Frustrations of an older student

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    I know this post will cause a lot of controversy but I am writing it for those of us who are older adults struggling to earn a spot in a program. The program I am applying for has changed its policies to be an unbelievable contradiction to itself.

    I was a first time college student 30 years ago when I was 18. I was immature and irresponsible and did poorly in school for three semesters which obviously and deservedly lowered my GPA. In 1992, I went back and over the years took a class here and there as I could between children and jobs. I earned A's in every one with the goal being to earn my nursing degree when my children were grown.

    This past year when my youngest turned 16 I decided it was time for me to finish up and apply to the program. I was encouraged and pursued by the local community college. I was initially denied admission once because my math skills were thirty years old and my compass score stunk and they had just raised the score needed to be accepted. (since then they have lowered it back to it's original number) Yes that was frustrating but I stunk at math and that's an important skill and my own fault so I relearned some of it on my own then retook the compass.

    I was admitted and then took an intermediate and college level algebra with and A and a B. I retook the science courses I had already taken previously with A's because they were too old to be counted being six years old instead of five. I raised my Regents GPA to a 3.81. I took the PAX and earned a 97.

    As of this semester, I am finished with all of my pre-reqs and ready to apply. However, this week I was told by my advisor that my ranking score will be based not upon my Regents GPA by on my Hope GPA which is cumulative of all college courses taken in my life. This will include the courses from 30 years ago that have been retaken and in which I earned A's.

    Let me get this straight, my ACT which was excellent and my A's in science courses taken six years ago are too old to be counted but my bad grades in theater and history which have been retaken are fair game??

    Before anyone here blasts me for whining, hear me out. I am a parent. I tell my kids there are repercussions in life for everything you do. That is true. But when you pick and choose what is too old and what is not and when straight A's for the past years are not enough and your efforts at jumping through all the academic hoops are never enough that is not right.

    None of my multiple letters of recommendation from my professors will be considered nor my prior health care employment. At this point, going to take both the ACT and SAT again and hope I do as well as I did before. I cannot do anything about my GPA unless I continue to pay for classes that I do not need. Funny thing I am being ranked by the Hope scholarship GPA but will never be eligible because I am from out of state. I still don't know how my ACT is too old to be a judge of my academic performance as I was told but my grades when I was 18 are not.

    As for my GPA, my Regents GPA of 3.81 will be tossed aside in favor of my Hope GPA of 2.83. Having said all of this, I have two words of advice. When they say it is on your permanent record IT WILL BE so don't screw up when you are young.

    If you are my age, make sure you read all the fine print and find a school that will take into account your circumstances as an older student and work with you, not against you. If this makes you mad, please don't give me a lecture. I'm writing it for those of us who are struggling against the systems that are contradictory and who are frustrated with our best efforts not being enough.
    Last edit by Joe V on Sep 23, '13 : Reason: spacing
  2. 27 Comments so far...

  3. 1
    Ugh! I'm sorry. I know that every school has its own policy. Of the ones I looked into, some looked at every class while others threw out old grades and only looked at the new retake grades. Maybe you can apply elsewhere?
    suzilks1 likes this.
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    Every school does have its own policy and because nursing programs are so competetive you have to have a great academic record.

    See if there are BSN or other programs that give more weight to prereq GPA or last 60 hours completed.

    You might also consider applying to a LPN program and then bridging to get the RN in the future.
    Last edit by CDEWannaBe on Sep 16, '13
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    Did you take all of the classes at the same school? I already had a B.S. when I started nursing school. My courses transferred, but they were not included in my GPA. If you have taken all of the classes at the same college, it is possible that all of your coursework would be considered and factored into your GPA. Could you look into going to another school?
    mmc51264 likes this.
  6. 0
    I was worried about the same situation when applying to an ABSN program. I had a 2.66 GPA from my first degree (1989). I was able to bring up my GPA a little because of the few pre-req that I still needed that I didn't complete with my first degree. Fortunately, the program was still fairly new and there was little competition (35 applicants for 30 slots). I was extremely worried that I was going to be judged by my lack of study habits of my youth. Luckily I am attending the same university for my BSN as I did for my first degree because as an alumni, they took all of my credits even though most were nearly 30 yrs old.
  7. 2
    Sorry, that sucks. I would apply somewhere else, as each school is different.
    HappyWife77 and suzilks1 like this.
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    The Hope scholarship GPA never removes any grade. I have had my courses transfer in with no bad credits so that is why I have a 3.81 Regents GPA. Unfortunately this year my school decided for some reason to not use the Regents GPA but use the Hope GPA as ranking criteria. So my 3.81 in the required pre-reqs means nothing. The only thing they will see on my application is 2.83. There is no interview to explain the situation, no letters of recommendation. I am only a name with a number. Looking into different schools in the area but most are too far away to be feasible. I have learned that many students are having the same issues. It just seems that if your ACT does not reflect your academic capabilities if it is less than five years old why would these grades from 30 years ago reflect my current academic capabilities. Believing that there is a reason for everything and praying God would show me what to do next.
    i♥words likes this.
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    Why are they even counting hope? Isn't that only for people who graduated HS in the last 5 years? Which nursing program is this?
    suzilks1 likes this.
  10. 1
    Quote from suzilks1
    The Hope scholarship GPA never removes any grade. I have had my courses transfer in with no bad credits so that is why I have a 3.81 Regents GPA. Unfortunately this year my school decided for some reason to not use the Regents GPA but use the Hope GPA as ranking criteria. So my 3.81 in the required pre-reqs means nothing. The only thing they will see on my application is 2.83. There is no interview to explain the situation, no letters of recommendation. I am only a name with a number. Looking into different schools in the area but most are too far away to be feasible. I have learned that many students are having the same issues. It just seems that if your ACT does not reflect your academic capabilities if it is less than five years old why would these grades from 30 years ago reflect my current academic capabilities. Believing that there is a reason for everything and praying God would show me what to do next.
    If that GPA is enough for you to submit your application you can still submit it with a brief cover letter explaining the situation. BRIEF. Otherwise they won't bother to read it.
    BigOkie likes this.
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    I understand how you feel. My CC, however, gives a ONE time academic renewal. If you screw up when u are young, you get one chance to get those classes taken out of you GPA. I'm 42 and earned an F in a computer class 20 years ago. I couldn't retake it because they no longer offer that particular class. I had to prove that I was serious this time, and now they don't figure it into my GPA. It does still show up on my transcript though. Don't let it deter you. If they look at everything objectively, perhaps they will take everything into consideration. Good luck!
    suzilks1 likes this.


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