Sponsored Ad:
Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Explaining a (very) bad first try at the academy

  1. #1
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    6
    Rep Power
    1


    Good post? Yes | No

    Explaining a (very) bad first try at the academy

    Sponsored Ad:
    My first go at academic studies was over ten years ago, and was a total disaster. I failed courses and left after a year.
    It took me more than 5 years to return and complete my degree in a different discipline. My second try was considerably better. Graduated summa cum laude. I directly continued to a master, which I graduated with honors as well.

    My questions:
    1. Do I need to provide the transcripts from the first go, even though the grades had no bearing on my complete degree(s)?
    2. If I do, and I can address this in my SOP (I was very ill as a teen and hardly went to school which culminated in me dropping out, having un-diagnosed learning disabilities (at the time), no learning habits..), will it be held against me?
    3. If I need to address this in my SOP, how to do so without it coming across as whining? My grandfather always said - if you need to make an excuse, make one, not many, or else it just sounds like you're making excuses.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1,100
    Rep Power
    11


    Good post? Yes | No

    Re: Explaining a (very) bad first try at the academy

    I had one bad semester right after high school and then graduated magna cum laude from a different school when I was a little older. I also happened to do my master's at the first school, so I definitely had to send transcripts. The GPA that semester wasn't terrible, like 2.7 or something, but I don't think it affected me.

    1. While I don't think anyone would ever know if you didn't send the transcripts, applications ask for all college level coursework and I think you should send the transcripts from your first college experience.

    2. I don't think it will be held seriously against you. The more recent stuff is much more relevant.

    3. It barely needs an explanation. Anyone looking at it can figure out that something went wrong your first go around and then you figured it out. Most SOP's have a brief description of the path that led to to wanting a PhD. One sentence in there saying that you were ill and it didn't go well then you were excited to return to school several years later would be sufficient. You may also have the option of additional materials. A brief explanation in a separate document would be fine. Again, no more than you have written here. You had a problem as a teenager, you addressed it, and you have evidence that you addressed it with your performance in the degree.

    Also, some apps have you enter your GPA at some point, I would just use your degree GPA.

  3. #3
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    6
    Rep Power
    1


    Good post? Yes | No

    Re: Explaining a (very) bad first try at the academy

    Thanks!
    It makes sense. I hope it wont negatively affect my chances. How should I address this on my CV? just something like
    BlaBla University
    # credits toward a Bachelors in blah
    ?

  4. #4
    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1,100
    Rep Power
    11


    Good post? Yes | No

    Re: Explaining a (very) bad first try at the academy

    Quote Originally Posted by Granps View Post
    Thanks!
    It makes sense. I hope it wont negatively affect my chances. How should I address this on my CV? just something like
    BlaBla University
    # credits toward a Bachelors in blah
    ?
    Yeah, something like that.

    State U (2006-2007)

    28 credits of non-degree coursework

    You really don't even need it on a CV. You need to accurately disclose, but a CV doesn't have any obligation to be a comprehensive outline of your activities for the last 20 years. It is a succinct document with relevant information.

    I think I would simply have a line in my SoP- I began academic studies in 2006 at State U then took time off and worked as (try to make it sound relevant). In 2011 I returned to my studies at XXX with renewed passion for (Bachelor's field or PhD field) and excelled in coursework. I learned ....

  5. #5
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    6
    Rep Power
    1


    Good post? Yes | No

    Re: Explaining a (very) bad first try at the academy

    Awesome. Thanks!

  6. #6
    A long long time ago XanthusARES's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    1,364
    Blog Entries
    14
    Rep Power
    10


    Good post? Yes | No

    Re: Explaining a (very) bad first try at the academy

    I agree with YaZ and want to make sure that it's clear that you do need to disclose all programs where you did any coursework. If you do not do so and the school finds out they can (and likely will) rescind any offer made. The big thing that you'll want to do is downplay it, but don't pretend like it didn't happen.

    A lot of us made mistakes in undergrad and a lot of us didn't know what we wanted to do with our lives (I didn't know until I was in my 30s). Own up to it with a quick line in your SOP, something like YaZ suggested would be perfect. Talk about how you moved on from it and point to the better choices you made later.

    If you do that, I don't think that it will matter that much. Schools like to see growth and research experience is way more important than any other aspect of your application. Good luck!
    Til now I always got by on my own
    I never really cared until I met you...

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 2 users browsing this thread. (1 members and 1 guests)

  1. Granps

Similar Threads

  1. Kensington Academy turned over management of its cafeteria to a private vendor.
    By NirAv JaIn in forum GRE Analysis of an Argument
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-23-2014, 06:24 AM
  2. Academy?
    By myndfood in forum PhD in Business
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 03-06-2014, 05:29 AM
  3. Academy of Management - Boston
    By rsaylors in forum PhD in Business
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 08-08-2012, 01:24 PM
  4. Academy on Capitalism and Limited Government @ UIUC
    By TruDog in forum PhD in Economics
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 09-20-2007, 07:45 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •