Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

8FillTheHeart

8 top private DC high schools drop APs

Recommended Posts

22 minutes ago, HeighHo said:

 

I post because I know this district is a trend setter; I"ve often had people deride me as an outlier and then five years later they are telling me they have moved, as their district had adopted the same things and they found they could not accept the lowered academics or their child being totally ignored in the classroom.

I've advocated locally for all students for years, I'm not a district employee.  The funny thing is that since most of the middle class moved out, I know have random moms ask me if I am a teacher...kinda makes sense because the teachers are the only educated people left besides the lawyers and bankers.

 I am of course not effective, because I am a minority opinion. People really do not want all students to have an appropriate education, they see that as stealing resources from their child who already has a large remediation team as well as psych, medical and social support.  So far they have been willing to reinstate sports, but only for special needs and varsity/jv..they won't fund intramurals. I doubt academics at the level I had in a rural school or this district had before nclb will be reinstated in my lifetime..the future is dame school and private or homeschool if unwilling to give up the farm.

We live in a rural district with zero advanced or AP courses other than AP calc occasionally. There simply is no funding, even with a voter approved tax increase. Advanced courses are expected to be taken dual credit. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do think APs are great as a nationally normed courses. Hopefully this benefits kids in some of the less fortunate districts.  While I am also not fan of College Board taking over schools, if it forces some districts to up the challenge level for interested kids, I am for AP. So private schools snubbing the nose because they can do better? Of course they can. I just hope we don’t end up in a race to now not only graduate kids with 15 APs, but another 10 post APs. What’s the point of college? And how did we get here? We used to value free time. 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

I do think APs are great as a nationally normed courses. Hopefully this benefits kids in some of the less fortunate districts.  While I am also not fan of College Board taking over schools, if it forces some districts to up the challenge level for interested kids, I am for AP. So private schools snubbing the nose because they can do better? Of course they can. 

 

Cynically, I wonder if these private schools aren't interested in nationally normed courses. These aren't run of the mill private schools- they are incredibly expensive and elite schools. If their students no longer take AP exams it becomes harder to compare these private school students to students in less fortunate districts who are forced to take 10 AP classes to be competitive. 

Tuition at some of these schools

St. Albans - $45,752 (plus new student non-refundable fee of $1850

Sidwell Friends- $40, 840 (plus $500 to $700 for books)

Potomac - $41,100

Landon -$42,110

 

 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Nart said:

 

Cynically, I wonder if these private schools aren't interested in nationally normed courses. 

Of course, they’re private institutions. All my comments at least have to do with public schools that see these headlines and think they’re somehow in the same boat.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some of the court documents in the lawsuit brought against Harvard have been released to the public.  In browsing through one of the documents while having my morning coffee, I found a section that discussed the academic rating of Asian Americans vs the rest of the applicant pool.  The report listed the following categories in the academic rating:

SAT score (ACT scores were converted to an SAT score)

GPA

Number of AP Exams Taken

Score on AP exams

This may explain why some of the elite private high schools still have their students sit for AP exams even though the schools no longer offer  the AP course.

http://samv91khoyt2i553a2t1s05i-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Doc-414-Statement-of-Material-Facts.pdf

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I stumbled across this provider's opinion about APs and grades. His comments about AP are 2/3 of the way down the page. This goes back to 2010, but thought it was relevant because they aren't an expensive private school, just a homeschool course provider (Scholars Online). http://www.scholarsonline.org/Blog/?p=138

I'm not sure we would pursue AP if it were available. Dd has a good idea where she wants to go to college, and they accept a very limited number of APs, anyhow.

The NY Times also had an article on teacher reactions to the World History test change: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/21/us/ap-world-history-exam.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/19/2018 at 5:18 PM, SeaConquest said:

So few top tier schools are giving AP credit, I'm starting to see the point less and less. I'm more inclined to DE with our local CC or UC because of the articulation agreements in place. For the price, I'm just not sure AP is worth it when there are other options.

