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Do you need a high school diploma to be admitted to the University of California?


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Do you need a high school diploma to be admitted to the University of California?

My son has all of the a-g requirements either through coursework at the local public high school or by exam, his GPA is above the required cutoff (just using his b&m coursework), and he has taken the SAT. 

We are out of state, if that makes a difference. 

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Need?  Probably not.  

But it would probably make things much easier if he did have the diploma.  It also would depend on the particular UC and major he wants to attend. UC Berkeley, UC San Diego and UC Los Angeles are extremely selective and can be choosy about who they admit.  They reject in state kids with a 4.0 plus gpa, great SAT scores and tons of extracurriculars.  It is just the way it is.  

But if UC Merced or UC Riverside is the dream and the major is not competitive, your odds are pretty good.

There are other UC schools too, they would be in the middle for selectivity.  

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14 minutes ago, JenneinCA said:

Need?  Probably not.  

But it would probably make things much easier if he did have the diploma.  It also would depend on the particular UC and major he wants to attend. UC Berkeley, UC San Diego and UC Los Angeles are extremely selective and can be choosy about who they admit.  They reject in state kids with a 4.0 plus gpa, great SAT scores and tons of extracurriculars.  It is just the way it is.  

But if UC Merced or UC Riverside is the dream and the major is not competitive, your odds are pretty good.

There are other UC schools too, they would be in the middle for selectivity.  

Since he's homeschooled--officially, though he has taken a lot of classes at the public school--he won't have an official diploma.

He is looking at UCSB and UCSC at the moment.  

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11 minutes ago, Lawyer&Mom said:

I went to UCB without one.  Meeting the a-g requirements was the issue, not having a diploma.  I’d read the fine print carefully to see if the rules have changed, but in 1997 a diploma wasn’t required.  

Yes, I remember this from back in the day as well (I graduated from UCSC in 1989).  The information on the various websites seems contradictory to me.

Edited by EKS
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5 minutes ago, EKS said:

Yes, I remember this from back in the day as well (I graduated from UCSC in 1989).  The information on the various websites seems contradictory to me.


Is it statewide, or are there different requirements per school?  Here in MA the different state schools each have their own completely different policies re: homeschooled students.    Most are fine with just a transcript and without a diploma, but the flagship campus still officially requires a whole bunch of hoops (like a diploma from some outside authority, although they've finally agreed a bunch of DE classes would also work, but if you don't have that, then the former is still wanted).  My youngest is at a CC where she's been doing DE for years, but as we switched her over to a full-time college student this year, they suddenly wanted a diploma (?!).  Fortunately they were happy with the one I printed up at home...  One of my older ones attended a smaller state school for freshman year, and there was no policy at all - it was like they'd never had a homeschooler apply before.  But anyway, I was wondering if the contradictory info on the websites is because, like here, there's no global policy and everybody just makes up their own admission rules in a vacuum.

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4 hours ago, EKS said:

Since he's homeschooled--officially, though he has taken a lot of classes at the public school--he won't have an official diploma.

He is looking at UCSB and UCSC at the moment.  

 

PM quark as she would be more familiar and she does college counseling. A high school diploma is not required.

From UC admissions webpage http://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/freshman/homeschool/index.html

“If your home schooling curriculum is not provided by a U.S. regionally accredited school (or approved by the State Board of Education) and you will not receive an official transcript and high school diploma from a U.S. regionally accredited school: 

Edited by Arcadia
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40 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

 

PM quark as she would be more familiar and she does college counseling. A high school diploma is not required.

From UC admissions webpage http://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/freshman/homeschool/index.html

“If your home schooling curriculum is not provided by a U.S. regionally accredited school (or approved by the State Board of Education) and you will not receive an official transcript and high school diploma from a U.S. regionally accredited school: 

So if he qualifies through the exam route, would they still consider his coursework? And can you be admitted by exam to any schools other than Riverside and Merced?  I mean, in reality, not in principle.

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I don't do for-fee counseling anymore,  but can provide some insight based on our own experience. Short answer, afaik, no diploma is actually required but as people have said, fine print can change and I haven't looked at UC's for a while. I have PMed you back, EKS. Let's chat over the phone if you have time! Thanks for connecting us Arcadia!!

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22 hours ago, EKS said:

So if he qualifies through the exam route, would they still consider his coursework? And can you be admitted by exam to any schools other than Riverside and Merced?  I mean, in reality, not in principle.

 

My understanding was that admission by exam merely made me eligible, but that my actual transcript is what got me into UCB.  But my situation was a bit different, I was a high school “dropout” rather than a homeschooler.  I had an accredited transcript, just no diploma. 

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On 2/20/2019 at 11:52 AM, EKS said:

Since he's homeschooled--officially, though he has taken a lot of classes at the public school--he won't have an official diploma.

He is looking at UCSB and UCSC at the moment.  

 

You can make the transcript that documents what he did in your homeschool, to include courses taken elsewhere. He meets your graduation requirements (and any your state sets specifically for homeschooling). Your transcript is official because you sign it.

My son was admitted as an oos student to UC San Diego for fall 2017 with a the documents I created. 

What's more the UC app doesn't ask for transcripts upon application. Students use menus to create an online course listing. Transcripts may be required after acceptance. 

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If you are out of state A-G "certified courses" DOES NOT APPLY to you, it does not matter one iota.  Only we in CA suffer from that crap.  (ie they just have to be in that subject, but they don't care if it's certified)....BUT the fact that you are not accredited may involve an issue and therefore you likely need to apply through the Admission by Exam route.  

YOu will fall under the "admission by exam" route, not the "out of state" page ....

http://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/freshman/homeschool/index.html

OUr local homeschool leader actually had a big meeting with some bigwigs from the UC's directly, and they ironed out a LOT of misconceptions and problems, and the number one biggest take home was that private homeschool students (not under a public charter) DO NOT need certfied A-G courses but need to use the Admission by Exam route.

