If you have taken some time off from college, you may have a difficult time finding a school to accept you with a poor academic history. You do have options, though. You may have to work longer and harder to get accepted to the college you want, or you could attend a less competitive college or complete a two-year program.

Step 1

Take courses at a community college to start your college career. Retake the courses in which you did poorly. If you made some decent grades in your previous courses, ask your community college to transfer those into your new degree plan. This cuts down the amount of classes you have to take. Then, transfer to a four-year college to complete your degree.

Step 2

Apply as a non-degree seeking candidate to your desired college and take the appropriate courses for your major. If you make good grades, you might gain admission to the college. You must demonstrate capabilities to take control of your grades, despite your less than stellar academic career. The admission team takes this into consideration when you apply as a regular student.

Step 3

Enroll in a two-year course at a community or vocational college. Salaries of some careers obtained with two- year degrees or certifications are as high, or higher, than those with four-year degrees. You gain practical training that might open doors to a career where you can earn a good income right after graduation. Community colleges have open-admission policies, meaning they accept any student, no matter their academic history.

Step 4

Seek admission to a non-competitive college. Your education would be comparable to other, more selective schools. In fact, you may find a great program of study at a less competitive school. Also, less selective schools often have generous academic support for students in poor academic standing. Some colleges admit students on probationary terms and require that you have a certain grade point average for the first semester to continue the next. This approach encourages students to take their college careers seriously.