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My son applied to a few UCs without meeting the a-g requirements. He also did not take any SAT subject tests and no community college classes. He did have a fairly high ACT score and very strong essays. Honestly we were surprised that he got into so many UC schools but were happy that he took a chance and applied. The UC schools are becoming much more flexible and welcoming to homeschoolers so if anyone has a student who wants to apply but hasn't met all the a-g requirements I would say go for it. The schools that seem to be most welcoming at this point are UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC Riverside, UC Davis and UC Irvine.

 

As far as auditing we would not have been worried about it. We would have just supplied the information asked for as it was clear in the application that my son was a homeschooler and that he did not meet the a-g requirements with their approved classes.

So how is it that you made this clear given that the drop Down menu boxes are your only option?

 

And thank you! I will pass along the encouragement.

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It all boils down to each student's and family's goals. Taking risks for the sake of love of learning is such a fundamental part of our lives, not just for homeschooling. We are stubborn and perhaps a little foolish and idealistic too but we love experimenting and pushing boundaries just a little bit here and there. It's odd because we are also rule followers and wouldn't dream of lying. But life is too short to not try different things and find ways to keep love of learning bright.

 

And the UCs are very friendly when you call and ask. I know for certain that at least UC Berkeley is. However, I don't expect they will give you a blanket statement about a-gs. And perhaps why each time I called they had a set response: give us context.

 

The personal statements are very important and a great way to explain a student's situation!

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This is absolutely not what my friend was told, she is a close friend and we walked through all the decisions together. Unless the charter is lying to her or unless they have more strict rules about the CHSPE

I am sorry I should have been more specific. This wasn’t ancharter school. This person was a homeschooler who ended up enrolling her kid into a regular PS high school even though her kid had already taken the exam.

I would guess homeschool charters have different rules.

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I am sorry I should have been more specific. This wasn’t ancharter school. This person was a homeschooler who ended up enrolling her kid into a regular PS high school even though her kid had already taken the exam.

I would guess homeschool charters have different rules.

Yeah that’s what we are thinking. It must be the same with Middle College - I spoke to two Middle College coordinators and both said that if my dd takes the CHSPE she’s no longer eligible.

 

It seems strange. What do they care if a student took a test? What difference does it make? Especially if regular public schools are ok with it.

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So how is it that you made this clear given that the drop Down menu boxes are your only option?

 

And thank you! I will pass along the encouragement.

 

My son wrote about it in the additional comments section of the application. This is where he discussed homeschooling, his classes, and his educational path. 

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My son wrote about it in the additional comments section of the application. This is where he discussed homeschooling, his classes, and his educational path. 

 

 

So he chose the drop-down options which seem to imply that the courses were A-G approved.

 

But he explained that he took non-approved courses, as part of his explanation.

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I feel the message the UC is sending is that approved A-G courses is the only thing they accept and they’re sending the message loud and clear.

 

This is the message they sent for a very long time and it is hard to move on past that. I actually didn't even want my son to apply at first but he insisted on it. I have since heard of many more homeschoolers getting in but it hasn't been happening for long enough that people are convinced it is changing. And because the a-g requirements are still such an important part of the application process it feels like they are not welcoming at all. 

 

The only thing I can say is that if anyone's student wants to apply they should just try. You never know if you will get in or not but it seems to be worth a shot today. And definitely discuss the educational history in the essays or additional comments section and make it clear the student's path was a unique educational path that does not fit into the typical a-g path. 

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This is the message they sent for a very long time and it is hard to move on past that. I actually didn't even want my son to apply at first but he insisted on it. I have since heard of many more homeschoolers getting in but it hasn't been happening for long enough that people are convinced it is changing. And because the a-g requirements are still such an important part of the application process it feels like they are not welcoming at all. 

 

The only thing I can say is that if anyone's student wants to apply they should just try. You never know if you will get in or not but it seems to be worth a shot today. And definitely discuss the educational history in the essays or additional comments section and make it clear the student's path was a unique educational path that does not fit into the typical a-g path. 

 

 

This makes sense to me! 

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I called UC admissions recently to ask about a-g math (DS was thinking about a summer aops class, and the charter could not give him a-g credit for it), two separate people told me it was fine: UC is used to getting information from multiple providers from homeschoolers, they read every word, they won't be fazed by it.

 

I'm still not sure what to think about how much it matters to fulfill every inch of a-g.

 

But the exchanges, and a quick look at the pull down menu, did leave me feeling very confident about it being ok to use the pull down menu even for non a-g classes (like lukeion Latin) and supplement with a course description.

