So, I’ve been investigating different routes for finishing my undergrad degree (I started that thread about mid-tier CA state school versus community college to UC).
Unfortunately I have a semester of Us (unfinished) at a state school I went to briefly 13 years ago. Apparently I can get these removed (for good reason) but the beauracracy is really convoluted and made more so because of how long ago the courses were taken. (Imagine trying to find teachers/doctors/administrators from 13 years ago to sign paperwork.)
To get to my question: Is there anyway to outright purge or delete old grades? Is there a statute of limitations on old college work?
In general it looks like I’m supposed to list prior school work wherever I go but I’m reluctant to because it will do nothing for me except lower my potential GPA. At the same time, I don’t want to do anything wrong.
This question has probably been asked before. I’m sorry if it’s a repeat but I could use some fresh feedback from anyone who’s been through this process.
Steven, I suspect that the only way you can get those old U’s not to count is to go through the bureaucratic thing with the school. No other entity can take that responsibility and YOU definitely can’t decide on your own to omit mentioning that semester. And I would guess that the only way they’d be purged in such a way that AMCAS wouldn’t want the transcript is if you work with the school to delete that record so thoroughly that someone checking with the registrar would get “Who? We have no record of him.” Unfortunately for you, every record for every school needs to be included in your AMCAS/AACOMAS transcript accounting.
Efex101 in another thread commented that it would behoove everyone to be intimately familiar with the detailed ins and outs of the AMCAS application by downloading their .pdf file that has all the details on how to apply. This is definitely a scenario where you’ll want to consult that ‘bible’ for further guidance.
Sorry for the discouraging news - you are smart to be figuring out how to proactively deal with this situation as you get started rather than realizing at the last minute that you’ve got this to deal with. It’s just a bump, and you can definitely deal with it.
You may want to check and see if your school has an academic clemency/bankruptcy policy, and then check to see if the med schools you will apply to will accept them. I had to declare academic clemency when I returned to school, but they wouldn’t count any grades from any school within 5 years of my last attending the university. In my case, the courses still show up on my transcript with “Adacemic Clemency Declared” out beside them, but the original grade doesn’t show up, and it is not used to figure my current GPA. The only bad part was that 3 years of school was wasted and I had to start all over from the begining, but if it helps me get into med school I’ll bide my time to get it done.
Just so everyone knows, AMCAS requires that you list every grade you ever got, anywhere, EVEN IF it was expunged from your record for any reason whatsoever. This is where it would be useful to print out the 70+ page instructions.
AMCAS is remarkably totalitarian, if you ask me. They want every bit of information about you from the day you were born. They give no one the benefit of the doubt. Their bureacracy is inept. If you are already thinking of this stuff, you are way ahead of the game. I do not know all the exact details about how they deal with grades that have been erased through clemency programs, but it would be worth looking it up in their instructions and calling them.
I hope I am wrong about their policy but I know they stress the requirement of listing every grade.
In this case, the grades would be changed from Us to Ws, not expunged. Do you know if AMCAS would want to know about the grade change too?
I would rather have Ws than Us because as far as I know the Us count as Fs which will ‘destroy’ my undergrad GPA.
When you request an official transcript, the grade change and dates will be recorded on that transcript. Basically, you need to request an unofficial transcript (for you) and an official transcript for AMCAS from every post secondary school that you attended no matter how briefly and no matter how long ago. That includes trade schools, technical schools too if they were done before you received your secondary diploma.
Many times, especially if you transferred from one school to another, previous grades that have been transferred to another degree program will be included on the official transcript from your later school. If AMCAS gets the official transcript and you have not listed those grades, you will have mucho problems.
Yes, AMCAS is demanding but you are totally in charge of this process if you start early enough and keep good records. You have to own this process and you have to keep your files very organized. You need to do this for both your academic transcripts and your financial aid transcripts. Remember, no one said that getting into medical school was going to be easy. The whole process can be pretty hectic and expensive (many schools charge for official transcripts.)
Wait until you apply for residency i.e. ERAS. You will be doing this process again but with your medical school grades which will be incomplete at the time you fill out ERAS and have to be re-sent by the time you start residency. It’s all good!
P.S. For people who are just starting out(taking your first postbacc course or degree course), send for unofficial transcripts from your previous institutions. That way, when you start to fill out the AMCAS, you will already have your grades in hand. Also, keep a folder with addresses and fees for official transcripts. Make a list of date requested, fee sent, copy of cancelled check or credit card receipt etc. Use certified mail to send this stuff. If you organize on this end, it can save you some time with the deadlines start approaching. Earlier is better here.