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Samiam

Did you know that Honors courses have more "weight" on a transcript?

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My oldest DS goes to public high school now...but that wasn't always our plan. It WAS our plan to homeschool all the way through, so with that in mind, my goal in mind, as far as getting him into college was to ensure that his grades/transcripts were "competitive" with the public school students, if not better when it came to colleges. You know, show that a homeschooler is smart, and has the transcripts (and SAT scores) to prove it, kinda thing.

 

So when we enrolled DS into high school, I asked all kinds of questions to the guidance counselor. My DS was enrolling into several Honors classes, and while I knew that was a good thing, "what is the difference?". Along with the extra work, they have a higher score on a transcript.

 

I'd been researching and planning for high school courses since he was in 6th-8th grade, and I had no idea. Had we not went into the PS, and instead HSed for 9th grade, I probably would have not have had him doing Honors Level courses, at least labeled as such.

 

So I would have been doing my best to make sure he was doing hard-core work, making the grades, doing the learning, etc...amazing education, right? But his transcripts would not have had Honors labeling/weighting, cuz I just didnt' know! So that whole "let's stay competitive with PS students so we can outshine them for college entrance" would have been wasted because the smarter PS students taking Honors classes would have those labels/weights. Even if his courses at home were just as tough and in depth, I wouldn't have known to give them the extra weight that a Honors level class gets.

 

Just thought that was interesting!!

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Yes, the ps transcripts will weigh the honors level courses higher, but the universities I have looked at did not use weighted GPAs. They did, though, look at AP level courses. It seems that there is such great variability in "honors" courses and no apparent way to "standardize" them that they just didn't consider them important. Dual enrollment, APs, and ACT/SAT scores were more important on the transcript - homeschool or otherwise.

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Yes, they carry more weight for the GPA, which is how GPAs grater than 4.0 can be achieved.

But many colleges unweight the grades and calculate their own GPA - so I don't bother with Honors designations.

Honors is not a precisely defined term anyway; APs are standardized.

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At least when I was in school, this varied by state/district. The number grade scale for letter grades definitely still varies by state and district. Most colleges get that data and have ways to eliminate the bias.

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My high school weighted the GPA's but the university I went to unweighted them. However, it stated that it expected applicants to take the hardest track avaiable to them.

 

The UC system doesn't give any extra weight for honors classes taken before 11th grade. That's one reason why my district doesn't formally designate any honors classes until then. However, bright students are accelerated in math starting in middle school (pre-algebra in 6th, algebra 1 in 7th, geometry in 8th).

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If college admissions counselors are familiar with a particular high school, they might know what "honors" means there. But if the school (traditional or home) is off their radar, "honors" can mean anything.

 

Instead of using the term "honors" on my son's transcript, we attached an eight page description of the courses he completed with books read, Teaching Company lectures watched, etc. I decided that I'd rather the admissions folks decide whether using college level texts or books from the WTM lists was "honors" or not.

 

Jane

 

P.S. Agreeing with the others that most colleges prefer to examine unweighted transcripts.

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I state on the transcript that the GPA is unweighted. I use "Honors" in the title of the course for studies that were prep for the AP exams. "AP" is trademarked and cannot be used in the course title if the course was self-studied. THe quality of the work is reflected in the grade received for the AP exam which Iist on page two of the transcript along with CLEP, DANTEs, Dual Enrollement and ACT/SAT scores.

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"AP" is trademarked and cannot be used in the course title if the course was self-studied. THe quality of the work is reflected in the grade received for the AP exam which Iist on page two of the transcript along with CLEP, DANTEs, Dual Enrollement and ACT/SAT scores.

 

It's possible to submit one's syllabus to the College Board to get official AP course approval, but I would personally do what my alma mater did and just call it "AP Equivalent". So the U.S. history I took was called "Honors U.S. History (AP Equivalent)".

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