few years out of college, the grades don't matter as much as whether you learned the material important to your job.

Deetee

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Re: University Related - Is this reasonable to ask?
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2013, 06:44:27 PM »
It depends. You can ask, but it would depend on the university and is a fairly unusual request to be granted. At my university there are plenty of ways to drop a course before the grades are finalised for medical reasons (and depression counts as a medical reason obviously), but after the grades are given out they are final.

And I agree with the reasoning. Just because your child was sick doesn't mean this didn't happen. The transcripts are a reflection of what the person has attempted academically and sanitizing them after the fact is inaccurate.

Also FWIW, I have always reported my graduating GPA because when I was going to grad school that is what they wanted. I include my full transcripts but the grades I report are from the last two years.

Roodabega

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Re: University Related - Is this reasonable to ask?
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2013, 06:55:39 PM »
Thanks for all of your responses so far.  I've had a chat with my child and encouraged them to contact both the old and new schools to see if there is anything that can be done.  I think that as long as they do it respectfully, thee is no harm in investigating it.

The big issue will be motivation, as I'm pretty sure I'll have to nudge them a few times to actually do something.

Surianne

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Re: University Related - Is this reasonable to ask?
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2013, 07:35:58 PM »
With regard to submitting transcripts for job applications, I've submitted a letter with my transcripts explaining why my second year marks took a drop (significant illness), and that worked for job applications and my application to grad school.  I've had friends do that for psychological issues as well (addiction, and suicide of a close family member).

In my experience and my friends', explaining an anomalous year/semester and showing how we were able to take our grades back to normal high standards can actually be a positive. 

snowdragon

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Re: University Related - Is this reasonable to ask?
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2013, 10:54:07 PM »
Please pursue this. I had a similar experience when I was first in college - those bad grades affected my entrance into grad school, if the option is there - take it.

CrazyDaffodilLady

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Re: University Related - Is this reasonable to ask?
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2013, 11:16:47 PM »
Does your child have an academic counselor at the new school (or can they get one)?  That would be a good person to ask for information and advice.

At the university I attended, a student could retake a class they got a D or F in, and the final grade would be an average of the two grades.  An incomplete would become a fail after some amount of time, but retaking the class before then resulted in the grade from the retake.  Definitely ask to find out what the policy is.

I have a degree in computer sciences and work in IT.  I got my first job through on-campus recruiting, and grades made a huge difference.  Some companies required a minimum GPA to interview.  Interviewing companies looked at transcripts. 
Subsequent employers were concerned only with previous work experience. 

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Jocelyn

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Re: University Related - Is this reasonable to ask?
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2013, 12:52:31 PM »
I was formerly on the admissions committee for a graduate program. At that particular university, there were TWO programs (listed in the Undergraduate catalog) to assist students who'd had a lost semester; depending upon what was in the student's best interest, the semester could be entirely wiped out.
As for the admissions process, students were required to write 2 essays, and had the option of writing a third one, the third essay being about any additional information the student WANTED the committee to take into account. One applicant wrote about a semester when her grades dropped dramatically...because her sister, who was terminally ill, had moved into her home. That she continued in classes and passed them respectably was VERY much in her favor with the admissions committee. So a bad semester, with a good explanation, isn't a death knell.

Be sure to ask the current university how they'd handle the transferred credits, as the first university's policies would not necessarily be binding upon the current university. For example, a 'fresh start' program at University 1 might require the student to be successful in a future semester before changing the grades, and University 2 may have the policy of not changing a grade once it's transferred in.