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Transcript Question and GPA w/ Honors, AP, DE, CLEP, etc

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Question: how do you handle your high school child taking AP, Honors, dual-enrollment (dual-credit class), or studying college textbooks to take (and pass) CLEP exams?

 

In the public school system here all honors course grades are "rewarded" with an extra .5, and AP and DE classes gain an extra 1.0 point. So, a grade of 86 in Honors American History becomes a 91, and an Environmental Science class at the local CC which earns a B (3.0) on the college transcript is a 4.0 (A) on the high school transcript.

 

Do you do the same on your transcripts?

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In our area, the schools give an extra 1 point for honors and 2 points for AP. I followed the GPA calculation standards for the school systems in our area, which were:

Regular class A=4.0

Honors class A=5.0

AP class A=6.0

CC class A=5.0

 

I changed CC to A=6.0, however, because I think it is ridiculous that a college class would not earn the same credit as an AP class. No schools asked me for anything. (I think colleges recalculate weighted GPAs anyway, based on their own system.)

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I think it may not matter in the end; a lot of colleges totally toss homeschool grades. They will accept cc grades, however.

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My daughter took classes at home, regular and AP classes at a homeschooling resource center, classes at the local community college, and an online AP class through Pennsylvania Homeschoolers. I did not weight any of her courses nor did I label any of them as Honors level. On her transcript, all classes were clearly labeled as to where they had taken place.

 

Regards,

Kareni

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I just gave straight grades and didn't weight anything. If she took an AP test at the end of a class, I gave the AP score (although that wasn't necessarily the grade). I decided naming certain classes "honors" would just raise eyebrows. Anyway, they were probably all honors classes (or more) compared to the local high school, and I didn't want things to look padded. The fact that she did so many classes in high school, that she did so well in her dual enrollment courses and AP tests, and that she scored well on the ACT were probably more influential than naming some of her classes "honors".

 

I also listed her college classes on her high school transcript and labelled them that way.

 

If the colleges she was applying to wanted to do any weighting, I just left that up to them. It seemed presumptuous to do it myself. Seems presumptuous for high schools to do it too, frankly. It's just a way to get their students to come out on top. I'm not convinced one can compare GPAs between high schools anyway.

 

Some colleges do their own weighting. Some will take weighted GPAs and convert them back to a normal scale.

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I did not weight any of her courses nor did I label any of them as Honors level. On her transcript, all classes were clearly labeled as to where they had taken place. Regards,Kareni

 

I just gave straight grades and didn't weight anything.

 

If the colleges she was applying to wanted to do any weighting, I just left that up to them. It seemed presumptuous to do it myself. Seems presumptuous for high schools to do it too, frankly.

 

Some colleges do their own weighting. Some will take weighted GPAs and convert them back to a normal scale.

 

For both of you who do not adjust (weight) the GPA:

 

1) What about state scholarship programs? For example in Florida (and most other states) there are state scholarship programs which are based upon weighted high school GPAs. The state does not weight the student's grades; the school--whether public or private (including home school) is supposed to do that in accordance with the "traditional" or "generally accepted" weighting policy throughout the state.

 

2) Many college and universities have "Honors programs" and "Honors colleges" within the colleges themselves. In order to apply for admission into these colleges, one must submit a) test scores and b) weighted high school GPAs. Because the high school students applying are usually a public/private (non- home) school student, the GPA will naturally be inflated due to weighting by the high school. Consequently, the entrance bar is raised by the college, because the college is taking into account the weighting policy by all schools.

 

Because the competition (other students) applying into the Honors program have inflated (weighted) high schol GPAs, the Honors college must thin out the ranks by GPA (assuming all test scores meet the minimum).

 

So: if you as a parent(school) are not weighting your child's grades, and your child applies to an Honors program at a college, and your child meets the SAT/ACT score criteria, your child is at a disadvantage because he/she doesn't have that "padded" GPA when competing against other students whose GPAs have all been weighted (inflated) on their high school transcript.

 

Does anyone else see this potential problem?

