Applying to college with a low GPA is a challenge, but it is still possible to find a college that is the right fit. Community colleges have open admissions for high school graduates regardless of their GPA. In addition, most states have articulation agreements that guarantee admission and acceptance of transfer credit when a student transfers from a community college to a state university with a minimum GPA.
In addition to community colleges, there are also state universities across the U.S. which have open admissions. For example, Miami University in Hamilton Ohio has an open enrollment policy for all first-time college students. The University of Phoenix is a for-profit University with online classes and an open admissions policy.
Many non-traditional and extension schools have minimal admissions criteria for students to take classes. A well-known example is Harvard Extension School, which is a rigorous program with world-class faculty. A low GPA can also be overcome with a well-written personal statement, a high SAT score and excellent recommendations.
To strengthen an application, applicants may also enroll in the university of their choice as a non-matriculating student and take courses in your field of interest. Excel in the courses and build relationships with the professors, then apply the following school year with faculty recommendations.