Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Ask Isa: "Will a 'W' affect my transfer prospects?

Below is a question I received in the Ask Isa inbox:

Hi Isa!

This is my first year at my community college and I have been so lucky to meet mentors and faculty members who have helped me recognize my academic goals, as well as having the opportunity to be a part of my honor society and student government. 

First semester, I tried to juggle everything, from academic work to extra-curricular activities and I can honestly say I did a pretty god job because I got a 3.7 and made it on the deans list! 

However, this semester is almost over and I've been feeling overwhelmed with the workload I have to handle. Somehow I lost my ability to equally balance what I do, which was putting me in danger of passing my Econ class with an A. 

I have a 3.7 now and the school I want to transfer to requires a GPA in the range of 3.7 or above. 

Yesterday was the last day to drop a class with a W, and I am so ashamed to say this but I dropped the class. ;( 

It is such a horrible feeling, I've never done this before, but I just figured I could retake it and get the A. Now I am worried that if the schools I want to transfer to see that W I may not get accepted. 

From your knowledge, does this affect one when transferring to a four year school or graduate school? Would this decrease ones chances from getting into a four year school and graduate school after that?


Distressed and apprehensive

Dear Distressed and apprehensive,

Since I've never been an academic advisor or admissions counselor I'm not the expert when it comes to this particular question, but I wanted to make sure it got answered because I think it's an important one. 

I found someone on LinkedIn who was willing to help - Brandi, the Coordinator of Transfer Recruitment and Special Events for Enrollment Services at Mississippi College.

Here is what she had to say: 

"Most four year universities mainly look at the overall GPA of the student's college work before they transfer into their institution. 

"We usually do not look at each individual class and see how the student did. We understand that you may have some tougher classes than others so we do not hold that against you. 

"W's on a student's transcript are not a big factor to us. Academic Suspension or Academic Probation on the other hand is something that universities do not like seeing on a prospective student's transcript."

I hope that helps.

As you continue, be sure to constantly monitor your work load. Sometimes something does need to go (though in the future ideally that would be extra-curriculuars or a job before classes). 

Keep asking these questions of the mentors you've met and seek their advice when you're feeling overwhelmed. Also, be sure to talk to the professor to ask for advice on what you need to do better next time in order to ace the class.

Best of luck. I can tell you are going to rock your transfer university, graduate school, and anything else you set your mind too. Never stop asking for help. 

And a huge thank you to Brandi! If any other college administrators are reading this and would like to share advice too please do so in the comments section. Thank you! 

Have a question about college or career that you'd like to see answered on the blog? Submit it in the anonymous Ask Isa inbox. :)

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