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Four Types of Colleges That Reject Almost No One

Feb 15, 2013 Jennifer Williamson, Distance Columnist | 0 Comments

Want to go to college—but you’re not sure if your GPA makes you college material? Not to worry. There are several types of colleges that aren’t likely to turn you away, regardless of your GPA or past academic history. They include:

Community Colleges

The purpose of a community college is to benefit the community—regardless of your GPA, your number of extracurriculars or your ability to write a killer application essay. Most community colleges don’t care about your GPA in high school, and if you can prove your identity and if you have a high school diploma or a GED, chances are you can get admitted. Some may
admit you even if you haven’t earned a high school diploma.

Community colleges cost considerably less than most other public and private universities. Many people use community colleges to earn their first few years’ worth of credits toward a Bachelor’s degree, then transfer to a more expensive school to finish their studies. The benefit of this strategy is that you earn a diploma from your second, more prestigious school—while paying a fraction of the tuition costs. Some public and private universities have partnerships with local community colleges to make this process easier for students.

There are a few caveats to the open admissions, however. Many community colleges will ask you to take a placement test to determine whether you need remedial classes in subjects such as English and math. And while admissions are generally open, community colleges in some areas are in high demand—due to rising costs of tuition at other schools. As a result, it can sometimes be difficult to get into a community college, not because of your GPA, but because there’s a long waiting list.

See: Online Community College

For-Profit Colleges

Some for-profit colleges often don’t just accept everyone who applies—they may actively work to recruit you, whether you’re ready for college or not. In fact, some for-profit companies recently got in trouble with the government for aggressive recruiting practices.

That’s not to say that some for-profit colleges don’t have great programs and reputations—and some are more selective than others. But most of the time, the financial incentive is to accept as many students as they can. And since many for-profit colleges operate online, there isn’t a space limit on how many students they can enroll.

For-profit colleges are more likely to be either partially or entirely online—making them ideal for working adults. However, they can cost a lot—sometimes as much as a private university. In terms of costs, students often get a better deal enrolling with a community or public college that offers online classes, or a nonprofit accredited online college.

See: Online Colleges and Universities

Lifelong learning programs

Some individual colleges offer Open University or Lifelong Learning programs that allow students to attend a few classes at a time—without GPA or other requirements. San Jose State University [], for example, has such a program. Sometimes these programs don’t result in a degree; however, San Jose’s will allow you to count the credits you earn towards a degree at their school.

Open University

The Open University, founded by a Royal Charter in the UK, will allow anyone to enroll in most classes—regardless of previous GPA. Most of the students who attend Open University are located in the United Kingdom, but the school will admit students from all over the world. Most of the classes are administered online, but there is also a traditional college campus that serves many of the college’s full-time postgraduate students. The college has offices and regional examination facilities throughout the UK and Europe.

Open University has a surprisingly good academic reputation. Known for challenging classes, and was ranked 43rd out of 132 universities in the Times Higher Education Table of Excellence in 2008. The Academic Ranking of World Universities placed it among the top 40 schools in the UK and the top 500 worldwide in 2011. And it’s one of just three UK colleges that also has regional accreditation in the US.

Open University isn’t free, but it’s quite affordable compared to a US education—approximately £5,000 per academic year as of September 2012.

Getting into college isn’t always easy. But it can be—if you’re applying to one of these schools. Do your research to find out which option is best for you—and you’re not likely to be turned away.



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