 

They are still giving credit - just not assigning it to specific classes. My daughter took 11 Ap's and got credit for all of it - so even though she doesn't even get gen eds out of it, she fulfills the math requirement and I think there was a US history requirement she got... and if she had down AP Latin she would have gotten that requirement. But even with  taking all the other gen eds she can still graduate in three years and save the last year of the GI bill towards law school or grad school. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, MamaSprout said:

I stumbled across this provider's opinion about APs and grades. His comments about AP are 2/3 of the way down the page. This goes back to 2010, but thought it was relevant because they aren't an expensive private school, just a homeschool course provider (Scholars Online). http://www.scholarsonline.org/Blog/?p=138

I'm not sure we would pursue AP if it were available. Dd has a good idea where she wants to go to college, and they accept a very limited number of APs, anyhow.

The NY Times also had an article on teacher reactions to the World History test change: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/21/us/ap-world-history-exam.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur

Thanks for posting both links.  I read both and both give food for thought.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Nart said:

 

Cynically, I wonder if these private schools aren't interested in nationally normed courses. These aren't run of the mill private schools- they are incredibly expensive and elite schools. If their students no longer take AP exams it becomes harder to compare these private school students to students in less fortunate districts who are forced to take 10 AP classes to be competitive. 

Tuition at some of these schools

St. Albans - $45,752 (plus new student non-refundable fee of $1850

Sidwell Friends- $40, 840 (plus $500 to $700 for books)

Potomac - $41,100

Landon -$42,110

Those tuition numbers aren't that out of line around here. Catholic and Jewish schools are cheaper and there are a few options that are closer to the 30k mark, but that's just the cost of private school here - even the less prestigious ones. Just... to give that perspective.

I know a number of families in the DC private school scene, including a few at some of these.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is also being buzzed about around here a lot. But having taught in private schools here in DC and knowing how they operate... this didn't surprise me a bit. They're trying to distinguish themselves and do their own things. AP's are increasingly test prep subjects. The College Board wields enormous power over schools and curricula through the exams. These schools chafe at that - they have zero interest in being at the whims of the College Board. They think they can do better. Now, whether that's true that they're providing a more prestigious education that's somehow deeper and better or if they can just afford to do it because they have families with enough means to buy their way into whatever schools they want anyway... well, that's maybe in the eye of the beholder.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just an interesting factoid-

My son's UC is not going to accept his AP Exam for Credit OR for fulfilling the major prep requirements from CC (aka he had to go back and take a level one computer Science CC class AFTER taking a level two class!)

BUT the UC is using it to count his 60 units that are needed to transfer.  So, go figure.  ? 

Before AND after this thread, AND from advice from experienced college prep counselors who helped hundreds of kids attend college this is still my mantra that I will tell my kids and all future homeschool and regular school teens:

Take some AP's in the subjects you like, and enjoy and feel gung ho about.  Don't take 14 AP just to take AP.  That is ridiculous and will only stress you out.  The AP's can't hurt in college admissions and if they stretch your mind and have a few extra pluses included such as actually receiving credit.  BUt they are not an end in and of themselves.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/19/2018 at 5:58 PM, 8FillTheHeart said:

I think there is a huge difference between no standardized test scores and no APs.  I don't know of any school where homeschoolers can apply test optional, so SAT/ACT scores are pretty much a given.  I think that those scores carry FAR more weight than most of us recognize.  

FWIW, I don't think it is a **huge risk** to apply without APs.  Is it **a** risk?  Maybe.  It depends on the school.  For the vast majority of schools, I don't think it is a risk as long as the student has SAT/ACT scores in the mid-50% range for the school and the student has a transcript demonstrating all their required courses for admission have been taken.  Having students take 2 subject tests can cover other bases as well.  (Some schools even give college credit for certain subject test scores.)

My kids have taken a grand total of 3 APs. Youngest ds took 2 and oldest dd took 1.  My kids in general have taken a mixture of either none, 1 or 2, or quite a few DE courses, depending on the individual and what they wanted to do.  Most of their courses have not been outsourced.  My older kids had their ACT scores and 1 or 2 outside classes.  My current college kid had 1 subject outsourced, 2 subject test scores, 1 SAT score (she only took it once), no AP courses at all, and 1 DE course spring of sr  yr.  Almost all of her courses were done at home.  She was accepted everywhere, including Rochester. (and no, I do not believe Russian which was taught by an outside teacher somehow erased all doubts about all coursework completed at home.  I think her SAT and subject test scores did.)