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With Bright Futures, they accept ACT/SAT scores in lieu of a transcript (at least for homeschoolers) to qualify for the awards. You only have to have them sent to one of the state schools for them to access them.

 

I also didn't weigh the grades or label them Honors, etc. I just noted where the classes were taken & had the cc send (as required) an official transcript. We were told @ USF that they re-figure everyone's GPA, so it wouldn't matter what you called or weighted the grade anyway--they'll do it themselves taking cc/AP into consideration. Since they get transcripts from all over the country/world, they've got to standardize to their own system.

 

Dd#1 was accepted into the Honor's program w/her ACT scores, cc & my transcript. Remember, admissions offices do this 40 hrs a week---they've seen it all by now. :o)

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With Bright Futures, they accept ACT/SAT scores in lieu of a transcript (at least for homeschoolers) to qualify for the awards. You only have to have them sent to one of the state schools for them to access them.

 

I also didn't weigh the grades or label them Honors, etc. I just noted where the classes were taken & had the cc send (as required) an official transcript. We were told @ USF that they re-figure everyone's GPA, so it wouldn't matter what you called or weighted the grade anyway--they'll do it themselves taking cc/AP into consideration. Since they get transcripts from all over the country/world, they've got to standardize to their own system.

 

Dd#1 was accepted into the Honor's program w/her ACT scores, cc & my transcript. Remember, admissions offices do this 40 hrs a week---they've seen it all by now. :o)

 

WOW! Thanks, that has made it so easy for me. Why do the high schools weight GPAs, then, if they know the colleges are going to just strip them down? [i guess that's another topic]

 

I also appreciate you setting me straight on Bright Futures because even the person with whom I spoke at Facts.org about BF told me I had to send in an adjusted (weighted) transcript.

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I also appreciate you setting me straight on Bright Futures because even the person with whom I spoke at Facts.org about BF told me I had to send in an adjusted (weighted) transcript.

 

They have a homeschool person in the BF office (Dorothy something??). I've never talked to anyone @ facts.org. I just went straight to the office that controls the $$$ :D

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For both of you who do not adjust (weight) the GPA:

 

1) What about state scholarship programs? For example in Florida (and most other states) there are state scholarship programs which are based upon weighted high school GPAs....

 

If I had found it necessary, I would have created a transcript specifically for a particular state scholarship program.

 

2) Many college and universities have "Honors programs" and "Honors colleges" within the colleges themselves. In order to apply for admission into these colleges, one must submit a) test scores and b) weighted high school GPAs....

 

My daughter was accepted into our state's Honor College, with her unweighted transcript, so that turned out to be a non-issue in her case. Conditions may vary from state to state.

 

Regards,

Kareni

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Colleges take your transcript, pull it apart and re-assign the grades (if they are going to use homeschool grades, anyhow). They do this for all students, not just homeschoolers, because so many schools use "bonus" grades that totally inflate the actual grades.

 

so if a class is honors, make sure it says "honors" on the transcript, and the college itself will add the extra points.

 

That said, my dd who is starting college this fall had NO honors classes, ap classes (she did take an AP test, but only after being accepted to college) or clep classes. She got into great schools -- ones which are not known for being "homeschool friendly." She also got scholarships. Her GPA was fine, but not super compared to her friends in public school who had 4.35 averages.

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My daughter was accepted into our state's Honor College, with her unweighted transcript, so that turned out to be a non-issue in her case. Conditions may vary from state to state.

 

Regards,

Kareni

 

:iagree:------ As I said above, this turned out to be true. This was for East Coast/Mid-atlantic states.

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Colleges take your transcript, pull it apart and re-assign the grades (if they are going to use homeschool grades, anyhow). They do this for all students, not just homeschoolers, because so many schools use "bonus" grades that totally inflate the actual grades.

 

Her GPA was fine, but not super compared to her friends in public school who had 4.35 averages.

 

This has been one of my concerns--my D's friends in the public school system all have incredible GPAs --4.7, 4.4, etc--because they have been taking AP classes, which automatically give them a whole extra point. Never mind the fact that none of them are passing the AP exam at the end of the year to get college credit!

