GPA-Forgiveness Programs

Colleges in and around Philadelphia are offering GPA-forgiveness programs to help raise graduation rates, according to Philly’s Inquirer.

Students who dropped out at least two years ago may resume classes without the worry that their poor past performance will blemish their degrees. Students who had “difficulty adapting to college” due to excessive partying or some other problem when they were 18 may have matured and may be ready to succeed, Newell said.

But like many colleges, Rowan won’t offer a third chance.

Christine Hagedorn, assistant dean of student services at Bucks County Community College, said students leave for many reasons – financial problems, pregnancy, or they “just weren’t sure what college was supposed to be doing for them.”

“Life can get in the way,” she said, “and students can get derailed.”

About 70 students return each year and take advantage of Bucks County College’s “academic-restart” policy. A few years ago, Hagedorn said, the college also sent a letter inviting back dropouts.

That seems like it might be a good idea for the community colleges around here as well. However, I can also see some people using it as an excuse to drop out. “Oh well, I can start again in two years…”

But I still like the idea. Maybe the QEP (or whatever we are doing) should be Finish What You Start and we could focus on bringing back folks who didn’t finish as well as helping those who are here now graduate. I like the idea, but it seems very ambitious and, unfortunately, some people are not capable of doing college level work.

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