Fresh Start Programs

Hello Gang:
I was hoping I could get more info on fresh start programs. Apparantly, the great state of Texas offers such a program, which allows one a ‘fresh start’ by NOT considering grades >10 old in GPA calculations when applying to state medical and dental schools, if one gets a second undergrad degree under this program at a Texas university. See for more info.
My question is: does anyone know of any other states that have a similar program? I ran a quick search on Google for Illinois, my home state, but unfortunately I could not find such a program here. If there are other states that offer similar programs, this is a godsend to OPMers, as it truly does give us a second chance. I know that if I went back to school under such a program, I’d be working hard to ensure a 4.0 or as high a GPA as possible. Plus, you only need about 90 credit hours to apply, so one could finish up the degree in that 4th, or glide year, and then go straight on to med school.

Texas is the only state that I know of. Of course, Texas is the only state that I live in as well.
The downside is only Texas medical schools have to honor your new grades/gpa. So if I apply outside of Texas, the past will come back to haunt me. Fortunately, I don't plan on applying outside of Texas…when the time comes.

Several states have it, as best as I recall. You will have to contact a state Ugrad school's admissions office AND their pre-med advisory office. Be sure to contact & ask both – when enrolled in UTDallas, the admissions folks were not aware of the program, but the pre-med office was. Unfortunately for me, I had already taken too many courses to take advantage of the program when I learned of it. The rules will likely vary by state – so learn what they are BEFORE you start classes.

My CC in NY has one, BUT the grades are still on your transcript. They just don't calculate the grades in with your college GPA. Therefore, when you apply to med school, AMCAS does not recognize the (NY) fresh start.
Don't forget…if you retake a course(and kick butt of course!) AAMCOMAS does not factor the old, bad grade into your GPA.

Thanks for the responses…I guess I'll have to do a state by state search. Also, is AAMCOMAS the osteopathic application service?

The Fresh Start document isn’t completely clear, but the program sounds like a great deal. I am planning on getting a second bachelors. I will be transfering credits, humanities requirements, prerequisites, from my first bachelors which is over ten years old to my second bachelors. I plan on taking around 90 credits of courses over the next two and a half years. Can I finish my second bachelors, then do a Fresh Start, knock off my first bachelor’s bad GPA, and apply for Medical Schools in Texas? Does Fresh Start wipe out grades from states other than Texas?

Thanks for the responses…I guess I’ll have to do a state by state search. Also, is AAMCOMAS the osteopathic application service

Take the first “M” out and you have it. The osteopathic application service is AACOMAS.

From the Statutes of the State of Texas:

§ 51.931. Right to an Academic Fresh Start

(a) This section applies to any public institution of higher education as defined in Section 61.003 of this code.

(cool.gif Unless otherwise prohibited by law, a resident of this state is entitled to apply for admission to and enroll as an undergraduate student in any public institution of higher education under this section.

 If an applicant elects to seek admission under this section, a public institution of higher education, in considering the applicant for admission, shall not consider academic course credits or grades earned by the applicant 10 or more years prior to the starting date of the semester in which the applicant seeks to enroll. An applicant who makes the election to apply under this section and is admitted as a student may not receive any course credit for courses undertaken 10 or more years prior to enrollment under this section.

(d) If a student who enrolls under this section completes a prescribed course of study, earns a baccalaureate degree, and applies for admission to a postgraduate or professional program offered by a public institution of higher education, the institution, in considering the applicant for admission into the postgraduate or professional program, shall consider only the grade point average of the applicant established by the course work completed after enrollment under this section, along with any other criteria the institution uses in evaluating applicants for admission into the postgraduate or professional program.

(e) Nothing in this section prohibits a public institution of higher education from applying standard admissions criteria generally applicable to persons seeking admission to the institution.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 724, § 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1993. Renumbered from V.T.C.A., Education Code § 51.929 by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, § 17.01(7), eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

This actually seemed a bit clearer to me than the document listed above. It seems I would have to move to Texas, establish residency, and then apply to a Texas undergrad institution to be eligible.

Hey mrittman,
You’re right about needing to be a Texas resident to invoke Fresh Start here. I believe some other states have Fresh Start as well.
In answer to your other question about finishing your second bachelors and then using Fresh Start to knock off the old grades/classes, you can do this, but I would think you would want to do it before graduation.
When you apply to, and are accepted at a university, you sign the Fresh Start contract and it becomes effective after you register for classes. If you’re thinking that you’ll be in school for another two to three years, then to get the most bang for your buck wait to invoke Fresh Start until you get closer to graduation.
You can only invoke Fresh Start at the time of acceptance to and enrollment in a university/college. To make this work, if you’re enrolled at university “a”, then two semesters before graduation, you sit out a long semester (Fall or Spring). At this time you can apply to and enroll at university “b” and sign a Fresh Start contract there. Then, after sitting out the semester at university “a” (but attending university “b”), you go back to university “a” to finish up and graduate with a much cleaner slate.
Or if you’re not in a hurry, you can just sit out of university “a” for a semester, take the time to volunteer or travel, then reapply to university “a” and invoke Fresh Start when you return.