 

I've been concerned about my D's chances at being accepted at a decent college and/or honors program, but now I think about it, every college admissions officer I have talked to has been super receptive and highly encouraging, especially after hearing that my D is homeschooled.

 

You all have to forgive me, because for so long I've had anyone connected to the public school system badmouth homeschooling and predict nothing but the most dire of consequences for my D.

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For both of you who do not adjust (weight) the GPA:

 

1) What about state scholarship programs? For example in Florida (and most other states) there are state scholarship programs which are based upon weighted high school GPAs. The state does not weight the student's grades; the school--whether public or private (including home school) is supposed to do that in accordance with the "traditional" or "generally accepted" weighting policy throughout the state.

 

2) Many college and universities have "Honors programs" and "Honors colleges" within the colleges themselves. In order to apply for admission into these colleges, one must submit a) test scores and b) weighted high school GPAs. Because the high school students applying are usually a public/private (non- home) school student, the GPA will naturally be inflated due to weighting by the high school. Consequently, the entrance bar is raised by the college, because the college is taking into account the weighting policy by all schools.

 

Because the competition (other students) applying into the Honors program have inflated (weighted) high schol GPAs, the Honors college must thin out the ranks by GPA (assuming all test scores meet the minimum).

 

So: if you as a parent(school) are not weighting your child's grades, and your child applies to an Honors program at a college, and your child meets the SAT/ACT score criteria, your child is at a disadvantage because he/she doesn't have that "padded" GPA when competing against other students whose GPAs have all been weighted (inflated) on their high school transcript.

 

Does anyone else see this potential problem?

 

My daughter didn't apply to a state scholarship program (I'm not aware of one here) or a state university (she wasn't interested). If she had applied to something where it was a strict GPA cutoff and lots of weighting, I might have thought about labelling a bunch of classes honors, even though I thought it was a little silly.

 

However, for the 2 colleges where she ended up applying for the honors program, I don't think a weighted GPA with lots of honors courses would have helped her, because I don't think they were making decisions about who to invite into the honors program based on strict cutoffs. They seemed to be putting a lot more emphasis on interviews and recommendation letters. I think there were cutoffs above which all students would be invited to apply -- but that didn't mean that kids below the cutoffs wouldn't have been invited if there seemed to be something "special" about the student. And special could mean anything from great academics to odd hobbies to coming from a disadvantaged background (which, by the way, although it seems to be enough to get an interview, isn't enough to get into the honors program by itself. The interview still had to impress). Big universities might not do that, but small colleges don't seem bound to the GPA. Or at least, the small colleges seem to be able to work with GPA calculations that are all over the map.

 

As I recall, when filling out her applications, she was generally supposed to indicate whether the GPA was weighted or unweighted. So I suspect schools either deal with them differently, or try to balance the playing field between them. They're not just taking the two and comparing them directly, although it is possible large universities don't distinguish. I wouldn't have any knowledge about that because my daughter didn't apply to any of them.

 

The problem I see with labelling some classes "honors" is that it kind of implies that the rest weren't. But, for my daughter at least, I think any class she did had enough work in it to be called honors. But I didn't want to call them all honors as that might look ridiculous. So I went the route of calling nothing honors. Anyway, would a college believe I knew what an honors course was? They might take my word for the grades, but I thought calling some classes honors was stretching believability. I mean, what does honors mean,precisely. There is a general consensus that an A might be around 90% and above, but how does one define honors? I haven't a clue, and I've been in a lot of those classes. I think having a short description of our educational philosophy was probably more effective than randomly calling some classes "honors". (Truthfully, though, I probably know more about what kids are doing at the local high school than any admissions officer knows about that specific school, and probably more than the vast majority of the parents of those kids. Kids tell me what they're up to in their classes, things they would never admit to an admissions office, things their parents don't ever bother to ask about. Also, let's face it, I was in high school once myself and I know exactly how little work one can get away with and still graduate with an impressive gold star on one's diploma. Even at a good school that people are fighting to get into.)

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