ETA: For us, it is worth doing what we want to do at home and accepting the consequences of those choices.  

 

Just an FYI - I found out a couple of weeks ago that James Madison University (in VA) is now fully test optional, even for homeschoolers. I talked with the recruiter for a little while and she expects this trend to increase. I was flabbergasted. I never expected a major, secular university to go that route. Now if UVA ever went test optional (even for public school) we would know hell had frozen over :-). 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/19/2018 at 5:58 PM, 8FillTheHeart said:

I think there is a huge difference between no standardized test scores and no APs.  I don't know of any school where homeschoolers can apply test optional, so SAT/ACT scores are pretty much a given.  I think that those scores carry FAR more weight than most of us recognize.  

Since no one else seems to have mentioned it, Hampshire is one. They will not take ACT or SAT scores from any applicants. But yeah, most test optional schools aren't test optional for us.

In general, I'm in agreement with what you're saying though. ? 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

so when we talk about test optional, are we talking about SAT optional or all tests optional? 

I can't imagine how a school would go about acceptance. I understand that many colleges aren't selective at all and accept the vast majority of kids who apply, but for those who have to chose between applicants, what will they look at if you don't have any test scores or outside awards?  DE?  I know a ton of homeschoolers who do very little but they will all probably write up amazing course descriptions that will read like it's something it isn't. I know others who work their buts off as well, but how does one go about telling the difference? Total trust? 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

so when we talk about test optional, are we talking about SAT optional or all tests optional? 

I can't imagine how a school would go about acceptance. I understand that many colleges aren't selective at all and accept the vast majority of kids who apply, but for those who have to chose between applicants, what will they look at if you don't have any test scores or outside awards?  DE?  I know a ton of homeschoolers who do very little but they will all probably write up amazing course descriptions that will read like it's something it isn't. I know others who work their buts off as well, but how does one go about telling the difference? Total trust? 

Accepting homeschool applicants as test optional is not something I was aware of.  I find it very encouraging. Honestly, I think there seem to be 2 extremes of homeschoolers that get discussed....those that are negligent and those that have extremely advanced kids (I know I have discussed my advanced kids on these forums a lot, but I also have very avg kids who are just your avg high school students.)  Truth is, most homeschoolers probably fit into that typical high school realm. Schools know that they do fine when they enroll.

Anyway, I was curious so I looked up JMU's policy.  Students can submit scores if they want to.  They just don't have to.  On their main admission's page, they discuss APs, DE, etc as well.  But, they also discuss achievements and ECs.  That is the avenue that I think can get lost when the focus is on the goal of admissions.  Achievements/EC/unique educational pursuits are a viable path. 

But as comfortable as I am with taking that path, even I am not comfortable enough to not have my kids take the ACT/SAT (as much as I wish I could ignore them.)  That is one hoop that my kids do jump through. Maybe by the time my rising 3rd grader is a junior she won't have to hoop jump. 

Here are the 2 relevant links for JMU:

https://www.jmu.edu/admissions/apply/homeschool.shtml

https://www.jmu.edu/admissions/apply/freshman.shtml

In terms of "total trust," I don't believe it is total trust, but, yes, trusted.  Universities DO accept our homeschool transcripts/course descriptions.  THAT is my main point.  All of my kids' transcripts have been accepted without question.   Those at home courses graded by me and put on the transcript with no verification except my signature at the bottom of the transcript have been "trusted." 

Are all schools like that? Definitely not.  URichmond wants subject test scores/DE grades across every subject.  Some schools require the GED.  It all goes back to knowing what schools (or category of schools) your student is considering and meeting their expectations. Risk tolerance is another major consideration. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DS's application included a single standardized test score (33 ACT). No APs, no SAT subject tests, not even a PSAT score.