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Please look at the UC application before jumping to conclusions that indicating a class as an a-g category equates to implying it is a-g "approved". The application does not ask if a class is a-g approved. It only asks what subject (a-g) category the class can be categorized under. The UCs provide a list of approved vendors as a guideline. I suspect this is all similar to how people worry about taking accredited classes when self studied classes can be above and beyond some of the accredited ones in quality.

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The additional comments has a 500-word space to use to explain any additional situation your student didn't include in the essays. The student can mention CHSPE, how a CC forced the student to graduate, why the student wanted to take CHSPE in the first place, course descriptions (because unlike common app there is no uploading feature in the UC app to include transcripts and course descriptions). Just give them full context. No need to feel like one is lying by choosing a-g *categories* for the classes the student took. My teen somehow managed to convey all necessary details for over 40 high school classes in there. Use abbreviations if needed. I suspect they do read it all (homeschoolers are put into a different pile if I recall correctly).

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Please look at the UC application before jumping to conclusions that indicating a class as an a-g category equates to implying it is a-g "approved". The application does not ask if a class is a-g approved. It only asks what subject (a-g) category the class can be categorized under. The UCs provide a list of approved vendors as a guideline. I suspect this is all similar to how people worry about taking accredited classes when self studied classes can be above and beyond some of the accredited ones in quality.

 

I think the reason there is so much confusion is they say if you haven’t done a through g, then take an SAT subject test or AP to validate it. I really think because they say “otherwise†you need to test out, it gives an impression that their a through g stamp is serious.

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If they wanted everyone to verify their own courses, why would they:

 

1. Bother to take all the time to have a panel of people looking over courses, as well an an entire website to verify said courses

 

2. Provide the SAT/AP testing route to verify non- approved courses?

 

It is abundantly clear to me that as a de facto rule they only want/accept A-G APPROVED courses.

 

Now, as others have stated of course you can use the drop down box since there is no other option, then use that 500 word box to explain what the courses were like and although they aren’t A-G “approved†they more than cover the same material , etc.

 

Quark, Maybe your son conveyed all of that clearly in which case we are talking past each other.

Edited by Calming Tea
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My comments about the drop-down box is to support the concern that the application does not give you a chance to report classes as a-g approved/not approved. The application only asks to indicate which a-g category the class falls under.

The UCs provide lots of guidelines. They are big about legal compliance and I think all that they do to provide guidelines and resources is to make sure they spell everything out clearly.

I just want to reassure folks that:
1. Not every class has to be a-g approved. ETA: what should and shouldn't is so case specific...but a good number of homeschoolers in my circles have been accepted without crossing every t and dotting every i. So Calming Tea, again, your "It is abundantly clear to me that as a de facto rule they only want/accept A-G APPROVED courses." is not 100% true.
2. Non a-g approved classes can still be reported on the application, you won't be lying if you do so.
3. There are lots of opportunities to explain a student's situation.
4. Students *are* going to be more competitive with SAT subject and AP tests...that's a given. UCs are not the only colleges that expect that though...if a student has only self studied everything all four years, any college (at least selective tier) is going to ask for validation of some sort. Many of my teen's ninth grade classes were unschooled for example but following these up with DE and/or AP in sophomore to senior year was a good way to validate them while giving my teen rigor craved for.
5. Last point I swear...I don't think UCs realize that we homeschoolers have this board as a resource for classes/courses/providers. Part of the function of their approved lists might simply be to give us homeschoolers a hand in choosing legitimate, high quality classes with "quality" being subjective. 😊

Edited by quark
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Im not sure I’m getting my concern through....they are assuming your course are AG approved, UNLESS you say so otherwise -

 

I am not saying they don’t accept them, (as several people have testified they desire to take the time to look at the whole picture and do not just write someone off the second they do one thing differently) ...but that they don’t accept them unless they’re making an exception in which case it seems you’d have to **say** so.

 

Otherwise they’ll just think they’re A-G approved

 

Which is why all I’m saying is, it seems you’d have to use the comment box to tell them

That.

 

And all of your other points are quite valid especially since you’ve BTDT and I appreciate that. We all do. What my concern is, is how to read/use the drop down boxes and how to explain any differences.

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I think the reason there is so much confusion is they say if you haven’t done a through g, then take an SAT subject test or AP to validate it. I really think because they say “otherwise†you need to test out, it gives an impression that their a through g stamp is serious.

 

I am NOT saying that their a-g stamp is not serious. I have not been able to spend time to craft more careful responses and for that I apologize. But yes, they are serious about a-g. That's how they categorize the courses and they want high schools to teach a-g classes approved by UC. At the same time they allow students who have not taken that track to be reviewed based on SAT subject test/AP scores and DE classes. There's another way to look at this. Say a student does not take the college-prep track at their high school but decides in junior year that they want to be a competitive student for UC. Said student can then self study and show some "rigor" in academic choices by taking these classes/tests and scoring well. I see it as a way for UC to be open about the way they admit students. When I was with my charter, I was led to believe all sort of requirements existed, that there was only one way to do things. Only after a lot of prodding did my ES admit that there is a non-college prep track. And then only after leaving the charter did I realize that there are students admitted without following a-g all along.

