Low cumulative GPA. Hope for ABSN?

  1. Hi all!

    I'm pretty new to the site but have been visiting it for help for quite some time now. I was hoping somebody could help calm my nerves a little or maybe offer some advice. I've seen similar questions asked but wanted to get my own specific problem out. I am currently in the process of applying to ABSN programs and am worried about my academic record from a few years ago. I transferred schools quite a few times and just recently graduated with my bachelors. My stats are as follows:

    graduating GPA: 3.4
    prereq GPA: 3.6
    last 60 credits: 3.5
    cum GPA: 2.5

    I'm reallllly worried that my cumulative will prevent me from getting in anywhere. Is it really that important? Do you think they could overlook it?
  2. Visit sleepymonkey022 profile page

    About sleepymonkey022

    Joined: Sep '18; Posts: 4

    14 Comments

  3. by   Mergirlc
    Ya' know, the first GPAs listed are pretty good. I'm confused where your cumulative GPA comes from? Is this from all of the other classes you've taken somewhere else prior to getting your Bachelor's?

    I know many of these 2nd Bachelor degree programs (ABSN) look more at you Bachelor's degree GPA, prerequisites, and in some cases, the last 60 units -- just as you listed in the first three. Hopefully this is the case for you because you should be pretty solid to at least have a fighting chance.

    I'm only guessing here, but if your cumulative GPA really is that low then you might have to explain it in the application somewhere and tell them why it's 2.5

    To answer your question though, if for some reason you have to use the 2.5 solely to get into a program, I'd say there is zero chance. Yes, I know it sounds brutal, but it's the truth. It's stiff competition out there and in a world of 3.50 + GPAs, a 2.50 isn't going to cut it.

    Check w/ the school you're applying to - either look at their website or contact somebody. They will be able to tell you what they base their decisions on.

    Good luck
  4. by   sleepymonkey022
    Yeah I went to a few schools before coming to the school where I received my bachelor's. At one of the schools, my GPA was <1.5 (I know, my eyes burn looking at that number too). It was one bad year due to some personal/ family issues so I'm hoping it won't matter too much. I was thinking of taking a semester to repeat some of those classes for grade replacement to drastically increase that GPA but I'm not sure if that'd just be a waste of time or not :/ Anyways, thanks so much for your response! I'll contact some of the schools I'm applying to and see what they think
  5. by   Bonstemps
    I think its important to acknowledge that we don't know what will happen, that you should continue to pursue your application, and try to stay positive.

    So the cum. GPA isn't great but you know that. However, consider time; when were your pre-reqs? when did you graduate? Does time show improvement? This matters as it suggests you course-corrected.

    Your pre-req looks great, and thats a point for you, your cumulative is bad for someone trying to be competitive with other applicants.

    Now, I recommend you focus very hard on your personal statement and get some very good LORs on your side. ABSN programs tend to view the whole applicant and your best bet is to wow them in your essay and to prove to them you've grown academically.

    Another important thing to attempt, if possible, is to apply for multiple programs. Consider other ABSNs, consider community college, make sure you have a back up if that is within your means.

    Best of luck and don't lose hope.
  6. by   Mergirlc
    Quote from sleepymonkey022
    Yeah I went to a few schools before coming to the school where I received my bachelor's. At one of the schools, my GPA was <1.5 (I know, my eyes burn looking at that number too). It was one bad year due to some personal/ family issues so I'm hoping it won't matter too much. I was thinking of taking a semester to repeat some of those classes for grade replacement to drastically increase that GPA but I'm not sure if that'd just be a waste of time or not :/ Anyways, thanks so much for your response! I'll contact some of the schools I'm applying to and see what they think
    Sorry to hear there were some personal/family issues which knocked down your GPA ,but on the other hand this might work in your favor. Again, if there is a place to explain this on the application, you can just make a general statement to explain this low GPA.

    At some colleges, if you take a class where you got a D or F in a course, you may repeat it and they replace the grade in your GPA. The old grade will still show up on the transcript, but they will put some type of notation in there that you retook the class and that the bad grade is not calculated into the GPA. There may be some time limitations as to how long after you can retake the class to do this, so check w/ the school to see if you can. If these are just "bull-puckey" classes, I wouldn't even bother. If these are classes that go toward your nursing degree, then you might want to check into this.
  7. by   Etak
    Quote from Mergirlc
    Sorry to hear there were some personal/family issues which knocked down your GPA ,but on the other hand this might work in your favor. Again, if there is a place to explain this on the application, you can just make a general statement to explain this low GPA.