The only other "outside validation" of his trancript consisted of 2 DE classes, a bunch of gold medals on the NLE & NGE (self reported), and a glowing LOR from an outside teacher. Despite the lack of standardized test scores and the fact that his 33 ACT was the absolute minimum qualifying score for OSU's Maximus Scholarship (their highest merit award other than the handful of super-competitive full rides like Stamps & Eminence), he was awarded both the Buckeye and Maximus Scholarships. Ohio State is obviously not Harvard, but it's a Top 20 public, and I know there were kids with 34-35 ACTs and lots of APs who got less money than DS, and some with similar stats to his who not only did not get scholarships but were actually waitlisted or even rejected. So the adcoms must have been at least somewhat impressed with his transcript, and the lack of APs/SAT2s obviously didn't hurt his application. 

My objection to APs is not only the prescribed content and methods, but also the extremely limited subjects in which they're offered. Maybe I would feel differently if I had a STEM kid (I mean, Calc is Calc), but as the parent of a humanities kid with strong interests, I was not going to constrain his ability to pursue those interests in order to shoehorn his education into something that looked like an at-home version of public school. There are no AP exams in Ancient Greek History, Cognitive Science, Linguistics, Roman Literature, Classical Art & Architecture, or Old Norse, but those courses accurately reflect DS's interests and passions. 

The elite private high schools that are skipping APs aren't just swapping out AP World History and AP Euro for Advanced World History and Advanced Euro. Schools like Philips Exeter are offering history courses like Imperial Russia, Classical Greece, Absolutism and Revolution 1660-1800, Contemporary Middle East, Precolonial Africa, The Making of Modern Japan, World War and European Society 1890-1945. Instead of AP English Lang/Lit, they offer Post-Colonial Francophone Literature,  Literature and the Land, Magical Realism, Post-Imperial Chinese Literature, Children's Literature, and single author seminars on Beckett, Woolf, Ishiguro, and Faulkner.  There's no reason homeschoolers can't do the same.

If a homeschooler's transcript looks a lot like a PS transcript, then that student can expect to be compared to thousands of PS students, many of whom will have AP courses. If the transcript is full of interesting and unusual courses that show the student has developed genuine interests and passions, is self-motivated enough to pursue them, and is already working at a higher level than standard high school courses, then I don't think adcoms care if there are AP courses listed. In fact, I think they'd be more interested in a transcript that tells them something significant about who the student is, rather than just confirm that they're capable of cramming for AP tests.

  • Like 11

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/20/2018 at 1:07 PM, HeighHo said:

DE is not open in all places; here it was restricted by age until very recently.  Even in 2013, my son wasn't able to take DE College Algebra at his high school due to age..that was resolved by letting underage students take the course for no credit, but it took several months for the appropriate people to work out.  I'm glad it did work out, because AP Calc is not granted credit in his engineering program, while DE Calc and JHU-CTY Calc are. 

As far as bang for the buck...it depends where you are.  DE at the high school is subsidized here, but few seats are open and few courses are offered.

We're at a point in time where people have to pick what state to live in to get appropriate academics without giving up their retirement funds.  CC here isn't much cheaper than U, DE is full pay if at the CC. 

 

Am I the only one that lives in an area where several liberal arts colleges offer free or almost free college classes to some high school students? My son was able to take two courses per semester at the local LAC for $200 each and audit up to two more per term for $50 each. This was at a time when tuition there was around $40k per year. Admission was restricted and required a full application, but it was far cheaper, more rigorous, and more convenient than taking classes at the local CC. I know of at least four other LACs within an hour that offer something similar.

The state health university also offered an amazing free class for high school students and most of the students went on to do summer research there. It was an amazing experience for my son. Again, admission was restricted and competetitive, but well worth the effort and the commute.

