HELP: I was denied from graduate school due to low GPA 25 years ago

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by jam937, Jul 10, 2012.

  1. jam937

    jam937 New Member

    I need some help. I applied to a graduate for their computer science program. I was denied because my overall GPA is a 1.9. They require a 2.75 which is the lowest I've seen for a MSCS at a public school. Let me explain my bad grades.

    About 25 years ago when I was 18-20 I got really bad grades and blew off college. I mean ~60 semester hours of D's and E's with a few C's and a couple B's. Bad, bad, bad. The stupidity of youth. Since then I have had 18 successful years in IT.

    In the last 12 months I have earned a BA in Computer Science at Thomas Edison (quit job, full time student, CLEP, DSST, ACE, Straighterline, IT Certs, etc., etc.). I only took 7 college classes in this time period and earned 6 A's and 1 B. The rest of my credits are transfer credit and some of those bad grades above.

    Is there anything I can do or say to change the mind of the graduate school admissions office? I assume I will have the same GPA problem at any graduate school. I received an email from the admissions person about the denial and I had planned to email her back with what I described above (nicely worded).

    Thanks for any advice you may have
  2. Shawn Ambrose

    Shawn Ambrose New Member

    Did you have an on-campus interview with the graduate dean? That would be my first choice. Tell your story.

  3. jam937

    jam937 New Member

    This has all been online. I applied for their online MSCS program. I don't live near the campus. Good suggestion though.
  4. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    One possible explanation for your rejection is if the grad program had more applications than space available. In that case there may have been better qualified (academically) applicants.

    I agree that you should appeal your rejection.
  5. jam937

    jam937 New Member

    I had an email exchange with the Chair of the Computer Science department a few months back discussing questions I had about the program. This was before I applied. So I have his email address. Would it be best to email him instead of the admissions person?
  6. rebel100

    rebel100 New Member

    Seems a reasoounable place to start, they may feel vested in your success. I would write out the appeal letter and bring your recent excellent performance to their attention. I think you have a reasonable argument.
  7. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    yeah, and if that fails you could always email the school President. I did once, and the problem was solved pronto.



    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    What is your current GPA for undergraduate? If it is below 1.9; I would recommend you to take an alternative route. Maybe enroll into a Master degree program that does not require in GPA; or getting a second Bachelor degree in Information Security. Also, you might not able to get into Public/top schools; but there are lot of profit universities/colleges love your money.
  9. DLer

    DLer New Member

    Requirements for all applicants for admission into the program for the Master of Science in Applied Computer Science include the following:

    An undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university,
    A minimum 2.75 undergraduate cumulative GPA,
    A minimum 3.00 cumulative GPA in the student's undergraduate major,
    Significant experience (as judged by the Computer Science School) in industrial software development as documented by a resume and other appropriate documents, including published papers or patents.

    Columbus State University: Grad - Program Details
  10. lifelonglearner

    lifelonglearner New Member


    I also recommend you appeal. We will occasionally admit a person below our GPA requirement, but will require them to be on academic supervision and probation for one or two semesters. If they get one final grade below a 3.0 they are dismissed.

    We do not list this on our web site anywhere because we do not want to be flooded with applicants who will require more intensive management. Additionally, the accreditation agencies take a dim view of accepting too many students with a low GPA and students who fail out often don't pay back their student loans. You may want to fully explain your situation and say you would be willing to be on probation or enroll less than full-time for the first semester so you can prove yourself. I would start with the head of admissions first and if you appeal is denied ask them how to appeal to a higher authority. A personal visit with prearranged appointments would be in your favor and may tip the balance for you.

  11. jam937

    jam937 New Member

    I did appeal and was conditionally accepted. Woohoo!! I just need to keep getting good grades which I do now in my older years. So appealing does work. I think being 100% honest in the appeal is appreciated by the schools and helps.

    Thanks all!!
  12. azureskye

    azureskye New Member

    TEKMAN: Peeking over from my thread: What Master's program doesn't require a GPA? I was under the impression 2.7-3.0 was the min. for most programs? Are they RA?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2012
  13. azureskye

    azureskye New Member

    Peeking over from my thread: What Master's program doesn't require a GPA? I was under the impression 2.7-3.0 was the min. for most programs? Are they RA?

  14. christinachua

    christinachua New Member

    Yes, I do agree that appealing does work; more often than not. Since you mentioned that you excelled in your recent studies, don't be afraid to explain your circumstances and attach your transcript to prove your capability. Do express the reason(s) and motivation to pursue a Masters Degree, and elaborate on how you will cherish the offer if given the opportunity.

  15. Toranoko

    Toranoko New Member

    In addition to the above (for future readers who may not be as lucky as the OP), you can apply for a Graduate Certificate program. They ones I've sen don't have a GPA requirement, and getting good grades in a graduate program goes a long way towards proving yourself.
  16. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I'm glad to see that jam is getting a chance to prove himself. For our other readers who might be in a similar situation, another strategy I've seen work is to take a relevant course or two (at the grad level) and ace them. Then, when you apply (or appeal) you can make the case that while you previous GPA is low, your current coursework is more reflective of your current skills and committment. Data rules.
  17. Mathos

    Mathos New Member

    Congratulations jam!

    I know this is an old thread, but I'm in a similar situation. I'd like to go back for an M.A. in Math, but every program either lists a 2.5 explicitly as the minimum (mine is a 2.21) or implicitly (sound rejection, no response when emailing the Dean attempting to explain my situation.)

    I'm just wondering what school accepted you into their program.

  18. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Just because a school's written policy says something doesn't make it so. Inquire. Negotiate. Explain. Plead. Keep going until you talk to people, which means getting away from the e-mail machine. And talk to many schools, not just one. Oh, and look for schools that cater to adults, not just the local state university (who isn't interested in you anyway).
  19. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    In addition to Rich's good advice you might want to consider the idea of taking a course or two and using the results as a demonstration of the quality of work you are presently capable of producing. Of course, it's best if you ace those courses. If you choose the courses well you can transfer the credits into the degree program and so you'll lose neither time nor money. Good luck.
  20. rmm0484

    rmm0484 Member

    I had a 2.39 undergrad (poor study skills and rank immaturity). Many years later, I was allowed to enroll at a Florida Tech extension program provisionally, and I was converted to a regular student after demonstrating that I could cut it (after about two classes). I graduated with a 3.54 average from FIT and subsequent doctoral coursework (ABD) at NCU was 4.0.

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