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0's on a transcript

Posted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:01 am
by InquilineKea
So when I was in my very immature early undergrad days, I managed to earn 3 0's on my transcript (incidentally, 2 of them were in graduate level applied math courses). Now, here's a question: is it ever a good idea to also specify a GPA without those 0's? (or at least, to perhaps replace those 0's with 1.7's or 2.0's?) There is some debate over whether or not 0's should actually be assigned, seeing that the difference in academic understanding between a C (2.0) and a F (0.0) is generally not very significant, but that the F has a HUGELY disproportionate effect on the GPA calculation (it is especially ruinous to students in schools that practice grade inflation). My GPA would be around 0.35 points higher were it not for those 0's.

The only problem, though, is that I also elected to take some classes S/NS, and a NS corresponds to a 0 but doesn't affect GPA (in fact, I could have had the opportunity to turn all of my above 0's into S/NS grades if I wasn't so stupid when I was younger). So this resulted in my receiving 2 NS grades on top of the 0's.

Also this isn't freshman year, this was actually for my first 2.25 years of college (but at the end of the fiasco, I was still at the age of a college freshman since I went early entrance). I'm staying for 6 years.

Of course, one shouldn't completely fail classes with impunity, but the punishment may be far harsher than what the "crime" merits. But the amount of explaining to do this might make it not worth the effort? (since I don't want to appear like I'm being disingenuous on my application)

Re: 0's on a transcript

Posted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:22 pm
by grae313
You need to report your true GPA on the application, but there is nothing wrong with giving a few more numbers to the admissions committee in your SOP if you think it would help. For example, I had a 1.4 GPA after my first year of college, so although I ended up with a 3.7, I mentioned in my SOP that my GPA in my last 4 years of college since getting back on track was a 3.94. There's nothing wrong with doing something similar in your SOP, and grad schools will pay more attention to how you finished than how you began, but for the official GPA you need to stick with what you've got.

Re: 0's on a transcript

Posted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 3:40 pm
by InquilineKea
Okay, thanks for all the ideas and examples! Wow, yeah, it is reassuring that some people can do really badly in freshman year and turn themselves around as you did. (a sub-2 gpa to 3.74 is really quite amazing, to me at least)