One interesting thing though is that most of these programs are not advertised or on the college website. They are usually handled through high school guidance counselors and word of mouth. We knew about the local one because my husband used to teach there. My son was recommended for another one when he took a community science lab class with a retired college professor. And I found out about the health university one when poking around on the web. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Frances said:

Am I the only one that lives in an area where several liberal arts colleges offer free or almost free college classes to some high school students? My son was able to take two courses per semester at the local LAC for $200 each and audit up to two more per term for $50 each. This was at a time when tuition there was around $40k per year. Admission was restricted and required a full application, but it was far cheaper, more rigorous, and more convenient than taking classes at the local CC. I know of at least four other LACs within an hour that offer something similar.

The state health university also offered an amazing free class for high school students and most of the students went on to do summer research there. It was an amazing experience for my son. Again, admission was restricted and competetitive, but well worth the effort and the commute.

 

Whisper to me your location. My suitcases are out and ready. ???

 

you are lucky. We have nothing of the sort where we are living. I don’t even think there is a LAC anywhere near us. 

  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Frances said:

Am I the only one that lives in an area where several liberal arts colleges offer free or almost free college classes to some high school students? My son was able to take two courses per semester at the local LAC for $200 each and audit up to two more per term for $50 each. This was at a time when tuition there was around $40k per year. Admission was restricted and required a full application, but it was far cheaper, more rigorous, and more convenient than taking classes at the local CC. I know of at least four other LACs within an hour that offer something similar.

The state health university also offered an amazing free class for high school students and most of the students went on to do summer research there. It was an amazing experience for my son. Again, admission was restricted and competetitive, but well worth the effort and the commute.

One interesting thing though is that most of these programs are not advertised or on the college website. They are usually handled through high school guidance counselors and word of mouth. We knew about the local one because my husband used to teach there. My son was recommended for another one when he took a community science lab class with a retired college professor. And I found out about the health university one when poking around on the web. 

We have one LAC that does this, but only for high school juniors and seniors.

the four year state university has let us take classes but for the full per credit price. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Corraleno said:

DS's application included a single standardized test score (33 ACT). No APs, no SAT subject tests, not even a PSAT score.

The only other "outside validation" of his trancript consisted of 2 DE classes, a bunch of gold medals on the NLE & NGE (self reported), and a glowing LOR from an outside teacher. Despite the lack of standardized test scores and the fact that his 33 ACT was the absolute minimum qualifying score for OSU's Maximus Scholarship (their highest merit award other than the handful of super-competitive full rides like Stamps & Eminence), he was awarded both the Buckeye and Maximus Scholarships. Ohio State is obviously not Harvard, but it's a Top 20 public, and I know there were kids with 34-35 ACTs and lots of APs who got less money than DS, and some with similar stats to his who not only did not get scholarships but were actually waitlisted or even rejected. So the adcoms must have been at least somewhat impressed with his transcript, and the lack of APs/SAT2s obviously didn't hurt his application. 

My objection to APs is not only the prescribed content and methods, but also the extremely limited subjects in which they're offered. Maybe I would feel differently if I had a STEM kid (I mean, Calc is Calc), but as the parent of a humanities kid with strong interests, I was not going to constrain his ability to pursue those interests in order to shoehorn his education into something that looked like an at-home version of public school. There are no AP exams in Ancient Greek History, Cognitive Science, Linguistics, Roman Literature, Classical Art & Architecture, or Old Norse, but those courses accurately reflect DS's interests and passions. 

The elite private high schools that are skipping APs aren't just swapping out AP World History and AP Euro for Advanced World History and Advanced Euro. Schools like Philips Exeter are offering history courses like Imperial Russia, Classical Greece, Absolutism and Revolution 1660-1800, Contemporary Middle East, Precolonial Africa, The Making of Modern Japan, World War and European Society 1890-1945. Instead of AP English Lang/Lit, they offer Post-Colonial Francophone Literature,  Literature and the Land, Magical Realism, Post-Imperial Chinese Literature, Children's Literature, and single author seminars on Beckett, Woolf, Ishiguro, and Faulkner.  There's no reason homeschoolers can't do the same.