Good luck.  I personally would not pay out of state tuition for UC's - they are gigantic public universities...I don't know what state you're in, but only three UCs would I even consider paying full price  (UCLA, Berkeley,and San Diego) and even then I'd be curious to know where you are, that there's no equally excellent public U available to you at instate cost 🙂

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3 minutes ago, Calming Tea said:

If you are out of state A-G "certified courses" DOES NOT APPLY to you, it does not matter one iota.  Only we in CA suffer from that crap.  (ie they just have to be in that subject, but they don't care if it's certified)....BUT the fact that you are not accredited may involve an issue and therefore you likely need to apply through the Admission by Exam route.  

YOu will fall under the "admission by exam" route, not the "out of state" page ....

http://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/freshman/homeschool/index.html

OUr local homeschool leader actually had a big meeting with some bigwigs from the UC's directly, and they ironed out a LOT of misconceptions and problems, and the number one biggest take home was that private homeschool students (not under a public charter) DO NOT need certfied A-G courses but need to use the Admission by Exam route.

Good luck.  I personally would not pay out of state tuition for UC's - they are gigantic public universities...I don't know what state you're in, but only three UCs would I even consider paying full price  (UCLA, Berkeley,and San Diego) and even then I'd be curious to know where you are, that there's no equally excellent public U available to you at instate cost 🙂

First--thanks all for your input on this thread.

Specific to the above--I understand that my son's courses do not need to be certified a-g.  But UC admissions does say that he needs to have equivalent courses and he has most of those through an accredited public high school.  He would be able to satisfy the a-g requirements (as they apply to out of state students) through a combination of those courses, the SAT, and a subject test.  He also could most likely be admitted by exam, though he hasn't actually taken all of the tests needed for that.  But from what I've read, admission by exam will only get you into Riverside and Merced these days, but I don't know if that is actually true.  I was admitted to UCSC by exam back in the day.

My question was specifically whether you need a high school diploma (non-homeschool mom generated, I mean) to be admitted.  I discovered that he admissions websites for UCSB and UCSC have documents on them for admitted students saying that their admission will be rescinded if they do not earn a high school diploma, but it never quite says this on the main UC admissions website. 

I find it fascinating that all of these colleges (not just UC) think that the main way people "homeschool" in high school is by being enrolled full time in an accredited, diploma-granting distance/online school.  In my opinion, if one is enrolled in such a school full time, one is technically not homeschooling, so statements about that sort of experience should be removed from the homeschooling-specific section of the admissions website.

Anyway, we have decided not to pursue UC admissions further precisely because of the cost versus benefit thing you mentioned.  That, and the thought of dealing with it all makes me feel ill.

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Can’t a parent issue a diploma? So if the first three years were done at public school and last year at home, parent should be able to issue a diploma with a transcript and a separate transcript can be sent in from the public school. Enough private homeschoolers have been admitted to UCs and they all have parent issues diplomas.

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On 2/27/2019 at 8:33 AM, EKS said:

First--thanks all for your input on this thread.

Specific to the above--I understand that my son's courses do not need to be certified a-g.  But UC admissions does say that he needs to have equivalent courses and he has most of those through an accredited public high school.  He would be able to satisfy the a-g requirements (as they apply to out of state students) through a combination of those courses, the SAT, and a subject test.  He also could most likely be admitted by exam, though he hasn't actually taken all of the tests needed for that.  But from what I've read, admission by exam will only get you into Riverside and Merced these days, but I don't know if that is actually true.  I was admitted to UCSC by exam back in the day.

My question was specifically whether you need a high school diploma (non-homeschool mom generated, I mean) to be admitted.  I discovered that he admissions websites for UCSB and UCSC have documents on them for admitted students saying that their admission will be rescinded if they do not earn a high school diploma, but it never quite says this on the main UC admissions website. 

I find it fascinating that all of these colleges (not just UC) think that the main way people "homeschool" in high school is by being enrolled full time in an accredited, diploma-granting distance/online school.  In my opinion, if one is enrolled in such a school full time, one is technically not homeschooling, so statements about that sort of experience should be removed from the homeschooling-specific section of the admissions website.

Anyway, we have decided not to pursue UC admissions further precisely because of the cost versus benefit thing you mentioned.  That, and the thought of dealing with it all makes me feel ill.

 

Hm that is tricky!  But I think they just mean a diploma whether mom-issued or not (aka they have graduated)...sharing for anyone who might read this thread in the future...one thing that is good about UC's is that (unlike CalStates) EVERY SINGLE application is read holistically by a human being.  Then it's given a score by two human beings.  If the scores differ too much, then it's passed onto a third human being with a tie breaker score...then it's still reviewed further holistically after it gets to the next pile and the next and the next.  

With CalStates, they literally have a point system, where you literally just have points for this or that.  A student could lose so many points in one section that they won't be admitted, even if the overall picture is a zillion times better than a similar student.  For example, my son only has one year of foreign language and I was told he therefore will not get into CalPoly.  I explained that he has 59 transferable credits (incoming as a freshman) and they agreed they are transferable and that they have no limit on freshman incoming credits from DE/CC....so I said, but he could literally take 20 foreign language classes, and STILL graduate on time ! And she said I'm sorry CalStates do not review holistically. Everything is point based.  

So, if you're in CA it's always worth applying because even though they do have specific requirements, they are reviewed holistically.

We ended up with my son probably not going to UC at all, because they told him to apply as a transfer, he got a concussion, was unable to take his 60th credit and they said he likely will now no longer qualify, but the freshman admittance window had passed.  

TBH we aren't losing any sleep over it.  !! 

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