Frustrated NonTrad needs advice

Hi! I am so excited to have found this website. I apologize in advice for making my first post a whining/advice thread. First, my demographics: I am 27, married with 4 children under 7. I have my LPN license and have been working in the medical field for 5 years. I’ve always wanted to be a doctor but because I got married and had children so young and I wasn’t strong in high school academics I figured that ship had sailed. It was at the urging of my mother and husband that I finally realized it’s never too late, and now I’m ready to go full steam ahead. But I don’t know how. I’m stymied.

I applied to a private university for my undergraduate work but did not get accepted because I did not have SAT/ACT scores. Essentially, I was laughed off the campus. Although I graduated with my Regents degree from high school, I did not sit the standardized exams because I never intended on going to college. I figured I may go to community college and get an Associate’s degree or do a 2+2 program and not have to worry about the tests, maybe not, college wasn’t really a priority when I was 18… but I did attend CC for one semester. I actually did fairly well even though I didn’t follow through. I have 18 undergrad credits and a 3.4 GPA but that’s not enough to be considered a transfer student for the private university. I was advised to go back to the community college for another semester and come back with at least 24 transferrable credits.

I asked if there was any way around the transfer/freshman admit requirements because I am a non-traditional student and there is no way to matriculate. I can take 2-3 classes non-matriculated at the university of choice but I would have to pay out of pocket. I qualify for financial aid and can’t really do it without the aid, so that’s not a viable option. Just now I spoke with my mentor, an internist, who told informed me that I should NOT, under any circumstances, take any sciences or mathematics at the community college since that’s frowned upon and makes my application less competitive; however the transferrable credits I already have are mostly math and sciences as I was pre-nursing. I know I am rambling… I am so sorry… I just don’t know what to do. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions?

Welcome to oldpremed…

Well, It seems you are really doing a lot of research and fact finding…that is great…

Question? What state are you in? I can speak for where Im from. In Texas, it is definitely acceptable to take classes at a community college. I have spoken directly to the dean of admissions at the school I would like to attend, and he stated they can NOT discriminate on where the applicants take their prereqs.

However, if you do not have a college degree (BS), I think it is important to take some classes at university level as well. So, you can show that you can handle university work.

I am currently taking all my prereqs at a community college. I already have a BS. However, I decided to take some upper division biology classes; so, I will have to go to the university for those.

I believe I have a strong application. With my community classes, I was able to get into the medical school summer research program. So, I can not say that you will not be competitive.

If I were you I would go speak with an admission counselor at a local MEDICAL SCHOOL…ALways get the answers that are most important to your success from the authorities that can say NO.

I have stayed in constant contact with the dean of admissions, bouncing things off of him and it has kept me on course and I am confident I will have a competitive application.

So, I wish you much success on your journey.

If you don’t want to do your prereqs at the Community College level, which is often advised against, try taking some of your general education requirements that will be needed no matter what your major is. You know, US Government, english courses, foreign language, philosophy, medical ethics, whatever you might be interested in. Then transfer and do your prereqs and upper level science courses.

Just don’t panic. It’s a long journey! The main thing is to stay focused and not lose sight of what you’re trying to accomplish.

And, be grateful that you have a mother and husband who are so supportive.

Linda gave you a great advice. This is exactly what I did. I took general eduction classes in community college and after accumulating enough credits, I transferred to a 4-year-university and did my degree in biology. By that time I only had to take science classes. You said you have some sciences from community college. It looks like they were taken years ago, so for most med schools you’ll have to retake them no matter what - and it’s better to do in in a 4-year-university.

Welcome to OPM and good luck on you journey.


Hi Kiyasmom!

On the ACT website, it says that any high school graduate can take the exam. Also, a lot of community colleges offer the examiniation.

Here’s the link to ACT’s website:…

You can register there as well, but I’d recommend actually talking to a live person first to find out about testing site availability in your area. Hope this helps!

Thank you everyone! I have looked into the ACT and I will be taking it on September 13. I registered today for humanities courses and will attend this year at the community college level. Now only will it give me a chance to raise my transfer GPA but it will be much cheaper, and we like that! I really appreciate all the sage advice. I am glad to be here.

So glad you got the info you needed here! Are you coming to the conference? It’s not too far away from you.

I have to say that it really depends on your states educational system. In Florida for example, in order to matriculate into the upper level years majors in science at a state university, it is required that in CC you actually finish all of the needed prereqs first (i.e. 1 yr bio, 1 yr gen chem, 1 yr organic chem and 1 yr physics). During your junior and senior year you take upper level science classes.

Yes, it is recommended that if you can take your prereqs at a 4-yr it is preferable, but that isn’t always possible.

I have to say that there is one advantage to taking some of the prereqs in a CC. Your classes are usually much smaller, and you get more opportunity to have 1:1 attention from the professor. This will definitely help when it comes to getting a LOR. For example, the organic chemistry professor that I am taking in the fall will only have about 48 students in his class and 24 in the lab. He’s going to know me better than a professor in a university that has a lecture class of 300 (and believe me, this is definitely the case for some classes in the 4-yr state college system).

Best of luck!

Samenewme, I would love to make it… DC is only 7 hours away! I would have to juggle my work schedule though and so far I have no takers for switching…

Do you have to go to the private university? That can be more expensive as well in my experience. Also like the others said taking the humanities, english, gov. etc credits at the CC level allows you to get the credits at a cheaper rate and it’s not the science/math stuff so that’s not as frowned upon being at the CC level. Most of my tranferred credits that are CC are humanities and english, all my science and math will be university.

I don’t have to go to a private university but I wanted to attend this Christian university because I believe in their ideals and the curriculum. In the end, you have to do what you have to do and I do want to save money so I will attend where I can for now for my humanities courses (plus Chem 100 since I need that foundation) and transfer to the U in a year or two. I guess there’s always more than 1 right answer. :slight_smile: