If you think that you cannot get a solid post-secondary education because of your grades or test scores, you might be overlooking some gems within higher education. There are many excellent schools that will accept lower test scores and GPAs, including colleges that have a 100% acceptance rate. Despite their lenient admissions process, these institutions still have accredited programs that might help you advance in your career. Explore our breakdown of easy colleges to get into to learn more about your options for higher learning.
Junior and Community Colleges
The best known option for those who graduate from high school with less than stellar grades are junior colleges. Junior colleges, also known as community colleges, are two-year, post-secondary, public educational institutions that serve the local community. Providing both academic and vocational training, junior colleges offer a broad range of programs, which typically culminate in an associate’s degree. They will generally accept any student with a high school diploma or GED. Also, if you have not yet earned your GED, community colleges usually have strong GED preparation programs that will help you achieve this first goal. Preparation programs for standardized tests, such as the SAT or ACT, are often available as well.
Offering high quality education in a more relaxed environment, there are many reasons why students choose junior colleges over four-year public or private institutions. Some students may only need an associate’s degree to pursue their chosen career. Others are seeking to take basic courses in a way that is flexible and cost-effective before transferring to a four-year college or university to earn a bachelor’s degree. As a result, nearly half of all students enrolled in college attend a community college, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Career and Technical Schools
Another option for those who might have difficulty getting into a four-year school are technical schools, which provide career-focused training in a hands-on environment. Like community and junior colleges, most career and technical schools only ask that you have a high school diploma or GED. Instructors at career colleges are generally professionals who have practical experience in the field. In addition, these schools typically offer small class sizes with individualized attention.
Programs at career and technical schools can generally be completed in one to two years and have the added benefit of flexible course scheduling on the evenings, weekends or online. Many schools will also have a strong, program-specific career placement service to assist students in finding work after graduation, which can prove valuable when you begin your job search.
Schools with High Acceptance Rates
Finally, if you are looking for a four-year program, you might want to examine colleges and universities that have high acceptance rates. US News and World Report provides a list of the top 100 schools with the highest acceptance rate—the first 27 of which have an acceptance rate of 100%. Knowing that you will most likely be accepted to a university can save time, stress, and money.
These colleges and universities generally have smaller campuses, which can be a huge benefit for students who are looking for more personal attention and a sense of community in their school experience. While some of these colleges and universities are private schools, others are part of large state school systems. Therefore, students who may not have high test scores or GPAs can find respected and challenging programs that suit their career goals and learning style.
Community and career colleges, as well as those with a high acceptance rate, make a college education accessible to all students regardless of their previous academic background. Although easy colleges to get into may be less selective than top tier universities, it is still possible to receive a quality and accredited education—often at a lower cost. Your high school GPA does not have to hold you back. Rather than focusing on your academic troubles in the past, take the next step towards achieving your educational and career goals so that you can reach academic success in the future.