If a homeschooler's transcript looks a lot like a PS transcript, then that student can expect to be compared to thousands of PS students, many of whom will have AP courses. If the transcript is full of interesting and unusual courses that show the student has developed genuine interests and passions, is self-motivated enough to pursue them, and is already working at a higher level than standard high school courses, then I don't think adcoms care if there are AP courses listed. In fact, I think they'd be more interested in a transcript that tells them something significant about who the student is, rather than just confirm that they're capable of cramming for AP tests.

your post articulates exactly what I have been poorly attempting to say. The last 2 paragraphs are why I believe dd was accepted and awarded scholarships everywhere she applied.  Her transcript demonstrated that she loves learning and has passionate interests in topics that are important to her.

When she went on interviews, her desire to learn and finding a way to master topics that she wanted to learn without an "expert" teacher was a topic discussed at every school.  The fact that she was able to become fluent in French independently was a huge source of interest to them.  Talking to her about how she used children's literature and movies in French that she was familiar with in English to improve her fluency demonstrated more to them about who she is then if she had taken French with provider x and an AP score. (She did not submit any testing for French. She had no awards in French. She had a LOR from a Francophone who "adopted" dd as her surrogate granddaughter since she had left her children and grandchildren behind in France. She wrote her letter from the perspective of friend, not a teacher.) It is her curiosity, drive, and desire to learn that was the impetus behind every invitation to a scholarship weekend she received. Her use of homeschooling to approach learning in a different way was the "what" that interested them.

Equally, yes, there were dozens of kids invited with 14 APs and long lists of traditional ECs.  That path was definitely represented.  But, I suspect it was much harder to stand out in the pile of applications with that approach bc it is the one that is standard. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Heather in VA said:

 

Just an FYI - I found out a couple of weeks ago that James Madison University (in VA) is now fully test optional, even for homeschoolers. I talked with the recruiter for a little while and she expects this trend to increase. I was flabbergasted. I never expected a major, secular university to go that route. Now if UVA ever went test optional (even for public school) we would know hell had frozen over :-). 

I wonder if students who don't submit test scores will be considered for merit aid?

There is a test optional school in my neck of the woods, but in lieu of submitting an SAT/ACT score, the student needs a gpa greater than 3.0.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, alewife said:

I wonder if students who don't submit test scores will be considered for merit aid?

There is a test optional school in my neck of the woods, but in lieu of submitting an SAT/ACT score, the student needs a gpa greater than 3.0.

Aaccording to their website, it does not negatively impact merit or honors eligibility.

"Effective for the freshman class entering in the fall 2018, JMU will not require the SAT/ACT to be part of your application file. If you choose not to submit standardized test scores, you will not be penalized in the admissions application, scholarship or Honors College review processes."

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Frances said:

Am I the only one that lives in an area where several liberal arts colleges offer free or almost free college classes to some high school students?

Umm, we don't even have several liberal arts colleges. The closest we come is the University of St. Thomas and Houston Baptist University, but they're not $200 a class for DE. Interestingly, they both will take a boatload of CC credits and have transfer guides on their web sites. What's available depends so much on where you are and the relative strength of different sorts of institutions. It's amazing how different the Texas college scene is from the North East. Here, CC credits transfer to almost every school, public or private. College students are allowed to take CC classes during the summer and transfer the credits to the home university without hassle. The rules are clear cut and published. As a result, CCs dominate the DE scene.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Frances said:

Am I the only one that lives in an area where several liberal arts colleges offer free or almost free college classes to some high school students? My son was able to take two courses per semester at the local LAC for $200 each and audit up to two more per term for $50 each. This was at a time when tuition there was around $40k per year. Admission was restricted and required a full application, but it was far cheaper, more rigorous, and more convenient than taking classes at the local CC. I know of at least four other LACs within an hour that offer something similar.

The state health university also offered an amazing free class for high school students and most of the students went on to do summer research there. It was an amazing experience for my son. Again, admission was restricted and competetitive, but well worth the effort and the commute.

One interesting thing though is that most of these programs are not advertised or on the college website. They are usually handled through high school guidance counselors and word of mouth. We knew about the local one because my husband used to teach there. My son was recommended for another one when he took a community science lab class with a retired college professor. And I found out about the health university one when poking around on the web. 

