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Colleges offering grade point average forgiveness, fresh start programs to lure back students who dropped out

The Philadelphia Inquirer
September 7, 2010
After Paula Arroyo dropped out of college in her second semester a decade ago, she rarely thought about returning.

When the economy recently soured, however, and her job as a skin specialist at a spa was threatened, the 30-year-old Haddon Township woman decided to go back to her alma mater, Camden County College.

She was in for a shock. Her grades - including a bunch of F's incurred when she failed to withdraw from courses after a serious car crash - were still on file, creating a grade-point average that could be hard to overcome.

Then an adviser recommended an academic-forgiveness program, which allows returning students to reset their GPA and start over.

Doubts about returning quickly evaporated, Arroyo said, making her "100 percent sure I wanted to come back."

Camden County College is one of many two- and four-year schools in the region welcoming dropouts back to campus. Others are reaching out to students who either left two or three years ago or were dismissed because of failing grades, including Community College of Philadelphia, Bucks County Community College, Rutgers University, and Rowan University.
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