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I had a very rough upbringing and I have been lost for all my 20's. I just turned 30 a month ago and its really hitting me hard. I dont want to be a nobody all my life.

I've finally had enough and I have a fire lit under my ass to change my life, but before I can, I need some questions answered:

I want to go back to community college and transfer to a UC (berkeley or UCLA) to get an EE or CS degree. I know I am capable of it and I know I can do it, there is nothing stopping me, I am so hungry for it.

However, in my early 20's I was enrolled at 3 different community colleges at different times and flunked out each time. When the time comes that I want to transfer, will this screw me over? I have heard in the past that they will find out all schools you went to, is this true? These events happened about 10 years ago, do community colleges keep transcripts this long for inactive students? Could I simply just enroll into a community college that I have never attended?

I dont know what my best course of action is, if I did academic renewal on all 3 schools, would they not factor in all the GPAs?

I'm just having a hard time thinking lets say I go back to community college and get a 4.0 with 60 credits. But since I have my previous past grades with pretty much less than a 1.0, effectively making my GPA like a 1.5 or something. Is this how it works when I want to transfer? I understand there are personal statements and all that stuff but would this all be for nothing if I decide to go back to school?

Thank you for any help you can offer. Im in a dire situation.

closed as off-topic by scaaahu, Ébe Isaac, Buzz, David Ketcheson, Bob Brown Nov 30 '16 at 15:17

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions about problems facing undergraduate students are off-topic unless they can also apply to graduate or post-graduate academicians as described in What topics can I ask about here?" – scaaahu, Ébe Isaac, Buzz, David Ketcheson, Bob Brown
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  • What @dan1111 said s very true, that the most recent results count. I do have a suggestion. How about putting one foot in the water and starting out with one or two classes, rather than enrolling full time? If that goes well, you can increase your credit load. Best of luck! – aparente001 Dec 1 '16 at 21:50
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If you succeed now in community college, the previous failures are unlikely to be a factor.

The point of the admissions process is to determine whether you are capable of succeeding in a university now, not ten years ago. Your recent track record will demonstrate your present ability best and will be weighed most heavily.

Plus, you have a very plausible story for why things are different now: you have matured, and now have a motivation and direction you didn't have previously. When you do apply, you should highlight this story.

I don't think there will be a problem here, assuming you succeed now (best of luck to you).

If you do attend the same institution, you should apply for an academic renewal, so that your previous failure doesn't drag down the GPA.

At other institutions, don't worry about it. You may need to include a transcript for them, but the old GPA will be considered ancient history and will probably not make any difference.

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    I want to second this. You'll be far from the only one with a past history of bad school performance - what will matter is how you perform now. Working how you overcame your earlier issues into your statement of purposes could actually make your past a positive. The ability to overcome adversity is absolutely a non-trivial skill for a grad student. – Jeff Nov 30 '16 at 15:09