 

We have well-endowed high ranking LAC in our Valley, Admiral Grace Hopper graduated from it.  Its outreach is to urms, but they aren't credit bearing offerings. No, high schoolers may not attend college classes on their campus, fee paying or otherwise. High schoolers may pay for SIG, summer institute for the gifted if they'd like a learning experience.   For app $3300, 3 summer credits and a summer residential experience are available at the private college nearby. Or if one is a jr or sr in high school of good academic standing and in some cases old enough, one can take courses at the CC campus or the regional SUNY for full price. 

The nutty thing is DE from the CC.   Go to the next county, and DE at the high school is free...to both the student and the school.  In my county it's not, its $150 to the student per course, unless they are a urm and qualify for private funding.  Go to the next county the other way, community college is free if you graduated in the top 10% of the high school class -- so you grad high school in three and do CC for free.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not arguing about parents' abilities to design courses that could be more challenging or interesting than standard high school courses. What I am saying is given the rampant cheating in college admissions (and as much as I believed this was coming mostly from overseas applicants, it isn't so. I have stories from local high school as well), it is hard for me to imagine that these schools don't care to see a single test score (and again, I don't mean every class validated, or a ton of APs, or a ton of DE) and are willing to trust blindly what parents cook up on the transcripts of their precious children. And again, if a child has outside achievements (Olympiad wins or nationally or regionally recognized achievement), it is a different question. I am talking about classes taken mostly from online providers or home without a single test score. A good SAT certainly says something. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

I am not arguing about parents' abilities to design courses that could be more challenging or interesting than standard high school courses. What I am saying is given the rampant cheating in college admissions (and as much as I believed this was coming mostly from overseas applicants, it isn't so. I have stories from local high school as well), it is hard for me to imagine that these schools don't care to see a single test score (and again, I don't mean every class validated, or a ton of APs, or a ton of DE) and are willing to trust blindly what parents cook up on the transcripts of their precious children. And again, if a child has outside achievements (Olympiad wins or nationally or regionally recognized achievement), it is a different question. I am talking about classes taken mostly from online providers or home without a single test score. A good SAT certainly says something. 

I agree.  Adcoms need some evidence that a student can succeed at their colleges.  How much evidence is required varies from one college to the next.  

I think a strong ACT/SAT verbal score can validate many of the humanities classes.  On the other hand, I don't think the SAT/ACT does an adequate job of validating a student's ability to succeed at one of the highly selective tech schools.  As a result, I think a homeschooler who didn't have math/science AP scores or cc grades from a well-regarded community college would not have provided enough proof to the adcoms that they had the background necessary to succeed on their campuses and their chances of acceptance would be close to zero.

I also think the calc, chemistry ,and calc-based physics APs cover material that is fairly standardized for introductory level college classes across the nation.  My kids would not have been as well prepared for college if they had not studied these topics in high school.  

My liberal arts kiddo only had one AP in the humanities - AP English literature- all of his other APs were in math and science.  He had a slew of 'home-brewed history and English classes, but none of his interests in those areas aligned with the College Board AP classes.  However, I felt that his high verbal SAT score and AP score was enough to validate to an adcom that he would be able to succeed in his writing/reading intensive college classes.  

The amount of outside variation one feels is necessary is going to be unique to each family - and even within the family, there will be variations.  I do think it is possible as a homeschooler to take AP classes and also have home-brewed classes on the transcript that are built around the interests of the individual child.   

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tend to agree with Roadrunner. 

There may be some colleges who accept homeschool transcripts at face value and don’t expect any sort of additional validation (major awards, dual enrollment, testing results), but even the examples being presented here are accomplished kids with external proof of their merit via various awards, with parents who had knowledge of the system who worked hard to assist them in identifying schools and programs.

Don’t we all know people who are skilled at embellishing their record? Frankly, colleges would be foolish to simply accept a transcript, homeschooled or otherwise, without looking for additional information on the student. It’s a good thing that there are various routes for a student to provide corroborating evidence of their potential to schools. 

