Forgiveness of Bad Grades
Q. Could I apply to a school as a FRESHMAN even though I have already been to a year of college? I do not want to be considered a transfer, and would like to start over...
A. What you are asking about would be nice - to be able to apply to a college and not be bound by the record you established at another college. And it's a common desire. But unfortunately, you can't do that. Each and every piece of your academic record, despite how "un-representative" it may be of you, MUST be included in your application to EVERY school from that point forward. To apply without including it would be fraud. I would suggest that any school not requiring you to include such records should be viewed with a great deal of caution and concern. Even if they were willing to overlook your previous record (and this is likely only in a situation I will describe below), they should still want to review it. You may only want them to overlook your bad grades, but future schools need to know about your academic progress, any financial aid you received, any previous names, possible disciplinary actions, debts, and more. So I don't think there are many schools that would overlook previous college credit - and if there were, I would most certainly not recommend them to you.
The possible exception to schools not allowing you admission because of your previous academic credit would be if the school was willing to OVERLOOK your history - not allowing you to not supply it to them. If a college believes sufficient time has passed (or significant changes have occurred in your life) such that you should be given the chance to be admitted in spite of past grades, they may admit you into a special program. By "special program" I mean that you may not be admitted in good standing, but on notice, probation, or into some special program that will require you to meet certain requirements like taking an academic skills class, mandating regular contact with an academic advisor, or other forms of supervision that help ensure your success.
Often times, students who were unsuccessful at one point in their lives have made drastic changes or overcome obstacles that held them back. Such students often have great potential (and often a greater desire than other students), and are given the opportunity to prove themselves. If you believe this describes you, contact the admission office at any school you are interested in. Plan to submit all transcripts (high school and college) along with the application for admission, and expect to have to file an additional petition. On the petition, be ready to explain two main things: 1. what happened that caused you to perform poorly, and 2. what has changed that will lead them to believe you'll be successful now.
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