8 years ago, I had a brain injury that caused me to start having seizures on a daily basis. The problem is that they were not typical, it just looked like I would faint, and then I wouldn’t be able to speak or move for 5 minutes after. Because of this, I went undiagnosed and was not referred to a neurologist for 4 years. I still went to school, and my memory was NOT what it once was, and my brain could not comprehend a thing. I kept going to class though, I was raised to finish anything I had started, and even though I studied and studied, I still failed a couple classes, and the rest I got C’s and D’s in. Before my brain injury I had A’s and a couple B’s. The next semester was the same, C’s, D’s, and an F. I dropped my course load to half the next semester hoping maybe with less info I’d be able to comprehend things again, but no. I gave up on school after 4 and a half semesters (One of those being a summer semester), and I finally got referred to a neurologist after telling my dad how bad my seizures had gotten, and he stepped up to the plate and advocated for me. My neurologist was able to diagnose me within 5 minutes looking at my EEG. I haven’t had any seizures in 4 years, unless I become extremely ill which is almost never, and I’ve even made the Dean’s list the last 2 semesters, and my GPA has been good, at my university it’s at a 3.68. But that previous university that I had epilepsy at is barely above a 2.0. I submitted my transcript, and a personal statement explaining what happened, but I’m just so worried all of my hard work is for nothing because of that stupid transcript. Do any of you think I still have a chance to get in, or am I doomed?


1 Answer 1


This is a textbook example of a case where any competent decision maker would disregard the period of bad grades. The relevant aspects are:

  1. You have an identified reason beyond your own control for how the bad grades came to be.
  2. The underlying problem is fixed, it shouldn't have a significant impact on your future performance.
  3. You already have evidence for your post-problem-fixing performance.

Of course, there is still a remaining risk that an individual application could fail because it gets filtered out by GPA before a competent decision maker looks at it; or that the decision maker isn't competent and maybe has some prejudice against people affected by neurological issues, etc. But I hope that this is a small risk, and that your overall chances aren't diminished too much.

  • 5
    +1. Also, those remaining risks can be reduced by applying to multiple places. Sep 15, 2023 at 9:49
  • Thank you so much 🩵 im really hoping they'll be able to see how hard I've worked at overcoming everything and that I'm a good student now. Fingers crossed 🤞
    – Jess
    Sep 15, 2023 at 17:31

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