I had a daughter with the creative courses, fascinating life experiences/clear passion, excellent speaking skills, and interesting writing (though grammar was an issue!) and excellent LOR. She did okay on admissions and financial aid, but, as stated previously, did not have nearly the choices that her sister (with more carefully planned validation) had. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/24/2018 at 1:01 AM, Frances said:

Am I the only one that lives in an area where several liberal arts colleges offer free or almost free college classes to some high school students? My son was able to take two courses per semester at the local LAC for $200 each and audit up to two more per term for $50 each. This was at a time when tuition there was around $40k per year. Admission was restricted and required a full application, but it was far cheaper, more rigorous, and more convenient than taking classes at the local CC. I know of at least four other LACs within an hour that offer something similar.

The state health university also offered an amazing free class for high school students and most of the students went on to do summer research there. It was an amazing experience for my son. Again, admission was restricted and competetitive, but well worth the effort and the commute.

One interesting thing though is that most of these programs are not advertised or on the college website. They are usually handled through high school guidance counselors and word of mouth. We knew about the local one because my husband used to teach there. My son was recommended for another one when he took a community science lab class with a retired college professor. And I found out about the health university one when poking around on the web. 

2

 

Our local LAC is highly ranked, and allows high school students (and other community members) to audit courses. As far as I know, there is no path for high school students to take classes for credit. My older ds took 3 history classes there. Each time he asked the professor's permission to take the tests and write the papers. Each time the professor agreed. His last professor not only graded his papers, but met with him individually to discuss them. While he didn't get any credit for these courses, he did get a highly valuable learning experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For us, every single program offered by a college is linked either to the public schools or even to a specific public or charter school. None of them can be accessed by just any student. Like, kids we know at the magnet school a few blocks away can take classes at Howard for free. Sigh. Supposedly you can do dual enrollment at the CC, but it must be through some workaround because the website says that it's only for public school students. In adjacent counties, 16+ or with special permission, dual enrollment for anyone. But the credits are not cheap. AP's online and CC classes are about on par in terms of cost. Given the driving time and so forth... it's a bit of a toss up in terms of what's better. It's definitely a situation by situation thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/19/2018 at 4:37 AM, FriedClams said:

I'm glad they're doing the drop and hope the trend continues. AP isn't really a college experience. AP classes are twice the length (2 semesters with twice the instructor face time than a 1 semester college class) of a real college course, and high stakes testing is unrealistic and not at all what most college courses rely on for grading. Depth, pace, and intensity have a lot to do with "college" vs "high school". 

 

IMHO that is the primary strength of the AP program - drinking from the firehose can be delayed until college. Why is that part of the college experience important? I wanted my son to learn and be challenged with college level material. In that way AP was successful. He did not take the exam for all his classes. For those that he did take, I was happy to compare to the rest of the US. The AP exam is a high stakes pressure exam - one shot only but so were most college finals back in my day. Finals counted for a significant part of the grade 25-50 percent.  Issues:

  • AP courses should match similar courses at flagship state universities and colleges - not there yet
  • they offer too many courses - start fixing what you have - make APUSH great 
  • recent additions like CS Principles are not college level and should be moved into their new Pre-AP lineup
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/23/2018 at 3:42 PM, Heather in VA said:

 

Just an FYI - I found out a couple of weeks ago that James Madison University (in VA) is now fully test optional, even for homeschoolers. I talked with the recruiter for a little while and she expects this trend to increase. I was flabbergasted. I never expected a major, secular university to go that route. Now if UVA ever went test optional (even for public school) we would know hell had frozen over :-). 

Test optional this will be a great way for even more discrimination against hard working Asian-Americans - no quantitative evidence to subpoena such as what has started against Harvard.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some AP classes taken in high school may take twice as long for a student to complete when compared to the class taken on a college campus.  However, high school students are typically taking up to twice as many classes per semester as a college student, so they have less time to devote to each class when compared to a college student.

Even at the high school level, some AP classes are paced the same as they are in college: AP Calc BC, AP Chemistry, and AP Physics C (If both Mech and E&M are taken the same year) for example.

Both of my college kids have classes where the final exam is a high stakes test.  In some classes, the final exam is worth 40 percent or more of the final grade.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...