I've had a tumultuous undergraduate experience, to say the least. After being suspended freshman year, being re-admitted in the Spring of 2014, and a rough 2014-2015 academic year, I've been dismissed from my university.

It's extremely upsetting and has left me a little bitter, especially since my trouble in school has been due to ADHD, depression and anxiety that went undiagnosed for an extremely long time as well as an unpleasant living situation to say the least. I have no record of misconduct and was active in student organizations excluding social fraternities. I tried to appeal the decision, but got was rejected. I'm planning on going to a local community college in the fall to at least get an associates degree and transfer to another university, but I'm not sure how well it will go.

I have always loved academia, and ideally want to go to graduate school. Ever since I was a kid, my whole goal was to go to graduate from college. Now it is seeming less and less likely. I feel like my academic record could hang over me for the rest of my life, keeping me not only from continuing the education I want, but also keeping me from a career or leaving home. I'm at an unfortunate crossroads and I don't know what the next step I should take is.

That said, do I still have a chance at completing an undergraduate program and - hopefully - completing a graduate program? While I ideally want to continue my liberal arts education and eventually go into a post-graduate program, should I make a more achievable goal? My cumulative GPA is around 1.5, and I feel as though that it will affect the admissions process almost everywhere I go. Essentially, can I still get my degree, or will most universities not accept me at all on grounds of my academic record?

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    If you being dismissed was not from misconduct, is it purely based on grades? Have you worked through any of your issues you refer to? It seems to me that you need to go one step at a time, if you cant get past some of your issues that led to to the current situation, it is hard to look into the future (well, its always impossible to know the future). If you go to local college, figure out your issue, and do great, I dont think all is lost. Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 9:20
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    Where in the world are you located? United States?
    – gerrit
    Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 9:39
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    @shmoo I'm not going to say that it'll be easy, but it definitely can be done. I had a professor who was kicked out of undergrad multiple times, spent a couple years after getting kicked out working on video games, and yet still managed to return to school and get his B.S. and Ph.D.
    – chipbuster
    Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 14:16
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    @Shmoo: thanks for clarifying your questions. They're both relevant here, but they're too disconnected from one another. Therefore, I'd recommend you separate them and ask them as independent questions.
    – aeismail
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 0:34

1 Answer 1


You could probably start at an open-admissions community college in September, if that's what you wanted to do. You would probably need to spend some time there and SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETE YOUR COURSES to build successful reapplication package to a better school.

Any reapplication process would very much involve you proving to an admissions department why and how you became a student who is likely to successfully complete their program and become a graduate that they will be proud of. You need to convince them that your past record is not indicative of what your future record will be. The bad news is that this will not be easy.

The good news is that should you manage to turn things around, graduate admissions committees would be likely to look at you as an interesting candidate who has taken an adverse academic situation and made it better.

Think long and hard about your situation. Even if you treat the anxiety, ADHD, and depression (and I wouldn't recommend trying to start again without dealing with these fundamental problems) there will always be that next problem to overcome. If that next problem will shut you down the same way, you're setting yourself up for the same outcome. Treatment should be a part of your plan to avoid this.

Think about your academic experience, and how that's likely to change. Will future-you be a "B" student, and have an enriching academic experience, or will future-you be constantly on academic probation, constantly on the edge of separation? The former is great, but the latter can be an anxiety-producing monster that will leave you miserable for 4 years, but can still be an important career developing step. Unless you plan on a degree from an open-admissions school (like Brooklyn College, which can give you a fine education that can lead to graduate programs!!), you need to be able to convince a school that you won't fall in to this class, or you just won't get accepted. More importantly, if you think you'll fall into that class anyway, are you up for it? Can you tolerate the long, unpleasant experience an make it through to the other side, and is this worth it to you?

If you plan to continue in school at this point, and you don't plan to enroll in a community college in September, you should be planning on how to keep moving forward and not stagnating. If you need to spend some time getting the ADHD and depression treated, do it. Keep doing things that will develop your maturity and keep moving you to the next step, as opposed to marching in place. If you look like you're not progressing, chances of admissions get even slimmer.

Keeping in mind that an academic experience is a means, and not an end, take a good introspective look at your life plan and career plan and how your education fits in. I highly recommend spending the $4 for http://www.amazon.com/Control-Your-Time-Life-Signet/dp/0451167724/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8. It looks like a time-management book, but its much more -- or rather its a time management book on many different time scales -- this moment, weeks, years, decades -- and how to use your time to achieve your goals.

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