Having bad grades in high school makes it difficult to get accepted into a good college, but it is not impossible. You need extra motivation when you have bad grades, because the application process becomes more difficult. Often the traditional way of applying to a college will not work; you will need to take extra steps in order to gain acceptance.
Find colleges that do not have strict admission requirements. Some colleges are flexible when accepting students.
Talk to the dean of the department that you want to join. Explain to the dean why you did not do well in high school. Provide a detailed plan that you will follow to get better grades. If the dean is convinced, he can help you get accepted.
Take classes as a non-matriculated student. A non-matriculated student is allowed to take classes and receive credits, but has not been accepted into the college. The dean may recommend taking classes as a non-matriculated student. Doing well in the classes is extremely important, because it can determine if you get accepted. You can also gain the favor of professors, who might be able to help with your admission. Taking classes on your own shows the college that you are serious about attending.
Apply to the college where you have taken classes as a non-matriculated student. You still need to provide your high school transcripts, but now you can prove that you have the ability to do well in college.
Enroll in a two-year college and earn good grades. Sometimes taking classes as a non-matriculated student is not enough. Enrolling in a two-year college will allow you to raise your grades and obtain an associate’s degree. Upon completion, apply to a four-year college.
Silvia Mendes has been writing articles for eHow since 2010. She has a joint Bachelor of Arts in history from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers University. Mendes is pursuing certification in teaching English as a foreign language and a master's degree in public administration.