 

Here's what many of them did: took courses to their heart's content. Took courses that were truly meaningful. And then validated those classes with an AP/DE class in junior and/or senior year. The AP score basically said my student did all these crazy cool things for math/history/science what have you. And oh well, my student did crazy cool creative things and scored a 4 or 5 in the AP exam (when in many instances the crazy cool things finished in younger high school levels were of higher value/more depth than the AP syllabus).

 

The risk for us homeschoolers is that we don't have the B&M stamp of approval (and this applies to applying to any college, not just UCs) and so we have to jump a few more hoops. I would recommend all homeschoolers who want to be competitive for UCs to take the SAT subject tests anyway. Especially if you are targeting the more selective UCs.

 

Here are the exact words: "Keep in mind that taking approved high school ("a-g") courses isn't the only way to satisfy these requirements. You also may meet them by completing college courses or earning certain scores on SAT, Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate exams." Source: http://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/freshman/requirements/a-g-requirements/index.html

 

Here is another way that they say it:

"Courses from California high schools and online schools used to satisfy the "a-g" subject requirements must be approved by UC and appear on the institution's "a-g" course list. These courses are to be academically challenging, involving substantial reading, writing, problems and laboratory work (as appropriate), and show serious attention to analytical thinking, factual content and developing students' oral and listening skills." Source: https://www.ucop.edu/agguide/a-g-requirements/ (Emphasis mine).

 

A lot of their wording seems to apply most to public high schools. The point I have been trying to make is that based on my teen's experience, based on a few boardies' experience, based on about a dozen or so parents' experience in my local homeschooling groups in the last 2-3 years at least, the two most selective campuses, UCB and UCLA, are starting to be very flexible about how they read and review homeschoolers' applications. Another point I am trying to make is that the student has a lot of opportunity to explain their specific method of approaching the bolded statement above. Teach your student to express themselves well in the application. Teach them to substantiate the claims they make about their education (and of course, do the best you can to prepare them in other ways too). All the people I know who have been admitted without fulfilling all the a-g's are unapologetic about their goals and homeschooling philosophy. They refused to check boxes "just because" and tell their students there is only one path left (transferring) "just because". Then in junior and senor year they made some decisions that were "just because" just so their kids had a few areas where it was easy to compare apples to apples with other kids (but still allowing their kids so much more flexibility).

 

Sorry to ramble. Just want to encourage you guys to be true to your kids' calling/spirit/need. Call the UCs directly and ask them questions. If possible have your student do it.

Edited by quark
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I just went back to the UC application just now.  (I had started an account a few months ago just to check it all out.)

 

Quark's 100% correct.  Seeing is believing?  It's as if a-g no longer exists now that one is applying to University of California.  

 

 

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Im not sure I’m getting my concern through....they are assuming your course are AG approved, UNLESS you say so otherwise -

 

I am not saying they don’t accept them, (as several people have testified they desire to take the time to look at the whole picture and do not just write someone off the second they do one thing differently) ...but that they don’t accept them unless they’re making an exception in which case it seems you’d have to **say** so.

 

Otherwise they’ll just think they’re A-G approved

 

Which is why all I’m saying is, it seems you’d have to use the comment box to tell them

That.

 

And all of your other points are quite valid especially since you’ve BTDT and I appreciate that. We all do. What my concern is, is how to read/use the drop down boxes and how to explain any differences.

 

When the number of homeschooled applicants equals or exceeds the number of B&M school applicants, it is possible that UC will craft the application differently. Until then, homeschooled kids are put in a different box and their applications reviewed differently. Which means that we'll have to be patient and do things differently (personally, I'm proud that we do...we are a pretty resilient/creative bunch aren't we?) :)

 

It's how the portal was designed. Obviously by a bunch of folks who did not foresee how quickly homeschooling exploded all over CA. I bet in a few years, UC will redesign the application (that is if their budget allows for it).

 

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Exactly.  It's like the left hand that's approving the a-g's isn't talking to the right hand that's reading UC applications.  

 

I just took a screen shot and copied it into a google presentation.  

 

But go ahead and create an account for yourself.  It's very illustrative.  I had totally forgotten the part about how to get around the CEEB code they insist you enter before you can proceed.  

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Here's the sample that I did a year or maybe two years before kiddo applied (so not kiddo's actual application). You can see subject categories on the left.

 

post-30289-0-20736800-1520728905_thumb.png

Edited by quark
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