Getting into university wit bad grades in high school?

Getting into university wit bad grades in high school?

I’m planning on finally going back to school in the near future, and need some help figuring out how to do it. I didn’t get the best grades in high school and that prevents me from getting into any of the decent programs at my local university. I live in Canada so community college isn’t really an option. My current plan is to do independent study and either take AP tests or do course challenges to prove my knowledge. Further complicating things is that I have a toddler and a baby on the way and I work part time. Any advice on how I can get ahead and make something of myself? Right now I stay up late watching Yale lectures and working on a psychology course through I’ve also used coursera and khan academy. I’m kind of cobbling my way through. Can I even take AP tests if I’m not a high school student? Does anyone have any advice for me?


  1. Not that big a deal. Maybe you don’t get into your #1 choice college, but that doesn’t really change much in the long run. You’re not going to get passed up for a job if you have all the right credentials, but a different name on your college diploma than the “ideal”.

  2. A lot of community colleges offer programs in conjunction with the state university; so you take a few years there and then transfer.

    What was best for me was taking a few years off school and working. Maturing, coming into myself, and getting familiar with my skills and who I am.

    In college applications, explain why you got bad grades and what you plan to do about it. I didn’t do well in high school because it was difficult to study living with my autistic brother in a small apartment; I also struggled with depression and anxiety.

    High school grades, in the long run, really don’t mean much at all. They do not determine the outcome of your life; you do.

  3. The best thing to do is call the university of your choice (ask for admissions) and ask them what it would take for someone in your position to get in to the program that you want. Don’t waste your time doing things that aren’t necessary. As for your children, most large universities offer comprehensive daycare services.

  4. Canadian college student here (Ontario). Your best bet is to go to a public college closest to you. These institutions will allow just about anyone, but you may need to take a small entrance test(s) which covers math up to basic algebra and basic writing skills. These colleges are great because tuition is cheaper compared to a Canadian university. I went this route to save some money while figuring out if the program is right for me.

    Once you are in, the programs are usually 2 or 3 years and end with a diploma. If you graduate with a good average (usually 75% minimum) you can apply to University and finish any remaining courses to get a degree.

  5. Also keep in mind that grades really isn’t the only thing they look at. There are a lot of other ways you can do to show them that you are someone who likes to excel. Things that come to mind can be volunteering, associations, sports, …

  6. Shitty highschool student here who bought into “colleges will still take you if you pass”. I can get into a couple colleges but either all the classes I need are full due to being on the backburner because of my grades or are far away and require me to move out (which my parents don’t trust me to do due to my study habits). What I’m doing now is retaking highschool courses at a local online school since it’s free until I’m 19. It directly replaces my old classes on my transcript so I get my grades up and some time to practice proper studying.

  7. If you have bad grades because you’re lazy, then your life will suck because you’re lazy. If you have bad grades because you’re dumb, your life will be harder because you’re dumb. If you have bad grades because you’re hard to get along with and the teachers don’t like you, then life might or might not be harder. If you have bad grades because the teachers don’t like you (or grade you on irrelevant things like penmanship) even though you’re generally nice and respectful and learn the material, you’ll probably be fine.

    How to tell: take the SAT. If you’re smart and have learned the material (even if teachers like to mark you off for petty bullshit) you’ll do well and have a better shot at scholarships. If you’re smart but haven’t learned because you’re lazy, start getting unlazy. If you’re dumb, that sucks.

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