    At some colleges, if you take a class where you got a D or F in a course, you may repeat it and they replace the grade in your GPA. The old grade will still show up on the transcript, but they will put some type of notation in there that you retook the class and that the bad grade is not calculated into the GPA. There may be some time limitations as to how long after you can retake the class to do this, so check w/ the school to see if you can. If these are just "bull-puckey" classes, I wouldn't even bother. If these are classes that go toward your nursing degree, then you might want to check into this.
    I had to do this. I had two Ds from 10+ years before returning to do nursing. I retook the classes, got As and now the prior Ds are still on my transcript but with a notation that they are excluded. The new grades drastically improved my cumulative GPA. OP, if it's an option for you it might be just the trick to bump that cum GPA to a competitive one.
  8. by   kbrn2002
    If a prospective school does look at cumulative GPA, and I'm afraid most if not all reputable schools do then you will have a real struggle ahead. It's not impossible but you will need to be prepared for multiple meetings with the admissions office to explain the low cumulative GPA. In fact your best bet may be to first decide on a school you'd like to attend and schedule a meeting with their admissions office before you even start the application process to determine how best to proceed. I'm afraid if you apply first and are rejected it'll be more difficult to reverse the rejection that it would be to avoid it by following the steps the admissions committee deems necessary for that school.
  9. by   sesw1
    I think it's going to really depend on the school. If you have a written component/statement of purpose, I would definitely acknowledge that moment in your life in some way, and incorporate an explanation for it if the prompt allows it - it may be a little awkward, but it will be worthwhile. Some schools also require or recommend tests (usually the TEAS), and I would absolutely take it in your situation, just to prove that you have that incentive to do well. Generally I think most schools are willing to somewhat overlook a poor cumulative if they see a trend towards improvement, a drive to succeed, and passion for the career. I would also reach out to the admissions office for whichever schools are on your radar, and see if you can discuss your admissions concerns with someone/go to an information session for the program. In my experience, they've actually been extremely helpful for navigating some of those anxieties in the application process.
  10. by   NurseKrunch
    i think you should still apply, and speak about what has happened in your personal statement . Speak about your growth as a student , and your passion for nursing. Some of the best nurses i have met , did not always have good G.P.A's but are excellent nurses. Apply to AbSN Programs that look at students in a holistic way . Maybe you can take some classes , to boost up your over all G.P.A . Do you have any volunteering experience? There are so many ways you can boost your application. If this is your dream then pursue it .
    Last edit by NurseKrunch on Oct 15 : Reason: adding some extra stuff
  11. by   tonyl1234
    There's no one-size-fits-all criteria for nursing schools. Some will never even look at your application if you failed a class 30 years ago and some only care about what you've done at THAT school for your prerequisites in the last 5 years. Unless we go to the school you're applying to, we can't really give you an answer. They're all different, every single one of them. Every schools website should have contact information to the people who handle the whole application process for nursing, ask them, that's the only way you're going to get a real honest answer. All anyone here can tell you is what their specific school does.
  12. by   SiggyStardust
    I think if you have a general up-trend of grades, most schools will notice that. My grades from my first few years of college were Cs, Ds, and Fs. Miserable. At one point, my GPA was 1.41. I took a few years off from school, then returned and kicked it into high gear. I graduated with a 2.6, but my last 2 years were mostly As and a handful of Bs. I got into an ABSN with that GPA. Make sure you have a stellar personal statement!! Address your poor grades briefly, but focus mostly on your good qualities.
  13. by   ajy011
    Hi, first off welcome to allnurses!

    I think your stats are good! Not sure where you are located, but my ABSN program only looked at pre-req and last 60 unit GPAs. Usually programs will give you a range and as long as your within them, I think you should be fine. Also, if your grades have improved over the years, it shows that you have a positive tread, which I think is a good thing! You should also set up an appointment with a counselor from the academic department and get a transcript evaluation.

    I agree with previous posters - nursing schools look at applicants holistically. Focus on extracurricular activities i.e. previous work/volunteering experiences, shadowing, etc. Also if you can get letters of recommendations from RNs and professors - all of which will make you a competitive well-rounded applicant.

    Good luck!
    Last edit by ajy011 on Oct 21
  14. by   DStrokes
    What school did you get into?

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